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What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search engine marketing is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pagesthrough the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion.

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Although SEM is a broad term and includes both paid search results like, Google’s AdWords, and organic search results , I am going to be focusing on the paid components – Google’s Adwords specifically.

What is AdWords

Google AdWords is Google’s main advertising product and main source of revenue. AdWords offers pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and site-targeted advertising for text, banner, and rich-media ads. The AdWords program includes local, national, and international distribution.

Google’s text advertisements are short, consisting of a headline and two additional description lines. Examples of which can be viewed on Google’s search engine results pages where the top three bidders for a specific keyword or keyword phrase are displayed top of page on a yellow background with the remaining 8 featuring down the right hand column of the results page.

Visitors query Google for a list of websites relating to their specific enquiry. The mechanics of AdWords is such that it displays specific advertising content that relates directly to the visitors’ enquiry. The advertiser targets specific keywords with the amount the advertiser is prepared to pay for the impression determining the placement or position of the ad.

Why use Adwords

Quite simply – if you want to feature on Google’s search engine results pages and your website’s listings are not part of the first or first few pages of Google’s organic search results then paid placement is the most effective method in the short term.

Why would you not feature in the organic search results?

Generally if your website is not listing in the organic search engine result pages then your website is not search engine friendly or optimized correctly for search engine indexing. Or, if your products and services fall into a very competitive industry, your organic listing may feature too far back in the search results for users to notice.

The benefits of Adwords

You have the option to set who sees your ads. You can narrow it down to a specific area on a website or exact search terms your target market types-in. You can bid aggressively on the best locations and reduce your spending on those that are less targeted. You don’t have to pay for off-target ad space in order to get the profitable ad space.

It may take Google weeks to index and process any additions or amendments to your website, with no guarantees of getting any significant ranking or recognition on the SERPs. Adwords will generate quality traffic to your website instantly.

By tracking conversions, you know precisely the return on investment you’re getting. You can know to the cent how much you can afford to pay for every click you spend.
It’s “pay as you go”.

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The BIG question

Targeted AdWords campaign can certainly help you get noticed on Google, but is your money not better spent on optimizing the SEO of your website so that your website features more favourably organically?

Experience has taught us that there are long term benefits for organic SEO and achieving top ranking without using paid means but quality Adwords campaigns do assist even the best organically listed websites in generating significant additional traffic.

I recommend structuring a balanced search engine marketing strategy that fulfils both your organic and pay-per-click needs on the search engines.

By: Kevin Grey

www.onlineinnovations.co.za

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