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What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)? An Overview...


Presentation to the University of Washington Business School class on Search Engine Marketing. Includes insight on how search engines work, what programs are available (SEO/SEM) and how social media …

Presentation to the University of Washington Business School class on Search Engine Marketing. Includes insight on how search engines work, what programs are available (SEO/SEM) and how social media impacts

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  • Ardeth spoke about being found – this is outcome of good organic lead acquisition and visibility


  • 1. Search Engine Marketing Overview for UW Business School – 11/3/10
  • 2. What We Will Cover Today
    Organic vsPaid Media
    Some Stats
    Search Engine Basics
    Organic Search (Natural)
    Organic and Social Together
    Paid Search
    New Issues with Search
    Landing Pages
  • 3. Organic vs Paid Lead Acquisition Strategies
    Organic Traffic & Leads
    Natural Search (SEO)
    Social Media
    Referrals (Links)
    The Internet
    Paid Traffic & Leads
    • Paid Search
    • 4. Display/Banners
    • 5. Affiliate (CPA)
    • 6. TV/Radio/Print
    Organic strategies work TOGETHER to improve visibility
    Paid strategies are managed and analyzed as INDIVIDUAL channels
  • 7. US Advertising Spending by Media2007 – 2012 in Millions
    Search has overtaken display as the #1 media spend online (as of 2008)
    Internet will overtake newspapers in 2011 (if not sooner)
    Internet is bigger than spot local/national TV in spend
    Search is already bigger than print Yellow Pages/directories
    Lots of traditional media spends are in decline while Internet is up, up, up!
    Source: Jack Meyers Media Business Report as provided to eMarketer, Sept 14, 2009
  • 8. Why Search Engine Marketing?
    The #1 driver of non-direct traffic to most websites
    High quality traffic
    All stages of the buying cycle from research to price compare
    Organic traffic has no media costs
    Pay Per Click search traffic is highly targetable
    By keyword, location, time of day, day of week, demographic, etc.
    PPC is self-service, easy to get up and running
    PPC is a great way to test messaging, offers, landing pages and positioning
  • 9. Types of Search Engines
    Rely on search spiders and algorithms
    Google/AOL, Yahoo Web, MSN, Teoma
    Directories/Human Editors
    Rely on submissions and editors to review
    Yahoo! Directory, DMOZ,, CNET,
    Rely on merchandise managers and submissions
    Froogle, eBay,,
    Meta Search
    Automate queries across other indexes
    Dogpile, MetaCrawler
    Industry Vertical Engines/Directories
    Focus on specific industries through human editors & submissions,
    Social Media
    Twitter is “Real Time” search
    LinkedIN, Facebook and MySpace are search networks
  • 10. The #1 Job of Search Engines
    Provide the Best Search Results Based on the Limited Information (1-4 keywords) the Searcher Gives the Engine.
    Better search results (organic & paid) = happier searchers
    Happier searchers = more search/repeat usage
    More search usage = more inventory
    More inventory = more opportunity to sell pay per click advertising
  • 11. Search Engine Marketing Programs
    Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    Listed in the editorial or organic area of engine.
    Higher quality traffic – legitimate search results.
    No guarantee of placement, mid to long term results.
    Pay Per Click (PPC) Search
    Auction, bid or CPC system.
    Immediate, cost effective, trackable.
    Pay Per Click (PPC) Content Network
    Google/Bing have matched your keywords to content on the internet
    You push ads to a site without a specific search
    Managed through your same search PPC interface
  • 12. A Google Example SEM of Programs
    Paid Results: The top two performers from the AdWords CPC program.
    Main Results: Natural search listings which cannot be bought, but influenced with SEO program. Google does not have a trusted feed or paid inclusion program.
    Paid Results:AdWords closed-bid CPC placements. Ranked by CTR x CPC. Top three listings distributed to partners. Top three and more distributed to Google’s Content-Targeted Ad network.
  • 13. Example of a Content Ad Network Placement
    Content Network: Page content mapped to your keywords. Highly efficient buy, but lower in quality.
  • 14. The Golden Triangle of Search Usability
    The results of an eye tracking study on Google.
    The focus is on the upper left with a glance over to the top of the right hand side placements.
