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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Search 101

Search marketing is a form of online marketing that thrives on the ability to reach highly targeted customers when they are researching for information of a specific product or service.

In layman’s terms, search marketers bid on a set of keywords that best describes the product or service to be advertised in order to keep the ads (associated with these keywords) at the most profitable positions.

However, we all know that no human-defined concept remains in layman’s terms, especially search marketing. As the internet and technology continuously evolves, new concepts are constantly added. Since it is search 101, I’ll answer the top common questions asked by non-SEMers, but keeps in mind that this is like a drop of water to a sea. Please email me with your specific questions and I will be glad to help.

            What’s the difference between SEM and SEO?
SEM (Search Engine Marketing), aka PPC (Pay-Per-Click) or Paid Search, referred to the marketing effort to improve rankings of ads via paid placements on a search engine. In most major search engines, the paid placements are at the top or on the right hand side of the search result pages.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) referred to the effort to increase a website’s visibility via non-paid search results, aka organic results. The organic results are below the paid placements and they take up the majority of the results on a search engine results page.

Who should run a search marketing campaign?
It is ideal for any business owner who wants to control the marketing budget and effectively measure the success of the investment. Anyone with enough understanding of how search marketing works can run a search campaign. This type of information is easily accessed online as many search marketing experts have shared their knowledge online.

How do search marketers decide what keywords to bid on?
Search marketers depend strongly on third-party tools, data and analysis to predict trends in the behaviors of internet users. In turns, they come up with a few sets (or a few hundred sets) of keywords that work best in achieving their goals.  Advertisers will then put these keywords through different tests driven by multiple market and internal factors. They will refine the list and make strategic decisions to bid on a list of keywords with highest return on investment possible for the business.
Have more question about Search? Email me at I'd be glad to help!

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