Startup Companies often have big dreams and a small budget. Using pay per click (PPC) advertising like Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and MSN adCenter alone to draw traffic may not be financially feasible.
A successful startup should opt for a more balanced, frugal approach to getting traffic to their landing pages; one which incorporates generic search result traffic. Using a blend of limited PPC advertising and content optimization can yield the best return on an SEO investment.
Strategy One for Startup Companies: Split Tests & Pay Per Click
Whenever you conduct a pay per click campaign you should always run split tests to see which ads are most effective. An A - B split test is the most simple, and practical method. Simply create two ads for the same keywords and run both ads in conjunction. Which ever ad has a higher score, try and determine why. Discontinue the less successful ad and create another ad and accentuate the features of the better selling ad. Iterate this split testing process to come up with the best ads.
Often, simply looking at the top ads is a great way to get started--learn what you can from the best!
Another short note when conducting a pay per click management campaign; often it is wise to only bid on ads on the Google or Yahoo! search results, and not their content networks. Google's content network ads are not as visible and will hurt your ad's quality score due to the lower click thru rate the ads will have on the content networks.
Strategy Two for Startup Companies: Keyword Optimization
Purchasing a software program like AdWords Analyzer or getting a membership at WordTracker.com is essential to effective search engine optimization. The goal with using these programs is to find relevant search phrases that are are searched heavily but without much competition. Once these search phrases are detected, you can start optimizing your page's content for these keywords.
Links have always been the staple of search engine page rank algorithms. Google currently uses link text to determine page relevancy; that is, the words the anchor tags are placed around that link to your site help Google determine what keywords are relevant in relation to your site's content. If I linked to your site with the link text "Polish Sausage" Google will think have a clue that your site is relevant to sausage sales.
The question then becomes, "How do I get the right links pointing to my site with the right keywords in the linked text?" That might be difficult if you didn't do it yourself; thus you must do it yourself.
You'll want to find sites with a high page rank to post your links on; message boards will not do. Decent Search Engine Marketing will require you to sign up for sites like Associated Content, Squidoo, and eZine Articles. Create your own content and have link text that is keyword specific to the various pages you are linking to. Watch, you rankings will improve and you'll make money posting content to some of these sites as well.
In conclusion, incorporating a blend of pay per click and organic search engine optimization will dramatically improve your page rank and your landing page scores. Google, and the rest of the engines are getting smarter; keyword optimization is just the tip of the iceberg! If your money low, time high, this balanced attack strategy can be an incredibly effective course of action with a great return on your investment.