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FEATURE: SEO Success Means Letting Go of PPC Expectations

You're spearheading your company's Internet presence and you're in charge of SEO and/or PPC campaigns. You attend conferences and trade shows, and listen to experts discuss this and that about how to best conduct your various campaigns. You know SEO is a long-term investment, but do you really understand what that means? With all of the chatter that exists in the Internet marketing world, do you really understand the implications of that tiny little statement -- "SEO is a long-term investment"?

The answer is a very important consideration, one with a lot of expectations, planning and resources behind it. It is worthwhile to explore this and make sure that not only you but your entire team and stakeholders have the same understanding. All too often SEO campaigns are entered into with PPC expectations.

BACK TO BASICS: Keyword Research for a Firm SEO Foundation

Keywords lay the foundation for any successful search engine optimization (SEO) project. As a Web site owner or marketer, you need to know what words and phrases people may type into a search engine to find exactly what your site offers. Then you can strategically optimize Web pages around those keywords, and naturally attract the right type of visitors to your site -- people who will be interested enough to buy, sign up, enroll, subscribe, or do whatever action represents a conversion. And where do you start? With keyword research! Even after the site is humming along, regularly practicing your keyword research skills is necessary if you want to maintain that foundation and keep a competitive edge.

Search Engine Optimization All-In-One for Dummies Now Available

SEO For DummiesBruce Clay, Inc. partnered with For Dummies Publications to produce the all-in-one desk reference guide for SEO. The Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies by Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza is now available for $39.95 from major booksellers and comes with a free $25 AdWords coupon.

The all-in-one desk reference is intended for those wanting to do search engine optimization themselves, providing many tips and hints necessary to optimize and operate in today's online market. But it is also a useful tool for any professional SEO out there needing any extra help. The Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies is currently available on, and, so be sure to grab a copy today.

Already have the book? Leave a review or drop us a line! We'd love to hear from you. Share your thoughts, comments, questions or critiques.

Hot Topics
SEO Hierarchy of Needs

A diagram recently developed by Bruce Clay, Inc. proposes a hierarchy for search engine optimization efforts. The SEO hierarchy of needs can be consulted in deciding where to devote resources when developing an SEO or marketing campaign. It's a simple way to demonstrate how each requirement of SEO comes in its own time.

Analytics and Web intelligence act as the backdrop for all SEO efforts. Keywords and content are the base of the pyramid, making up the core of any Web site. Above that, site architecture, on-page code and server performance are the backbone of a site's communication with search engines. Usability and optimized Web design ensure the site will resonate with visitors. Finally, link development efforts can take place once the site's content, structure and design are deserving of links and visibility.

SEO Training for a Strong Foundation

Of course, before attempting any of the levels of the SEO hierarchy of needs, an SEO practitioner relies on his or her own strong foundation: SEO training. Quality training in the best practices of search engine optimization goes a long way in establishing a base for future SEO experiences and education.

And SEOs aren't the only ones who benefit from training. Businesses engaged in SEO through a vendor or in-house team should be knowledgeable in the goals and methodology as well. A cross-organization understanding fosters the inter-department cooperation and communication necessary for successful Web site optimization.

Check out Shindigs for a list of upcoming SEO training opportunities taught by Bruce Clay.

A New Article Series to Address Each Need

In line with Bruce Clay, Inc.'s commitment to providing the SEO community with educational resources, the SEO Newsletter will feature a series devoted to the different parts of the SEO hierarchy of needs. Kicking off the series is this month's Back to Basics article, Keyword Research for a Firm SEO Foundation.


Analytics software company Omniture Inc. has been acquired by Adobe Systems Inc. for $1.8 billion.

According to Nielsen, ad spending in the U.S. dropped more than 15 percent in the first half of 2009.

A 65 percent share of Internet telephone service Skype was sold by parent company eBay for $2.75 billion.

Social network MySpace purchased the music recommendation service iLike.

Numbers reported by comScore last month showed that in July, online video and TV viewing site Hulu had more unique viewers than Time Warner cable television.

Time Warner Inc. entered into an online distribution deal with YouTube to make Warner Bros. movies, TV and news content available on the online video site.

Former Google executive and Feedburner founder Dick Costolo has been hired as chief operating officer of micro-messaging service Twitter.

Antonio Gulli, former director of's advanced search projects, will be leading the development of search technology and user interface for Microsoft's search engine, Bing.

Former Yahoo! executive Eric Boyd has joined Microsoft's digital search and advertising group.

The Pepperjam affiliate marketing network and Pepperjam full-service Internet marketing agency were acquired by GSI Commerce Inc.

Sound Bytes

If you like what you've read in the SEO Newsletter, there's more Internet marketing expertise where that came from. Check out SEM Synergy every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern and Noon Pacific on

Bruce Clay and the other hosts discuss industry news, SEO tactics and marketing trends, while expert guests share their insights on methods, best practices and upcoming events. Check out the show schedule below for a look at recent shows and upcoming topics.

