It seems everyone these days is using the internet to market their products. With a sea of competition to go up against, how can you rise to the top? You've probably become very familiar with SEO, but are wondering if it is enough, and would like to know how to take your online marketing efforts to the next level. With a blend of both SEO and paid per click strategies, search engine marketing may be the answer you've been searching for.
Well, what is search engine marketing specifically? Typically, it is a broader category then SEO (search engine optimization) alone, incorporating both SEO and pay per click marketing together to form a cohesive plan for increasing your sales conversions. As you may already know, the aim with SEO is to get your site listed on page one of search engine results, and to ultimately snag the top slot if possible. This is achieved by shaping the content of your site in such a way that it is read by the search engine bots as most relevant. SEO efforts will help you to dominate organic search results, but they can only bring you so far. This is especially true if you've been unable to obtain the top spot on the results page, as studies have shown that 40% of all traffic will click on the first site in the listings.
The second aspect of search engine marketing is paid search results, utilizing such pay per click (PPC) services as Google Adwords and Yahoo! Search Marketing. This approach will allow you to purchase a top ranking in essence, as your page will appear on the top of the search page, though consumers will be aware that it is a sponsored listing. This can instantly boost traffic to your site, but there are a few key distinctions to be aware of. First, you will be bidding on keywords which will cause your sponsored listing to appear. As this is the primary revenue source for major search engines, and many companies are turning to this model, the competition for quality keywords can be fierce. In 2008, $13.5 billion was spent on search engine marketing in North America alone, and it is the fastest growing segment of the advertising industry across all mediums.
Finding the appropriate keywords may funnel targeted traffic to your site, causing an upswing in sales conversions. However, if you choose keywords that are not relevant to your product or service, you may have spent your money for nothing. You will be charged per click, regardless of whether the user decides to purchase your product once they arrive at your site. The complexity of this process has led to the rise of marketing firms which specialize in search engine marketing, offering to navigate the pitfalls for you - for a fee.
The second distinction in the paid segment of search engine marketing differs somewhat from PPC. Paid inclusion differs in that it is typically sold as an annual subscription, with the page in question appearing directly within the search results themselves on a regular basis. This type of search engine marketing is not available on Google, which only offers clearly differentiated sponsored listings through the use of PPC.
So, there you have search engine marketing in a nutshell. With a combined approach that provides both organic search optimization, and paid marketing efforts, you will be able to bring the right sort of traffic to your site - and profit from your efforts.