Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of gaining market online by purchasing Ads on search engines, say Google, Yahoo, or Bing. SEM involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
The search engines use algorithms to provide the most relevant results to every user. For producing best suggestions to the users’ queries, they consider not only the search keywords entered by users but also users’ location, type of device and operating system they are working on, users’ preferences, and their identities.
The better the search algorithm is, the happier the user is with its results.
Search Marketing Approaches
Search marketing works with two approaches −
- Earning traffic through unpaid or free search listings (SEO Methods)
- Buying traffic through paid search listings (PPC Ads)
In the first type of search marketing where advertisers earn traffic through unpaid listings, there are two popular methods − organic and non-organicsearch.
|Organic SEO||Non-organic SEO|
|It takes more time to create as more concentrated towards content creation, building hyperlinks, meta-tag optimization, keyword enhancement, etc.||It is speedy.|
|It yields late effect.||It brings immediate effect.|
|It focuses on long term results.||It focuses on short term results.|
|It is inexpensive.||It is very expensive.|
|They cannot be affected financially.
Once the design of the website and its content is good, it requires less management.
|They can get affected financially.
It required high degree of management.
|Organic SEO is called White Hat search tactic.||Inorganic search is Black Hat search tactic.|
How to Get Organic Results
Organic results can be achieved by Search Engine Optimization. You need to invest time and expertise in creating an appealing yet efficient website that can work to build long lasting trust in your business.
You need to build your business website according to SEO techniques which use White Hat Tactics for rank improvement. The SEO techniques are described in chapter SEO Friendly Website.
How to Get Inorganic Results
They can be improved in two ways:
- Improving your quality score
- your bids for keywords and Ads
Inorganic results are instantly reflected. Here is a checklist for inorganic search optimization:
- Mine keywords properly. Group them into relevant themes.
- Use correct match types. Estimate bid on all match types. Choose the benefiting one.
- Keep testing your Ad copies and landing pages.
- Strive constantly to improve CTR.
- Aim for higher quality score.
- Target relevant locations. Only look for the places that seem to give you business.
- Run search query report. Filter prominent keywords. Bid higher on most searched keyword.
- Bid your keywords accordingly. Calculate and strategize methods to achieve ROI.
Organic versus Inorganic Search – Which is Better?
It is better and safer to start with Organic SEO in case of small business because it requires low-cost investment. In addition, it builds your internet presence gradually and creates a solid foundation for your business. It is found that the organic search results are very much likely to get attention of the viewers.
Inorganic SEO is good for customer targeting. For example, PPC advertising. While opting for this, you need to make sure you are investing in the appropriate advertise. You need huge funds to hire a management or your own dedicated expertise, which can take care of your paid searches.
Though organic and inorganic results are independent of each other’s performance, yet you need to perform well in both to boost up your business. Paid Ads boost your business and website ranking. Organic results marks trust on your business.
Steps Involved in Search Engine Marketing
These are the general steps involved in search engine marketing −
Step 1 − Define Effective Strategy
- Define your target audience.
- Identify their needs and motivations.
- Highlight how your product is best to serve their needs.
- Review your business position in the marketplace.
- Identify your competitors.
- Identify your specific goals and benchmarks, such as search ranking, sales, website traffic, and other ROI metrics.
Step 2 − Choose Right Keywords
- Select most important phrases relevant to your business.
- Also select the phrases that are frequently searched by your target customers.
- Conduct brainstorm sessions for potential terms your customers use when thinking about your products and capabilities.
- Interact with your sales and customer service teams, and best customers to know the frequently used phrases.
- Employ a keyword research tools to compile a list of highly searched terms.
Step 3 − Optimize Your Website Content
- Focus on your website structure. Keep it simple.
- The search engines looks for the underlying code of your website when they visit your website.
- Create crisp, clear, and correct content that can retain users’ attention.
- Use your keyword phrases relevantly in pages title tags, heading tags, directory names, file names, alt tags and meta tags.
- Pay attention to meta description. It is shown in the search results below your link, providing a great opportunity for you to bring visitors to your Website.
Step 4 − Submit Your Website for Indexing
To be visible online to the customers, ensure that all the pages of your website are completely indexed by the search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
For speedy process of getting indexed by the other engines, submit your website to the DMOZ.org, an Open Directory Project. Once DMOZ accepts your website, Yahoo and other search engines have no problem indexing your website.
Step 5 − Add Quality Links to Your Website
- Build links to your website from valued links of other websites that are frequented by your targeted visitors.
- The more quality inbound links you have, the more popular your website is with Google and other engines.
- Make your website content is link-worthy. Create interesting and informative content on your website such as a library of best practices articles, blog trends in your industry, etc.
- You can also garner links from vendors, customers, business partners, and trade associations.
- Distribute press releases and articles online.
Step 6 − Manage Paid Search Advertise
- Bid on the most relevant keywords. Do not pick them based on only popularity.
- Make sure your product offer is interesting to the potential customer.
- Tie the bidding strategy to business results. In many cases a lower Ad position will produce a higher ROI.
- Finally, include a compelling ‘call to action’ in the Ad and send traffic to a relevant landing page tied to the Ad.
Step 7 − Measure Success of Advertise
- Check how well you performed in the past.
- Measure CPC, CPR, Clicks, Bounce rate, Impressions, ROI, etc.
- Employ Web Analytics to monitor progress and problems.
- Monitor your position regularly in the search results.
- Identify problems and plan strategies to improve your results in the future.