Search engine marketing allows you to get appear in front of your audience, at exactly the right moment – when they’re searching for the products and services you provide. This sounds great, but it’s nothing new, right? Chances are you or someone you know has already tried this and maybe even lost a lot of money in the process. Below we explain how we approach your SEM (search engine marketing) to make sure that you achieve profitable and consistent results.
First, let’s take a look at the two areas that SEM is comprised of:
- Paid advertising, Google refer to this as Adwords
- SEO or search engine optimisation.
Search Engine Optimisation is the process of communicating to Google (or other search engines) what your page is about, then establishing your web pages’ credibility so that Google ranks it above other competing pages in its organic listings.
SEO can yield incredible ROI’s, but typically it takes time to climb up the search rankings.
Paid Advertising / Adwords
Paid advertising also displays in Google and other search engine results. It allows you to immediately appear above the organic results and your competitors, however you have to pay each and every time your ad is clicked on.
Whilst this may not sound as appealing as SEO, it does have many advantages. You can gain exposure much faster, have greater control over which searches you appear for and how long you stay there.
Just like everything else we do at Hunt Digital, we take a strategic approach to SEM…
Step 1 – Research
Gather All Of The Keywords
The first step is to identify all of the relevant “keywords” or searches that your wish to be found for. We do this through a combination of discussions with you and utilisation of keyword research tools.
Sort By Purchase Intent
During this stage we group the keywords into categories based on how likely the searcher is to make a purchase. For those familiar with sales and marketing funnels it’s how close they are to the bottom of the funnel. Individuals conducting searches further up the funnel will require a lot more interaction before making a purchase, but the upside is you potentially have the opportunity to build a meaningful relationship with the future prospect well before your competitors do.
Sort By Competition
For SEO we evaluate the pages that are currently ranking in the top spots for each of the keywords, taking into consideration both their internal search engine optimisation and backlink profile. Then assign a competitiveness value to each of the keywords.
For Adwords we evaluate the expected cost per click and the companies we will have to compete against. This will include how relevant their ads and landing pages are to the search term, the technical compliance of their landing page with Google requirements and how strong their offer is to the person searching.
Determine Keyword ROI
At this point we have to make an estimate as to what each keyword’s return on investment is likely to be. This is impacted by differing values of your products and services, different search volumes for each keyword, the competitiveness (remember this is calculated differently for SEO vs. Adwords) and the purchase intent of the keyword. We assign values to each of the categories and use the following equation:
KW Value = Sale Value X Competitiveness X Purchase Intent X Traffic Volume
The highest value keywords then make up our list to be targeted.
Step 2 – Onsite Optimisation
Onsite optimisation for SEO shares many traits with landing page optimisation for Adwords. Firstly, ensure Google considers the website’s technical performance to be good. Secondly, ensure we are clearly telling Google what each page relates to. Finally and this only applies to SEO, we ensure we are passing as much page rank to the pages we are trying to rank as possible.
Two massive indicators that you’ve no doubt already heard of are “site speed”, how long it takes to load pages, and “mobile friendly”, it works correctly on mobile devices. Of course there are a number of other powerful indicators that we also work on with you.
There are many ways of telling Google what a particular page is about. This includes the text of the page itself, utilising bold fonts, SCHEMA markups, optimising URL’s, anchor text and the list goes on. We focus on ensuring Google is given every indicator it wants to help it understand what the page is about, but more importantly we ensure your web page is just as valuable and relevant to your visitors as it is to Google.
Page Rank is what Google refer to when trying to determine how credible a page is. Google transfers page rank through links on your website and on other sites. A very simple overview is that links onto your page increase your page rank, whilst links away from your page decrease it. With this in mind we carefully design website link plans that move page rank away from pages we aren’t trying as hard to rank and onto pages we do want to rank high in Google.
Step 3 For SEO Only – Backlinks
Links from other websites to yours, still and always will remain the strongest ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Therefore it should come as no surprise a large proportion of our search engine optimisation efforts are focused here.
Of course, there is a lot more to it than simply getting links from third party sites. Not all backlinks are made equal. For example, the higher the page rank of the site linking to you, the more page rank it will then pass on to your page. Further to this, the more relevant the referring site is to your website, the greater the impact it will have.
When we plan and start building your backlink profile we not only take all of the page rank and relevancy factor into account, but we also look to form real relationships with other websites and organisations that will send interested visitors to your site, as well as increase your Google rankings.
Step 3 For Adwords Only – Ad Copywriting
Your ads are the first impression you make on a potential client. It is crucial that they are relevant to what is being searched for and contain a powerful offer. This will help ensure that your ad is clicked over your competitors. Mastering these two components will allow you to pay significantly less for your clicks, claim a much higher share of the search traffic and increase the proportion of visitors that turn into clients and customers.
Step 4 – Monitor, Refine & Repeat
This step is absolutely crucial, because search engine optimisation and Adwords optimisation never stops. We are constantly analysing and enhancing your performance, changes in rankings, ROI, new link opportunities, auditing your website for technical performance and changes to competitors activities. All of this allows us to identify where we are getting the most success for you, increase the performance where necessary or refocus our efforts accordingly.