Best Practices

SEO/SEM Best Practices for ROI

You may think your 2010 strategy is primed for success, but do you really know enough about your competitors to make that assumption? What tactics are they using to drive online performance, and what are the results? By incorporating competitive intelligence into your marketing strategy, you can get the insights you need to stay on top of your competitors while enhancing your own marketing efforts for 2010 and beyond.

Figuring out how to spark the Return On Investment of your on-line business can be a daunting task, considering the vast amounts of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) solutions there are available on the market. The bottom line is this: you want your site placed as high as possible in search engine results for the greatest traffic gains. The most effective ROI strategies begin by following a strong Search Engine Optimization plan and a few simple guidelines that include: knowing your competition, investing in organic optimization, creating funnel sites, measuring web traffic, and outsourcing SEO.

Know Your Competition

How can you win the game when you don’t know the largest competitor in your playing field? Who are the leaders in your space? How many competitors do you think you have? Who are the copy cats—and how would you know? Comparing all of your competitors against key performance indicators (such as Unique Visitors, Page Views, Time on Site, Average Stay, and Pages per Visit) will give you a sense of real norms for your competitive landscape. This will allow you to make logical business decisions and maximize ROI.

Why Not Just Advertise?

If you turn off the Google ads, does the traffic to your website stop?

Many companies have learned this lesson the hard way. As PPC cost continue to rise, many companies are looking for a better mix, especially when they learn there is no residual benefits to PPC.

  • Pay Per Click ads are becoming more expensive
  • Competition for words is getting brutal
  • There is no residual benefits to PPC.

We recommend is a diversified approach. If your site appears both organically and in paid placement, the chance your site will get that click increase 5 times over. Here are a couple of benefits with a combined approach:

  • Diversify (ads + search) buffers the cost benefit of ad-only.
  • Ads and Search combinations can increase clicks up to 500%
  • A certain portion of the customer base is wary of paid listings

Start with Organic over Pay-for-Placement

True SEO is an organic solution. This means your site is listed naturally, by its content, in the search engines. Optimizing your site through SEO offers the best potential ROI because:

  • It saves you money. Once your site is optimized, submitted and maintained by SEO, ongoing traffic from the major engines is free. More traffic from the search engines means a greater potential for client conversions, increasing your ROI.
  • Internet users prefer organic results. A recent study reported that 60-70 percent of clicks on a search engine results page (SERP) are executed on natural results as opposed to paid ads. Jupiter Research presented key findings coinciding with a iProspects study, at the Search Engine Strategies New York Conference. They concluded that six out of seven clicks stemmed from organic listings over pay-per-click listings.1
  • SEO is proactive. The traffic driven to your site is made up of true customers seeking your products and services. With a good SEO service, your site is tuned for relevant content, listed organically, and maintained on a regular basis for maximum exposure over the long term.
  • Search engine spiders love relevant content; its how they read websites to figure out how to index them. In light of this, search engines give higher rankings to websites that maintain traffic rich, relevant content. Sixty percent of top search engine listings are devoted to organic listings.

Planning and properly executing an internet marketing strategy is nearly impossible without the proper knowledge and resources. Business owners often run into great difficulty when attempting organize their internet marketing campaign. Hiring an SEO firm keeps you focused on your core business while you gain higher search engine rankings, better conversions, and ultimately, more sales.

Creating Funnel Sites

Just like email campaigns, direct mail campaigns, and PPC campaigns, you can create organic campaigns. Group keywords and manage toward measurable objectives - more clicks, more actions, more transactions and conversions. In the same way, creating "funnel sites" can help organic campaigns reach their fullest potential.

Measuring Web Traffic

Successful marketers always keep an eye on the performance levels of their marketing campaigns. Otherwise they have nothing to measure their success levels by, and this is a huge gamble. Monitoring your web traffic is no different.

  • Online success is derived by knowing how customers find your website and where they are coming from. Learning what key words and phrases people use to locate your site, and what search engines they access to get there, is the key to success.
  • With this vital information, you can make the necessary changes required to manage and improve your websites traffic performance. This gives you control over your ROI and your business.

Keep an eye on your traffic levels by analyzing analytics reports. We recommend Enquisite Metrics for this, a new state-of-the-art system that is currently free. Please check it out. By doing so, you can see and judge where your site is doing well and where it needs improvement.

Outsource Your SEO

Amongst corporations there is the widespread desire to eliminate fixed costs, focus on core competencies, become more strategic, and contain the high and unpredictable costs of enterprise learning. Keeping functions in-house requires specialized skills and resources, investments in infrastructure, and staying abreast of technological developments. At the same time, companies struggle to boost revenues and aim to enhance (or at a minimum maintain) market share and service levels for customers and clients. Outsourcing offers a viable alternative with short and long-term benefits.

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