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 Most Common SEO Blunders that Newbies Make

As a new blogger or website owner, you would be impatient and very enthusiastic about your new venture. All you would want to do is drive traffic to your site as fast as possible. So what do you do? Write an article or get it written probably. Post it online and then maybe share it with your Facebook friends. The next you do, is dash off to your dashboard to check statistics and find the number of views and visitors you had that day. What happened? Some visitors pour in on the day you published your post. But the following day the number of views and visitors dwindle. Now are you the only one who is staring at your blog post? Well, that is not surprising.

Now in your impatience to drive traffic, you again start writing an article and post it online. As a newbie, if this is what you have done or what you do, then this is one of the biggest SEO blunders. This act of yours is not only wasting your precious time but also does not contribute to a solid result.

Search engine optimization requires your time, patience, smart thinking and a lot of hard work. You should not desire for 1,000 visitors visiting your site every day, when you have not fully optimized or promoted your content. There are many websites and blogs online who write good stuff but only a few rank on page 1, 2 or 3. This is only because they have been in the market for some time now and have tried different SEO methods to promote their site online.

Now if you are doing the above blunder, then get off it. Read below and you will find some other very common SEO mistakes that you might be making unknowingly and keeping Google off its favourite list.

Hurrying to Post Online
Posting a blog or an article in your site is a definite way to attract traffic, but this does not mean that you write and upload content every day. Writing mediocre or stuff that you have copied from some other website is not going to drive traffic. Just like you, there are many other readers and bloggers who check different websites. If they find that your content is not original but has been copied from a particular site, then it is only going to damage your standing online.

‘CONTENT IS KING’ and it will always be. Quantity is necessary but not at the cost of quality. Keep both these things in mind and then start writing. If necessary try a posting schedule, like for example post on Mondays and Fridays or on weekends. This will not only give you sufficient time to research, brainstorm and write on a topic but will also give readers some hope of reading fresh and original piece from you every week.

Stuffing Too Many Keywords
Infusing keywords in your content is a great SEO tactic, as it aids visitors as well as search engines to reach your post. But in the quest of attracting traffic or increasing your page ranking, do not stuff too many keywords and ruin the natural flow of your content.

There are many websites online that have articles where all of a sudden a keyword phrase (used with an intention to sell service/product or increase SERP) pops up. This makes the entire content look poor and distasteful. Neither readers nor search engine sites would love to visit such sites again. While writing, stick to using around 2% keyword and then build up your content using LSI words and synonyms. This will be of great help. But again, beware of going overboard.

Not Enough Promotion
Why do you know Twitter, Facebook or say even Bill Gates? Only because they have marketed themselves well and continue doing so. Just posting your blog and waiting for people to read it or just sharing it with your Facebook friends is not enough. These are not your real target customers. Your customers are people who need your service/product or like-minded people with whom you want to build professional relationship.

If you want people to know that you are offering a service or product online, then you need to market yourself aggressively. Instead of writing a fresh post, uploading it, waiting for people to read it and then forgetting about it after sometime, start sharing it with others. The more you share, the more number of people will know about your work. Be it Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Digg, Delicious or any other niche site or forum; make your article/blog post known. Always be on the lookout for such avenues and opportunities and use them to your benefit.

Too Much Reliance on Link building
Link building is definitely one of the most important SEO strategies. Google and other search engines favour websites that have more links. But more links does not imply low quality links or links directed from poor directories. Good and naturally produced links go a long way. Instead of leaving an unrelated comment on a blogger’s site with a link in it, try and build links naturally. You can submit your blog posts in social bookmarking sites, social network sites and niche forums. You can also find a good article directory and submit your post under a suitable category. All these are good ways to build links. But the best way to build natural link is by writing an original, informative and interesting content. If you have written a good article then people would automatically start following you and sharing your posts. Building good online/offline relationships with genuine bloggers is a great way to spread the word about your site.

There are a lot more SEO blunders that newbies make. But the above ones are the commonest.

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