Search engines (SE) are the principal way of getting people to your website. Did you know that a visit to 80 percent of all websites originates from a search query? If you want customers to come to your site, increase its visibility on SEs. Before you attempt to accomplish this goal, familiarize yourself with three aspects of search engines – site submissions, search engine optimization and search engine marketing.
When submitting your website, focus on the high-traffic SEs like Google, Bing, and Yahoo that account for a majority of all search engine use. Getting your site listed on a little known SE will not generate many visits. To submit your website, go to the home page of your chosen search engine, click on the ‘Add URL’ or ‘Submit Your Site’ button and follow directions.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Getting listed on an SE is not enough. You must ensure that your website has a high ranking for visitors to notice you. Eight out of ten visitors don’t get past the first page of results.
There are several ways for improving your search engine rankings. Include solid, effective content on your web pages and relate it to terms that people commonly search for. Keep refreshing content to ensure continuity of high rankings. Add site maps, title tags, keyword rich domains, and other features, related to your website to crawl up the rankings. Never use hidden keywords as they can negatively affect your SE rankings.
Other websites containing links to your site can be quite effective. For greatest impact, try to get your website links on popular, relevant and quality sites related to your business field. These strategies help to improve your rankings in ‘organic’ results, which refer to the sites displayed on a search page because of a query.
SEO is an ongoing process that requires considerable effort and monitoring, and knowledge of customers. Ask your web hosting provider to give you free traffic reports, analyze them to determine where most of your traffic is coming from and modify your site to best suit their needs to ensure high rankings and traffic.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM is another excellent way of enhancing visibility and getting on the first few pages of search results. It is low cost, flexible and designed to target specific searches. You can set your own budget and a maximum cost per click amount. Additionally, you can easily evaluate the performance of search engine marketing, by viewing reports and tracking the number of visitors who come to your site through paid advertisements.
Here are the steps for creating an effective campaign:
1. Setup a personal account on search engines.
2. Choose desired keywords and phrases.
3. Create interesting and attractive text-based search advertisements.
4. Select your bid amount for each advertisement.
5. Frequently review reports to evaluate effectiveness of keywords and the campaign as a whole. You can experiment with different keywords and phrases.
6. Make necessary changes to your advertising campaign when required.
Finding the Right Keywords
For your online marketing campaign to be effective, you must choose popular and relevant keywords and phrases. Tools such as Microsoft adCenter and Google keyword tool allows you to find out the most popular words and phrases people search for in your field and the expected cost per click. When looking for words also try out plurals and even misspellings.
Be specific in your choice of words, as most of the general words like ‘shoes’ and ‘electronics’ are heavily crowded, and success campaigns with these words will require considerable investment. Use keywords to reflect your specialties and strengths.
If you are targeting customers in specific geographic areas, take advantage of local search. It allows you to get your website noticed in targeted areas when local surfers search for associated keywords. Local search ensures maximum visibility in specific areas of focus and gets you noticed when it matters most.
To realize the benefits of search engine marketing, you must continuously monitor the progress of your ads, keywords and reach. Make adjustments to improve these aspects.
The right combination of search engine selection, search engine optimization and marketing is the best way of getting customers to your website and ensuring success on the internet.