If you haven’t already put a search engine marketing strategy into action, you’re already behind every tech-savvy competitor in your market. It doesn’t matter whether you intend to sell primarily to a local audience from a brick-and-mortar location, operate almost exclusively by phone, or only have a barebones website developed as a slightest nod to modernity. Your business needs search engine marketing, for four simple reasons:
SEM Drives Traffic
Let’s jump straight to the most obvious outcome of a well-managed search engine marketing campaign, traffic. Not necessarily enormous amounts of traffic, unless you aim for that with no other goals in mind. No, good SEM instead results in good traffic. Visitors more likely to take the actions you need prospects taking, rather than browsers who will pop onto your site for a moment, realize they don’t need what you’re offering, and leave.
If you’re currently unconvinced that your site has any potential to generate profit, because you get plenty of traffic and nil in sales, then you need to first experiment with search engine marketing to generate actionable leads before you write it off. Of course, this is only the shallowest benefit of raising your ranks within search engines.
Search Engine Marketing is Good for Branding
When someone in your market searches for your name, or searches for something related to your business, and your search marketing campaign then results in that search leading to your website, then you’ve gained a branding opportunity. In a way, simply having your name show up in the search results properly gives your brand a bit more strength, a bit more value in prospects’ perception. Once they’re on the site, you can make your case in full.
SEM Steps Up to the Competition
As your site rises threat search results, competing sites sink. Most users stop within the first few results of a given search, meaning that seizing those results for yourself does more than open doors—it closes them on your competition. Allowing your rivals to run unrestrained in search results gives them entirely too much leverage to shape customers’ perception. You may also fall to negative reviews, authentic or not, if you don’t curate your web presence with SEM.
The final point of search engine marketing is simple: it makes your business look behind-the-times, lazy, or incompetent if it can’t even seize a good ranking for basic searches of its name. Customers and potential partners searching your business name should find your site, period.
Joshua Belland is the CEO & Founder of Joshua Belland SEO Consulting. He specializes in developing SEO driven content strategies, while using his web development skills for technical SEO. Josh's career in SEO started in 2009 and uses his blog/writing as a means to give back to the SEO community while educating other's in the industry.Linkedin | Google+ | Twitter