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  Understanding Search Results  
 
You have probably read about search engine marketing, search engine results, search engine advertising, etc.  Understanding how search results work is the first step towards making the right Internet marketing decisions for your business.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

The three major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) all include sponsored or paid results along with natural search results when someone does a search through their search engine.  Typically the sponsored results appear at the top and to the side of the natural results (and are designated as “Sponsored” or “Paid” ads).

Most consumers understand at this point that the reason those websites are appearing on the results page is that they paid to appear there.  Generally speaking, consumers review those ads but first look in the natural or organic listings to see if any websites fit their needs.

Local Listings

The three major search engines have recently began to ad local listings in the search results.  The search engines are able to determine where someone is searching from (based on their IP address) and will display local results just above the organic listings.  Consumers are looking at these results and are clicking on the sites that appear.
You want to try to get your business listed in the local results for your keywords.

Search Engine Optimization

The organic listings on the search results pages are those that appear in the very center of the page.  These are the web pages that the search engine determined are the most relevant for the search entered.  This is based on how the website scored against other websites in a complicated mathematical formula.

Appearing in the organic searches is important because consumers equate ranking in the organic listings with quality. Though there is no correlation between the quality of a company and their search engine ranking the perception is an important one to note for Internet marketing purposes.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a system of tools and practices that enhance your website’s score in these formulas. You should consider engaging in a SEO campaign as part of your overall Internet marketing strategy in order to maximize your position in the organic listings.

A comprehensive online marketing strategy will include trying to get your website in the organic listings, local listings and even the paid listings.  The more opportunities you give potential customers to find your site the more traffic you will receive.






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