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Search Engine Optimization
Before we go into any specifics regarding SEO, let's talk briefly about keywords. When people type something into Google, they aren't just looking for information; they want answers to problems, solutions to their issues, etc. If someone types "how much does it cost" into Google, chances are good that they will be directed straight to a site selling them some product. That means there has been a previous decision made before they even hit 'enter' which caused their query to return that particular result. They didn't start out searching for information pertaining to how much things cost, they searched for products related to how much. Search engines make this choice based on certain factors such as keyword density, relevance, popularity, competition, etc., so it really doesn't matter where those words come from – they still need to appear somewhere near the beginning of the page. This is called natural rankings because they don't involve paying for links to sites.
The goal of SEO is to improve your ranking organically through content creation and link building. To begin with, think of all the possible ways that people could find your site. For example, maybe you sell shoes online, so you might try to rank high in searches relating to footwear. You may also create articles, blogs posts, videos, social media profiles, press releases, directories, forums, etc. to increase exposure, but keep in mind that these items must contain valuable, relevant information that helps searchers solve their problem(s), otherwise no one would ever see them!
Link Building is another important part of SEO. Link building involves creating relationships with other reputable sources that share similar values and beliefs as yours, then asking them to help spread awareness of your brand by linking back to you in exchange for a reciprocal link. Links are especially helpful for increasing visibility within local areas, since many major cities use Google Places listings as primary resources for finding businesses nearby. A few examples include Yelp!, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, CityMaps, Bing Local, Zagat, and more. These free tools allow users to post reviews and ratings of various establishments and give recommendations based on user preferences, making them great places to build links that send visitors directly to your site.
In addition to improving your own visibility via SEO techniques, you'll also want to focus heavily on getting quality external links pointing towards your website. Many times, companies will purchase links from shady networks that provide bad value to customers. By purchasing links yourself instead, you can guarantee that you've done everything correctly and received actual benefit from doing so. Remember, it takes time for your efforts to show up in search engines, so patience is key here. As long as you consistently deliver excellent content over a sustained period of time, your presence will grow stronger and eventually become visible naturally.
Pay Per Click Advertising
As mentioned earlier, PPC allows advertisers to bid on specific phrases/keywords associated with their industry. Once selected, these advertisements will automatically display above and below sponsored results whenever someone performs a search using those exact same keywords. While there are several different forms of PPC available, including Display Ads, Text Ads, Video Ads, Shopping Campaigns, Social Media Marketing campaigns, etc., the majority of affiliates work primarily with paid text ad services like AdWords or Overture.
When choosing your target audience, consider whether or not they already know exactly what products or service you offer. If so, targeting them specifically for your company name only isn't going to bring new clients to your door, since they won't be interested in buying what you're offering unless they recognize it as being beneficial to themselves. On the other hand, if your potential customer base knows nothing about you or your business, you definitely want to advertise on popular search terms that represent broad appeal. Keep in mind that while these targeted audiences tend to convert better than non-targeted ones, they typically command higher costs per click due to increased competition.
Another thing to remember is that although you may choose to advertise exclusively on Google AdSense, you shouldn't assume that you can rely solely upon clicks generated from that platform alone. There are plenty of opportunities outside of Google to earn revenue from PPC campaigns, such as Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads, Twitter Cards, Banner Ads, Email Promotions, Mobile Apps, SMS Messages, and more. Be sure to review every single option available to maximize profits, because you never know when a competitor may decide to change tactics.
It goes without saying that neither SEO nor PPC is easy. Both require consistent effort along with creative thinking, persistence, and dedication, but if you truly understand the concept behind each approach and commit yourself fully to achieving success, you should feel confident knowing that regardless of your chosen path, you'll ultimately achieve positive returns.
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