The influences and characteristics of a SMB (small/mid-sized business) envelops management skills, strong team building abilities, and leadership. It’s proven that without these, you wouldn’t be successful. It’s seldom you hear someone say, “I don’t know, Bob, you really don’t know much about marketing. How do you expect to build a business?” Marketing isn’t mandatory for success, but it does play a huge role in acquiring new business and increasing sales.
The majority of marketing efforts are an experiment. There’s no way of knowing if you will get the return on investment you desire, especially if you’re pushing the message down the throats of your customers. Thankfully, marketing has changed immensely with the help of the Internet. Things have become much more inbound, meaning that the majority of new leads come from customers who are actively looking for the product and service you’re selling. Enter the search engine.
Search engines help users find the things that they’re looking for online. Here’s how it works: a user types a word or phrase, called a query, into the search box of Google, Bing, or Yahoo! (to name the most popular), which then displays a set of results that are relevant to the query. Most search engines provide two types of results for a given query: organic (also referred to as “natural” or “free”) listings, and paid listings (also known as advertisements or search marketing ads). You can learn more about the basics of search engine results pages (SERPs) by watching some online examples of search marketing.
Most search engines rank the results with each type of listing, which means that they determine the order of the results according to how relevant the result is to the user’s query, with the most relevant queries appearing closer to the top of results. Let’s take a closer look into how Google treats these results.
On Google, although both organic and paid results may appear in response to the same user query, the results are independent of each other. This means that the organic search results have no bearing on paid rankings, and vise versa. This makes it possible for SMBs to perform well in the paid listings and have an ample online presence, even if their site isn’t appearing in the top of organic results.
In Google’s organic results, the relevancy between query and result is determined by over 200 factors, which are referred to as “ranking factors” and are driven by algorithms. One of these factors is called PageRank which was apparently named after Google co-founder Larry Page. PageRank is the measure of the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages. To be put simply, each link from site A to a page on site B adds to site B’s PageRank.
Google AdWords also uses a combination of factors to rank paid listings, which will be explained in tomorrow’s post on Noggin Bloggin.