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SEM with no website?

Tuesday, 10 April 2007 — by

So there I’m am, jogging past this house, and there’s a van parked outside, all the usual stuff; livery with logo, company strap line, telephone number. But wait a minute, there’s something missing, this guy doesn’t have a website! Question is: does he even need a website? Now there’s a thought…

And then I thought to myself, is it actually possible to perform SEM (Search Engine Marketing) for a company that has no website?

Making the list

In theory, this should be possible, after all, we have commercial directories like Kelly Search, Yell.com, Scoot and Applegate, all of which are good directories for British businesses, so why not?

The only thing needed would be a way of measuring (the success of) such a campaign, but that’s all down to who you’d be channeling your search marketing leads towards.

So, if you were funneling people towards a paid-for listing with someone like Yell.com, as an example, then you’d be getting reports and stuff, which is OK.

And most of these services offer you a web page to add in all of your contact details, a logo, map for directions, even banner advertising at a price.

So quantifying the traffic to these directories into actual raw numbers would be handled for you.

Additionally, you’re going to be adding in some copy, explaining a thing or two about you and your business. And what better opportunity is there for you to practice a little SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and infuse your copy with some choice, juicy keywords & key phrases.

All of which will tickle the fancy of the likes of Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Ask et al, and even other directories, too.

A question of trust

And if you’re the kind of business that has a lot say about a new or updated product or service, then there’s the chance to issue a press release through the likes of PR Web or PR Leap.

Essentially, this is an exercise in authority and trust. You need to build a picture in the mind of your audience that you are the guys to go to when they want Service X or Product Y.

Things like written or verbal testimonials build on that sense of trust, more so than any amount of advertising and brand building, whether you have a website or not.

So there you go, some SEM ideas for those few, insane business owners still holding out by not having a website…

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