Search Engine Marketing - Comparison With SEO
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization (both on-page and off-page) as well as through advertising (paid placements, contextual advertising, and paid inclusions). Depending on the context, SEM can be an umbrella term for various means of marketing a website including search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages, or it may contrast with PPC, focusing on only paid components.
As the number of sites on the Web increased in the mid-to-late 90s, search engines started appearing to help people find information quickly. Search engines developed business models to finance their services, such as pay per click programs offered by Open Text in 1996 and then Goto.com in 1998. Goto.com later changed its name to Overture in 2001, and was purchased by Yahoo! in 2003, and now offers paid search opportunities for advertisers through Yahoo! Search Marketing. Google also began to offer advertisements on search results pages in 2000 through the Google AdWords program. By 2007, pay-per-click programs proved to be primary money-makers for search engines. In a market dominated by Google, in 2009 Yahoo! and Microsoft announced the intention to forge an alliance. The Yahoo! & Microsoft Search Alliance eventually received approval from regulators in the US and Europe in February 2010.
Search engine optimization consultants expanded their offerings to help businesses learn about and use the advertising opportunities offered by search engines, and new agencies focusing primarily upon marketing and advertising through search engines emerged. The term "Search Engine Marketing" was proposed by Danny Sullivan in 2001 to cover the spectrum of activities involved in performing SEO, managing paid listings at the search engines, submitting sites to directories, and developing online marketing strategies for businesses, organizations, and individuals.
SEM methods and metrics
There are four categories of methods and metrics used to optimize websites through search engine marketing.
- Keyword research and analysis involves three "steps:" ensuring the site can be indexed in the search engines, finding the most relevant and popular keywords for the site and its products, and using those keywords on the site in a way that will generate and convert traffic.
- Website saturation and popularity, how much presence a website has on search engines, can be analyzed through the number of pages of the site that are indexed on search engines (saturation) and how many backlinks the site has (popularity). It requires pages to contain keywords people are looking for and ensure that they rank high enough in search engine rankings. Most search engines include some form of link popularity in their ranking algorithms. The followings are major tools measuring various aspects of saturation and link popularity: Link Popularity, Top 10 Google Analysis, and Marketleap's Link Popularity and Search Engine Saturation.
- Whois tools reveal the owners of various websites, and can provide valuable information relating to copyright and trademark issues.
Paid inclusion involves a search engine company charging fees for the inclusion of a website in their results pages. Also known as sponsored listings, paid inclusion products are provided by most search engine companies, the most notable being Google.
The fee structure is both a filter against superfluous submissions and a revenue generator. Typically, the fee covers an annual subscription for one webpage, which will automatically be catalogued on a regular basis. However, some companies are experimenting with non-subscription based fee structures where purchased listings are displayed permanently. A per-click fee may also apply. Each search engine is different. Some sites allow only paid inclusion, although these have had little success. More frequently, many search engines, like Yahoo!, mix paid inclusion (per-page and per-click fee) with results from web crawling. Others, like Google (and as of 2006, Ask.com), do not let webmasters pay to be in their search engine listing (advertisements are shown separately and labeled as such).
Some detractors of paid inclusion allege that it causes searches to return results based more on the economic standing of the interests of a web site, and less on the relevancy of that site to end-users.
Often the line between pay per click advertising and paid inclusion is debatable. Some have lobbied for any paid listings to be labeled as an advertisement, while defenders insist they are not actually ads since the webmasters do not control the content of the listing, its ranking, or even whether it is shown to any users. Another advantage of paid inclusion is that it allows site owners to specify particular schedules for crawling pages. In the general case, one has no control as to when their page will be crawled or added to a search engine index. Paid inclusion proves to be particularly useful for cases where pages are dynamically generated and frequently modified.
Paid inclusion is a search engine marketing method in itself, but also a tool of search engine optimization, since experts and firms can test out different approaches to improving ranking, and see the results often within a couple of days, instead of waiting weeks or months. Knowledge gained this way can be used to optimize other web pages, without paying the search engine company.
