SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing(SEM) has become one of the most effective ways of digital marketing to grow a business in an increasingly competitive market. With the help of search engine marketing, you can increase the visibility of your website in search engines using either paid or unpaid methods.

Search Engine Marketing can also be defined as the process of getting traffic from search engines either organically or via paid methods. SEM activities also include paid search ads, PPC(pay-per-click), cost per thousand impressions(CPM) and cost per click(CPC).

Before SEM was introduced, only SEO was used for optimizing websites for better visibility and nobody cared about anything else. Back then, people were unaware of the fact that there might be other methods that could help to increase the conversion rate or boost website traffic.

But, with the introduction of SEM, new ways of increasing traffic to the sites were also introduced. With SEM, people can take advantage of paid search advertising(PSA) and pay for their ads to appear on search engine results and increase visibility.

Advantages of SEM

Brand Awareness

As we all know, SEO and basic unpaid social media marketing take time. According to Google, it can even take up to a year for a quality site to scale the rankings. It also depends on the strategies applied and what the competition is doing.

On the other hand, SEM positions you on the first page of Google. This can help a significant new business with no current visibility or brand recognition get instant attention. This has a significant effect on your sales if you have the right processes in place to turn this exposure into paying customers.

Mass reach

Nowadays, almost everyone is online and over 90% of online experiences start with a search engine. Search engines drive more traffic to websites than any other source. People always use search engines to find what they’re looking for. And, with SEM, you can be the one to serve them what they’re looking for by targeting the niche market.

Besides, SEM allows you to get focused on your target customers in a way you never could with traditional marketing. Distinguishing the main target market increases your chances of converting clicks to sales more than just a plain ad.

Competitive Advantage

With paid ads, your brand new business can also appear above your competitors on the search results. With a strong SEM strategy, you will always have the advantage over your competition who are only depending on traditional SEO.

Scalability

SEM is scalable, meaning, you can start small, test things out and as the revenues go up, increase the number of ads. You can even remove the ads that are not working. This helps you to refine your campaigns as well as increase your daily ad spend.

Conclusion

In today’s world, no business or website can survive online unless it follows solid search engine marketing practices. SEM gives you the right tools and process to help you gain more visibility in search engines either by getting higher positions in organic results or better positions for your ads. Besides paid or organic SEM, one major factor you have to think of when it comes to reaching more customers is to always put the user experience on top of anything else. You should make sure that you have a great website with great content and is easy to use before approaching any means of advertising.

Once you have everything in place, then you can move on to start working on your SEO and gradually work your way to SEM and different measures.

Best SEO Tools To Instantly Improve Your Site Reach

If you’ve been following our previous blogs, you might already know what SEO is and why it’s important for any business. SEO refers to the process of making changes to your website content and/or design to help it appear higher in search engines, especially Google. It helps you increase your visibility on the web and get organic traffic from the search engine results page. Various factors affect website optimization which includes the speed of your site, content, server and source code management. It also depends on your business’s social media involvement.

In this post, we’re going to be talking about some of the best SEO tools in the market that you can use to improve your site’s visibility and reach. These tools can also help you check the SEO status of your website.

Google Analytics

Whenever you talk about SEO, Google is the first thing that comes to mind. So, we’re starting our list with a wildly popular analytics tool from Google.

Google Analytics is a free tool that gives you access to a wide range of data that can be used to improve your website’s SEO. It lets you track and analyze your site and visitors data. The main data that you Google Analytics can track on your site are page views, events and transactions.

With Google Analytics, you can use advanced filters that let you segment data results so you can only focus on what’s important to you. Besides this, you can also add secondary dimensions to your reports to segment data and dig deeper into the results.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is another free SEO tool from Google that provides data about your website’s search metrics. It checks the status of your site, URLs and so on. It helps you identify underperforming keywords, optimize pages with high rankings and low click-through rates. Besides these, it also helps you fix sitemap issues and do a lot more.

Google Search Console’s index coverage report helps you understand how Google crawls your site and find issues on your website that are keeping your pages from getting indexed.

MozBar

Mozbar is a free browser extension that provides on-page access to Moz’s link metrics and site analysis tools. It is a powerful tool to analyse a website’s SEO status. It can help you find out the critical issues on your website and ways to improve them.

Mozbar also creates Domain Authority(DA) and Page Authority(PA) which play a vital role in improving the rank of your website on search engines.

SEMrush

SEMrush is an all-in-one SEO tool and is among the top SEO analyzer tools in the market. It makes it easier to perform an SEO audit on your website and helps you identify any issues on your site that are keeping you from achieving the best results.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is one of the best SEO tools, best used for backlink analysis. It can be used to backlink auditing, URL rankings, keyword research, competitive analysis and much more.

Ahrefs also offers organic search reports to help you identify your competitors, their traffic, links and keywords so you can compare them to yours and improve them accordingly.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights is another free tool from Google that helps you analyze your website’s overall performance and gives you suggestions to make it better. Since Google rewards pages that load faster, improving your site’s speed can lead to better search rankings.

