A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Marketing

In the world of internet marketing, it can often seem like new acronyms are being thrown at us from every direction. Keeping up with them can end up being a little overwhelming. One of the most misunderstood of these abbreviations is probably SEM, aka Search Engine Marketing. That’s why we have put together this basic guide to help gain a better grasp of the practice.

What is Search Engine Marketing?

There is some debate over precisely what search engine marketing covers, but when you break it down to its most basic elements, the general consensus is that it is a type of internet marketing that primarily centers on paid traffic, although organic traffic is also taken into account. It is a reasonably broad type of marketing which includes SEO, keyword research, paid listings, competitive analysis, and other search engine techniques to maximize a website’s online visibility.

There is often some degree of confusion between search engine marketing and search engine optimization, but the two are entirely different. SEO focuses on obtaining high organic search results. SEM is much broader and will make use of SEO in tandem with paid advertising to bring targeted traffic to the website. The two do not compete against each other but instead work together under the same internet marketing umbrella.

Keywords Build a Strong Foundation

One of the most essential building blocks for a solid search engine marketing campaign is having the right keywords. It is critical that extensive keyword research is carried out to identify the keywords customers are most likely to search to find your products and services. While researching these keywords, it is also a good idea to group related keywords for use in advertising campaigns, allowing you to create ads centered on a theme.

Search Engine Marketing & Paid Ads

As noted above, the bulk of search engine marketing is related to various types of paid advertising. Many marketers mistakenly believe that, when it comes to search engine marketing, he who has the biggest budget wins. However, that may not necessarily be the case! Sure, a healthy advertising budget is helpful, especially for the most competitive keywords, but it is still possible to succeed with smaller resources. All ads pass through a process known as the ad auction, where the marketer bids how much they are willing to pay per click for ads to be shown to users searching a particular keyword. Those advertisements which are selected to appear are not necessarily those with the highest bids. Many different factors are taken into account.

One of the critical factors used in the ad auction is the Quality Score which for Google AdWords comprises half of the ad rank formula! Higher quality scores are going to help you get a much better ad placement at a more affordable rate. It is not uncommon for the ads with the lowest bid to get the best placement based on their high-quality score.
To Your Best Online!

Ingrid Griffin, Internet Marketing Consultant. Blue Dress® Marketing, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online®
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