Search engine marketing (SEM) is something that is used by all businesses, whether large or small, to bring through sustained levels of traffic which then transition into a vital part of the customer base, further enforcing a business’ growth. Depending on your business, SEM will fall into two categories, paid and organic.
While most businesses aim to bring through as much organic traffic as they can, sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
The importance of search engine marketing on the worldwide economy is absolutely enormous. To put this into some sort of statistical data, during 2012 alone, North American advertisers spent $19.5 billion on search engine marketing.
A large proportion of this marketing comes through the use of Google Adwords and Bing Ads.
Pay per click is the largest part of paid search engine marketing as businesses bid for specific keywords for the adverts to appear within, with the highest bids appearing higher on the page.
This competition for keywords means that the more popular keywords are going to command a much larger bid price to achieve success with as more businesses will be trying to take advantage of them to enhance their own brand and traffic. For this reason, the keyword value may be higher than certain businesses are willing to spend.
Before embarking on an extensive PPC campaign you should look to develop a strong customer base and sales through organically generated traffic. This added income will then provide you with a more secure platform to develop a well-rounded PPC campaign.
If you are able to bring through a good level of traffic by organic means, you are definitely going to be moving in the right direction not only in terms of enhancing your brand awareness, but also increasing your overall profit margins.
To develop this good level of SEO, you should look to optimise not only the content on your various web pages
…but also developing a strong link building campaign. While you can employ an external agency to do this on your behalf or even employ someone entirely dedicated to SEO in-house, there are a few things you can do to help enhance your website regardless of SEO knowledge just to help give your website that little bit of a boost.
When it comes to optimising your website, the fundamental importance is incorporating the correct keywords. Whether it’s the page title, bulk text of the page, meta description or meta tags, as long as you are using the best performing keywords you are going to be able to slowly enhance your search engine standing and the amount of traffic you will receive.
Depending on what type of business you run, you’re going to find that certain keywords perform better than others. In order to find the right keywords you just need to focus on what it is your business actually provides and put yourself in the mindset of the customer.
For example, if you sell mens clothes, people looking for the types of products you sell are going to be entering phrases such as “mens t-shirts,” “mens jeans,” “mens jackets” as well as many others. Using this method will allow you to have a strong selection of keywords that are going to be relevant to your business and bring through interested customers.
Another way to develop these keywords is to focus them on the various pages you provide. Using this method ensures that if for example someone types “mens long sleeve shirts” into a search engine, your appropriate webpage containing these products is going to appear.
However, SEO isn’t a one off job, it’s something that requires constant attention to ensure it is always as optimised as it possibly can be.
Keywords that brought through a large level of traffic one month may not perform so well the next. If this is the case you need to get rid of the keywords that aren’t performing so well and replace them with ones that will fare better.
It is this management of your keywords that is going to bring you the best long term organic search success. While this sounds fairly straight forward, you need to also be patient. When you add a new page or change the meta data & keywords a page contains, you then need the search engine to crawl through your site and re-index it.
Basically, when one of your website’s pages appears on a search engine such as Google, it is because a search engine spider has crawled across your site, looking at your content, keywords and meta data, then grouping it within the appropriate key terms. For a brand new page this can take anywhere up to 3 months to complete meaning that you might have to wait a little while before you see the results.
If you already have an established page but have decided to make changes to the meta data and keywords, this could take around a week to complete.
Once your pages are as optimised as possible, you can then look to bring through added traffic through building links.
Essentially these are any links which point to the various pages on your website. This could be within links in a blog article, a social media post, forum post, pretty much anything that is going to allow a customer to travel through to your website.
Due to recent algorithm updates from Google, the search engine tends to look more favourably upon social media posts, meaning that if you focus on developing a number of links through social media, you are going to get not only more social media followers, but also a better SEO standing.
Once you have developed this success within your organic search requirements, bringing through a healthy number of sales, you can then look to venture on and begin using this revenue to create even more traffic and brand exposure through pay per click advertising.
This article was written by John Johnston. John is part of the marketing team for Workwear Express, the leading supplier of industrial workwear, t-shirt printing and embroidered clothing in the UK and across Europe.