Essential Aspects to Know About Search Engine Marketing

At present, every online business owner is aware of the notion- search engine marketing, a cost-effective way to reach a larger segment of the population and that too within a short period. According to the latest research, it is only the people, who are on the verge of their purchasing cycle conduct searches on the internet. If executed properly, SEM can bring forth relevant contents and ads from a website to influence their buying decisions.

Using SEM along with SEO or search engine optimization is even more beneficial because when amalgamated, the strategies could enhance the online presence of a business dramatically, driving huge traffic and increasing conversion rates as well as sales. Even when used discretely, search engine marketing can offer exceptional advantages. Let us take a close look at them.

Why Use Search Engine Marketing?

• About 90% people use precisely targeted keywords when looking for products and services online. SEM makes sure that the consumers get pertinent contents so that they can stay engaged for prolonged periods.

• Organizations offering search engine marketing services have repeatedly talked about the flexible as well as configurable nature of a SEM campaign. You can maneuver all the associated policies and customize them as per the requirements of customers.

• Search Engine Marketing allows business owners analyze all the marketing tactics in details and give them an exact record of accomplishment. SEM has a wide-range of performance metrics through which you can optimize the keywords and measure the budget.

• SEM can bring an increasing number of consumers as well as keep the existing ones. It also effectually contributes to brand exposure. With time, a search engine marketing campaign would set up your business as a credible one in the online landscape.

• Recently, SEM has become mandatory and any business organization that does not invest in this strategy is bound to get mediocre or disappointing outcomes. If you do wish to stay ahead of the curve, opt for this campaign now.

• Just like the varied channels- out-of-home marketing, telemarketing, and offline marketing, SEM is just another extra outlet through which your business could earn huge profits. While this is certainly an advantage, the best thing about SEM campaigns is that you can personalize for maximum efficiency.

Now that we are aware of the brighter side of SEM, let us see the ways by which one can get hold of the best search engine marketing services as a myriad of options are readily available.

Tips to Choose the Best SEM Company

• Assess the projects that they were a part of and go through the customer reviews to gauge their levels of ability.

• See if the professionals working here are competent, efficient and experienced enough to handle delicate business issues.

• Make sure to check their working methods, which would confirm that the company uses cent percent legal tactics.

Following the above-mentioned suggestions would let your business succeed in the dynamic online world.


Discover the Advantages and Disadvantages of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) vs Pay Per Click

You’ve just launched your new website (or launched the redesign) and now you’re sitting back waiting for the orders to roll in. But wait a minute, something’s wrong… there don’t seem to be any. It’s as if your site doesn’t exist.

Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but unless you have either a well publicised site or many websites linking to yours, you’re going to have to rely on the search engines. And if your site doesn’t rank in the first three result pages, it’s more than likely you won’t be found at all.

So… you know what’s coming next; that’s right, you need a good dose of search engine marketing (SEM) to make sure your site gets listed on the search engines’ results pages. Do this and the traffic to your website will soon follow.

“Right”, I hear you say. “Let’s do some search engine marketing then…”

Well that’s certainly a good start! But first you have to work out your approach to maximise your returns. Let’s call this your search engine marketing strategy. In order to create an effective strategy you need to understand a bit more about how search engine marketing works. Currently, we can roughly-speaking separate search engine marketing into two different approaches:

  1. Organic: including search engine optimisation, links from other websites and offline marketing.
  2. Paid: including pay per click, paid submission and online advertising (banner ads).

So to help you further, I’ve listed below the advantages and disadvantages to each approach to SEM and outlined my recommendations.

Organic: Advantages

  1. The majority of the work behind search engine optimisation (SEO) is a one-off activity, and so is usually charged out at a set upfront fee.
  2. The changes made to your website will probably still be relevant and driving traffic to your site a year from now.
  3. Credibility: most people (research indicates between 60 and 80 percent) will click on the organic results rather than the sponsored (paid) results.
  4. If you rank well in one of the major search engines (Google/Yahoo/MSN), you will most likely show up in the majority of the search engines worldwide.

Organic: Disadvantages

  1. Changes must be made to your website’s code. Normally the changes are invisible to visitors. However, if you have invested heavily in a search engine-unfriendly site, the process can be time-consuming and costly; and occasionally significant changes may need to be made to your site’s copy, navigation or design. Of course ultimately, you’ll see returns if you commit to the necessary changes.
  2. Results (rankings and traffic) start slowly. You will normally see results within 3-4 months.
  3. There can be no guarantee. As the search engines themselves have the final say, you can’t predict how many rankings you’ll get for a particular search term or engine; nor can you predict how much traffic you’ll get to your site.

