Search Engine Marketing One of the first internet-based services to be exploited by marketers was search engines. Marketing executives quickly realized the potential of search-based websites like Google and Yahoo, to name a few, in introducing their products to potential customers.
As people became reliant on search engines to find the information that they needed, marketers increased their presence on these sites. Unfortunately, some of the tactics they used decreased the efficiency of search engines to provide relevant information to the user.
As such, Google took steps to improve the search results they provided by targeting websites that do not provide quality information to users. Their search algorithms Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird, created havoc for internet marketers. No longer could they simply set up their online stores and place highly on search results. They also needed to provide quality content in order for search engines to take their websites seriously. Thus, another form of marketing was born called, Content Marketing.
Some marketers used to consider search engines as the holy grail of internet marketing. Although many have revised their perceptions largely due to the influx of social media networks, search engines still play a very important part.
People don’t go to social networks searching for products or information. If they want to find something, search engines will always be the primary destination.
Did you know that Google is actually a verb now? Merriam Webster’s definition of “Google” is to search the internet using the Google search engine. This goes to show that search engines will always be an integral part of the internet, thus will also be a part of internet marketing.
Just like social networks, search engines don’t actually “sell” your products, but they do provide a means for people to find you. The key to using search engines effectively for marketing purposes is to choose the right keywords that describe your product or your company. Your website should be listed among the top results whenever those keywords are entered in a query.
The secret to effectively marketing on search engines is to understand how they produce their results. Unfortunately, search algorithms are the most trusted secrets of the trade and no one really knows how these work except for the search engine company that applies them.
However, search engines to give instructions on what website owners should be doing in order to rank highly for a keyword search. Google for instance, provides continuous guidelines that marketers need to follow if they want to get the best results.
Dissecting Google’s Search Result Page
The first thing you’ll need to know is how Google displays the search results in order to decide on which areas you want to target. There are three major areas of a search result page:
1. Paid Listings
2. Local Listings
3. Organic Listings
Paid listings are provided at the top of the search results. If you want to guarantee that your website is listed on the very first page, you’ll need to pay Google a certain amount for to be listed for a certain keyword. If your advertising budget doesn’t quite cover this, you’ll need to target the other two listings.
Local page listings are for companies that have physical business locations. For example, if your business has a physical location in downtown Manhattan, then every time someone enters a search that includes your chosen keyword, Google will include the location of your company. However, the person who performed the query should either be located within the same area or should have included “Manhattan” in the search string.
Organic listings are for the rest of the web pages that are listed for that keyword. If you’ve optimized your site using a certain keyword, then Google will include it in Organic listings and your placement will depend on how Google see’s the quality of the information you provide on your site. Google makes that decision based on a number of other factors as well, but the quality is basically what they’re looking for.
Combining Search Engine Optimization and Social Media
One of the key factors that search engines consider is the popularity of your website. If your site is popular with key internet movers like social media, there’s a good chance that it will be ranked highly in organic listings.
When creating your social media pages and determining the content you’ll use, make sure that these place emphasis on your chosen keywords. Your audience should also be able to use those keywords when they start talking about your brand.
Another important factor to consider is how social media and search engines work to provide their users with targeted information. If you have a personal Facebook account, pay close attention to the ads being displayed on your sidebar. If you notice, many of those ads somehow relate to searches you did on Google.
It may not be nice to think that Facebook is somewhat intruding on your privacy, but that’s the way it works and you should take advantage of this by choosing the popular keywords for your industry.