Paid and unpaid search results
Before you can choose the right service, it is important to distinguish between paid and unpaid search results. With search engine optimisation, the goal is to get as high as possible in the organic traffic. These are the unpaid search results. The optimisations carried out are aimed at improving the website, the user experience and building a natural link profile. The goal is to make the website more attractive to users. In short: you deserve that higher position. The biggest search engine marketing advantage is that this does not only make you more visible in Google, but that it also produces lasting results. Moreover, it is often cheaper than a higher position in the paid search results. The disadvantage is that it often takes longer before you will see results.
Those who are looking for a short-term solution will benefit more from SEA. You can think of using Google AdWords. You pay for a number of keywords on which you want to be found and then you appear higher in the paid search results. You then pay for each time a visitor clicks on your site. You pay more for frequently chosen keywords.
Entrepreneurs often use a combination of both SEO and SEA in order to see long-term results. The only caveat is that SEA has less effect when the website is not optimised. Even if your online findability increases, it is still important that the visitor finds what he is looking for. Otherwise, this will not lead to extra leads. It is good to take this into account.
In the end, almost everything revolves around content. If you don't have the right content, your website will not only be less attractive to the reader, but also to Google. Google tries to understand the texts on your site. The robots do this by scanning the texts and picking out important bits. However, this is different from before. In the past, it was possible to fool Google's algorithm by simply including many keywords in the text. This is no longer the case.
Due to changes within Google, these robots read the texts almost as a human would. That is why readability is essential. Think of the use of (sub)headings and a clear reading structure. Remember that you are creating content for your target group, your potential customers. You want to provide essential information that can help them make a choice. It should not be an advertisement for Google's robots. It should attract, fascinate and enthuse the reader to make use of your services or products.
Use copywriters to create good SEO-optimised content. That way, the basis of good SEO for your website is already in place. Only when the basics are right can you look further to other possibilities to put your site on the digital map.
The basis of your website is very important. Not only content, but also technical SEO should definitely not be missing from your search engine marketing plan. This lays the foundation for a good user experience. This is not so much about the information provided on the site, but about how the site works. Think for example of the loading time, the quality of the server and the possibility to load it on a mobile phone.
Bear in mind that there is little point in ranking high in the search engines if people cannot open the page or if it takes a very long time to load it. When this doesn't work, they are inclined to click on. Something that also has a negative impact on the quality score of the website. Technical SEO also ensures that Google can read the site more easily.
Nowadays, it is not difficult to build a beautiful website. Almost everyone is capable of doing so. Especially thanks to handy options like WordPress. But a beautiful site says nothing about the online findability. Therefore, always hire a professional to build a good, technical website. That way you know for sure that Google can read the website properly and that it works optimally for visitors. This way, you won't unnecessarily miss out on potential customers and you will get the most out of your website.
Social media marketing
Social media are expected to play an increasingly important role, particularly in 2022. This was already the case in the past two years. Due to the corona crisis, this accelerated. More and more companies started to establish themselves online and the vast majority of consumers are also located here. In addition, many social media channels have now made extra tools available to companies. This has made it a lot more attractive to make use of as an entrepreneur.
A major advantage of social media marketing is that it brings you closer to the consumer. After all, these days they are able to do their own research and make choices based on what they can find themselves. This has both advantages and disadvantages. The greatest disadvantage for entrepreneurs is that there are no longer any passive consumers. Consumers are able to have a lot of information at their disposal quickly, so they no longer listen passively to what you can tell them. In addition, interaction with the consumer simply plays a much more important role nowadays. Consumers want to see the personal side of a company and have opportunities for dialogue. Social media helps with that.
The great thing about social media marketing is that you can take care of a large part of it yourself. This does not cost a lot of extra time, while you can immediately reach a large part of your target group with it. We also see the use of influencers more and more. Influencers are people who are on social media and have a large following. By choosing the right influencer, you can bring your products or services to the attention of a specific target group. This will ultimately result in more leads.
Build a natural link profile
Link building is the pivot of online marketing. Every link you collect is considered a 'vote' by Google. With this vote, Google can determine whether your website is of sufficient quality to be mentioned in the search results. However, in the first years there was a lot of fiddling around with this. Entrepreneurs bought large quantities of links in order to influence the quality score of their website. Meanwhile, Google has become so intelligent that it quickly discovers whether links have been obtained illegally. As soon as this is discovered by Google, it results in a Google penalty. This affects the ranking and can have further negative consequences for your site and the source of the link. What a shame!
