When a business considers the ways it can drive more performance, Search Marketing should be the opportunity it prioritizes first. That's because Search Marketing generates awareness with consumers who are actively expressing interest in a product or service. It also drives website traffic most likely to convert by being at the right place at the right time.
For example, let's say that a pizzeria wants to increase its delivery sales. To accomplish this, it gains a strong presence on Google's "pizza delivery" search result pages. By appearing in front of hungry-for-pizza searchers, it can increase awareness with its target audience and generate more sales by fulfilling the desire that sparked the consumer's query.
Search result pages have two parts that are served by different practices:
Let's take a deeper dive into these practices that serve each part of the page.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google and other search engines use crawlers that go across the Internet and gather information about all the content they can find. The crawlers bring all those 1s and 0s back to the search engine to build an index. That index is then fed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with certain queries that bring value to the searcher.
While the engines do not openly share how their algorithms decide what content should show on specific search queries, SEO specialists know certain actions can be taken to improve the likelihood of strong natural presence. These actions fall into two categories: on-page actions & off-page actions.
Here are some example on-page actions that can improve a page's natural presence:
Here are some example off-page actions that can improve a page's natural presence:
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Like SEO, SEM also requires both technical and creative actions to attain a strong presence within search result pages. Both require figuring out the right queries to show against, constructing a fast and responsive site (especially for mobile devices), having site content that serves the need of the searcher, and so on.
However, SEM differs from SEO in some significant ways. Here are five examples:
There are a few other things to know about paid search:
What's Best For My Business?
Ideally, a business should maintain a strong presence in both paid and natural search listings for several key reasons:
While other online channels like Facebook can contribute to performance, Search Marketing is arguably more important in making a business successful. Search Marketing provides awareness and conversions like no other marketing channel can, and it plays a huge role in "closing the sale" with searchers actively looking to fulfill a want or need. As a result, SEO & SEM can provide a higher rate of return when compared to other forms of marketing.