Search Engine Marketing Done Right - Part 1: Order of Operations
by Steve Winkler


Having difficulty obtaining fair ranking in Yahoo? Are you 
puzzled by why you can't find your site through a search on
AOL? Whether you're a newbie to marketing online or a 
seasoned veteran, these questions may perplex you. It may not 
be a lack of effort or intellect but a simple and easily 
corrected error in your marketing approach. 

Proper SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and SEO (Search Engine 
Optimization) is not open to interpretation as fine art is, 
rather it is a function of the proper application of rules and 
features. Just as in the world of Mathematics, if you do not 
follow the rules to achieve an answer, the answer that you do 
get will be wrong. 

Search Engine Marketing leaves little to be subjectively 
analyzed. The correct answers are available to you, if you seek 
them, so please read on and Iíll share with you the three crucial 
steps in properly executing your next SEM or SEO campaign.

I. APPLYING OPTIMIZATION TECHNIQUES 

The order in which optimization techniques are applied can be a 
crucial step in determining how quickly and how well your website 
obtains positioning. There is a logical process to applying such 
techniques and the following steps may prove beneficial for you:

  A. Determine your Keywords
  B. Incorporate Keywords into page titles
  C. Apply Keywords to text
  D. Apply pertinent supportive alt tags
  E. Design supportive Meta Tags

The steps noted above are fairly universal, however, there 
are additions, exemptions and modifications that need to be 
considered when submitting to various engines. A good way to 
ensure general compatibility is to target specific pages to
specific engines. While ultimately the content of your site 
will determine its ranking, Inktomi, AltaVista and Google do 
emphasize various criteria when indexing. By understanding 
these factors and optimizing accordingly, you can acheive 
great ranking on multiple search engines.

II. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND

Here is a multiple-choice question to get you thinking.

To achieve a ranking in AOL which of the following should you do?

  a) Send your site to AOL for review
  b) Wait for a spider to visit your website
  c) Submit to Google

Most already know that the answer is letter c) Submit to Google, 
since Google provides results to AOL. Though AOL claims their 
results are "enhanced by Google", the first 10 search results 
are virtually identical between AOL and Google Searches in 
almost all instances.

For many people, submitting to Google solved their previous 
ranking woes within AOL while for others with poor Google 
placement it was bad news. For the most part, inter-search 
relationships like the one between Google and AOL have been a 
a boon for most websites. 

A number of great articles have been published on inter-search 
relationships so I will not comment on these relationships other
than to recommend that you do some research on your own and then 
always begin your optimization process with the end in mind. 

If your ultimate positioning goals include AOL, Iwon, Netscape 
and Yahoo, make sure that you closely adhere to Google's 
established optimization guidelines. Compliance with Google 
rules will ensure that your website is 99% compatible with 
Google's search partners.

III. SUBMIT

Last, but certainly not least, there is the submission aspect 
of your SEO. Too often I have heard the frustration and confusion 
of those who say "Steve, Iíve already submitted to all of these 
major search engines and Iím still not listed. How is it that 
you can do this differently?" Clearly, the Order of Operations 
was not considered in their approach. Those who use submission 
as their first strategy have little or no success. 

Submission prior to Optimization is much like entering a 
motorcycle race with a bicycle. With all due respect to web
designers, most fall short as the first choice for your Internet 
Marketing. Naturally their main focus is to conceptualize and 
produce a website that meets the needs of their client. SEO and 
SEM typically base their work on websites that have already been 
built. Your SEO provider should be proactive by working as a 
liaison between your company and your web design firm to ensure 
that their design does properly incorporate all of the proper 
techniques. This works in a similar fashion to the relationship 
between the architect and the builder. Both have distinctly 
separate tasks but work in unison to create a pleasing result. 

If at First You Donít Succeed...

As the saying goes, "If at first you donít succeed, try, try 
again." If you choose to venture into the world of SEM or SEO on 
your own, allow time and do not give up. Just exercise patience, 
make small changes and allow time for these changes to populate 
through the databases. And, if you have questions or concerns, 
do not hesitate to hire a professional. A professional can help 
you avoid many pitfalls and common mistakes which are often 
inadvertent yet potentially dangerous.


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Steve Winkler is the Business Development Manager of the 
www.KeywordRanking.com team of Search Engine and marketing
professionals. Steve Winkler has experience in demographic based 
marketing, interactive marketing programs and business efficiency
consultation. Click here for more information, a free ranking 
report or a free in depth consultation. He can also be reached 
via email: swinkler@keywordranking.com
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