John Galianos

Affiliate Marketing & Blogging Tips, News & Reviews

Search Engine Optimization and Advertising

In today`s net-savvy world it has become common for any business to have a website which they use mostly for advertising their products and services. With the advent of search engines it has become even easier for the customers to search for the stuff online. For a website to be successful its link should land in the first three pages which the search engine brings and the rank of the page should be high which means many visitors come to the site. This can be achieved by applying search engine optimization or popularly known as SEO. This is a marketing strategy which increases the quality and quantity of traffic flow to a particular website via search engines.

SEO not only affects the search engine results, but also image search, video search and industry specific vertical search engines. It determines how a search algorithm functions and searches what is popular with people. When a website link is submitted to a search engine, a spider crawls through a page to gather links which lead to other pages and stores those pages on the server of the search engine. The information collected from these pages is sent to the indexer, whose job is to extract information from those pages such as the keywords and their weights, the location of the page and other links that are stored for the spider to crawl in future.

In the beginning, the search engine optimizer algorithms were dependant on the keywords, Meta tags, and index files provided by the Webmaster. Meta tags provided information about a particular page, but using them for indexing the pages didn`t prove to be successful as some Webmasters added irrelevant Meta tags to increase the number of hits and earn huge ad revenue. They even changed the HTML of the web pages to achieve a good rank for the page. But this was a case of abuse as it fetched irrelevant pages.

Search engines then began utilizing complex ranking algorithm, which were difficult for the webmasters to manipulate so as to provide web surfers with genuine results. The rank of the web page was calculated mathematically by functions using strength and quantity of the inbound links. The higher the rank of the page the more chances it had to be viewed by a person. Later algorithms were developed which considered various other on-page factors such as rank and off-page factors such as hyperlink. Since the webmasters couldn`t manipulate the page rank, they began exchanging, selling and buying links, which lead to link spamming and even creation of numerous sites dedicated for this purpose.

Algorithms became more complex by every passing day and top search engines kept their algorithms a secret. As the cost of SEO increased, advertisers were roped in to pay for it, which finally resulted in high quality web pages. Although investing in SEO is very fruitful, but at the same time is risky because with out any prior notice the algorithms being used are bound to change and the search engine will stop directing visitors to the page. Many consultants are available in the market that provides SEO services. They manipulate the HTML source code of the web site like menus, shopping carts and sometimes even the content of the website to draw more traffic. Search engines like Yahoo has algorithms that extract pages not according to the page rank but according to the cost per click or set fee, that is if a advertiser desires that the page containing his ad be displayed, he is expected to pay money for it. This is a point of controversy, as only the big businesses will be able to increase the number of hits of their page but not the small business who might be having a better quality page.

Google Ad Words explores ads which have words typed in the search box by the surfer. The Million Dollar Homepage started the concept of Pixel advertising, which is a graphical kind of advertising. Depending on the pixels, the space is sold to the advertiser. Keyword advertising involves advertisers who buy URLs of a site and place their ads at that location. Thus SEO is a market in its own which is yielding great results for businesses on Internet.

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Research in Advertising

Research in advertising is done in order to produce better advertisements that are more efficient in motivating customers to buy a product or a service. The research can be based on a particular advertising campaign or can be more generalized and based on how advertisements create an effect on people`s mind. Lots of approaches are involved to go about conducting an advertising research like economical, psychological, demographical and sociological.

When designing an advertisement for a particular product many things should be researched like where it should be displayed, whether the advertisement can be printed in newspapers or magazines or broadcasted on television or radio or published on the Internet. Many methods are undertaken to collect relevant information. The research itself is of two kinds, syndicated and customized. Syndicated research is a single research done by the company that is available to other companies as well. Customized research is research based on certain criteria and is done for a particular company and its results are available to only that company.

Pre-testing or copy testing is a type of customized research that determines the in-market efficiency of an advertisement before it is released or before the final production. The more the pre-testing is done the more likely that it will be a successful advertisement and each pre-testing should be applied number of times. This can done by studying the level of attention the customers have, motivation, brand linkage, communication and entertainment. Flow of emotions and flow of attention are broken down and studied individually. The results are applied on the advertisement that is still being developed to recognize the weak points and replace them. A reliable feedback loop can guide the researchers, client and the agency to work in harmony. Tests should be applied during the storyboard stage of ad making. This is an early stage and the results are highly predictive. During this process images are selected and used as integrated campaign print ad.

Post-testing or ad tracking studies are either syndicated or customized. Studies are done over a period of time or continuously. The in-market research is done to understand a brands linkage, performance, awareness, and preference along with product attitudes and usage. They are done by, conducting interviews either on phone or Internet. Testing the finished advertisement provides the confidence and gives an idea whether it is following the strategy.

All the above studies should facilitate the client`s advertisement development make the end product easier to achieve. The study should contain rational information having not only surface knowledge but also provide deep in-sight that will open window to a customer`s mind. The customer, too, should provide precise information based on facts and not based on imaginary thinking and self-delusion. He should be able to explain the role of advertisement in the whole marketing plan. Working in vacuum doesn`t get the desired result.

The basis is to provide in-depth understanding about the consumers for improving on the advertisement techniques and other marketing decisions. The traditional methods of qualitative and quantitative techniques have been improved to analyze the information with good insight.

The rapidly changing likes and needs of the customers are difficult to track, but should be studied in order to increase the quality of advertisement. The changes are because of the huge number of options offered to them by the market.

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