If the online marketing activities were combined and given a single name, then the proper term to provide them would be Search Engine Marketing. This is because most of the online marketing activities are directly or indirectly related to search engines. This is because search engines are the nucleus of online marketing, and all the activities revolve around them.
Components of Search Engine Marketing
When it comes to search engine marketing, there are three significant areas of it, and many companies provide services related to these areas of search engine marketing. These areas include search engine optimization, pay-per-click management, and social media marketing. The lines below give a detail of these areas of search engine marketing.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
As the name indicates, this activity is concerned with optimizing a website in search engine results. The service provider works on applying different techniques that make the website likable in the eyes of search engines and make the website rank high in response to the particular search query.
How does SEO work?
When you type a query into a search engine, such as Google, you’ll be presented with a list of web links. The order of this list is the result of complex algorithms used by search engines. To determine which site appears where on the list, a search engine will scan, or crawl, a website for information and add this to a large database.
Those sites from the database that match a search query are ranked the highest in a search list, but there are also other ranking factors that come into play as part of this ordering process.
The goal of SEO is to achieve the highest search ranking possible for your site. Research has shown that most people who search online will only view the top five links in a search result, so ranking highly is essential for every business.
There are lots of different elements of SEO, and search engines regularly change the priority of ranking factors. If you don’t follow SEO best practices according to search engine preferences, you risk having your website demoted in search listings. SEO is, therefore, not a one-off process, and keeping up to date with SEO trends is vital.
Some of the methods adopted by SEO service providers to increase the ranking of a website are:
- By conducting apt keyword research and finding the most relevant keywords.
- Adjusting the selected keywords in the content and Meta of the website
- Designing a search engine friendly website
- Building content around the selected keywords and propagating it for backlinks.
- Increasing the number of backlinks and abiding by all the instructions of search engines to make the website rank high in results.
A website can increase its ranking by researching relevant keywords and incorporating these naturally within its website. Search engines also look favorably upon those websites that are well designed and easy to navigate, and produce useful, quality content on a frequent basis. Other SEO best practices include building internal and external links, having a presence on social media, and being mobile optimized. Search engines incorporate these factors into their complex algorithms that then determine the ranking order of a website.
2. PPC Marketing:
Compared to the organic way of attracting visitors to a website, the other way in which visitors can be drawn is PPC marketing. PPC is considered a very effective and viable part of an SEM campaign. In PPC, a business pays search engines to let them run their ads in the search results of a particular query. Although simple, PPC marketing is very complicated and requires professional monitoring of the activities of the campaign. A PPC marketing services provider would manage the movement in the following manner:
- Selecting the right keywords to bid against so that the ad appears at the best possible position for the particular keyword
- Setting the right budget for different ads so that maximum ads could be displayed in the campaign’s total budget.
- Writing an attractive ad copy that is persuasive and provokes the user to click on the ad.
- Applying analytics to monitor the conversions and flow of traffic
SEO vs PPC: a beginner’s guide
There has long been a debate among marketing professionals about which is the best strategy to use – SEO or PPC.
Website owners are often trying to raise the profile of their company through Google rankings – ensuring their business is found before competitors. This is where SEO comes into its own. Results through Google, or found by the consumer themselves, are far more likely to be clicked on compared to PPC adverts.
Mainly, this is down to how consumers feel about articles or websites they find themselves. It is all about trust and the sites that appear to be ranked as the best on search engines appear more trustworthy.
So getting your business to the top of the Google search results is key. Research shows that searchers only look at the top two or three search results – hardly any people look at the paid-for ads to the right of the screen
However, you’d be wrong if you thought that SEO is the only marketing you need.
PPC may not get as many clicks but those people that do click through to your website will be met with a customized page – giving the exact information they need to be tailored to the advert they saw. This means you are more likely to get a sale because the experience is more personalized.
To build brand awareness or launch a startup, PPC is invaluable. You can target hundreds of specific keywords (depending on your budget) and make sure you are ahead of the competition.
The best search engine marketing strategy uses a mix of PPC and SEO. Getting the balance right to both suit your company’s needs and meet budget constraints is difficult but if you can achieve the right blend, it will push your business to the top.
3. Social Media Marketing:
It is a recent development in SEM. Although social media marketing is not related to search engine marketing directly, its relation with search engines is very covert and robust. The activities performed on social media platforms have a strong influence on the activities mentioned above. The social media marketing services offered by a company may include:
- Managing social media profiles
- Communicating with the customers and clients on social media platforms
- Developing brand promoting content for profiles
In short, SEO, PPC, and Social media are the primary active elements of search engine marketing. Therefore, a business that wants total search engine dominance should work on all three of these areas.