26 June 2010
Posted in S
Please help us keep this glossary of Technical Terms up to date by sending us your criticism, comments or suggestions.
SEM | Search Engine Marketing
SEM, which stands for Search Engine Marketing, is the process of optimizing one's website to improve the position in which the website will appear within the search results obtained from a search engine based on specific keyword phrases.
To operate a business today without the benefit of an online presence is very diffucult. The convenience and abundance of information available over the Internet has created an expectation that any serious business should have a website providing at minimum contact information and a basic description of the services and/or products they have available. Today nearly every business regardless of size or field of business has some sort of web site or blog available online. For the consumer this is a fantastic resource, available 24 hours a day and in the privacy of the home as well.
For the business owner having a repository to post detailed infomation about the services one provides, business philosophy, product catalogs, pictures, videos, and detailed descriptions of products including prices, provides a fantastic marketing opportunity. Herein lies the rub; every single competing business owner knows these same facts. Even for somewhat obscure business' there can be literally thousands of competing web sites, providing similar products or services, vying for the same top billing spots.
When the average consumer decides to look up a business on the Internet 69.5 percent of the time he or she will use Google to perform the search (according to research firm Hitwise for f.y.2008). Yahoo and Microsoft make up the majority of the remaining search queries with AOL a coming in a distant 4th (although AOL actually uses Google's results).
Accroding to marketing research conducted by Chitika, a search based advertising network, the top 'organic' position in Google drove 34.35% of all traffic in the sample. This was almost equal to the combined traffic from positions 2 through 5, and was more than the combined total of positions 5 through 20. Organic spot number 1 is worth almost exactly double what organic spot number 2 is worth, and the drop is precipitous thereafter.
Search engine marketing, (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. Search engine optimization (SEO) "optimizes" website content to achieve a higher ranking in search results, for example, by incorporating specific keywords or links associated with the website. Depending on the context, SEM can be an umbrella term for various means of marketing a website including SEO, or it may contrast with SEO, focusing on just paid components.
Distinguished from SEO
SEM is an adjunct SEO. SEM uses ad words, pay per call (particularly beneficial for local providers as it enables potential consumers to get in touch directly to a company 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 changing usage.
In some contexts the term SEM is used exclusively to meanPay 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 PayPerClick 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.
Paid search advertising has not been without controversy, and the issue of how search engines present advertising on their search result pages has been the target of a series of studies and reports by Consumer Reports WebWatch. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also issued a letter in 2002 about the importance of disclosure of paid advertising on search engines, in response to a complaint from Commercial Alert, a consumer advocacy group with ties to Ralph Nader.
Another ethical controversy associated with search marketing has been the issue of trademark infringement. The debate as to whether third parties should have the right to bid on their competitors' brand names has been underway for years. In 2009 Google changed their policy, which formerly prohibited these tactics, allowing 3rd parties to bid on branded terms as long as their landing page in fact provides information on the trademarked term. Though the policy has been changed this continues to be a source of heated debate.
At the end of February 2011 many started to see that Google has started to penalize companies that are buying links for the purpose of passing off the rank. SEM has however nothing to do with link buying and focuses on organic SEO and PPC management.
Major SEM Tools
There are four categories of tools to help you optimize websites.
1. Keyword research and analysis: (a) Make sure the site can be indexed in the search engines; (b) find the most relevant and popular key terms and phrases for the site and its products; and (c) use those key phrases on the site in a way that will generate and convert traffic.
2. Website saturation and popularity: show how much presence a website has on search engines through the number of pages of the site that are indexed on each search engine (saturation) and how many times the site is linked to by other sites (popularity). Generally, the more Web presence you have, the easier it is for people to find your site. It requires your pages containing those 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.
4. Who Is tools: show you who owns and operates various webites, can provide valuable information relating to copyright and trademark issues. Useful tools include Who Is Source, ARIN. Read a competitor's source code to look for hidden clues, Use Web analytics tools to find out more about your customers, Use the source code and Who Is tools to research legal issues.
To find out how our team of San Antonio SEO Specialists can get your website to the top of Google click on the button below.