What is Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing, known as SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that promotes websites by increasing visibility on search engine results pages. SEM includes both paid search results like Adwords and organic search results like search engine optimization (SEO). Companies pay to have their websites included in the search results pages, typically in favorable spots. Organic search results can still be manipulated by choosing the words most commonly searched for that particular industry.
Pay per Click with SEM
Pay per click, or PPC, advertising is commonly associated with SEM. PPC directs traffic to websites and advertisers pay the website owner when an ad is clicked. The ads that are displayed is determined by the search terms the web user enters and the list the advertiser has of relevant search terms.
Paid Inclusion as a SEM Tool
Paid inclusion is a common search engine marketing tool where the search engine company charges fees that companies pay to be included on the search results page. Many search engines utilize paid inclusion and organic results. Google and Ask.com are two well-known examples of search engines that do not allow paid inclusion. If website owners wish to display ads on these search engines, the ads are separated from the search results and labeled as advertisements.
SEM can be an effective and useful advertising tool to lure potential customers. But as with any business venture, it is best to have a plan to get the most out of advertising via SEM. There are a few pointers to consider when deciding if SEM is the way to go. Consider the online goals of the business. Check the current ranking of the website. Optimize the website by improving web design, architecture and content. This may be the best place to start because the improvements are done only once, as opposed to others that require monthly maintenance.
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SEM is a vital part of marketing via the Internet and is a proven method of increasing traffic to websites. Studies have shown that people use a search engine several times a day when searching for information and products. To have a prominent place at the top of the search engine results page is akin to naming a business with AAA, ensuring first place in the phone book and therefore being the first company customers call.