What is Search Marketing and Why Should You Care?
Everyone’s talking about search marketing and how it can help grow your business. You may be wondering exactly how this works, and why it matters to you.
What is Search Marketing?
But first, let’s review what search marketing is.
Whenever anyone does marketing on the internet, one of their goals is traffic. Whether they are promoting a landing page, advertorial, or a website, everyone wants more traffic. The more traffic, the more visitors to your site, the more people learn about your product and service. And that means more people will buy from you.
So where does this traffic come from?
There are two ways. You can pay for it through ads or attract it organically through optimizing your website.
Generating traffic through these methods is the goal behind search marketing.
People who pay for ads like Google ads, social media banners, or any other ads, are using paid search.
Those who optimize their websites so it appears on the first page of search results are using organic search. If your site is optimized for certain keywords, and someone searches on those keywords, your site will be one of the top sites delivered in the search results.
But is it worth it to invest in search marketing?
Marketing Sherpa published a study showing that in the US over 133 million people regularly use search engines when looking for information or answers when they are online. Of those people, 63% percent do not look further than the first page of results, and most don’t look past the top two or three.
Which is why you can’t afford to be buried on page three. Or four.
Business owners who want traffic have to be doing either paid or organic search marketing. Many businesses don’t do either. But they’re missing out on what’s going to actually bring new traffic to their sites so they can attract new customers.
Just building a website, no matter how attractively designed is not going to guarantee that anyone will visit your site. Let alone complete a submission form, call you on the phone, or purchase a product or service. It just doesn’t happen that way.
Unless you are doing some other type of marketing, like traditional mass media marketing that’s actually driving traffic to your website, you’ll have to invest in search.
And relying on traditional marketing to drive website traffic is a gamble at best. Think about it. When you run a radio or television ad, people who hear those ads don’t just run to their computers to search for your products. They will later, maybe, if they remember.
But you run the risk of them remembering just enough to do a search and land on your competitor’s website.
However, when they are on their computers or phones surfing the internet or engaging on a social media platform and see an ad, they are much more likely to click on it and visit your site.
And that’s the reason search marketing is so important for your business. People who are searching are already online. It takes very little effort on their part to click away from the social media platform or site they are on and land on yours.
And that’s the beauty of search. By optimizing your site, you can draw people who are interested in your product or service to your site.
It goes the same way with paid traffic. The strategy for leveraging paid traffic is that you are targeting somebody who has already shown interest, whether by searching for or watching something related to your product or service.
How Search Marketing Works
Since these people have shown interest, you know that they fit your customer avatar or profile. Suppose you sell gym memberships or nutritional supplements. If you can find people who identify themselves as gym-goers or interested in healthy lifestyles, then you can put your ad in front of them, to entice them to visit your site.
And even if they don’t visit right away, you’ve created more visibility for your brand. The more times they see your ad, the more likely they’ll be to give you a look.
The key is that behind the scenes, we are optimizing your website for various keywords related to your product or service. When someone searches using one of these keywords, your site will show on the first page of results, making it more likely these people will visit your site.
How to Optimize for Higher Search Rankings
But how do you get Google to serve your website in the top rankings?
It’s hard to say. They change their algorithms often. But one thing is clear. Google tries to provide relevant content to the people doing the searches. They want to deliver the closest match to whatever the person is looking for.
To do this, they send their web crawlers, otherwise known as spiders, to crawl the web, looking for content. They match that content with keywords. And they keep refining their data so they can deliver relevant results to the users.
To keep rising in the ranks (and to keep your place when you get there) you’ll need to keep adding fresh content relevant to those keywords to your site, so Google’s spiders keep coming back.
So if your site uses keywords that are highly relevant to your product or service and you have quality content on your site, Google will reward that with higher placement in the rankings.
External links also will help. This is where posting on social media and linking back to your site will help you rise in the rankings.
As in all things marketing, you want to be tracking and analyzing the success of your efforts. This is much easier to do with ads, as Google provides reams of data regarding ads and keywords. Using this data can tell you which keywords are most often searched for and generate the most traffic for you.
That will tell you which keywords to optimize your site for and use in creating meta tags and the content for your site.
But you have to put some effort into search. You just won’t receive qualified traffic consisting of people actively interested in your product or service unless you implement this powerful marketing strategy.
Attracting that traffic made up of people who want what you have to buy is why search marketing matters to you.