Search Engine Web Marketing
It's a simple list of four things business owners can use in creating or evaluating
their search engine web marketing strategy.
1. Establish Your Internet Marketing Strategy Goal
Many consultants will tell you to set goals about what you want to achieve
with your website. Forget it. Those are distractions from the real question you
need to ask yourself, which is
"What is THE purpose of my website?"
Once you answer that question, all other aspects of search engine marketing
strategy can be leveraged to help you achieve that purpose.
Typically, people use their website for many different purposes. Regardless,
you still need to answer this question. The focus you will get from it will help
you create a more effective strategy.
Here are the top three most common answers to the question "What is THE
purpose of my website?"
a. To sell things
b. To generate leads for my sales team
c. To educate my target audience
It can be this simple! Just decide which of the three answers above suits you
best (or create your own) and then move on to step 2.
2. Establish a Search Engine Marketing Plan
There's a reason why search engine marketing is so hot. It works. It consistent
generates leads, sales, etc. at a lower cost-per-lead or cost-per-sale than
traditional mediums like TV or direct mail advertising.
It makes sense when you think about it: when people want to find something
online, they go to Google, Yahoo!, MSN, etc. and search for it.
Search engine marketing is all about SHOWING UP when people search for
what you sell, offer, or have on your website. There is a growing body of
knowledge (books, articles, etc.) on how to do this.
And like anything else, it has become over analyzed and too complex. To
further complicate things, some search engine marketing techniques are
ethical and legitimate, while some are not.
The best approach is to create a search engine marketing plan that focuses on
a. Search engine optimization - showing up in the "free" area of the search
b. Pay-per click advertising - showing up in the "paid" area of the search
For search engine optimization, first realize there is no "silver bullet." There
just isn't a way to easily get ranked consistently high in the search engines.
It is a combination of factors that always come down to one underlying truth:
build your website according to web standards, with a focus on accessibility for
Just like search engine optimization, there is no "silver bullet" for pay-per click
Instead, the formula for PPC success is in well-placed bids (what you will pay to
have your ad show up) combined with meaningful landing pages (where
people go when they click on your ad).
3. Conduct Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The goal of search engine optimization is to make changes to your website to
get higher rankings in search engines. Yet, search engine optimization is a
On one hand, there are "snake oil salesmen" ready to get you a #1 ranking with
their latest trick. On the other hand, the things that actually do work are very
simple, and frankly, just not very "sexy."
The best strategy to take is a common-sense approach to SEO: develop
standards for your website that ALL pages must adhere to.
If you do this, and enforce it, you can then branch out to some of the other
"niche" aspects of SEO.
Here's a sample list of SEO standards to enforce on your website:
a. Write descriptive HTML page titles that really describe the page it is on (in
255 characters or less)
b. Write a summary sentence that really describes the page it is on (in 255
characters or less)
c. Write page content that is focused on
d. Write descriptive ALT text for all images that describes the concept the
image illustrates and never use images for text
e. Build all pages to comply with current web standards observed by the World
Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
Only once your web pages comply with the above standards should you start
more advanced SEO techniques, including keyword targeting, 301 redirects,
link building (getting more links to your site), RSS news feeds, blogs, and SEO-
specific metrics and tracking.
4. Leverage Pay-Per Click Advertising
Pay-per click advertising helps you get more traffic from search engines
through advertising in search engine results.
You pick terms that people search on. You bid a price per click on your ad that
you are willing to pay. You ad shows up when someone searches on that term,
and, if you're lucky, they click on your ad and come to your website.
So, pay-per click advertising really boils down to 3 components:
a. Picking keywords to advertise on (i.e. target keywords)
b. Determining what to bid for those target keywords
c. Writing copy for the ads that show up when people search
Picking keywords is all about knowing what terms your customers, clients, etc.
would use when searching for your product or service. There are several tools
to help you generate ideas.
The best tools also check to see how many searches-per-month your target
keywords receive. You typically want to find keywords that generate a lot of
searches every month, but are focused enough for your business.
For example, a company that sells Keen high-performance outdoor sandals
probably would be best served bidding on "keen sandals" versus "sandals"
which could include searches for the all-inclusive resort, Sandals.
Determining what to bid for your keywords can be a highly-scientific process,
sometimes managed by complex software and several key metrics.
To keep it simple, let a tool like Google Adwords Traffic Estimator recommend
to you what to bid at first.
Start there, and start small. Your best bet is to lock-in a low daily budget limit
until you are comfortable with the impressions your ads are getting, the flow
of traffic from the ads to your website, and what those people do once they
get to your website.
Writing ad copy comes down to writing a headline that people will click on, and
creating compelling copy below that headline/link that will get people to click.
Headlines are best created by following what magazine covers do: focus on
getting attention through eye-catching, short phrases.
Using words like best (i.e. "Best Tips for a Summer Barbeque"), ultimate (i.e.
"Ultimate National Park Vacations") and number-based lists (i.e. "Top 5 Hybrid
Cars for 2006") have all been proven to work.
Writing effective ad copy below the title/link is really about reinforcing the
term(s) search for. This means using the keywords in the ad copy, and starting
the copy with an action verb.
By following the approach above, you can create or evaluate your search
engine marketing strategy, focus on what matters most when executing your
plans, and more effectively achieve your goals.
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