Search Engine Marketing or SEM is a form of online marketing where websites are promoted in the three search engines like Google. While there are many ways of getting visitors to websites that have come and gone, search engine traffic still reigns as one of the best ways to reach highly-targeted customers seeking your product or service. Why? Simply because when they type in a specific search term, you know exactly what their intentions are.
There are two forms of web traffic that you can get from search: free traffic (aka organic) and paid traffic (aka pay-per-click). Paid search is where you’ll pay whenever someone clicks on your search ad, an ad which Google places in front of their search users when the relevant search phrases are typed into their search engine. Organic traffic is where you show up in their search engine results pages (SERPs) and there is no cost to any click-over to your website.
Below, we’ll highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages in each of these search marketing strategies.
About Paid Search Advertising
Paid ads AKA Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising are easily identified by the sponsored/ad label next to the section of ads that appear either on the right hand side or at the top/bottom of the SERPs. While paid ads can be a quick way to generate quality traffic to a website, it can also be a disadvantage because you have to pay for it on an ongoing basis. Poorly managed paid advertising can quickly and unexpectedly rack up the cost of a business’ marketing campaign. Pay-per-click is also long plagued by click fraud which artificially inflates the cost of your advertising through fraudulent clicks on your ad. The quality of your search traffic is also dependent on your ability to select the best phrases your customers might use. Navigating the interface can be a confusing process on its own.
To place any ad, you also have to go through Google’s proprietary bidding system that puts you at the mercy of the auctioneer (Google), pitting you against other businesses that may be willing to pay more just to show up higher. Big money search phrases such as “car insurance” remain high in any part of the world. Even in tiny Singapore, bids can cost upwards of $30 per click! Therefore, when someone simply clicks on your ad that costs $30+ per click and shortly after clicks the back button and does nothing else on your website, you just wasted a fee on that click because that visit didn’t result in any lead/sale.
For paid advertising to work, it is important that your website gives search visitors what they want fast because attention spans of search visitors are literally less than 10 seconds. The ways to capture the attention of search users may involve using video or exclusive content/reports that will keep visitors on your site and building their trust in your business. Unless you have very deep pockets and possess well-honed expertise in PPC management, paid advertising isn’t an option for many business owners.
If you want to develop a website that converts, consider our professional web design services before embarking on any paid advertising. We also provide video production and marketing services that will keep your visitors longer on the website to communicate your desired message.
The Better Alternative – Owning the Free Search Listings
Some of you may have been led to believe that there is nothing that can be done about getting into the free search results listings. This is, however, far from the truth. The search firms that tell you it can’t be done simply don’t understand what is required to get into these natural search listings. Google isn’t going to promote it either because they want you to continue paying them ever-increasing advertising fees year after year. Free search engine traffic come from the other section of the search results pages (SERPs) which does not have the label ad/sponsored. These are also called natural or “organic” results.
The technical process of getting a website listed in the organic results of search engines like Google is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Search users use these listings to find information, products and services that they want and are what make the search engine useful and relevant today. The best part about getting listed in natural search: when you get listed within the organic search results, any clicks-over to your website is completely free. That means you don’t have to pay a fee to Google ever again!
While the listings are free, getting there requires an initial investment. Depending on the product/service you provide, it may or may not make sense to invest in SEO. If your business sells a low-margin and low-volume product or a low cost service, it probably won’t translate into a great ROI in the near future. Unlike PPC, the process also takes some time which could mean anywhere from 4-6 months before seeing traffic levels spike.
That said, organic search traffic is a fantastic source of targeted, quality traffic, not only because clicks are always free but also because these search results are widely accepted to be more trustworthy since they aren’t ads that anyone can place at will. It is also useful for organizations looking to brand their businesses or position themselves as a leader in that market.
The ever-changing search engine algorithms, however, makes the job of achieving a top 10 natural search listing difficult and thus elusive to many business owners. This is where we come in. As SEO experts who have successfully navigated the search algorithms over the past 10 years, we understand what it really takes to rank a website and most importantly, keep it there.
You’ll also notice that we say “owning the free search listings”. We don’t simply rank websites, we want to take over the competition through multiple listings of various web properties to exponentially increase the probability of a potential customer doing business with you. This is what we call our Preeminent Online Positioning™ SEO domination program.
Will Our Search Marketing Programs Work For You?
While we would love to help everyone we can, the reality is that we remain a custom digital marketing agency for a good reason – to meet the exacting needs of our clients who each have unique goals. We are not interested in winning meaningless awards either. Going big and winning awards just don’t put money into our client’s pockets. Instead, we focus on making our clients more profits so they can focus on more important things – such as delivering a fantastic product/service to their customers. This is why we don’t accept just anyone into our program. If we don’t sincerely believe that we can give you a great return-on-investment and top rankings from your SEO investment, we’ll tell you so right away.
If you are ready to work with one of the best search marketers from the United States who is now based in Singapore, please apply here.
Don’t waste another minute to find out how SEO can transform your business. Every minute that passes means your potential customers are doing business with your competition instead of you.