Search marketing is complex, and traditionally the industry hasn’t always gone out of its way to simplify it to other marketers. At Search Seven, we like to think a bit differently. More often than not we work alongside other agencies – web designers, creatives, PR agencies – and we firmly believe we can do a better job if we work in partnership to deliver the best possible result for our mutual clients.
In a new series of blog posts, the #SearchSecret7, we’re going to be discussing the common challenges faced by our partners. In doing so, we’ll provide you with the secret sauce to help take your digital marketing services to the next level.
So, why should your clients invest in search marketing?
According to industry reports, search engines account for 85% of worldwide internet traffic. Of that, a staggering 93% goes through Google. That means Google receives 63,000 searches per second. That’s 5.6bn searches per day.
If your client wants a piece of that action, website visibility is vital.
What is search engine marketing?
Effective search engine marketing engages with the people who are actively searching for what your client has to offer. And the addition of social media marketing offers the ability to target audiences based on demographics, interests and behaviour.
However, this growth has also led to increased competition as organisations jostle for that potentially lucrative visibility. Getting people to your client’s site often isn’t enough – convincing them to convert is just as important.
There are a few terms you’ll come across a lot but there is still some misunderstanding around them, so let’s look at some of them in turn.
Search marketing jargon-buster
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website in a search engine’s natural/organic search results. Google does this by ranking websites in terms of relevance, authority and trust. At a basic level that means website content should be relevant to the keywords your target audiences are using to find the information they need. Authority and trust can be established through inbound links from related 3rd party sites, pointing to the client’s website which is a signal to search engines that your content has been endorsed. Google then uses a complex algorithm to calculate where a website should be ranked based upon these factors, together with many others.
SEO is not to be confused with…
Paid media or pay-per-click (PPC) which encompasses paid-for advertising such as paid search, paid display and social – which is commonly charged to the advertiser on a “per click” basis. PPC does not negatively impact organic search results: on the contrary, the two are complementary.
SEO isn’t a one-off activity: it requires a long-term strategy with consistent investment. Whereas PPC may be used tactically to support a marketing or PR campaign, typically on a short-term basis. That said, if PPC is performing well in terms of a low cost per lead, then it can by all means be kept as an ongoing tactic in a long-term digital marketing strategy.
All of this focus on driving traffic to a website is worthless, however, if visitors fail to convert. When we say “conversion” that could be measured as making an enquiry or buying a product. That’s where Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) comes in – designed to improve the user experience and increase the proportion of people who make an enquiry or buy a product.
So when should agencies bring in a search expert?
As soon as possible! We would say that of course, but with justification. When developing a new site, it’s wise to build in an SEO strategy from the outset and ensure it is technically sound from a search perspective before it goes live. We’ll cover that in more detail in a subsequent post.
Similarly, when creating content for a new marketing or PR campaign, we can help to optimise that content so it can be found more easily. We always keep one eye firmly on the user experience, and ensure copy is beautifully written and easy to read. There will be more about that in a later post too.
We can provide a dedicated search specialist to help to manage the client relationship, expectations and deliverables. Or we can provide a white-label offering, where we train up partners to better understand search and how it links in with existing service offerings.
If this piques your interest, give me a call on 01273 329 122 or request a partner pack by filling in this form.
What’s coming next?
Over the next couple of months, we’ll be providing a series of blogs aimed at partner agencies to help them improve their digital marketing strategies through search. We’ll look at some common marketing challenges and provide our take on the best solutions, such as:
- How to get clients to invest more in digital marketing
- How SEO and PR can be mutually beneficial
- How to get the SEO basics in place on a new website
- How to use targeting to get the best results from small PPC budgets
- How to make search traffic work harder
- Why simply chasing the Google algorithm isn’t the best approach
Follow us on Twitter to find out more.