Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Search Engine Marketing - How to Increase Website Traffic and Google Rankings

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing Explained: Search engine marketing or SEM is the best way of creating visibility, enhancing rankings and getting more traffic to your website. Marketing has always been integral to sales and a sound marketing strategy can always help you to achieve your short-term and long-term goals and increase your profit. Search Engine Marketing or SEM originated somewhere during the late 1990's. It was propelled by the sudden increase of websites on the Internet. Internet became a revolution as more and more people found it easier to use the Internet for different purposes. Internet became a repository of information and soon people needed tools to search and locate relevant information and these tools later evolved as search engines.

Seeing the boom, marketers seized the opportunity and created search engines for promotion of websites on the Internet. During this period of evolution, search engine optimization introduced pay-per-click programs offered by Google and Yahoo followed by search marketing in 1997, and Google AdWords in 2000. By the end of 2006, the pay-per-click campaigns had achieved tremendous success and today are the primary money-making programs for search engines.

In the age where the Internet is the prime platform for advertising your product or service with the help of a website, a sound search engine marketing strategy can do wonders. Today, there are many people who market their businesses through the Internet so that more and more visitors can see the website and become prospective customers. Now most businesses use the SEM strategy to enhance search engine optimization so how can you make a difference? Is your strategy any different from what others are using?

To distinguish your business and be different, you can use some advanced ways of using search engine marketing to help increase your ROI. At the end of the day, the only thing really matters is the visitor conversion to customer. All the methods and various engine optimization methods that various businesses or individuals use are to help them derive a profit. This is exactly the reason why you have also created a website.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization: First things first, you need to get your website included in the top 10 search engine results to maximize web traffic. To do this successfully, you will need to devise a strong SEO or search engine optimization strategy. Using SEO, your website ranking will improve considerably. SEO uses keywords, which are words specific or relevant to the product or services offered by you. For example: If you are offering tour packages then you can use keywords like travel packages, honeymoon packages, wildlife tours, hiking tours, trekking etc. Using relevant or specific keywords for SEO purposes will help you to get the desired traffic on to your website and at the same time, increase your website ranking in search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Now when we speak of search engine marketing, it includes various methods of increasing the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERP). Some of the top SEM strategies include:

  • SEO Strategies: The main aim of a search engine optimization strategy or process is to improve rankings based on relevant keywords through search results. A SEO strategy can only be successful if you improve a web site structure, content, and layout and also provide a relevant back link from any other website to your website. Successful SEO is not just limited to text content but it also includes image optimization, and other documents like PDF. The hardest approach implement is the Organic search engine optimization is the more cost effective
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: Pay-per-click advertising, which is one of the most commonly used method of driving web traffic and improving sales uses paid ads. As an advertiser, you will have to bid in an auction based market place for keyword driven advertisements. These customized ads are displayed on the search pages and you pay every time someone clicks on the advertisement.
  • Paid Inclusions: The third important SEM strategy is paid inclusion. Using paid inclusion, you will be able to feed listings into various search engines. As an advertiser, you will have to pay a certain amount for the inclusion of your web pages in the index of the service provider. You might have to pay a pay-per-click fee in addition to the inclusion fee depending on the SEO provider.
  • Online Visibility solutions: Lastly, except press released services,one of the free methods of increasing visibility is through social media optimization. Through this process, you can promote your website by placing content within online communities so that it can be spread virally. This method is used by websites like YouTube, MySpace etc.
  • To Achieve success a well planned mix of methods and other more innovative techniques are necessary. If you hire a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) expert make sure that he/she has a holistic approach on that combines a mix of legitimate techniques.

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