Reputation Management

Search Engine Marketing SEM – How to Wind the Web Marketing Competition

Article by Doug Collins

What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing SEM refers to the processes of improving website visibility. It is an umbrella term for various paid and unpaid techniques to promote websites, including SEO or Search Engine Optimization. SEM is important to today’s internet marketing because most internet traffic goes to top sites in search engine results.

According to studies, more than 90% of internet traffic goes to the sites listed in search engine’s first results page. Furthermore, 90% of this traffic goes to the top 5 sites. This is why both large and growing businesses invest on software, optimization teams and website programmers to gain top ranks in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

SEM vs. Paid Inclusion

Businessmen and site owners prefer SEM over paid inclusion because of its affordability and flexibility. You can pay search engines to display your link in their results pages. However, the price gets steeper when you want good spots for your links. You may also pay them to improve your overall page ranks, but your place may only be temporary.

The most practical solution is to earn free traffic. If you constantly improve your site and optimize it against your competitors, chances are high that you’ll always get a good spot on SERPs.

Pursuing Partnerships and Link Building

No website is an island in the internet. That’s an important rule in Search Engine Marketing SEM. You need partners and links of other websites that are related to your business. Now, one may ask why this is necessary. Google and other search engines use algorithms to check the relevance of your site to search keywords. Search engines will just you as “more relevant” for a keyword if you are linked with websites that are related to the same keywords.

Next, before using a URL as backlink, browse the PageRank (PR) of the prospective site in Yahoo and Google. Normally, using sites with high PRs for backlinks will positively influence your SERP ranks. Remember that you don’t need thousands of weak backlinks with poor PRs. You just need a few dozens of them as long as they receive good ranks in SERPs.

Hence, your website must have several back links. Usually, you have to pay large websites and businesses if you want to use their URLs as back links. You will have greater advantage if you can personally negotiate terms with the owners of the URL.

Web Analytics and “Who is” Tools

It is wise to invest in automation and research software for Search Engine Marketing SEM. These computer applications will help you in determining the performance of your pages and keywords and, ultimately, plan your next marketing strategy. For example, web analytic tools can display a graph of the future performance of your keywords. With it, you will know when to stop using or replace them.

“Who is” tools, on the other hand, will give you information on who operates and owns websites. With the help of simply opening the source code of a competitor’s website, Who Is tools will help you counter their marketing strategies.

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