Paid: Advantages

  1. Pay per click (PPC) advertising programs are fast to implement. It usually takes two to three weeks to set up and run. Google AdWords are up-and-running as soon as you start the campaign, and Overture listings are live within 3-5 business days (after an editor reviews them).
  2. Nothing has to change on your web site, although I would recommend you create targeted landing pages for each advertisement as they’ve been proven to increase conversions (but that’s another subject for another time!).
  3. There is no limit to the number of terms or keyword phases you can bid on.
  4. PPC is good if you intend to run promotions through your site, as you can turn the PPC campaign on and off whenever you choose.
  5. You can dictate where the listing appears on the result’s page (within the sponsors’ ads area) and determine what the ad says.
  6. It’s very easy to test all your different search terms and offers etc, and to measure the results.

Paid: Disadvantages

  1. Clicks can be expensive. Bidding wars often erupt.
  2. You must keep paying for the clicks every month. If your budget is ever cut, your listings will disappear, along with your search engine traffic.
  3. Most people (research indicates between 60 and 80 percent) will click on the organic results rather than the sponsored (paid) results.
  4. It requires a time investment to monitor and adjust listings on a constant basis, or budget to outsource this activity.
  5. Listings are subject to editorial acceptance. With SEO, you can state whatever you like on your website (which is where the search engines pull your page title and description). But with PPC, editors insist that all listings be factual and that you not compare your company with others. This means that even if you are the “largest” provider, you can’t state that.

Now you know a bit about the advantages and disadvantages of both organic and paid search engine marketing, you must decide how to approach your online marketing campaign.

Organic marketing is probably best if:

  1. You want to spend some time on search engine marketing upfront and have it pay off in the future, on conceivably every search engine there is around the world.
  2. You have a budget to do some work now, and want to save money later on.
  3. Your site is fairly simple, without a lot of complicated bells and whistles.
  4. You can afford to wait a month or two for results.
  5. You don’t want to have to manage or maintain anything on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Paid advertising may be for you if:

  1. You want to get up-and-running quickly.
  2. You have a promotion where you want to be able to turn a PPC campaign on and off.
  3. You want to be able to test search terms, products or offers and quickly see results.
  4. Your site is search engine-unfriendly and you don’t want to invest in changing it.
  5. You’re confident you’ll have the budget to spend for the long haul, and you have time to maintain positions on a regular basis.

Of course many companies and businesses tackle both organic and paid SEM at the same time, and this is what I would typically recommend to maximally attract qualified traffic to a website.

If you are currently designing your site, or redesigning an existing one, make sure your developer knows how to create search engine optimised code or is working closely with a SEO consultant. Getting it right from the beginning will save you time and money in the long run. And it needn’t cost a fortune either if you tackle this upfront

If you have an existing site you wish to optimise, you may have a hard decision to make if your current site is not search engine friendly. If your site has been built using extensive use of frames or dynamic pages (your URL may look like: http://www.yoursite.com/page.asp?id=8), the cost to rectify these problems can be discouraging. If this is the case, now may be the time to seriously consider redesigning your site earlier than you’d planned.

Either way, the use of a small paid (pay per click) advertising campaign before optimisation can be a great way to nail down those essential keywords to use throughout your site’s copy by recording which keywords customers respond to the most in your campaign.


How to Find Your Ideal Customer Using the Search Engines

In this article I am going to talk about how to find your ideal customers. Without customers who actually want what you are offering you will not make any sales. Therefore it is very important that you target your search for customers.

In order to identify your target customer you need to know what it is you can offer them. If you do not have any products to offer then you are unable to build up a picture of the individual that you should be targeting.

For example, if you have a product that you have created and it solves a particular problem then you know that you need to find people who want to solve that particular issue.

Using Search Engines

Using the Internet to target customers is very straightforward because all you need to do is to find the websites that your ideal customer is visiting.

Think about the time when you have needed to solve a particular problem yourself – what did you do? Most people go onto the search engines and type in a particular phrase on how to do X. The websites that come up on that particular search phrase will be the sites that you are going to visit to find the answer to that particular problem that you need to solve.

Sometimes you might get involved in a forum to find out more especially if it is related to a hobby or passion that you have.

Your customers will be no different. Therefore if you can get involved in those specific websites that they find when they search for help, then you will be able to interact with your ideal customer.

This might be in the form of writing an article or adding a comment or it may be a particular website such as a forum where you are able to get more involved and interact with other members.

Once you begin to get visibility and make people aware of what you are offering you need to have some form of tracking in place so that you can find out and test where all of your customers are coming from.

You may find that one particular website produces more customers than another website. It is important to discover and monitor this because once you understand where your best customers are coming from it means that you can put your efforts into generating more customers from that particular source and therefore you become far more effective.