Paid search advertising is a digital marketing tactic that remains popular today. Its appeal largely stems from its pay-per-click model that guarantees that advertisers pay for actual traffic rather than mere visibility. But how effective is advertising on popular search engines like Google and Bing?
Teknicks surveyed more than 1,000 internet users to get a better sense of how they find what they’re looking for online. Their answers suggest that search engine advertising – and paid search – may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
Among all respondents (the vast majority of whom use Google), 35.7% were very likely to distinguish between an ad and an organic search listing on a results page. When asked whether paid search ads on Google were more likely to meet their needs than organic listings, 45% disagreed while another 35% responded neutrally. So what does that mean for marketers?
You get what you pay for
Modern consumers, especially younger generations, crave brand authenticity; they aren’t necessarily eager to reward your investment in paid advertising. However, Google ads can and do work for some brands. Marketers wouldn’t continue to rely on them if they didn’t. But you’re generally paying a high price for instant gratification with money that could be invested elsewhere.
Ads run only as long as you can pay for them, so investments in your SEO strategy and website’s content can ultimately lead to better long-term results. Search engines like Google and Bing want to provide the best experience possible for their users, so they reward helpful, informative, and entertaining websites with high-ranking placements. If you can land an organic listing, you’ll naturally see increased traffic over time.
If you want to improve your company’s search ranking by investing in a long-term strategy, here’s what you can do:
#1: Prioritise users over keywords
Digital marketers have used keywords, the bread and butter of search, in SEO strategies for years. The only problem? Humans don’t speak in keywords. That’s why Google has evolved to interpret human language in a way that lessens keywords’ importance. Now, the search engine giant focused on the user experience and rewards websites with helpful content. If you want to attract visitors, you’ll need to put the user first and foremost. You can do this by creating an FAQ page that quickly answers consumer questions, avoiding keyword-stuffing, and framing content in a way that would make good featured snippets.
#2: Build an ecosystem
Regardless of the industry you’re in, other blogs and websites in the space have large and loyal followings. Building relationships with other content creators can ultimately allow you to capitalize on their audiences and build your credibility. Start small by contributing high-quality content and adding thoughtful comments to their posts. Don’t jump in and start selling your products and services.
Once you’ve established a mutual connection, include links to other authors’ posts in your own content. If you continually look for ways to add value, it’s likely that they’ll return the favour. But when it comes to links, remember it’s about quality over quantity. Use link building software to automate time-consuming tasks and scale the process.
#3: Keep content fresh
The best content is relevant, timely, and extremely useful; it should provide searchers with the exact answers or information they’re looking for. That doesn’t mean old content isn’t valuable, though. Look for ways to update old blog posts or webpages using what’s happening in the moment, and don’t be afraid to alter what you’ve already made. You can combine content to create comprehensive guides and in-depth articles. You should view all of your digital properties — including your social profiles, website, blog, news, etc. — as a collective work in progress.
Organic search rankings depend on a variety of factors. You won’t dramatically improve your ranking overnight, but you’ll make gradual progress if you follow these three steps. Eventually, you won’t need to pay for web traffic — it will come to you.
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