Saturday, March 19, 2005

Search Engine Strategy

I was reading over Brad Fallon's Stomping the Search Engines newsletter from earlier this week, and he recommended the SEO Elite program. I remembered seeing that program over on Andre's blog, so I shot him a quick email to ask him a few questions...

After we talked, I decided to grab both the SEO Book (by Aaron Wall) and SEO Elite. It got me re-motivated about my search engine marketing strategies and I decided to dig in and put some serious focus and energy into it.

I am adding Aaron's SEO Book to my collection (which includes Michael Wong's guide, Karon Thackston's SEO Copywriting book, Perry Marshall's guide on Adwords, and several others). Most of them are in smaller binders, or combined with other info that I was studying or reviewing at the time I got them... so I am reorganizing all of my guides and plan to sit down and go over it and really analyze my strategy - see where I can make improvements, and test out some new theories.

The sales page for SEO Elite was 28 pages long (but one I read all the way through - twice), lots of benefits, and it looks like it's going to cut out a lot of the things that I have been doing manually in regards to my Link Strategy.

Basically it helps you to analyze your competition in the search results (using a wide variety of criteria - both "on the page" and "off the page" details), and points out the absolute best potential link partners for any given keyword or niche. It even gives you their contact information, and you can email them from within the program - very convenient.

My search engine strategy includes both free and paid listings across all of my websites, and for a handful of affiliate programs (using landing pages). I've decided to put the majority of my marketing hours into the search engines this year simply because I have found it to be the easiest and most profitable way to set up an unlimited number of sources for passive income. In fact, the search engines are already responsible for the majority of my current income - so it only makes sense to put some time into cranking things up a notch.

So here's the plan -

First, I am going to revamp and restart my pay-per-click campaigns on Google Adwords. I had quite a few affiliate campaigns running when Google changed their affiliate policy awhile back, and never really made a 'full recovery'. I started this morning by updating my most profitable campaign with a new landing page, and plan to split-test it against another to see which performs best.

I also dumped several of my campaigns that were just "easy double-your-money" direct affiliate link campaigns, and replaced them with more complex campaigns that lead to specific pages on my own websites. I also took a good look at those pages, and made a few changes for better conversions.

Adwords has been a great source for passive income over the last year, so I am excited about digging back into this and also expanding my campaigns to run on Overture, FindWhat and a few other pay-per-click engines. I admit that I am not familiar with most of them (outside of Adwords) so this will be interesting, challenging and fun!

Speaking of Pay-Per-Click, Aaron Wall covers it in the SEO Book and you can download an excerpt covering the pay per click search engine market for free. I grabbed it and uploaded it here: , if you would like to look over it too. Some great tips, and he covers both Adwords and Overture.

As for my 'free listings' in the search engines, or SEO plans, I am going to sit down and analyze my rankings, my stats, and my Link Strategy. Over the last week, I have been dabbling with a page or two at a time - checking rank, making tweaks, calculating conversions, etc. Honestly, when you're talking about thousands of web pages, it's a lot to keep up with!

If you don't stay right on top of it all - and I havent, to tell you the truth - then you just end up with a lot of pages out there everywhere that are performing 'okay'. Sure I'm making sales on a daily basis across the board, and a decent income from it (passively), but I know that I can dramatically increase my long-term income by investing a few weeks into analyzing and updating my sites (and specifically, my "money pages").

So that's the plan. I'm going to dig in with both hands, analyze everything, and tweak until it's running at maximum income potential :-)

I have to say, I'm very excited about the recent news & announcements regarding the major search engines. Specifically Yahoo/Overture's plans to launch contextual advertising for content publishers (similar to Google's Adsense program) as well as MSN's plans to launch their own PPC (pay per click) program. Competition between the major search engines means more options for webmasters & publishers. I love it :-)

Here are a couple of free resources on search engine marketing: Aaron Wall's blog & Cricket's Yahoo Group . Both of these are great, so if you arent already following them I would highly recommend it!