Marketing 101: What Role Does Search Marketing Play?

search marketing

If you had to wager a guess, how many searches do you think Google processes each day?

If your number was upwards of 5 billion, you’re on the right track. Although the search engine giant keeps its data pretty close to the chest, it’s thought that about 5.6 billion searches are conducted globally every day, adding up to a staggering 2 trillion (yes, trillion with a T) each year.

Those numbers means that search marketing is a pretty big deal. Here’s a crash course on what it is and how to get started.

What Is Search Marketing?

Search marketing is a combination of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). In a nutshell, it’s about making sure people can find your small business when they search for something online.

SEO uses organic, non-paid traffic to determine where your small business ranks in the grand scheme of things.

SEM, typically in the form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, allows you to effectively “buy” yourself a higher spot in the search rankings.

Search marketing uses both in tandem to get your small business more visibility. And more visibility is exactly what your small business needs. Let’s look a bit closer at each component.

SEO Is Earned

We’re just going to rip the Band-aid off quick: SEO definitely is the more difficult of the two. Why? Because you have to earn it.

The exact algorithms Google uses in their rankings are an ever-evolving mystery. But the search engine is constantly crawling the internet looking for the good, the bad and the ugly. Then Google “scores” everything that’s posted online.

That means your website, blog, site speed, backlinks, even the data in your source code matters. The better it is, the higher you’ll rank.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Broken links, bad results, poor content and slow speeds not only don’t help you — they can actively hurt you.

SEM Is Bought and Paid For

Pay-per-click advertising is simpler and faster than SEO, but much harder on your pocketbook.

With this method, you instruct Google to show your ad when certain search terms or keywords are entered. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, which means these terms and keywords need to exclude traffic that won’t convert and include traffic that will.

Say you own a mobile grandfather clock repair service in Saratoga. You don’t sell grandfather clocks, so you want to rule that out. You’re not likely to drive to Green Bay to fix a grandfather clock, so you need to make sure your ad is shown only in your service area.

Remember: You’re paying for the click regardless of whether you make the sale, so it’s important to keep your parameters well-defined.

Creating Your Search Marketing Strategy

Now that you know the roles SEO and SEM play in search marketing, it’s time to put them together. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Make sure you’re producing high-quality content. Since SEO is effectively free traffic, you definitely want to take advantage of it. But you can only do so by offering diverse, stellar content!
  • Use keyword research tools. With search marketing, it’s important to remember that broad keywords aren’t your best bet. Your small business probably isn’t ever going to land on the first page if you’re trying to rank for “shoes” or “jackets.” Keyword research tools help you narrow things down and improve your chances.
  • Test, test, test. Search marketing is not a set it and forget it type of deal. To avoid wasting time and money, you need to be constantly monitoring your strategy. If something isn’t working, try something else!

It’s Time to Start Climbing the Ranks!

Search marketing allows you to climb the search rankings and let your small business shine. Although it’s not the easiest thing you’ll do this week, it is one of the most productive!

Are you “searching” for the best marketing agency for your small business? Mischa Communications has everything you need stand out in a crowd. How can we help?