Google, MSN and Yahoo are all in the advertising business. Make no mistake. They generate BILLIONS in annual profÃts from the sale of advertising on their search engines. The pay-per-click marketplace is huge and growing almost daily.
Each month companies large and small use pay-per-click advertising to generate traffÃc to their site. All those little clicks add up to be huge revenue for the search engines and can be a huge line item on a company’s Profit and Loss Statement.
Therefore, it certainly makes sense to get the most out of the information gained from all those clicks that you have to pay for. I am not just talking about the targeted traffÃc that they bring to your site. I am also talking about the valuable data you gain with every click.
Using Analytics and Reporting to Your Advantage
Each of the three major pay-per-click companies mentioned above have very good reporting tools included with your account. Therefore, you are going to know the most popular keywords that are being searched for by your visitors. This information is vital to your search engine optimization plans.
Also, your site analytics program should also keep track of the keywords being used to find your site. We use Google Analytics for all of our sites. This program is very detailed with regard to the keywords being used to find our site, both for organic and paid search.
From these reports we are able to clearly see which keyword phrases are the most popular and where we need to pay close attention to our optimization efforts.
Don’t forget to look for combination of keywords phrases. What we are looking for here are groups of similar keywords that we can then use to create an optimization plan to move your site higher in the organic search results for these most popular keyword phrases that you are currently paying for.
Create Your Site Optimization Plan
You should not want to use pay-per-click advertising for keyword search phrases that you can rank highly for through organic search results. It just makes more sense to use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for start-up websites and, once your site is established, to move your PPC keyword search phrases to phrases where you don’t yet rank well. Certainly, you do not want to continue to use PPC money to attract visitors that could otherwise be drawn to your site through proper site optimization.
Create your site optimization plan starting with the most popular keyword phrases that you are currently paying for. I take the most popular phrase and then work my way down the lÃst. Once you have your lÃst you want to then create your landing page.
Use Landing Pages to Optimize Your Website
Landing pages are a simple and easy way to optimize a site for a specific keyword phrase. Landing pages can be a single page, or a series of pages that help create the image of your site as an authority on the keyword phrase.
Let’s say that you are going to create a landing page to optimize the keyword phrase “Mickey Mouse watches”. You would start with the page title to make sure that the very first part of the title contains “Mickey Mouse Watches”. The description and keyword tags should also contain your phrase.
You should use h1 tags as the first part of your content and this tag should contain your keyword phrase. In this case a suggestion might be, “Mickey Mouse Watches for all Ages”.
The content that follows should contain a good number of mentions of the keyword phrase, but resist the temptation to load the page with too many references. Don’t let this confuse you. A good way to tell if you have too many uses of your keyword phrase is to read the content. If it sounds good to read, then you are probably good with the number of times the keyword is used. If you want to be more precise, there are software packages available that will count the number of times a keyword phrase is used and calculate a ratio like a search engine would.
More Content Options to Optimize Your Landing Page
One of the best tools that I have found to add quality content to my landing pages are article directories. There are any number of good article directories on the Internet. Use your favorite search engine to locate several to utilize for content.
Once you have located an article directory you then use their search tool to locate articles that relate to your keyword phrase. Read the articles that are returned in your search and pick 3 or 4 good articles to help build your landing page.
I use the technique of using the title, author link and the first couple of paragraphs of the article to fill the body of my landing page. I then create a totally separate page with the entire article along with the required links to the author’s bio and possibly their site. Below each article introductory section I place a link to the entire article page.
Repeating this technique 3 or 4 times allows me to have some very high quality content that is filled with the keyword phrase that I am optimizing for on my landing page. The links to the entire article allow me then to have multiple pages on our site that focus attention on my keyword phrase.
If I have 4 articles that are introduced on my landing page, I then have a total of 5 pages on my site that all discuss in detail the single keyword phrase that I am optimizing. I am on my way to having my site become an “authority” on my keyword phrase.
Keep Your Landing Page Content Fresh
Once you have built your landing page you still must keep it fresh with new content. A stagnant page is very bad and not looked upon favorably by a search engine. You need to keep the content fresh by adding to it on a regular basis. In most cases monthly updates will be enough but, if you can find a quality RSS feed for your keyword phrase, be sure to use this valuable tool to keep fresh content.
Expanding This Concept
Now take the next keyword phrase in your reporting and create similar landing pages for it. As you move through your PPC reports you will soon find that your organic search results will climb to a point where you can either reduce your PPC budget or better yet, move your PPC dollars to other search phrases that you want to Ãncrease.
This combination of optimized landing pages and pay-per-click links will drive tremendous amounts of targeted traffÃc to your site. And isn’t this what every website owner wants?
About The Author
Nathan Lewis is the Marketing Director for CJ Gift Baskets and uses landing pages to raise organic search results. Mr. Lewis also uses this technique at CJ Picnic Baskets and CJ Outdoor World.