Introduction to Search Engine Marketing

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Let's face the facts. Marketing and Advertising tactics are constantly evolving.  

From print to digital, social, and search the goal has always been communicating your brand's message.  

In this article I will define key Marketing terms as they relate to Search.  

Along the way I will share some personal experiences and provide additional resources that will take your content game to the next level!



What is a Search Engine?

Bear with me.  

In order to be effective at Digital Marketing in 2016 it is important to understand how Search Engines work.


A Search Engine is an intelligent machine that…


·         indexes

·         categorizes and

·         ranks

…web pages using a computational algorithm based on…

·         content

·         quality

·         relevancy

·         authority

·         usability and 

·         many more ranking factors

The Internet is a massive, distributed network of interconnected websites.  

In order to increase unpaid traffic to your website through content marketing, it is important to understand how Search Engines qualify and return content on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

What is Search?

Search is the primary, internet-enabled method people use to find answers to queries.


Search is when someone asks a Search Engine to locate…


·         information

·         businesses

·         solutions and

·         products


...based on the searcher’s…


·         keywords

·         phrases

·         question

·         history and

·         intent

...during their current "micro moment”.  More on Micro Moments in just a bit!


Google alone processes over 3.5 Billion searches everyday.  

That's 3,500,000,000 opportunities;  each one conducted with an intention.  That number is growing steadily.


Over half of these searches are being conducted from a mobile device.  

Increased affordability of smartphones and increased access to the internet favors developing a mobile-first marketing strategy.


For more information on all things related to Search check out

What is Voice Search?

Voice Search is the process of using dictation and voice recognition technology to query a Search Engine or Digital Assistant. 


Dictation is common practice across health, legal, and many other professional disciplines.  Advances in...


·         Artificial Intelligence

·         Voice recognition technology

·         Internet Bots

·         Digital Assistants and

·         Consumer products like Amazon’s Echo

...are quickly impacting how marketers write.  Use Voice Search to your advantage by writing content that...


·         answers common questions

·         explores topics related to your industry

·         explains the “why” and

·         teaches the “how”

What is Semantic Search?

Wikipedia says it best, "Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding the searcher's intent and the contextual meaning of terms". 


Semantic Search attempts to derive meaning by understanding the relationship between words.


Semantic Search was implemented by Google after their Hummingbird update.  

If you are curious about writing for Semantic Search, check out these 9 Writing Tips and this helpful presentation.

Why is Maintaining a Website Important for Search Engine Marketing?

Before we go deeper, lets put this conversation in context with an analogy.


Imagine the internet is a giant neighborhood where every house is a website, and performing a search is like trying to find a house you’ve never been to before.


In this scenario Google is your GPS and Search Engine Optimization is how Google is able to provide the most accurate directions.


Here’s the deal: 


Your website is where your business lives online.  

Your website should be pleasing like a well groomed lawn with a white picket fence.  When visitors arrive they should feel welcomed and be able to find exactly what they are looking.


Search Engine Marketing drives people to your business by combining high quality and trustworthy content with accurate directions.


Conversion Rate Optimization is like a stone walkway leading to the front door.  

Your website should give people a clear and direct path to engage with your business.  This often means promoting a phone number, a contact form, or a particular product.


Like GPS, people are performing a majority of their searches from their phone.  Before going all in with Search Marketing it is important to make sure your website is mobile friendly and optimized for search.


What is a Micro Moment?

Micro moments are when searchers


·         want to know

·         want to go

·         want to do and

·         want to buy

For more information on Micro Moments check out Google’s Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a discipline and an art.  SEO helps Search Engines...


·         Crawl and index your website

·         Understand your website’s content and

·         Determine quality and relevancy serve people the best information and web experiences available.



·         targeting the right keywords

·         discussing related topics

·         performing on page SEO and

·         optimizing your website for mobile

...SEO can…


·         improve brand visibility

·         increase “discoverability”

·         increase organic, unpaid traffic

·         increase brand impressions and

·         engage potential customers

...during every stage of the purchasing journey.


What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing combines...


·         the tactics of content marketing with

·         fundamental SEO techniques

·         user experience design and

·         conversion rate optimization attract, engage, and convert searchers through educational and user friendly web experiences.

At its core, Search Engine Marketing is about writing high quality content that is optimized for search.  

Search Engine Marketing is about being there for your customers during every micro moment. 


If your brand...


·         establishes trust from the beginning and

·         educates people throughout the purchasing journey

...prospective customers will know exactly what to expect and how to take action.


What is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

Conversion Rate Optimization attempts to reduce friction between page visitors and a path to...


·         finding more information

·         taking action

·         requesting services

·         accessing tools and

·         purchasing products

...that meet their immediate micro moment need.

Conversion Rate Optimization is important to remember throughout the SEM content creation process because the ultimate goal is to convert website visitors into new customers.


For more information on Conversion Rate Optimization check out these Beginner Guides from Qualaroo and Quick Sprout.


How Do I Get Started?

First, take a deep breath. And then whatever you do, don’t worry! 


Continue writing high quality content related to your industry, and begin implementing On-Page SEO


There are plenty of resources available if your business’ website uses a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordpressJoomla, or Magento


Thank you for reading everyone!  Please share if you found this article helpful!

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