Search Engine Marketing includes multiple web promotional strategies. The top search marketing strategies are:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO), also known as Natural search engine optimization or Organic search engine optimization. Google and the rest of the search engines have specific programs called “spiders” to evaluate websites. The spider collects information and Google evaluates more that 1000 elements to provide the search results for various searches. Part of Google’s mission is to provide the most relevant results based on the search query.
- Local Listings. A recent study from comScore indicated that the increase in local search is outpacing general online search. In 2008, the use of online search tools to find local goods, services or companies increased by 58%, with a total of 15.7 billion local searches last year. Search engines recognize the importance of local, geo-specific listings. Most of them have created programs allowing free basic local and map search engine submissions.
- Pay-Per-Click (Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing, MSN AdCenter). Paid search is one of the fastest ways to get traffic to your website. Paid search is an auction, where the bidders can purchase sponsored listings on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN . The links to the site appear in a box or are labeled “Sponsored Search”.
- Paid Inclusion. This program is available via Yahoo only. It is a pay per category system and the cost per click is significantly lower than PPC for highly competitive categories. The results appear in the organic listings, which increases the number of clicks. Lastly, if your products are updated often, Yahoo promises to visit and re-index your site every 24 hours.
- Social Media Marketing – Sites with user-generated content allowing people to interact in the digital world and form relationships for personal and business purposes. Social media websites include YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Social media marketing (SMM) seeks to achieve branding and marketing communication goals through the participation in various social media networks. Each SMM campaign can be optimized to generate awareness or traffic.
- Online Media (banner ads) – online advertising. Similar to traditional media, an online ad campaign is placing banners on highly visited, usually informational websites. The investment is often based on a pay per million (or thousand) impressions model as opposed to pay per click.
- Web Analytics. Even though web analytics does not contribute directly to increasing website traffic, the tool is a very essential part of any search engine marketing program. This is because once visitors get to your website they have to find what they need and hopefully convert into leads, customers, etc. Metrics from web analytics are used to evaluate the effectiveness of each online and sometimes offline marketing program and improve usability of your website.
If your have a specific question or would like to discuss another search marketing topic, please post it on our blog or call us at 800-933-2402.
Next month’s topic: SEO 101 – Search Engine Optimization: steps, evaluation metrics, and benefits.
Sign up for our monthly newsletter to get new online marketing tips.