Search Engine Marketing

December 14th, 2013 by Digithales

Search engine marketing, or SEM, includes both Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and the use of paid advertisements, aka Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, and web analytics tools for market research. Submitting articles to article directories may also be considered a search engine marketing technique. SEM is sometimes used to indicate pay-per-click advertising only, but this is more common among commercial advertisers who stand to profit from PPC.

Social media marketing, or SMM, is another facet of SEM. Social media marketing techniques tap into the power of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to connect with and influence potential customers.

Both SEM and SEO involve keyword analysis, but the goals are often different. For instance, webpages are typically optimized to rank for a business’ main keywords. That is, a page selling blue widgets will be optimized for the phrase “blue widgets.” Articles submitted to directories are usually optimized to target related keywords, such as an article for “blue widget cleaners.” This is done so the off-site content doesn’t outrank the website it’s supposed to be promoting.

SEM is an on-going process that involves keeping up to date on changes to the major search engines’ algorithms and guidelines, monitoring PPC campaigns, and looking at data provided by web analytics tools to learn what visitors are looking for and how they use the site.

To keep up with all this entails, the concept of search engine marketing management, or SEMM, has developed. Search engine marketing management focuses on getting the greatest return on investment from a company’s search engine marketing efforts. The first step involves using SEO to draw as many paying customers as possible. After this, paid listings and other non-free methods are used.

Search Engine Marketing is big money

Because SEM has the potential to bring in business for a relatively small investment, advertisers have found it worth the effort. In North America alone, advertisers spent over $20 billion on search engine marketing in 2013. Most of this went to paid listings and PPC campaigns with Google Adwords and Bing Ads. In fact, search engine marketing, including SEO, is growing faster than traditional advertising, such as magazine ads. It’s even outstripping online marketing methods, such article distribution services.

This, combined with the complexities and on-going nature of SEO, is why search engine marketing agencies exist. Many business owners find it more profitable to hire an outside expert to handle their SEO so they’re free to manage other aspects of the business.