Throughout advertising history, many things have changed and many have not. One of those constants that continues to persist is the fact that if your advertisement is not seen, your campaign will fail. This is why companies have gone to great lengths to make sure that your eyes are drawn to what they want you to see. Billboards, flashy videos, images, large ads are and were designed to draw your attention to their ad and not someone else’s in the hope that you will read, click, buy whatever it is they are selling.
In this digital age, much of advertising is considered online advertising. As consumers, we rely on search engines to interpret and guide us to whatever information or transaction we are intent on. As marketers, we take this information and strategize how, where, and what to display to these users that are consuming information on the respective search engines. This is commonly referred to as search engine optimization (seo) or search engine marketing (sem). If we accept that part of our advertising is online and relies on search engine traffic, then it must come as no surprise that we have to ensure that where we show up in these search engines is imperative. However, before we spend more time talking about the various ways a business can inhabit real estate on a search engine, I’d like to explore a little bit about the science of user behavior when interacting with Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
In 2006, research firm Enquiro conducted a study regarding users interacting with search engines. Utilizing eye tracking, they produced a heat map that repeatedly showed humans spend a disproportionate amount of time in the upper-left area of SERP webpages. This began to be known within search marketing circles as the “Golden Triangle“. Enquiro’s study explained how attention is drawn toward bold keywords, titles, and anything in the top left of the screen.
Subsequent studies confirmed these initial results. Search engines began embedding news, images, videos, paid search ads all in this top left area of the SERP. The chunking effect that ensued became known as blended search and continues to evolve. As a result of this, competition moved beyond just having a web presence but figuring out how to optimize your webpage to position yourself in the coveted “Golden Triangle”. Many terms sprang from this such as your google ranking or website ranking however, it continued to be true that companies needed to be devoting resources to ensuring their advertising position was front and center. The good news? It’s possible.
Through advanced knowledge of seo a website can increase it’s chances of showing up higher on the SERP. The content of your webpage is crucial and while each search engine assigns value slightly differently, common themes emerge. While the intricate details are beyond the scope of this article, some of these common themes include:
- Utilizing original content. For example, don’t just embed someone else’s pictures in your page.
- Tailor your content to your target demographic. This includes utilizing keywords that you think your demographic will be searching for. Embedding these keywords will ensure you are checking the relevancy requirements for each search engine.
- Make sure backlinks are part of your strategy.
- Consider Pay Per Click (PPC) carefully. If utilized correctly, having a paid ad directly above your #1 organic ranking can make your organic ranking receive as much as 20% more clicks. You don’t want your paid ad to reduce the total net margin on your campaign.
- If you do elect for a seo company, consider experience before cost.