Search Engine Marketing

Internet marketing that involves creating a flow of visitors to a website from search engine results is called search engine marketing ( SEM ). For Google, this covers paid Adwords, the main Organic results and the Local ABC map results.

SEM also uses Bing, Youtube, Amazon and other properties on the web that show search results. But it doesn’t include Facebook or LinkedIn because the ads aren’t the result of pro-active searches.

The fact that people visit a website as a result of pro-actively searching makes them very hot-prospects for what you have to offer.

The amount of income to a business, group or individual is proportional to the amount of attention it receives. This is something that you can observe when you look at celebrities or groups with well-know names.

You become well-known by generating interest in what you provide or accomplish, and the first step is catching the initial attention and moving the person onto the next step.

Types of search engine results

The best known search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo, deliver 3 types of results …

1Sponsored listings, usually on the right-side and across the top of the search engine results pages ( SERPS ) are paid-for adds. They work on a system called Pay-Per-Click ( PPC ) where the advertiser bids a certain amount they are willing to pay each time their listing is clicked on. Sponsored adds are shown in Google, Yahoo and Bing SERPS and are also syndicated out to other websites. The additional websites that display sponsored adds form a Content Network ( Google calles their program AdSense ).

2Marketing that increases traffic to websites by increasing search result rankings in the main body of results ( called Organic results ) is called SEO – Search Engine Optimization.

3Local search results are the ABC listings associated with the maps. Mid-2010 Google scoured the Yellow pages and gave local businesses a page on their computers ( Yahoo & Bing followed suit ). These places pages have been renamed several times and are currently called Google My Business pages. They’re used to rank businesses in the Local search results – more info here.

SEM trade-offs

SEM is one way of delivering good quality traffic to a website. It’s not always the best solution for businesses due to the amount of effort involved. Generally ( as of 2014 and 2015 ) I’m advising businesses to start off with traffic from Facebook due to the incredible targeting options, ability to start with smaller budgets & instant results. With paid traffic you get exposure as soon as you pay, without the lead-time needed in SEM.

That said, SEM can provide huge exposure for a business and Google is the main focus of SEM due to its market share of around 80% with Yahoo and Bing taking only about 15% between them.

For all 3 types of search results, unless a term has a huge number of searches, there’s little value in being beneath page 1. The top 3 positions in the Organic results get over 60% of the clicks. The first result on page 2 ( #11 ) gets 0.6% of the clicks.

When we push a website up in the search results we work on a good handfull of relevant terms simultaneously. This creates faster movement and results in more making it onto page one.

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