Search has evolved more than any other marketing discipline. Today, you must know the rules of search. Otherwise, you can hurt rather than help your brand.
Search is Mobile
People are conducting searches from their mobile devices. That means your pages must be easily accessible from phones and tablets as well as computers. It’s important to adopt a “mobile first” mindset.
Search is Structured and Technical
As mentioned above, if your site isn’t set up right, Google won’t even see you. But once your structural issues are resolved, you’ll focus mostly on content and basic on-page optimization. The key to SEO is simply to build a better page than anyone else on the web. For each search query, Google wants to put the absolute best page at the top of the SERPs. So your page needs to be the most relevant and the closest match for searchers’ intent. How do you do that?
You research what’s already ranking for your target keyword and build something 10x better than those pages. That’s it. There’s no hack and no easy button. Just a lot of hard work. But on a positive note, if your content is 10x better than anything else on the web, your pages will rank.
Search is Everywhere
What comes to mind when the topic of search marketing comes up? Google, right? They’re the premiere search engine, but be aware, they aren’t the only search engine.
Every channel that uses search has an algorithm that you can learn and leverage for success. That means you aren’t limited to optimizing for Google. It may be more lucrative for your business to focus on Google Maps or iTunes.
Google’s search bots are incredibly smart, which makes it hard to rise to the top of their SERPs. But most other search bots—think Amazon, Yelp, or Pinterest—are less complex and easier to understand. Not only that, there are likely fewer people competing for their top spots, so it’s an easier game to win.
We tend to equate search marketing with Google. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Search marketing is about producing the right content and publishing it on the right channels to attract the right customers, then doing what it takes to make your content rise to the top—whether that’s for Google or any other channel. Approaching it this way, you’re taking the search game to a smaller playing field. While there may be fewer people searching those other channels, you’ll create content that’s optimized specifically for them.
Search is About More Than Traffic
When it comes to SEO, we talk about winning, ranking, and beating out the competition. You’d think that ranking at the top of Google (or whatever channel you’re using) is your top goal for search marketing. But it’s not.
You can’t pay your bills with rank. And you can’t take traffic to the bank. The real question is this: Are you making money from better search rankings?