How to Move Up In Google Rankings (More Traffic)
Publishing your website is just the first step to doing more business.
You then need to get more people to visit your site. But how are you going to do that?
Use search to get people to your website
Imagine someone searches for a business, or for something the business should be known for — two things show up on the search engine results page, or SERP.
1. Paid Results
Paid results show up at the top of the page and are labelled as an ad. Obviously, a business has paid money to get this placement. This is known as search engine marketing, or SEM.
2. Organic Results
Organic results show up below the paid results and are there because the search engines have crawled the internet to find the best possible match for the terms the person is searching for.
There are things businesses can do to make their website easier for the search engine to find, therefore influencing where the business shows up in the search results. This is called search engine optimization, or SEO.
Benefits of search engine marketing (SEM):
- Immediate traffic to your website: SEO takes time
- More control over how customers find you: With SEO, you’re at the mercy of search engines and their changing policies
- Placement at the very top of the page: Even if you get to number one in an organic search by using SEO, a competitor could appear above you with SEM
- Better audience targeting: With SEO you can get lots of traffic, but searchers are not always ready to buy
Benefits of search engine marketing (SEO):
- Increased credibility: People are now much more aware of the location of advertisements and give preference to organic results
- Greater exposure: With SEM, the best strategy is to tightly target keywords so you don’t waste money on clicks that don’t convert, but this means you can miss potential customers. SEO brings you traffic from a broader range of search terms
- Good return on investment over time: SEM gets instant results, but as soon as you stop spending money, the traffic stops
- All search engines are covered: With SEM, you have to choose a platform to advertise on, and you don’t get exposure anywhere else
Both SEM and SEO are important for getting people to a business’ website.
Does your business need SEM or SEO? Try this exercise:
If you’ve already published your website, go to your favorite search engine and search for something you think your business should be found for that isn’t the name of your business.
Take a look at just the organic results.
Is your business listed on the first page?
If your business isn’t listed, that indicates that you’ll need to work on your SEO. And if you’re not in the top three organic results, you still have some work to do, as the majority of people only click on those top three results.
Now take a look at the paid results.
Are your competitors there? If they are, they may be diverting traffic that should be going to your business. If they’re not there, that may indicate an opportunity to get more people to your site.
Should you start with SEM or SEO?
If you have the budget (and depending on your industry), you may want to use both SEM and SEO.
You can use SEM for specific campaigns like launching a new product, promoting a sale, or capitalizing on a seasonal event.
SEO can build awareness of your brand and generate consistent traffic to your website over the long-term.
Using search engines to your advantage is a process.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed but understand the benefit paid and organic search can bring to your business, we’re here to help.
Find out more about how iPage can get you stated with SEO and SEM.