Brian Moreau

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Paying for my website to be ranked number one on Google

I say Google because that is the number one search engine at present and is the one most people ask about however this advice applied to other popular search engines such as Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing previously known as LIVE and MSN and Yahoo search providers.


My Google advertising campaign
Impressions      156,635
Clicks                 14,345
CPC                      0.30
CPI                        0.04
Cost (month)    £128.23


How internet search engines work
If you make an internet search you will notice that the search engine returns the results in various forms. Again these vary with the different search engines. For example using Google it displays sponsored results in the right hand column.
Additionally two or three sponsored results are displayed at the very top of the main list of results and sometimes there are also sponsored results at the bottom of the page.
The results in between are naturally returned results.
In addition some search engines will display results from Twitter or other Live Feeds and Google even shows results on a map.

Top Google search results

Google Search Results

What are sponsored results?
The sponsored results are displayed because someone had paid that search engine to display that advert or website for that search term.
There are two methods of paying for your advert to be displayed which are “Pay Per Click” PPC or “Pay Per Impressions” PPI.
PPC means it cost you money every time someone clicks on your advert.
PPI means you pay when the advert is displayed.

Remember the more you spend the more your be found
I won’t explain the full pros and cons of each method at this point in time but basically with both methods the more you spend the more your be found.
Obviously the more your advert is displayed the greater the chances of it being clicked on. Your advertising budget will directly affect your website traffic.

It should also be noted that the more popular search term or keyword the more it will cost you to compete.
The various search sites use different terms to describe their various advertising methods.

Google use a system called AdWords.
AdWords use PPC and PPI

Bing use an adCenter managed by Microsoft Advertising

Yahoo have a vast array of advertising solutions for websites and other organisations.

Bing or MSN and Yahoo have organisation or community pages. These pages also usually display business adverts. These are more popular with larger corporate businesses such as DFS.  

PPC is not SEO
This form of advertising does obviously work but it is not search engine optimisation. SEO means modifying the content of your website so as it has more chance if being returned on the first page of Google without having to pay them for it.

This in my view this is what you should aim for.
You should work towards modifying your websites content to include your keywords. If your business operates in different areas of the country you should consider making a web page for each county or town.
The object of this is to increase your “Page Rank” A page rank of PR1 is the lowest while a page rank of PR10 is BEST.

Other ways to appear in top search results
It is important to notice that search results in the other forms such as Google Maps, Twitter Feeds and Images and Videos may also be displayed for your search keyword. Simply adding your business to Google Maps, Tweeting, adding images and videos can all dramatically increase the awareness of your website and or business.

Businesses on Google maps

Businesses on Google maps

Also you should consider having other sites link to yours especially if they have a higher page rank than you do.

Human habit
Another thing I will say about search engine results and how you view them is that you have to consider the search results are actually read by a human.
The page you view should be compared to any other printed material as how we read and interpret that information is governed by human habit.

Web adverts have the same rules as newspaper adverts
Consider adverts in newspapers for example, the front page is obviously most prominent and equally so is the back page as papers often get put down on a table face down.
Now before you all start jumping up and down saying that you can’t put a web page down on the table I will explain that what I am pointing out here is adverts in magazines and newspapers are carefully positioned to catch our attention.
Adverts are usually on the left hand page as that is where our eyes look first, we also look at the top and bottom of the page, information in the middle is usually lest observed.

What do you see?
That in mind we should assume that the same reading habit would apply to web pages and pages displaying search results are no different. I don’t know about you but if I use Google to search, the adverts on the right are often ignored or only quickly scanned. Certainly the sponsored adverts at the top of the page are seen and read but then I tend to quickly scan to the first of the non sponsored results and then scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Are you paying not to be seen?
The ironic thing is with this analogy is if your advert appears on the right hand column you are paying for an advert that is not even being placed in the most prominent position.

Last is as good as first
I have noticed some search engines do also display sponsored results at the bottom of the page but oddly never on the left.
With this in mind one could argue that being last on the first search page is as good as being at the top, one place I would prefer to stay clear of though is the right had column and anywhere in the middle.

Now controlling where your advert appears would be very tricky and probably almost imposable to ensure it went to the bottom of the page so aiming for the first position or top of the page is your best goal but don’t get upset if your last as long as you on that first page.

In summary being ranked number 10 is probably as good as being number 1.

Website adverts
Another form of advertising you could consider is to put adverts on other web sites.
Many sites sell advertising space and as with news papers your price will determine the size and position of your advert. You won’t have to rely on where Google feels it should be placed if they place it at all.


Please contact me if you would like me to manage your marketing campaigns or you are interested in having your website optimised.


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Paying for my website to be ranked number one on Google. July 2010
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