Do you think search marketing is an important cog in your digital marketing strategy?
Search marketing is the tactics, strategies and processes that aim to increase your traffic and visibility from search engines.
It’s the perfect balance between organic website traffic (SEO) and paid traffic strategies (SEM or PPC).
And it’s perhaps the most powerful form of digital marketing available to you.
Because in combination, both organic and paid search engine traffic contribute to more than 60% of total website visitors. (Compared to only 5% from social networks).
For this site the traffic just from organic search is 55%. This provides the major source of leads and sales as we convert that attention with pop-ups, landing pages and welcome mats. Search marketing is also the biggest driver of revenue for businesses, big and small, that use digital marketing at the heart of their growth strategy.
Search marketing has many players
As we move into the next decade of digital marketing, and face the fastest technological change of our time, the likelihood of a search engine war is more and more likely. Bing along with AOL, Google, Yahoo, Ask, Baidu and other search engines are continuing to evolve their technology.
Bing for example, is the second biggest search engine in the world with almost 12% market share and 5.5 billion monthly searches.
Since being acquired by Microsoft, they have gone on a rapid growth journey that has seen it poach market share, disrupting a market that no one thought could be disrupted.
If you want your business to come out on top, you need to think about diversifying your search marketing strategy, and not focusing just on the old favourites.
Why? Let’s take a closer look…
5 Reasons You Should Diversify Your Search Marketing Strategy
1. Competition and opportunity
The main-stay search engines are crowded… So that means you can access more people, but it’s going to be much harder to standout.
On the other hand, other search engines are still a largely untapped opportunity for many marketers. Lots of websites are still yet to be indexed, which means you can make a splash more quickly.
Something a lot of people don’t know is that there are 56 million searchers you can access on Bing that you can’t reach on any other search engine. That’s just one example.
That number is getting bigger, and the quicker you get your foot in the door the better.
2. Video search
With the rapid growth of social networks such as Vine, Snapchat and Periscope, it’s no surprise that many people predict video content to be the future of content marketing.
Search engines are becoming more savvy at delivering video content, and improving the way users search for it. In fact, many of the lesser known search engines do this better than the big players.
For example, some show a vertical list of video thumbnails that you need to click on to get more information. Much like a regular text search;
Others give searchers a grid-like video search. It’s more visual and easier to find the information you need about the video content you’re looking for;
3. Social media in search
Integrating search results with social media accounts and pages is now a key user experience factor for the biggest search engines, and this will continue to develop in importance.
People want access to real-time, social information such as trending topics and conversations, and the search engines need to come to the party.
Given the importance of social media in digital marketing, this will act as a key differentiator as this search marketing war heats up.
4. Return on investment from advertising
Search engine advertising is usually a one stop shop strategy. With the small search engines just an after thought for most website owners and digital marketers. But they should be an integral part of your strategy.
The real benefits of advertising on a diverse portfolio of search platforms come from the reduced competition, lower cost per clicks and better ad positioning.
Advertisers on Bing, for example, typically pay 33.5% less per click than they would on AdWords, and Bing searchers spend 24% MORE online than average internet users. That’s more clicks and more revenue for your website.
5. Mobile search integration
As the search engine war turns up the dial, the battle will go mobile. With mobile internet users surpassing desktop users, the search engines need to provide a platform to support that shift.
Strategic partnerships with phone providers such as Apple or Samsung have initiated what will be a war of mobile searchers in years to come. If a search engine isn’t mobile-friendly, or doesn’t have these partnerships, it will have an enormous effect on market share over time.
You should be aware of these changes, and understand that your customers will be searching for information on mobile devices and you need to be ready to capitalize.
We’ve established that search marketing is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.
But if you want to get the best results, you should look beyond the top-of-mind search engines and diversify your strategy. The growing search engines offer a unique opportunity for websites and businesses that are willing to give them a go.
Act now before everyone else jumps on board and you’re at the back of the pack.
About the author: Jeff Bullas
Jeff is an entrepreneur, blogger, author, marketer and speaker and works with personal brands and business to optimize online personal and company brands with emerging technologies, content, social media technologies and digital marketing. He has spent most of his career involved with information technologies, telecommunications and the web.