When it comes to search engines, Google gets all the attention. Having dominated the early days of internet exploration, this tech giant has become a focal point for both Paid Search and SEO for many businesses.
But should you base your entire marketing strategy on Google?
No search engine — and no marketing campaign — is perfect. Every choice you make will come with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Here, we’ll explore the pros and cons of basing a marketing strategy around the Google search engine to better guide your marketing decisions.
First up in examining the positives of a Google-based marketing strategy is dispelling some of the myths that surround Google. Google sometimes gets a bad rap for dominating the web or perpetuating biases through its algorithms. But the truth is much more complex.
Google is a dynamic system. With 3,620 improvements to its algorithm in 2019 alone, the search engine and all its features are constantly improving to build better web crawlers and quality ranking systems that better reflect how and what users are searching for. To achieve this quality, Google instituted rules around SEO designed to weed out black-hat efforts. This means that Google sets a precedent for creating high-quality web content that most search engines are emulating.
Google demands quality and its competitors have to do the same. For any marketing strategy, this sets an important bar. If you meet it, you can enjoy the many positives of a Google-based approach.
The pros include:
- Tools and features built directly in and for Google.
- More potential traffic, since Google remains the number one search engine.
- Plenty of support through the users and platforms that work with Google.
- Coordination of advertising and organic search through keyword research and results.
- Transparency of guidelines and marketing standards.
Through clarity and support, Google has a lot to offer. This is without even mentioning the Google Display Network or YouTube which bring display and video advertising within easy reach of most advertisers.
Through Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Trends and a host of other Google platforms, any marketer can navigate a digital advertising campaign through Google programs alone. Then, the simple fact that Google is where most searchers go makes it an essential part of any marketing strategy.
But there are drawbacks to Google as well.
As the most used search engine, Google comes with plenty of challenges born of strong competition. Your competitors also want the transformational improvements that come with ranking high on Google SERPs, and this means you have to compete with expert marketers.
The average conversion rate for a Google Ad-supported campaign is about 3.17%. However, the top performers get five times that rate. The expertise you are competing with can be daunting, especially if you are a small business working in a large urban market. Since local SEO basically means Google Maps, you often need a top-level listing if you want to draw in customers.
All this means you have to be at the top of your game if you want to be competitive on Google. Success requires a strong understanding of the way Google ranks you as well as a dedication to quality and accessibility in all the marketing content you put out.
So before you put all your marketing eggs in the Google basket, you should consider the larger list of drawbacks that come with focusing your strategy on Google. These include:
- Landing pages for your campaigns have to excel in quality.
- Running effective Google Ad campaigns can be time-consuming and involve constant research into ad performance and metrics.
- A pay-per-click Google Ads strategy can be expensive.
- Focusing solely on Google can mean missing out on niche audiences on other search engines and platforms.
- To rank high, you need the expertise to ensure quality with every step of your marketing strategy.
- SEO rules and best practices can be opaque and are updated frequently.
When it comes to succeeding with Google, your most pressing concern is quality. If you’re confident you can meet (and beat) the standard that your competitors are striving for, then focusing on Google marketing can be highly effective. If you’re limited on resources, you might well have more luck trying for longer tail keywords or niche markets more common on alternative search engines.
Making the Most of Your Marketing Strategy for Search Engines
However, when it comes to marketing, Google can be both your best friend and your sharpest critic. To excel on Google (and consequently everywhere else), you need a complete view of SEO and/or paid search and a strong commitment to quality. Without these, your rankings are bound to suffer.
So conduct thorough keyword and market research, build quality content, and earn good reviews. From there, building an effective Google campaign takes analysis and problem-solving. But fortunately, Google offers all the tools and features you need for marketing success.
Take advantage of their products to gain a competitive edge – even as you compete with the best.