Waves of change have cascaded over the search marketing sector in the past year prompting changes in the methods, business and practice of search engine optimization.
Though many things have been altered, expanded or otherwise modified, the general search engine market share has not. Google remains the most popular search engine and continues to drive more traffic than the other search engines combined. Another thing that has not changed is the greater volume of site traffic generated by organic search placement over any other form on online advertising.
There are six or seven advanced public search engines out there but the vast majority of SEO attention is naturally given to Google. Many of the tips offered in this piece, while useful at the other search engines, are written with Google in mind. We are also thinking about alternative file formats and other ways visitors might find websites aside from pure-search.
The most visible changes can be seen in the variety of search formats and in search results returned by the major search engines but the greatest changes are taking place in the philosophies and practices of search engine optimizers. As the search environment has changed, so too have the techniques and tools used by search marketers. More time is focused on improving website content and navigation in order to appeal both live-visitors and search spiders. There are also new metrics measuring the success of a search marketing campaign, all of which are far more complicated than simple search engine rankings.
Since the introduction of the Jagger Update at Google, we have been doing a number of things slightly differently and have updated expectations of our clients and ourselves.
Organic search engine placement now requires a lot more work on our part and on the part of our clients or their webmasters. Content needs to be updated regularly, navigation simplified and shared analysis of on-site traffic is increasingly important. Top10 websites, especially around their main entry points, have become production pieces requiring a greater degree of strategic planning than the general, annually updated brochure sites do. Creation of that content needs to be considered a standing business expense though that expense should be more than made up for in long-term advertising savings.
Along with that greater effort, we strongly advise our clients to integrate their PPC campaigns with their SEO campaigns though, not necessarily in the hands of the same person. SEO and PPC are two unique arms of search engine marketing. Many SEOs spread their time crafting both paid and organic campaigns for clients though each requires unique and highly developed skill sets. PPC offers guaranteed placements for a fee but require greater attention and monitoring, along with different levels of analysis. We have set caps on the number of PPC campaigns we can run in conjunction with organic placement campaigns and have taken measures to outsource via recommendation any overload. The key here is to have the PPC and the organic SEO teams working together on several aspects of the client’s web documents.
|About the Author:|
Jim Hedger is the SEO Manager of StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc.