Seo Swot Analysis – Back To Basics

Online commerce is on the rise and has prompted numerous businesses to build a website; a sizable chunk of these businesses only operate online. You would be startled to know that a lot of them make little or no money from their online venture, for reasons well within your grasp – faulty internet marketing strategy. The adage “Build and they would come” is the main culprit behind businesses failing to monetize online. Building a website is not the ‘be all end all’; there is more to it. You internet marketing strategy can make or break your business.

Marketing a product or service demands sound strategy, be it traditional marketing (offline) or online marketing. In order to build a simple market overview strategy to analyze the business’s internal as well external environment, a basic tool like SWOT comes in handy. Not only is the tool simple to use, but also a great starting point. For people who are not from a marketing background, let’s start by explaining what SWOT stands for :-

S – Strengths.
W – Weaknesses.
O – Opportunities.
T – Threats.

A few facts:

Strengths and weaknesses stem from internal sources whereas opportunities and threats stem from external sources.
Strengths and opportunities are useful and can be used to your advantage, whereas weaknesses and threats are harmful and would go against you.

A basic SWOT analysis of your business would help you gauge facets of your business which could be leveraged to create the maximum ‘bang’ online, as well as help you capitalize on them. Getting your priorities right is imperative to make quick wins. As a tactical measure, you could work towards eliminating your weaknesses and neutralizing your competition for sufficing your long term strategies.

Before you start doing a SWOT analysis, it is important to comprehend that SWOT analysis is very subjective in nature. Ten different people analyzing the same business will come up with ten different sets of results. Further, you will have to be realistic and honest while carrying out this analysis. Bolstering your strengths or undermining your weaknesses can have a detrimental effect.

SWOT analysis for SEO could be implemented for all types of websites, but larger websites will have more variables and hence pose difficulty in achieving actionable deliverables. It is more suited for small to medium websites having fewer variables and thereby more direct actionable results.

Metadata For Online Mlm – Seo & Metatag, Title Tag & Meta Description

I want to mention I am not an SEO expert in any way. These are just some changes I researched that increased my websitegrader.com score about 35% when I implememted them. I hope that you can utilize this without too much confusion or work to get some improvements in your sites.

This article is a little more in depth on an answer to my question on SEO & metadata that I asked when I was getting started in this industry. I researched the question & answered it myself. It’s very basic, but if you have not implemented these basic concepts, you can do this and get 30-40% improvement on your websitegrader.com score just like I did.

First I will go over some basic definitions with you on the terms SEO, SEM, metadata, metatag, and meta description or meta description tag and then we will go over how to use them in your online MLM. If you are new to some other type of internet marketing and not in an online MLM, this will still be helpful info for you.

SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is making web pages friendly to search engine spiders and making them relevant to keywords you have decided to target.

SEM stands for search engine marketing. SEM is when you research, locate, submit and position your website in the search engines for the greatest exposure. SEM includes choosing target keywords and keyword phrases for your website’s metatags. It can also include buying and placing advertising in search eengines.

Metadata decsribes the content in other data . Web pages show metadata in the form of metatags. Keyword and meta description tags are genrally used to describe a website or webpages content. Search engines use the data when they add pages to the search index.

Title tag is often called meta title. The title tag and header tags are areas on a web page enclosed by heading tags. Heading tags are not always of equal importance, with regard to SEO. It depends somewhat on the number used in the headings or sub-headings. Title, heading tags and content need to be relevant to the keywords your web page targets.

Meta tag description is the information in one of the metatags that has the description of the web page or website. Search engines use this info when search results are displayed.

Metatags are there just for search engine spiders. The essential metatags are the meta description tag and keyword meta tag.

Keywords and key phrases are terms or words used in search engine inquiries.

Today search engines place less emphasis on metadata, especially the meta tags keywords as they are to easy to use for misleading searchers to your websites. The title tag (or meta title tag as it’s often referred to mistakenly) and the meta description tag are great places for keywords if they are used in a sentence format making them useful to people searching.

Your title tag and meta description are very important, when done properly they will increase your click thru rates. If meta tags are missing keywords or not readable by humans they will fail. (These are what you see in the blue bar at the top left of your internet explorer and in the title and description under the results, when you search on google).

You need to manipulate your title tag and meta description tag to sell and promote your products or services. Your title tag should be no more than 70 characters or google will not show it in the search results heading. Your meta description should be no more than 150 characters, and both should be very readable to the human eye. (If you make these too long they still help with SEO but are useless in terms of SEM).

The meta tags keywords are not as useful today because of the ease of manipulation I mentioned. Most emphasis has been moved to links and site content. Only use words in your meta keywords that are found in your meta title and meta description or in the content of your website. The more times your keyword shows up on a page or website, the more relevant the page is for that search.

Be careful about keyword density, as search engines and directories may downgrade your page because they consider stuffing your page with keywords to be spamming. Spend the most time writing your title tag. Think about your best keywords and craft that 70 characters like a masterful tweet. Use your main keywords or key phrases 3-5 times per article or page and make sure to use them at least 1-2 times in the 1st couple of paragraphs. Try to pepper them lightly through the beginning, middle and end of your content.

I hope this helps to make a complex subject easier. Obviously, if you have the money you can use SEO experts. I started my business on a very tight budget and so this was extremely helpful info for me to learn.

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SEO Trot: Why Is Search-Engine Optimisation Useful for My Small Business?

SEO and your business

Why should I SEO my business Website? Search-engine optimisation might not be your number one priority, especially if you already have a wide customer base. But once you realise that over 85% of website traffic is generated by the search-engines, you begin to see that SEO is actually quite important. If you want people, who have never heard of you before, to find your website you need to use SEO.

There are plenty of businesses that only use the Internet as a peripheral PR device, rather than a way to generate extra market interest– and most of these will not show up on the search-engines, at least not anywhere near the top of the pile. Most of these businesses don’t need to be SEO’d because the market is already well aware of their existence. Their business websites are often used to improve communication with existing clients, but they are not necessarily designed to attract new ones.

Using SEO to attract new Customers

Of course, some businesses are happy to remain static. It is a mistake to want to expand too quickly – but if you want to use the net to catch a few sales then here’s how it works:

An SEO copywriter analyses your website for Keywords (for a more detailed explanation check out (What is a Copywriter?). Keywords are the search terms a web-user enters in search-engines like Google and Yahoo. If your copy is optimised, these Keywords will be interspersed strategically in the text so that they;

a). Are found by web-users when they search for those key terms

b). Sit nicely in line with the text

c). Are used as titles/headings and links

d). Don’t detract from the content/meaning

More about SEO, Keywords and SEO copywriters can be found in the Herds of Words re-reprint article SEO Your Website Now! [http://herdsofwords.co.uk/articles/optimise.html]

But it’s not just about the search-engines you need to please… There is no point in having a fully SEO’d website that appears in the Google Top 10 listing if all your readers ‘bounce.’ Yes, I know, bouncing sounds like fun, but in reality it means that these visitors leave your website without going further than the main page – (or the page they entered). If you want to see the percentage of these rubbery visitors I recommend that you sign your website up to the Google Analytics service.

Why? Well Google obviously says it best:

Google Analytics tells you everything you want to know about how your visitors found you and how they interact with your site. You’ll be able to focus your marketing resources on campaigns and initiatives that deliver ROI, and improve your site to convert more visitors.

You might feel that you are stuck between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea — how are you meant to write well rounded, readable webcopy and incorporate clumsy sounding keywords at the same time? Keyword heavy copy might well impress the webcrawler, but that doesn’t for a second mean that your readers are going to like it. In fact, it is likely that they will press that little black X and be done with you.

So, whether you use website-analysis tools or not, your website needs to hold your reader’s attention – and there are lots of ways you can do that.

Providing useful resources and ‘sticky’ material like;

– Forums

– Free re-print content

– Blogs [http://www.herdsofwords.co.uk/wordpress]

And best of all, all these can be used to SEO your website too. Two birds, One stone.

We signed up Herds of Words (our Freelance Copywriting website) to Google Analytics and have since learned a lot about our visitors, and what they are interested in – and we have been able to use our knowledge to our advantage, it’s a free service, so it’s well worth the effort.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/286875

Anatomy of a Revolution – SEO And the Long Tail (Part Two)

Remember the example I gave in the first installment of this article “SEO And the Long Tail”, about the music industry and the changes that the Internet and digital delivery brought about, well we saw how the long tail of music was the tens of thousands of, (often independent) artists many of whom self-produce their music without the benefit of a record label or promotion, or really any chance of ever having their music displayed on the shelves of Sam Goody -and yet people are able to find and download their music, and in fact itunes and others like them are profiting nicely because of it.

Well lets move the scenario to our world, the website. Let’s say that instead of the music industry, we’re using a given website as the industry, or more specifically the content on the website, that is about to be redefined by the long tail. So, in this scenario, the web content is the industry, the process of SEO is the old-style brick and mortar record shop.

The old-school process of SEO usually involved trying to guess how potential web surfers might find the site. You’d do this by looking at the site and what it was trying to sell or accomplish, then come up with search terms that seemed to fit the theme of the site. So, a site that sold sun glasses may come up with key phrases like:

Men’s sunglasses
Women’s sunglasses
Children’s sunglasses

Then once the “best” keywords were chosen, web pages would be developed around each phrase – usually one phrase per page. Once the optimized pages were indexed by the search engines, their placement in the SERPS would be measured; tweaks would be performed if the pages weren’t ranked high enough. After several months (often times much longer), the pages would (hopefully) rank in the top three or five for each of their respective phrases. Then guess what, you’d be getting a few hits each day from each of those terms. Would you sell many sunglasses? Probably not, terms like “Men’s Sunglasses” are far too broad to bring in any qualified traffic. No, more then likely you’d need hundreds, even thousands of these hits to make a single sale.

Let’s take a closer look. Who do you think is further along in the buying process, the person who searches for:

“Men’s Sunglasses”

Or the person who searches for:

“American Chopper Sunglasses black with blue lenses”

My guess it would be number two – he seems to have a pretty good idea of what he wants and now just needs to find someplace to buy it.

You see the flaw with traditional SEO is that the really good keyphrases, the long tail key phrases, really didn’t exist. When you’re optimizing a webpage for a specific keyphrase – like say “Children’s Sunglasses”, you’re trying to keep the page extremely focused on that particular phrase, so you consciously avoid straying from the focus of the page. In other words, those great long tail key phrases simply don’t make it to your page. Remember, in this scenario, the old-school process of SEO is the brick and mortar record shop – you know the one with the severely limited amount of shelf space -that can only house the most popular records -the records that everyone wants. Well the “records” in this case are the key phrases; traditional SEO can only fit so many key phrases on their shelves (the web pages).

So what changed? What caused the Long Tail of SEO? Well, people started blogging! A blog by definition is kind of an anti-SEO environment. You see, the blog is designed to give anyone who wants to, the ability to publish on the web. With the advent of the blog, anyone who had something to say (or thought they did), could start publishing, quickly and cheaply. These new publishers gave no thought to SEO (many wouldn’t even have known what it was) – they’d simply say what the wanted to say, the way the wanted to say it. So now, all the richness of language that the old-school SEO’ers had squeezed out of the internet was now being dumped back in and the search engines devoured it. Suddenly these web sites started showing up in the SERPs – for those long tail keyphrases that no one was optimizing for.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/543907

My wishes for the mobile industry in 2012

The mobile ad industry is maturing fast. In 2011, just about all players posted healthy growth, building up impressive case studies in partnership with brands who’ve taken advantage of the mobile opportunity. Revenues are up too, thanks to sustained effort, solid work, and rapid consumer adoption of mobile channels.
Yet underneath all this positive news, each mobile marketing conference that I attend carries a barely contained sense of frustration and disbelief. The majority of the agencies and brands that these events are intended to woo are somehow just too stubborn, too dyed in the wool, too bloody-minded to commit to mobile in any meaningful way. They drink the coffee, eat the free lunch, pocket the promotional pen, all the while nodding and paying lip-service to mobile. Then, back at the office, year after year, they renew their expensive commitments to the same old media mix – print, broadcast and (dare I say it?) billboards!

No wonder Tomi Ahonen’s onstage rants gain such rapture. It’s like he’s releasing some the collective frustration felt by an industry of innovators whose marvellous inventions are continually pooh-poohed by the majority of brands and ad agencies.

So what is it that’s stopping the mainstream from piling onto the mobile opportunity? Perhaps they prefer what’s safe, not sticking their necks out? Perhaps they don’t want to do anything out of the ordinary? Perhaps some agencies don’t want to implement anything too measurable that might reveal that their great creative concept doesn’t actually work quite so well in practice? Is there something about mobile that’s just too disruptive to the old way of thinking?

Whatever the cause, to mark the end of 2011, I wanted to point the finger directly at some of the potholes and pitfalls that I’ve noticed are stopping the industry from achieving its potential. Just so that I don’t come across as being too negative about things, I’ve framed each of these issues as a wish for the New Year – a small commonsense solution that would benefit the entire mobile ecosystem – brands, agencies, media companies and ad networks alike.

Wish #1: For mobile to break out of the silo

Despite the great case studies, positive returns on investment, and success stories that mobile garners, we still see mobile being relegated to ‘poor relative’ status in most companies’ media mix. The average media budget still reads in this order: TV, then Print, then Out-of-Home, then Radio, and finally, Digital. Digital, in turn, is split into Fixed Internet, Search (SEO and SEM), Social Media, Direct Email, SMS Marketing and Mobile Internet.

Ironic that the largest single medium on earth nearly always gets the smallest slice of pie.

Also, it’s strange that although globally, 50% of all social media is consumed on a mobile device, yet mobile marketing budgets are often tiny compared even to social media budgets.

The real power of mobile lies in the fact that just about everyone has a phone in his/her pocket, always accessible, always on. While we may have occasional brief exposure to billboards, television ads, internet banners, newspaper ads and radio spots, mobile is the glue that has the potential to really hold these disparate components together, providing a continuous touch point and a rich ongoing customer engagement.

For 2012, my wish is that marketing managers at more big multinationals grow the cohones to harness the power of mobile, and fully integrate it into every single one of their marketing executions. It’s easy, and there’s no reason not to make each piece of bought media work a little harder for you.

Wish #2: For ad agencies to reset their priorities

Ad agencies are (with many important exceptions) some of the worst offenders in failing to take advantage of the mobile opportunity. They’re therefore, in addition to being the mobile marketing industry’s most important partners, one of the biggest barriers to success. I see several factors at play.

Firstly, agencies earn much higher margins for development work than they do from buying mobile media. Now, it would be naive to think that agencies set strategy based only on what’s best for a client, rather than what’s most profitable, but it’s pretty alarming just how many get away with maximising profit to the detriment of the client. I’m always amazed to see so many brands build obscure apps, when simply designing and placing some banners would do the trick. The only people who can protect against this kind of abuse are the marketing teams who hire the agencies, so if you’re on such a team, be vigilant!

The other sins committed by agencies are less direct, slightly more excusable, and just as damaging. Brand strategists tend to be dazzled by shiny new technologies, and enslaved to their appeal, even when they don’t reach the majority of a particular target market. That’s why we get upset when we see a brand with mass appeal creating an iPhone app somewhere like South Africa, with just 1% iPhone penetration. (Somewhere like Australia or Germany, on the other hand, where iOS is the second most popular handset platform, is less problematic.)

Most pervasive is the lack of a basic technical understanding of the mobile space among key agency staff. This really hampers their ability to put mobile technology at the heart of a campaign strategy. In fact, without a solid basic understanding of mobile, and the faith that what they’re doing makes sense, they are indeed taking big risks with a campaign. The fact that they are sidelining mobile betrays a basic lack of confidence in their ability to take advantage of mobile engagement.

So… my wish for agencies is that they could renew their commitment to mobile – in practical ways. Train their staff, stay ruthlessly honest and choose the solutions that make sense for the brand, study the incredible success of their peers and gain the insight and data that allows them to make appropriate strategic decisions.

Then use mobile to amplify and connect every single marketing execution. Agencies have a crucial role to play in the industry, and we really need them to come to the party.

Wish #3: For us all to get over the big numbers already

Every mobile presentation I see has long numbers. These strings of digits, usually longer than telephone numbers, are meant to impress upon us that consumers have adopted mobile technology, and that it’s all very, very big indeed. Okay, I’ve got it. Let’s move on.

Instead of quoting numbers like some crazed tween with a deck of Super Trumps cards, let’s share insights and data that really shifts our perspective or deepens our understanding of a particular market. Let’s look at the ‘how?’, rather than the ‘how many?’. That’s my third wish.

Wish #4: For everyone to transcend the debates around fragmentation

We have a fragmented market. There are more handsets, operating systems, development platforms, screen sizes and app stores on offer than ever before. And that fragmentation will only deepen in 2012.

Somehow, in the industry, coverage of the “platform wars” became more important than the basic aim of the platforms themselves, which is, surely, to distribute content to consumers as efficiently possible. Let’s remember that, and make decisions based on real data, accurate insights into usage, and a proper match to the target market.

The (browser-based) mobile web provides a set of acceptable constraints within which to market a product or service, along with a universally accepted set of standards that mean you can reach any internet-enabled device. It is, quite simply, the single most efficient medium of content distribution ‘platform’ ever made.

Once we see a majority of HTML5-capable devices out there, the fragmentation debate will end, and everything will naturally be web-based. In the mean time, that’s my fourth wish – that we can all keep it simple, transcend the debate over which platform is better – and reach all users via the mobile web. Thereafter, marketers can branch out into apps and other more complex executions, but let’s walk before we attempt running.

It’s an easy shift in perspective, and one which would save the industry would save a lot of breath.

Wish #5: Show me the money

As we enter the mad rush toward the end of the year, there will no doubt be a lot of planning meetings, budget discussions, and strategy checks in marketing offices around the world. Good luck for these. I think you know what my final wish is… that you might fight the good fight for an appropriate budget for mobile in your company.

Five tips in winning the 2016 content marketing challenge

2015 has been a long year, with a myriad of new algorithms affecting search and social media, content quality taking centre stage, long form content fast on its heels, not to mention the advance of video marketing and the micro moment.
PR and SEO are now one output or at least should be, as is SEO and content marketing. The blurred line is spreading across all the digital marketing outputs. We now know that SEO and SEM are not the same thing, that syndicated content is duplicate content, that social media has serious ranking power and that authenticity and relevance are key in content. Click baiting and link farming are the cardinal sin, and, we know that content is STILL king, and that the marketing of that content is the queen.

Yet the deeper insight here is often missed. In this past year I have had the pleasure of working with some of the largest news publishers in the country, the largest marketplace in SA, and some of the best digital agencies in town. And this is the insight I have for you.

The content marketing deluge

The biggest threat to content marketing as a practice is content marketing itself, as content marketing does not equate to content marketing success. The issue I have found most prevalent in the industry is that there is a skills shortage, of epic proportions in the severe lack of content managers, content strategists & content marketing professionals.

Businesses need to build on their internal content teams, ensuring they are equipped with up to date SEO knowledge, principles of copywriting, ORM and PR basics and of course social amplification techniques.

Five tips in winning the 2016 content marketing challenge
©tomwang via 123RF

Copywriting agencies are now content farms, digital advertising agencies are now social media experts, video production companies are now rich media creators, contract publishers are now rebranding themselves as content marketers… and all this is based on content created from a mix of inexperienced content creators that are already stretched to the limit with no idea on how content marketing works.

This translates to an influx of crappy content, and that means that its just a matter of time before content marketing blindness takes over. Consumers will wisen up to this “new” tactic of mass publication pretending to be valuable content. The reality is that content marketing is a powerful tool to get the consumer to drop their defenses for just a little while so we can gain their trust and become their custom. But with crap content disguised as great content, the user who is bitten will not be clicking on the good content in a hurry. So content marketing in my view will become harder with diminishing returns as long as we continue to mass produce content under the guise of believing that hordes of content published means you are a successful content marketer.

Branded content, in my opinion, and yes it is jaded, is the swearword of the digital marketing space, the term “branded content” was created by the world of paid media – it has no place in content marketing in 2016, but allow me to elaborate: Unfortunately, the problem is that the people in control of marketing media budgets in this industry do not understand content marketing as a concept nor as a business strategy.

So, who and or what will be successful in content marketing? It’s going to be the businesses and brands that create something of value, something unique, something so close to the audience, it will be precious to them. Those who build a “content brand”, not brands publishing branded content. What brands often forget is that the consumer has enough wit about them to know that: “Brands are a symbol of a promise, and a strong brand is built on promises upheld.”

Brands and publishers alike need to stop applying the same old marketing structures and principles to content marketing. Content marketing does not require content assets to be effective, however producing high quality content consistently will be a challenge and the key is: less really is more, less quantity but more quality”.

Smart content marketing tips

Here are some examples of “smart” content:

1. Answer a question: Can be called the “how-to” format. This is perfect for instructions like how to bake a cake, or teaching your audience something.
2. Provide opinion: Kind of like a review style and a great opportunity to show your perspective on a specific topic.
3. Add context: Pick an angle to follow with your particular topic, this is the ideal format for interviews and event coverage. Always focus on connecting with your audience first, if you can illicit some sort of emotional response you’re on the right track, and PS: It’s at this level that people connect and make purchasing decisions.
4. Smart content uses more than just words, it uses images, graphics, animations and video so use these to bring your content to life.

SEM – Paying for web traffic. What, why, how?

SEM, or search engine marketing is the ‘big brother’ to SEO. If you’ve considered getting your business online, you’re sure to have heard of it…but what exactly is SEM? How does it work? Most of all, is it worth paying to make sure your business generates web traffic?
Biz4Afrika decided to enlist some expert help from Elwyn Dhliwayo, CEO of SEO Specialist, and we’ve got answers for all of your SEM-related queries.

What is the difference between SEO and SEM? Which, in your opinion, is more effective? Can you have one without the other?

Many people find it difficult to distinguish between Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). In most cases, both terms are often used interchangeably, which makes it even more confusing.

I will sum up everything in a simplified diagram.

SEM – Paying for web traffic. What, why, how?

As can be seen in the diagram above, SEO is simply a component of SEM. Therefore, SEM includes elements of paid search, such as PPC and also Social Media Marketing (SMM).

SEM is more effective in the short term, especially when you begin online marketing, as it has the ability to generate instant exposure, leads and sales for your business. However, as you run your SEM campaigns, it is crucial to invest in SEO as it will generate significantly higher returns in the long run. SEO results are permanent and will last for years!

In my opinion, for a business to achieve the best results from online marketing, it is important to make use of all elements of SEM, which are, SEO, PPC, and SMM. These three work together. For example a business can use PPC to drive traffic to the website, while SMM creates brand awareness and user engagement and then SEO ensures that the business website becomes more visible for valuable keywords / phrases that actually result in a lead or sale. I personally use Google Adwords (PPC or pay per click) as a research tool to inform organic search (SEO) and it really works.

How does SEM work? What are the main pros and cons of implementing SEM? Why should small businesses use it?

With PPC, you allocate a budget for your paid search campaigns and only pay when users click on your advertisements. On the other hand, for SEO, you pay an SEO specialist to optimise your website on a monthly basis, so it can be more visible on Google for keywords or phrases that are related to your business. All these efforts are aimed at generating more website visitors, enquiries / leads and sales for you company.

