As the marketing landscape grows more digital, search engines are increasingly becoming integral to the brands looking to extend their reach. With search engine marketing comes search engine optimisation (SEO), a staple of content marketing. SEO involves numerous strategies and techniques to get websites ranked higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Hubspot’s research shows that 75% of people do not go to the second page in SERPs. They stick to the first page results, trusting companies that rank higher as reliable sources of information. Thus, an integrated SEO strategy applied across web pages is essential for higher placement in the SERPs.
If this data is not convincing enough, additional research also showcases the importance of SEO today. SEO can drive up to 10 times more traffic to e-commerce websites than social media. While we may believe that we are undergoing a social media revolution, it is precisely the vastness of social media that proves to be a huge disadvantage to many brands. However, ranking higher on the SERPs is précised and acts as the roadmap a website needs to reach a potential lead.
Choose Search Engine Marketing
The common saying that the internet is making traditional marketing (print marketing) obsolete has some truth. While traditional methods are by no means dead, SEO has a much more significant impact on conversion rates. Print marketing generally boosts conversion rates only by 1.7%, while SEO boasts an impressive 14.6%.
Such a difference in boosts is primarily due to the number of strategies you can employ in SEO versus print marketing. Proper search engine marketing involves a careful combination of on-site and off-site SEO practices that increase a website’s credibility under the search engine’s complex algorithm.
The on-site SEO techniques include:
- Optimising keyword use across your content
- Keeping content (especially on blogs) fresh and relevant
- Optimising titles and H1/H2 headings with keywords and engagement
- Reducing load speed
- Increasing inbound links (linking between webpages)
- Optimising image tags and metadata
Meanwhile, off-site practices include:
- Using review sites for marketing
- Back-linking, i.e. having other significant players in the industry linking to your website so Google sees connections.
- Social media marketing
- Creating unique content with viral potential
Combining on-site and off-site practices ensures the best results.
Now we arrive at the main question – why do search engines drive more traffic?
One of the most significant ways SEO wins out over social media is through sponsored links. With over 3.5 billion searches per minute on Google, your website can easily get lost. Sponsored links or paid search engine advertising can be a boon in such situations. Using paid search engine marketing also has several advantages:
- The search engine accurately targets your demographic by recognising keywords
- Creating a paid campaign is just a click away
- The ad can be endlessly optimised for maximum reach and desired results
- PPC or pay-per-click is a cost-effective measure
- You can quantitatively measure results to meet various KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
But a lot of these same advantages may be attributed to paid social media campaigns. So, what makes search engine marketing stand out?
Potential Customers Use Search Engines to Find Businesses
Keywords are essential precisely due to targeted searches. When people go to Google, they are looking for a specific product. The likelihood of searching for “best headphones in 2021” on Instagram is much lower than on Google. Hence, you need to place these keywords in your content for potential buyers to find you.
Econsultancy’s research backs this up, showing that 61% of buyers do product research on Google before making a purchase. Therefore, including relevant keywords in your content and metadata helps the search engine find you faster. Such practices, then, allow for better-targeted advertising, automatically increasing your reach.
Algorithm-Friendly Research Tools
Search engines also help websites optimise themselves with tools like Google Adwords’ Keyword Tool. When scanning headings and metadata, search engines determine what content is most relevant. Thus, incorporating the SEO techniques mentioned above in unique content gives a website’s SERP rank a much-needed boost.
Search engine marketing is also less bound by trends than social media marketing, where trends change at the drop of the hat. Therefore, you can employ long-term SEO strategies, only tweaking content as and when necessary rather than constantly researching and keeping up with popular yet, quickly fading trends. Such advantages drive more traffic to your website through search engine marketing.