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What is Search Marketing?

Jul 23, 2008
Search engine marketing is a form of internet marketing that promotes websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPS). There are different types of methods used in search engine marketing and some are explained below:

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website via a search engine via "natural" or "organic" search results for targeted keywords. When successful SEO provides a much higher return on investment than any other Internet Marketing campaign. SEO involves designing or adjusting parts of a website to rank highly. This could include changes to the HTML code, changes to the Meta tags, changes to the text to include keywords and link building. The only trouble with Search Engine Optimisation is that there are only 10 positions on the front page of the search engine results and competition can be strong with no guarantees of a high placement.

PPC or Pay Per Click Advertising is where you pay to have your website link in the "Sponsored link" or "sponsored ads" which appear above "natural" or "organic" results on the engine results pages, or anywhere a webmaster/blogger chooses on a content page. The text link can say whatever you wish to entice searchers to click on your advert. Like the name suggests you pay per click on your advert. You bid on keywords that you think your target market will use when looking for your product or service. Minimum prices per click, which are often referred to as Costs Per Click (CPC), vary depending on the search engine, with some as low as $0.01. However very popular search terms will cost a lot more.

Affiliate Marketing is a web-based marking practice where one business rewards one or more affiliates' for each visitor or customer brought about the affiliates marketing efforts. In simple terms this means one site driving traffic to another.

Paid Inclusion is where a search engine company charges a fee to have your website including in their search index. Most search engine companies' offer except for Google. Generally the fee covers an annual subscription for one webpage, which will automatically get catalogued on a regular basis. Some times a per click fee may apply similar to PPC (see above). Paid inclusion proves to be particularly useful for cases where pages are dynamically generated and frequently modified.

Cost Per Impression or CMP advertising is where the advertiser pays for their advert to be shown a fixed number of times over a range of web pages. Generally the advertiser will deal with an agency which will in turn deal with a number of websites. The ad agency will take a commission which could vary from between 30 to 70% of the advertisers' payment. Pay per impression is cheaper for the advertiser but are also less reliable

The above are just a few I chose to write about but there are many more. Out of the types above SEO gives the biggest return on investment but can also cost the most. Most people using search engines click on the "natural" results rather than the sponsored ads. Even if you chose to use other forms you should ensure your site is search engine friendly which would mean enlisting the help of an SEO professional. Most SEO companies offer site optimisation as well as monthly campaigns. Monthly campaigns are desirable because to get on the front page of the search engine results you site needs to be as good and optimised as the ones already there. If these sites are paying for monthly SEO campaigns the only way to join them is to find an SEO company yourself. However if your target keywords are not too competitive you might be able to get away with having the site optimised only with no actual monthly campaigns.
About the Author
Carolyn is the webmaster for Discount Domains an ICANN registered Domain Registrar who also offer search marketing solutions .
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