Just returned from presenting on SEO at the May Chicago Dreamweaver Meetup. The meeting was a success, as there was a good set of questions and discussions throughout the meeting. Anyone interested in web design in the Chicago area should consider joining this meetup.
The full presentation, along with video is available online at SlideShare.com. It’s also available below.
PPC has been all the rage, with it’s fast return on results. Notice I said results, not investment. SEO has become popular again, likely due to the [wasted] dollars spent on PPC.
I see many blog posts, forum discussion thread, etc. touting one over the other. So the obvious question by those not focused on search engine marketing is “Which should I do?”
Why do we have to choose? It doesn’t seem appropriate.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the act of tuning your site and its content to be more search engine friendly (note I said friendly, not coercive). This, like usability and accessibility, should be part of the overall site and content project plan, as well as ongoing maintenance of the site. Search Engine Optimization ensures that the site is effectively and completely crawled, it’s content is tuned for the site user and is findable via various channels, including the search engines.
Pay Per Click
Pay Per Click (PPC) is the act of creating an ad, either textual or graphical (rich media) for the sake of promoting content. This content can be informational, commercial, or promotional in nature. Marketers are usually charged a per-click rate for each ad. The rate is determined by several factors, including competition for the keywords to trigger the ad, as well as the new Quality Score from Google.
So Which Should Be Used?
Both. Here’s why…
The Flash Developer in question presented at a local Meet-up this week. A topic that was brought up repeatedly was Flash and it’s impact on SEO. The developer, who appeared (to me) to promote Flash sites stated that the lack of “on page” elements to optimize was countered by eventual links into the sites.
I’d like to offer a counter opinion. I’ll limit my soapbox to SEO, and not touch upon usability.
Flash was deemed 99% bad by Jakob Nielsen in 2000. Since then, the design & developer community has reigned in the wild, excessive, and non-standard use of Flash. It has now become an effective tool used by the web community.
I’d still like to counter the Flash developer’s remarks that on page optimization is not important, links are enough. The developer also stated that his work gets ranked.
So I perform a very brief test on his statement (the developer might know something I don’t). One of the sites in his portfolio is reytracer.com. I searched on the term “Ray Tracer.” The site was ranked; #20 (page 2). Here is how the search result appears in Google:
I recently ran across an unbelievable example of this type of bloat while I was preparing for a presentation on SEO. Here’s a link to the page, a calendar of events for a local library. The file has been altered only to hide the owner of the page.
With the page open, go to View Source.
Stumbled across this from a Google Alert. I was floored when I watched this just days prior to preparing for a SEO presentation. He covers everything I’m covering in 3 mins. 22 secs. of hip & kool.
This video is the bomb!
P.S.: You’ll find this rapper’s specs and other videos on You Tube.