March 9, 2005
~~~IN TODAY'S ADVISOR~~~
----> Seattle Seminar Discount for Forum Members
*Search Engine Marketing FAQ:
----> Multiple Domains
----> Files in the Root
----> Blogs and Rankings
*This Week's Sponsors:
----> 7 Days to Massive Website Traffic
----> High Rankings Seminar CD - Half Price
----> The Power of the Written Word
*Stuff You Might Like:
----> Six Strategies To Get Paid What You're Worth
*High Rankings Forum Thread of the Week:
----> Concerns over Google's Autolink Toolbar Feature
----> She's In!
Were you at the NYC conference last week? It seemed like everyone in
the entire search marketing universe was there!
Next up on the conference/seminar circuit is our High Rankings search
marketing seminar and hands-on workshops in Seattle. I'm pleased to
announce that we just approved a High Rankings Forum discount. If
you're a registered forum member (which is free) we'll $125 off the
seminar registration for both days, or $50 off if you choose to attend
just day 1. When you register, be sure to use the discount code of
"forum" (no quotes) and also add your forum member name in the
appropriate field. See the forum thread on this subject for more
info: </forum/index.php?showtopic=13098> or
the seminar page here: </seminar133>. The
day of the seminar is quickly approaching, and the available seats are
filling up fast, so if you want in, now would be a good time to
Okay, on to the good stuff! - Jill
~~~Search Engine Marketing FAQ~~~
Q. My competitors are spamming the engines with multiple sites for the
same company. [Can I have them killed? ;-) ] What can I do about
Jill: You can try reporting them to the search engines either via
their spam report email address, or through the "dissatisfied with
these results" link that most engines have on their results pages. If
you decide to do this (and I generally don't bother) be sure not to
complain that "it's not fair," and that your site is better or that
you're losing money, etc. Simply mention that the search results for
the particular search query you tried is bringing up multiple domains
for essentially the same product, service or company, and that you
thought that the engine might want to know about this.
The results may or may not change over time, but at least you can feel
good that you tried to help them to improve the quality of their
results. They really do want that info, but it's unclear as to
whether they will agree with you and also act upon your report.
(For the record, I don't recommend having the competitor killed!)
++Files in the Root++
Q. I read an article from 1997 that said all my files should be in the
"root" directory on my server so that they are not buried deep within
the site. Is this still true?
Jill: It actually was never true, although I may have been one of
those spreading that myth back then! This is one of those things that
many people confuse because it's sort of half true.
It doesn't actually matter where a page physically resides on your
server, but it does matter how difficult it is for a search engine to
find it. So when we talk about not "burying" pages on your site, we
don't mean that you shouldn't have it 10 directories/folders deep on
the server; we simply mean that it shouldn't be 10 clicks away from
the home page. The fewer clicks it takes to get to any given page,
the more important a search engine (and your user) will deem it to be.
And of course, the more important they deem it to be, the more apt
they are to find and index it.
++Blogs and Rankings++
Q. This parrot that I talk to in the pet store told me that I should
create a blog for search engine optimization purposes. Can you speak
Jill: Blogs have no special powers of high rankings. What they do
have (if done correctly) is fresh, unique content. Search engines do
tend to like that, regardless of the format. If they know any given
site is adding new articles on a frequent basis, they will come around
often to index it. Blogs are certainly one way of easily adding new
information to your site. Newsletters archived on your site can
provide a similar benefit, as can archived press releases, or a
(P.S. If anyone would like to republish the above Q&A article, please
email me your request and where it will reside, and I'll send you a
short bio you can use with it for your site.)
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++The Power of the Written Word++
Here's the last installment of Amy Edelstein's interview with PPC guru
Kevin Lee. Hope this series has helped you in your search engine
advertising efforts! - Jill
Q=Question, KL=Kevin Lee
The Importance of "Creative" to PPC Landing Page Success
[For those not into advertising, "creative" often refers to the actual
ads created for a campaign. - Jill]
Q: I wanted to bring out this point that you touched on last time,
which is the importance of the creative. I think it's an undervalued
element of design and conversion. Could you say a little bit more
about what you've found?
KL: Creative is very important to both frontend and backend. I think
web design firms and other agencies are totally missing a huge
opportunity in this area.
Most agencies are in the creative business. Some are in the
media-buying business only, but when most agencies go out and sell
themselves to clients, they sell themselves as "creatives."
