Everyone who owns a business wants their website to show up in search results for the main products or services that they offer. Let’s go over a simple guide to showing up in search results and how you can get your website seen.
There are two directions you can take to get your website to show up in search results and here they are in their simplest form:
- Pay to show up for the keywords you want (I’ve written more about this for local businesses here)
- Add valuable content to your site that search engines will show in the results. Search engine optimise your site using various methods.
Let’s go into more detail.
Method 1: Pay to show up for the keywords you want
You can simply pay the search engines to show up for the keywords you want. There are pros and cons to this method, so here’s what I consider:
- You can begin to show up instantly (doesn’t take time to rank)
- You can have your ad go directly to a landing page that relates to what people clicked on
- It’s relatively easy to setup
- You can set a daily maximum budget so you’re never surprised by how much you spend per month
- You can choose exactly how the search engine result looks in order to make it the most “clickable”
- If you have competitors doing the same thing, the ad costs and costs per click go up pretty fast
- You have to keep paying in order to keep ranking
- As soon as you turn off your ads, you stop getting visitors to your site
- It can be a decent amount of work in order to do the ads the right way and have the landing page be exactly relevant to what people clicked on in the search results. If your landing page is not relevant, Google charges more per click.
- People don’t trust ads as much as they used to
Method 2: Add Valuable Content and Search Engine Optimise It
This is the slow and steady method that will pay you dividends in the long run but won’t necessarily get you anything instantly. If you create valuable content that is interesting, entertaining, thought provoking, or helpful then you are likely to get your content to show up in search results for the keywords that the content is about. If you cross-link that content back to your main products or services, then you start to get better rankings in the search results. Again, there are pros and cons to this method and here are just a few:
- You are helping people who could be your potential customers or clients
- You are building up content that is on your site that will eventually bring traffic to your site that you won’t have to pay for
- People searching for your content will find it organically and trust it more because it’s not an ad. Side Note: people would trust ads more if they were written well and actually brought people to content that they were looking for, but 90% ads don’t do that so people don’t trust ads as much.
- As you build up great content, you make your business an authority about the topics that you produce.
- It doesn’t cost you direct ad costs and you can use some productivity hacks in order to produce a lot of content in a short amount of time
- It can take a pretty long time to start to see traffic to your site if you just wait to show up in search results
- It can be time consuming to think up and produce content that surrounds your products or services
- Creating content is one thing, but creating GREAT content is something completely different
- It can take a decent amount of research to find out what people are searching for that’s related to your products or services
- Some business types just don’t have a lot to write about that can be valuable for the people doing searches
- Search engine optimising your pages and content is not always straight forward (or fun…haha)
So what’s the best thing to do?
Well, why not do both? Method 1 gets you out there right away and Method 2 brings in traffic for free as your content matures and develops. As you start to get more and more organic traffic from your site ranking in search engines, you can reduce your spending on ads and still get traffic. This increases your return on investment because your cost of acquiring a customer is lower.
But why not take it a step further when doing both?
As you create great content, put advertising dollars behind each new piece of content in order to drive traffic to that page. You are essentially creating a custom landing page for the topic you are writing about. Then you can do all sorts of marketing magic to capture the info about those visitors: retargeting, advertising related topics, social media boosting, call to actions to get people to give you their email address, etc. You are using the traffic to build a list of potential customers as well as build a list of actual customers if they end up buying.
Every business is different
Every business is different and can use various tactics to get the most out of the marketing tactics that are available, so some kinds of marketing are much more effective than others. So, think about how this all applies to your business and figure out the best way to integrate it into your online strategy. You have an online strategy, don’t you? If you don’t have a strategy, most of your advertising dollars are being wasted. Have a strategy first and then spend the ad dollars helping that strategy come to fruition.