Millions of websites are depended on search as a generator of traffic to their sites. Social media has grown massively over the last couple of years but organic search still generates more targeted organic traffic to websites than social media sites do. In order to optimize your website for search engine marketing you first need to understand what the term refers to.

The experts disagree on the definition of search engine marketing with some stating that SEM is the term used to describe SEO, PPC, paid search, paid inclusions and contextual advertising. The rest define search engine marketing as the term used to describe paid inclusion, PPC, contextual advertising and paid search and excludes SEO. In this article we will look at SEM as the definition of all search related factors including SEO.

Optimizing your website for SEM

1. Understand and implement SEO – It is very important that you research SEO and train yourself on all of the aspects of SEO. You should research and use the best keywords for your site, optimize your keywords, ensure that your on-page optimization is effective, use a site map and link structures that the search spiders can crawl, build quality links to your site and monitor your keyword rankings.

2. Audit your site – There are numerous service providers that offer free SEO reports and these reports will highlight the areas that you still need to improve on. Focus on improving the problem areas and re-assess your website to ensure that the solutions were effective.

3. Use the correct content management systems and software – Content management systems such as WordPress, Drupal and Zen Cart are already optimized for search. Look for software with good SEM features and plug-in systems.

4. Monitor your PPC campaigns – Keep track of your Pay Per Click advertising campaigns and test which keywords and advertisements drive the most traffic to your website.

5. Track the conversion rate of your web page visitors – It is one thing to have a lot of visitors to your website but do they convert to leads? When you have a low conversion rate you need to have a look at your landing pages, sales copy and the keywords that generate traffic. Your keywords might be to broad and this will lead to a lot of visitors that just browse.

6. Build good quality links to your site – Link building is still one of the most important SEM factors. You need to build links from high quality and trusted sites that have content that is relevant to your website. Always use your keywords in the anchor text of the inbound links for maximum value.

Search engine marketing is an ongoing process that requires a lot of time and practise. Monitor your website keyword search rankings, conversion rates and number of visitors. These indicators will provide you with enough information to be able to adopt your strategies and to improve your website visibility. Stay on-top of new developments and make full use of social media sites to promote your website.

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