Below is a summary of SEM pros and cons:

Organic / non-paid search traffic (SEO)

Pros:

It’s FREE. Search engines will not charge you anything to have your website come up in organic search results. However, you will need to pay an SEO specialist to optimise your website to rank high in the search engine result pages (SERPs) for keywords related to your business. It’s authentic. Users trust organic search results a lot more than paid search results.

Cons:

Lack of control – Because search engines constantly change their algorithms, it leaves you with very little or no control as to how your listing is displayed in the organic search results.
Unknown ranking factors – Google doesn’t disclose all the elements it takes into account when ranking websites in their search results.
Long term investment – You might not see real results for days, weeks or even months. However, in the long run it pays off big time.

Paid search traffic

Pros:

Cost control – With paid search, you have total control on how much you spend on marketing.
Targeted – Paid search enables you to accurately targeted users, making your advert highly relevant and useful to internet users.
Direct ROI (return on investment) – Setting up goals and tracking mechanisms for leads and sales, can help you directly link your marketing dollars to returns.
Instant results – With paid search traffic, as soon as you setup and finance your campaigns, you start getting website visitors almost immediately.

Cons:

Complexity of managing campaigns – There are a lot of settings, targeting options and optimisation strategies, which makes managing campaigns very complicated.
Competition – As more and more advertisers make use of paid search advertising, it makes the industry more competitive and results in costly advertising. Small business need to make use of search engine marketing because it enables them to launc a profitable business that will start acquiring new customers from the onset. Many small businesses fail because they do not appreciate the value of SEM, hence they run at a loss up to a point of shutting doors.

How effective is SEM – what sort of return do businesses get on their investment? How much, on average, will they pay for a click through to their site?

94% of customers research products and services online before making a purchase. Businesses that have websites and market online can reap the rewards of connecting with these prospective customers. A lot of small business have recorded over 300% return on investment. It all demands on your SEM strategy.

With SEO, you do not pay for clicks on your organic listings in search results. However, with paid advertising, you only pay when a user clicks on your ad. The cost of a click is dependent on a number of factors, which include, industry cost per click, quality scores, and bids by other advertisers within your industry.

How do you choose keywords?

Generally, SEM companies will make use of various tools to choose keywords for SEO and paid advertising campaigns.

Firstly I use the Google Keyword Planner to identify keywords with high monthly searches and a fair amount of competition and cost per click (CPC). As I run my paid search campaign, I then analyse my paid search campaigns to collect valuable data on keywords that have good conversion rates, low bounce rates, click through rates (CTRs). Having identified the keywords that convert into real customers for your business, I then use these keywords for SEO. This ensures that we focus all SEO efforts on keywords that we know will generate traffic, leads and sales for your business, thereby, eliminating all guesswork related to SEO.

Once a business has paid and implemented SEM, are they likely to retain the audience? Is SEM targeted, or is it common that people click to the site only to realise that it is not what they were looking for?

Yes. It is possible to retain the audience. For example, you can make use of remarketing list, email list etc to capture your existing audience.

SEM is highly targeted, measurable and scalable! However, all campaigns, be it SEO or paid search, needs to be properly managed and optimised to prevent wasted spend that results from people clicking into and out of the website.

What advice would you give to a small businesses looking to implement SEM? How long should they run an SEM campaign and what is the best way to get started?

Every small business needs to invest in SEM in order to remain profitable. SEM is a continuous process, for as long as it generates positive ROI, you need to continue running your SEM campaigns. To get started, you can contact SEO Specialist who will setup a meeting with you to discuss your SEM requirements.

Thank you to Elwyn for answering our questions!

If you want to get in touch with SEO Specialist to discuss implementing SEM for your small business, you can call them on 011 051 3109 / 062 216 2145. Alternatively, email them here. They happily accept clients with any budget and work towards getting you the best possible results at the available budget.

