Somewhere on the Internet, a potential customer is searching for your service/product. But who shows first on the search result page – your business or your competitor?
Search engine marketing is about appearing before your customers the moment they perform a search for your product or service. How then will you outrank your toughest competition, and take advantage of the immense traffic from search engines and be right there when you need to be found? The following steps will put you on the path of search engine marketing success.
Step 1. You need an effective Strategy
Most businesses go into search engine marketing without a plan. Avoid falling into this trap. You need to start by defining who your target audience is, identify their motivations and needs and figure out how your products/service can serve these needs.
Take a holistic view of your company position in the marketplace. Who is your toughest competitor? And what is your business competitive advantage? Set measurable goals and benchmarks, such as sales lead volume, website traffic increases, search rankings, and other ROI metrics. This is critical to measuring the effectiveness and success of your marketing campaign.
Step 2. Identify the best keyword phrases
Identifying the best keyword phrases for your business is key to the success of your marketing campaign. If you do not identify these keywords properly, your search engine marketing is doom to failure from the start.
When considering keywords, it is essential to use the keywords closely related to your business as well as most searched by your target audience. Get into your customer’s head and think about the potential phrases they are likely to use when searching for your products and services.
You can employ the services of keyword tools such as HubSpot, SEMrush, Moz etc. to help generate a list of highly searched keywords that will drive traffic to your site.
Step 3. Optimize your website for organic search
Having identified your most profitable keywords, you need to put them to work. This is where you need your website content. Optimize your content for the identified keywords. These keywords will attract organic traffic from search engines. Next is to optimize the code on your websites. Make it relevant and visible to search engines. Ensure all pages are crawlable and indexed by the search engines.
Step 4. Backlinks
Backlinks involve getting another authoritative website to link back to your site. The higher the quality of these links, the more relevant and more popular your website becomes in the search engines. And this will result in better rankings on the SERP.
Step 5. Manage an ROI Driven search marketing campaign
Pay per click ads (PPC) occupy top positions on the search result pages. With PPC, you only pay when a search user clicks on your ads and visits your website. In selecting terms for PPC, don’t choose based on search popularity alone. Ensure that your product/service will be of interest to the search user.
Your bidding strategy to business results should be measured in terms of cost-per-sale and cost-per-lead not just cost per click.
Always include a call to action button in your ad copy and direct the traffic to relevant landing pages. Providing a relevant and compelling offer will stimulate response and boost your ROI.