Search Marketing | SEM | Search Engine Marketing | Milton Ontario

HarrisWeb Creative offers Search Engine Marketing (SEM) in Milton, Ontario.

Search Engine Marketing incorporates search engine optimization, website design + development, graphics, Adwords + PPC advertising and traditional marketing to increase customer traffic & loyalty, brand awareness plus conversions to sales.

SEM: Focus on Sales (or conversions)

Seeing your website in the #1 position of Google Search is certainly a thrill but if you are not converting the searchers once you get them to your website, you have wasted a lot of effort.

The truth is if you are not converting searchers on your site, you are probably not #1 in search.

Search Engine Marketing is the culmination of:

  • Search Engine Optimization to get the webpage to rank in search
  • AdWords & PPC Advertising to increase awareness of brand and products. AdWords also gives you insight into landing page quality and user behaviour that can be used to improve your organic search experience
  • Web Site Design to engage users using overall layout, placement of assets or product, the juxtaposition of images, written content and other elements to form an appealing and engaging experience
  • Graphic Design to enhance the web design and further entice users to click down a chosen path
  • content writing to present information in an easily found and digested manner
  • Web Development to add functional applications designed to enhance the web site either on-site or off-site
  • Traditional Marketing to know what to measure and understand the data (metrics) obtained from that measurement. There are also many lessons that can be learned from decades of print media about colour, typography, images and overall layout

SEM is really Web Marketing because it uses many vehicles to get users to your website including custom applications, social media, Near Field Communications, WiFi splash pages and more. Once a user is on your site, it is important to give them what they want - quickly and easliy. Then the task is to get them to click down into a funnel that ends with them becoming a customer, then there is a second funnel to get them to become a repeat customer.

The UX (User Experience) Matters

For your user experience to be high, you must make your pages engaging and focused. Make the information easily found and digested. Link to further reading on your website so users can "flesh out" concepts presented.

Eric Enge, of Stone Temple Consulting, interviewed Rand Fishkin, of Moz, about the importance of UX - read the interview.

The interview is from 2011 and even though some of the things talked about have gone away, we can see that Google started a long time ago to look at User Experience as a ranking factor. They look at things like:

  • bounce rate: a searcher is said to bounce if they only look at one page on your website or if the time is less than a predetermined length. If this happens, Google assumes the user did not find what they were looking for when they clicked through to your site. If this happens often, then Google demotes the site in serps for that set of keywords. So now, not only are you not converting, you probably have fewer clicks to convert.
  • dwell time: is seen much the same as bounce rate, if a user does not spend enough time on your web page, then Google assumes, they were unsatisfied.
  • search depth: is a measure of how many pages a user consumes per session. Along with dwell time, tells Google if the user was satisfied or not. Always remember Google wants to satisfy users as their main goal

All the foregoing is subjective to the content being consumed. Looking at today's weather may only take seconds and no second page is looked at, while looking for a stock market analysis should probably involve several minutes and many pages.

Google Analytics: Your Best Friend

Google Analytics can provide valuable data about users who visit your website: how many sessions they they engage in; are they are new or returning customer; how often they return; where they are city/country; what language they use to browse; do they use a desktop, mobile or tablet to access your site; when they visit; how long they stay; what pages, in what order, do they visit & where they exit your site; and with Google Tag Manager set up: what they click on; how far do they scroll; and other actions you can set up.

All this data is available to you by setting up a GA account and placing a code snippet on each page of your website.

Kissmetrics has a good article on: How to Use Google Analytics to Help Shape Your Marketing Strategy

Remarketing to Increase Brand Awareness

You can market, using rich media (videos, images, apps), through the Google Display Network, to users that have interacted with your website or Search Ad, using AdWords Remarketing lists. For example, if someone visits a specific webpage on your site selling nutritional supplements, you can make an image or video reminding people about your website, and have that shown on websites that are part of the Google Display Network. You can specifically choose websites within the Display Network either by url or category. You may choose a local gym or yoga studio. Or you may choose a blog that discusses nutrition and diet. Either way you are showing a media rich ad to pre-primed potential customers. Further reading about: Increasing brand awareness

You can read more here About remarketing

You can also expand your remarketing by using your Ad Groups and remarket to "similar audiences". Google help article:Add website remarketing lists to ad groups

Analytics Reports that help Improve SEM

There are many GA reports you can look at to help you improve your marketing efforts, here are 3 you can look at:

  1. Audience>Mobile>Overview: shows Desktop vs. Mobile conversion rates and can tell you if your sales funnel is working equally well in both cases. It can tell you if you mobile experience needs improvement.
  2. Behaviour>Behaviour Flow: Where do your customers land and where do they go after that, how many pages they view and where do they exit...all valuable information.
  3. Acquisition>All Traffic>Channels: shows you were your traffic is coming from - organic, paid, direct, referral or social. Each channel can be drilled down to either keywords or source. This can show you were you need to spend extra effort - or not.

  4. These are just 3 reports of dozens that are standard in Google Analytics. Most reports can have a secondary dimension added to see the data against other data and filters to view a segment of your data in detail.