Understanding Search Engine Options
by Pauline Pageau
Even before determining which option(s) you may want to consider with
choosing search engines, the first thing you must do is optimize
Optimization enables your web site to gain a better chance at appearing
at the top of search engine queries for your keywords and key phrases.
Being listed at the top means a higher chance of attracting a targeted
customer who will click on your site to get the information or product
you’re offering. Here’s what’s involved in website optimization:
Choose the right keywords and key phrases... THE most crucial
factor in the process. In order to attract a customer to your site
you need the right keywords. In order to attract more of those targeted
customers, you need the keywords that a majority of searchers are
using to find your products or services. Also, let’s not forget
those precious niche words that most certainly are true customers
looking for your particular product or service.
Place those keywords strategically throughout your site. Customizing
each page for particular keywords will broaden your chances of people
reaching you in a wider variety of key phrases.
Review all the elements of your site such as titles, meta tags, text
on graphics etc to help the search engines even more.
Now that you’re optimized, it’s time to submit.
This is the first step in the optimization process. A lot of thought
and study goes into choosing keywords that will work best for your business.
Here’s how it’s done:
Define: your products, what they do and their benefits
Create a keyword list, getting it all down on paper, as much as you
Analyze and research those keywords using state-of-the-art tools
(such as Overture
that tell you what people are searching for on the major search engines,
in what volume and how strong the competition is. Determine how they
are searching. Are they using plural more often or singular versions?
Think of niche words no one might have though of. You’ll be
surprised at what you find.
Hone down the list. Purge and study until you come up with a list
of key phrases work for you.
Today, it’s unnecessary to submit websites to major search engines,
Most will pick up your site naturally. You do however want to submit to
smaller directories, search engines and industry-related sites. Once you
gain links to your site, the engines will start to notice you a lot quicker.
A significant issue in search engine marketing is how human-reviewed
directories play an important role on a website’s visibility.
You can recognize directory listings like Yahoo,
and Open Directory by
noticing the term "Web Site" results rather than "Web
Both Yahoo and Looksmart charge for the privilege of getting listing
with them. Once you get listed in a directory, it’s almost impossible
to change unless you pay them a fee. This means it’s doubly important
to submit it right the first time.
If you have the budget, paid submission programs are a very effective
way to get good listings, get lots of traffic and even help with your
ranking because it’s a valuable link.
If you’ve ever been tempted to use those automated services that
promise to get your site listed in 2,500 search engines, don’t
do it. Many of these submission services are blocked by some search
engines, and you’ll end up with a lot of unsolicited email from
sites that sell your email called FreeForAlls or FFA’s.
The most effective way is to hand submit or let the search engines
find you on their own. In fact, get a link from a listed site and you’ll
get picked up by the search engine that it’s listed in.
Paid Listings Service
An important part of an online promotion plan is to develop an enhanced
directory listing. Yahoo, Looksmart and Open Directory are the 3 most
important directories to get listed in. Once you’re listed in any
one of these, it’s practically impossible to change how your description
is worded. Submitting your site right the first time can mean a great
deal to the amount of potential traffic coming to your site.
Research the category your site should be listed in, do a keyword analysis
to determine which keywords you should use in your description and more
importantly, how well your site is constructed prior to submitting to
a directory. It’s also important to ensure your site has no bad
links since this may prevent you from getting listed.
Paid Directory Listings
The fees below are the fees if the individual directories and inclusion
The most valuable of all directory listings. Yahoo charges a one
time fee which is non-refundable. If your site gets refused, they
will give you a reason why and you have a second chance to fix the
problem and submit again within a certain period of time. One appeal
to request category or description change is allowed.
Yahoo Fees: US $299
Getting listed in Looksmart means you also get listed in AltaVista
Excite, iWon and many other affiliates. Looksmart is great if you
have a budget and your site is new. However, whether or not to pay
the fee for Looksmart is an important strategy. Looksmart offers "cost-per-click"
Looksmart Fees: * Listing Set up Fee: US $49
*All click-through fees are set at .15 per click. Budget can be adjusted
to your specifications with options to add relevant keywords and edit
descriptions at an additional cost.
Paid Inclusion Service
are services that get your site crawled or "visited by a spider"
every 48 hours. Many search engines use the Inktomi database to pull
results for their site. You can submit for free but this method will
take much longer and you may not ever get listed at all.
Yahoo Fee: US $299 yearly.
Inktomi Fees: US $39 for the first URL and $25 for each URL
SiteMatch: First URL US $39, next 2-10 URLS $25, 11th URL
and beyond $10 each. You then pay .15 or .30 per click fees depending
on the category of your site.
Keyword Bidding or Pay-Per-Click
A highly effective way to attract targeted traffic to your site is
through a pay per click search engine. This service enables you to list
your site at the top of the search engine results. How it works is you
bid on specific keyword terms and phrases pertaining to your products
or services. You pay only when a searcher clicks on your listing and
connects to your site.
How does it work?
You simply put down an initial deposit via credit card into the search
engine’s account and then bid on the specific keyword terms and
phrases that you are interested in. When a user clicks on a link to
your web site that has been generated from the keyword phrase that you
bid on, you are charged whatever that bid was.
And many times it is just .10 cents.
This method of promotion is highly effective because it reaches highly
targeted potential buyers.
called GoTo) is the most effective site offering this service. It
can draw the most traffic because of its growing popularity and the
alliances it has developed over the years.
If you show up in Overture's top three bids you'll also show up on
and the list goes on.
Minimum US$50 dollars to open an account and minimum .10 cents per
bid. Has minimum US$20 monthly spending requirement.
Here's the process of signing up:
1. Choose effective keywords.
2. Compose descriptions and attach this to appropriate link from the
3. Start up Overture Account by depositing $50 (preferably with IF
4. Wait 3-4 days for Overture to approve the terms.
5. Once it's up and online, bidding adjustments are done. You can
usually start at the lowest bid at $.10 then adjust this when it's
6. Monitor and manage bids. Managing bids is crucial to maintaining
a high return on investment. Overspending is easy if you're not watching
this account every week. Also, if there are "gaps" in the
bids this should be monitored so you don't pay more than you have
to for a bid.
About Google AdWords Select
Google displays small sponsored ads to the right of search listings.
Every time someone does a search that includes your keywords, they
see your ad. You pay only when a customer clicks on your ad regardless
of how many times it's shown. Google allows great flexibility on advertising
worldwide or nationally or locally.
It’s important to monitor the ranking for your listings for several
1. Maintains the flow of traffic.
2. Your site can get dropped from an engine anytime.
3. Tweaking a site’s keywords is a key strategy in improving ranks.
After several months of monitoring you can clearly see which keywords
are doing well and which aren’t.
4. After optimizing a site, it’s crucial to monitor the results
to ensure increased traffic to your site, and that you’re continually
getting targeted traffic.
This article was written by Pauline Pageau of SearchWerx.
Launched in 1998, SearchWerx has been providing search engine marketing
services, including website optimization, keyword bidding and link building,
for all types of businesses, small, medium and large. For more information,
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 604.589.3040.