New visitors to your website will often have searched for a particular product or service and found your site in their listings. The most popular search engines include Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Search marketing combines natural or organic search with paid or pay-per-click advertising.
Organic search marketing
In organic search, the user types a keyword or words into a search engine and the search engine presents a list of relevant web.
Achieving the best organic search results requires the use of the right keywords and tags on your website - a process known as search engine optimisation (SEO). A well-optimised website will appear higher in organic search listings.
The basic measures for SEO performance include:
- how highly ranked your website is in the main search engines for your chosen keywords
- the quantity and quality of back links to your website
- how many pages of your website are being indexed
By benchmarking your current performance you can assess the impact of changes to your SEO.
Paid search marketing
Pay-per-click (PPC) and paid search advertising uses programs such as Google AdWords and Bing Ads.
The key metrics used in measuring your PPC campaigns include:
- the click through rate - number of ad clicks divided by the number of ad impressions
- cost-per-click – the amount you paid for each click
- conversion rate - the percentage of those that clicked on the advert who went on to complete the campaign objective, eg completing a purchase
See setting pay-per-click campaign budgets for a full list of the key metrics.
At the centre of both organic and paid search is your keyword strategy. Good keyword management is vital to maximising effective traffic reducing unwanted clicks. This is particularly true of PPC, where cost relates to keyword popularity and bidding prices.
You need to make sure that you choose the right keywords, and you should analyse which keywords are most effective. PPC advertising is an excellent test bed for your keyword strategy. You can continually measure, test and adapt the keywords you use.
You can use free online tools to research your keywords. You can use web analytics software to see which keywords customers use to get to your website. This will help improve both your SEO and PPC performance.