Imagine having a special ‘middleman’ who is connected to all your potential clients in the world in an effort of a single click. Are you aware that this special middleman lives among us? Perfect competition was once a theory that is now becoming a reality.
There are 2.3 million searches that are typed on Google every second. From a business point of view, Google is a tool that helps brands get noticed by potential customers exactly when they’re in need of something that the business is already offering. Google helps business owners realise the value of having a website and can make a business stay relevant to those who need it because when people need answers, they will most likely consult Google.
Google comes in three: Firstly there is Google Paid Ads, Google Ads and Ads via Youtube and Google Apps. This article mainly focuses on Google Paid Ads vs. Organic content that uses Search Engine Optimisation (SEOs)
Most marketers use Google Paid Ads because it is an extremely effective way of attracting relevant traffic to websites. Google Paid Ads are always on top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) with the word ‘Ad’ in bold before the website address (for example: Ad. www.chipsifreshi.com). Website owners pay up to 2,000 USD per month to get their webpages on top of the SERPs. Actually, the website that is right at the top is the one which has out bided its competitors. On Google Paid Ads, website owners scramble to get to the top of the search engines through ‘bidding’. The highest bidder always gets the top spot.
The website links that are at the top but don’t have the word ‘Ad’ before the webpage address, are sites that have been generated by Google (through crawling) that closely relate/relevant to an enquirer's query or often visited without paid advertisements. If you were to ask a marketer why these website are highly ranked than others, they’d probably tell you that its because they have really good SEOs (search engine optimisation). This means that the sites that are organically at the top of the lot have mastered marketing their specific product / service (have made their websites the ‘go to’ place for something specific) and made precise terms and phrases (keywords) which in turn generated qualified traffic to their website.
Search engines are answer machines which go through and evaluate billions of pieces of content (including images, PDF documents, web pages, videos and etc.) in order to determine which content is best suited to answer a searcher’s query then rank them based on how well it matches their query. The process where search engines go through and evaluate content is referred to as crawling. Search engines like Google make money from advertising, but their primary goal is to get their searchers the right answers than get monetary gains, that is why they’ve clearly highlighted paid ads. This is all done to create enough credibility through transparency so that you and I keep coming back. Search engine results pages also referred as SERPs- are filled by paid and organic links, referred as SERP features. Other examples of SERP features are ‘People also ask’ boxes, image carousels, featured snippets (which I mentioned in my article which focused on ‘What to Expect in The Digital Marketing Space in 2021’) and many other new SERP features that are emerging are largely driven by what people are asking on the search engines.
Organic search results appear more valuable than paid Ads because organic search results cover more online ground and appear more credible to searchers. For example, when I want to look up for something credible on Google, I always skip the paid Ads and go for the organic content right below the paid ads. According to researchers in the U.S, only 2.8% of the U.S population, click on paid advertisements on Google. Additionally, SEOs have 20 times more traffic opportunity than Paid Ads. If you decided to carefully build up an organic website and set it up correctly, your traffic will build up overtime and pay you dividends in return. Paid advertising needs continuous funding to send traffic to your website and stay relevant. Optimizing your site will help deliver better information to search engines so that your content can be properly indexed and displayed within search results.
Here are some of the points that can help your website become more relevant overtime:
- Think about what makes your website unique
- Create a concise user experience (Don’t use too many colors, bold the important points/ links and write simple short phrases)
- Avoid creating pages with content copied from somewhere else
- Avoid cloaking- it is a practice of showing search engine crawlers different content than actual visitors
- Create relevant page titles
- Focus on performance rather than appearance (make sure your page doesn’t take too long to load up, because users are naturally impatient)
- Make sure that you’re included in the Google My Business Index (You must have a physical address)
- Do your best to accurately represent all aspects of your local business, including name, address, phone numbers that are always available, website address, hours of operation and other necessary features that you think are relevant to list.
- Make sure that you avoid fake reviews. You must always remember that people are intelligent and are capable of sniffing out lies even online.
- Focus on understanding and fulfilling user intent by making sure you fulfill one’s desired outcome out of your website.
- Evaluate the content of your competitors
Savvy searchers highly value relevant and high quality content. There are a handful of organizations who practice this in Tanzania, but why shouldn’t everyone get on board? A researcher recently asked me why many online businesses in Tanzania aren’t performing as high as they should be. One of the few things that I know is that many of those who have failed, haven’t shown enough credibility to the market. Nobody wants to waste money on something that is not credible. It is a marketer’s role to know how to earn their customers' trust. This can be done in many ways, but one of the most effective and efficient ways to do so is through the marvelous online platform. Use it while it’s still hot. Get on board.