Search Engine Marketing is the process of increasing the visibility, usability, and effectiveness of a website, including its pages, content, and interactive media in search engine results pages. This is done either via search engine optimization and paid search. With the increasing usage of social media, smartphones, and numerous other communication technologies, it is no longer an option not to have a fully optimized and marketable site.
There is talk of websites passing the torch over to applications, but I believe this talk is premature as apps are mostly linked to functional needs and fail in the area of informational needs. We live in an age in which people need to know, know-how, and possibly why. I often consider most apps as a form of organization narcissism, what makes you think that a user is willing to download your app and use precious space on their phone unless you are a massive part of their transactional or functional lives?
Websites can take on the role of apps as well as their own role. They are usually your customer’s first impression of your organization. If your potential customers like what they see, they typically stick around for a while. Think of a pleasant conversation on a first date. That’s what browsing your site’s pages should feel like to your potential customers.
The old business model of “build it, and they will come” was effectively discarded with Steve Jobs and his innovations with Apple. The mp3 player was nothing new. But Apple created a device with the user in mind and the exact science of how the user would use the technology…so should a website.
There is no more significant marketplace than the World Wide Web. There are almost 250 million websites online, and this number is growing. How does one differentiate oneself in light of all the competition?
According to a study conducted by seomoz.com, the first ranking position on the search engine results page receives 42.25% of all click-through traffic, the second position receives 11.94%, the third, 8.47%, the fourth, 6.05%, and all others are under 5%. 90% of users never go beyond the first page of search results. What does this mean?? To rank within the top three websites is the equivalent of spending thousands of dollar’s worth of advertising …the value of search engine marketing cannot be understated.
Sites have two primary users, search engines and people. Search engines use automated search “bots” to crawl the web, following links to catalog what they find. The “bots” use complex algorithms to categorize information and try their best to return the most relevant and useful information. Their primary sources of data are website content, architecture, and link structure.
These “bots” can be likened to judges in a talent show who have the power to determine what is and isn’t useful to users. While these judges have to the final say so, the audience’s “votes” coming in from links and traffic are also factored into the equation of where your website ranks in the search engine results page or “SERP.” With that said, I don’t have to tell you how important marketing and branding your site is in the effort to receive these crucial votes. Let’s take a more in-depth look at search engines how they work via the lens of search optimization and paid search.