In the first part of this post we discussed the need for SEO, SEM and online marketing. The most important thing you need to do is start now, not in a few days, not tomorrow, but today. The reason for this is simple; it can take months to see any results from your optimizations. Below I have laid out strategies for a short, mid and long term plan.
Short Term Plan: If you want quick traffic to turn leads into prospects than SEM is a great short term plan for you. Create an account with Google Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing, purchase some keywords, create some ads and off you go. Even though it really is that easy to get started, as you grow you will notice that PPC is a science. You can spend a hell of a lot of money on PPC and never see a return if you don\’t maintain things properly. You might be bidding $50 for someone to click your ad, but when they get to your site never purchase anything. This could be for a number of reasons such as, your ad wasn\’t relevant enough to the keywords you were bidding on, the copy on your landing page isn\’t catchy, or people don\’t trust your buying process. You really need test and optimize, re-test and optimize again and this is where the hard work comes in. But don\’t freak out just yet, there are some cool programs out there like speedppc.com that can help with the optimization and landing page testing. There are also lots of blogs and books out there dedicated to showing you how to manage your search engine marketing. all else fails you can always hire a company like ymarketing.com to manage it for you.
Pay-per-click means just that, you pay when someone clicks your ad, however there are some new similar business models popping up. One of those models is called Pay-Per-Call, where you pay for each phone call that your lead places to you. They say you have a much higher chance of closing a deal if someone calls you, than if they just click and come to your site or landing page. Companies like Ingenio have their pay per call technology placed within popular directory listings like the Yellow Pages and AOL.
Mid Term Plan (Internal Works): Your mid term plan I also like refer to as your \”internal works\”. Internal works would be your search engine optimization. The reason I call it internal is because everything you do during this phase has to be done internally on your site. Even though you need to start on this ASAP, the reason I call this a mid term plan is because it doesn\’t happen over night. Even after the bulk of your optimization is done, you really won\’t see the results for 3 to 12 months. Also your long term plan or external works, needs to be implemented around the same time as your mid term plan. By optimizing your site, and launching your external works, your page rank will increase. The higher the page rank, the more respected your site seems to a search engine, and if that page is well optimized the higher placed you will be the SERP (search engine results page) when someone searches for a keyword you are trying to get traffic with. Another thing you have to realize is the search engines are always changing their algorithms with how they calculate and categorize rankings. Once you optimize your site, your job is not over, you will need to play close attention and make adjustments as you go.
Another internal works program you need to run is a company blog. This is very important! However (and this is very important), if you don\’t plan on posting at least a few articles per week, don\’t bother. Search engines love blogs because of how often they are updated with new and fresh content. I will post an article in the morning and by the afternoon it will be indexed in Google. Blogs are important for a million reasons but when it comes to SEO, they are perfect for getting traffic. Let\’s say for instance you write an article about \”SMS Marketing\”. There is a very good chance if your blog is optimized and has a good page rank your article will show up high in the search results when someone searches for this term. In mobileStorm\’s case \”SMS Marketing\” is a very targeted keyword and there is a high likelihood that people who found us via a search they did on Google are most likely looking for SMS marketing solution. Once they read my article realize that mobileStorm is an expert in mobile marketing, they give us a call or fill out a form for a rep to call them back. Blogging is great for not only positing you and your company as experts but for getting highly targeted traffic which in turn become leads. Another big bonus for blogging is that most blogging software such as wordpress.com, comes completely optimized for search engines. One thing I suggest to do is make sure your links repeat the title. For instance if my blog article title is \”SMS Marketing to Kids\”, the last thing you want is for the link to the article to be mobilestorm.com/blog/list=23l.php. It should read mobilestorm.com/blog/sms-marketing-to-kids.com.
Long Term Plan (External Works): Like your mid term plan, your long term plan needs to be started on right away. External works are your online marketing efforts. It is anything that is done out of your control. There are two major things you need to be doing for your long term plan, a.) adding yourself to multiple directory listings (both paid and free) and b.) get as many incoming links as possible.
There are two main goals you are trying to achieve with your external works. The first goal is to have your site listed everywhere so you can get traffic to your site. The second goal is to have your site listed everywhere so search engines find you very relevant thus giving you a greater chance of placing higher in search rankings. Both goals go hand in hand and by trying to place links back to your site all over the web, your second goal is accomplished at the same time. There are literally hundreds of thousands of directories on the web, some are free and some are paid. In either case, it can take months to get listed (another reason to start on your long term plan ASAP). Paid directories provided by companies like Yahoo can cost around $300 a year but are well worth it. There are lots of people looking for products and services use these directories and you can get some highly targeted traffic. There are also plenty of free directories you just need to get out there and find them. One important thing to note, don\’t forget about your International friends. If you have a product or service that you can sell worldwide, don\’t limit yourself to just U.S. based directories.
Your second goal is to get as many incoming links as possible. This can be done via directory placement, but also and more importantly on websites, blogs, and forums. Search engines love to see sites that have a lot of other sites linking to them. The idea behind this is simple, the more links a site gets the more likely the site is an authority on something or the sites content and information is relevant. This is not only important to help boost your page rank, but by getting a lot of links (especially on sites that relate to your industry) you will get more traffic and that traffic turns into leads. The hard part about asking people for links is if you have a low page rank high, they may not want to link to you or at least link to you on their most important page such as their home page. Also note that if someone links to you, and you don\’t link back to them, it is way more powerful than if you exchange links, so do your best to avoid giving someone a link back if you can. I run a blog on entrepreneur success and my external works consisted of contacting other bloggers and site owners who cover subjects such as small business, management, sales & marketing, and finance management. By having a network of similar sites linking back to me, I not only increase my search engine presence but I gain targeted traffic which in turn become new readers. One important thing to note is settle on a keyword for your site. I settled on \”Entrepreneur success blog\” and currently rank #1 in Google. When someone links back to you, make sure they say your keyword and that your keyword is a hyperlink, like I just did above.
One of the first things my Internet Marketing Manager told me when I hired him was we needed to do everything and we need to start today. Unfortunately we had to do a site redesign which set us back about 6 months and it took us another 4 months to completely optimize our site. We missed 10 valuable months and I am positive we would have a lot more traffic today if we started on these things earlier than we did. However since we got on track and have followed a short, mid and long term plan, we are getting more traffic and leads than ever before.
If you need more clarification on anything above or you want to retain mobileStorm to put a plan in place for you, please don\’t hesitate to post a comment, I will get your message right away.
Social Entrepreneur Blog
Great article Jared, as usual!
PS: Thanks for the plug, we really appreciate it.
Your blog gave me great insight to what I was doing wrong with my SEO. Thank you for the information.
Ryan, of course my friend, you guys do great work!
Duc, thank you for the kind words. If you like our blog I would be honored if you would sign up for email updates. Thanks!