Search Marketing

Search marketing is an important part of online marketing. It’s a broad term that encompasses both search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). SEO earns traffic through free listings, while SEM buys traffic through paid search listings. Before discussing SEO, let’s look at three forms of paid advertising that are part of SEM.

Pay-Per-Click ads

You write your advertising copy, decide on keywords that should bring up your ads, and decide on a budget. You only pay for an ad when someone clicks on it and is brought to your website. Expect to spend a fair amount of time monitoring and adjusting a Pay-Per-Click ad campaign in addition to spending money on the ads.

Paid inclusion

This involves paying a search engine or directory to immediately add a site to its database. Paid inclusion is the only way to get listed on some search engines and directories; on others it’s just one option.

Traditional ads

Another approach is to place paid ads on the search engine results pages. These ads normally appear based on the keywords entered into search engines. You’re charged based on the number of times your ad appears. So, you pay regardless of how effective the ad is in sending people to your website.
These search engine marketing practices have an advantage over search engine optimization in that they can increase your website traffic right away. The drawback is that you have to spend time and money to bring people to your website. Once they get there, what will they do? And how effective will your website be in providing them with interesting, relevant, compelling information? To make this all work, you need an effective website.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO is focused on making your website more attractive to search engines. It includes using keywords effectively on your website so that the site achieves higher rankings on search engine results. It also involves using links effectively on other sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
There are two additional ways to improve results:
  1. Create excellent content and
  2. Make it easy for users to navigate your website
To make the most of SEO and SEM, keep the following points in mind:
  • Understand what sets your business apart from others.
  • Tailor your message to highlight the key attributes you want to market.
  • Create a visible presence for your company on GooglePlus, and generally, focus your attention on Google, which provides two-thirds of all web searches.
  • Use Google Adwords Express, which is a very small business-friendly program. It guides you step-by-step through pay-per-click marketing. Once you set up Adwords, you just decide on a Pay-Per-Click budget and track which paid keywords result in the most clicks and then adapt your Pay-Per-Click advertising for maximum effectiveness.

Game Plan

Search marketing can be an important part of your 360-degree integrated marketing mix. Because this field is so new, it deserves careful consideration as to what approach is best. Do your homework, work with experts, and keep monitoring results.
Next steps:
  • Consider working with a web designer or webmaster, who can help you improve your SEO and SEM results.
  • Work to optimize your search engine marketing effectiveness by trying a variety of techniques and strategies. Keep evaluating the most effective keywords. And keep measuring results.
  • Certainly, the last word has yet to be written about this topic area, so it’s important to keep abreast of the latest developments in search marketing. Here are a few interesting articles that can shed some light on search marketing best practices:
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