How To Get Found Online: Search Engines Presence
As I normally state in these Inbound Marketing blog posts, the information below was created for businesses & professionals looking for inbound marketing strategies. Inbound marketing professionals should already be familiar with this information but I do encourage marketing professionals to share this blog post with their readers.
There are generally two forms of search engine results:
1. Sponsored or paid results
2. Organic or natural results.
Sponsored Results: Paid search engine results (sponsored results) are those listings that require a fee for the search engines to list their link for specific, selected keywords or keyphrases. The most widely used form of paid listing is Pay Per Click (PPC). This is where you pay each time someone clicks on the link in your advertisement on the search engine results page (SERP). The price increases with the level of competition of the selected keyword.
Organic Results: Natural or organic search results are gathered by search engines’ web crawlers and ranked according to relevance to search terms. This relevance is calculated by criteria such as:
• Extent of keyword match
• Keyword prominence
• Keyword frequency
• Keyword relevance
• Number of links into that website or web page
Ranking in the organic search results is better because not only is it FREE, but research shows that people click on the organic results 75% to 84% of the time and paid results only garnish 16% to 25% of the attention. Part of the reason for this is that consumers are intelligent enough to understand that money alone can get a web site to the top of a page through these sponsored ad purchases but organic results are dictated by the direct relevance as determined by Google or the other major search engines. This gives organic search results and those web sites that achieve these results much more credibility.
How Do The Major Search Engines Decide Page 1 Rankings?
Google and the other major search engines rank websites in search engine results pages according to relevance to the search terms. This relevance is calculated by looking at both on-page factors such as the content on your site and off-page factors in the form of inbound links to your website. Off-page factors (number of links to a given web page or web site) are the biggest influences in your website’s ranking in search engine results. With these factors as the primary influence, any web site with inbound marketing as a priority, needs to learn how to do some or all of the following:
1: Research & Develop Master Keyword Inventory
• Search Volume – Given two different keyword phrases, optimize for the one with the larger number of searches.
• Relevance – Choose keywords that your target market is using to describe and search for your products and services.
• Difficulty or Competition – Consider your chances for ranking on the first page of Google for that keyword phrase. Look at the sites ranked in those first 10 slots, their authority and relevance to search terms, and gage if you will be able to overtake them to secure a spot on that first page.
2: On-Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Place keywords in the page title, URL, headings, and page text.
• Optimize your page description for maximum click-through-rate when your site ranks in Google searches.
• Place keywords in other “invisible” places on your web site, including meta-keyword tags and alt-text on images.
3: Off-Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Build more inbound links from other sites into yours. Each link serves as a recommendation or a reference.
• Build more links within context, i.e. those with valuable keywords in the link anchor text (the text that is hyperlinked to your site). Link anchor text provides context for the search engines to understand what your site is about.
• Build more links from trusted websites. Just as references from well-respected friends and experts offer more value, so do links from trusted and well- respected websites.
• Link-building tips:
o Submit your website to directories like the Yahoo! Directory and Business.com
o Communicate with others in your industry through blogs and other social media
o Create compelling tools (such as an interesting calculator) and content (via a blog, for example)
4: Measure, Evaluate, Analyze & Modify
• Track number of inbound links, keyword rank over time and compared to competition.
• Measure real business results: number of visitors, leads, and customers from SEO.
Below is an example of search engine ranking results produced for my company. This is some of the data I use to help understand my inbound marketing productivity.