Search engine marketing 101: three ways to get your site and business on Google, Yahoo, and Bing

“How much does it cost to get my site on Google?”

I get this question several times a week from small business owners, and my standard reply is:

“It’s easy. There are three ways. The first two are free, but it can take weeks or even months to see results. The third way will cost you, but you’ll get targeted traffic to your site within a few days. It’s best to do all three, but if you need leads quickly, then you should start with #3.”

To this the small business owner replies, “so how much does it cost to get my site on Google?”

Ha! You gotta love it.

Sonja and I explained the anatomy of a Google SERP in a previous screencast. However, we wanted to give a bit more information about organic, local, and sponsored search on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

We work primarily with entrepreneurs and small business owners, and some of them are very new to advertising on the web. The beauty of advertising on the web is you don’t have to go through a media-buying gatekeeper (ad agency). A business owner can work directly with Google, Yahoo, and Bing. So why would anyone pay a marketing company to do the job for them?

The biggest reason is most business owners don’t have the time or expertise to properly execute a search marketing campaign. Nevertheless, I like to be very transparent about how this stuff works, and if a client wants to do it himself, then I’ll gladly point him in the right direction. The following list explains three ways to get your site and business on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. I included links to the appropriate pages:

  • Organic search results:You can submit your site for free, but it can take weeks or even months for your site to be indexed. And after it’s indexed, it most likely won’t show up on the top of the results page for competitive keyword phrases.Submit your site for free:
  • Local search results: You can add your business to the local listings for free, but it can take a week or longer for your business to appear. Keep in mind, your business address is used for the listing. If you’re a home-based business, and you don’t want your home address to be listed, or you’re located in a small town outside of your primary market, then get a box at a UPS Store or consider leasing a small office with an address within your desired market.Submit your business for free:
  • Sponsored search results (Pay-per-click):Do you have a new domain name? The only way to quickly show up on a search engine for specific keywords is to sign up for each engine’s sponsored search program. Also, if you already submitted your site for free, but it’s still not showing up for your target keywords, then you should consider pay-per-click advertising. However, don’t approach PPC as “fire-and-forget” advertising. It takes considerable time and expertise to get the most out of PPC. If you’re thinking about starting a PPCcampaign, then I highly recommend budgeting a realistic amount of money and time. How much is realistic? Good question. Every business is different, and it depends on your goals.Create a sponsored search advertising account:

Again, this is Search Engine Marketing 101 from 2003. But now I have a page to forward to those who ask, “How much does it cost to get my site on Google?”

About the Author:
Thomas is the ringleader at Motionbuzz.
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