Posted in Content writing / SEO

Top 10 Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Tips

People having blogs/websites know about search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. However when it comes to search engine marketing (SEM), a lot of people confuse it with SEO.

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a broad term and refers to marketing techniques or strategies used by website owners to advertise their site online, with an intention to increase their ranking in search engine result pages and drive traffic to their site. The marketing techniques employed for effective SEM includes SEO as well as paid techniques. In this blogpost, we will cover all these aspects for effective search engine marketing of your small business website or non-profitmaking website.

1. Create your Individuality
There are many websites online that employ SEM techniques to catch the attention of both search engine sites and visitors. However not all websites are successful in achieving both these goals. This is primarily because they start aping other websites with no uniqueness in them. As a small business or non-profit organization it is all the more important for you to create and strengthen your unique identity. For this, you need to have a good website design, with the content and goals clearly defined. In addition to this, your website should be easy to navigate with relevant keywords being embedded in the headings, description and tags. Use suitable images, Meta tags and titles with targeted keywords in it. All these things play a big role in making your website search engine friendly and driving traffic to your site.

2. Do a Thorough Research about Relevant Keywords
Researching about relevant keywords in accordance with your work/product is a vital search engine optimization technique. Keyword research means focusing on words or phrases that visitors often enter in a search engine site to get information related to their interested topic. If you are a small business, then it is imperative for you to research about relevant keywords, pertaining to your niche. While researching about keywords, take into account on how popular and competitive your keywords are (a tip: you need to choose less competitive keywords) and then spread them in your content. One point to remember is that keyword phrases lose their popularity at regular intervals. Hence you need to keep a check on your targeted keywords and change them whenever required.

3. Optimize your Website
To optimize your website, you need to optimize the content of your website, the codes in it, as well as the anchor text used in links. This means usage of relevant keywords in all these areas of your website. To begin with optimizing your website, first target your homepage and then apply the same principle to other webpages. Irrespective of whether you are a small business or a charitable organization, consider having a short title and headings with suitable keywords inserted in them. Create backlinks and include your in-bound navigation links using keywords and place them in every page of your website. Also remember to name the images in your webpages suitably. All these points contribute in website optimization.

4. Content Marketing
For any SEM/SEO strategy to work effectively, content marketing is vital. The high quality of your content is not only important for engaging readers but also helps drive traffic, increase online visibility and get leads and conversions on a constant basis. To have high quality and targeted content, you first need to know your target audience and then build you content based on research. Optimize your website thereafter, while also including reader friendly topics and metrics to help you know the effectiveness of your strategy. During the course, release your content through many different channels to meet your SEO strategies, like, posting a blog, making an engaging video and sharing it on social media sites (including YouTube), e-mail marketing, slideshare presentations, approaching your clients and telling them to write a testimonial, etc.

5. Link Building
Building links is another great organic search engine optimization technique. Link building means creating keyword-targeted links, which helps other websites to link with your website. This helps people visiting other sites, click your link and reach your website. Hence backlinks are considered as a great way to drive traffic and improve search engine rankings. To strengthen your link building strategy, leave links in blogs and online community forums and consider buying highly powerful, trustworthy and quality links like .edu and .gov (both these links are highly favoured by search engine sites). Create quality articles, press releases and newsfeeds with quality backlinks pointing to your website and submit them to high traffic websites and forums. You can also take part in discussions related to your niche and leave your links there.

6. Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC is one of the most dependable search engine marketing techniques. Pay per click means you pay only when a visitor clicks on your advertisements and visits your website. Marketing through PPC permits advertisers to bid for specific keyword/s against their competitors. These advertisements can be placed on SERP as well as on featured and paid listings. There are a number of articles, blogs and YouTube videos that will help you know more about PPC programs and how they can be effectively used for your benefit. Google AdWords is presently the most popular PPC platform used online.

7. Refresh your Content Regularly
If you are a business, then it is vital for you to regularly update your webpage or blog to provide current and useful information to your users. This is because search engine sites like Google, visit such sites and prefer giving high rankings to a site based on how frequently they make relevant and informative updates in their site.

If you are looking to get an idea on what topics are frequently searched online then check my blog – Top 7 Content Writing Topics for Bloggers.

8. Use Paid Inclusions
There are certain search engine providers that sell advertising space for a certain sum. This is another very popular search engine marketing technique that can be implemented to increase visibility of your non-profit organization and drive traffic to your site. By paying these search engine providers a particular fee (you need to pay down payment), you get advertising space to promote your site on front result pages in relation to your targeted keywords.