That's why it's important to approach link building in the right way. You do this by building a good and natural link profile. This consists of both internal links (links placed on your own website) and external links. A good link profile is essential for the good SEO of your website. The following applies: quality over quantity. It is therefore not directly about the number of links that point to your website, but about the quality of these links. Quality external links can be obtained in different ways:
By writing blogs you ensure that you share your knowledge with the industry and your target group. This makes it more attractive for other websites to link to your page. Be aware that a website will hardly ever refer to your homepage without a reason. You have to share really attractive and informative content to earn the link. Then bring the blogs to the attention of people in your industry. A blog can also be used for internal linking.
Many entrepreneurs also choose to publish press releases and share them with digital newspapers and magazines. These are very high quality sources and a link on these sites will pay off handsomely. Remember to write a press release when you really have something interesting to say. For example, when launching an entirely new product. The information must be newsworthy enough to be shared.
Ask for links at so-called directories. However, this is something that should only be done in moderation. If you make a lot of use of directories, Google may penalise you. Therefore, make sure that only 10 percent of your total online links come from directories. It is also more difficult to get more links on such sites. Since they receive a lot of requests, often only a few are granted.
Outsource link building to SEO companies. They usually have many external contacts. Think of quality blogs and other sites. With their experience, they can share information with you that is newsworthy enough to end up on these sites. Subsequently, these links will also be mentioned on such pages, which will increase your authority score within Google.
Search engine advertising
In addition to organic ways of ending up higher in the search results, you can also opt for search engine advertising. Also called SEA. Search engine optimisation is mainly about improving the website in order to end up higher in the organic traffic of Google. SEA is about paid advertisements. It should be clear that the quality of the site still plays a role. A big advantage of SEA is that it brings you directly to the top of the Google search results. You don't have to do anything else. Except pay, of course.
Search engine advertising has some major advantages compared to search engine optimisation:
- Direct results
- The possibility to determine your target group in a more targeted way and thus obtain more leads
- Pay per click (you only pay when your ad is actually seen and generates a click).
Google has added a special advertising option. This is popularly known as Google AdWords. Although it is now known as Google Ads. Thanks to this programme, you are able to place advertisements via Google relatively easily. This is usually done by means of text advertisements for relevant keywords. This offers many possibilities to really target your audience.
Google Ads may seem simple. You choose some keywords you want to score on and then you enjoy a higher position within Google. However, when this is not done in the right way, you not only attract the wrong audience, but you also pay more than necessary. That is why it is important to choose your advertisements with care and to outsource this to a Google Specialist. In any case, try to avoid the following common mistakes:
Starting without carrying out a keyword analysis
Good preparation is worth its weight in gold. Google Ads is all about using the right keywords. This not only allows you to target your audience very precisely, but also ensures that you do not have to pay too much. The purpose of a keyword analysis is to determine which keywords have a high search volume and what is really relevant for your website. This is more difficult than it seems. Fortunately, there are several online tools that allow you to easily carry out a keyword analysis. Not sure how to use them? Let an online marketeer do this for you.
Using it too widely
Remember that with Google Ads, you pay per click. When you choose for broad keywords with a high search volume, there is a big chance that people will click on your site, but eventually make a different choice. Simply because there is much more competition. In addition, you will not be able to find your target group in a very targeted way.
Let's use the example of a hairdresser's in Friesland. When they use the keywords: 'haircut, colouring and barber', chances are that there's a lot of search volume and also a lot of competition. Also consider that everyone who searches on this keyword will see your advert. But what use is an ad from a hairdresser's in Friesland to someone from North Brabant? Therefore, in many cases it is better to choose keywords with a slightly lower search volume, but which are very suitable for the target group. For example, use a long-tail keyword such as kapperszaak Friesland. In that case, you will reach the people who really need it, you will pay less per click and you will also achieve more in the end.
Not watching the results
The biggest advantage of search engine marketing and SEA is that the results are measurable. It is a shame not to make use of this. After all, if you don't keep a close eye on the results, you won't know whether your marketing strategy has actually been effective. This would mean that you would be spending a lot of money on SEA every month, while it would not really pay off. A waste of money! That is why it is good to find out exactly what the ads are doing for you and what the results are. If necessary, you can always adjust the advertisements or go in a completely different direction. This way you save yourself unnecessary costs.