Search Engine Marketing Strategies – Panel Recap

Editor’s note: Below is a recap of the “Small Business Technology Summit – Search Engine Marketing Strategies” panel at the Small Business Technology Summit held in NYC.

Speaker: Harry Brooks, Network Solutions

Providing guidance to the community about how to use SEM.

Five basic steps:

  1. Build Content – SEO
  2. Build Backlinks – SEO
  3. Launch Your Pay-per-Click Campaign
  4. Analyze Your Results
  5. Repeat

YellowPages is right where they want, when the customer wants it. Very successful ROI.

Build Content – Identify Profitable Keywords

Need to figure out what people are looking for to find something (think of what the customer does when they are searching the YellowPages).

  • Research Phase: start with – “dentist office”
  • Shopping Phase: refinement – “dentist office in fairfax, va”
  • Buying Phase: specific need – “cosmetci dentist in fairfax, va”

Need to look at keyword frequency (how often are the keywords searched on?) and competition for the keyword (how many sites are optimizing for those keywords?).

Search for keywords and/or phrases – google Keyword Tool, KeyWord Tracker, Compete, Market Samuri

Build Content – Key On-Page Elements

Need to have the following done on the website itself (on page optimization):

  • Title Tag – very important for ranking
  • Description Tag – compel a user to click in the search results
  • Keyword Tag – misspellings, relevant words
  • Headline – tell the user what the page is about
  • Alt Text – describe images (also include the title name/value pair)
  • Body Copy – 250 words or more
  • Links – text is best

Building Backlinks for SEO

Links provide testimonials – more testimonials means higher ranking. BUT, the links that are driving back to you MUST be of high ranked people/sites.

Internal links are also beneficial – helps rank your own content.
MUST have outbound links to other websites – it could be considered spam (Huh?)

Easy way to get links to your site:

  • Ask the webmasters of sites for them
  • Directories
    • Yahoo Directories – good for the multi-links from Yahoo (but you may have to pay) or you can do the sitemap yourself and submit it via the Yahoo Site Explorer
    • DMOZ.org – Open Directory Project – a link from it is because it is a peer-reviewed site that determines the relevance
  • Press Releases – PRWeb.com allows for SEO optimized distributed press releases
  • Article – ezinearticles.com – post the article and the link back to the website
  • Web 2.0 – do the other stuff first – and then build up the links
    • Forums – on your signature, the links are value
    • Blogs – posting comments can (at times) provide backlinks in the signature [Ed Note: far too many of the links are NOFOLLOW, which means it will not add backlink quality]
    • Reciprocal links – use your judgment, as long as the shared site is relevant, then it is good.

He suggests using the SEO Plugin for Firefox to track which links are good backlink followers.

Pay-Per-Click

When PPC and organic listing share a search result page, you can expect:

  • 45% increase in the “call-to-action” taken
  • 45% increase in orders

Track Activities

When PPC and organic listing share a search result page, you can expect:

  • google Analytics
  • Who’s Calling
  • GotVMail
  • Network Solutions Tracking System
  • 45% increase in orders


Sanford Dickert is a social media strategist with Contagious Conversations, and part of the New York Tech community, helping to strengthen the technology community though his work in coworking (cooperBricolage and New Work City). In other roles, Sanford has been an Adjunct Professor teaching on Web 2.0 concepts and product development, as well as a political consultant, including being the Chief Technology Officer for the John Kerry for President Campaign. In his “spare time”, he also publishes his thoughts on social media, political technology and online engagement in a number of publications.

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One Response

  • John

    Good info on PPC! Let this comment take as discussion, as I want to ask few some facts from you about pay per click. Do you think that pay per click is important for every webmaster? How much ppc expense (in percentage) of your income do you think is ok to incur? Actually, I have no experience about PPC, as I never used it for my websites and still I am gaining a lot of customers and sales. I am not going to say anything about my way of working because I do not want you to consider this comment as spam. But visiting my site can give you more information about how I am gaining thousands of customers in short time without PPC. I visited your blog because I am collecting information about the webmasters, campaigns and anything about pay per click that’s why when I saw your blog is great, I could not stop myself sharing something. In my opinion PPC is only beneficial if you optimize keywords and use the most relevant keywords only! Let this discussion going on? What are your views? Your Blog is really a great one! Maintaining a blog like yours is not an easy task, yet you did that! Congrates! – Any Comments? – Thanks – Regards

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