This lies at the very heart of almost all marketing efforts. Without tracking, testing, and establishing ways to improve your efforts, your campaigns will never reach their peak potential. If you really want your SEM campaign to deliver a serious ROI, it is crucial to test how effective your ads are.
Paid search is a fantastic avenue for continuously trying new approaches. Its rapid response structure allows for a plethora of useful data to be gathered in a short amount of time. With PPC it is possible to analyze thousands of clicks and millions of impressions in just a few days, so testing should always be taking place. You could upload your ads, allow them to run for a few days, pull the results and upload your improvements later that day.
Test keywords, copy, landing pages, CTA’s and all other elements. A/B test to see which ads are producing a higher click through rate and the most conversions. If all of this feels a bit overwhelming to you, some of the most important metrics to track are:
- Search engine ranking;
- Sales, traffic, and conversions from each search platform;
- Conversions driven by various keywords, landing pages, and categories.
SEM is a challenging field to maneuver. But if you know the basics as well as the direction that the market and consumers are heading, you can gain a significant boost in sales, traffic, and SERP ranking. This is just the foundation, however, and SEM goes much deeper. Just like any other practice, the more you learn about it, the better you will get. Take advantage of the myriad of on-line resources and get yourself some hands on experience; no amount of reading can compare to actually getting your hands dirty.
Marketing – This is what we are doing – marketing you site and hence company and products/services on the Web. The key here is to set the site up to be accessible to the searches that will provide most business to you. I have seen many sites that can be found as you key in the company name. So the marketing skill requires knowledge of a company’s business, what they are really trying to sell and an understanding of what actual searches may provide dividends.
Many webmasters overlook a very important aspect of website promotion: the validity of the HTML code.
What is valid HTML code?
Most web pages are written in HTML. As for every language, HTML has its own grammar, vocabulary and syntax, and every document written in HTML is supposed to follow these rules.
Like any language, HTML is constantly changing. As HTML has become a relatively complex language, it’s very easy to make mistakes. HTML code that is not following the official rules is called invalid HTML code.
Why is valid HTML code important?
Search engines have to parse the HTML code of your website to find the relevant content. If your HTML code contains errors, search engines might not be able to find everything on the page.
Search engine crawler programs obey the HTML standard. They can only index your website if it is compliant with the HTML standard. If there’s a mistake in your web page code, they might stop crawling your website and they might lose what they’ve collected so far because of the error.
Although most major search engines can deal with minor errors in HTML code, a single missing bracket in your HTML code can be the reason if your web page cannot be found in search engines.
If you don’t close some tags properly, or if some important tags are missing, search engines might ignore the complete content of that page.
Optimizing the actual HTML code to be spiderbot-friendly. I put this as different to the web design because you really do need to be “down and dirty” in the code rather than using an editor like FrontPage, which is OK for website design. This skill takes lots of time and experience to develop, and just when you think you have cracked it, the search engine companies change the algorithms used to calculate how high your site will appear in the search results.
This is no place for even the most enthusiastic amateur. Results need to be constantly monitored, pieces of code added or removed, and a check kept on what the competition is doing. Many people who design their own website feel they will get searched because it looks good, and totally miss out on this step. Without a strong technical understanding of how spiderbots work, you will always struggle to get your company on the first results page in Google. We actually run seven test domains that are testing different theories with different search engines. Remember that different search engines use different criteria and algorithms to rank your site — one size does not fit all.
This is unequivocally the most important process for business owners to conduct on a regular basis. By monitoring the outcome of SEO efforts, an individual gains a more in-depth look and understanding into which aspects worked well, why they worked well, and which areas are in need of significant improvement. This imperative process will allow for small businesses to refine SEO tactics and to develop the most efficient and effective ways of targeting a specific audience.Google Analytics is an extremely useful and free service that helps maintain a website’s SEO presence and helps business owners to gain a firm grasp on how to optimize a site for increased visibility and overall traffic.
SEO is not your enemy, it is a friend, and a necessary one at that. Once the basic tenets are understood, the rest is fairly smooth sailing. You’ve got all the tools you need to excel at the game of rankings. Just take some time to thoughtfully integrate the key elements, and your business has a chance to truly thrive.