Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing has evolved over the last few years as marketers try to find ways to improve the appearance of their websites in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). But, this requires that search marketers keep up-to-date on the constant changes made by Google to its search algorithms. These formulas have hundreds of variables, but after working with them for years we understand the key ranking signals that Google favors. Failing to correctly align a website with Google’s formulas can lead to your website losing website rank, or disappearing altogether.

In its simplest incarnation, SEM can be narrowed to two major principles. First, pure “organic” search results by ensuring your website plays well with Google’s rules of the road for search. We focus a lot of our attention on Google Search because its search engine generally makes up 70%-80% of all search engine usage by website visitors. Bing, Yahoo, AOL, About and others, including International search engine companies such as Alibaba and Yandex, make up the rest of the search engines used by search users.

Second, Google also encourages advertising-oriented search engine marketing options through the use of Pay-Per-Click (PPC). We’ve outlined each of these two options below.

Search Engine Optimization

seoSEO is not a one-and-done solution for improving your website’s performance in the organic search rankings. To be effective, every addition or edit to your website content must be filtered through the “can-it-help-our-search-engine-ranking?” litmus test before spending time and money to update. SEO requires a long-term effort to fully optimize the website using all the techniques at our disposal.

Relentless effort drives the incremental gains that pay dividends to the point where organic search can significantly outperform Pay per Click as the leading source of traffic to your website. And unlike many firms, we never employ black-hat style SEO tricks (e.g. hidden text, keyword stuffing, buying links, etc.) as these techniques are ultimately counterproductive. If any SEO company guarantees you the No. 1 spot on the first page of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), you should consider running the other way. Google’s search engines are very good at uncovering unnatural attempts to rig the SERPs, and if these disingenuous activities are uncovered, the major search engines will penalize your website making it very hard to recover in a reasonable period of time.

Pay Per Click

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f you’re using Search Engine Optimization to increase website traffic, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the significant ways that Pay Per Click (PPC) can complement your overall online marketing strategy. When most other types of digital marketing succeed, they improve search engine optimization: relevant content increases third-party links; usability increases conversion rates and makes your search traffic more profitable; and social media and email marketing both increase user engagement, which is easily measured by using trackable URL codes to determine success.  But, the “Pay” part of Pay Per Click might make you feel as if you had to pay Google to send visitors to your site. However, our experience demonstrates that SEO and Pay Per Click work very well together to increase your website traffic. Remember that you are not alone in trying to appear at the top of the organic search engine pages; your competitors are, too. PPC is a tremendous equalizer when applied with smart planning, targeted demographics and a relentless review of performance metrics.

We like Pay-Per-Click advertising because it can be turned on or off instantly and easily. You can use PPC to target competitors when your organic search options against some common keywords are not working well. You can use PPC to generate additional clicks to special products or services through the use of internal landing pages that are set up to measure click-throughs to product-purchasing or other call-to-action steps. PPC is also valuable in re-targeting website visitors who are moving around the Internet shopping for products or services, or doing research on your company. You can’t do that with any other form of advertising.

Which Approach is Best?

At Communication Links, we believe that optimizing your website through search engine optimization (SEO) is the first order of business when launching a new website, and it is certainly a requirement for improving an existing website. PPC is also a highly beneficial tool when used to target key demographics, geo-locations, time-of-day or other flexible attributes that make PPC a potentially critical part of your strategic Search Engine Marketing programs.

Give us a call to discuss your particular areas of need for increasing visits to your website.