What is Search Marketing?
Not everyone may have heard the term Search Marketing, but if you have a website or business, the chances are that you have used search marketing, even if you didn’t know the term. And definitely all of us have been a part of Search Marketing as well.
What is Search Marketing?
Search Marketing is the term given to the strategery of gaining an online presence from paid and unpaid means, usually from search engines like Google, but it can apply to Social Media as well.
When you search up a topic, the search results are due to Search Marketing, the first results that show up have been deemed to match the search term the best, and proven to be the most popular choices. And usually above, or to the side, are the advertised search results, these are the same as ordinary results, being related to the search topic, except that they have priority and appear before the organic search results, as these are paid for adverts.
How Important is Search Marketing?
Search Marketing is very important for an online business, it’s the main way for them to reach out and make a connection with a potential customer or client. The same methods can also be used on Social Media, although they don’t work exactly in the same way. Whilst regular Search Marketing relies on other users with click-through-rate playing a huge part, on Social Media, the reliance on other users is much larger, not only relying on views, but the amount of followers, interactions with posts and how hashtags, Social Media’s version of Keywords, are used.
How does Search Marketing Work?
There are two main ways that Search Marketing can work, Paid and Unpaid, both with differing effectiveness.
The main method of Paid Search Marketing, is what is called Pay-per-Click, this is when the user pays to create an advert to draw in potential customers or clients to their website. How this works is that the creator of the ad tells Google for example, the keywords that they want the ad to show for, a product or service in this case, and then place a bid for the ad, which will add to the cost of the advert.
How much the bid is worth affects what position the ad will be placed, but the quality of the ad itself also has an effect on the positioning it would take. As well, this means a higher quality ad would not have to spend the same amount on bids as a poor quality ad. However, a higher quality ad would not only cost less, but would also be more appealing to the users seeing it, and might make them click on it more than they would through Unpaid Search Marketing.
The cost is only paid when someone actually clicks on the advert to go to the website, meaning it is an effective way of advertising, however it can be costly for those with lower quality adverts, and in fact you would have to pay for it as well compared to Unpaid Search Marketing. Not to mention, just because it appears first, doesn’t always mean it will be clicked first, for example some users might have an ad block installed, which means no adverts would show.
The main method of Unpaid Search Marketing, is the use of SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is where the owner of the website will ‘optimise’ it, to make it more appealing to Search Engines, this would entail making your content; high quality, filled with relevant keywords, links and the website being unique.
Keywords are a part of the method as well, in recent years, it’s been shown that Google prefers Meta Description over Tags, so don’t forget to include those keywords in the Meta Description and Titles, as well as blending them into the content. However, it isn’t advised that you completely forget about the tags either, still include some for the best chance, but not too many – as Google might think you’re ‘Keyword Stuffing’.
SEO may not cost anything in terms of money, but it definitely can be time consuming, especially with the fact that anything you do could take up to six months to see a visible effect, and how it currently works can be a bit unfair on smaller businesses, as how many times your link appears in Search Results and is clicked (known as Click-Through-Rate) has a big impact on your result rankings as well – meaning a more established site will appear first.
What to use?
Whilst both have their pros and cons, the most effective Search Marketing strategy would be an implementation of both.
To sum up what was said before, the Paid method is most likely the fastest way to get results, and people clicking on your ads, it still costs money and is not a 100% guarantee that someone will click on it just because its first – however this doesn’t cost anything but might hurt your ad ranking. Unpaid is slow but eventually will guarantee that you would climb the result rankings for free, if the website optimisation is handled well. SEO alone would not be good for a new website trying to get popular fast, but in time the website would climb for free.
Whilst separate, you can see where each has its flaws, but implemented together at the same time, you can see where the synergy would come in where they would cover each other, for example; Paid can get the initial traffic in, whilst SEO would keep it consistent, even after the advertisement has ended.