Reputation Management

Top Ten Search Engine Marketing Tips

Article by James Hubbard

If you’re new to search engine marketing, here are the top ten tips to consider before launching your online campaigns.

1. Content and Credibility

Make sure your website content is of a high standard before you launch any search engine marketing initiatives. Poorly designed websites with uninformative and uninspiring content will lead to low sales conversion rates. Your website needs to make an impact, it needs to look professional and it needs to demonstrate credibility.

2. Give a lot of thought to Keyword Research

Search engine marketing is all about keywords. Selecting the wrong keywords can be a costly mistake. Don’t assume that you know the keywords people are likely to enter into Google and other search engines in order to find your particular products or services. Use Wordtracker, or a similar professional keyword tool, in order to find out both what people are searching for and how many other websites are competing on those terms.

3. Pay attention to your Landing Pages

Do not place all the focus on your website “home” page. If you are setting up a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign, it’s crucial that your advert links to a page relevant to the specific web search. So, for example, if you’re advertising 30 inch television sets, make sure your landing page is about 30 inch television sets. A user who lands on a more generic page will leave your site if they can’t find what they’re looking for in two clicks.

4. Use PPC to launch your website

You will not be able to achieve “organic” (free) listings on Google, Yahoo and the other search engines instantly. Although SEO (search engine optimisation) should be a consideration from the start of planning your website business, it will take time to achieve results. Setting up PPC campaigns, monitoring them closely and analysing which keywords convert to sales the most efficiently will help you to determine which keywords you should be targeting for your SEO efforts.

5. Be informative and clear with your META and Ad Copy

When optimising your landing pages, ensure that you use clear and informative language. Do not cram your META title and description tags full of keywords. Each landing page on your site should be optimised for the search engines on one key-phrase term. With your PPC campaigns, ensure that you use the exact key-phrase in your ad copy, otherwise your click-through rate will suffer and the cost of your ads will escalate.

6. Use Web Analytics to Improve Your Pages

Make sure you install analytics software on your site so that you can analyse crucial information such as page bounce rates and average times spent surfing your site. High bounce rates means your landing page content is irrelevant to the web searcher. If you have a bounce rate over 60% there is a problem with your content that needs to be addressed.

7. Install Conversion Tracking and Set-out your Campaign Metrics

It’s important to know what your objective is in driving traffic to your site. Be it online sales, newsletter sign-ups or contact form enquiries; ensure that you have the correct code installed on your site to track your responses and, more importantly, which keywords created the response. Establish a budget and some campaign parameters. If you find yourself spending too much on keywords that yield little or no response, then redefine your keyword strategy.

8. Give thought to online PR and social networking

Try and think of some creative ideas to generate a buzz about your particular product or service. Viral marketing can be an extremely effective method to get the word out to a very large audience. The buzz this can create online will generate links back to your site and subsequently higher placements in the search engines.

9. Build quality links from content themed sites

Traditional link building methods such as directory submissions are fine for helping to get your website indexed, however, effective link building campaigns should be focused around networking with other sites related to your content. If you run a landscaping business you should look at trying to form partnerships with gardening resource publications, garden centres and landscaping training organisations. On topic links to your site from trusted domains will help you to rank on your target keywords. What you do not want is to enter what’s known as a “bad neighbourhood” by having lots links pointing at your site from low quality, off-topic domains.

10. Keep Generating and Optimising Your Content

Websites can not be built and left to sell themselves. They need to be managed and updated daily. You should aim to build the volume of pages on your site over time. Websites that grow are considered to be “live” by the search engines and, over time, will become trusted authorities on your particular subject matter. Keep building and optimising your content and you will eventually succeed in the search engines.

About the Author

James Hubbard is a Sussex based Search Engine Marketing consultant offering affordable small business SEO solutions for UK based companies.

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