What is a Search Engine Marketing Agency?
Long gone are the days of the Yellow Pages and word-of-mouth advertising. Today, more than 88% of consumers will search for local businesses on a search engine like Google.
Hardly ground breaking news, but it has never been more important for your business that it appears on search engines, vying the attention of millions of users and consumers who, in essence, represent potential customers and sales.
But what exactly is search engine marketing, and what is a search engine marketing agency? In this blog, we’ll unpack what search marketing is and just why it is so vital in today’s business environment, and explain the role of a search marketing agency, all whilst explaining the endless benefits a search marketing agency can bring to your business in real, tangible terms.
What is search engine marketing?
Search engine marketing, essentially, is the art of ensuring your business, your physical store or your website appears on search engines like Google when users search for the services or products you provide.
Put simply, the businesses that nail search engine marketing get their web pages and their company to the top of search engine results pages, or SERPS, where users and potential customers are clearly more likely to find them.
There are two main methods to achieve search engine marketing success. The first is by organically boosting the search engine rankings of your web pages, and website as whole, via SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
A good SEO strategy can be difficult to get off the ground, but the rewards for appearing on the first page of Google results, or even in the hallowed top spot position, on SERPs for relevant search terms are enormous.
The second method of appearing in these spots is by running PPC (Pay-per-click) campaigns. No doubt you’ll recognise the small ‘Ad’ that appears next to some search results on a SERP. This signifies that the business behind the result has run a paid advertising campaign to appear in that position.
Whilst appearing in these spots doesn’t appear to be as valuable as ranking organically in the top spots (user behaviour indicates that people are less inclined to click on results with ‘Ad’ next to them), a well-run PPC campaign can mean that your business can still appear first, even for extremely competitive search terms.
What is a search engine marketing agency?
As we mentioned above, your PPC campaigns and your SEO strategies must be carried out efficiently to reap the rewards that successful search engine marketing can bring you.
The job of a search engine marketing agency is to identify where opportunities for your business lie, and run SEO campaigns, PPC campaigns, or a combination of the two, to make your company visible to the thousands of relevant customers searching for services or products you provide every day.
For SEO, that’s all about finding search phrases used by people who would be interested in your product, at the time they are looking to buy, and optimising your website to appear in front of them when they make that search.
For PPC, its finding those ideal search terms whilst not competing with huge companies with massive advertising budgets.
The point is, these are hugely time-consuming projects. By employing a search engine marketing agency, you can make your business visible to thousands of new customers who may not even know you exist, increasing traffic to your website and at the end of it all, improving your bottom line sales.
What Areas do Search Engine Marketing Agencies Specialise In?
The two main areas that search engine marketing agencies specialise in, as mentioned, are in SEO and in PPC.
Search Engine Marketing Agencies in SEO
For SEO, your success depends on how Google perceives, and then ranks your website. If you own a shop that sells watches, you’ll find success in SEO if you show clues to Google that your site is the best possible result to show to someone searching for ‘watches for women’ for example.
- optimising key landing pages with specific keywords
- building and writing watch related content
- ensuring your site has a free-flowing link structure that allows users and search engines to explore your site easily, as well as provide more clues to the search engine that your site is relevant to watches
- making sure the pages on your site load quickly
A lot of this is based around providing a good user experience. Google also measures user metrics such as pages clicked through, time spent on your site and time spent on individual pages to judge whether your site provides the user with what they’re looking for when they search.
By building content, implementing linking strategies and improving general site performance, search engine marketing agencies can improve your visibility on search engines, driving more customers and sales.
Search Engine Marketing Agencies in PPC
When it comes to PPC campaigning, the key is to find opportunities that capture users at a buying stage, for phrases not already targeted by larger companies who can afford a much higher advertising budget.
This takes a lot of keyword research and forward planning, and it means moving money around your PPC accounts in a way that optimises every penny.
The reason you want to find users who are looking to buy is simple, and it’s in the name of PPC. Every time a user clicks your ad on Google, you pay Google for that click. That means if you attract users with your ad who are only browsing, every time they click your ad it will cost you money with no ROI.
A search engine marketing agency would use your money and your advertising budget in the most efficient way possible, saving you vast amounts of time and money, and widening your outreach to individuals who are all potential buyers.
Why would my business need a Search Engine Marketing Agency?
To answer this question best, let’s take a look at some stats that really impress the importance of a successful search engine marketing strategy.
Of the 360 billion Google searches that have already been made in 2021, 75% of people will never scroll past the first page, or the first ten results. It’s vitally important that your business appears on this first page, and ideally near the top of relevant SERPs, as otherwise you are missing out on a huge amount of potential website, traffic, users, new potential customers, and sales.
The vast majority of consumer behaviour in 2021, particularly after the coronavirus pandemic, takes place online, and particularly on search engines. In fact, 68% of online experiences start on search engines, with a huge 80% of major purchases being made only after online research.
If you don’t appear as a useful resource for internet users and consumers, the odds are online users simply aren’t going to even discover, let alone buy your product.
And with UK online shopping sales rising to £113 billion in 2020, that’s a huge amount of potential revenue you’re missing out on. A search engine marketing agency can get the very best out of your website and optimise it to the point where it is gaining exposure, and being displayed by search engines to thousands of potential customers who are already interested in your product.
By launching content marketing strategies, conducting technical SEO to make sure your site runs smoothly and is sending off all the right signals to Google, developing keyword strategies and PPC campaigns, a search engine marketing agency can change the course of an online business, and ensure you are successful in a highly competitive online world.