The internet is growing exponentially. In 2008, Google reported that it had indexed 1 trillion unique web pages. This doesn’t include the Five years later, that number had exploded to 30 trillion. This growth has created an extremely competitive online environment. Until now, business owners have had two options to get their business in front of potential customers online: SEO and SEM.
[dropcap style=”font-size: 50px; color: #9b9b9b;”] SEO [/dropcap]
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The mindless robots that index the web don’t see your website as humans do. Have you ever looked through a kaleidoscope? When you do, a series of mirrors break down what you see into colorful patterns. This is a perfect illustration of how the search engines “see” your website. The website you see is dramatically different than the website the search engines see. SEO is the art and science of making your website more appealing to the search engine robots.
[dropcap style=”font-size: 50px; color: #9b9b9b;”]SEM[/dropcap]SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing and it’s very popular. Competition is fierce online. It can take months – sometimes years – for a webpage to reach the first page of a search result using standard SEO. SEM allows your business to “fast track” your online visibility. SEM allows your business to rise to the top in a matter of hours instead of months.
This instant gratification comes at a cost. PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising is where your business bids how much you’re willing to pay per click to be shown prominently to web searchers. PPC rates are defined by the market. Business bid online auction style for each keyword. The PPC for desirable keywords go for well over $100 per click.
Remember, these rates are set “auction style.” Advertisers bid on the maximum amount they’re willing to pay to be seen.
There is a strong relationship between SEO/SEM. The same factors that make your site more appealing to the search engines will also impact your website’s [tooltip text=”Quality Score is used to determine your cost per click (CPC). Your Quality Score is multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process. SEO can improve your website’s quality score – and therefore lower your CPC.”] Quality Score [/tooltip] in SEM.
[dropcap style=”font-size: 50px; color: #9b9b9b;”]Costs[/dropcap]
SEO and SEM are both worthwhile investments to make in your business. They’re opposite sides of the same coin. SEO is a long term investment while SEM is a short term investment. Both are critically important in getting your website a position on the most desirable online real estate – a specific keyword [tooltip text=”SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. This is the page displayed to the user after a keyword search.”] SERP. [/tooltip]
- SEO gets your website listed on a Search Engine Results Page without paying each time someone clicks on your link.
- SEM gets your website listed above the [tooltip text=”Organic search positions are earned by a variety of factors including age, relevance and popularity while SEM listings are paid a.k.a advertisements.”]organic search results.[/tooltip]
[dropcap style=”font-size: 50px; color: #9b9b9b;”]High Stakes[/dropcap] The stakes are high because SEO and SEM are both winners take all contests. When you win in SEO and SEM – you win big. This is because in order to get your website in front of potential customers, you have to make it to the first search engine results page.
In 2013, the online ad network Chitika measured what percentage of Google traffic comes from each position of the search results page. The graph below illustrates their findings.
The study revealed that a website with the first position in the search results contributed to 33% of the traffic, compared to 18% for the second position.
The report states:
Sites listed on the first Google search results page generate 92% of all traffic from an average search. When moving from page one to two, the traffic dropped by 95%, and by 78% and 58% for the subsequent pages.
While being the number one result on a Google search results page is obviously important, these numbers show just how big of an advantage websites of this type have over any competitors listed below them. The importance of SEO for online business is seemingly quantified by these latest statistics, which, judging by their similarity to those observed as part of the 2010 study, are not likely to change significantly in the near future.
In other words, if your website isn’t on the first page of a keyword search, you’re only getting a few crumbs from the feast that is happening online.
The businesses who occupy the prime real estate of the first page of search gorge themselves on the bounty. Everyone else is scrambling from the crumbs that fall to the floor.
Being on the first page of your desired keyword gives your business an Unfair Online Advantage. Want to learn more about Advanced Optimization Technology? Click here.