If search engines are a mystery to you, then you’ll want to put your hands on a copy of Search Engine Marketing, Inc. It’s an encyclopedic reference about the internal workings of the major search engines and how marketers can optimize their Web presence for visibility on them. Mike Moran co-authored the book along with Bill Hunt. Paul recommends it to every online marketer he meets.
As complex as search engines are, the trick to getting in their good graces is no trick at all, Moran says. You need quality content, focused topics and links from other sites on the Internet that have similar characteristics.
But his advice goes beyond simple keywords and page titles. Search engine optimization is about understanding the motivations and interests of the people you want to visit you, Moran says. It’s like the old line about buyers of drill bits not being in the market for drill bits, but rather for holes. Marketers often think of keyword strategies in terms of their products, when what visitors want is a solution to problems. The terms visitors use to define those problems may be completely different from the ones companies use to describe their products. That’s only one of the many thought-provoking ideas in Search Engine Marketing, Inc., which is now in its second edition.
More recently, Moran has published Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, a book that challenges conventional wisdom by encouraging marketers to try lots of ideas, even if many of them don’t pan out. The reason? On the Internet, you can change anything, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Mike Moran is an expert in Internet marketing, search technology, Web personalization, and Web metrics. He’s also an active blogger on the subject of search and Internet marketing. Since retiring from IBM after 30 years with the title of Distinguished Engineer in 2007, he’s maintained an active consulting and speaking business. He also serves as Chief Strategist for Converseon, a leading digital media marketing agency.
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