In today’s world, almost everything you need is at your fingertips. That goes for information, products and services. When I say at your fingertips, I’m talking about that rectangular device glued to your hand. Or that tablet you’re gripping, or that desktop you’re sitting at. When is the next bank holiday? Search. Where is the closest pizza place? Search. Where can I buy the cheapest trainers from? Search. You get the idea.
Gone are the days when you have to head to the library and flick through a book to find the information you need. Over is a time when you have to physically go to a store to find something you need to buy. Why? Search engines revolutionised the way people live their lives. You can find just what you’re looking for, in a matter of seconds.
Google, the search engine giant, receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. You can see how many searches have been made on Google already today, here. Since the birth of the internet, the use of search engines has increased by so much, it is no wonder that marketers look to take advantage of this.
On a slightly different note, people of today are tired of traditional advertising. People consume so many adverts daily, whether it’s billboards or television adverts, they are becoming more immune to it. Plus, with the rise of a tech-savvy generation, people now use advertising blockers, online and metaphorically in real life, to limit their consumption. In a way, people only want what they have asked for.
So where am I going with this? Well, when you pair the popularity of search with the fact that people don’t want to be advertised at (they want information that they already want) search marketing is looking pretty genius.
Search marketing can be categorised in many different ways. SEM, which stands for Search Engine Marketing, was a term used to describe both SEO (search engine optimisation) and PPC (pay-per-click). But, more often today, SEM refers to the paid side of search marketing, with SEO being its own thing. In this case, when I use to term search marketing, I’m talking about both SEO and PPC.
Search marketers will always have to evolve with the times and understand new ways in which people use search. But, one thing that will remain the same is why people search.
Reasons people search:
If you have a business that can help someone with any of these things, it’s a no-brainer that search should be a part of your marketing strategy.
So, people use search for a variety of reasons. They can find information quickly and get on with their day. But, when it comes to making purchases online, people’s desire to search, stems from people’s desire for choice and control. In a saturated market, people can use search to find the best that’s on offer, whether that’s the best quality or the best price.
Now that we understand a little bit about why people search, it’s time to delve right into what the benefits of search are.
As I mentioned earlier, people are becoming desensitised and disinterested in traditional advertising. They know when they’re being advertised at. The beauty of search marketing is that you’re reaching people where they want to be reached. You’re giving them information that they have already asked for. There they are, searching for it.
Getting to the top of the search results means you’ll be reaching people with exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.
Another benefit of search marketing is that smaller businesses have the opportunity to compete with larger companies. It levels the playing field a little more. In the physical world, if a Starbucks pops up a few doors down from a small family-run coffee shop, they could find themselves struggling to keep up. If search marketing is done well, this will not be the case online.
Although it takes time to build up authority in SEO to appear higher in organic results. PPC, on the other hand, can skyrocket a business straight to the top of the search results, outranking larger companies.
Unlike traditional marketing methods, search allows you to target the right people. It’s no longer a shot in the dark where you place an advertisement somewhere you think your audience is and hoping that they’re interested. You have what people want, and search helps you show them that.
Search allows you to target specific keywords and show people your most relevant products or services. Better still, with search marketing evolving, it is no longer just about keywords. Marketers and search engines are beginning to understand searcher intent so much better, allowing them to use more focused targeting and provide people with just what they intended with their search. You can dissect huge demographics and target people with a very specific goal or intention.
This is likely to lead to better quality traffic to your website, and a higher conversion rate.
It is believed that search marketing is more in line with how people shop today. People want to read reviews before they buy, they want to check that they’re getting the best price. Advanced SERP features and ad types such as star-reviews and shopping ads make this possible.
Not only will this help your online click-throughs and conversions, but it can also assist in conversions in other ways. A presence within the search results helps brand awareness, for people who may convert at a later date. Or if you’re a brick and mortar store, people can use the information they found on search to get directions to you, or to find out more about a product that’s right in front of them.
Mobile transactions are increasing lightning fast. Search marketing helps you take advantage of this by making sure your business is visible when all those mobile searches take place.
However, search is performed through a variety of devices as well as mobile. Other ways of searching are growing, with people now using watches, smart glasses and home assistants too. Search marketing is a way of preparing for this, ensuring you stay ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding the way people use search on their devices, to interact with businesses.
One of the greatest benefits of search marketing is that it allows you to make marketing decisions based on data. With advanced analytics readily available to marketers, you can look at numbers which really help you to understand how your online marketing campaigns are performing, so that you can decide where to spend time, effort and money.
This isn’t the same for traditional marketing methods, which is why search marketing is becoming a favourable option for many businesses. It helps you make smarter decisions based on data, which will usually end with better results.
It is becoming harder and harder to stand out amongst the crowd in today’s saturated market, and online marketing is becoming more and more important because of the tech-savvy generations which keep coming. With benefits ranging from more targeted marketing to data-driven decisions, it is quite clear why search is one of the most useful marketing strategies there is.
That’s not to mention that technology is always evolving. In a world where digital is becoming more prominent every day, and a world that’s preparing for machine learning and artificial intelligence to integrate itself, search marketing is looking more and more likely to become the future of marketing.