Before we explain the core principles of Search Engine Marketing, it is worthwhile to point out that search engines have existed long before the ones that we have to depend on today. Private search databases have been around for almost a century with the first search queries made at around the turn off the 20th century. Search engines of yesteryears have evolved.
Having said that, it is safe to assume that search engines of yesteryears have evolved into the World Wide Web in which billions of us today have easy access to. These days, Internet browsers are synonymous to search engine interfaces. It is as convenient as opening up a web browser and we have immediate access to a search engines of your choice such as Google, Yahoo or any other search platforms.
The billions of search queries made on a daily basis on search engines have given birth to the concept of Search Engine Marketing or SEM as it is often referred to. SEM combines search elements with the dual marketing and advertising elements.
A search engine such as Google is the perfect meeting point between those searching for information, a product or service and the advertiser who would meet those needs. Business owners now an ideal platform, in the form of a search venue to raise the visibility of their products and services, create better brand awareness, reach out to their target audience with ease and speed. As soon as a keyword or keyword phrase is searched for in a search engine, it is instantly processed and in a fraction of a second, the most relevant result matching the query is furnished.
With this huge market of search queries to draw from, online marketers are seizing every opportunity to get themselves in position to be seen by potential customers. There is an equally huge number of business competitors all jostling for positions for better exposure. Thus the astute online marketer relies on understanding the prevailing algorithms used by search engines to determine the suitability of websites for better rankings. Savvy online marketers optimize their websites with appropriate search engine optimization practices to get their websites to rank better within their target market. The optimization of relevant keywords pertaining to their brand, products or services is critical to mine the right target audience on search engines.
Even though search engines have evolved and continues to do so, their search algorithms have retained their basic objectives and that is to aid searchers to derive search results that are relevant and helpful. Good search results would ensure that searchers are motivated to continually use the same search engine platform all the time.
Search engines operate as businesses too. The display ads feature found in search engines are a tremendous source of revenue for them. And advertisers can pay to get top rankings via display ads which gets them instant and often well targeted traffic.
So a business owner has essentially two routes on a search engine to reach out to his target audience or traffic. This traffic can be broken down to either organic traffic which are unpaid listings that are found on the organic search result page of a search engine or paid listings, otherwise known as paid ads or pay per click ads. An adroit online marketer would usually employ a complementing strategy of organic SEO mixed with paid ads.
Search engine traffic is unique in the sense that it came about as a result of a voluntary search. It is non-intrusive unlike the more traditional “in your face” type of advertising. The only challenge to get a share of search engine traffic is that a website has to rank in the front pages of search result in order to be seen. This is where search engine optimization of a website is so critical to help a website attain better rankings. Statistical research have shown that organic search traffic are a potent source of business opportunities for business owners. But search engines do “tweak” their algorithms, quite frequently, to improve on enabling their users the best search experience. This also means web masters have to constantly optimize their websites accordingly to meet the latest demands of these algorithms. It is thus advisable for business owners to get out of their do it yourself mode and engage the services of a professional SEO company to manage this aspect of their organic search marketing (SEM) efforts.
Paid listings is another alternative route in the search marketing universe. Although it is a more expensive alternative, the results are literally instantaneous. This strategy is especially helpful when, for reasons, some of your keywords are not getting ranked on the organic search results. Paid placement, paid inclusion, or shopping search, all popularly known as paid listings, have become an integral part of a savvy online marketer’s tactics.
As in anything else, there exists a flip side to the above discussed strategies of search engine marketing. There are outfits who deemed it fit to use illicit search marketing techniques known as Black Hat SEM/SEO. These techniques are used to circumvent prevailing search algorithms in hopes of attaining rankings. Search engines like Google have very sophisticated algorithms and such black techniques are usually detected and acted quickly enough. A website using such techniques would be penalized, downgraded or worst still, gets completely removed from the search engine results page (SERP).