Super Bowl Xliii, The Football Game

The Super Bowl watched by billions, is the biggest single-day sporting event in the world, and is right around the corner! The Super Bowl is one of the few events where the entire family gets together, sits down and watches the football excitement live. Although, the Super Bowl is one of the largest sports events each year, a lot of people enjoy watching the Super Bowl ads for their interesting humor and graphics plus the halftime show with top entertainers such as Bruce Springsteen who will perform during the game as well.

Super Bowl XLIII will be one of the most viewed spectacles on television for this 43rd annual championship football game of the NFL which will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida. The Pittsburgh Steelers versus the Arizona Cardinals with the AFC Champion considered the visiting football team, and the NFC Champion the home football team. Arizona Cardinals will make their debut in the Super Bowl, an amazing story, the last time they won a championship was in 1947. Does anyone really think the Cardinals can shock the nation like the New York Giants did in the 2008 Super Bowl. The Pittsburgh Steelers on the other hand have been there before and won, and they are also seven point favorites to win another Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XLIII, with all of the media blitz, a celebration of consumerism, the merchandising opportunities, television commercials, there is no mistaking that the Super Bowl is a huge deal, and is still the premier platform for an ad campaign. Super Bowl XLIII will be watched by billions, therefore advertising costs are at a premium, and is a prime time to get into the consumers brain. This is the only single event where an advertiser can reach a global audience of this size. The Super Bowl, more then ever is the one opportunity for companies and organizations to get the attention of a vast audience that will be watching the game in real time.

The Super Bowl is a showcase, not only the celebratory end to the football season, it is the championship game used to crown the king of the National Football League. Two football teams field highly paid players in an attempt to win the most important game of the season. Win or lose, the Super Bowl is a learning experience, and not only for the teams that play in it but for every student of the game. For many sports fans, the Super Bowl is the best excuse of the year to host a party. Even non-sports fans like to get in on this event. Some fans say football resembles chess, but with a lot more physical contact, and the day of the game is the biggest day of the year for football enthusiasts. If football fans have not yet sprung for a high definition television set, the week before Super Bowl XLIII it would be a good time to make the upgrade. The Cardinals do have a chance to shock the world.

Seo Swot Analysis – Back To Basics

Online commerce is on the rise and has prompted numerous businesses to build a website; a sizable chunk of these businesses only operate online. You would be startled to know that a lot of them make little or no money from their online venture, for reasons well within your grasp – faulty internet marketing strategy. The adage “Build and they would come” is the main culprit behind businesses failing to monetize online. Building a website is not the ‘be all end all’; there is more to it. You internet marketing strategy can make or break your business.

Marketing a product or service demands sound strategy, be it traditional marketing (offline) or online marketing. In order to build a simple market overview strategy to analyze the business’s internal as well external environment, a basic tool like SWOT comes in handy. Not only is the tool simple to use, but also a great starting point. For people who are not from a marketing background, let’s start by explaining what SWOT stands for :-

S – Strengths.
W – Weaknesses.
O – Opportunities.
T – Threats.

A few facts:

Strengths and weaknesses stem from internal sources whereas opportunities and threats stem from external sources.
Strengths and opportunities are useful and can be used to your advantage, whereas weaknesses and threats are harmful and would go against you.

A basic SWOT analysis of your business would help you gauge facets of your business which could be leveraged to create the maximum ‘bang’ online, as well as help you capitalize on them. Getting your priorities right is imperative to make quick wins. As a tactical measure, you could work towards eliminating your weaknesses and neutralizing your competition for sufficing your long term strategies.

Before you start doing a SWOT analysis, it is important to comprehend that SWOT analysis is very subjective in nature. Ten different people analyzing the same business will come up with ten different sets of results. Further, you will have to be realistic and honest while carrying out this analysis. Bolstering your strengths or undermining your weaknesses can have a detrimental effect.

SWOT analysis for SEO could be implemented for all types of websites, but larger websites will have more variables and hence pose difficulty in achieving actionable deliverables. It is more suited for small to medium websites having fewer variables and thereby more direct actionable results.