Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the process of generating traffic and improving visibility of a webpage on search engine rankings. It is the process of making a website more robot-friendly. With evolving technology, digitized content has become the norm. Individuals have shifted from hard copies to digital content. Firms are taking the digital route and opting for content marketing techniques in order to promote their products and build brand value. In this context, SEM holds greater relevance and it is crucial for organizations to understand how SME functions in order to make full use of its potential.
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO, as it is popularly known) is the process of improving a website’s visibility so that it appears more prominently in the unpaid search results of a search engine. The SEO process uses keywords in order to make a website more relevant to search queries. By using SEO effectively, organizations can generate more traffic to their websites, thereby gaining more exposure for their messages, products and services.
SEM and SEO, though are relatively new concepts in the past decade, have gained great significance in the world of search engines. A site is ranked based on the keyword density and selection, which is turn determines the relevance of the site to the search query keyed in by the user. Using SEO, organizations use a myriad of techniques to build backlinks to their pages from other credible sources in order to increase their own page rank. Even though Google depreciated its importance in 2012, link-building still holds a lot of prominence in the world of SEO and SEM.
Here are several tips and tricks employed by webmasters to increase traffic and visibility of a webpage.
Some of the most commonly used tips and tricks in SEM are:
1. Pay Per Click
Pay Per Click (PPC) (tracked by Cost Per Click) is a paid method of advertising, used to drive traffic to a website where organizations pay ad publishers when their ad is clicked by users. In a pay per click campaign, keywords relevant to the context and the target market are selected to increase the visibility of a website. Websites that use PPC marketing, route traffic to a site when a keyword query matches a user’s search query. One of the drawbacks of the PPC is the high possibility for click fraud, where automated robots are used to increase click count, thereby increasing the traffic and revenue generated from a website.
2. Cost Per Impression
The display of an ad to a user browsing a webpage is called an impression. Cost Per Impression (CPI) is an SEM technique related to web traffic, where advertisers pay every time an advertisement is displayed. CPI is used to assess the effectiveness and profitability of online search engine marketing. The advantage of CPI over PPC is its immunity to click fraud. Hence, the traffic numbers derived from CPI analytics are considered more reliable when compared to PPC analytics.
3. Paid Listings
Organizations may use paid listings from search engine hosting companies (think Google and Facebook) in order to increase the visibility and increase traffic. Paid listings help agencies increase their page traffic and rank through inorganic means, which is especially helpful to organizations or ad campaigns just getting launched. Established organizations that have developed a level of credibility may not choose to invest in paid listings as they may already enjoy regular traffic.
4. Catchy Domain Names
It is easy to understand how using catchy domain names increases the market’s ability to recall a brand. Domain names—when combined with the right keywords—can lead to boosted traffic, more click-throughs and higher conversions. Search engine marketing tips that include finding the right domain names can lead to organic traffic that may be difficult to get under normal circumstances.
5. Content Priority
Credible content relevant to the user is a best way to divert traffic to a webpage. Solid content that is well-written and informative while being free of rambling, keyword-stuffed blathering, is sure to (eventually) show up in organic search results. For organizations focusing less on organic ways of growing traffic to a website, however, PPC and CPI are still tried and tested ways of increasing traffic to a webpage quickly.
6. Using SEO-Friendly URLs
Similar to using catchy domain names, SEO-friendly URLs are also dependable techniques employed to increase traffic to a webpage. Marketing using keyword-targeted URLs may produce favorable results over a period of time. But this technique may not be helpful in increasing traffic suddenly. All organic ways of increasing traffic work over a period of time and do not usually lead to sudden increases in web traffic.
7. Tags and Meta Descriptions
Using tags and meta descriptions is a smart way of implementing SEM strategies. Though URLs and domain names do not provide the luxury of using lengthy phrases with the desired keyword density, tags and meta tags act as additional searchable text that can be fine-tuned according to the desired keyword density. Keyword-targeted tags can increase the visibility of a site in an organic search which increases the trustworthiness of a particular site. Including title and alt tags for every web page will also increase the chances for high page rank due to the increased keyword relevance and density.
All said and done, search engine marketing is a dynamic concept which employs SEO as one of the cornerstones behind increasing user traffic. SEO techniques such as choosing the proper keywords, ensuring content matches your audience and developing credible backlinks from other websites are sure to produce results over time. In a hurry? PPC and CPI can speed your message, product or service to market. Use these techniques over time to build external links, build your traffic and grow your following and you will be effectively using SEM techniques. Good luck!