Search Engine Marketing - What It Is and How Your
Business Can Benefit From It
Simply put, Search Engine Marketing or SEM is the
fastest, most powerful, highly-targeted, most dynamic,
highly-measurable and most cost-effective marketing strategy that can
give your business the power to reach potential customers anywhere in
the world anytime for a little as USD $0.05 cost per customer
acquisition or even for free!
Search Engine Marketing or SEM is about making
sure that your Web site appears on the top 20 of search results every
time potential customers search for whatever products and/or services
that you offer on any of the major Search Engines including Google,
Yahoo and MSN which collectively accounts for over 90% of all Search
Engine originating traffic.
There are of course other smaller Search Engines
that focus on niche industries such as Kayak (www.kayak.com Travel
Search Engine) and country-specific Search Engines like Baidu
(www.baidu.com) which is very popular in China.
How Popular Are Search Engines?
last November 2005 finds that the number of people who use
Internet Search Engines to find information has jumped over the last
year, claiming a solid No. 2 spot behind e-mail as the most popular
activity online. In the year 2003, 250 million searches were made daily
on Google alone!
How Does It Work?
On the Internet, whenever somebody wants to find
something, they use Search Engines. As spam continues to lessen the
effectiveness of email as a marketing tool, Search Engine Marketing is
fast becoming the marketing strategy of choice for companies who want
to reach a global audience 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, either for
free or for as little as USD $0.05 per visitor. As the Internet becomes
more and more a part of our everyday lives, the greater their role
becomes in helping businesses connect with their customers at that
crucial point in their buying decision process (when they are searching
Right now, there are probably people... potential
customers who are looking for whatever products or services you are
offering on any or all of the major Search Engines. When potential
customers type in the keywords that they are searching for and press
that "Search" button, do they find you or your competitors instead?
How can you get your business to appear on Search
Of course, you first must have a Web site. If you
don't have one, get one designed by someone who has a decent
understanding of Search Engine Optimization. I've come across business
Web sites that are so badly designed from an SEM perspective that you
can't even find it even if you search for the company name or business
name itself! Even worse, their sites are designed in a way that
prevents instead of facilitates their visitors to transact with them.
There are basically 2 ways for you to get your Web
site to appear on Search Engines. You either get it listed on the
"organic" or natural search results by doing Search
Engine Optimization (SEO) or you launch a Pay
Per Click Campaign (PPC) for the keywords you want your Web
site to appear for. Ideally, you should be doing both because a PPC
campaign can start driving highly-qualified traffic to your Web site
almost instantly while you wait for your SEO campaign to gain momentum
and get your Web site within the top 20 of the SERPs (Search Engine
Results Page), otherwise known as "organic" or "natural" search
results, which can take months to happen.
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
To get your Web site to appear on the SERPs you
need to launch an SEO campaign. The main problem with SEO is that it
can be very difficult and take anywhere from several months to over 1
year before you can achieve good rankings and appear within the top 20
rankings or top 2 pages of the organic search results which is all the
results that most people are willing to see before they make a decision
and choose what Web site to ultimately visit and do business with.
Getting your Web site listed in the top 20 results is going to be a
constant battle, especially if you are in a highly competitive industry
and your competitors are also actively doing the same thing.
How your Web site is designed determines in great
part how well its Search Engine rankings will be. Do you adore that
lovely Flash animation on your home page? Loose it! Search Engines
can't see that Flash animation and they rely almost exclusively on text
to determine the relevance and consequently, the ranking of every Web
What Is A Pay Per Click Campaign?
Pay Per Click or PPC campaigns are basically ads
(Sponsored Links) that appear alongside the organic search results
whenever someone uses a Search Engine to search for anything that he's
interested in. The reason why it's called Pay Per Click is because you
spend only when somebody actually "clicks" on your PPC ad and not every
time somebody sees it. These ads are controlled and are made to appear
only every time specific "keywords" are searched for. The level of
control an advertiser has over his PPC campaign is so high that he can
control exactly how and who gets to see his PPC ads and most
importantly, how much he spends for it. For as little as USD $0.05 per
click on Google and USD $0.10 on Yahoo and MSN, you can start driving
highly-qualified visitors to your Web site.
What Are Its Advantages Over Traditional Marketing
While you may get an increase in sales when you
put out an ad on TV, radio or print, it is almost impossible to track
how well your sales were influenced "directly" by your ads. With Search
Engine Marketing, you would know exactly how much you are spending and
how much actual revenue you are getting for each cent that you spend
for it. You can even know where your customers are coming from using
Web Analytics such as the popular and free Google Analytics.
The ability to control your marketing expenditure,
track your campaign's performance, identify and target your market, a
truly global reach, measurable results and being able to make changes
to your campaign on the fly makes Search Engine Marketing far superior
to traditional marketing medium.
How Effective Is Search Engine Marketing?
It is not impossible to convert 50% of your Search
Engine originating traffic. The real beauty of Search Engine Marketing
is that it allows your customers to find you instead of you trying to
How much does it cost?
The cost of any Search Engine Marketing campaign
depends greatly on the scope and extent of it. The more keywords and
the broader the audience you want to target, the more it's going to
cost but the greater the benefit would be. Maybe the more important
question is... "How much is it costing your business by not doing
Search Engine Marketing?"
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/seo-articles/
About the Author
Jonathan Casuncad has over 6 years of experience
as a Search Engine
Marketing consultant. He has worked for several American SEM
companies. Web site: www.sem-pros.com Mobile: +63915-4065427 Skype:
jonathan.casuncad Yahoo Messenger: jonathancasuncad