Search Engine Marketing

A high Google ranking is a key marketing component for many businesses.

Search engine marketing is split into two broad categories:

  • Natural search engine listings (Search Engine Optimisation or SEO), where a web page will appear in the main listings (left hand side in Google) based on relevance and quality.
  • Paid search (Pay-Per-Click, Google AdWords), where relevance and quality are still key but the adverts' display position on the page are also heavily influenced by what the advertiser is prepared to pay in a keyword 'auction'.

When a keyword search is performed in a search engine such as Google, search results are made up of both paid and natural listings. A solid search engine marketing strategy will usually cover both types of listings.

People sometimes query that if they are achieving a high natural ranking, why should they bother to also have a paid search listing? But they are not allowing for the pros and cons of each listing type, or considering that if they are not displaying a paid search listing, then a competitor will be. Success comes from dominating a keyword, and for best results, this needs to be done in more ways than one.

You can find more information on how we manage Google AdWords Pay-per-Click (PPC) Campaigns here.

Broad differences between natural and paid search engine listings

Natural search listings

  • Search position is influenced by page content.
  • Ranking can take several days or weeks, particularly for new sites.
  • Clicks on the listing are not chargeable but web content needs frequent updates.

Paid search listings (AdWords)

  • Search position can be controlled.
  • Adverts can be set to display immediately and can be switched on and off for set times or days.
  • The displayed message can be personalised to the search made.
  • The displayed advert message can be modified quickly and frequently.
  • Clicks on the advert are chargeable.

We have been working online since 1996 and managing search engine marketing since early 2000. Over the years people have tried to achieve a high ranking through all sorts of techniques that seem to work for a while and then stop working when the search engines update their algorithms. We don't employ smoke and mirror techniques.

Search engines are focused on having the best quality in their results and we have found that this is best achieved over the long-term by working on 3 fundamentals:

  1. A website that is built with uncluttered code and marked up in a standard way, so that search engines understand the structure and content on the page.
  2. Clear website navigation and well-structured web pages built with the website user in mind.
  3. High quality content that is kept fresh and aimed at the user, not a search engine.

We manage search engine marketing for businesses by:

  • Examining their website to determine and recommend what changes need to be implemented to deliver the conversions they seek.
  • Bench-marking against competitors.
  • Keyword analysis. There is no point in putting a whole lot of effort into keywords that too few people are searching for.
  • Creating high quality text, image and video content that is compelling and keeps the site fresh and engaging.
  • Regularly analysing site position in the search engines and user interaction on the website to continually develop performance.