Search engine marketing aka SEM is the process of marketing your website to the search engines so your web pages show near the top of the search results.

Many different methods and techniques are used to market your site to the search engines and some of them are:

  • Paid inclusion
  • Pay-per-click
  • Contextual advertising

Search engine optimization may or may not be included in the list. The answer on its inclusion depends on which professional you talk to since SEO is its own discipline. I include SEO in the mix because basic skills in search engine optimization help you do better with the other methods I mentioned.

Paid Inclusion

This is exactly what it sounds like. You pay a monthly or yearly fee to have your site listed by the search engine or directory. You may or may not get returned higher in Yahoo’s search results if you choose to pay Yahoo to be included in their index BUT Google often gives sites that paid Yahoo for inclusion a slight bump in their results.

While Google won’t state this, the evidence many have seen proves the bump is real. Many of us feel the reason for the bump is that any business that’s willing to pay Yahoo $300 a year for inclusion in their index is serious about their business and delivering value to their customers.

Pay-Per-Click and Contextual Advertising

Pay-Per-Click advertising which is also known as PPC is contextual advertising you buy. These ads can show up on the search engine results pages or in a content network.

The PPC ads placed on the search engine results pages can help you when you have the first position in the organic results and the first position in the PPC ads for your targeted keyword phrase.

Several marketers have tested this and verified that the traffic bump from the top position in both the organic results AND PPC can be as much as five fold. Seeing a 500 percent increase in your traffic when you add a PPC campaign to your top search engine listing is hard to believe but testing can verify the statement.

Contextual ads placed on CraigsList  are good at getting your new website indexed by Google in 24-72 hours because that site gets crawled regularly by the search engine spiders.

USFreeAds, which is owned by Google, is another classified ad site that will get you indexed quickly.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO comes into play when you compose your ads. Many believe it’s more important to write the ad copy strictly for the sale. I believe the ad copy should sell BUT it is vital that you include the targeted keyword phrase in the title and ad copy when possible.

The major search engines usually show the searched phrase in bold text on the search engine results pages. Why wouldn’t you want your keyword phrase in your ad copy when the search engine will place it in bold for you? I’ll gladly let the search engines draw attention to my ad copy for me by bolding the keyword phrase.

How you choose to generate traffic is up to you and there are MANY ways you can accomplish traffic generation and the phrase search engine marketing covers different ways to use the search engines as your traffic source.

Search Engine Marketing

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