Search has become a whole new animal with SEO, SEM, retargeting, and social networking. If you’re doing everything perfectly (and maybe not even then), you’ll be at the top of the search page when someone Bings your brand, or a relevant keyword. You won’t just be at the top. Your paid ads will be first, followed by your website. Then they’ll see your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Maybe they’ll see your Google+ page, and a Wikipedia page about you.
If you do everything perfectly, your competitor won’t even be on the first page. Unfortunately, no one is perfect, and no one has an unlimited budget to pay for all the best keywords, optimize their site perfectly, and spend enough time on social to make every platform shine through. So, how can you possibly win the search game?
Bad news is you can’t really WIN. The good news is that your competitors have the same challenges, especially if you’re doing things correctly. Take the time to optimize your website, deliver great relevant content, and add in the correct Schemas and you’re well on your way. Make sure you’re present on all of the correct social networks. If you’re not sure which those are, look for your competitors. If they’re on it, you should be, too. If they aren’t, it could be an opportunity for you. Bid on some keywords on Bing and Google. Maybe you need to buy your own brand keywords, maybe you don’t, but you should have something relevant.
Improving your search rankings takes time and effort, and usually some money. Search is very closely related to the end of the conversion funnel, though. Make sure the rest of your marketing efforts aren’t wasted. When someone is interested enough to search for you, you want to be able to close the deal.