It can report on the performance of a page on both desktop and mobile devices and provides easy to understand suggestions on how the page can be improved. Google PageSpeed Insights gives you a performance score that summarizes your page’s performance.

Conclusion

If you want to get the most out of your SEO efforts, you need to start looking for the best SEO tools and using them. Any of the above tools can help you easily optimize your content, monitor your competitors and improve your rankings quickly. Now, it is up to you to choose which tool suits your business the best and start working on your website optimization. You should always go for the one that can help you drive more traffic, generate leads, boost sales, and expand your reach.

Increase Your Website Traffic

SEO can be an excellent way to increase traffic to your website, however, it surely is a bit confusing and difficult. It is necessary that you know or learn about other means of driving traffic to your website besides SEO. This way, even if your primary traffic source fails you, the site traffic won’t be affected.

In today’s post, we’ll take a look at some ways that you can use to increase your website traffic besides SEO.

1. Advertising

The most obvious option to help increase website traffic is advertising. Online ads can instantly generate hundreds, if not thousands, of clicks to your website. In 2020, paid search and social media ads are two of the most excellent ways of attracting visitors to your site. They can help you instantly build your brand and get your site in front of thousands of people.

You should always adjust your paid strategies to your site to suit your marketing goals, meaning, you don’t just want more traffic, instead, you should try to increase conversions too. For this, both ads and the content you’re offering should be attractive, relevant and convenient to the visitors.

If you’re hoping that more traffic to your site will also result in more sales, you’ll need to target high commercial intent keywords as part of your paid search strategies. Yes, competition for these search terms can be fierce (and expensive), but the payoffs can be worth it.

2. Social media

It’s not enough to just produce great content and hope that people find it; you have to be proactive. One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote your content. They can massively impact your business and its ability to generate traffic and sales.

You need to provide value to your customers/followers on social media and develop some goodwill between them and yourself. For this to work too, you should try to create more engaging content so you can gain more traffic through your social media platforms. If your content is good enough, people will be persuaded to visit again, so that they can consume some of your latest content.

They’ll also be more inclined to follow you on social media, which can help drive traffic when you post content in the future.

3. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is another very important and effective way of generating visitors to your website. Many industry giants offer guest blogging on their site, which helps them increase traffic to their website as well as the writers’ websites.

Securing a guest post on a reputable site can increase blog traffic to your website and help build your brand. However, when it comes to guest blogging, you need to consider a couple of things. First being, finding the right websites that accept guest posts and target your niche market. For this, you can do some research online. You can also take a look at this site where Peter talks about the best sites to guest post.

Another main point to consider for guest blogging is to write compelling content for the site that you’re going to be working with. This gives the right target audience a strong reason to read your content.

4. Go After Referral Traffic

Instead of trying to convince other sites to link back to you, you should try and create content that people want to be linked to. Always write compelling content so that it attracts visitors and authors from other sites who would like to link your content or site in their blogs.

You can generate more referral traffic by publishing your website to online directories, leveraging social media, commenting on blogs on popular sites and being active on industry forums.

5. Posting On LinkedIn

Research shows that LinkedIn accounts for more than 60 per cent of all traffic from social media channels to company websites. Its robust targeting capabilities play a major role in generating traffic for companies. Over the years, LinkedIn has become much more than a means of finding a perfect job.

It is now a valuable publishing platform in its own right, which means you should be posting content to LinkedIn on a regular basis. Doing so can boost traffic to your site, as well as increase your profile within your industry, especially if you have a moderate to large following.

6. Improve Your Site

You can improve your site in a couple of ways like making it responsive and load faster. The days when internet browsing was done exclusively on desktop PCs are long gone and the number of people using their mobile phones for browsing the internet has increased significantly. If your website is still not responsive and looks good only on desktops or larger screens, then you’re basically telling your potential customers to go elsewhere.

So, making your site responsive has become a must to not just make it look good, but also to increase your traffic.

Besides responsiveness, you should also focus on making your web pages load faster. People hate it when they have to wait forever to just visit a page. And, your bounce rate will be very high as well. You can try various measures like optimizing images,  page structure and other third-party plugins to make your site load faster.

Conclusion:

These are just a couple of things that you can implement on your site to gain more traffic besides SEO. You should always make sure that the content on your site is good, and relevant to the niche market you’re targeting. Without good content, converting your site visitors into potential customers is nearly impossible.

Best SEO Practices

Search Engine Optimization, better known as SEO, is the process of making changes to your website’s content and/or design, to help the site appear in the search engines on higher ranks. Here is the harsh truth. If you are not ranking in Google’s top 10 results for your target keywords, your website might as well be invisible on Google.

According to the reports, 80% of searchers never go past the first page of search results, which is why it’s so important to rank on the first page of Google.