    Underlines the volume importance of the top placements.
  • 15. The Importance of Position
    The higher the position, the higher the click through rate
    The higher the position, the lower the conversion (in general)
    Critical to understand position vs cost vs conversion trade off
    Source is Yahoo! site wide data.
  • 16. How Crawlers Work
    Search Bots follow links and return information to index
    Googlebot, MSNbot, Muscat Ferret ( lists 298 bots)
    Cached Pages
    In Database
    Update &
    Business Rules
    Data Sources
    Crawl Site
    Local Content
    (standard update)
    Foundation Database
    (standard update)
  • 17. How Do They Get Data? – Spiders…
    Search Spiders follow links and return data to search engine for processing with algorithms. They can:
    Read meta tags, title tags and HTML content.
    Read URL’s (some read past a ? variable, some don’t).
    Read some dynamic content.
    Follow links through-out the site if built into page.
    Are looking for STRONG uses of keywords.
    H1 tags, title tags and HTML content are more important.
    Bold and italic words.
    Are looking for CONTEXT
    Block of related text, pages with single themes, etc.
    Spiders can only return what they can read and find.
    Our job is to help them find the right information in the right format
  • 18. Why Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
    60 – 80% of clicks on a search engine results page emanate from the organic search area.
    Google: 80% of clicks from organic
    Yahoo: 70% of clicks from organic
    MSN: 60% of clicks from organic
    Organic clicks may or may not be more qualified.
    The clicks are free of media costs (although there are internal & management costs).
    It is an important part of your entire SEM program.
  • 19. Search Engine Optimization Truths
    Your #1 job is to make finding, crawling and indexing your site as easy as possible for bots
    High rankings are built on relevant content & links
    Remember the #1 goal of search engines
    Following white hat strategies is best
    Engines getting smarter about search spam
    Do you have time to fight the search engines?
    The simpler a site the easier to get ranked
    Balance CMS/Rich Media vs Search Objectives
    SEO is NOT fast and never ends
    Set aside budget for SEO as you would PPC
    SEO will effect your marketing, IT, Web site and copy writing groups.
  • 20. SEO Programs Contain Five Elements
    Keyword Selection
    Volume vs. Relevancy vs. Competitiveness
    Site Content
    Align Words, Files, Tags, etc. with Keywords
    Submission, Indexing, Site Structure
    Get More Pages into the Engines
    Sitemap.xml’s are critical for large sites
    Leverage on-site link structure
    Inbound, On-site and Outbound Links are All Important
    Consistent, Timely Reporting to Manage Progress
  • 21. Twitter – The Latest in Search
    Looks like a search engine to me
    Hashtags and @ symbols drive direct relevance
    Popular topics drive HUGE traffic
    Find people who are talking about topics you are interested in
    Now Twitter feeds in Google and Bing (just announced)
  • 22. Social Media and Search
    Social media has dramatically increased the amount of indexable content available – everyone is a publisher
    Social has also increased the SPEED at which content is created
    Blogs, comments and articles are much easier to publish and now have revenue attached to them via Google Adsense, etc.
    Social media networks has raised the bar on cross linking, product communication and personal profile publishing.
    The concept of a homepage is changing
    Not just on your site, but Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter
    Being involved in a conversation and pointing (via links) too an authoritative piece of content adds to the link building tool set
    Social is boosting the distinction between organic & paid campaigns
  • 23. Twitter Feeds in Google
    Twitters feeds in Google search results page
  • 24. The Major Modes of Use for Twitter
    Listen and respond to conversations
    Listen to what is being said about your products and brand
    Respond to accolades and criticism
    If something positive or negative is said > how do you engage the conversation?
