When was the last time you looked past the first page of results on Google or Bing?
75% of the world doesn’t. In today’s age, it is absolutely crucial to any business that their website ends up on that first page. And the higher you are, the more clicks you get. Top results, on average, will take up a whopping 33% of the clicks, with the second result achieving just 15%. With over 1 billion websites currently existing around the world, how can yours stand out from the rest? We’ll answer all the questions you’ve always been afraid to ask.
Understanding your page ranking
First things first: SERP, or the Search Engine Results Page, is exactly what it sounds like. Each search engine employs its own set of algorithms to try and categorize the millions of websites and webpages that are created every day – kind of like an army of robot librarians. If your website was a book, these “librarians” would scan every word on your site for indexing on the Internet. Everything from keyword relevance, to “backlinks” from reputable websites, to specific paid advertising can affect how web pages rank on SERPs.
Keywords, keywords, keywords
So how can you make sure that your website ranks as high as it possibly can? Keywords and key concepts are key. There is nothing worse than a great website with great content that nobody is clicking on. Remember: clicks generate interest, and interest generates revenue. Here are two ways you can improve your SERP rank:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of organically growing your website’s reputation so that it can climb higher on SERPs. “Organic” essentially means unpaid. This is the grassroots way: create amazing content that people can’t help but go back to while maintaining a reactive online personality that directly communicates to your client base’s wants and needs. Eventually you gain popularity and relevance through word of mouth on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
- PROS: Low cost. High ROI (return on investment) over time: more content -> better indexing (more clicks!) -> better online reputation = more leads. Exactly 236% more leads.
- CONS: Slow burn. Hugely time consuming. Hard to measure short term success.
Pay Per Click (PPC): See those ads at the top, side and bottom of SERPs? People bid (yes, like an auction) on keywords they’d like their websites to pop up for. Are you a vegan bakery specialising in gluten-free cupcakes? In Courtice? Then you might bid on keywords like “vegan cupcakes courtice”. Sites like Google then show ads it thinks appropriate. This is based on how successful the bid was and the site’s “quality score.” As the name suggests, PPCs work on a pay-per-click model. Sites will only charge once a potential client clicks your ad.
- PROS: Faster ROI than SEO. Significantly less time consuming. Provides visibility to niche websites or flash sales. High popularity with searchers with intention to buy. Easy to tweak, measure and scale. Highly adaptive to your needs.
- CONS: Higher cost.
At the end of the day, marketing will always come down to changing and adapting to the needs of your customers. The most successful online marketing campaigns will feature a hybrid of SEO and PPC, among other things. In a digital age where there are more avenues to connect directly with your base, businesses are at a higher advantage than ever before. The key is to figure out exactly what tools to use, when to ask for help, and the determination to keep trying.