Here’s an overview of search engine marketing from the perspective of a Greensboro, NC marketing firm. According to Wikipedia, the definition of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a form of internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization (both on-page and off-page) as well as through advertising (paid placements, contextual advertising, and paid inclusions).1 Depending on the context, SEM can be an umbrella term for various means of marketing a website including search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages, or it may contrast with pay per click (PPC), focusing on only paid components.2
Due to the many intricate details in the complex technology of search engine marketing, a large number of marketing professionals and business owners do not understand the ever-changing nuances and methodologies so they rely on top ad agencies or marketing consultants for their expertise in managing their search engine marketing.
Spending on paid search has increased more than 20 percent from 2012 and with product listing ads, this will continue to grow. Your website will need to be highly optimized in order to be relevant in organic search or you will need to pay for search ads to target certain keywords and phrases. Mobil spending on paid search has also experienced a huge year with more than a 30% increase in 2012. If your search marketing campaigns are implemented by a professional marketing consultant or a top ad agency, your results with generating leads will be much better and your ROI will be much higher.
Spending on SEO to organically optimize your site will be very important as new surveys have shown increases in effectiveness for Organic SEO to generate leads. Hummingbird is focusing on original content relevant to the products or services so SEO will be very critical in 2014 and beyond. Paid and Social media will certainly generate new leads, but according to the latest surveys, Organic SEO is increasing while PPC has slightly decreased and Social has remained constant. B2B companies are seeing the largest percentage of leads from SEO with PPC and Social Media being quite a bit lower based on percentage of leads generated. The 2011 survey from WebMarketing 123 is available to view via PDF along with the 2012 survey from Web Marketing 123.
There are many areas of search marketing specialty under the main heading of Search Engine Marketing or Search Marketing for short. The sub-categories for branding, conversion, mobile, landing pages, public relations, search term research, ppc, social marketing and blogs are all very important to the overall search marketing category.
When a person is interested in a product or service, they will begin searching or hunting for those items via online sources. It could be found through text, video, or audio components. If they are hunting or searching, this should give you a very good clue that they are somewhere in the buying cycle. It could be driven by a search to fill an immediate need or potentially a future need. Whether captured through a paid or an organic source, these leads are very good quality as you have a captive audience who is already interested in the product or service. Your job is not so much to sell them on the idea of the product or service itself, but to educate and provide information on how your branded product or service can yield value to that consumer. What’s unique about your brand and how can you make their life easier?
Here’s a multitude of reasons why people buy things:
Marketing… (Had to do this one first since we are a marketing firm) Marketing makes you remember brands and it changes product perception. It not only gives the rational view, but also provides the emotional arguments or attachments to draw you in closer. Product design and packaging make the product sexy. Slogans or bi-lines ring in your ears when you think of certain brands. Music attachment with stars or celebs make products more memorable if partnered successfully. Many marketing experts are also very knowledgeable about the psychology of buying. And lastly on the marketing reason, did you really plan to get those snacks at the store, or was it the marketing promotion to buy one and get one free. (BOGO as some reference)
Creatures of Habit… If you go to the movies, will it matter whether the popcorn is piping hot or just luke-warm? In most cases, it will not matter because you will eat the popcorn out of habit whether it’s good or not.
Moods… If you feel good, then you are more likely to reward yourself with nicer things. If you are hungry or have craving, you are more likely to take care of your immediate craving versus putting that craving off for a longer term goal like a diet objective. If you are depressed or sad, you may make an impulsive purchase to try and lift the depression or sadness. If you are mentally exhausted from a long day at the office, you may give in to your kid at the store to get such and such item just to avoid the negotiations or arguments so you can get out of the store faster.
Temptation… Companies want you to try things that make you feel good or try things give you satisfaction. It could be succulent chocolates, a mixed drink, and products attached to your own image such as beauty products to make us look good, trendy watches, or designer clothes.
Impulsivity… If you see a sexy package, your brain receptors may default to reward and then you rationalize to justify the unnecessary purchase. Some people are affected by the advertising and marketing more than others and respond to ads, offers, and promotions because they feel because they are getting a deal, that it justifies the unnecessary purchase. ADHD will certainly make an impact with more product purchasing.
Peer Pressure… You sometimes get products simply because your neighbor has them. The product may not be worth a flip, but you still get it because the Smith’s have it. You see others in the community with certain shoes, clothes, etc. and you get them because others have them first so you can be like them.
There are certainly many more reasons, but all of the reasons will break down into 3 categories and those are EGO, FEAR, and PRIDE.
Mastering the techniques of search engine marketing in conjunction with your traditional marketing as you better understand why people buy products and services will catapult your business growth to new heights no matter the condition for the economic market.