    Syndicate and engage your audience
    Use Twitter to promote your content, webinars & releases
    Create and manage Twitter campaigns
  • 25. Listen and Respond to Conversations
    Listening Tools
    Response Systems
    Your website
    The reactive mode of social media requires on-going monitoring and engagement
    There are LOTS of tools for monitoring different conversation streams
  • 29. Syndicate and Engage Your Audience via Twitter
    Create Content
    Create Campaigns
    Track Results
    One off Tweets
    Create a Series of Tweets in a Campaign
    • Build your tweets for the week in one sitting
    • 32. Build all of the tweets for the campaign at once
    • 33. Include links to your site which we shorten for you
    • 34. Schedule tweets to go out through your account
    Your Content
    In Optify Reports
    In Twitter
    • Increase followers
    • 50. # of ReTweets
    Your Site
    Other Blogs
    Utilizing social media and Twitter to extend the reach of your content is ideal
    Tracking the results through campaign variables on your link back to your site, increased number of visitors and increased number of followers
  • 51. Paid Media Cost Methods
    Online Media Can be Purchased Using Various Cost Methods, Each with Pros & Cons.
    Time: Great for guaranteed SOV and placement, but inventory is determined by visitor traffic. Effective method for page takeovers to build awareness and to block out competitors.
    CPM: Strong guarantee of impressions, share of voice, and targeted placements, but greater risk (of ROI) falls on the advertiser.
    CPC: Provides targeted placement at less risk than CPM, but impressions are not guaranteed and risk of forced and/or incentive clicks.
    CPA or Revenue Share: The least amount of risk for advertiser and paid only when an user-action is performed, but no guarantee of impressions, placement, nor acceptance by publishers.
    Less CommonMore Common
    Publisher RiskAdvertiser Risk
  • 52. Paid Search Overview
    The most effective, timely and trackable way to start spending marketing dollars.
    Market is in transition from a Google + Yahoo + Bing + others to just Google + Bing
    Google is king – they have the largest volume, highest quality audience, best testing tools & easiest user interface.
    Bing is gaining with marketing, innovation and business development
    Google content network is MUCH bigger and more refined than Bing
    Testing is what will make or break your program!
  • 53. How Paid Search Programs Work
    Syndicated Engines
    (Syndicated Search)
    AdSense Sites
    (Content Ads)
    CPM Sites
    (Sub Set of AdSense)
    • All of these programs are ad serving systems.
    • 54. Search is just one outlet of impressions for the system.
    • 55. Everything is centered around a pay per click model vs a CPM or CPA
    • 56. Even CPM programs in Google are judged on an effective CPC basis
  • Paid Search Testing is Critical
    The success of your program depends on testing and your ability to expand/improve
    Look for incremental improvement over a long term.
    Include seasonality, week parts & day parts
    Your web analytics/tracking protocol is critical
    What level of granularity can you support/afford?
    Do you automate bid management?
    Balance between click volume and statistical significance.
    Does it make sense to optimize terms that get 4 clicks per month?
  • 57. Paid Search - Areas to Optimize
    Inventory (# of impressions accessible)
    Campaign Structure & Categories
    Match types (broad, phrase, exact)
    Negative Keywords
    Placement: Search vs. Content
    Bid Strategy/Ad Rank
    Conversion Process
    Landing Pages
    Balance with Life Time Value
  • 58. Paid Search Metrics, Levers and Actions
  • 59. Customer Segmentation & Search
    Two Major Ways to Segment with Search
    By Keyword
    Each keyword someone enters is a behavioral indicator.
    A correlation exists between the stage of the research or purchase process and the type of keywords entered.
    MP3 Player vsipod 4GB nano black
    Music vs Free Rhapsody Trial
    By Demographic Data
    New tools that link account information with keyword searches are available.
    Research keywords to get demographic profile (very helpful for wider campaigns)
    Target broader keywords to a narrower demographic (helpful for expanding keyword campaigns)
  • 60. New Issues with Search Engines
    Bing running Yahoo search – impact?
    Google updating UI to add in Bing “esque” features
    Google Instant – rapid update of results interface while you type
    Real Time Search
    Google’s “caffeine” is trying to index content faster
    Adding Real Time tweets to Google Index
    Universal Search
    Combining multiple media types into same Search Engine Results Page.
    Text, Video, Audio, Images, etc.
    Personalized Search
    Change results page based on previous search behavior and website visitation patterns
    Off-shoot of behavioral targeting
    Latent Semantic Indexing
    Already in use to improve results
    Context of keywords as well as words around the word.
    Mobile Search
    iPhone, Blackberry, Google Android Platform
    Is it form or function?
  • 61. Landing Page Best Practices
    The copy, colors, look & feel should all be in-line with the message of the media.
    Any disconnects between what the marketing message said and what the landing page says causes friction in the process.
    The fewer words, the fewer images, the fewer links, etc. – the better the page will convert.
    Narrow Focus
    Lose any extraneous links, unfocused navigation.
  • 62. Testing Methodologies & Tools
    No Testing is Death
    Start with A/B/C testing > but be disciplined in variable control (only one at a time!)
    Move to multi-variant when you have the dollars and traffic to support it.
    Ability to test millions of combinations of variables via tree’d approach (aka smart test design)
    Taguchi method is de-rigueur, but new, more modern methods are now commercially available.
    Small incremental changes are the rule, not the exception.
  • 63. What to Test on a Landing Page
    Headlines and Headings
    # and Type of Testimonials
    Bonus Gifts
    P.S. Messages
    Opening Sentence Image
    Closing Sentence Image
    Location of Images
  • 64. That’s a Wrap!
    Visit for more articles, information & blogs (in the process of being updated)
    Also visit for jobs 
    E-mail me with comments, additional questions, clarifications –
    Join the LinkedIn University of Washington MBA Alumni Group – go beyond your class!
    Thank You!
  • 65. Is Google the New Microsoft?
    You can now functionally live without every installing a Microsoft product
  • 66. Share of Searches by Engine
    Is the bloom coming off of Bing?
    Why does Google keep winning? What will it take to change this trend?
  • 67. Interrelationships Between Engines
    • Main Search Results, Secondary Search Results, Directory Results & PPC are all shared/powered by various partners
  • A Yahoo Example SEM of Programs
    Paid Results: Auction style results from YSM! (Overture)
    In-House Inventory: Yahoo! owns the page, they can do what they want.
    Paid Results: Trusted feed results. Flat category CPC pricing.
    Main Results: Natural search listings which cannot be bought, but influenced with SEO program. Google does not have a trusted feed or paid inclusion program.
  • 68. How do the PPC Programs Differ?
    The primary web sites are different
    Google & Ask > strictly a search engine
    MSN & Yahoo > portals with search
    Twitter > spaz messaging!
    The syndicated networks are different
    Google feeds AOL, & lots more
    Yahoo! Search Marketing feeds Yahoo!
    MSN Search feeds and Live!
    The content networks are different
    Different sites
    Different ways to identify the way to place the ad on a site
    Different ways to optimize ads
    The rules for placement are different
    Underlying algorithms are slightly different
    Match types, minimum bids, normalization, targeting
    The concept of relevancy is different
    Google > extended relevancy past click through rate to landing page consistency and post landing pages > crawling deeper into sites.
    Google > higher priority on “clean” ads that don’t duplicate each other
    Yahoo, Bing and ASK are fast following Google (but Google is still faster)
  • 69. Appendix - Fun SEO Tools
    Blog posts, guides, SEO and Lead Intelligence software
    Local company with great tool set
    See a list of keywords and what rank for a specific URL
    Various free tools for linking, keyword inventory & more
    142 SEO tools for all things
    Easy to use SEO tools that includes competitive comparisons.
    Search engine spider simulator
  • 70. Appendix – SEM Resources
    RSS Feed Resources
    • 71. (find feeds)
    • 72.
    • 73.
    Local Search Resources
    Paid Search Resources
    SEO Technical Resources (list of bots) (developer site with good tips for SEO)
    SEO Strategic Resources
    SEO Free Tools
  • 74. Appendix - Directories
    Articles Directories
    • 75.
    • 76.
    • 77.
    • 78.
    • 79.
    • 80.
    • 81.
    • 82.
    • 83.
    Search Directories
  • 84. Appendix - Resources
    Testing Resources
    ASP Hosted Applications
    • 85.
    • 86.
    • 87.
    • 88.
    Split Testing Calculators
    • 89.
    • 90.
    Split Testing Software
    • 91.
    Design Resources
    Web Analytics Resources
    Optimization Resources
  • 92. Appendix – More Resources
    Pop-up Generator
    Opt-In List Builders (co-reg software) (co-reg network)
    Marketing Information and Content Sites
    Examples of Viral Marketing Campaigns