Search Engine Ranking Myths Contractors Should Know

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    SER is a term describing the overall skill or service of being found on the internet. It’s the art of making your website appear for your potential customers to see and refers to paid ads used to boost rankings to accomplish this.
    You know you’ve been successful with SEM when your website shows up on search engines one the first page (or SERP, Search Engine Results Page) when they search for information, products, or services related to your business.
    It can be hard to separate myth from fact today with the plethora of information at your disposal and hearsay from friends and family. With our 20 years of internet marketing, continued research and real-life action taking, we’ve compiled a list of myths and truths so you can make an informed decision about which information is true for your situation, helping commit time or money in exactly what matters most!

    SEM Myths & The Truths

    SEM & SEO Are One in the Same

    For those new to digital marketing, it’s easy to confuse SEM with SEO. They both share many of the same methods, terminology, and actions but SEM goes further and encompasses paid ads like Google Ads or Facebook Ads. It is an all-encompassing service.

    SEO is geared toward capturing organic traffic; SEM is concerned with paid traffic.  

    SEO uses keywords to increase search engine rankings on organic searches. SEM uses keywords, audience research, and paid ads.

    SEO uses content to drive traffic to your website through expertise and backlinks. SEM is primarily a paid method for ads to companies like Google and Bing to send people to your website.

    The More You Spend, The Better Your Results

    While having a large SEM budget at your disposal sounds great, it won’t instantly equal success. It’s essential to use your research you’ve completed on your target market when deciding on ad spend. Once ads are placed you must use analytics to measure results and make adjustments as needed. market research and evaluate the results, meaning conversions.

    If You’re Ranking High Organically, You Don’t Need to Worry About SEM

    Seeing your website rank high on the first page of results means that you’re reaching audiences through organic search results. It’s great news! But paid traffic is just as important. Pairing SEO and SEM actions put you at an advantage to maximize your results. Employ SEM for quickly gaining volume and SEO for your long-term traffic build-up.

    With search engine optimization, you structure your website to make it easier for search engines to crawl your website. When you focus on SEO, you optimize your website to improve user experience and attract quality traffic. SEO strategies include:

    • Optimizing image alt text and title tags
    • Backlinking
    • Guest Blogging
    • Providing unique and informative content that provides value
    • Keyword implementation

    Search Engine Marketing uses paid marketing to promote your website and direct traffic. Pay-per-click advertising increases your website’s visibility.

    Pairing SEO and SEM makes more of an impact. A few of the benefits of using them together include:

    For new websites, use SEM to drive traffic using targeted keywords immediately. Then once all campaigns are in action, focus on your long-term SEO game using analytics and insights from the SEM campaigns.

    For more established websites with a foot up on SEO, you would leverage this data to choose keywords to aid your SEM campaigns.

    Once you’re in a place where you’re ranking well in organic search, you can move that SEM ad spend to other areas of marketing.

    Put Your Keywords to Work in Both SEO and SEM Efforts

    Choose your best-performing keywords and use them in SEO and SEM, boosting your keyword presence on SERPs.

    SEM campaigns can drive your SEO results, and SEO strategies can boost your SEM campaigns.

    Ranking Highest is The Goal

    Second or third in search results aren’t bad spots. Of course, being at the top of search results means you’ll get up to 25% of your traffic. Getting to the spot and keeping that top spot can be expensive. Sometimes it’s a numbers game. Maybe you don’t work to get the top spot for one keyphrase that historically is searched 1000 times with a 25% click-through rate (CTR) meaning 250 clicks to your website but you work to get the #3 spot for 5 keywords that might be getting 11% of CTR (clicks to your website). Meaning 110 CTRs x 5 = 550. 

    Search Engine Ranking Is Not Determined By Traffic

    I’ll admit, I used to tell clients that just getting traffic to your website will not help your rankings. That is partially incorrect. According to SEMRush’s latest findings, it is the top signal to Google. But the crux is that the traffic needs to be direct traffic. “When many users go to a website directly it is a good sign to  Google that the domain has high authority and value.” This means you need to create great content, share it, and keep sharing it. The more often you can send people to your website and others share your content then link to it, the better.

