Understanding Search Engine Marketing: Building for People, Not Robots

10 Oct 2018 in

Search marketing, particularly SEO, is often talked about in terms of designing a website that is beautiful to look at and built around original content. This is all good and well, but doesn't truly explain the way these elements work together to offer up a page to the search engine crawler that is good enough to rank. While the ranking algorithm for a search engine is an extremely complex mathematical function, they can often be understood in terms of the task they are supposed to complete for a user. 

Basically, Google or any other search engine want to be sure they organically rank the best possible answer to any query entered into their system. To that end, its important to understand these searches and the categories they fall into. The ways in which searches are categorized are numerous to name. so for the purposes of this discussion we will limit ourselves to three distinctive categories:

 

Transactional:

These queries relate to individuals who are using a search engine to find something which they are searching to purchase or an organization they wish to contact. They are arguably the most valuable queries for which a site can be displayed at the top of a given search results page or SERP. An examples of a query of this nature would be some searching for the term: "corn growers of america

corn-growers-of-america-serp

Informational:

These queries are defined by users looking for information on a particular topic. The queries can also represent a large indirect value to an individual site. Appearing on informational searches, particularly near the top of a given search results page, is relatively good indicator of whether or not your site is seen as an authority on the topic by Google, or any other search engines algorithm.

build-your-own-dinner-table-serp

In the above example, it would be a safe bet that any site ranking well for the search query “build your own dinner table” would also rank well for the products required to build one, and the term “dinner table” in general. As we can see above, lows.com, a large US-based hardware store, ranks well for this term through the successful employment SEO optimized content on their site.

 

Destinational:

The final type of search query most often observed in users. The desired result of this sort of search is a specific website the user is already aware of and is actively searching for. For example, search for the term “amazon” or “facebook” would be placed under this umbrella.

ebay-serp

In the above example, we can see that a user is clearly searching for ebay.com, though they haven’t typed in the entire url, and as a result ended up on a search page. These queries can be successfully used to analyze the level of brand awareness your website has achieved through its SEO efforts.

Search engine optimization, as a rule, is necessary for any website to find long term success online as without an awareness of how your website is placing within the SERPs, you will be missing out potentially important targeted traffic that could be drawn to your site by simply optimizing the content you are already creating. While not easy to implement at first, SEO best practices, once worked into the routine of content creation for your website, can allow you take advantage of the work you are already doing as part of managing your site on a whole new level. Paid ad campaigns can be expensive, and as your site grows, they can become an untenable channel for you to continue investing in. Furthermore, they can require a lot more management than an SEO campaign on a day-to-day basis reducing the time available to you for other marketing activities. Making sure your site is well designed and its content is suited for the people searching for the topic it is centered around forms the core of search marketing on the simplest level. Use that rule as your guiding light, and everything else from a technical and creative perspective will fall into place.