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The Power of Search Engine Marketing

The Power of Search Engine Marketing

Anyone selling online should consider search engine marketing (SEM) as a way of generating potential customers to their website. But what does this unique kind of marketing involve? In this article, I'll explain a few search engine basics...

So how does search marketing work? Well, each time someone uses a search engine they enter a keyword or keyphrase into the given search box. After they submit their words or phrases, the search engine returns two lists of results.

If the person performing the search believes that the results relate to what they're looking for, they'll click on one or more of the links displayed. Obviously, as an Internet marketer, you'll want your organic result or ad to appear to, and be clicked on, by your prospects. Typically, the higher the appearance of your listing in the search engine results pages or SERPs, the greater the number of prospects who will click on your listing and visit your page.

It's important to note that the search engines don't rank websites as a whole; they rank specific webpages. In any case, the higher that your webpages appear in the SERPs, the more people who are likely to see your description and click on your link. However, SEM experts tend to vary in their view on whether it's better to have the top position in both or either the free and paid results. While most believe that having the top rank in the free results attracts the most clicks and traffic; some SEM experts believe that it's more cost-effective to have the second, third or lower listing in the paid results. Nevertheless, most agree that you want your free and/or paid results to be on the first page.

As indicated, search engine marketing can be divided into two main types: search engine optimization and paid advertising (both pay-per-click advertising and pay-per-impression advertising), both of which involve some similar, and some very different, strategies for getting cost-effective results. Search engine optimization or SEO involves taking specific steps to get the search engines to rank your website as highly as possible in the organic SERPs. Many believe SEO to be both an art and a science. It's a science because the search engines use mathematical algorithms to work out where to rank various websites... it's an art because the search engines keep those algorithms hidden from public knowledge, which means that any scientific approach has an element of art to it.

Getting a high place in the paid results is not so mysterious, nor time consuming. However, you still need the smarts to work out which keywords to bid on, to prepare ads that generate qualified clicks, and have a landing page that converts those clicks into sales. There are two types of paid advertising too - pay-per-click (PPC) where your advertising cost is based on the price you pay per click - and an impression basis, where your cost is based on how many impressions your ad receives.

While it can take some time to achieve high rankings in the free results, you CAN have your ad appearing in the top position on the first page of the SERPs for a given keyword or phrase... IF you're willing to pay the price!

So there you have a quick run-down of search engine marketing. It's definitely worth delving into further if you like the idea of building a consistent traffic stream to your web business.

Reference: Steve Renner, http://www.imtrain.com


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