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Breaking Down SEO and SEM Related Activities (part 2)

This is the second part of a follow up to my reevaluation of SEO vs. SEM.

My goal here is to provide some simple understanding that it takes a lot of manpower to fit all the pieces of a Search Engine Marketing plan together. It's a continual process that you need to budget for.

In yesterday's Nugget, I presented the two lists shown below and explained all the details of the 5 items shown under Basic SEO Stuff. Please refer back to yesterday for those full details. Today I'm explaining the items in the second list.

So here's the SEO basic list again...

Basic SEO Stuff:

1. Page Title rewriting
2. Meta Description rewriting
3. URL cleanup
4. Content bulking
5. Topic separation

And this is the more difficult part of your online marketing process...

Complicated SEM Stuff:

A. Write full details about your services.
B. Keep your online identity updated with daily changes in your store.
C. Write complimentary website information that ties into offline ads.
D. Share your marketing message socially.
E. Track everything.
F. Analyze your tracking.

Let's take a look at how you would work with your SEM agency to accomplish those A through F items...

SEM A. Write full details about your services.

Similar to the Content Bulking process I explained yesterday, you need to fully detail how all of your services. It's simple enough to tell someone you clean jewelry, but how do you explain that in 200 words?

This doesn't mean you need to say how good you are at each service, or that you are the "best" in town. Instead you should explain how you clean different types of jewelry. How long will you keep an engagement ring in the sonic cleaner? Would you buff it too? How different will the jewelry look after it's been cleaned? How do you clean a watch? Answering those four questions will undoubtedly take more than 200 words. Saying it aloud almost certainly will

Just like the content bulking task, this also requires some creative writing. The best method I've found for accomplishing this step is to have someone interview you. Your interview answers can then be used to write out full details of the service. It's better to have the interviewer be the same person that writes the page, which means an outsourced freelancer is not a good choice. Your SEM agency is the best choice for this type of work.

Difficulty Level: Moderate
SEM Knowledge Level: Middle
Time Factor: About 3-4 hours per service page
How It's Done: Let yourself be interviewed. Someone writes it. Someone edits it. Upload it to your website through the CMS.
How Often is This Done: For every "Services" type page you have on your site, and then repeated every time you want to add new details about another service.

SEM B. Keep your online identity updated with daily changes in your store

This is where most jewelers make mistakes. I've seen loads of jewelers who willingly pay an agency to churn updates to Facebook all the while they are completely forgetting about their website. Those Facebook agencies are posting the same photos and content across multiple jewelry store pages without attracting any attention to the website.

This step is really hard. It's almost impossible for a jeweler to keep their SEM agency updated with daily relevant information; therefore this is a 100% task for the employees of the store. The best approach I've found is to train several employees to use their smartphones, tablets, or desktops to update the website and all of their social media accounts. This includes Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook. This is not as easy as it sounds because someone will need training on how to use the content management system (CMS) and everyone will have to take responsibility for at least 1 of the social networks.

This is an impossible task for 1 person unless they were hired specifically to manage your online identity without any other in-store duties.

Difficulty Level: Easier, but with great resistance from store employees
SEM Knowledge Level: Low
Time Factor: 40 hours a week
How It's Done: Working in your store; Updates via smartphone are fastest using social media apps.
How Often is This Done: The moment something of interest happens. Every day.

SEM C. Write complimentary website information that ties into offline ads.

Perhaps my greatest pet peeve of all small businesses, jewelry or otherwise, is the decision to ever launch an offline ad without first figuring out how it will tie into the online world. Don't do that!

I wrote some guidelines on how you could formulate your unique selling proposition and then build offline ads and online support pages for it. This same process should be repeated for everything you do.

The problem is that most jewelers (and small businesses) are lured into paying for local ads without carefully considering how those ads will play into their overall marketing plan. In reality, every time a newspaper ad salesman walks in the door you should take their information and the flight schedule for the ad, then talk to your SEM agency to see how they can tie the ad to the website. That $100 newspaper ad could grow much longer legs if you ask your SEM Pro for their help first.

Difficulty Level: Easier, but with great resistance from you
SEM Knowledge Level: High
Time Factor: 6+ Hours per offline ad
How It's Done: The SEM Pro will help you plan the best type of offline ad along with online support information that they will need to create for you.
How Often is This Done: Talk to your SEM Pro whenever you are thinking about running offline ads. The key there is "thinking," because that allows the SEM to be part of the entire creative process.

SEM D. Share your marketing message socially.

Similar with the SEM B step explained above, it's not good enough to simply place an ad in the newspaper and hope for the best. You should mention your ad on the social networks.

This should be done by people in the store rather than your SEM agency. Using a smartphone, a store employee could go online and ask "did you see our ad in the newspaper today on page 5?" You could also take a photo of the newspaper and share it socially.

Are you involved with TV, radio, billboards, or direct mail? Each one of those should be shared socially too.

Sharing a photo of the billboard is good but you also need to include a link back to that special supporting information page that your SEM Pro created for you, saying: "Have you seen our new billboard on I95? Here a pic and a link to that beautiful ring you see in there."

Difficulty Level: Moderate
SEM Knowledge Level: Low
Time Factor: Less than 30 min for every ad
How It's Done: Using a smartphone and a social networking app
How Often is This Done: Every time one of your ads takes flight in the real world

SEM E. Track everything.

Here's where the search engine marketing professional is going to start earning their money. All of the things I mentioned above and yesterday need to be tracked somehow. Sometimes this tracking is simply Google Analytics, sometimes it's by using special website usability tracking software. When most people talk about tracking, they are usually referring to website visitor tracking, but you should also count your telephone calls using call tracking software, use mobile tagging to monitor when people visit your website from their smartphone, use special domain names to track response rates from newspaper ads... If you really wanted, you could be your own Big Brother for your customers.

The only limitation to this tracking is by how much money you are willing to spend on the tracking services. Your SEM Agent needs to explain the value in each one and they have to set it up for you.

Difficulty Level: Hard
SEM Knowledge Level: High
Time Factor: Initial setup is different for each tracking method, from a few minutes to a few days.
How It's Done: Your SEM Agent will need to set up the different systems for you. You will probably need training so you are aware of the tracking and you can implement small scale tracking when needed.
How Often is This Done: Every time you post something socially, every time an ad is placed, every time you even start thinking of a new advertisement

SEM F. Analyze your tracking.

Ultimately, this is really where the SEM Professional is really important. All the ads, optimization, daily routines, social posting, and tracking aren't worth anything unless someone is also going to analyze all the collected data. The results should give you actionable information about how well all your marketing efforts are working and how to improve strategies.

Looking at a list of monthly website visitors isn't valuable. It doesn't matter if you had 500 visitors last month and 1000 this month unless you know why you doubled your numbers and if the process can be repeated over and over again. How many people reacted to the newspaper ad? How many of those people then bought something?

Difficulty Level: Hard
SEM Knowledge Level: High
Time Factor: High
How It's Done: Compiling all the data from all sources and making sense of it all
How Often is This Done: Monthly

After 2 days of reading this, you should realize by now that there are clear reasons why Search Engine Optimization is only a small part of your overall needed Marketing Plan. The cost involved to do this every month is going to be very high and require involvement by many people, but the business benefits should be worth it.

AT: 10/10/2013 03:48:54 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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