SEO and SEM: Trends and implications for Marketing Managers

There are more than 3.6 Billion Internet users as of the moment that this blog is being written ( and more than 7.8 billion Google searches every day ( I could go on stating such figures, but you get the general idea. There is a staggering amount of content being created, searched for and consumed on the Internet and this is only going to increase as we go forward.

With so much content emerging on the Internet- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are becoming increasingly important and pertinent for marketers. First, let us see what both of these are. SEO consists of the strategies, techniques, and tactics employed by marketers to increase the volume of visitors to their website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP). SEM is a form of Internet marketing involving the promotion of a website by increasing its visibility in a search engine results page (SERP) mainly by employing paid advertising.

On the surface of it, the above argument seems logical and hence has been accepted and marketers have got to work on both SEO and SEM to promote their content to consumers. Unfortunately, sometimes a few marketers resort to underhand techniques to bump up their content in both organic searches (the non-paid search results) and inorganic searches (advertised search results). This is done in numerous ways; the most common being flooding their content with keywords – whereas the actual content may not be so relevant to the user. This will not stand the test of screening, and ignoring this can even lead to a huge backlash from consumers, which I talk about in more detail here.

Even as SEO and SEM continue to be stay and become more relevant- the trend is toward the approach being content led instead of being keyword led. Content that entertains your audience or teaches them something will be infinitely more engaging than content that comes up simply because of being keyword rich or by employing other gimmicks. This will also go a long way in eliminating the problem of bounce (consumers entering a website but then immediately leaving it without engaging with the website in any manner), something that many marketers struggle with.

Another extremely important emerging trend is that of “Mobile”. With the statistics on mobile searches becoming endless, there is really no reason to delay making your offering mobile friendly. As the penetration of mobile computing devices increases and mobile searches increasingly commensurately, this is affecting the search rankings themselves. Ignoring it can mean a huge penalty for marketers, who will see their content (both unpaid and paid) getting ranked lower. Ultimately, they lose out to their competitors. Google’s search algorithm update “Mobilegeddon”, already reflects this. Hence, marketers have to ensure that their website becomes real mobile-friendly real fast!!!


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