Search engine optimization (SEO) is a new age concept that has created a thriving industry of experts and clients in the last two decades. Since Google engulfed the Internet marketplace, everyone interested in marketing online has taken into account how exactly they will fit into the giant puzzle.
SEO strategies work towards maximizing your Internet exposure in the simplest way possible: getting your listings to the top of the organic searches. It is a simple goal; however, the process of achieving this is much more complex than you would think. Luckily, the Google team has created several tools to aid the ongoing struggle for Internet supremacy, and these tools are what I will be reviewing in this first installment of the Art of Search Engine Optimization.
Google has grown immensely from it’s original model of a simple search engine, and the Google team themselves have put out some of the most useful tools in helping people maximize their Internet potential. The best part of these tools is they are all completely free!
Google Adwords – Adwords is how Google actually makes money off of their search engine. Google Adwords is a tool you can use to place pay-per-click (PPC) ads in Google Searches. If you ever wondered what the pages were that appeared on the sidebar of every Google search, this is it. These ads are the simple way to get your Web site immediate exposure at the highest points in Google searches.
Instead of working towards optimizing your Web site to appear high in the organic searches, you simply pay Google per-click to show your advertisements. Besides simply using Adwords to place PPC ads, there are several useful tools within that can help you with natural search engine optimization. Using their Keyword Tool, you can discover how many people search for specific keywords as well as other keyword ideas that are similar. There are several other tools such as the Web site Optimizer and Traffic Estimator that are of great help to optimizing your Web site.
Google Analytics – This is the granddaddy of SEO tools. Created by Google, Analytics is a solution that gives you all the information you would ever want regarding Web site traffic and your overall marketing strategy online effectiveness.
By simply entering your analytics code at the bottom of your Web page and going through a few easy steps to set up your URL within analytics itself, you gain access to a world of useful information. You are presented with several different timelines, graphs, and charts comparing and analyzing your Web traffic. It shows you long-term trends, geo-targeted information, keyword specific traffic percentages, and the best part is every segment of Google Analytics is completely customizable.
Analytics is also the best tool to manage any and all of your Google Adwords campagns, with direct numbers associated with your click-through rates, impressions, cost-per-click, visits, and even how long people remain on your site and which pages they visit. Google Analytics is simply the best SEO tool on the market. Best of all, it’s 100 percent free!
Google Trends – Google Trends is a new tool that can provide anyone with instant access to baseline trends of any search you could imagine. By simply typing a keyword or phrase into Trends, you are given all the information about the keyword across the whole spectrum of the Google search network. It immediately gives you a line graph showcasing the search volume of the word or phrase across the last 5 years.
This kind of information is very useful when brainstorming ideas for your online ventures. Another great use for this information is to flip it around. Say you want to analyze how much impact a recent product release had on an industry. Simply use the tools available in Google Trends to find the exact date of the release and view the impact it had on the search volume index. Google Trends even gives you a timeline of related press releases and articles alongside the index to give you on-site information to work with. You can further pinpoint specific trends using the geo-targeting features to find search volumes associated only within your country, state, or region.
These three search engine optimization tools are essential for anyone interested in doing SEO work. They are simple, effective, and easy to learn and use. I highly recommend taking the time to master the use of these free tools.
At SRJ Marketing Communications, we take advantage of these and several other advanced tools to provide you with professional Internet marketing programs. We follow industry-leading practices to maximize your online effectiveness. SRJ provides several SEO packages to give you the results you need. For more information, please give us a call at 214-528-5775.