Think about yourself as a consumer. Do you generally get information about products from the newspaper and flyers in the supermarket or from content-based sources, like blogs, podcasts, and social media? Is it easier for your friends and business associates to contact you by sending you letters in the mail or with a quick email?
This same line of questioning is crucial in modern day marketing success. What is more likely to attract customers: traditional advertising strategies or inbound marketing techniques?
A 2013 report by HubSpot found that only 22% of leads come from traditional marketing methods, which include mail, trade shows and telemarketing. When it comes to the strategies that top the list as the most effective, the same players are named over and over with search engine optimisation, better known as SEO, leading the pack.
In the same 2013 HubSpot report, 14% of leads are attained through SEO. Going a step further, 15% of marketers claim that SEO provides above average conversions from leads to customers. Clearly, marketing managers and business owners see the steps necessary to attaining search engine placement as critical in marketing success.
What Is Search Engine Placement?
Search engine placement refers to the placement a website receives on search engine results pages, also called SERPs, and it has been highly desired by companies for more than a decade. After all, companies cannot attract leads without being seen.
Its end goal is to drive rankings, something generally accomplished through SEO. Prior to the release of Google’s Panda algorithm change in February of 2011, SEO largely involved a high keyword density. After Panda, however, sites were forced to meet Google’s high-quality page requirements in order to receive a better rank. For more information why not read our jargon free guide to search engine placement.
Google Penguin, an update to Panda, was released in April of 2012. With these changes, web-based content now needs to be high quality and unique in order to receive favourable rankings, leading to the heightened focus on SEO in inbound marketing strategies.
How is Search Engine Placement Used?
Inbound marketing is a five-step process:
- Attract Traffic
- Convert Visitors to Leads
- Convert Leads to Sales
- Turn Customers Into Repeat Customers
- Analyze for Continuous Improvement
Essentially, it is used to attract traffic and thus facilitate the other four steps. In getting the ball rolling on any inbound marketing campaign, having a reputable page to attract traffic is extremely important and in order to accomplish this, high search engine placement is a necessity.
Inbound marketing is an integrated process; it takes more than one strategy. For any content-based marketing strategy to succeed, taking the steps to focus on search engine optimisation is a requirement. Producing high-quality SEO content is necessary to drive rankings, making it a critical part of achieving a desirable SEO.
Why Is Search Engine Placement Important?
A study by the Search Engine Journal indicates that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. Furthermore, in a study done by Northwestern University, researchers discovered that students prefer to use top-ranked pages, viewing them as more credible and reliable than lower-ranked results.
This mindset is echoed in the general public, as well: would you trust the search engine result for Facebook on the top of the first SERP or the bottom of the tenth? Most people will choose the first result, trusting it to be more legitimate.
For companies that have a trusted and tested web presence, marketing is a much easier mountain to climb. Understanding how to uses it as a positive strategy to get ahead in search engine rankings is a critical part in mastering a content marketing campaign.
While reaching out to consumers and generating leads may require other routes, like social media marketing, blogging and email campaigns, having a reputable and professional website can make or break taking a lead and turning it into a sale.
It is an essential part of accomplishing any number of successful inbound marketing campaigns. The higher a company’s SERP ratings, the more likely they are to be seen and trusted by consumers. By using SEO to generate unique and high-quality content, marketing managers and business owners can use SEO to attract traffic and consequently drive sales.
To reach out to consumers, putting yourself and your content front and centre makes all marketing strategies more effective. Are you doing enough for your search engine placement?