What Is Search Marketing?

The practice of search marketing has significantly progressed over the past few years and businesses from Fortune 100s to the two attorney law firm in South Boston, are reaping the benefits. However, still most businesses fail to embrace what is arguably the most cost effective means of marketing and advertising their services with the continued belief that effective search marketing is simply having a website.

Search marketing is a continual process of integrating and optimizing various online components, including your website, done in an effort to obtain valuable online real estate and prominently appear in the search engine result pages (SERPs) of Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc. Search marketing is not an a single “item” like a website, or a one time “event” like launching your new website.

I always say to clients that effective search marketing converts searchers into clients by appearing within the SERPs in the right place, at the right time and with the right message.

Ultimately, one invests in search marketing, which is also often referred to as search engine marketing (SEM), to achieve a defined business goal like obtain new clients, increase visibility and brand awareness, drive qualified traffic, obtain a competitive advantage or integrate off-line marketing initiatives with an online target audience. Search marketing focuses on the organic and paid search listings of every SERP.

At the very basic level of search marketing, there are essentially two components to every search engine result page. They are; Organic Listings which are obtained through search engine optimization (SEO) as well as by establishing and optimizing an arsenal of other digital assets like directory listings, social profile listings, videos, press releases, etc.  and the Sponsored Listings which is paid advertising, like Google Adwords, where you pay for visitors who click on your advertisement and land on your website.

Paid Search is online advertising in the form of ads or text links, which can be found primarily on the top and on the right hand side of the SERPs. Also referred to as “pay per click” (PPC) or “sponsored placement”. This form of search engine advertising means that you can be guaranteed to appear in the paid search results section for the keywords you choose within a day or less. This does not mean you will appear in the organic search results.

Organic Search is the search engine results that are shown due to relevancy to the search terms, not by paid search. Also referred to as “natural” or “algorithmic” search. These are the results that are shown on the middle of the page in the Google, Yahoo!, and Bing search results. One obtains favorable organic search results by implementing an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing a website’s code, content and connections in accordance to a search engine’s algorithmic criteria. SEO is the process of obtaining favorable organic search results for specific keyphrases used by your target audience.

Bardorf Legal Marketing is a Massachusetts Internet marketing and advertising firm working with lawyers and law firms on enhancing their online effectiveness in the areas of SEO, paid search, social media, affiliate marketing, blog and website development, and targeted local search marketing campaigns.