September 1, 2009

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Checklist


Hostway Team

By Hostway

Search engine marketing covers all the activities you do to drive search engine traffic to your Web site. It isn't difficult, but it requires a great deal of attention to detail. We've created a checklist to help you plan or manage all the pieces of your SEM strategy.

  • Install analytics to track your efforts.
    Before you commit your time and energy to search engine marketing, be sure you have the tools in place to track your success.
  • Identify your keywords.
    Your Web site copy and ad copy will be tailored to fit certain keywords. Google offers a free keyword tool to help you figure out which keywords are right for you. The tool will show you how many searches a keyword gets and how much advertiser competition the word has.
  • Submit your Web site to the search engines.
    Make sure the three most popular search engines are indexing every page of your Web site. You can submit your URL to Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • Create a linking strategy.
    Inbound links to your Web site are key to getting to the top results pages for your keywords. Devise a strategy for attracting links. Start by finding out who already links to your Web site. Then, look for other, similar sites that might also want to link to your Web site. You can contact them directly and request a link or create content that will tempt them to link to you on their own.
  • Place search engine ads.
    Paid placements in the ad section of the search engine results can help get your Web site noticed faster than your SEO efforts. SEO takes time to move you up in the rankings, but search engine ads can give you an immediate boost.
  • Fully optimize your Web site.
    Take a look at our SEO Checklist for tips on optimizing your site.
  • Start a blog.
    Blogs are the darlings of the search engines with their regularly updated content, numerous keyword opportunities and information that's likely to attract inbound links.
  • Build profiles on social media Web sites like Facebook and Twitter.
    Facebook and Twitter profiles give you the chance to create your own inbound links to your Web site, and if you use them well, they can drive direct traffic, too.
  • Develop press releases with strategic links and distribute them over the wire.
    Press releases are another way to enhance your linking strategy. Whenever you have news to report a press release can get a link to your Web site on news wires' Web sites, and there's a possibility that media outlets will pick them up as well.

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