As consumers continue to flock online for their purchasing needs, even the most traditional businesses have realized the importance of upping their digital marketing game.
And what better way to make a splash in the online world than with search marketing?
After all, what’s the first thing most of us do when we have a question or need to purchase something? We turn to Google.
But simply having a presence on Google isn’t enough. Why not? Because the majority of searchers never make it past the first page of results.
According to Backlinko, only 0.78% of Google searchers click on the second page.
That’s why search marketing techniques can be game-changing for your business. By implementing a solid search marketing strategy, you can increase your chances of landing on that coveted first page.
So, are you ready to step up your search game and see tangible results? Then this article is for you.
Keep reading to discover ways that search marketing can maximize your reach and drive more traffic to your website.
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The first step in maximizing your reach with search marketing is understanding exactly what it involves. Search marketing is a broad term that encompasses a variety of strategies designed to promote websites and increase their visibility on web searches.
The fundamental tactics of search marketing include search engine optimization and search engine marketing. So what are these?
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the practice of improving and promoting a webpage to increase its organic (unpaid) rankings on search engines. This strategy involves optimizing website content, improving site structure and navigation, and building links from other reputable websites.
Search engine marketing (SEM)
Organic marketing strategies to push your website to the top of search engines can be powerful tools for generating traffic in the long run. But sometimes they just aren’t enough to compete with the heavy hitters in your industry.
With average search times clocking in at just 60 seconds, you can’t afford to miss out on potential leads because you’re buried on the second page of search results and waiting for your organic efforts to pay off. That’s where SEM comes in.
SEM allows you to target specific keywords related to your products and services, bidding on ad space in search engine results pages to ensure you’re at the top of the list.
Getting the most out of search marketing
With basics out of the way, let’s get down to the meat of the matter – how can you make the most out of search marketing for your business?
Here are 5 strategies that can help increase your reach and bring more traffic to your website.
1. Target the right keywords
The foundation of both SEO and SEM is identifying and targeting the right keywords. These are the words or phrases that searchers are most likely to type into a search engine to find businesses like yours.
But, with over 8.5 billion Google searches happening every day, how do you determine the terms and phrases that will bring the most relevant traffic to your website?
One approach is to simply think about the language your target audience may use when looking for a business like yours. Consider industry-specific terms or phrases, as well as more general terms that may relate to your products or services.
However, simply targeting the most popular keywords in your industry isn’t enough.
You want to also take into account search volume, competition levels, and how specific the keyword is.
Ultimately, the aim is to find a balance between highly-searched terms and those that are more targeted and specific to your business.
Suppose you own a bakery that specializes in gluten-free and vegan desserts. While “desserts” and “bakery” may have a high search volume, they are also very broad terms with a lot of competition.
Going after more specific and targeted keywords, such as “gluten-free vegan cupcakes” or “vegan cakes in Seattle,” may lead to more qualified leads.
Utilizing tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMrush can also help you narrow down the most effective keywords for your business and strategies.
You can then use a mixture of both paid campaigns and organic content optimization to target these terms and improve your search rankings.
2. Produce high-quality content
Keywords only seem to show their true worth when paired with high-quality, informative content. Without thoughtful and well-written content, keywords can easily become just a jumble of words with no substance.
And no matter how many pay-per-click campaigns you run, without great content to back them up, your efforts will likely be in vain.
Of course, creating this kind of content is easier said than done.
A great place to start is by addressing the needs and pain points of your target audience, using the keywords you’ve identified to provide solutions to their problems or address their questions.
For example, if you own a landscaping business, consider writing helpful blog posts about “low-maintenance backyard ideas” or “how to design a drought-resistant garden.”
Or, if you’re an online educational organization, you may write about “the benefits of higher education” or “how to choose the right online degree program”, just like this EMBA vs MBA guide from Quantic.
By creating valuable content that offers practical solutions or information, you provide value for readers and show search engines that your website is a credible, informative source, improving your search rankings.
3. Improve page experience
You might get potential customers to click on your website using paid search marketing efforts, but if they are met with a slow-loading page or a disorganized layout, they may bounce right back to the search results.
According to Adobe, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content and layout are unattractive.
In addition to aesthetics, page experience also includes factors like mobile-friendliness, an inviting chat widget, core web vitals, and HTTPS security. These may seem like minor details, but they can all impact a user’s overall experience on your website and therefore their likelihood of converting into customers.
In the long run, improving your page experience not only keeps visitors on your website longer but also improves your search rankings.
