Marketing is an industry that has religiously followed the rules that were set up years ago. The basic principles have remained the same throughout, and the major evolution that is visible is with regard to the mediums of promotion. New age marketing strategies, their means and mediums have changed overtime but the underlying fact has always been the promotion of products and services and a way in which to boost sales for the brand.
Present day marketing is largely done via the medium of the internet. People search for the products/services they need online and prefer buying them via online outlets. When it comes to E-commerce, search engines play a vital role in promotion and marketing. Google, Yahoo and Bing are the search engines that are used most often by people looking for particular products. You must make sure that the link a person finds on the search engine belongs to your website, so that he or she is influenced enough to buy your product or services. The process of marketing a website via Internet search engines is called search engine marketing (SEM). This is done by improving rank in natural (organic) listings, paid (sponsored) listings or a combination of both.
Optimizing for the Search Engines
Search engine optimization is nothing but a way in which to enhance or affect the visibility of a web page or website link in a search engine. In other words, it is the process that one follows to gather free, pure, authored or natural listings on search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. This listing could be in any form either text, or just video or it could be a mix of both that is available on the World Wide Web. SEO is a component of SEM or search engine marketing, and is a cost-effective function in the marketing campaign.
As in any marketing campaign, knowing when to invest and when to withdraw is a challenge most marketers face. Marketers need to know the following before they start any campaign.
- To know which medium or method of marketing would generate interest and convert to revenue easily.
- To know the marketing channel and their basis for their charges.
- To know how to use less, to get the most results and return on investment once the customer has validated your product in the long run.
What an SEM Campaign Involves
A typical search engine marketing campaign will include the following processes:
- Search engine optimization
- Trusted feed programs and paid inclusion
- Pay per click programs
- Reputation / link popularity development
- Search engine and directory submission
- ROI and performance monitoring and reporting
Points to Remember When Optimizing a Website for Search Engines
- Bounce rate and time on the site average: Sometimes the keywords on your list may not be performing that well, and you may be looking for a way in which you could optimize them to get the best results and more conversions on the site. The best thing you can do is to link your keyword account (Google ad words) to a Google Analytics account. This linking allows you to keep a check on bounce rate, the average time on site, percentage of new visits and even average pages viewed per visitor. This will provide you with the insights you need for search engine optimization further.
- Your position as compared to your competition: Don’t you wonder how your competitors are performing with the same kind of keywords. Though it may appear insignificant now, it is important to know how they fare so that you can decide how to bid and plan for your search engine optimization. You need to check for data within a range, the smallest can be a week. You can select the dates and then check the campaign view that allows you to select different campaigns done and analyze them. Once there, click on details in the auction insights menu.
- This will give you information on your share of impressions for the given set of keywords along with impressions for other firms too.
- The analysis will provide you with information on the position your keywords hold in the campaign you have selected.
- Your competitors’ position for the keywords you have selected.
- The rate at which your competitor selects the same keywords as yours, known as the overlap rate, can also be determined.
- You can even check for the position above rate that indicates the number of times your competitors appeared above you in the auction of keywords you both were targeting for.
- Not just that, you get to find out how many times your competitors and you appeared on top of the search pages. This is called the top of the page rate.
This analysis is possible only for a single or a group of keywords and not for display campaigns. Check these details so that optimization is done correctly to yield the desired results.
- Keep a check on the top performing keywords and know what your competitors are doing. The best performing keywords that offer a good rate of return are the supports of your ad words account, but it doesn’t mean that you should overlook threats that could present themselves anytime. It pays to be vigilant enough to make a note of threats too. To make sure your account is run without any hiccups, you should run a diagnosis for your ad campaign. This diagnosis will tell you if your ads appear for the set of keywords selected or if they don’t. You will also find the reason why they don’t appear against the keyword. This kind of a test done on the top 10 keywords will tell you how much the others are bidding for it, the kind of messages they are using and whether your site link and call extensions appear together on the ad.
To complete the diagnosis done for search engine optimization run an auction insights search tool for the top 10 profitable keywords in your account. This test would give you information about the competitions further so that you can decide on any action you need to take.
- Analyse your search query report. A complete analysis of your keyword campaigns will tell you if the search results the company appears for are relevant to your industry profile. If the results are not pertinent enough then you can check for loopholes and plug them. Such a report would provide you with long tail keywords that are an exact match on your account. You get a list of negative long tail keywords that match exactly and even a set of negative keywords that match broadly.
- Set up your campaign based on geography and then bid. Some prefer targeting the entire country and then selecting the best geo targets from them. To make things work quickly, proactively segment your target on the basis of geography and set up campaigns accordingly. This will help you optimize the campaign with custom bids, allowing you to increase or decrease your spending depending on the ROI you receive instantly.
Search engine marketing delivers tangible results for your business, whether you go for SEO, paid advertising or both. It will increase lead generation, brand recognition, investor interest and sales. It is a cost-effective way of improving your bottom line. With the right internet marketing strategy, your prospective customers will find you easily on the internet.