You’ve Heard the Term, But Are You Using It?
What’s the one marketing tactic that business owners should be using, but probably aren’t?
Most businesses fail to take advantage of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). These are crucial tactics to ensuring that people find and visit your website, your online storefront to the world.
For the average Google search, the first five results get 67% of user clicks. If your website isn’t ranked within the first five—or at least on the first page of results—it’s doomed to a life of online obscurity.
You can take control and make your website more highly visible to search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The science and art of doing so is called search engine marketing (SEM), which involves researching, submitting and positioning a website within search engines. SEM is an all-encompassing term that includes search engine optimization (SEO), paid listings, and other related services and functions that will increase exposure and traffic to your website.
Where to Start
Your business should start with SEO tactics, which will get your website closer to the top of the search engine’s list of websites (known as ‘organic’ search results) when someone searches for a term relevant to your business.
An SEO expert can help you understand how search engines work, what users are searching for, the actual terms or keywords they might type into search engines to find what they need, and which search engines may be preferred by your company’s target audience. Optimizing your website for search will likely involve editing its content and adjusting HTML and associated coding; the goal is to increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to a search engine’s indexing activities
Many businesses start with a good website and invest in SEO, but don’t necessarily follow through with its complementary SEM components, including paid advertising.
Paid advertising (called pay-per-click or PPC) also appears on search engine result pages, and in a network of other sites through the display network, while offering you the opportunity to pay based on how many people actually click on the advertisement to your web site. Ads in a successful PPC campaign are shown to consumers specifically looking for your products or services, resulting in a higher conversion rate.
And if SEM wasn’t complicated enough, Google and other search engines constantly update their algorithms (the calculations that determine how results are listed), and a minor change can bury your site further down in the listings than before. Therefore, a quality SEM strategy requires your organization to stay on top of the latest online consumer behaviors and search engine trends.
It can be time-consuming and tech-heavy, but a SEM campaign is imperative for any business. Whether your goal is to increase sales, engagement, sign-ups, or overall visibility, driving traffic to your site is a great place to start.