As Google continues to prioritize the user experience in its algorithm, investing in a seamless and user-friendly website can result in both short and long-term benefits for your search marketing efforts.
4. Use social media platforms
The relationship between social media and search marketing may not be as direct as other ranking factors, but they do go hand in hand.
Social media can be a valuable tool to amplify your content and website, driving more potential customers to your site. And the more people visiting and engaging with your site’s content, the more positive user signals you’ll send to search engines, potentially improving your search rankings.
To maximize social media’s potential for your search marketing efforts, make it easy for visitors to share your website’s content on social media. One way to do this is by including social sharing buttons on your website.
All of Rock Content’s blog posts, for example, have social sharing buttons that move with you as you scroll down the page, making it incredibly convenient for visitors to share with their social networks.
Another way to attract social media’s attention is by creating and promoting website content around current events and popular topics.
Social media lives in the present, so creating content that ties into trending topics can effectively attract social media users, driving them to your website and ultimately boosting search traffic.
Just as this Halloween-themed blog post from Gloria Food ties website content into a current event, you can also leverage timely events and topics in your content to get the buzz and clicks you’re looking for.
But coming up with content ideas around current events can be overwhelming, so try using social listening to identify what topics and keywords are popular on social media.
Tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite can help you track social media conversations and identify potential content ideas that align with current events.
You can also use holiday calendars to organize and schedule content around brand-relevant events and holidays.
Incorporating visuals like infographics, photos, and videos can also help drive social media engagement and shares. In fact, posts with visuals have 650% higher engagement than content without visuals.
So not only do visuals make your content more attractive, but they also increase the chances it will be shared and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.
Now, creating visuals or infographics is not always an easy or practical task. Thankfully, design tools like Ion and many others are a godsend for non-designers, making it easy to create visually appealing content, worthy of social media shares.
5. Develop an integrated strategy
Focusing solely on SEO or SEM efforts can be limiting.
Instead, creating a comprehensive strategy that incorporates both search engine optimization and advertising can expand your reach and drive more qualified traffic to your website.
For instance, you can use targeted SEM campaigns to draw initial attention and guide potential customers to specific pages on your website.
Then, through SEO efforts such as keyword optimization and link building, you can work to improve the organic search rankings of those pages for longer-term results.
Effective search marketing requires a combination of on-page optimization, technical elements, and off-page efforts. Developing an integrated approach that considers all of these elements will be the most effective way to expand your reach in the search landscape.
So don’t limit yourself by focusing on only one aspect of search marketing.
After reading about all the ways to improve your search marketing efforts, you must be gearing up to revamp your strategy and start driving quality traffic to your website.
But before you dive in, you should be mindful of the common mistakes that can derail your progress. Below, we discuss a few to watch out for.
Failing to keep up with algorithm changes
Search engines (especially Google) are constantly updating their algorithms, and failing to stay up-to-date with these changes can cause your search rankings to plummet without warning.
Stay informed about updates and changes to search algorithms by following industry news sources, attending conferences, and continually educating yourself on best practices for search marketing.
This will ensure that your efforts align with current guidelines and help you avoid any negative impacts on your search rankings.
Insufficient planning and budgeting
Search marketing efforts take time, resources, and a budget to execute effectively. Many who are new to search marketing make mistakes like spreading their resources too thin, trying to rank for too many keywords at once, or setting unattainable goals.
How do you avoid these pitfalls? Plan ahead. Set realistic goals and budget for the necessary resources — not just financial resources but also staffing, tools, and time allocations.
Evaluate your resource capacity for search marketing efforts before you jump in, and don’t try to do too much at once.
Prioritize your efforts and focus on the keywords and strategies that will drive the most qualified traffic and conversions for your business.
By properly planning and allocating resources, you can effectively expand your reach in search and see the maximum return on your investment.
Not keeping track of your progress
You also want to avoid the common mistake of not regularly monitoring and analyzing search marketing efforts.
Regularly measure and track your search traffic, conversions, keyword rankings, and other key metrics.
Use tools like Google Analytics to track website performance and monitor your search visibility. This will allow you to optimize your efforts and ensure that you’re continuously driving progress.
In a world where being found on the first page of a search engine can make or break your business, search marketing allows you to not only increase your visibility but also target potential customers who are actively searching for products or services like yours.
By utilizing strategic keywords and targeting the right audience, search marketing can maximize the reach of your business and bring in qualified leads.
So, if you haven’t already boarded the search marketing train, now is the time to hop on. The tips and tricks outlined in this article will make sure you arrive at your destination – the top of search engine results pages – without much difficulty.
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