September 5
(Listen Now)

Analytics 2.0 and eMetrics Summit

Avinash Kaushik & David Waisberg

Jim Sterne

September 9
(Listen Now)

ad:tech Chicago

Dr. Ralph Wilson

E-commerce Success Stories

September 16
(Coming Soon)

SEO Hierarchy of Needs

Topher Kohan

Digital Cross-Over

September 23
(Coming Soon)

How Hyperlocal Changes Marketing

Martin Canchola

Hyperlocal in the News

September 30
(Coming Soon)

SEO Best Practices: Fact or Fiction?

Heather Lloyd-Martin

Compelling SEO Copywriting

Got something to say? Contact the SEM Synergy team and share your thoughts, comments and questions. You might even hear your question answered on the show.


Bruce Clay, Inc.'s SEOToolSet Training is making very special stops across the globe throughout October.

On Long Island, New York, three-day, standard-level SEOToolSet Training will be presented October 20-22.

In Australia, one-day, standard-level SEOToolSet Training is being offered in Brisbane on October 14, Melbourne on October 20, and Sydney on October 29.

In Italy, the three-day standard and advanced SEOToolSet Training will be presented in Milan from October 26-28.

As part of SMX East, Bruce Clay will present a one-day SEO training course on October 8. SMX East is being held in New York City October 5-8. Use the code smx15bruceclay for a 15 percent discount on conference registration.

The free virtual conference Digital Marketing World will be held September 16.

Digital marketing event ad:tech London will take place September 22-23.

PPC Summit Los Angeles happens September 23-24.

BlogWorld & New Media Expo returns to Las Vegas October 15-17.

And eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit comes to Washington D.C. October 19-23.


Video customer reviews have been introduced to Google Product Search. High-quality, relevant video reviews are now available for select products through Google Base.

Recently launched Yahoo! Local Neighbors is a message board for every city in the U.S. The service is expected to bring conversation capabilities to local search results and additional marketing opportunities to small businesses.

Mashable's Summer of Social Good campaign, benefiting non-profit organizations Livestrong, Humane Society, Oxfam America, and WWF, came to a close at the end of August.

New Mac operating system, Snow Leopard, contains an anti-malware feature.

Google's Insights for Search tool has been updated with a forecasting feature that will help SEOs predict the popularity of keywords based on historical trends and search patterns. The company also introduced Internet Stats, offering statistical trends in categories such as economics, consumer activity, media and technology.

Google also released a rich snippet testing tool, allowing developers to preview the rich snippets resulting from microformat and RDFa data.

Yelp released the iPhone's first "augmented reality" application. Augmented reality uses the smart phone's camera, GPS and compass to display information about real-world locations.

A study by HubSpot suggests that commercial Web sites with blogs have significantly more visitors, inbound links and indexed pages than their non-blogging counterparts.

Word on the Wire

There's a rumor going around, born out of the tweets of Microsoft employees who attended the company's annual meeting, that Bing 2.0 could be released as soon as next week.

Word surrounding Yahoo! is that the company is about to launch a major marketing campaign emphasizing the Internet network's size and scale, set to be announced next week. Yahoo! SearchMonkey has released enhanced results, via microformats, RDFa and feeds, for queries related to products, local businesses, events, discussions or news items.

Twitter updated its terms of service, in what some see as a move toward accepting more ads on the microblogging platform. Twitter pro accounts are slated for release by the end of the year, according to co-founder Biz Stone.

Facebook has been busy in last few weeks. The social network launched a Lite version of the site and added a Twitter-like mentions feature that allows for quick chat and tag capabilities. A gift shop that would allow developers to sell physical and virtual goods is in testing.

Online video ad budgets are expected to grow more than 50 percent over the next year, according to a report by advertising network Web TV Enterprises. A study video analytics company TubeMogul compared user engagement of online video viewers across top social sites, finding that viewers referred through Twitter watch videos longer than those referred through Facebook and Digg.

Consumers remain hesitant to make purchases with mobile devices, with privacy and security acting as obstacles for both shoppers and retailers.

A rising voice among Android application developers is bringing attention to the poorly performing market. In a month, the Android Market produces $5 million while the iPhone App Store generates $200 million. The end of the iPhone-AT&T wireless carrier exclusive has been forecasted by top mobile analysts.

In a document to the Newspaper Association of America, Google announced it's developing a micropayment platform that could be used to charge readers for online news content. Google may face a $15 million suit by a blogger whose identity the company revealed under court order. The anonymous blogger used Google's Blogger software, and Google turned over the blogger's identity to a court of law. The blogger is claiming a breach of expected anonymity.

A new opt-in service from Google Maps uses crowd-sourced GPS data to report traffic speeds on highways and city roads alike. A new Street View function makes business addresses easier to view.

Security researchers found that Opera is the browser least targeted by hackers. A faster Opera 10 was released at the beginning of the month. Google released the newest version of its browser, Chrome 3.0.

A revised version of a U.S. Senate bill that proposes giving the president emergency control of the Internet remains a concern for privacy advocates as well as several major Internet and telecommunications companies.

If you have any questions or comments on any of the above Internet marketing news items or if you would like to suggest topics for future search engine optimization articles, please contact us at Bruce Clay, Inc.

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