Many people believe that running ads on Google and Bing will help their website perform better in organic search rank. That’s simply not the case and there’s good reason why search engines don’t give preference to sites that purchase ads. This certainly isn’t the only misnomer about SEM, or search engine marketing.
Search ad buys can be costly and quite confusing to set up, which is why support services are offered. Businesses must know their precise target audience in order for SEM to be even marginally effective. What’s more, setting optimum engagement times is necessary to display ads when the most opportunities exist. In addition to these, businesses must reduce their best two minute elevator pitch to mere seconds.
Does Buying Search Ads Increase Site Rank?
The short answer to the question is no. There’s good reason why search engines do not give favor to entities purchasing advertising space from their platforms–it undermines the entire purpose of organic search. If Google and Bing did up websites’ ranks in a pay to play scenario, there wouldn’t be any real need for optimization. Instead of blogging and social media marketing, businesses would just put their marketing money into SEM.
Fat-head keywords, or search phrases with only one or two words, are eroding with respect to the total market share of keywords being searched today. In 2010, Google announced that over 20 percent of searches for that year were phrases that the search giant had never seen before! Additionally, 80 percent of searches today contain five or more words within the phrase. —Inc.com
Search engines thrive on user trust and that precious relationship is much to valuable to give away. Research clearly demonstrates that searchers trust organic results over paid advertising, particularly when finding a certain service is the goal.
Though ads appear at the very top of the results page, and alongside in a column, the top three sites in the organic section outperform paid links. However, studies have also shown that when it comes to e-commerce, product searches enjoy a higher conversion rate from SEM rather than organic.
Content Marketing versus Search Engine Marketing
The difference between content marketing and search engine marketing could not be more stark. The former delivers information, while the later is a direct link to a product or service. This is why bounce rate from SEM referrals is notably higher than through organic clicks for service businesses. Searchers are typically looking for information and often compare providers, including reading reviews. Content marketing provides answers and imparts credibility, while SEM makes clear that space was bought to sell products and services. This is why search engine marketing works especially well for product based businesses that sell relatively low cost items.
The reason for these differences is because businesses are competing in a crowed environment through SEM. Their competitors’ ads are also being displayed and the number of impressions a business gets is directly related to the size of their ad buy frequency. Businesses don’t have control over where their ads will appear, and, are not shown in their native environment, which is to say, channels which companies directly control.
The takeaway is for service-based businesses, content marketing is substantially more effective because searchers can find valuable information on a branded channel. The ability to customize properties, add original content, display contact information and offer insight outperforms shallow ad-speak, which directly translates into more sales.