Almost since the beginning of the Internet back in 1998, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (pay per click) have been at the heart of Internet marketing and earning money on the Internet. The two are somewhat related, but function quite differently. More than that, because search engine companies quickly catch onto the gimmicks that advertisers are using, the best ways to handle SEO and PPC change from year to year.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the practice of selecting keywords and ideas to cause your webpage to display early in a search list. Most Internet searchers are short on time and on patience so they are unlikely to look beyond the first three pages of listings on any topic – even if thousands might show up. Managing to claim one of the top three listings, or even the top five is sort of like being on the New York Times Bestseller list of Internet business listings.
Original Methods for Gaining Search Engine Attention
Back in the old days of the Internet, you could simply seed your article copiously with your keywords. But search engine companies, such as Google, Microsoft and Netscape (later Firefox), quickly caught onto this technique. Too many of the same words will now get your article or ad thrown out as spam. Next, there was the technique of combining your preferred keywords with extremely popular keywords. For example, one year at a science fiction convention, a panel determined that if you combined the words “Fantasy, unicorn, Star Trek and Spock,” you would have a winning novel. They concluded that your best marketing option would be a fantasy novel about Spock riding on a unicorn, set in one of the Star Trek worlds. If this was a short piece intended to sell something, he would be eating Mrs. Smith’s fried pies and wearing a recently popular brand of tennis shoe.
Just as Spock on a unicorn won’t quite meet readers’ expectations of a good fantasy novel, older techniques of gaining the attention of a search engine’s web crawlers don’t quite fill the bill – but they aren’t totally wrong. The problem is that in the ever-changing world that is Internet and the World Wide Web, SEO changes almost constantly. There are more than 200 different considerations for correctly using SEO – but when you get it right, it is essentially free advertising. The problem is that good SEO is time-consuming and requires a constant awareness of the changes.
PPC – The Other Side of SEO and Internet Advertising
PPC or Pay per Click is sort of the flip side of SEO, or perhaps even the butter to SEO bread. Pay per click refers to the practice of putting advertising on a webpage, then paying the website owner when browsers click on the ad links or – sometimes – when browsing customers purchase something as a result of having clicked on an ad. Website owners charge advertisers to display their ads but are only paid when viewing or purchasing conditions are met. PPC tends to gain faster results than SEO for less effort. However, some SEO must happen because if the ads on your webpage are never seen, then there are no clicks – and therefore, no payment.
Evolution, Cooperation and Modern Times for SEO and PPC
SEO and PPC work very well together. SEO can help you gain attention for your website, blog or social media page through which you might sell a primary product or service. Advertising on your website can guide viewers to affiliate or similar products, creating a win-win situation for both you and your advertisers.
Gaining Viewers for Your Website
There are many ways to attract people to your website. These include guest posting, backlinks, and word-of-mouth advertising. But one of the best ways to keep viewers browsing around on your page once they arrive is to have really great information that they can use right away or to have funny videos, cute animal pictures, or fascinating games that will enthrall them the first time and then keep them coming back for more.
Keeping Search Engines Happy
Meanwhile, it is important to keep your search engines happy, and not have your website thrown out as spam, or – worse yet – blacklisted. Providing great information, valid products and services is a great start of keeping yourself in the sunshine of goodwill from just about everyone – including search engines. Google started out with a simple motto, “Don’t be evil.” While many people have come to question whether they stuck to their original goals, it’s not a bad motto to adopt.