Google has several strategies and techniques that you can follow to rank higher, but if you don’t get the basics right, your chances of ranking on Google’s page 1 are very minimal. In this article, we will be sharing some of the best practices that you can follow to rank higher in Google search results.

Search Intent Optimization

Search intent refers to the purpose behind every search query or the reason why a user searches for anything on the internet. When a user searches for something, Google returns relevant results to match the search intent. It is their ultimate priority to understand and satisfy every user’s search intent.

For example, if you search for “how to make cakes”, the top search results on Google will be blog posts, videos or articles on how you can make cakes, not e-commerce sites that sell cakes. Google understands that the user who requested this search is trying to learn something, and not buy.

Similarly, if you search for “buy cakes”, the top search results will all include e-commerce sites/pages that sell cakes online. It won’t display the recipes, because in this case, the user is looking to buy something.

In short, if you want to rank your pages on Google’s first page, you need to understand what search intent is and create your content accordingly.

Also, based on the keywords used, the search engine might interpret their query as having different intents behind it, which are also known as common search intent:

  • Informational – if a user searches for simple information like COVID-19 reports
  • Navigational – if a user searches for a specific website or pages like IMDb, Facebook login, etc.
  • Commercial – if a user searches for a category of product, but hasn’t reached a final decision yet like best smartphones 2020
  • Transactional – if the user searches for a specific product with the intention to buy something like buy 15’’ MacBook pro

Proper Title Tag and Meta Description

A page’s title tag and meta description are two of the most important meta tags on the page. Google actively looks for the keyword inside your title tags to figure out if the content is relevant or not for certain search queries.

Search engines typically display the first 50-60 characters of a title. In the case of Google, it displays the full title of your page as long as it’s under 60 characters. Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. 

The best practices to implement while creating title tags are to include the target keywords on the title tag itself, write a title matching the search intent, avoiding title tags duplication and keeping it descriptive but short.

Similarly, the meta description is a brief summary of a page and is displayed below the title tag in search results. It doesn’t directly impact search ranking but can influence CTR(click-through rates).

“A typical meta description tag should generally inform and interest users with a short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about. They are like a pitch that convinces users that the page is exactly what they’re looking for.”

Google

The practices to keep in mind when creating meta descriptions are to write unique meta descriptions for each page, using action-oriented copy, including target keywords, matching search intent and providing an accurate summary.

Image Optimization

One of the biggest problems with images on any site is related to their size and the disk space they consume. Images often take up a long time to load, making the site slow, which then impacts the user experience. So, it’s best to always compress the images used on the site for faster page load.

Besides image compression, another very important thing to do with the images on the site for better SEO is to add the alt text for every image. The alt text is the text used to replace the image when the image itself is not available. Besides, it also improves web accessibility and helps browsers better understand the images on the site.

Page Speed Optimization

Just like images, if your site takes a long time to load, the users won’t be waiting long to see the content. This eventually leads to the drop in your Google rankings.

For improving page speed, most common things that you can implement are minifying CSS and JS files, enabling browser caching, deleting unnecessary plugins, reducing server response time, reducing the number of redirects and compressing images.

Short and Readable URLs

Often overlooked when it comes to SEO, URL structure is also an important factor for better SEO. Using tidier URLs that are short and human-readable can improve your rank on Google search results. The URL should properly describe what the content is about, this way, there will be more chances of people clicking them and visiting the site.

The keywords used inside the URL also help Google and other search engines figure out what the content is about. The URL structure should always be as simple as possible and you should always try to use short keyword-rich URLs.

Responsiveness

Responsiveness defines the behaviour of any site and its ability to adapt to any screen size. If your website isn’t properly optimized for almost all screen sizes, you might lose a lot of traffic. So, you should always make sure that the site looks good on both the web and the phone.

Google also uses mobile-first indexing, meaning, it always first looks at the mobile version of your website and ranks it accordingly.

Secure HTTPS Protocol

The site’s connection should always be secure as Google favours websites with secure connections over insecure ones, especially when any sensitive data is sent through them. 

If your site contains a contact form, a payment system or a login page, then it should always run through HTTPS.

Internal Links

Internal links are another important factor for better SEO because they establish an information hierarchy for the website. Besides, they also help Google get a deeper understanding of the content on the page.

We know Google penalizes backlinks with exact match anchor texts if done too much, but it doesn’t penalize any site for internal links. The best SEO practice is to add internal links from top-ranking pages on your site to pages that need a boost. The key is to make these links relevant to the users as well. The focus should always be to highlight those pages that you consider to be most important.

In addition to all these points, you should also keep in mind that SEO depends on the quality and the length of your site’s content. So, you should always make sure that there’s enough content on every page of your site so Google can crawl through each one of them and index them properly.

Conclusion

The practices outlined above are a great starting point for achieving higher search rankings on Google. That being said, the competition for the top position on Google’s first page is huge and highly depends on the market your business operates in. You should stay up to date with the latest SEO trends to stay ahead of the game.