In the first installation of our Blog Optimization Series, I went over the basic fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization. It has been some time coming but I’ve spent a good deal of time – researching on the latest on the next installment. The second addition to our series will be Search Engine Marketing.
The back-door into SERPs, maybe? If you have the $$, it’s the easy way to get traffic from Search Engines. If your one of the many, that can throw money for the better of your website – let’s take a look at some of your options and a few pointers on the sidelines too…
Search Engine Marketing
If you’ve been following this series, you might remember in the first post – I went over why people optimize their blogs for Search Engines. This is a long and strenuous process, that can never be completely done – because not matter how well you optimize your blog; there will always be something more you can do (even add another inbound link.)
So, is there any hope for those that are not consistent? Perhaps not so much of a solution but an alternative to gradual SEO would be to throw money at SEM. Search Engine Marketing is utilizing the services provided by big-named companies, to sell ad-space.
Google Adwords or Facebook Ads just might ring a bell in your mind, but what differentiates a SEM campaign from a good SEM campaign? It’s about planning, managing and knowing not one, not two but as many of your options as possible. Let’s break it down to a simpler format.
Designing the Campaign
Just like any other project – a design sketch of the campaign is required. Before you start spending money like there’s no tomorrow; it’s absolutely critical that you have a basic idea of the concept of SEM and also a definite plan.
Your plan should include aspects of your campaign such as budget, start dates, end dates, minimum expectations, PPC (price per click). A campaign without a design usually runs into trouble sooner or later because many people overlook the simple things.
Managing the Campaign
Once you have a design, traffic won’t start flowing in. You have to keep a constant eye on how the statistics are performing, and which areas needs your attention/supervision. Many people assume that SEM is a “do once and forget” technique to conquer the SERPs but they couldn’t be further from the truth.
Just like SEO is a constantly updated process – SEM requires an ever watchful eye; to pick up on trends and assign profitable PPC rates for specific keywords. The design + management of SEM campaigns can be out-sourced to the millions of SEO Companies out there – but there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do it yourself? Save money, and you know what exactly what is going on within the campaign itself.
Google Adwords is the big-daddy of all PPC Advertising program. One of the most significant earners for the multi-billion dollar company and a program that offers a lot for the little guy. We haven’t been exploring the possibilities and features of Adwords here @Blogussion but there’s so much to it – that I won’t be able to cover it in one post.
So, going by a generalization that we all have heard about Google Adwords – I would encourage you to take it for a spin. Learn as much as you can about the program from as many useful sources of information as you can find, then play around with it a little while. For some people Google Adwords is their key to success, for other’s nothing more than a waste of time.
Yahoo Search Marketing / Microsoft adCenter
Almost the counter-parts of Google Adwords, these two programs are the closest competition to it. On a personal level, I haven’t explored their full functionality but on a search engine basis – they won’t be that dissimilar to Google Adwords. Depending on the Search Engine that best suits your interest, the three services will provide a range of options and features to help you rake in the targeted traffic from around the SERPs.
Social Media Ad Networks
If your site is so more socially-orientated - you might find advertising on social media networks; such as Facebook to be a gold mine. Obviously, you won’t appear on the front pages of these media networks, but you’ll reach a fairly high percentage of users with the correct research + PPC rates.
It’s important that you target your site to specific social media networks. For example, advertising your blog about penicillin on Myspace wouldn’t be your best bet. Search around niche-specific media networks that offer paid advertising and you’ll be raking in some very loyal readers.
Search Engine Marketing is a very broad topic with many outward branches, but hopefully this can give you a little bit of intuition of what it is – and how people can manipulate it for their own benefit. Websites such as SearchEngineWatch, come up with some nice tips and tricks when it comes to SEW – something we can all learn from.
Stay tuned for the next and final installment in the Blog Promotion Series : Social Media Optimization!