Search Marketing, also known as SEO or SEM, is an excellent way to increase awareness and prospects. It’s also a very broad topic, so I’ve boiled things down to four main categories: Organic Search, Google AdWords, Re-marketing and Local Business Listing.
They key is to identify which options will help you achieve your objectives while also providing you with a positive return on investment.
Let’s start with the free option—Organic Search
Organic search refers to the search results of a search engine that cannot be influenced by paid advertising. Organic search results are ranked according to their relevance to the search term.
- No cost for search listing
- Content tends to be “evergreen” meaning it remains relevant for a long period of time.
- Higher engagement and conversion rates
- Can be time consuming to create content
- Takes more time and effort to rank high in the search results
- Not geographically focused
- Develop content that is focused on a specific need or issue of your target audience
- Then optimize content around a single keyword phrase and its variants
- Ranking factors include:
- Internal and external link structure
- Backlink structure
- Technical factors such as page size and load time
- Quality and structure of content
- Enhancement through media such as videos and images
- Mobile optimization
Paid Search—Google AdWords
Paid search ads like Google AdWords enable businesses to advertise within the sponsored listings of a search engine or a partner site by paying each time their ad is clicked (pay per click) or less commonly, when their ad is displayed.
- Quickly achieve high search rankings
- Provides quick wins with immediate traffic
- Campaigns can be tailored to your budget
- Can target specific geographic areas
- Robust analytics to measure effectiveness
- Can be expensive
- Tends to produce lower engagement and conversion rates
- Save money and stretch your monthly budget by avoiding top position listings
- Run ads later in the day when your competitors have used up their daily budget
- Create compelling headlines and ad copy for increased click through rates
Paid Search—Re-marketing Ads
Re-marketing is a way to connect with prospects who previously visited your website or have similar characteristics with those who visited your site. It allows you to strategically position your ads in front of these audiences as they browse Google or its partner websites, thus helping you increase your brand awareness or remind those audiences to make a purchase.
- Users are already familiar with your website
- Much less expensive than Google Adwords
- Can incorporate graphics, video and animation
- Higher bounce rates and lower engagement than organic search
Google Local Business Listing
Google My Business is a free local search tool that enables businesses to promote themselves on Google Search and Maps. These listings usually appear whenever a search phrase includes a city or the term “near me.” The listing usually includes: contact information, location, business hours, products and services, reviews and posts. However, there are other elements that you can add to your listing to differentiate from your competitors and to make your business more appealing to prospects including:
- Photo Gallery
- Product or Service Listing
- Company Overview
- Articles (Posts)
Local search results also appear near the top of the page which gives you an additional advantage. If you have multiple locations, be sure to optimize each listing. If you’re not listed in the top results, you can bid (pay) for a higher listing using Google Adwords.
If you have any questions or need assistance with your search marketing strategy or website, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.