Keyword Selection is the Most Important Activity for Successful Search Engine Marketing

Selecting the right keywords is the most important activity for successful Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Web page content should be built around keywords. Structuring content to support keywords lends structure to web sites. Tools like Google’s keyword tool should be used to identify keywords worth studying.

The first step in researching keywords is to pick a set that is directly relevant to:

  • your product or service
  • and the most promising application that your product services for your market

Here’s an example, a software training business researches its customers and finds that most customers use its services, but do not make the purchase decision. This business decides to promote products and services online. The SEM expert selects keywords relevant to training and software. But the SEM expert goes a step further and includes keywords specific to the business case for purchasing the software. This extra step opens an opportunity for group orders for the software training business.

Continuing with this example, the SEM expert produces web page content to support the set of keywords selected for the campaign. Search engines will index the text content, thereby providing an organic basis for inbound traffic based on the targeted set of keywords.

To accelerate the process of capturing useful incoming traffic, the SEM expert produces a click ad campaign. The keywords in the campaign are all included in the set of keywords that the SEM expert used to build the web page content. Bids are placed that promise the software training business ad placements on the first page of search results. A budget is established to control the cost of the campaign.

A program built around this example will produce inbound traffic to a web site at comparatively low cost. Once the traffic reaches the web site, the on-page “calls to action” that we discussed in the prior post to this blog should be included to offer visitors a way to engage, while the content should provide them with a reason to engage.

In the next post to this blog we will discuss Google Analytics at greater length.

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved


Successfully using search engine marketing for brand promotion is a difficult task and not presently worth the effort

In our opinion Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a low return, high effort undertaking that should be avoided by tech innovators selling software to enterprise markets. We have direct first hand experience in this space. Placing at the number 5 slot for a targeted keyword with Google does not necessarily produce any outreach whatsoever from the marketplace. Further, Google’s “free” online tool for visitor activity analysis, Google Analytics, has grown so arcane as to be useless for anyone without a certificate in the ins and outs related to this software.

We think it makes more sense to simply maintain an underlying understanding that web pages, Twitter pages, etc must all be ongoing activities for a Marketing Communications team. Keep expectations as low as possible as regards a return on investment from electronic media promotion. However, unless your business is operating under the radar, we strongly admonish against simply putting up a brochure as a web site and simply “forgetting about it.” Stale online content does not produce any useful results. Better to periodically post to a blog than to pay for a custom web site that does not lend itself to periodic updates to content.

Nevertheless, if recent research from IDC, the University of Dayton, and SiriusDecisions is to be believed (we think the research is entirely credible), then one should assume that enterprise buyers are making even greater use of electronic media to research purchases than ever before. As we see it, SEM has simply become irrelevant. Further, all the blabber about social media marketing via public venues like FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc is also irrelevant. Bottom line, the activities of enterprise prospects online still require further analysis before useful predictions can be made about online behavior. We counsel clients to continue promoting online, but with substantially lowered expectations.

Online promotion ought to lead to some engagement with prospects. Perhaps many more impressions are required to produce targeted levels of engagement. Our jury is still out on this point. We think some companies are onto an effective approach, such as Alinean. A visit to the Alinean web site should be useful. We recommend reviewing their promotional materials, which are available at no charge. Further, we welcome opportunities to engage with businesses that have felt the impact of electronic media on their promotional efforts, but are still skeptical as to how best to capitalize on them while successfully managing their online market message.

Please telephone Ira Michael “Mike” Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved