Search Engine Marketing: Part1 - Pay Per Click

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Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, …

Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion.

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  • 1. Search Engine Marketing - part1: Pay per click Following last month series of articles on Search Engine Optimization (website content optimization, keyword research and link building tactics), I am pleased to introduce this new set of articles: Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Over the next couple of weeks, we will go over the most common ways to promote your business online. But first let’s see how SEM is defined by Wikipedia: Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_marketing What is pay per click? When you do a search on search engines, you are presented with at least two different kinds of results, the first are actual webpage results from organic listings, and the second one are paid/sponsored listings. You can usually find the paid listings at the top of the search results and on the side bars. On the illustration below, I searched for ‘iphone’ on Google and highlighted the paid listings in the two blue sections. The latest statistics show that 70% of search engines users click on the organic results while only 30% click on the pay per click ads. However 95% of users won’t go beyond the first page of search results. That’s where pay per click (PPC) comes into play. The goal of sponsored listings is to have your website presented on the first page of the search engines like Google, Yahoo! or Bing. The beauty of search engine marketing is that you are targeting users at the precise moment THEY are looking for you, your products or services. How it works Think about this as an ebay auction for a keyword. © 2009-2010 Loic Jeanjean, on behalf of AdvisorWebsites.com
  • 2. Going back to my example with the iphone, you can see on the right side 7 different listings. Every time someone clicks on the bottom ad, the company running the ad pays Google 50c per click. The company above them might be paying 75c per click. Basically, they are biding to get towards the top (the ad costs given are not actual costs, they are only here to support the explanation). Pay per click advertising is a combination of a science and an art. The science part is that you can, with some certainty, imagine the keywords that will produce the clicks. The artistic part is related to the ad piece that you need to write, making sure it is compelling enough for your target audience to click on your sponsored listing, while ensuring that the landing page (webpage you link your sponsored listing with – we will cover landing pages at a later stage in the series) will be meeting the desires and needs of your visitors and eventually trigger a buying decision. Why it works The reason why billions of dollars are flowing from traditional advertising to online advertising is simply because you have the ability to know with certainty which ad works and which doesn’t, and you know that if you spend X, you’ll get Y. Pay per click gives you control over your advertising, it is efficient and basically you can calculate your ROI down to the penny. Do’s and don’ts The important part to remember is that the competition can be fierce, especially on common keywords such as ‘mutual funds’ where the top position might cost as high as $30 per click. You don’t want to bid on high keywords; instead you may want to use alternative keywords like ‘mutual funds diversification’ or ‘mutual funds information online’. In a nutshell, you should try to think of specific and targeted keywords and go after them. As a result, instead of paying $30 for a keyword, you might end up paying 50c! Great Resources - Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool - allows you to plug in a URL and shows you what keywords Google thinks the page should be advertising for - Google Traffic Estimator - estimates the number of Google AdWords ad clicks and bid prices for the top ad position. - Google Search Based Keyword Tool - shows keyword search volume estimates and keyword values...by keyword, site, or category. This concludes our first article on Search Engine Marketing. To learn more about online advertising and pay per click campaigns, email us at info@advisorwebsites.com , connect with us on twitter @advisorwebsite or call us toll-free at 1-866-500-4113. In next week article, I will cover banner ads. Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment below. Loic Jeanjean Online Marketing Strategist Advisor Websites © 2009-2010 Loic Jeanjean, on behalf of AdvisorWebsites.com