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Understanding Search Engine Marketing (Ratings: 3.5/5)

Friday, September 22, 2006
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Many people confuse search engine marketing (SEM) with search engine optimization (SEO), whereas both are totally different concepts. SEM is not optimization of the site for getting higher rankings in search engines as happens in SEO. SEM is the ability of the advertisers, ad agencies, marketing firms, web owners, to pay for sponsored listings on a cost per click (cpc) or pay per click (ppc) basis, provided they have a budget for search engine marketing. It is one of the fastest as well most expensive method of getting targeted traffic to your website. It is a costly affair because you have to pay for every visitor that comes to your site from the search engines. Overture and Google AdWords are examples of the SEM programs.

In fact, SEM started with the launch of Overture (the first ppc search engine) in 2001. It took shape out of the imagination of internet and search engine savvy professionals who realized that there could be a quicker and easier way of getting the websites listed. This gave birth to PPC. In PPC campaign, different interested parties bid for a particular keyword or phrase for the top position in search engines. The highest bidder gets the top position. Though an expensive proposition, this was happily taken up by advertisers as a quick and easy alternative to natural search engine optimization.

Advantages of Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
1.The Search engine marketing listings are as good as immediate, hence making it possible for bidders to determine their most profitable keywords in days, not months.
2.The control of the copy that appears in the listing is in the bidder's hands.
3.All you need is resources and money in order to remain always the first listing for a keyword.
4.You don't have to worry about the On page factors associated with search engine optimization.
5.Keeping track of the search engine marketing campaigns is pretty simple and straight.
6.You can keep track of conversion ratios on each keyword phrase easily. 7.Which landing page the visitor goes to after clicking on your sponsored link is also in your control.
8.With SEM you don't need to submit your web site to the search engines.

All good things come at a price and so does SEM. If you have the budget and are in a hurry to get your site listed in the search engines, nothing like search engine marketing. Otherwise, SEO is an inexpensive, but time consuming process that you can make use of for getting targeted traffic to your site.

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