Tag Archives: SEM

How to get found on search engines

A good place to start with when evaluating search engine marketing (Yes, it’s SEM) is Google. Why? Because it owns 65% of the Internet audience, and 85% of all Internet users search the web before they buy something.

Sitting at the SEO pole position and nicely placed in PPC, Hilton is getting millions of dollars in business from the Google search engine.

Google offers two basic ways to get your site noticed: organic search results and paid listings. For example when you search Google for “waikiki hotels” you get a listing of sites that Google’s secret algorythm has deemed the most relevant suggestions. You also get, on the right column of the search engine results page (SERP), and also at the top and bottom,  a list of paid advertisers in the order of their willingness to bid highest for your click. The organic process can be influenced by a host of website tweaks collectively called search engine optimization (SEO); while bidding your way up the paid listing side is called pay-per-click (PPC).

The relative values of the organic lising vs the paid listing are pretty much established as about 5 to 1. In other words the ideal spot to find yourself is the number one listing on the organic search. Over 75% of people conducting a search will click on the number one organic listing. Most people trust the Google search process’s validity, and consequently discount the paid listings accordingly. That doesn’t make PPC a bad investment, but it certainly puts an emphasis on working your way up the natural listing. Being number one is ideal, being in the top five (top-of-the-fold) excellent, first page very good, and so it goes.

How the search engine pie was carved up in 2010

Getting a top organic listing requires substantial commitment and professional techniques and won’t happen overnight. Experts like ThinkBigSites.com in New York are worth the money, if you want big league results. Paid listings, while less efficient in terms of cost per click, can happen fast. You spend the money and you get immediate traffic. A combination of the two works well together especially at the beginning of a concerted SEM effort, where the paid listing can work while the SEO effort builds. Both are ongoing commitments that must be maintained, evaluated and adjusted over time…they’re not one-time efforts.

It goes without saying that building web traffic is only worth paying for if your site produces convertions, leads or sales that translate to new business. If your site is broken, or business operations faulty, adding more visitors will simply make the problem worse, waste your money and even damage your brand. R Strategic can help you evaluate your overall Internet marketing program and help identify weak links.

There is no question, however, that getting your site found can make the difference between a successful online business strategy or banishment to Internet limbo.

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I Built It And They Didn’t Come

Many fledgling Web authors are discouraged when they discover that few people are visiting their new site. But, the reality of the Internet, with its millions upon millions of Websites, is how can anybody find you even if they wanted to. Building an audience for your Web product is a complex marketing and communications task…the good news is that you aren’t the first to try to solve it.

Over the short life of the Internet many ways to generate visitor traffic have been tried. Some succeed, some have gone by the wayside, but there is currently a large arsenal of markeing options to choose from. Here’s just few that we use regularly:

Social Media

This is a hot subject now because it is so pervasive. Everyone knows about established channels like Twitter and Facebook and most regular Internet users maintain their own accounts in both. To reach this large portion of the market you have to get involved and open accounts and pages for your business ventures. There are many ways to build a following and lure people to your site, but the best is simply to put out interesting and useable information on a regular basis.

Tchotchkes (CHACH-keys)

One of the original marketing concepts and still one of the best is to simply imprint your URL on novel little dohickies and give them away to people you think would make a reasonably good prostpect. Every trade show is infested with these little items, and since all you are attempting to do is reinforce your brand and get them to visit your site, your logo and URL is all you need to print on your little “bribe.” There are new items created daily, but some of the old tried-and-true tchotchkes, like pens, sticky pads and keychains, still get snapped up. My current favorite is minature solar-powered LED flashlight key chain. And, after your expensive magazine ad is dead and buried my keychains will still be out there creating an impression.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

The big search engines like Yahoo and Google let your buy key words. You literally bid your way up when it comes to “sponsored” results. When the Internet searcher types in “real estate in (your city)” wouldn’t it be nice (if you’re a realtor) to be on the first page? This isn’t cheap, but built in analytical tracking software let’s you figure out if it’s paying off, and it can be very precisely targeted for select demographics and geographical areas.

Social medias like Facebook also sell little targed ads that pull people to your pages. When you have your social media humming along why not invite the rest of the world?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is the “organic’ way to slug your way up the search engine results and requires a more sophisticated knowledge about how these systems work. The short take is that certain modifications to your code and content make it more likely that search engine “agents,” the spiders and crawlers that sniff around on all Internet content, will like what they see. This goes beyond simple meta tags and other obvious strategies.

For instance, content volume for images is far smaller than that of regular HTML pages, so search engines can “find” and list images faster and rate them higher than regular Web content. So, if you name your images properly and embed the right tags and links you can get noticed quick.

Banners

One of the “grand daddies” of online advertising, banners have gone through many pricing and popularity ups and downs. The trick here is to do something that really triggers the “interactive” instinct. Rember, if they don’t click it you don’t get a hit. Remember the old Flash putting game banner…or the ubiquitous  “hit the monkey?”  Who could resist those little gems.

The other part of buying banners intelligently is to pay for “click throughs” not impressions, and placing them in a quality environment where you will get a reasonable match to your targeted customer profile.

Viral Articles

You are currently reading a viral article.

By writing original, informative content for your blogs and social media you are creating “sticky” value. People like good information and will pass it along, stick in directories and tweet it to their friends. This is the “viral” part…you want the Internet to do the work and should design your content to be virus friendly.

CMS (content management systems) like WordPress have a lot of built in pass-around value, but you can go futher and subscribe to syndication networks and hypercharge your distribution. Articles with the proper tagging embed in the search engines and continue to pop up in related word searches and kick back to your parent Web site.”

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