It can’t be denied that over the years, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has proved to be one of the most effective way of increasing visibility, conversion rate and revenues. However in a world filled with technical jargon and acronyms such as SEM, SEO and PPC, starting out may be an intimidating task. So where does one start?
Don’t Believe the Hype
The first thing to note is that SEM is not a get rich scheme. It is also not a magic wand, which when waved magically turns unwitting visitors into loyal customers. SEM is a marketing tool that requires the same rigour and effort as traditional marketing techniques. Individuals and organizations that claim they are able to ‘’put you on Google’s first page in a day’’ are best left alone.
It All Begins With the Website
While quality content is of great significance, SEO goes beyond just streamlining content. Your website’s layout, loading speed and navigation play an important role in SEO as well. As a rule of thumb, your site should:
- Be coherently structured, with high-quality navigation
- Have a sitemap that can be used by visitors and search engines
- Have easy to understand links
- Include meta data [descriptions and titles] that describe content accurately, in detail
- Have internal links
- Include a search tool
- Have a working ‘Page Not Found’ (404) page that effectively redirects visitors
- Display speedily
- Include landing pages that have a clear call to action
Paid or Free Advertising
This is a key question, whose answer is found by looking at the type of audience one wishes to reach and budgetary constraints. There are a number of options such as Search Engine Marketing, Pay – Per – Click and social media marketing. One precaution is that you first familiarize yourself with PPC and SEM to avoid wasting one’s money. Social media marketing is a simpler and more intuitive option, allowing you to segment your efforts according to location, demography etc.
Significance of Quality Content
Content you produce, whether internal (on the website) or external (blogs, press releases etc) has to be of a high quality as it is of great importance to SEO. Well written prose is a must. Do your research regarding keywords and observe a fair keyword density. Mistakes of grammar and spelling errors are unacceptable so it is imperative that one proofreads everything that they intend to publish.
Given the viral popularity that has characterized social media sites, linking your website to your corresponding media sites is non-negotiable. One of the influences on search engine ranking is social signals. These include, but are not limited to:
- Likes and shares that you get on Facebook
- Retweets on Twitter
- Google +1s
- Shares and Likes on LinkedIn
Building Your Links
This is the process of accruing links from other websites that direct visitors to your page. The intended effect is to enhance the credibility and usefulness of your site, which can be picked up by search engine. By engaging like – minded individuals through guest posts and commenting on social media and blogs, you attract the attention of others.
Utilities and Statistics Available To Webmasters
It is unfortunate that as one is starting out, trying to analyze data presented on Google Analytics or Facebook Insights might seem like rocket science. However, in the interest of effective marketing, one should familiarize with these handy tools. They allow the administrator to assess the amount of traffic, unique visitors, PPC data and so much more.
Search Engine Submission
One of the key result areas of your SEM process should be to be well positioned on search engine result pages. While search engines employ built – in mechanisms to find relevant sites, you can also submit your website to get listed faster. This is especially true for a newly created site. All you need to do is go through a simple submission and verification process.
Bringing it All Together
Anyone who is familiar with Search Engine Optimization techniques would have noticed that the strategy towards successful Search Engine Marketing entails a lot of SEO. This is because SEM and SEO are best used together to achieve optimal results.
Taking an integrated approach to one’s marketing effort is a good way to ensure long term success. Take the time to acquaint with the different tools. Do your market research and find out the best social media sites and search engine choice that fits your aims and objectives.
This is a simple search engine marketing guide that can help you discover more tips on search marketing.