Separating fact from fiction when it comes to your search engine marketing.
SEM (search engine marketing) has become an incredibly popular and important aspect of most companies’ online marketing strategies. The basic goal of search engine marketing is to drive more traffic to your website by increasing your search ranking on search engines such as Google. SEM often involves an SEO strategy (search engine optimization), which is the process of earning web traffic through either unpaid or paid search listings.
Since SEM includes so many different strategies and because it is so widely used in online marketing campaigns, it should come as no surprise that there are a few misconceptions about SEM strategies out there. The following are seven of the more common misconceptions that you should avoid.
1. Social Media is Unnecessary
Thinking that social media is useless as a marketing tool is a misconception that was surprisingly common a few years back and one that some business owners still have. It’s mostly shared by individuals that don’t use social media for personal use and therefore assume it has no place in their business plans. This is a huge mistake since social media has grown to become one of the most important facets of any online marketing strategy. Billions of people use some sort of social media – ignoring that fact is irresponsible marketing.
2. Google+ isn’t Worth the Effort
Most companies will have a Twitter page or a Facebook profile at the very least. When Google rolled out its social channel, many scoffed at the platform, seeing it as a poor man’s Facebook. However, marketers are quickly realizing the importance of Google+ to SEM. Not only does it have a continually growing user base in the hundreds of millions, Google uses its social channel as a way to rank webpages. It does this by allowing you to use Google Authorship, which links your content to your Google+ account. This helps to establish ownership of your content as well as provide it with a verified online profile. This built in credibility allows it to be ranked higher than other content.
3. PPC Campaigns Result in Higher Organic Search Rankings
PPC (pay per click) ads can be incredibly useful. They allow you to post ads on search engine’s using certain keywords. When a user does a search for that keyword, the ad pops up on the search. However, you only pay when the ad is clicked on. However this is not a way to rank higher in an organic search. Instead, it’s a way to test out keywords, and market new content or promotional campaigns. Likewise, the opposite is untrue as well – that not buying ads will result in better organic search rankings.
4. Google’s In It for the Money
Google provides a PPC service called Google AdWords, and some conspiracy theorists believe that Google will change its algorithm regularly in order to reduce traffic to websites, forcing companies to purchase their ads. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Google focuses on creating its search rankings based on the user experience. If users aren’t getting the searches they want, they’ll use a different search engine, which negates the entire purpose of Google.
5. SEO Fixation
SEO is certainly important to your online marketing strategy. However, focusing solely on SEO is a big mistake. One of the common misconceptions that companies have is that they can use their content to boost their SEO by simply filling it up with keywords. This keyword stuffing and is a practice that frowned upon.
The content that you are creating is just as important as how it is marketed. This is what helps to draw more readers, which in turn helps to expand the awareness of your brand, which in turn draws in more traffic. SEO will help you increase the traffic to your site, but your campaign will fail if you rely solely on it.
6. All You Need Are the Tools
There are software packages out there that advertise themselves as the best way to achieve a number one search ranking. However, many of these software packages and automated tools use black hat tricks, which are basically ways to fool search engines into increasing your ranking. However, a search engine provider will eventually figure what you’re up to and penalize you heavily for using such tactics.
7. #1 or Bust
Ranking number one on a search engine is obviously a great success – but it’s not the only one. Websites that rank below the first result, such as in the number two and three spots, also do incredibly well in terms of generating web traffic. If you’re on the first page, then you’re doing quite well.
These are only seven of the most common SEM misconceptions to avoid when running an online marketing campaign for your business. For more SEO tips, check out our free ebook.