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Going Above and Beyond Traditional Search Engine Marketing

Written By: Sergio Alvarez

When considering the implementation of Search Engine Optimization services, there are many important issues of concern.  From data collection to data interpretation to trying to map out your website’s future based on your data, it takes careful planning and understanding to maximize your results and get the best return on your investment.

One of the primary advantages of online search optimization is the ability to measure everything.  These measurements can provide valuable information as to how many unique Internet Protocol (IP) addresses access the site, how many pages are viewed, which are the most popular pages, and how long the typical visitor stays on the typical page.  This type of information can help you to grow your website by playing off your site’s strengths and shoring up its weaknesses.

The key to keeping up with changing conventions in online search marketing is to collect data that reflects the effectiveness of your strategies and use this feedback to shape your plan of action in collaboration with the advertiser.  There is nothing wrong with making frequent changes to an online marketing campaign; however, every change should be made after collecting a sufficient amount of data.  If your decisions are based on incomplete information, you could make a drastic mistake by changing a campaign that is working and turning it into a campaign that does not succeed.

One should be cautioned to resist the temptation to monitor your results too frequently, especially very early in the campaign.  This may cause you to experience an emotional roller-coaster caused by early streaks in the data.  It is important to note that it is very possible to obtain biased sampling issues when observing data over short collection periods.  This is a prime example of using incomplete information, as discussed previously.

Another important consideration in avoiding incomplete information is making sure you know the timeframe during which your data was collected.  For instance, if the data was collected during a weekday when most people are accessing the Internet from work, you may get a very different result than if you were evaluating the weekend traffic of those accessing the Internet from home.  In addition, most industries have a seasonal or holiday period to consider.  Furthermore, your audience mix may change as you alter your marketing strategies or your competitors change their behaviors.  Therefore, most successful internet campaigns monitor the various website visitors and the times of their clicks.

Reviewing an online advertising report with the typical data set offered is oftentimes not enough. It is critical to dissect that data and receive it from your online advertising provider in an easy-to-understand format. It is also important to evaluate recommended actions that may have been submitted for your approval without being overwhelmed by dense data. Determining when is the best time to act upon the data received in the reports is always a difficult task. 

As a general rule, professional guidance is extremely useful to navigate further action in response to data collection.  The most effective Search Engine Optimization companies have sales teams in place that serve as an exceptionally valuable bridge between a highly technical staff and the client who runs a business. The sales team should give you guidance without confusing you with technical details. Typically, the best Search Engine Marketers are not the best sales people and vice versa, so the Search Engine Marketer and the salesperson should be brought together in one unit to best assist you.

After you and your professional Search Engine Optimization company consult with each other, you can implement your chosen course of action and report the results on a regular basis, which should ideally be approximately once a month.  You should be aware, though, that there is no official rule book for Search Engine Marketing and any rules you think you know are subject to change without notice at the discretion of each search engine.  That is why it is important to be vigilant in finding out how the search engine is approaching marketing from their end at any given time.

Whether it is a simple site upgrade due to poor conversions, a high bounce rate, or a complete overhaul of the site architecture and campaign restructure, your goal should be to make sure you understand your own needs and goals and that they are understood by your Search Engine Marketing company.  This is probably the most important issue to consider in your approach to Search Engine Optimization.  If your needs are not understood, they will not be met and you will not be as successful as you could be.  You should find a company that does not just provide or impose a set company solution.  Rather, you should find a company to work with that does not believe one product fits all, but instead tailors their product to each individual client.

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