Follow us on

Tips for Optimizing SEM Efforts, Part 1

December 11, 2012 By Ken Burke
Get the Flash Player to see this rotator.

Off-page opportunities: creating quality links
Inbound links are crucial to organic search engine rankings, and quality matters more than quantity. Beyond simply avoiding purchased links from brokers, you must now curate inbound links carefully and cultivate ties to sites with stellar reputations. With social media playing an ever-larger role in organic rankings, you can generate even more relevant and fresh inbound links. Try the following to hone in on the best off-page prospects:

1. Think local. Searches with keywords without location information are increasingly producing results listings that include localized suggestions via search engine tools such as Google Places or Yahoo Local. Localized information is crucial for mobile shoppers looking to locate products on the go. Meet this growing segment of specialized search results by enhancing on-site store locator information with a unique page for each outlet, then optimize off-site listings to match. Most local directories also offer the opportunity for businesses to "claim" their pages and add information such as store hours and the types of products and services.

Outdoor retailer REI produces a series of local results in the second position in organic search results. Its Google+ Local page includes store-specific information (e.g., specialty services offered) and links directly to a page on the main REI site specific to that location, which lists still more localized information such as a schedule of in-store events and classes. Optimize your information on other local business directory sites such as CitySearchYellow Pages and SuperPages, as well as review sites like Yelp.

2. Make news. You can't always control what coverage your brand receives in the news media, but you can distribute your own news. In-store appearances by authors or celebrities, participation in charity events, new products or services, contests and seasonal tie-ins are all potential fodder for creating informational, puff-free press releases that include links to relevant content on your site. You can also distribute releases to sites such as and (for fees ranging from $30 to $500), which feed into Google News and other sources.

3. Set the stage for social. The exact impact of social media endorsements on natural search rankings is unknown, and the landscape is constantly shifting, but the consensus among the majority of SEO experts is that social media signals will become a top-ranking factor in the future, particularly with the entry of Google+.

When formulating a concrete social SEO plan, the more you can integrate your social outposts and main website, the more you stand to gain. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Enable social sharing and product endorsement on every network, even if you don't maintain an official presence there. Add Google+ "+1" and Pinterest "Pin It" functionality to product pages on your main site alongside links for Facebook and Twitter.
  • Interlink social outposts and your e-commerce site. Be sure to give your site maximum linking exposure by cross-promoting wherever possible.
  • Seek endorsements and mentions from authorities. Cultivate relationships with reputable industry bloggers by sending them press announcements. Seek out popular, topic-relevant Twitter accounts to follow your brand, and "like" related, credible pages on Facebook, inviting them to like your site in return.

This is part one of a two-part series. The second and final installment of this series will run in next Tuesday's (12/18) issue of eM+C Daily, and will focus on segmenting the search audience for targeted ad spending as well as how remarketing fits into SEM plans.

Ken Burke is the founder and executive chairman of MarketLive. Ken can be reached at





(PDF Download)

Direct mail, email, mobile, social media, video, search ... the marketing landscape can either be a minefield where mistakes can kill campaigns, or a perfectly integrated mix of channels that maximizes the reach of the message and gives a nonprofit the best chance to capture more donor dollars.  

<b>In <i>"The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising" </i> from DirectMarketingIQ, the roadmap to that "perfectly integrated mix" is thoroughly laid out in over 130 pages -- <u>it's specifically created (and priced) for nonprofits</u>. </b>
First, 9 chapters from leading fundraisers give you the latest best practices in multichannel fundraising, including how to:  

• Choose the right channels for your campaign 
• Develop creative that works across multiple channels 
• Revitalize the direct mail component of your multichannel mix 
• Make sure email plays its increasingly important role perfectly 
• Seamlessly integrate mobile marketing into the fundraising campaign 
• Boost your online strategy with social media 
• Create a multichannel donor renewal campaign 
• Figure out that you're doing right — via testing and results measurement 
• Use all the pieces of the multichannel puzzle  

Second, in 8 robust case studies, find out the secrets behind multichannel fundraising campaigns that worked.

About DirectMarketingIQ
The Research Division of the Target Marketing Group, DirectMarketingIQ ( is the marketers’ go-to resource. Publishing books, special reports, case studies and how-to-guides, it opens up a new world to those who seek more information, more ideas and more success stories in order to boost their own marketing efforts. DirectMarketingIQ has unparalleled access to direct marketing data – including the world’s most complete library of direct mail as well as a massive library of promotional emails across hundreds of categories – and producly produces content from the most experienced editors and practitioners in the industry.

<b>Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to read , The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising which is in PDF format.</b> The Art & Science of Multichannel Fundraising

(PDF Download) Direct mail, email, mobile, social media, video, search ... the marketing landscape can either be a minefield where mistakes can kill campaigns, or a perfectly integrated mix of channels that maximizes the reach of the message and gives a nonprofit the best chance to capture more donor dollars....




Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: