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Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is a key activity needed to gain visibility on major search engines. It is comprised of many different forms of online marketing activities that are both free and paid.

Here are some of the important components of Search Engine Marketing:




Search Engine Optimization

SEO, also referred to as organic search, is the process of optimizing your web site. This includes but is not limited to web site structure, underlying code, meta data (title, keywords, description) and the content. Once of the most important things is to ensure that all your content is relevant to the visitor. You do not want to have content about cooking on a web site about building furniture for example.




Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

PPC are campiagns run on Google, Bing or Yahoo! for example where you pay a market price for every click. You bid on your keywords and set your price according to your budget. Aside from the major search engines there are others that also provide this method of advertising. The campaigns themselves can be text links and can also include animated images and even video.




Paid Inclusion

At one point or another we have all visited a directory and clicked on a link. The most popular human edited directory is DMOZ.org. Because it relies on volunteers and it is free, depending on the category it will take some time to get listed. In some cases it has been reported that it may take up to a year.  




Affiliate Programs

If you have products to sell online you may also want to consider setting up an affiliate program. There are several companies with varying reputations that will host your offers and provide reporting and tracking. Starting your own affiliate program can become costly but it opens the doors to more prospects.  As in all marketing activities - you need to test an measure - and then take action accordingly.




Banner Advertising

Banner advertising is still widely used. This is where you would provide graphics in standard sizes of you product or service. You would then purchase a fixed number of impressions. Tracking is important like in all marketing activities so you can guage the effectiveness of your campaign - Impressions, Click Through Rates, Conversions for example.




Social Media

The industry has moved in this direction with the advent of Facebook and other - lesser successful companies. Having a social presence is important and opens up your company, products and/or services to a vast network of potential customers. The three major Social Media Networks to consider a presence on would be Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. There are others as well and worth considering.




Email Marketing

Email marketing allows you to stay in touch with your customers and prospects. If they took the time to sign up for your newsletter, they are interested. Capturing these emails addresses is the process of "building your house file". You would then send emails to your house file offering them additional information, special deals or letting them know about an ucoming private sale for example. A lot of companies like to send out as many emails as possible but you need to remember you run the risk of burning out your house file and see it rapidly shrink.



In summary by using complimentary vehicles like Pay Per Click campaigns (PPC), Paid Inclusion, Affiliate Network and Social Media - you expand your opportunities to reach new customers.

 

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