Search Marketing, synonymous with Search Engine Marketing, is the process of gaining exposure on search engines through paid and unpaid efforts. Search Engine Marketing is one of the most important types of marketing for companies in the ever-evolving digital world.
Why is Search Engine Marketing so important?
The days of just running a print ad in the newspaper or in the Yellow Pages to generate more business are long gone. Print can still be an effective medium for the right demographic and can play an important part in an overall marketing strategy, but will not work as a stand-alone product in today’s world.
According to the US Census Bureau, 74.8 percent of American households had internet at home in 2012 and a whopping 45.3 percent of individuals 25 and older were using a Smartphones in 2012.
Why are these numbers important?
Consumers go to the internet to find answers and they start looking on search engines. This is why you need to market to them there. It is much easier to pick up your phone and search for a company/service than it is to find an ad you saw or look in the big yellow door stop.
What types of Search Engine Marketing are there?
Originally Search Engine Marketing, SEM for short, was considered an umbrella term that encompassed Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, and Pay Per Click ads, PPC. It is now widely accepted that the term Search Engine Marketing is the same as PPC, but for the purpose of this article we’ll use the original meaning.
Since marketing on search engines is what we’re talking about, I’ll break it down into the ways you can achieve just that.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization has to do with showing up in the Search Engine Results Page, or SERP, and there are two types of results:
- Local Maps Listings
- Organic Search Results
Local Map Listings are shown for local business that align well with the terms searched. Whether or not a listing shows is determined by proximity to the location being searched and the number of reviews to that location. So, in the game of Search Engine Marketing, this is the best place to start. Creating the listing is free and it is in your best interest to fully complete the account. Add images, hours of operation, categories for your business, basically the more the better.
Google is the best place to start as it receives over 60 percent of internet searches. Create a Google+ profile for your business and drive your happy customers there to give you reviews. This is one of the best and cheapest way to help your business show up in search engines.
The game of Organic Search Results is a much harder one to play. Over 200 factors go into Google’s Ranking algorithm, and how long your site has been around is one of them. You can have a website and be nowhere near the front page of Google, which to most, is as far as they go when searching. This is a long-term strategy that is always changing.
Be weary of companies promising first-page rankings as they often are going to target low-traffic keywords that won’t drive results for your company. Most SEO campaigns take 3-6 months to really see an increase in qualified traffic.
Pay Per Click
Pay Per Click, which has become synonymous with the term Search Engine Marketing, is the other method to put yourself in front of internet searchers when they are looking for your products/services online. This method is also the quickest way to get your company found online.
With PPC ads, you are able to target any and all keywords related to your business. This is one of the best ways to drive phone calls and leads for a new business that currently doesn’t have a presence online. It is also great for companies that want to supplement their current exposure by expanding the keywords they are targeting. But it comes at a price, which is your Cost Per Click.
Benefits of PPC:
- Transparency: You know exactly how much money you are having to spend to get X amount of leads. And if you are savvy and have call tracking set up, you can listen to those calls and map those to sales to get your ROI or Return On Investment.
- Quick Turnaround: PPC campaigns can be set up in a matter of weeks depending on the solution with TN Media.
- Scalable: PPC campaigns can start with smaller budgets and grow as your business grows.
- Targeting: You are able to finely target what geographical area you want to display your ads in. This can be done with a radius from a location, zip code, state or country.
Summary: What is Search Engine Marketing?
Basically, if you are going to have one type of marketing in your plan, Search Engine Marketing is the best option for most companies.
My advice is to usually start getting leads and growing your business with PPC. Once you have some positive ROI from those efforts, start investing in an SEO campaign to help drive those organic visits.
In the end, it’s all about trackable investments and the revenue it produces.
If you’d like to know more about how we can help you grow your business through Search Engine Marketing, GIVE US A CALL TODAY!