An Overview of Search Engine Marketing Strategies (SEM)
Search engine marketing is more commonly known by its acronym ” SEM “. SEM is one of the most effective ways to grow your business online and to promote your products. Search engine marketing strategies are focussed on improving your websites’ visibility in search engines. In simple words, Search Engine Marketing strategies are anything that you do to optimize your site’s ranking in search engines and in turn, increases the traffic to your site.
The concept of Search Engine Marketing strategies is quite simple :
When someone is searching for a product or service online, it means they are in ‘hunt mode’ and they are in need of relevant information to meet their immediate or any future need.
A signal is sent to the search engine that the person is looking for information and the search engine provides some of the best sources of targeted traffic.
Search Engine Marketing strategies is a very broad term that includes a number of other activities like
- Search Engine Optimization
- Search retargeting
- Submitting sites to directories
- Managing paid listings in search engines
- Finding out the online marketing strategies
- Social media marketing
Search Engine Marketing strategies are a combination of all these activities. But it is often known by the term pay-per-click ads. These ads are more visual and product-based that gives information at a glance to the users.
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Search Engine Marketing Strategies
To be successful in Search Engine Marketing strategies all you need to do first is to create an SEM plan. Here are a few points to remember while creating Search Engine Marketing strategies.
- Who is your target audience? Do a research and find out who actually wants to visit your site before you delve into your plan
- Define your goals. What is your target and through which means you are going to achieve the target?
- Get ready with the tools for SEM. For example, Keyword analysis tool will help you in finding out the keywords which will work best for your business
- Test your keywords frequently
- Add fresh content to the site and update your web design
- Start with your link building technique. Build up your links in blogs, forums and other websites which will boost your search engine rankings
- Think beyond your website. Create some videos and post them on YouTube
- Add articles about your site in article submission sites and give a link to your site along with the article
- Update your blog or RSS feed on a regular basis.
- Track your site performance using a tracking software
Search Engine Marketing Strategies Tools
Wondering what tools are used by some of the top competitors in the industry? There are four important tools of Search Engine Marketing strategies. We shall discuss in detail about these tools in the below section
Keywords are the foundation of Search Engine Marketing strategies.
Do a comprehensive research as a part of your keyword management strategy before choosing your keywords.
This research will also help you in finding out the negative keywords or search terms that you should ignore in your marketing campaign.
There are some keywords which have a high commercial intent or a strong indication that the searcher is in the decision of buying something. Examples of such keywords are Buy, Discount, Deal, Coupon, Free shipping and others.
Another important factor is Keyword grouping and account structure.
A properly structured account contains five elements in the following order
- Ad campaigns
- Ad groups
- Ad text
- Landing pages
Link building is the most important factor in optimizing your website for search engines. The website saturation and popularity are measured by search engines in terms of the number of inbound links the site has. Most of the search engines include link popularity as one of their aspect in the ranking algorithm.
URL shortener is an online application that converts a long URL into its condensed form. URL’s are to be shortened because of the following reason
- Some posts have character limits. For example, twitter
- Short URL’s have an aesthetic appeal
- Some URL shortener application comes with traffic monitors. You can count on the number of clicks the shortened URL has achieved over a period of time
Measurement is always the first step to control and eventually to improvement. Drafting a web analytics framework will help you focus on your goals. Web analytics will help you measure from the simple traffic counts to more data in detail.
There are a lot of tools available and these tools can deliver conversion-related information.
Smart Search Engine Marketing Strategies
How do you let Google know your business exist?
Here are few Search Engine Marketing strategies that can benefit your business.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
No strategy is as effective as PPC ads. PPC is focussed on promoting your site through paid ads which are based on targeting keywords. There are two important players in PPC advertising, Google Adwords and Yahoo/Bing. Let’s have a look at these two in detail.
Google Adwords helps a customer to market their products or services in Google search engine. Adwords uses text ads that will be displayed when people search for keywords that are related to your business or product.
What you want to do is bid on a series of phrases or keywords that are related to your business or site.
The main advantage of using Google Adwords is you can bid as many keywords as you want, but you will pay only if someone clicks on your PPC ad.
PPC ads will be displayed as short text ad with a title and a small description.
There are a lot of benefits in using Adwords for promoting your business.
- You can reach a large number of users through Google Adwords. This provides a number of opportunities to your business
- You can have full control over your ad like where and when it should be displayed and how much you will have to pay for per click
- The budget will not be an issue while opting for Adwords. You can work with any budget. It is extremely selective
- By using Adwords you can directly reach your target customers if you have chosen the right set of keywords
Yahoo!/Bing Search Marketing
Next, to Google, the search engine which gets a maximum number of searches per day is Yahoo. You need to sign up on Yahoo search marketing platform to advertise your product in Yahoo!/Bing network. The greatest advantage of using this network is the merger between Yahoo! and Bing Search.
