While the reality behind many internet marketing plans might be complicated, the concept behind search engine marketing is extremely simple. The goal is to directly turn a user’s search results into clicks which are then turned into conversions – or sales – on the website itself. This is generally accomplished in one of two ways: organic search engine optimization (SEO) and/or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising campaigns.
Regardless of which of these two methods a website uses, the overall goal is to increase the visibility of the sites on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Numerous studies show that when a person enters a query into a search engine such as Google or Bing, the order in which the search results pop up directly affect the rate at which the client clicks through to the site. In other words, the higher up on the SERP a website is ranked, the more traffic the site is going to generate. In no uncertain terms, traffic equals sales.
Considered the most cost-effective means of search engine marketing, SEO also garners the most positive long-term benefits. Because SEO creates organic – that is, not paid – results, these rankings are considered more permanent and reliable, therefore will consistently rank higher on SERPs.
Of course, higher organic rankings are also harder to gain by nature, but solid web design and a talented SEO firm can achieve the desired results fairly consistently. For companies who wish to try their own hand at SEO, sites such as WordPress make it easier for those who are not particularly tech- or web design-savvy.
Achieving results much faster than SEO, PPC ads are typically put into practice for short term gains. These are useful when a company is trying to boost their sales to meet a quarterly sales goal or in similar situations. The two main places to start PPC campaigns are on Google AdWords and Bing Ads.
Pay-Per-Click Ads work by charging a pre-set amount for every click-thru the ad generates from the SERP. Because the company is paying for these ads, regardless of their organic rankings, the website will be a “preferred” site on the SERP, meaning that it will appear towards the top of the SERP, thus generating more traffic.
By combining solid search engine marketing techniques with functional web design, companies are able to increase their sales exponentially.