Throughout this book, you’ll like see the terms SEO and search marketing used inter-
changeably. Very strictly speaking, search marketing and SEO are quite different activities.
Search marketing includes any activity that improves your search engine rankings — paid or organic.
SEO, on the other hand, usually refers to strictly the free, organic methods used to improve search rank-
ings. Very often, the two terms are used interchangeably by people using SEO and search engine market-
ing techniques. SEO and SEM experts, however, will always clearly differentiate the activities.
Keyword Competitive Research
Keyword research is the core of any SEO campaign and it is vitally important when developing
PPC programs. You should choose carefully the keywords that are most effective, because the key-
words selected during the research phase will be included in your web-site copy, as well as your
PPC programs, and many other types of campaigns.
To begin with, you should select valid keywords from a variety of sources, which include:
Your own knowledge of the product or service that you’re marketing.
From your own
knowledge you should be able choose at least one word that characterizes that product or
service. If you’re unable to select that word, spend some time getting to know your prod-
ucts and services better.
Your customers will be able to tell you what keywords they think of or
use when searching for your product or service. Customers can be your best source for
valid and relevant keywords, because you’re trying to reach people just like them.
Competitors’ web sites.
Check your competitors’ web sites for additional keywords that
you may not have considered during your initial brainstorming session. Obviously, if your
competitors are using these keywords, there will be some competition for them, but better
to have the competition than to be left outside the arena while the games are taking place.
Remember checking out competitors’ web sites back in Chapter 4? The same method of
viewing the source code for those sites is the method that you would use here to check
for keywords on your competitors’ sites. If you need a reminder, flip back now to review the section
on keyword density.
Keyword suggestion tools
One tool that you should use when developing your keyword list is a keyword suggestion tool. Keyword
suggestion tools are just that, tools that provide a list of suggested keywords based on a base word
that you enter into the search tool. Some of the words returned may not have occurred to you when
you were brainstorming keywords and talking to your customers about the words they would use.
In addition, keyword suggestion tools provide some of the information that you’ll need to determine
how much competition there is for the keywords and phrases you’re considering using.
In the past, measuring the competition for your search terms was done by performing a search for
each keyword or phrase using one search engine at a time. When the SERPs were returned, you
Pay-per-Click and SEO
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