• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Preface

Preface

Search marketing demands a curious mix of business, writing, and technical skills. No matter what skills you have, you probably have some of the skills needed to succeed, but not all of them. This book will fill the gaps.

If you possess marketing skills, or you have a sales or other business background, you will quickly see the ways that search marketing draws upon your previous experience, but you will also learn how it is different. Like any form of marketing, you will focus on the target markets you want to reach—in this case, searchers looking for certain words. You will segment those markets. You will realize that your Web pages are your marketing communications materials. You might see parallels to direct marketing as we relentlessly measure our success, or perhaps you will see the possibilities for search marketing to burnish your brand image. Regardless, like all marketing, you will learn to design your search marketing program to meet your company's larger goals. Unlike other forms of marketing, search marketing is not designed to interrupt people with an advertising message. Successful search marketing meets people at their point of need. When searchers want something, you must be ready to satisfy them with what they want, even if you would prefer to sell them something else.

As critical as marketers are to success, search marketing is, at its core, a writer's medium. Like direct marketing, a well-crafted message is critical to enticing a searcher to click your page. Once at your site, the words on your page also influence whether the prospective customer buys your product or abandons your site. But search marketing relies on skilled writing to an even greater extent, because the search engines choose the pages they show based on words. You will learn how to write the words that your customers and the search engines are looking for. If you are a writer, you will find search marketing a challenge like none you have ever seen, but one that can reward your company richly.

If you have technical skills, you are needed, too. Search marketing depends on your Web site's design and operation. Many commonly used Web technologies stop search marketing cold. You will find that search marketing is similar to other technical projects—you must understand the requirements so that you can develop the solution. You need to develop a business case to see the value so the work can be prioritized and funded for your busy IT team. You will need a project plan to execute on schedule. You will have standards and operational procedures that keep the system running smoothly. If you are a Webmaster, a Web developer, or any kind of technologist, your skills are vital to search marketing success.

If you are looking for a book about the secrets of search marketing, this book does have a few. However, they might be secrets of a surprising kind. Some people think of search marketing as an arcane pursuit where you need to know the “tricks” to get search engines to show your site. But those tricks are not the secrets of search marketing—you do not need tricks to succeed. What you really need is a firm understanding of how search marketing works, a methodology to plan your search marketing program, and the information required to execute it. The biggest secret of search marketing is that knowledge, hard work, and flawless execution are all you need. This book shows you how to get all three.

In Part 1, we cover the basics of search marketing. What is search marketing? Why is it so difficult? How do search engines and search marketing work? And what are searchers looking for anyway? Marketers and writers will learn more about search technology. Technologists will be exposed to the opportunity search marketing offers your company. You will all learn how to segment searchers based on their behavior, so you will know what they want from your site. Part 1 will teach you all the background you need to formulate a custom search marketing program for your company—which is what you will do in Part 2.

Part 2 takes you step by step through developing a proposal for your own search marketing program. You will learn how to identify the goals of your Web site and measure your current success in meeting them. You will learn how well you are doing at search marketing today and how much it is worth to do better. We show you how to estimate your costs, choose your strategy, and get your proposed program approved by your executives and by all the folks in your company who you need on your side. Because search marketing demands cooperation from so many people in your company, we show you proven ways to get each kind of person to work hard on your program.

Part 3 explores all the details you need to execute your program. Every Web site poses different challenges to a search marketing program. You will learn how to diagnose problems on your site and correct them. We teach you methodologies for every part of the search marketing process that you can apply to your own business. And we explain how to measure everything in your program so that you can improve the operation of your program every day.

Throughout the book, you will see icons that signify special material on two important subjects. The first, shown at right, is the spam alert icon, which warns you about overly clever tricks that pose a real danger to your search marketing campaign. You are probably familiar with e-mail spam, when you get unwanted messages in your inbox, but search marketing has its own meaning for spam—any technique that is designed mainly to fool the search sites to gain an untoward advantage. That is an overly broad definition, but we explain exactly where the ethical lines are drawn every time you see this icon. Spam can be hazardous to the health of your search marketing program, because search sites have rules to control search marketing behavior—when you break the rules, you will suffer the consequences. Whenever you see this icon, you will know that there is a line that you cross at your own peril.


You will also see, shown at right, the global tip icon, which alerts you about techniques that are especially relevant to international search marketing campaigns. Most of the advice in this book is pitched to an audience of U.S. companies and companies using Google, Yahoo! Search, and other English-language worldwide search sites. You will learn, however, that searchers in many countries use search sites specific to that country, and that your non-English content sometimes has special issues that must be addressed. We highlight those areas in the book for you. Whether your Web site serves international visitors now, or you are considering doing so in the future, these tips are important for you.


No matter what your background, you are already partially prepared to become a search marketer. In this book, you will learn why it is so important to form a team of skills outside your own. Marketers, writers, technologists, and folks from other fields must collaborate to make search marketing work. You will find out why it is that the larger your Web site, the harder that collaboration can be—but you will also learn how to pull it off. Your business can coordinate these diverse skills to create a successful search marketing program. You just need to know how.

Whether you have been turned off in the past by experts selling quick-fix voodoo or you have just found search marketing too complicated or too intimidating, put that behind you. This book explains everything you need to know in simple terms that you can understand no matter what your experience. If you can use a Web browser, you can learn search marketing.

Every day, more and more business is done on the Web. And, increasingly, people looking to do business start with a search. Remember, if they can't find you, they can't buy from you. Discover how your company can be found.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint