Sunday, April 29, 2007

Content is King

Were you Slapped by Google's ad rates last year? Did you start paying a lot more and getting a lot less?

If you've never heard of the Google Slap, and you do online advertising, then you need to spend some money at www.perrymarshall.com.

But that's not what this posting is about.

I'm putting together a PowerPoint presentation for SMB Nation East for next week. The topic is Google Adwords.

And that got me to thinking about my own strategy for launching Relax Focus Succeed.

Just in case you're looking at Google Adwords, run these two searches:

site:yoursite.com and related:yoursite.com

(note that www.yoursite.com and yoursite.com may give different results.)

If you want to see how Relax Focus Succeed comes out, enter site:www.relaxfocussucceed.com. You'll find that it kicks mucho booty and takes names. And if, after eight pages of results you click "repeat the search with the omitted results included," then you'll see even more.

That search (site:xxx.com) lists all the pages from your site that Google has in their system.

Now, you can buy ads, but you can't buy access to the search engine. Which means . . . Well, let's hold off on what it means for a minute.

The second search, related:www.relaxfocussucceed.com, returns links that Google thinks are related to your site.

So, here's the deal: Google wants to display your ads on sites that are related to your site.

Remember, you're totally working from the outside and speculcating about what Google wants. But, basically, Google wants to display ads on pages so that they are placed in front of the right audience. And then the audience goes click, click, click. When they click, Google collects advertisers' money.

Last Summer Google introduced a new formula that moved away from basic Click Through Rates and focuses more on overall site content.

The lesson is: Your site needs content. RelaxFocusSucceed.com does well because, for the last three years, it has been a pure content site. Essays and Articles. Perhaps the lesson is "Slow and steady wins the race."

Fill your landing pages with good content. It will serve you well in the long run.

Here's an important point to consider: It is not in Google's interest to allow you to have an effective advertising strategy that doesn't cost a lot of money.

Because their system is a "black box," you can only guess what their rules are. And those rules keep changing. That's what makes search engine optimization such a fleeting and difficult process.

Google wants really effective ads to cost a lot of money. And they want cheap ads to be less effective.

I've been involved with online products since way before http: was invented. Even fifteen years ago, the winning slogan was "Content is King." The same thing is true today. If you have an anemic five-page web site with no real "content" then Google has no reason to send people to it.

Beef up your site! Put in free educational reports. Post your newsletters. Link to sites with real content. But also have your own content.

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