Comparison with SEO
SEM is the wider discipline that incorporates SEO. SEM includes both paid search results (Using tools like Google Adwords or Microsoft adCenter) and organic search results (SEO). SEM uses paid advertising with AdWords or Microsoft adCenter, pay per click (particularly beneficial for local providers as it enables potential consumers to contact a company directly with one click), article submissions, advertising and making sure SEO has been done. A keyword analysis is performed for both SEO and SEM, but not necessarily at the same time. SEM and SEO both need to be monitored and updated frequently to reflect evolving best practices.
In some contexts, the term SEM is used exclusively to mean pay per click advertising, particularly in the commercial advertising and marketing communities which have a vested interest in this narrow definition. Such usage excludes the wider search marketing community that is engaged in other forms of SEM such as search engine optimization and search retargeting.
Another part of SEM is social media marketing (SMM). SMM is a type of marketing that involves exploiting social media to influence consumers that one company’s products and/or services are valuable. Some of the latest theoretical advances include search engine marketing management (SEMM). SEMM relates to activities including SEO but focuses on return on investment (ROI) management instead of relevant traffic building (as is the case of mainstream SEO). SEMM also integrates organic SEO, trying to achieve top ranking without using paid means of achieving top in search engines, and pay per click SEO. For example some of the attention is placed on the web page layout design and how content and information is displayed to the website visitor.
As popular as the Social Networking services are today it was inevitable that they would eventually become the most cost effective advertising medium available to basically anyone who wishes to increase exposure to their brand, find new customers, expand their brand influence and of course increase revenues and profits. One of the fastest ways to get your brand out there on the most popular of the social networking services is through the use of the tools that the networking services themselves have created for sharing online content and voting for or recommending content shared by others.
I am speaking of course about the social sharing buttons, widgets, embeddable scripts, or however you choose to describe them they all refer to the same thing. Facebook, Google, Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Digg etc... have each come up with their own method of sharing content on their particular network and have published downloadable scripts, free to download and use, that can be embedded into just about any type of website html code. Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, just to name a few all are very easy to integrate with the social networking service widgets.
If you administer or own a Joomla website download one of our Easy Like and Share Extensions, Modules or Plugins for Joomla 1.5 or 2.5. The Easy Like and Share Extension supports Facebook, Google Plus, Google Share, Twitter, TweetMeme. Pinterest, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, Digg, Reddit, Buffer and Xing.
You can find links to download the Easy Like and Share extension below.
Social Sharing, Social Liking and Social Recommending Extensions for Joomla
Try one of our Social Sharing Extensions on your Joomla website or blog. All of our Extensions, Modules and Plugins are compatible with Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 2.5. In addition to the standard Joomla articles you can also use these extensions in K2, VirtueMart, JEvents, EasyBlog and MyBlog. There is a free version available of all the Extensions, Modules and Plugins so that you can test the compatibility of our extensions with your individual configuration, template, etc...
|Easy Like and Share||Easy Facebook Like Box||Twitter Widget Maker Genius|
Our Social Sharing, Social Liking and Social Recommending Extensions are designed for the easy creation of convenient Social Sharing Buttons for the members and guests on your website to Bookmark, Share, Like, or Recommend interesting articles or content they find on your site on the top Social Media sites and Social Bookmarking sites online. Clicking on one of the Social Sharing or Social Like Buttons uses the API designed by the Social Sharing Service to Either Share Content or allow your guest to Comment, Like or Recommend your content depending on the service. This is a great tool to help bring more traffic to your site and create a buzz about your online business.
The person sharing the Content, Recommending the Content or Liking the Content must have an active account and be logged in to share content using any of these services. If you plan to display any of these social buttons on your own website, it is highly recommended to create an account with that service and trying the sharing or liking procedure yourself so you know what your guests are experiencing and you know how the process works.