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Promoting your site (search engine marketing)

Jul 23 2012, 12:24   |   By SME Mentor

Search Engine Optimization [SEO] and Search Engine Marketing [SEM] are two aspects that most start ups invest in during the initial stages. These help in promoting the brand and giving it reach through the various search engines.  The main objective of SEM is to provide your brand with maximum visibility.

SEM is when you wish to promote a website or an article on web directories, industry forums or by requesting friends to link back from their blog or site to yours. While SEO is all about using the right keywords across the website, SEM is about how much you are willing to spend on certain keywords. If you are among the top bidders, then when a person uses the keywords you have signed on, an ad will appear on the right side displaying your brand/business. A click on that ad will direct the visitor to your website, and with time, such visitors become your customers.

A few SEM tips

1. What is your goal?

The primary objective for any business it to make money, but, it does not happen overnight. To achieve this goal, one need to adopt various marketing techniques, one of which is SEM. Pushpendra Mehta of VCherish consulting says "we use SEO, SEM and just about every other tool there is out there in the market to get our brand and services out there. We use it mainly drive traffic to our website, which is the 1st step to roping in a customer. Typically, most start ups don't have a big marketing budget, and so like others we too were careful on what we tried and when" Once the traffic builds, the website gains visibility and becomes popular.

2. Customized Keywords, and Tags

Ensure that you use the right words, tags and code within your website for better brand promotion. Keep it simple, and use the right kind of words. It is good to do a bit of research, identify the keywords associated with your business, and use the ones that are most popular. Meta tags are easy to insert into the banner and title of your website, but use the right combination of words.

3. Master Excel

Rahul Narvekar of Fashionandyou,com states "MS Excel is your best friend. In fact it's your BFF. Vlookups, 'if" functions, pivot tables, macros... the list is endless..Mastering Excel will make you more productive and allow you to spend more time improving your account. This also helps when you are plugging in information in the SEM activities. He also goes on to add 3 more valuable tips.

4. Understand Tracking

He says "Do you know what a cookie is? No not the chocolate chip variety. You should know the basics of how tracking works and how to use a variety of analytics systems like Google Analytics, SiteCatalyst, CoreMetrics and so on. Take the time needed to understand these, test them and then you will see the results". The final tip is,

5. Get Social

"Get to know the local search marketing community. It is a small world and it will pay to get to know your neighbors. These are the people you learn from. Join the community on twitter/ linked in and start commenting on." Aparna Singh of Womens' web also says "yes, it is very important to know how to target the correct audience and what tools to use. Though we dint spend big on SEM, we did use the tags, and codes in our pages, articles, link backs all which has paid off, and i hope it will continue weaving magic in years to come".


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