I’m excited to be presenting tomorrow, June 15th, at the Search Engine Marketing Tech Forum at FAU. The event is presented by the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce.
I will be speaking about SEO and Local SEO along with Kathryn Parsons (Internet Marketing Director, DamagedCars.com) and Joe Laratro (President, Tandem Interactive).
The event is from 8:30 AM TO 10:30 AM
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
FAU, College of Business, BU 120 (found in the Central Atrium of the College Building)
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Yahoo Answers is a great place to generate traffic to your sites, because no matter what niche or topic your website is about, there are probably people asking questions about it. If you can answer them effectively, it will help you get both direct traffic and long-term backlinks to your website. Let’s look at how to use it effectively.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you need to be able to provide some value. It’s a give-and-take situation – you’re giving useful information and in turn you’re “taking” traffic and backlinks.
If you approach it from a purely selfish point of view, it’s not going to work as well, and chances are your Yahoo Answers account will get suspended sooner or later (probably sooner!)
That means that you’re not going to include a link to your website in every single answer you post. You might include a link to other sites in some answers, or no link at all in others. You want your account to grow naturally. In other words, if someone from Yahoo was to review your answers, you don’t want every single one of them pointing back to your own website.
The most effective way to use Yahoo Answers is to spend some time on it every day. Search for questions in your market and find some that you can answer. Ideally, find the newest ones so you can be the first, or close to the first person to respond. The higher you are in the list of responses, the more traffic you’re going to get.
And ultimately, you want to have as many of your answers as possible chosen as the “best answer” because it will be shown right underneath the question from that point on.
When you answer a question today, if it’s chosen as the best one, it could generate traffic to your site for years to come.
When you answer a question, there’s a spot where you can enter a link to a website that provides more information about it. That is where you can include a link to your own site in some of the answers – not in the answer itself.
One good way to approach this is when you find a relevant question that you don’t already cover on your site, write a new blog post or article explaining the answer in some detail. Then provide a shorter summary on Yahoo Answers with a link to your new article.
This kills two birds with one stone – coming up with ideas for new content on your site and answering questions on Yahoo.
Pay Per Click, also known as PPC, is one of the fastest ways to generate traffic to your website. The downside, of course, is that it will cost you money so you’ll need to be sure you either have some money to invest up front, or a way to make money from those visitors to cover the cost of your ads. Let’s look at how you can use pay per click marketing most effectively.
There are quite a few PPC sites, but the most widely used are Google Adwords and Yahoo/Bing adCenter. Facebook advertising is also growing quite fast so it’s another option to consider.
As a general rule, Adwords will be the most expensive place to run your ads, because they are the largest. That means there are more people competing for the ad space, driving up the costs. Yahoo/Bing is less expensive in most cases, but it will depend on the market you’re in to some degree.
Adwords also has some fairly strict policies, so you’ll need to be sure that you’re offering some real value to the people who click on your ads, and that your website meets all of Google terms of service.
One of the most important things about pay per click marketing is to be sure you’re targeting effective keywords in your ads. Generally, the more specific your keywords are, the better. And ultimately you want to find “buying” keywords – the ones that are used by people who are actively looking to buy something.
If you target your ads at general keywords for your market, it can generate a lot more traffic, but a lot of those people are just looking for information – they’re not necessarily going to convert into paying customers. While getting a lot of traffic sounds good in theory, it isn’t good if it just costs you a lot of money with no significant returns.
Another important factor for success with PPC marketing is good tracking. If you’re getting visitors from several sources, say articles that you’ve submitted, the search engines and Adwords, you need to know which of those visitors are generating revenue for you.
If the paid ads don’t generate enough to cover the cost, you’re losing money on them – even if the site is profitable overall. By tracking the different traffic sources through to the final conversions, you’ll know exactly where the money is being made.
There are a lot of horror stories about people losing a lot of money on PPC advertising. It doesn’t have to be that way, but you definitely need to make sure you understand how it works, what your risks are, and how to target the right people before you start spending any money.
Rolling out a new website is much the same as opening a traditional storefront for the first time. You have to get the word out to as many people as possible so they can come see what you have to offer. When promoting your website, you will want to use a combination of web-only and traditional marketing methods. Here are a few tips to consider for promoting your site in the best manner possible.
Don’t forget the traditional methods of advertising your website. Businesses for years have used traditional methods to get the word out to the consumer public. These are methods like flyers, business cards, bumper stickers, and window decals. All should have the URL to your website prominently displayed.
Use social networking sites to get the word out to a select group. The social network craze of late is popular because it is not only free but it allows you to find those with interest in what you have to offer and within your own geographical area. They are great for focusing on your target market.
Give away a free software tool. You may have a talent for creating customized software or you may be able to contract a freelance programmer to help you with this. However, there are many creative ideas you can come up with for offering a free software download that could help a patron to your website do his job easier. People like free items and this is a powerful promotion tool.
Offer a free ebook for download. This is also a popular promotion item because it is informative and free. Write an ebook to give helpful information to your site patrons and they will naturally want to see what else you have to offer.
Keep everyone current on your blog. Keeping your blog current builds credibility for your site. You should also respond to reader posts if you allow them because it shows you are actively engaged in your business.
Create a free newsletter. This is a great way to keep everyone informed about the latest offerings and promotions on your website. Give visitors the opportunity to subscribe to it and then send it periodically to their email address. Free newsletters are also good for getting repeat traffic to your site.
Perform effective SEO on your website. By doing this, you will make your website prominent in the search engines. The goal is to appear in the first one or two pages of search results when using your target keywords in a query. Keep in mind that effective SEO takes time and anyone promising quick results may be using unethical methods.
Pay for SEO results. The major search engines get numerous requests each day to index websites. On top of this, there are those who run automatic submission software to quickly make batches of requests. The search engines try to discourage this simply because they cannot handle the volume. If you want to get indexed fast, check out some of the paid submission directories. While it might be expensive, it could later pay off.
Create your website content in a helpful multi-part series. This motivates your visitors to come back for subsequent visits. Also, make sure the content is current.
Make your website pleasant and easy-to-use. Make sure it loads fast and has intuitive navigation. This is not only good from your visitors’ perspective but it creates less work for a search engine indexing crawler thus increasing the chances of ranking faster in search engines.
According to a recent article on Mashable.com, an internal Google document was obtained by Ad Age that details the companies spending the most of Google AdWords in June 2010. While the biggest spending companies (AT&T Mobility, Amazon, eBay, and BP) may not be surprising, the amounts these companies are spending are truly staggering.
Supporting the release of the iPhone 4, AT&T Mobility claimed the top spot spending just over $8 million on search ads. Remember, that’s just for one month.
Here are the top 10 spenders in June 2010:
- AT&T Mobility – $8.08 million
- Apollo Group (University of Phoenix) – $6.67 million
- Expedia – $5.95 million
- Amazon – $5.85 million
- eBay – $4.25 million
- BP – $3.59 million
- Hotels.com – $3.30 million
- JC Penney – $2.46 million — we’ll admit, this one surprises us
- Living Social – $2.29 million
- ADT Security – $2.19 million
How much did you spend each month on Google AdWords?