Search Engine Marketing Explained


For any work-at-home mom, understanding search engine marketing (SEM) is very important. It crucial, as a freelance writer, to know search engine marketing, so you can market your material and earn residual income. If you're involved in web design, you needs to know search engine marketing so you can build websites that are conducive to its principles. If you have a website, you'll need to drive traffic to your site to attract clients. Whatever the case, here is an easy-to-understant explanation of search engine marketing.

What is SEM?

SEM refers to a type of Internet marketing that uses paid placement and ads in search engine results pages (SERPs) to get others to notice it. SEM may also use contextual advertising (advertising on certain words or phrases across several websites) as part of the marketing effort. Search engine marketing is much different than search engine optimization or SEO. While both of them aim to get traffic to a website, SEO is natural and takes time, whereas SEM uses the power of money.

Neither SEO nor SEM can guarantee the traffic, but both are effective methods of gaining traffic. More recently, SEM and SEO have joined together to form Search Engine Marketing Management or SEMM, where marketers are using a combination of the two methods to draw in traffic and focusing on the return on investment (ROI.) In other words, using natural methods to gain ground for certain keywords, while paying close attention to how much money is being earned from the paid placement (to see if the SEM is worth the money).

SEM Programs

Some of the most well known and widely used search engine marketing ad placement programs are Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft Ad Center. These programs all offer a variety of plans to help you advertise your website on a budget. Pay per click is the most common method, meaning that you only pay when someone clicks your ad and goes to your website.

The keywords you choose for your website (to be displayed on) will impact the price per click. Different plans allow for you to set a budget and stop displaying your ad after that many clicks have been reached, or to pay for a certain number of clicks (and once that number has been reached the ad stops). These plans can be one time only or recurring.

Choosing SEM Keywords

Choose keywords carefully. While you want keywords related to your niche, some of the more broad phrases will cost more per click, but they may not get the return on investment you are looking for. Others may cost less per click because they are more specific keyword phrases, but don't get searched often, so they too, may not get you the return you are looking for.

Determine the best keywords to go for based on your target audience and their behavior, and go for them regardless of cost. Try working with a few different sets at a time to see what works the best.

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