Creating a Search Engine Marketing Plan for Your Site

The goal of your search engine marketing plan should be to attract your target audience, and persuade them to take a specific action on your site. Of course you want to attract visitors who have a specific interest in your product or services. Suppose you sell wind chimes—you would not want visitors on your site who were looking for wind generators or windmills, therefore your marketing plan must be very specific. You will have two distinct parts to your search engine marketing plan—the first is to attract a targeted group of visitors, then to convert them.

We all use search engines to find what we need, and if the keywords and key phrases you use for your website are specific enough to allow users to target exactly what they want then you are vastly ahead of the game. If your website closely matches your visitor’s search expectations, they may soon become your next customer. In order to create the most successful search engine marketing plans you must ask yourself the following questions—then develop a solid answer.

  • What is Your Purpose? When you can answer this question you will have solid backbone for your entire business. Your website should be designed with a goal of allowing you to reach your business aspirations in the most expedient manner possible. You want to not only have a clear purpose for your site, but also be able to measure your results. Your purpose is likely some combination of prospect generation, direct sales, business-to-business sales, customer support and education. While most sites are aiming toward sales of some sort, the real purpose of others could be simply a place to provide in-depth product information such as spec sheets and repair manuals. You may also be seeking to educate through your sales through the use of a newsletter or blog. If your primary purpose is education, you will design your website accordingly.
  • What is the Motivation of Your Average Visitor? You must have a solid understanding of why your visitors come to your site. Are they looking to solve a specific problem? If so, what is that problem, and how can you most effectively solve it? Your website should be able to solve the issue or problem in the quickest, most efficient way possible, and you should be able to get your message across within two or three seconds of your visitor’s arrival. If your visitor is looking for a green leather purse, and their search leads them to you, then within mere seconds your site needs to deliver that green leather purse—or a variety of them—right to your visitor’s cyberspace doorstep.
  • What is Your Keyword Plan? You should have done extensive keyword research prior to determining your keywords and key phrases. There are several sites to help you choose the most successful, highly targeted keywords available for your website, and it’s a good idea to use one of them. Your keywords must be selected based on relevance, level of competition and search volume. Generic keywords which get plenty of hits will not work for you in the end because you will get too many visitors who weren’t looking for what you are offering, and your bounce rate will skyrocket. Optimize your website through strategies which make the most efficient use of your chosen keywords. You may be required to make structural changes to your site in order to conform to your search engine marketing plan. Use your keywords judiciously throughout your page content as the central theme in your message as well as in your headlines and hyperlinks. Make sure your keywords sound natural, however, and never contrived.
  • How Will You Measure Your Success? Google Analytics is a good place to analyze your visits, bounce rate and the time the average visitor spends on your website. Check out the search engine ratings on Google and Bing, to help determine what conversions your site is producing in leads and sales. If you are unable to measure your results, it will be difficult to know whether or not your efforts are paying off, so find a good program to tell you what you are doing right, and what you need to improve on.

In the end, search engine marketing could be likened to simply showing up—when people search for what you are selling or offering on your website, your website must appear, and it must be what your visitor was looking for.


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