When information about online marketing populates the Web, some of it is verifiable and useful, while other advice may be worthwhile for a week or two. The most effective search engine marketing and search engine optimization strategies are those that stand the test of time, while also being flexible to changes in the algorithms and other ranking tools that influence a company's visibility online. SEM and SEO both require substance, an attribute lacking in most poltergeists. In the spirit of Halloween, here are some online marketing ghosts that keep on haunting the Internet:
1. B2B marketers don't invest in paid advertising
While there's certainly been a greater emphasis on the role of content marketing in the B2B world, businesses have also taken a closer look at what paid media can bring in with regard to Web traffic and leads generation. Recent research found that close to 6 in 10 of B2B marketers use search engine marketing and more than half say it's the most effective channel for paid advertising, largely through balancing cost-per-click strategies with click-thru rates (1). Companies can establish effective SEM using paid ads by beginning with a higher CPC value for more impressions and clicks and then gradually decreasing it once an ad has generated enough leads and traffic.
2. Ranking on the first search engine results page is everything
Achieving the No. 1 position on the first SERP is certainly an admirable goal, but search rankings generally don't stay the same day in and day out (2). One lesson drawn from both direct mail and email marketing that applies to SERPs is the concept referred to as "above the fold." Businesses have to maximize the space that recipients see before the reveal the whole message – or the body of an email that's only visible in preview and what's actually above the letter fold in direct mail. On SERPs, the fold is the part where users must begin scrolling down and section that gets far less attention. As a result, businesses should either focus on landing in the top five on an SERP or aim for a higher ranking on the second page.
3. Video content marketing is a standalone solution
No single content marketing tactic can support B2B marketers' goals for increasing the number of qualified leads visiting their website or calling. Video can certainly be one of the most engaging forms of content when it's done right, but there are downsides to integrating this dynamic content. Users may be put off by page load times that seem to drag on as a video loads and increase a landing page's bounce rate. Avoid this by varying digital content to include infographics and blogs to complement videos.