Recent studies have shown that over a quarter of searchers visit the first website on a search engine results page. This number dwindles as the page goes on, leaving only about 1% of people clicking on each result on the second page.
Couple this statistic with the fact that the majority of internet sessions begin on a search engine and the importance of search engine marketing becomes undeniably clear. The fact is, if your business isn’t on the SEM train, you’ll be left behind with no hope of growth.
But what exactly is search engine marketing and what does your business need to do to practice it?
If you’re ready to master this digital marketing technique and increase your visibility on Google, we’ve got the secrets you need to know. Follow along to discover everything you need to know about search engine marketing and where to start.
What Is Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing, or SEM, is the practice of increasing your overall presence on a search platform. Since Google holds the majority of the search engine marketing share, we’ll use this platform as the standard.
Search engine marketing works by combining two highly effective strategies: SEO and PPC.
SEO (search engine optimization) is the act of appealing to Google’s algorithm to increase your organic ranking. All search engines have one goal in mind: to deliver the best possible answer to the user. To do this, every piece of online content is filtered through a three-step process in which google bots crawl, index, and rank your URLs.
To excel in this filter, you’ll need to include the elements that Google looks for in a reputable source and exclude the penalizing factors. Optimizing your website is a time-intensive process, but digital marketers feel that this approach has the highest ROI.
In addition to SEO practices, the use of PPC (pay per click) advertising is used to ensure your business is listed above the fold on the Google results page. This technique requires well-built ads and strategic bidding to draw in leads.
You’ll pay a specific premium on each user click that will be determined based on the keywords you choose and the amount of competition within them.
Benefits of SEM
There has been a debate for many years whether pay per click ads or organic ranking is better for visibility. Fortunately, when you use search engine marketing, you’ll utilize both techniques. This allows you to reap the benefits of each approach without a gap for problems.
One of the factors that deter businesses from investing in SEO is the length of time it takes to see results. As mentioned earlier, this process is time-consuming and requires ongoing attention to see the best results.
In a world of instant gratification, businesses can often feel that the effort is not worth it. This is because results likely won’t be exponential in the first week of practice.
Pay per click advertising delivers instantaneous results that are easily measurable. This means that while you work on the more time-consuming techniques, you can make a quick leap to the top and draw in paid traffic.
Long Term Payoff
In order to see continual growth with only paid ads, you’d have to invest a pretty penny in your traffic. If advertising dollars dry up and you haven’t increased your organic rank, you’ll end up right back where you started.
However, when you work to optimize your pages and content, you’ll see long term results that don’t see a drop when your ad expires. In fact, most marketers find their organic rank much easier to maintain once they have reached a respectable position.
Paid and Organic Visibility
When you pair PPC with SEO, you’ll see the effects of your optimized page start to shine. Instead of having one appearance on the first page, you’ll actually have a sponsored ad, followed by a high organic rank.
This means users will continually be seeing your business and having your brand etched into their memory. Since repeated exposure is essential to a successful marketing campaign, this double visibility is incredibly helpful with your conversions.
In addition to this, most users assume that Google has vetted the brands it chooses to display as top results. Because of this potential customers will have an increased level of trust in your business and be more compelled to spend with you.
Top Search Engine Marketing Examples
So where do you start with your search engine marketing approach? While there are many aspects to both SEO and PPC techniques, there are a few specific areas that will be essential to set up first for your success.
This is an area where many businesses miss out simply because they do not have the knowledge to optimize the back end of their webpages. However, Google takes your web performance including your speed, mobile-friendliness, and first contentful paint into consideration for your rank.
Not only do these factors impact your position but they also allow the user to have a better experience on your page and stick around for longer.
Google My Business
If you don’t have a Google My Business listing, you need to get this in order. Not only should your listing be complete and accurate, but it should include frequent updates and links to important pages.
There are only so many pages and keywords you can include on your basic website. For this reason, you’ll need to compose optimized content frequently.
The easiest way to do this is in the form of blogs. This will keep your site fresh and relevant in Google’s eyes and draw new traffic to your site based on different keyword focus in each blog.
Stop trying to fool the system and build some high-quality backlinks. Write guest posts for other companies, collaborate with local brands, and include yourself in online directories.
These backlinks hold a lot of value when it comes to Google’s impression of your authority and they drive more relevant traffic to your pages.
Master Search Engine Marketing
Now that you know the importance of search engine marketing and where to begin, you can start building your presence on these platforms. Whether you market yourself or seek a search engine marketing service, you’ll be on your way to increasing your profit and your reputation.
Want to discover more tips and tricks on digital marketing? Check out our other marketing articles to learn everything there is to know about elevating your business online.