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Top 7 Search Engine Marketing Techniques
By Ajay Baretha
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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.
- Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the practice of applying techniques to maximize your ranking in organic, or natural search results. Organic search results are the rankings of Web pages returned by a search engine when you search for a specific word or phrase - a "keyword" or "keyword phrase".
- Pay Per Click Advertising
PPC advertising has become one of the most popular ways to improve a website's rankings in search engines. Successful companies sell advertising space on their sites in association with relevant keywords.
However, advertisers are only required to pay for impressions that result in visitors. Since PPC advertising helps companies generate customers while improving their rankings in search engines, it is considered one of the more efficient types of marketing strategies.
- Paid Inclusion in Search Engines
Some search engines sell advertising space inside of their results. Essentially, marketers pay search engine providers to list their websites in search results according to defined keywords. This helps associate a website with popular search terms.
- Paid Placement Listing
Most major search engines carry paid placement listings, where advertisers are guaranteed a high ranking, usually in relation to desired words. These paid listings are usually segregated from editorial results and labeled to highlight that they are ads. The exact position of the paid placement listings can vary. Usually, they appear above the editorial links. They can also appear at the bottom or to the side of editorial content in "Sidebar" style.
Search Engine Watch generally uses the term "paid placement" to describe ads that guarantee placement, but others may refer to these ads in different terms, including “sponsored listings,” “paid search ads,” "pay for placement," "pay for performance," "CPC listings" (cost-per-click) and "PPC listings" (pay per click). The last two terms reflect the fact that paid listings are sold on a basis where advertisers only pay if someone clicks on their ads.
- Paid Submission
Only Yahoo still operates a paid submission program. More about this can be found on the Submitting To Directories page, while past articles about issues with paid submission can be found on the Search Engine Advertising page's Paid Submission section.
- Content Promotion
Many major search engines will promote an advertiser's content or their own content on their search results pages. This is usually done in a separate area from the editorial results.
- Banner Ads
Many major search engines have for years carried keyword-linked, graphical banner advertising. The chart below does not list who does or where these ads appear, as such ads are readily identifiable.
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Article Submitted On: January 25, 2012