Search Engine Marketing - SEM - What is Search Engine Marketing ? What is SEM ? Online Marketing



What is Search Engine Marketing ?

Search Engine Marketing or SEM is a form of Online Marketing where you pay Search Engines to display/advertise your website on search results or on a directory listing (directory listing can be free or paid). For a more detailed and in depth explanation visit the wiki.

To get a visual understanding of what search engine marketing is see the illustration below:

Observe the area I have circled in blue, this area is search engine marketing at its best. Notice also the red circle, this says sponsored links.

These search results are not "natural" (see Search Engine Optimisation) by this I mean organisations/businesses are paying the search engine company to appear on the space above (in the blue circled area). The beauty of search engine marketing is that you only pay per click (PPC).

How does Search Engine Marketing work?

Search Engine Marketing works like this:

- You choose a search engine you wish to advertise on.

- You choose a bunch of keywords relating to your product or service (For example, I run a web design business and I want to use search engine marketing to gain customers and bring traffic to my website I would choose keywords such as 'web design services' or 'web designer' or 'web page designer' - you get the idea) keywords that people would use to find my services. So when people use these keywords on the search engine my website comes up with the results.

- The only time I pay for this service is when some one actually clicks on my ad, hence the term pay per click.

Can I manage my own search engine marketing or do I hire a companyto manage my search enigne marketing campaigns ?

It's pretty straight forward if you decide to go at it alone, its nothing too complicated. But if you want to do it the way the big businesses do it (Outsource, Outsource & Outsource) well there are professional search engine marketing service providers out there who can manage your campaigns for you.


Search Engine Marketing vs Search Engine Optimisation:

Advantages of Search Engine Marketing:
- You can land on the front page of the results straight away without having to optimis your website.
- Able to dictate the budget you want to pay per click on your ads as well as the budget you want to spend per month
- using SEM you choose the landing page of your potential client when they click on your ad. This particular advantage can turn visits to your website as "SALES!"

Advantages of Search Engine Optimisation:

- Generate Free Traffic to your site (I guess this could be not the case if you hire a SEO Consultant)
- Gives you that credibility of appearing in the natural search results because the search engine has labelled your website as the most relevant.
- You can brag to people your website is on the front page :o)


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