9. Website Saturation
The popularity of a website depends on how many of its pages are indexed in search engine site like Google and the number of backlinks it has. The more number of indexed pages and backlinks a website has, the more effective is its SEM. This is primarily done to enhance the popularity of your site and its saturation. If you are a fundraiser, then you need to keep both these things in mind.

10. Website Analytics
SEO and SEM of your website can be termed fruitful, only if you can gauge its effectiveness in driving traffic to your site and increasing its online presence. For this, you need to be able to measure the amount of traffic flowing to your site. Your days and months of labour can now be gauged by using website analytical programs. Though many tend to overlook this SEM technique, it is actually crucial. Website analytical programs collect, measure and analyse statistical data for you, to help you know your unique as well as repeat visitors, the number of pages viewed by them, why did they leave your page, from where did they come, for how much time they stayed at your site, etc. All these information can help you make some changes to your current SEO/SEM plans and make it all the more effective to achieve your business goals.

All the above 10 search engine marketing tips i.e. from website optimization, content marketing, link building, PPC to website analytics are important to promote your non-profit organization and drive traffic to your site.


Posted in Content writing / SEO

4 Effective Ways to Build Strong SEO Links

Link building has and will always be an important SEO strategy. However link building is one of those search engine optimization methods that do not show instant results. The only way to enhance your search engine performance and SERP is to practically work hard to create natural and quality links for your website/blog.

Unnaturally produced links by buying bulk links, spinning or duplicating your articles, mass blog commenting, focussing your attention on only DO FOLLOW links, etc., will help you build links fast. But these links are low in quality and the tactics are certainly not liked by Google. In fact if Google detects a website/blog adopting unnatural link building tactics with an intention to enhance its rankings and popularity, then it might even nuke the site.

Keeping these things in mind, it is ideal to build your brand online and enhance your SERP through some natural and effective link building exercises. Just follow the four SEO link building tips given below and be ready to flourish ethically online.

  • Content is King
    You cannot overlook this fact ever. Writing and offering quality and informative content is the only sure-shot way of bringing people back to your website. If you are not sure of writing yourself, then you can always hire good ghostwriters (not the cheap ones that you get in the range of $2 or $5) to write articles or blogs on topics of your choice. Remember, a badly written content can leave a bad taste in your readers’ mouth, implying lower visits and lower Google search rankings. Provide meaningful, engaging and useful content and see visitors staying longer on your website and even liking, commenting and sharing your articles. This is in fact one of the most natural, secure and effective way of building quality SEO links.
  • Guest blogging
    Another organic link building exercise is guest blogging. Guest blogging means asking or requesting a website or blog owner to allow you to contribute with an article or blog post in their site. There are a number of websites/bloggers, who are in need of fresh and original content for their site. They will readily allow you to write for them. You in turn can include your website link or leave an inbound website page link in the ‘About The Author’ column or any relevant place in the content. This will not only help build organic links and drive high traffic and leads to your site, but will also help create your identity online, display your expertise to visitors and popularize your website overtime.

Tips: As a tip, it is essential to first load good and considerable content in your own website/blog, before guest blogging. It is only after you have ensured that your website has informative and useful material for visitors that you should start finding out about guest blogging sites.

There are numerous guest blogging sites, but it is advisable to go for some popular guest blogging websites in your niche, as they have a good reach. Research about the topic you are going to write, its targeted keywords and then start preparing for a strong and valuable content. This is because only a quality and original guest post can drive free traffic to your site and not some mediocre one.

  • Vary your Anchor Texts
    Google has been specifically severe on websites/blogs that are known to compel it to get their site ranked high on search engine sites by over-optimizing their website using specific keyword phrases. Thinking what this means? Well, there are a number of websites that redirect their visitors to their linked partners, using specific keyword phrases. Google feels that this is not a natural way to build links. Instead of artificially using a keyword phrase and then redirecting visitors to a different site, it is best to use natural and honest phrases like ‘Click here’ or ‘Learn more’. These natural words, (which regular bloggers use) are not only genuine ways to build links but the efforts are also much appreciated by Google.
  • Deep linking
    This is another very valuable SEO link building strategy. Deep linking means that instead of leaving the url of your homepage in a forum/guestblogging site or any other niche sites, you can leave the link of your inner webpages or top blog post. Leaving your homepage link everywhere is not advisable. Internal links or deep linking is very vital to enhance your website’s structure. A website that has links at most of its pages can be easily crawled, indexed and searched by Google. It is also best, as the visitor will get to read the most relevant and useful material that they have been looking for online. In short, it is a win-win situation for both the visitors and website owners.

