Driving Site Traffic through Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Marketing incorporates all aspects of building a web site’s exposure on the search engines. This includes both “Organic Ranking” and “Pay-Per-Click” advertising. Organic Ranking is achieved through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to achieve natural positioning in the search result pages (SERP’s). Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising refers to the ‘sponsored-links’ fields of the search pages, which enable anyone to purchase clicks/traffic, with front page ad exposure, for any keyword. All the search engines follow similar strategies for ranking sites in the organic results, and all offer PPC advertising. It is estimated that 80% or more of online queries and retail sales begin with one of the top 5 engines (Forrester Research, 2007). Therefore, SEM is an absolute necessity for online marketing success and should be afforded more importance, in the overall marketing strategy, than all other forms of online advertising combined.
We are all well aware that the internet has single-handedly revolutionized the way commerce happens. Regardless of your product or service –regardless of your target audience–the internet has become everyone’s research tool of choice. For the foreseeable future, the search engines have established themselves as the dominant interface for pursuing this research process. Search engines are the gateway, and gatekeepers, for 80-90% of global user interaction with the web. Just ask yourself, when you want to find something where do you look? The answer is almost inevitably, “Google.”