Search Marketing 101
The Basics of Search Marketing
For businesses with a large online focus, the key to success is making sure websites rank well on popular search engines. When consumers search for content online, they are drawn to the sites that appear on the first page of the search engine. It is difficult for consumers to find certain sites if they don’t rank well, which is why businesses strive to get their websites better positions online.
Search marketing is an important tool for online businesses, because it helps improve visibility online, making it easier for consumers to find your content. Take a few minutes to learn the ins-and-outs of search marketing, and see how companies benefit from it.
What Does Search Marketing Entail?
Search marketing is generally referred to as the process of improving visibility on search engines like Google and Yahoo. Strong visibility is important for online companies, because if your website lands on the third page of an online search, there is a good chance that consumers will not have the patience to find it. Search marketing involves the use of specific tactics to improve a website’s rank so online users can find it more easily.
While there are many different forms of search marketing, we will focus on two specific types for the time being. Search marketing can be done through unpaid tactics, known as search engine optimization, or paid tactics, referred to as search engine marketing. Below you will find in-depth information about each of these tactics.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is a critical aspect of search marketing and is a frequently used tool in online marketing. This specific tactic involves crafting content with relevant keywords that online users frequently search for. By ranking for popular keywords and phrases, your content can get better positions on search engines, which helps create a natural flow of traffic. These keywords can also be used in a page’s title as well as the meta description, the description for a page you see on the search engine.
To give an example, imagine you are creating content that promotes floor mats being sold online. Incorporating phrases like “commercial floor mats” can help improve a page’s rank, since many people are actively searching for them. It is important to note that stuffing your content with these phrases is not advised, since “keyword stuffing” can make the text feel less organic, dramatically lowering its quality.
The call-to-action is also important for SEO since it is a button that can take consumers to a page where they can make transactions. For example, a post promoting a product can have a CTA saying “Shop Now” that can take potential buyers right to its product page.
SEO in Regards to Mobile
Another important part of SEO is designing content to be mobile-friendly. In the modern age, more people are searching for content on their phones and tablets, so it is important that you capitalize on this trend. If a page is not designed with mobile in mind, it will look unpleasant on mobile devices and scare off potential buyers.
Responsive web design is very helpful in this case, enabling a website to automatically adjust to a mobile-friendly design if it is being displayed on a phone. Simplicity is also important. Complex pages may load slower on mobile devices, which is a major turn-off to mobile users. By making content that is appealing to mobile users, you can rank well on both mobile and desktop, and your company will benefit greatly.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Pay-per-Clicks
Though search engine optimization is an effective tactic for improving search engine visibility, some people prefer to take a more direct approach. Paid marketing tactics, such as pay-per-clicks (PPCs), are not as organic as SEO, since content will appear as promoted advertisements on search engines. Despite this, it is a preferred choice for some companies, giving them more control over how their content is displayed online.
Google AdWords currently serves as the most popular platform for paid search engine marketing. Using AdWords, advertisers can create promoted advertisements using selected keywords and phrases. The advertisement then goes through an auction to bid on specific phrases their ads will appear on during an online search.
Pay-per-click advertising is the tactic most companies use, and its name comes from the fact that advertisers only pay for an ad when it is clicked. If you search for specific phrases on Google, you will see these ads on the very top of the results page.
The Importance of Search Marketing
Regardless of which tactic you roll with, search marketing is almost a necessity in the online space. As more people gain access to the internet, more online companies are going to rise up, and all of them are looking to make it big. If the content you put out gets lost in the massive pool of competition, your business will end up struggling in the long run.
Having a good search engine rank is key to succeeding online, and search marketing is the key to improving that rank. Better search engine ranks lead to improved traffic, and when you have more traffic you can make more conversions in the future. Even if your strategy does not work at first, you can use online metrics to view your site’s performance, allowing you to make proper adjustments when things are not working out.
Search marketing is an essential tool for all online businesses. When more people see your content, your business will perform a lot better.
Kevin Rehberger, Content Strategist, Fortune Web Marketing