There are many other link building strategies, but the ones mentioned above are the safest and natural way to build efficient SEO links. Google is not going to penalize you for using these methods. Instead these link building methods will only help you flourish online for a long long time.

Posted in Content writing / SEO

4 Important Techniques to Pull Free Traffic to your Website

Have you set up a website recently? Is it garnering traffic? No. Well, it is really not surprising. Setting up a website does not guarantee traffic to your site. In today’s competitive world, where there are countless websites floating around, standing out among the crowd and creating your own identity online is really not that easy. However if you really want to make your presence felt online and attract visitors to your site, then follow the below given four ways to drive traffic to your site. Do a bit of research on each of these tips, understand them properly and then start implementing.

Ø Write Good Stuff Regularly – Remember ‘CONTENT IS KING’

You might have read a similar heading or have been given a similar advice by an SEO guru. This is because no amount of SEO tactic or advertising gimmick will work, if your website does not boast of quality content. Great content is really what drives high traffic to any site. Irrespective of whether you are a blogger or an online business, you need to upload meaningful and engaging content from time to time. Visitors come looking for information. If they do not get what they want, then be prepared to witness low or nil traffic to your site in due course.

Now if you can write well or have engaged writers to your site, then update your site regularly. Upload at least two posts a week (your most informative piece). Add relevant tags, update your posts under a specific category and add a suitable image beside. This is essential, if you want Google and other search engine sites to show interest in your website. This is also essential, if you want to keep your loyal set of audience coming back for more.

Ø Know How to Optimize your Website

This is again a frequently heard term. For a newbie, a term like SEO can be quite confusing and frustrating. What do you actually mean by optimizing your site? For a start, optimizing your site means writing and presenting your website content in such a way that search engine sites like Google or Yahoo reach up to you quickly, as soon as someone enters a phrase or word in the search box.

So how do you go about doing that?

Honestly, there is no specific route that will lead you to success. But there are multiple search engine optimization methods that will help optimize your site. Choosing the right keywords for your niche, knowing how to place them in your content, what should be the keyword density, building strong backlinks, knowing how to use Meta tags, etc., is all part of SEO. All these concepts are quite crucial and important SEO techniques. You need to really invest an hour or two every day, trying to know each of these concepts and the ways to achieve them. Read SEO related blogs and tips online and then go about implementing them slowly.

A word of advice: Do not get fooled by unnatural or paid link building exercises or paid services that will give you a thousand likes or hits in a day. These gimmicks are not going to help you much. On the contrary, it will do you more harm than good.

Ø Use Your Social Networking Account

A good step to get traffic to your site is by using social media sites. The traffic is instant and free. Use your Facebook, Gmail or Twitter to the fullest. Start by first telling all your contact friends, family and even acquaintances about your site. Tell them to visit and comment on your site. Also tell them to spread the word further. Keep this going by sharing your latest blog to your Facebook or Twitter page and encourage people to comment. Let people participate, comment, share, follow and talk about you and your site. Though getting real traffic from social media sites takes a bit longer, you need to continue doing so, as the results of your energies is definitely worth it.

Ø Submit your Articles/Blogs to Social Bookmarking Sites

Some very popular social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Redditt, etc., can really bring a whole lot of free traffic to your website, particularly if you land up in their front pages. The only criterion to land up in their first page is to have strong and up-to-date content.

A word of advice: In addition to writing meaningful and value-added content to any of these sites, remember to have a catchy title, recheck all your facts, allow people to bookmark your site and submit your article/blog under the right category. Do not give stale or wrong material as there a whole lot of people reading your content. They will immediately pull you down.

In addition to the above methods, there are a whole lot of techniques like guest blogging, promoting your site offline, advertising, using viral content, etc. to pull traffic to your site. However the above four methods are the most important. Getting free and right traffic to your site is possible but not quite easy. If you sincerely work on the above methods and follow them properly and continuously, then you are guaranteed to get high traffic to your site.

If you think there is any other method that is more deserving or if you want to talk about a point, then you are free to comment below. Suggestions, tips and healthy discussions are always welcome!