What does Online Marketing mean?
Originally there were two established roots used to get traffic into a website:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) - how to get a website to rank highly in the organic search results of search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
- SEM (Search Engine Marketing - how to get a website to rank highly in the paid search results of search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing using such programmes as Pay Per Click or Pay Per Impression and optimising them to maximise the return on investment.
The key here is in the names - "Search Engine" - because what it took to please a search engine differed from what it took to please real people in a number of ways.
Search engines liked to see a website with lots of links which lead many to purchase links by the thousand. They also used keyword densities to work out what a page was about leading to keyword stuffing and such like.
From 2011 the major search engines began to make massive strides forward in understanding user behaviour better. Their ability to spot links that had no real purpose other than to be links improved dramatically.
They also built better libraries so they could connect words with the same meaning. A page may mention "car" only once but mention vehicle several times and in a context that meant the same as "car".
Then further factors were taken into account such as the bounce rate
and click through rate
of websites and pages.
The power of individuals has changed as well. Once only webmasters could create links, now anyone with a Facebook page, Twitter account or a Google+ profile can do it - not to mention the myriad of other easy to start options.
All this has mean, increasingly, that it is no longer so much about optimising a website for search engines as it is about optimising a website for people.
Thus to say you are optimising a site for search engines starts to become redundant. Really you are optimising a site for humans and therefore for search engines.
This lead to some big names like SEOMoz changing to simply "Moz"
As such the SEO industry has been searching around for a new title and one of these in Online Marketing which encompasses:
- User behaviour analysis - in much the same way as a supermarket might study the behaviour of its customers in order to improve sales, increase foot fall, etc.,
- Pay Per Click and Pay Per Impression programmes as these can have an effect on the organic rankings of a site.
- Social media management because the online profiles of individuals, organisations and companies can instill or reduce the confidence of users before, during or after they visit a website - effecting how long they stay, how likely they are to come back, etc.
I've personally started using Internet User Optimisation
a great deal more over recent months!