You know that modern consumers spend a lot of their shopping time online. Where proper search engine marketing can help your business is in attracting new potential customers. For many modern shoppers, the long journey towards a buying decision starts on the front page of their favorite search engine. When they pick out their search terms and hit the magic “search” button, the results page that comes to them presents about a dozen different websites that should be relevant to their interests. The Internet is a big place, and a good search engine can find hundreds or even thousands of potential matches for virtually any search term. Those dozen sites on the first page of results have a huge advantage, especially when the searchers are potential customers looking to make a purchase.
How Search Engine Marketing Works
SEO marketing is all about ensuring that your business’s site is among those ideal links presented on the very first page of results. By making careful choices when it comes to content and structure, any site administrator can improve the odds of landing close to the top of the search engine results page. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of incorporating “keywords” throughout a website that match up well with common search terms. Aggressive SEO can significantly boost a site’s search rankings. Building links to other relevant websites and creating a steady stream of fresh content also improve the odds of hitting the top of the results page.
Narrowing It Down
Of course, with the global reach of the Internet, competition between business websites can get stiff, especially for very popular keywords that are used in lots of searches. Getting the most out of search engine marketing is all about picking your battles. Smaller businesses can still get big results by defining their keywords well and pursuing them aggressively. If your business has a unique niche that’s easily defined with a few words, finding a set of valuable keywords may be relatively easy. If your field is crowded, though, selecting the right keywords requires careful thought. Geographic constraints are good: While “fish market” would be an extremely difficult keyword to work with, “fish market in [your city]” (or even “fish market in [your neighborhood]”) would be easier to exploit. Taking the time to think of your ideal customer and just what they’re looking for will help guide you to the most useful keywords.
Keeping Things Fresh
As noted above, providing frequent updates plays a big role in getting good results out of search engine marketing. There are a few different reasons for this. One of them is that search engines are smart enough to check a site’s history; a website that hasn’t been updated in months will lose out to one with fresh content posted weekly or daily. A more important reason, though, is that the potential customers using the search engines are smart. They’ll probably try several of the websites they find on their results pages. Which sites do you think are going to attract more attention: The ones that are half-forgotten, useless globs of marketing? Or the ones packed with articles and features that actually make it easier for them to make a buying decision?
Results Worth Working For
Online marketing as a whole can address many different parts of your business’s relationship with customers. Where search engine marketing really shines is in making your business stand out to brand-new potential customers. The most persuasive sales pitch in the world won’t do you any good if no one ever hears it. Search engine marketing is an effective tool to make sure that a steady stream of fresh visitors comes through your website. With this constant source of potential customers secured, all you have to do is close the deal.