Search Engine Marketing or SEM is a means to increase the ‘visibility’ of your website within the search results of a targeted search engine. It involves selecting one or multiple plans sold by the search engine itself. These Search Engine Marketing plans could be Pay-per-click (PPC) Search Engine Marketing or special inclusion or position plans designed to give your website some advantage over other websites that are listed in the search engine results.
Is Search Engine Marketing a compulsory thing to do?
There is no compulsion to undertake any Search Engine Marketing. If your website has been indexed by the search engine that you are interested in, then your website will be part of the search engine results and whenever a customer searches for products or information using the keywords used on your website, then your website will be listed in the results along with other websites. So long as you have not done anything that is against the rules of that search engine, your website will be part of the search engine results. If inclusion within the search engine results is your target than you don’t have to undertake Search Engine Marketing.
The reason people undertake Search Engine Marketing is to enhance the position or visibility of their website within that list. Idea being, that the website should be listed on page one and as near to the top as possible or in a separate box prominently placed on page one. Such special treatment involves paying the search engines a fee. When you avail yourself of these paid services, you are undertaking Search Engine Marketing.
Will Search Engine Marketing guarantee results?
Yes, provided your website is ‘search engine and people friendly’. Search Engine Marketing will provide visibility to your website. Prospective customers will click on the link provided within the search engine results and arrive at your website. What happens once the customers arrive at your website depends on how good your website has been designed and put together whether the information and or products have been well organized and is easy to find and so on. Your customers must have a happy experience.
Is Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine marketing the same?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a series of steps you take at the website end to make it ‘search engine friendly’. These steps could include inserting properly formed meta tags, judicious use of keywords through out the page and website, ensuring the presence of hypertext links through out the website so that all pages that you want the customers to visit, are interlinked and entering appropriate descriptive titles for each page.
Search Engine Marketing on the other hand, is something you do at the search engine end and it usually includes making payment(s) to the search engine in return for enhanced listing or enhanced visibility. The usual procedure is to first undertake a Search Engine Optimization and then undertake Search Engine Marketing.
How will I know if the online brand marketing strategy is bearing results?
Increased sales or increased footfalls. A sudden jump in the sales is the surest way to know that your Search Engine Marketing strategy is working. However most search engines provide you with a set of tools that can help you not only track the number of visitors to your website, but also gather information on their geographic location.
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