This marketing platform also works in a similar way to Google Adwords.
Choose a set of keywords related to your business or product and make an ad to be displayed in the search results.
You will have to pay only for the number of clicks you receive.
Yahoo!/Bing search marketing has its own set of advantages
- You can reach a new set of potential clients who do not use Google for search
- Yahoo! and Bing search engines have a high exposure and it is proved in a research that searchers who use Yahoo! and Bing spend more time than the average internet user
- As the users spend more time there are greater chances for conversion
- This is cheaper than Google Adwords as the competition is less
Site design is an important aspect of Search Engine Marketing strategies. Use the best website developer in the market to create a beautiful website for your business. The website is always the first impression that makes the visitors stay on your site and view the details. Focus more on quality content.
Sales copy of the products
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is the best way to get clicks through Search Engine Marketing strategies. Grabbing the attention of the customers is essential. What you want to do is oversell a product or talk more about the features of the product. Make sure that your PPC ads and sales copy gain customer interest. Do not underestimate the power of a product sales copy.
Reverse image search
This is a new and different link building tactic. It is one of the best ways to get links.
Now here are few points to help you do that
- Go to Google Image Search
- Enter the search string like your site name or URL
- You will get all the images on your site which have been indexed by Google
- Click on the images to view the details
- If you find out someone using the images of your website without any link to your site, then contact the site owner
- Send them a mail saying that the image is originally from your site and request them to place an attribution link
Determining your key demographics
Who are your customers?
Are you selling to a customer or are you selling to a business?
Know what your key demographic will be to convert leads into sales. The difference in sales between a customer and business is the lead time. Selling to a customer has a shorter lead time than selling to a business. Selling to a customer increases the rate of conversions.
Let’s move to the next Search Engine Marketing strategies.
Monitor Competitor’s backlinks
Find out your top competitors. Keep track of competitor’s backlinks. This will help you in getting ideas for quality links. Once you find their target keywords enter them into your backlink tool and get a list of backlinks for your site.
Remember the customer
Getting the highest rank in search engines should not be your only motive in Search Engine Marketing strategies. Always think about a site from the customer perspective. If you forget about the customer then you cannot convert your leads into sales. Search engines do not buy your products ultimately it is the customers who are going to click on your advertisement and buy your products.
Infographics are the most powerful link building in Search Engine Marketing strategies. It deals with visual content marketing. Creating infographics costs a bit but you can also make your own infographics. Here are a few points listed below which will help you in creating effective infographics.
- Write unique description
- Include real data sources
- Include your website link in the infographic source code
- Use a pleasing design
- Keep your information short and crisp
- Use statistics that will gain more attraction
- Share your infographics in social networks
- Use a lot of creativity to make your campaign more successful
Be available online
Online business is not just about creating a quality website and contents. Maintain a good customer relationship.
Make your site user-friendly and don’t be spammy. Be available online 24*7 to answer the queries of your customers.
Monitor the activity of your customers online.
You can check out on forums and blogs for discussion relating to your business and involve in the discussion. People will start knowing you and will start linking to your website.
Let’s move to the next Search Engine Marketing strategies.
Reverse Guest Posting
This is just the opposite of guest posting. Guest posting is finding a third party to write good contents for your site. Whereas reverse guest posting is finding good bloggers and authority to write contents for your business and maintain a good relationship with them.
Make a research and find the best bloggers through Twitter, Google or any websites you already know.
Define three things before starting with reverse guest posting
- What you want to get out of a guest writer
- The subject of guest articles
- How often you want the blogger to contribute to the blog
Listed are the benefits of reverse guest posting
- Builds a strong relationship with bloggers
- The post can be shared through social media
- Gives a new perspective to your writing
- An excellent method to share your site link
Get frequent feedbacks
This is one of the easiest ways of getting backlinks for your site. There are a lot of websites where feedbacks are accepted and backlinks are created. What you need to do is get registered in the site, submit your website and write a small description about your product or service.
Getting links from brand mentions
Check out whether any customer has mentioned about your brand or business. Get to know what the customers think about your business. Any mentions about your brand or business or product online is one method of getting links for your site.
There are also tools available to track mentions about your brand or business online.
If you come across any mentions from your customer without a link then you can send them an email saying thanks and asking them to kindly place a link to your site or product.
Let’s move to the last Search Engine Marketing strategies.
Getting reviews about your product or service from blogs is the best way to get good backlinks for your site.
It requires a lot of hard work to grab the attention of the bloggers.
How do you attract the bloggers? Here are few tips
- Offer some free stuff
- Share some information that can help people to learn something
- Make your contents attractive without any grammatical mistakes
- Don’t ask for the bloggers to post anything about your site or product
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the search engine marketing strategies so just go through the link