Never have the rewards been sweeter for people investing in search marketing.

The SEO industry can get a bum rap, and a lot of it’s not fair. Take a look at the below example pointed out by search guru Rand Fishkin last week. So much good work done by so many, only for people to focus on one scammer who was trying to growth hack a company.

As Rand also points out, this operation has absolutely nothing to do with SEO, but the behaviour gets tarred with the brush anyway.


And, while I wasn’t too keen on Mark Wright’s pitch for an SEO agency during the last series of The Apprentice, Sir Alan seemed keen and it was his decision to invest. The negative opinion of SEO, though, straight after the final on social media, was pretty unjust.

So it’s time to show some love for search marketing, especially to those that do it right. Why? Because search engines are reportedly now more trusted than TV.

Does the search marketing industry deserve more respect? Have you had positive or negative experiences using SEO? Let me know in the comments section below.

Trusting in search

Last month I talked about how television revenues are being hit by the rise in mobile marketing, and how advertisers have more options than ever before to reach potential consumers.

Those ways are paying off handsomely, especially in the eyes of customers. According to research from Edelman PR, search engines have overtaken television as the most trusted form of media.

As of November 2014 64 per cent of internet users worldwide trusted search engines for news and information, with 62 per cent favouring traditional media such as television and radio.

31 per cent also turn to search engines for business information, too, when compared against 22 per cent looking at televisions and 21 per cent trusting newspapers.

eMarketer expects that trust to be seen in kind with advertising budgets, with the company expecting search ad spending in the US to increase 12.25 per cent in 2015 to just north of $25 billion.

Search is here to stay, and it can only get bigger and better for people that want to invest.

The great and good of Google

Google, of course, is still the biggest player in search and will be for a long time.

But while its algorithm updates have been much to the chagrin of SEOs across the world for the last few years, you have to admire Google’s persistence in doing everything it can to clean up its SERPs and to filter the best results it can for searchers.

Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, and changes to other ranking factors have seen some SEOs accuse the search giant of moving the goalposts, but all they’ve really done is clamp down tougher on companies looking to manipulate their search position with dirty links and more.

 

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Google itself saw large increases in revenue for its fourth quarter
, and while profits are down, there’s still no getting away from the company’s enormous share of the market.

With figures bigger than Rik Waller flying about, you may worry that your time to capitalise on search marketing has been and gone.

Luckily for you though, that train of thought is utter nonsense. It’s never too late to get into search marketing to become an authority in your industry, attract local customers, and many other benefits for your business.

Is traditional media on the way out? Have the options to advertisers through online and search marketing dealt a fatal blow to the industry? Let me know below!

The seven cornerstones of SEO

The perception of SEO is still in the dark ages at times, and it’s no wonder people can be put off when they get so many spam emails and calls promising to boost them up to top spot in Google.

That’s fair enough… but totally wide of the mark, and it’s up to us search agencies that do it the right way to try and change that perception and encourage people to see the benefits it can bring to their business, such as:

#1 Almost instant local exposure

Google’s revamp of its local offerings with the launch of My Business last year has made managing your local search profile easier than ever before, and helps you to get noticed quickly by the local populace.

#2 Getting top position with PPC

Budget cleverly enough and you can get incredible visibility through a Pay Per Click campaign that compliments your search presence and generates leads for sales product pages and more, especially if you target the right keywords.

#3 Show your creativity with content

A creative content strategy is a focal point of not only the search experience, but in showing people more about you, your brand, your industry, and why your business is the better option than your competitors.

 

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#4 Capturing data for future relationships

Capturing data in an ethical way is key for the future of businesses investing in search marketing. Whether it’s gathering email addresses for your mailing list or collecting information for the benefit of advertising partnerships you need to do it in the most transparent way possible.

#5 Generating leads and boosting sales

Providing an excellent user journey to people visiting your website to help them find what they need and pay easily is an essential part of modern SEO. Web design is just as important as getting your branding right to generate leads and convert sales.

#6 Social sharing and customer relations

It can be so easy to get it wrong with social media, and it’s such an important part of search marketing now that you can’t afford not to have your own social media presence to interact with your customers and generate interest.

#7 Magnificent mobile marketing

Search has been helping people make the most of their mobile marketing strategy for years, and combining it with solid web design that gives people an incredible mobile experience is one of the best ways to attract such a fast growing market.

All of these methods, either combined together or cherry-picked, are what the search marketing industry is all about, and why it deserves far more respect for the way it helps small businesses grow.

 

If you’d like to know more about search marketing and how to boost your authority online contact the Webpresence team today!

 

(Image credits: Techtoweb, Onlinebestbusinesses