So, just to make the point again, to build a site and then say, "It's
done" is really a mistake. Agencies have a huge opportunity to go back
to the client and say, "Based on the search media that you're buying,
we really need to have a retainer in place or some other investment to
confirm the value of that buy. Anytime we improve any click streams
that you're getting off of search, affiliate marketing, or banner
campaigns, that's going to make your business run smoother, better,
faster, more profitably." And, for the most part, agencies are missing
that opportunity! And they are the Creatives! Whether they're a
freelancer or a billion-dollar agency, for them not to embrace this
and proactively recommend it to clients is a huge missed opportunity!
Q: Why is it being missed? Since it seems so obvious.
KL: Well, it does to you and me. I think it's going to be up to the
industry and the press on the media side to actually enlighten the
agencies, because they may not understand that interaction between
testing landing-page creatives and getting better value from search
The other reason I think that happens is because pretty much every
agency I've ever had interaction with, with the exception of only a
handful, "silo" their teams. So the Media team that's out there buying
all this media -- in search, banners etc. -- they only talk to the
Creative team once a month or so at a review meeting. They don't
really even think about Creative. And Creative only thinks about Media
that one time in the month when they remember, "Oh, we've gotta write
some copy or design something for this campaign that's going on." As
soon as that's finished, they don't talk to each other anymore.
Media thinks, "Oh, it's not my job because it's creative, so I don't
have to even think about it." And Creative thinks, "Traffic? That's a
media thing. I don't need to think about media." So the account teams,
or somebody else, have to recognize this connection and bring the two
Hopefully, the agencies will begin to recognize this opportunity and
actually be proactive. Some of them are. I won't tar them all with the
same brush and say that they are all missing the opportunity. But I
think a lot of them are and that they should at least be proactive and
recommend this kind of testing and investment in creative to the
client. If the client says, "No, I don't have the budget or I'm not
interested" or whatever the case may be, at least they can say that
they were proactive -- "We made the recommendation. We explained to
them why the landing page and the user experience are so important."
I hope that they do and I think that they will. We're just coming out
of the dot-bomb explosion now. That decimated some agencies.
Everybody decided that they had to run lean and mean. The idea of
adding these new initiatives into the mix is a big challenge for a lot
of these organizations to think about. But the reality is that budgets
are opening up again and marketers are starting to recognize the real
value of the web and seeing the numbers from the media measurement
companies that show how much of people's time is spent on the Web
versus other media. That means that when people do end up on your
site, particularly by doing a search, you really want to make sure
that you're doing the right thing.
Q: Thanks so much Kevin, it's great to get the benefit of your
experience in the industry.
Kevin Lee, CEO
[Thanks to Kevin and Amy for a great interview! - Jill]
___________Can't Travel to Seattle this Spring?____________
Buy Now! High Rankings Seminar CD - Half Price While Supplies Last!
Listen to the MP3 audio files of our Tampa full-day search engine
marketing seminar from November '03 -- was $279, now $139.50!
What is covered:
SEO Basics, PPC, Copywriting, Measuring Traffic, and Conversions.
Also includes complete PDF presentations from the speakers.
~~~Stuff You Might Like~~~
++Six Strategies To Get Paid What You're Worth++
~~~High Rankings Forum Thread of the Week~~~
++Concerns over Google's Autolink Toolbar Feature++
Have you heard about Autolink yet? Apparently, Google has a new
feature in the latest version of the Google toolbar that has many
people (including me) somewhat up in arms. In its current
incarnation, it's fairly innocuous; however, the future implications
for Autolink are kind of scary. Scary in that Webmasters could lose
control of their content by having links put on their sites that they
didn't place there themselves.
If this sounds familiar, it's because it's very similar to what
Microsoft tried a few years ago called "Smart Tags" and very much the
same as Ezula "Top Text." The Webmaster community often calls both of
those "helpful" programs "scumware."
Is Autolink just another form of scumware? Many believe so. Please
read our forum thread for more info, and also for a bit of my
in-person conversation with Google's Matt Cutts regarding Autolink.
You can find it here:
That's all for today!
Good news this week for Corie, as she got accepted to the college we
looked at out on Staten Island! It sounds as if she'll be attending
there next year, and she's very excited. I also realized that the
London SES conference is right before her graduation, and am thinking
that a London trip may make a nice little graduation present for her.
She's wanted to go there since she was younger, but the conference
dates have always fallen at times when she's still in school. This
may finally be her chance!
Nice to have all 3 of the kids' school plans for next year worked out
already. We're usually so behind on this stuff thanks to my
Okay, enough family junk! Catch you next week with (most likely) one
of the shortened newsletter versions. - Jill