SEM - Research Measures Success

SEM - Research Measures Success

Search engine marketing success comes from good research. By applying research to understand your competition and target audience, your optimization efforts will succeed.

Remember when homework from school often required some research on your part to complete? It is much the same scenario for search engine marketing: you need to apply yourself by researching in order to understand your competition and target audience. Your visitors need to relate to you and understand your message and what you want them to do.

Know Your Industry

You must spend time understanding the industry you are trying to make a profit from. If you sell widgets, know everything you can about widgets: where they come from, how they are typically sold, why people need them, etc. You can learn a great deal from your competitors. Research using industry communications such as online magazines, forums, newsletters and blogs. Read articles written by industry leaders and keep up on the latest news about your industry. The more you know, the better your basis for building an authoritative website.

What's Your Point?

Ok, so you've got this product you want to sell online. What are you saying to your audience? Make sure you write in a clear, concise way so your message does not get lost in the process. Just because everyone in your company understands your message doesn't mean the visitors to your site will. Have a few test scenarios set up; ask a few objective readers what they understand from your website and see just how much your message is getting across. You'd be surprised that what may be obvious to you is not necessarily obvious to your website visitors. If you are having trouble creating a clear message for your website, consider hiring a copywriter to convey what you want to say.

Know Your Target Audience

Who buys your product and why? Who needs the information you have on your website? Who would you like to have visit your

website that isn't already there? Who is visiting you? Are they professionals who understand your technical terms or visitors of varying levels who all need the same information from you? What do you offer that a certain market would want from you? Take the time to get a good look at what is out there and how your competitors are presenting their information to online visitors. Use your log statistics reports to track who comes to your website. Get familiar with the keyword terms they are using in the search engines to find you. Research the domains that most visit you. Find out why visitors are clicking away from certain pages before going deeper into the content of your website. Is it a lack of information? Too many choices to click on? Is the language used or instructions given easy to understand? Don't give your visitors a reason to leave before they understand your message.

Know Your Competition

Take a good look at your top competition and see what they are offering online. Even looking at websites that are not direct competitors may give you an idea of what to offer your visitors. Think of it this way: someone put effort into creating those websites. Visit your competitor's website. Search in the major search engines for your most important keyword phrases and see if your competitors show up in the top thirty search engine results. Learn what you can and see if what they are doing is something you should be doing. It's always good to know if your competitors are using SEO, Paid Inclusion, PPC, Link Building and other means to rank well.

Make Your Website Accessible

There's nothing worse than muddling through a website looking for what you want and clicking so much you finally give up. Use easy navigation, make sure your information or products are easily accessible to your visitors. Create written text that is easily understood in order to get your message across readily. Give your visitors plenty of written information. There's no such thing as "too much text" when it comes to search engine robots "understanding" your web pages. What's good for the visitor is often good for the search engine robots.

Do The Work

Research is the cornerstone to your success. The more you know about your subject, the better you will be able to inform your visitors. By informing your visitors you build trust and interest in learning more about your website. Do the math - get searching!

Daria Goetsch is the founder and Search Engine Marketing Consultant for Search Innovation Marketing, a Search Engine Marketing company serving small businesses. She has specialized in Search Engine Optimization since 1998, including three years as the Search Engine Specialist for O'Reilly Media, Inc., a technical book publishing company.

Copyright © 2002-2005 Search Innovation Marketing. http://www.searchinnovation.com All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this article is granted if the article is reproduced in its entirety, without editing, including the bio information. Please include a hyperlink to http://www.searchinnovation.com when using this article in newsletters or online.

In The News:

SEO in 2020: Going Beyond Google  Search Engine Journal
Enterprise SEO Archives  Search Engine Journal
How Hackers May Be Hurting Your SEO  Search Engine Journal
Long Tail Keywords and SEO  Search Engine Journal
SEO: When to Scale (or Not)  Practical Ecommerce
A Definitive Guide to Mobile SEO  Search Engine Journal
What is Pharma Hack Spam?  Security Boulevard
Lawyer SEO Benefits When Using SEO Vs PPC  Legal Desire News Network
New local SERP live in Europe  Search Engine Land
What Does It Mean to ‘Do SEO’?  Search Engine Journal

Five Tips for Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization sounds so daunting for most young companies.... Read More

See No Google, Hear No Google, Speak No Google

That's right - I dreamt of a World Wide Web... Read More

Types of Links

Internal Linking ? An introductionThe web as they call it... Read More

Duplicate the Exact Steps Used to Get a Number 1 Yahoo Ranking in Less than 30 Days

If you have ever been into a McDonalds you will... Read More

Design A Spider Friendly Site

To be successful in the search engines it's important to... Read More

World of Website Promotion

Website promotion is a big and ongoing process. Every person... Read More

How To Use Google As A Niche Website Builder

The popularity of weblogs or blogs has gotten a lot... Read More

SEO #2: On-page Optimization

Yesterday you should have read the first course out of... Read More

The Great Search Engine Experiment Revisited Who is the Coolest Guy in the Universe

A recent Search Engine Experiment Demonstrates how by combining Key... Read More

Earn with Fun by simple SEO (search engine optimization)

It all happened 3 months back, I have a blog... Read More

Googled

The Internet may have started as the fervent brainchild of... Read More

The Benefits of Organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

If you're going to sell any type of product or... Read More

What Is Waiting for Us? Tomorrows SEO Industry

Today, SEO is swiftly approaching saturation point. More and more... Read More

How to Avoid the Google Duplicate Content Filter?

More and more webmasters are building websites with publicly available... Read More

From Corpora to Matching

Making effective use of the Internet is increasingly about creating... Read More

Why Do You Want to Link With A Home Business And Affiliate Website?

No, it's not a general question for all and sundry.... Read More

Why Search Engine Optimization is Not Enough

OK. So you've created a nice website with lots of... Read More

SEO Expert Guide - Paid Site Promotion (Marketing) (part 7/10)

In parts 1 - 6 you learnt how to develop... Read More

SEO #4: Off-page Optimization

Yesterday you should have read the third course out of... Read More

PageRank for Websites: Is There More to the Web?

Google's PageRank has been around for years, and in the... Read More

The Life Blood of Internet-Based Home Businesses...Search Engines

Anyone involved in an Internet-based home business will soon come... Read More

The 7 Best Stealth Techniques to Improve Your Google Rankings

Stealth as in Spying. But Knowing What your Top Competitors... Read More

SEO Expert Guide - Black Hat SEO - Activities to avoid (part 8/10)

In parts 1 - 7, you learnt how to develop... Read More

Submitting to the Search Engines and WebCrawlers

When you want your brand new site to be indexed... Read More

Five FAQ About Google PageRank

Five FAQ about Google PageRank1. What is PageRank and why... Read More