Since late in 2009 and in 2010 Google has been changing the rules when it comes to adwords, pay-per-click and rankings. Many people have found themselves slapped or suspended. It begs the question, "Is Google adwords still a viable option to generate traffic and leads"? The answer seems to be no if you don't change your tactics with Google.
Google adwords can still be an important piece of your overall marketing campaign to drive traffic and leads. But instead of adwords being in the forefront of your ad campaign, think about using it to bolster or supplement your listings as needed. Top of page sponsored ads are only getting 2 - 3 % of the clicks. Sidebar sponsored ads are getting 1 - 2 %. However, the top organic listing is now getting 40 - 45 % of the clicks! That's 20 to 30 times as many clicks on the number 1 FREE organic listing than the paid listings! If you are listing number 10 in Google you would be getting as many clicks as the top sponsored paid spot. It's pretty clear that getting your listing on the first page of Google is where you want to be. To bolster your organic listing and try to move it up from the 4th listing to the second or possibly number 1 listing is where the adwords can help.
So how do you build your organic page to compete and make Google happy? Well, there are three primary things Google is looking for that you need to provide in order to get your ranking higher. They are "Content", "Activity" and "Links". If your site is lacking in any of these, it is going to be an uphill battle.
"Content" - You must have strong, relevant content in your page that is updated on a regular basis. Keywords are, well, key! That goes without saying. Use plenty of navigation in your site and stay away from the long form sales letter. "Activity" - If your site isn't getting any activity, Google is not going to rank it high. This is where updating your content with topics and methods that are relative in today's marketing are key. Who wants to revisit a site if it's the same content as last week? You must have site traffic. Create a dialog with your site visitors to keep them interested and participating. Don't try to sell all the time. Provide useful tips and tools for site visitors and they will bring in more traffic. "Links" - You should be using links throughout your site. There are quality links and well, not so quality links. High quality links are those that directly relate to your site topic and that rank very high on the first page of Google. These links typically have very high traffic. Lower quality links may still relate to your site topic, but are ranked on the third, fourth or lower pages in Google and have less traffic. Use the higher quality links earlier in your site, but don't overdue it. Proportion and sequence the links. Spread them out in a logical manner. Simply piling a dozen links in the beginning of your site may actually have an adverse effect.
I've kept this very brief, but this is a basic formula that is working today with Google. It is going to take an organized, well planned out and implemented plan to keep on top. And Google will make changes in the way it is ranking sites again, rest assured! I'll be putting together a more in depth article in the near future. Until then, best wishes and "Do what it takes".