Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SEM, SEO & PPC: Key Terms in Making Your Website Effective

Digital or "E" Marketing has fast become a cornerstone of our communications platform. From awareness building programs that include lead generation, to acquisition programs using lead conversion tactics and followup emails, to engagement programs that are geared to increase member participation on blogs, downloads and education sessions, to renewal programs, digital marketing is here to stay!

Much of the success of Digital Marketing is maximizing the searchability of your website. In a conversation I had with Todd Michaels, Director of E-Biz at MGI, he provided what I thought to be a clean and clear overview of SEM which I thought you would like to review.

Todd told me that Search Engine Marketing (SEM) encompasses all aspects of making your website visible to the major search engines. The most common SEM tactics includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) Advertising and Paid Inclusion/Placement (PIP). SEM can be considered to be those tactics employed off of your website to better improve its overall rankings with the major search engines.

PPC Advertising, when run effectively, is an excellent tool to drive traffic to your website and also help improve your bottom line SEO effectiveness, when run in conjunction with each other. They can be effectively used for the purpose of generating leads for membership acquisition campaigns, to generate conference awareness, webinar promotion and also magazine subscription trials for our association clients. It is important to note that any PPC approach be grounded in sound direct marketing testing principles, campaign measurement and analytics and solid PPC account structure.

Paid Inclusion/Placement can be both a solid SEM and SEO tactic. For PIP campaigns, we research those websites within our clients niches, finds those with both the strongest links and overall SEO health, but also those websites highly trafficked by visitors to the websites of our clients. Implementation of a successful PIP campaign gives a quick boost to overall SEO and also allows for deep-linking into the websites of our clients. PIP can also include paid and free listings with all search engines, big and small.

Have you optimized the searchability of your website? Are you using PPC to generate traffic for your programs? Are you using PIP campaigns to stimulate web awareness? Let us know how you are using these tools.
Experts in Membership Marketing is written by Erik Schonher, Vice President, Marketing General Incorporated and can be reached by phone at (703) 706-0358 or email erik@marketinggeneral.com


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