So I'm watching the program, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, last week and in the episode, Gene is trying to help his son Nick come up with a name for his band and he's like "... how about Engine... as in Search Engine?" I totally cracked up. Even Gene Simmons is on board with Search. Hmm, what a concept, Gene Simmons and search... I really shouldn't be surprised as there is actually a connection between Gene Simmons, Kiss and marketing. Love them or hate them, the band Kiss has been a successful marketing machine since the mid-seventies. These guys have marketed everything from Kiss toys and comic books to Kiss coffins and more recently even a Kiss coffee house. Gene Simmons is really quite a savvy businessman. He knows how to sell and market himself and his band. So what does Gene Simmons have to do with search engine marketing? Well maybe not much but it did remind me of the K.I.S.S. acronym. (That is "Keep It Simple Stupid").

Search Engine Marketing and the K.I.S.S Theory

More often than not, keeping things simple can often yield better results than you may originally expect. It's always the simple idea that turns out to be a success story; the pet rock, bottled water, eBay, Heelys (the running shoes with wheels on them), and more recently the million dollar home page and Youtube. All of these success stories started out as a simple idea. This Keep It Simple Stupid acronym applies to search engine marketing as well. For website owners that are just starting out, keeping your online strategies simple may be just what the doctor ordered. I am by no means suggesting that Search Engine Marketing is a simple gig. The fact of the matter is that SEM is not simple and requires a combination of marketing knowledge, time, patience and a little luck. However looking at SEM in a simple manner with the end in mind is a great place to begin your search marketing journey.

So to keep with the KISS theme of this article, I have established my own KISS acronym as it pertains to search engine marketing.

Keep your target market in mind
Improve your online presence with sound SEM strategies
Study your online competition
Set proper metrics

Let's look at each of these points a little further.

Keep Your Target Market In Mind

This simple philosophy cannot be overstated as your customer is why your business is in existence. If you don't plan your online SEM strategy without thinking about the needs of your target market you're fighting a losing battle. You need to define your target market, understand them, learn about their needs and continue to learn about their needs. You must reach these specific customers and satisfy their particular needs. As an entrepreneur and marketer, you must identify those customers and understand as precisely as possible what they want.

Improve your Online Presence with Sound SEM Strategies

You have to work for your online presence, you can't expect to just appear in the top results all of a sudden. You need to work at it. Whether it is through your keyword selections in a sponsored campaign or via your organic optimization efforts, a sound SEM strategy can present you with a great avenue for intercepting your target market.

Study your Online Competition

Another simple, but important factor with regards to online success is to know who you are competing with for the prime real estate in the Search Engine Results. It amazes me sometimes when I ask a client about their online competition and they mention their direct competition in a traditional sense and forget about the online competitors who are competing for the same valuable space in the search engine results pages. Be aware of your online competition and study them to keep a competitive advantage over them.

Set Proper Metrics

Yet another basic but often overlooked part of an effective search marketing plan is to set proper metrics to track your success. Defining proper metrics and key performance indicators may not always be easy, but it is crucial to helping your online presence grow and improve. Tracking the wrong metrics can be a waste of time and as a result a costly endeavor.

Rock n Roll All Night and Search All Day...

No matter what industry, as marketers we sometimes forget some of the simple things that need to be done in order to achieve success. Sometimes we just need to step back and simplify things. Gene Simmons may not have been successful in finding a name for his son's band but he has enjoyed success in a variety of areas that most of us would love to have experienced. The band KISS started out with a simple concept (they wanted to be the band that they never saw growing up). With all of their theatrics, makeup and pyro, they churned out this marketing machine and became a multi-million dollar business. It's often the little things that generate success. From a simple idea or concept you can achieve great success. The same can be applied to your search engine marketing strategies.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

October 23, 2006

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Search Engine Guide > Jody Nimetz > Search Engine Marketing and the K.I.S.S Theory