Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing ( SEM ) is a rather broad term. It is everything that
can be done to utilize the technology of search engines
with the goal of promoting a web site
and increasing its traffic and increase profits.
Aspects of Search Engine Marketing which we consider
to be outside the realm of Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) include
This is simply the practice of paying a search engine or a web directory to add
your site to its database immediately, rather than setting up
that site so that it will be found by the search engine spiders
on its own. In the case of some search engines and directories,
paid inclusion is the only way to get listed, for others,
it is presented as an option. If you are willing
to pay, your site would be listed sooner. It is also a
useful practice if you wish to make frequent changes to your
content, because your site will be spidered more often and you
will be able to test how changes affect your ranking.
This involves placing paid advertising on
the search engine result pages ( SERPs ). Normally, these ads appear
based on the keywords entered into the search engines and
one is charged based on the number of impressions of the
ad. In other words, you pay whether the ad sends anyone to
your web site or not.
Pay-Per-Click ( PPC ) Advertising
PPC ads are simple enough to look at. They are
text-only. PPC ad campaigns are completely controlled by the
advertiser. You decide which keywords should bring up your ads, you
write the copy and you decide how much you want to pay. As the
name indicates, you only pay for an ad when someone clicks it
and is brought to your site. There are two main networks of
PPC ads, run by Google and Overture, and each has its own
advantages and disadvantages, but in both cases, one should be
prepared to spend a great deal of time ( and money ) monitoring
and adjusting such a campaign.
Whether you are using a Banner Exchange or a Banner Advertising
Service, this is the fastest and most cost effective way of getting
your name out there for people to see. Banners come in a multitude of
sizes, so find one that fits your needs and your budget. Having a
custom banner can give you the look you want and can route interested
parties to your site. From that point, you need to have the content
they are looking for to keep them interested and coming back.
The Advantages of These Practices
In contrast to pure SEO, these SEM practices offer the
advantage of immediacy. If you need to increase your traffic
and your visibility right away, and you don't have a problem
with spending a lot of money, this may be the way to go.
Think about it this way: you have spent a
lot of time and money to bring people to your web site. What
will they see when they get there? You have convinced them,
at least for the moment, that your site is worth visiting,
so they are expecting to find exactly the information
they were seeking. Is it easy to find? Is it there at
all? You only have a few seconds to convince them that your site
can deliver what they want. Will your visitors fail to
find what they are looking for and click their browser's
back button to try another site?
Your site must be ready for your visitors. It needs to be written,
structured, and coded in such a way that the information
is clearly laid out and easy to find. If it is not,
your site will either be immediately forgotten by visitors, or
worse, it will be remembered as one that failed to deliver.
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