In this “Power of Digital Marketing” series, we are going to cover a few more topics like content marketing, as well as additional tactics to help you build and grow your business through Omni-Channel Marketing. In case you missed our previous installments in this series, we reviewed the Power of Digital Marketing | Omni-Channel Marketing, a Beginners Guide to Building a Keyword Strategy and Options for Retargeting.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
Search engine marketing consists of two specific channels: search engine optimization (SEO or organic) and paid search (PPC). SEO is like public relations for your brand: it increases your visibility and brand awareness and drives traffic to your website through organically earned visits. PPC is like paid advertising: it drives traffic to your site through an auction-based method of buying digital advertising.
Search engines represent the primary method of navigation for most Internet users. This is true whether your site provides services, products or content. A significant amount of business can be generated through search engines. It pays to know how to include them within your digital marketing mix so they can improve your bottom line.
What Is Organic Search (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) represents a form of marketing where brands expertly optimize their content with the objective to gain high rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO is both an art and a science: it incorporates both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic and increase awareness in search engines. Properly structuring your content and site is essential to SEO. There are many aspects to SEO, from the words on your page to the way other sites link to your website.
SEO allows webmasters to provide context so that the search engines can thoroughly understand the content. It isn't just about building search engine-friendly websites. It's about making your site better for people. Simply put, SEO helps the engines figure out what each page on your website is about and how it may be helpful for users. Search engine optimization tactics are extremely complex, often times very technical, so many companies outsource these services.
It is important to understand the abilities and limitations of search engines in order to properly build, format, and annotate your website content so that search engines can not only find it, but more importantly understand it. Without SEO, a website can be invisible to search engines.
What Is Paid Search (PPC)?
Search engine advertisements (PPC) are bought from search engine companies, like Google, Bing and Yahoo!, on the basis of “keywords” – words or phrases associated with your ads that match the specific words or content that users are searching for. Every time a user clicks on your ad, sending that visitor to your website, you have to pay the search engine a small fee. When PPC is working efficiently, that small fee is nearly trivial, and that visit becomes worth more than what you paid for it. For example, if you paid $5 for a user to click on your ad, but that click resulted in a $1,000 sale, then you’ve made a significant return on your investment.
If done efficiently, PPC can completely transform your business. In order to build a successful PPC campaign, take the time to conduct proper research and select the right keywords. For example, organize your keywords into strategic campaigns and ad groups, create landing pages for your PPC campaigns that are optimized for conversions, and construct relevant, targeted pay-per-click campaigns.
The Future of Search
Today, search is a part of our lifestyle. It is an integral part of everything we do, from purchasing products to finding a great local restaurant.
The combination of voice search, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the continued rise of mobile adoption has significantly transformed consumers’ expectations of what search can deliver. As the users continue to evolve, the digital marketing space continues to evolve, and so does search engine marketing. Make sure you are capitalizing on these opportunities as tools are continually emerging within this ever-evolving landscape.
Jacklynn Manning is the Vice President of Marketing at Amur Equipment Finance, Inc. and a Certified Lease Finance Professional. Mrs. Manning is responsible for marketing its products and services to customers, partners and vendors alike, bringing more than 20 years of marketing experience to her role.