The main strategy in internet based marketing is to 'direct' the web browsing public to the desired web site, which is your backbone of on-line marketing. This has to be done without the knowledge of the web browsing population and without their conscious awareness of being 'sent' to a particular web site. For this one has to understand 'what, why and how' of the browsing habits and interest areas, what they use as 'keywords' for their search etc. This stage is called 'research of target audience'. This is done in the most subtle way possible and a HIT to your web site is achieved if the web site name appears on the first page of the search engines such as Google or Yahoo. Merely appearing on the first page is not enough; it has to be way up on the listings on that page to ensure maximum number of HITs. Depending on your product line, this has an associated degree of difficulty since the more proliferated the product line is more are your completion to get on the first page. Hence, in order to get there out of thousands of companies responding to searches in many categories, a well thought out strategy and sound execution is essential.
One of the first steps is to increase the 'visibility' of your web site through paid placement or inclusions, wherein your company is charged by the search engine program. This may be in the form of an annual subscription or pay-per-click (PPC) option. This has to be fortified by well coordinated traffic and performance measurements with continuous optimization. This has to evolve right at the research stage itself. The on-line goals and key performance indicators need to be clearly understood so that the results of your inclusion strategy can be evaluated and corrective steps can be adopted in time. If there are affiliates included, their role has to be laid down. It is essential to have a list of words and phrases that are likely to be most productive in reaching the target. The company name, slogan and product/service must be included and affiliates must be hidden appropriately. Keyword development stage must pay particular attention to all variations of the product/service, generic terms, affinity keywords and multi words. In certain cases the list may need extrapolation by including all synonyms or alternate words available for the product description.
Web site must be conducive to SEM and user-friendly, especially the landing page or your 'home page'. There are methods to conduct landing page analysis to determine if your web site needs reworking to make maximum compatibility with SEM implementation. Testing to establish that all the links to SEM listings are pointed to the correct page is most essential before the SEM launched. It is ideal if your web site has tracking capability built-in. The web page content should be written by copy writing specialists, who can deliver maximum impact to the browsing public, as they expect to find specific answers to their 'search' operation. Hence, professional touch to the actual content is essential for optimum results. Copy writing should ensure the product / service is correctly represented without any misleading word, that they attract all qualified clicks and avoid use of superlatives. If SEM is launched through a vendor, insist on copywriting expertise as part of the package.
To launch the SEM the Google or Yahoo accounts must be established beforehand, with spending limits on daily or other predetermined interval basis. Categories of keywords for all the major search engines must be established and all URLs for each keyword to be tested. Copy may be reviewed to ensure correctness in all aspects and no errors have occurred during uploading. Once the SEM is operational, the key to success is continued analysis and optimization. Time bound review programs may be established with the SEM vendor or have review timetable if in-house. One of the indicators for review is the volume of each key word; the more often a word id used the more attention it merits for maximize its value. There must be inherent reporting system in the SEM package. One useful tip is to obtain 'feed back' from web users by innocuous looking methods.
The successful SEM program can only done if conceived well, implemented well and executed well along with most appropriate post-launch analysis and effective review techniques.