    All Links to My Site Will Help Improve My Rankings

    The truth is getting good quality links to your website makes a big difference in improving your ranking with the search engines. And the operative words here are “good” and “quality.” Search engine algorithms can tell which sites are high quality and which are not. The best way to get good results is by providing good content on your site that will promote legitimate links. Just adding links from any blog post that has nothing to do with your content’s subject is not a quality link. Other links can be called ‘toxic.’ Toxic backlinks are the type of unnatural links that can harm your website’s search rankings. A few years ago, Google’s Penguin update focuses on penalizing websites with a bad link profile, and it has been very successful in removing many harmful sites from search engine results pages (SERPs).

    An Attractive, Eye-Catching, & Well-Designed Website is Enough to Drive Visitors to My Site

    Google, Yahoo, or MSN won’t detect a pretty site from an ugly one. While a good-looking website is vital to create a good first impression for your remodeling business, search engines index text or content but not design or graphics. Search engines exist simply to locate, understand, and organize the content on the internet to offer relevant results to users. Your content must be visible to them. Search engines perform three basic functions:

    Crawling – They roam the internet searching for content, reviewing the code and content for each URL.

    Indexing – They store and organize content found while crawling.

    Ranking – Then then offer up content that best matches the users search. 

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Marketing (SEM) Doesn’t Work

    Search engine marketing has dominated as an effective way to get your contracting business in front of your audience since the early 90s when the first search engine went live. 

    It’s all about timing. It’s about showing up on search results at the right time and is a combination of locality and making sure your website answers the exact question your customers are looking to answer.

    The old adage that ‘if you build it they will come does not work. Just because we build you a professional website, does not mean people will now start streaming in. 

    What does not work is creating something once online and expecting results. A regular campaign with valuable content that is relevant to your target audience is a key element of online marketing success but this success is dependent on consistent work and research.

    Once My Keywords Are Set, I’m Good

    Keywords are critical for targeting audiences but the work to define them is never-ending. Trends evolve, market behavior changes, and more opportunities arise every day. Part of an ongoing campaign is to regularly monitor not only the trends and shift your campaign

    There’s No Need to Create Content Constantly

    I’m sure you’ve heard that content is king, and it still reigns. As a significant element of SEO and SEM, you must do more than occasionally throw out a blog post. Posting content regularly allows your market to discover your website, bringing more traffic to your business. More content also allows you to target more keywords. To keep up with content creation, use a content calendar.

    Also, your content needs to be high-quality. So, what is high-quality content? Quality content will answer a question or solve a problem. It can also be entertaining while offering information. It must be straightforward and easy to share. From an SEM and SEO standpoint, it should also work to achieve a goal, converting your leads or driving traffic to your website. To create high-quality content:

    Be original – create unique content by broaching a new subject or approaching it in a new way. Google is always attempting to showcase unique information.

    Set, and follow a content strategy – Have an objective for each blog post that aligns with your content strategy. Your content should lead the reader to heed your call to action included in your blog post.

    Research your content – When creating a blog post, start by carefully researching the topic. When doing your research, think about it from a search intent standpoint. Think about your audience and what they would want to know, or need to know, about the topic you’re discussing. Offer that information.

    Optimize your content: Aim to offer helpful information. Once you’ve completed a blog post, reread it, looking for ways to optimize the content. It must be grammatically correct, easy to read and understand, and formatted in a way that will guide the reader through the content. Don’t make it challenging to find the information your reader needs.

    Establish trust with your content: Readers must trust the information you provide, so they must trust you. Only provide accurate information and only link to credible sources.  

    Businesses Can Handle SEM on Their Own

    While it’s possible to handle SEM on your own, SEM management takes a lot of time. It is complex and requires consistent attention. Time must be devoted to staying in the know with SEM platforms and features. You’ll also have to analyze SEM data and campaign performance, making adjustments when needed. Rely on a digital marketing company, like GlobalSpex, to launch and manage campaigns that drive success.

    Give us a call at 281-201-4527 or reach out online today about our SEM services.

    Search Engine Ranking Myths Contractors Should Know

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    Christina Hawkins

    Christina Hawkins is CEO of GlobalSpex, Inc. and a Fractional CMO for her clients. A seasoned digital marketer since 1999, Christina has designed and built exceptional websites partnering with small businesses to help them grow and increase revenue. She understands that digital marketing is a constantly evolving technology and works to stay on top of the latest changes. She is always looking for the best route for clients' lead generation needs and revenue. In addition to her ability as a digital marketer, Christina is a coach and mentor with Agency Mavericks to other digital marketing freelancers, helping them grow their businesses. She is also a sponsor and co-leader of Houston's WordPress Meetup.

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