13 Sep Be Seen In 3 Different Places On The Search Results Page
What is online visibility and why does your business need it?
Online visibility is all about making it easy for potential customers to find you online. Having a website and a blog—even one you continuously update—isn’t enough to keep you visible within search engines.
In order to gain traction in your business you need to become visible within search engines, and there are three ways to go about it.
What is the SERP? The 3 Main Parts
Online users find their desired destination by first using a search engine. In fact, most people arrive at a particular website through a search engine, as opposed to going directly to the website. They type in keywords and the end result is what you call a SERP.
SERP is an acronym for search engine results page. It is the webpage that displays the results from a keyword search query, and it is considered to be one of the most valuable pieces of online real estate there is.
The links on top of a SERP are considered to be the most relevant and most helpful to a user’s needs, with the succeeding links perceived as less relevant as a user moves down the SERP list. Because there are hundreds—even thousands—of companies that have similar businesses such as yours, the competition can get quite fierce when it comes to ranking high within the SERP.
Achieving a high ranking within the SERPs may seem impossible at first glance, but it can be done. After typing a word or a phrase in Google, it provides you with three types of information:
- Paid search results
- Organic SEO
- Local map listings
These three methods are key to increasing your business’ visibility online.
Paid Search Results
The paid search method comes in many guises and is known by many names, such as search engine marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. The paid search results are created through paid advertising. Google places visual cues in order to clearly distinguish or set apart these links from the other search results. These links are marked with “Ad” and are placed on top of the search results page.
Do you want your business to achieve immediate results when it comes to site traffic?
If so, paid search results are your surest and fastest way to get on the top of the results page. In order to use the paid search method, you need to first set up a Google AdWords account.
The next step is to determine which keyword or keyword phrases you would like to rank for. You will then bid for an ad placement in the search engine using the keywords you have chosen.
If you have chosen a very competitive keyword and your competitors are also bidding for the same search term, Google will determine which ads to show using two factors:
- Your maximum bid
- Your quality score.
Other factors that Google will consider are how many clicks your past advertisements have received and how relevant the corresponding landing page of your ad is.
Lastly, since this is a pay-per-click business model, you will only be charged a specific cost every time a user types in your chosen keyword and clicks on your advertisement.
If you are a small business that is just starting up and you don’t have a lot of budget for your marketing expenses, organic SEO is the way to go.
Organic SEO is the use of SEO techniques in order to rank higher in search engines without having to resort to paid search engine advertising. The list of links shown below the ads on the SERP are the organic results.
Organic SEO is an entirely different animal from paid search. There are so many factors to take into consideration on how you can organically get your website on top of the search engines. Due to recent updates in Google’s algorithms, organic traffic can now be achieved by publishing relevant information for your target users, which is why your content needs to be of very high quality.
Unlike paid search results which will give you immediate results, organic SEO does not happen overnight. It may take many months—even years—before you achieve a high ranking. Can your business survive that long, or is your business dependent on online traffic?
If it is the former, you will be better off doing organic SEO. If it is the latter, you need to take advantage of paid search advertising. However, a mix of both is best.
When it comes to long-term results, organic SEO offers better value for your money because once you get to the top, you will reap its benefits for a longer time than with paid ads which stop when you stop paying.
Local Map Listings
Do you want your local business to achieve maximum visibility online?
Then you need to take advantage of Google’s local listings. If your business caters to a local audience, then having a Google business listing allows you to build a strong local presence. Since local businesses are the only ones being displayed in this feature, this means less competition and a higher chance of being found online.
This feature allows you to display your address, phone number, and business hours, without the user having to click on anything. It provides links to your website and Google Maps so mobile users who are on the go can easily visit your place.
It also allows your own customers to put in reviews of your business. These sound more credible to potential customers because they reflect a first-hand experience of what it’s like buying your products or services.
To get started, you need to create a business listing in Google My Business and then verify it.
Learn More about Online Visibility
There is no one-size-fits-all solution and you really cannot box your business into using just one method.
In order to achieve the best results, you will need to try your hand at all three areas so you can determine which online marketing technique will best fit your business model. In order to learn more about increasing online visibility using each of these three methods, you can view our post here specifically created to help you get your business listed.