By now, you know all about SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. You get it; you know why it’s useful and how to do it. Even if you don’t have SEO Expert status, you still have a pretty good grasp of the concept. Now, to throw you off, here’s a new initialed term for you.
SEM. Search Engine Marketing. It is a way of gaining more web traffic by essentially paying the search engines. The most common method used is Pay-Per-Click advertising, with Google AdWords being most used. For a small fee, you can get your website to the top of the search results as a sponsored link. When you do a Google search, often times you see the sponsored links that appear at the top of the listing, in a yellow box. This links point to ads on the right-hand side. These ads get featured, and get a ton of traffic, but they do come at a cost. The website owner must pay Google each time the link is clicked. Hench, Pay-Per-Click.
The more you are willing to pay the search engine for each click, the higher up your ad will be. Pretty tricky right? Now the ranking algorithm also takes into account how relevant your ad is in relation to the others on the same page, and this is where good SEO practices help. Using the right keywords will help get your ad placed on the right results page, right where you want it.
There are other ways to take advantage of SEM. Here are a couple other methods that do not include SEO practices.
- Paid inclusion. This is basically paying the directory or search engine to add your website to their database. This is a quick and easy to get your website noticed. Rather than waiting for your SEO efforts to work and the search engine spiders to notice your site, you just pay to have it done for you.
- Traditional ads. This method involves using paid advertising on the results pages. Using the right keywords, your ad will appear with the search results and you will get charged each time your ad appears. In other words, you are paying for the ad to be seen; it does not matter if it gets clicked or not, you still get charged.
SEM is not necessarily a new marketing strategy, but it does seem to be gaining popularity. It is a quick and easy way to get your website traffic and high rankings. Of course, nothing this easy comes without a price. The amount you pay is up to you, but the more you dish out, the better results you get.