05 Oct 2015 19:18 IST

How to optimise website marketing

This third part of the series on digital marketing looks at search engine marketing

After detailed articles (click here and here to read the previous ones) about mobile marketing, we’re back to discussing another aspect of digital marketing — Internet marketing.

What are the modes of Internet marketing?

The most common form of internet marketing is bulk e-mailers, wherein a huge database of email IDs are accumulated from various sources and mails are shot out to the entire database.

Though most mail servers like Gmail and Yahoo, have started identifying bulk emails and categorising them as spam, it is still being used by a lot of companies because brands probably expect less than one per cent conversion and the cost is less for bulk mailing.

Then there is online marketing. When you visit any website, you see a lot of ads popping up or ad banners on the top and sides of the content you are reading. These are called online banners.

Yes, and they are so distracting!

They are, indeed, but the news or other content has to be monetised by these websites. That’s how they survive. Think of them as newspaper ads and TV Ads.

I have heard terms such as CPM and CPC. What are they?

CPM: Cost per 1,000 impressions is when a brand pays the website just to show the ad. Each time the ad appears on the page, it is treated as one impression, even if the reader has not noticed the ad. This is ideally adopted by brands that need high recall value, such as Coke or IPL.

CPC: Cost per Click means the brand only pays for the number of people who clicked on the ad. Even if the ad appears a million times and only one user clicked on it, the brand pays only for that one click.

CPL: Cost per Lead is when the brand pays only for the number of people who have shown interest in the product/service either by registering themselves or sharing their contact details.

In some cases, websites work on a CPA model, where brands pay only for the number of people who agree to use their product/service.

Previously, the penetration of desktop devices and Internet was low. But now, most people browse on their mobiles, increasing data penetration phenomenally. So, brands focus more on these modes of advertising.

That’s interesting. Does it mean I can start a website and make some pocket money by displaying ads on the site?

Of course you can. The only challenge will be to convince the brands and source ads. However, this problem can be solved by tying up with ad publishing platforms, such as Google Adsense. When you develop your site, they will share with you some codes which will be inbuilt into the site.

This will enable Google to reserve some space on your site and display ads in those spaces. The platform providers take up the responsibility of aggregating ads, collecting payments from clients and paying you a revenue share.

So if you have an interesting idea for a site, you should put it up ASAP. You can even make revenue with your blog by tying up with Google AdSense.

Is that all about Internet marketing?

No. There are two more big components. One is social media marketing, which is a topic in itself. We will look at it in the next discussion. For now, we will look at Search Engine Marketing.

You mean SEO and SEM? I was just going to ask you about those terms. I hear them quite often. What do they mean?

Simply put, SEO is Search Engine Optimisation, which is the process of embedding keywords in your site, which are more likely to be used when a customer searches for your product/service. Search engines also use different techniques to index.

If you search for a florist in Chennai, the search engine will throw up some names. These names will be indexed on the basis of various parameters, such as regular updates to that site, traffic to that site and product relevance, among others. SEO agencies use some of these techniques to optimise your site and ensure that it is indexed among the top few names.

SEM is Search Engine Marketing. Search engines let you bid for keywords which are very relevant to your product or service. For example, a car workshop might bid for the keyword, ‘Water Wash’. So, anybody searching for ‘Water Wash’ will get to see this workshop listed at the top. People who bid lower are listed lower.

If I understand correctly, SEO is optimising my website to list on top, whereas through SEM, one pays a search engine to list a website on top. Am I right?

Exactly. But search engines also are fair in that they differentiate, through mild colour schemes, the free listing and paid listing. This helps users make a fair choice.

That’s it for now. We’ll discuss social media marketing in our next session.

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