Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the practice of utilizing search engines and directories as a medium for promoting your products, services, and information. Without Search Engine Marketing your Web site is almost invisible to potential customers. Search Engine Marketing provides two solutions: paid placement and search engine optimization.
Paid Placement vs. Search Engine Optimization Paid placement means paying for a highly visible listing for a specific word or key word phrase in a search engine, typically presented as “sponsored links” or “sponsor matches.”
Paid listings give you control over your results. You determine your rankings, buying at higher rates to achieve higher placement on a search results page. Google, LookSmart, and Overture offer paid placement programs.
Paid placement is considered a short-term solution for increasing targeted traffic to an advertiser’s site; except for those companies that can afford the monthly and daily recurring cost of buying listings. Paid placement is like online advertising.
A more strategic approach is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the art and science of positioning a Web site at the top of search engine results pages, through a set of safe practices, proven principles, research and analysis. SEO is a long-term strategy and is the next step in the development of your Web site.
It is estimated that the Internet is growing at an exponential rate of 7 million Web pages per day (Cyveillance). If a site is not optimized properly search engines will ignore large sections of a Web site, making it impossible for customers to find it.
Whether you offer services or sell products – or both – investing in Search Engine Optimization is the key to ensuring your site is indexed as deeply as possible by the search engines, and ranks well in the long-term.