SEM Cornwall - search engine marketing
This is the SEM acronym as opposed to the SEO (search engine optimisation) and SMM (social media marketing) acronyms; what is it, well it's exactly what it breaks down to and that is marketing a website for the search engines, the most important being: Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Ask, &c.
There are quite a few approaches to SEM, the most popular being:
- Paid advertising
- Social Media marketing
- Article marketing
- Blog marketing
Before I discuss each of the above, we should be aware of SEMs purpose, it is similar to SEO in that it is designed to promote a website to perform well in the search engines. The main difference being that on the whole SEM is off-website optimisation, whereas SEO on the whole is on-website optimisation.
how does SEM work?
Paid advertising, commonly known as PPC: the most popular program that runs this type of marketing, and which most people are familiar with is Google's AdWords. How does it work, well basically the website owner is in control, they create their own adverts and choose the keywords to activate them within the AdWords interface, they are also in total control of the budget they spend, be that daily or monthly. But as anything Google it's not as simple as it initially seems, and if your not careful your spend can go array on the wrong keywords (you're not spending more than your required budget here, you're just spending it on the wrong stuff) and if you're not tracking it correctly (that is, setting up the correct conversion tracking), well you could be tipping your money away without knowing your ROI (return on investment).
Social Media marketing is about the most important form of on-line marketing now, that is once you're generating an income through your PPC efforts or your organic SEO has taken off. The main contenders are Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and the list goes on - it's best to carry out a little research to see which channel is best suited not only to your business but also to how you operate as a business person. Google+ is becoming more important by the day and integrating it with your website and blog is essential, likewise integrating it with your AdWords campaign by using extensions. Twitter, well fortunately we've gotten past the "just had a cup of coffee" Tweet and people have started to realise Twitter's true marketing potential. If you're a business person you must have a LinkedIn profile, people like to check out who they're doing business with and LinkedIn helps a lot, so imagine if you're not listed. StumbleUpon, Reddit, Pinterest - well give me a shout and I can go into detail on these and the plethora of other social media websites - all designed to help your website / business within their specific niche.
Article marketing is in a way a lot friendlier and in cash outlay cheaper (your time is the main cost), in that most of the sites you need to submit your articles to - these are the articles full of information you've written which are informative, interesting and or entertaining - are free. One of the problems with article marketing is that now (mainly due to an algorithm (the calculations used by Google to ascertain the quality of a website to rank poorly or excellently in Google Search) change by Google), due to many website owners, either being a hub for a deluge of poor quality articles or allowing articles to be 'spun', that is once an article is written it can be added to a website where it can then be slightly altered (to alleviate duplicate content) and distributed willy-nilly (i.e. all the hard work) to a plethora of poor quality websites; you have to write a lot more, with quality websites now demanding that articles be a minimum of 450 words. What is the reason for article marketing? Well if you write great articles people will add them to their Blog or website or they may even get added to Google News (if you've gone down this channel), and the lovely process of viral marketing begins - by the way you did add that link back to your website, to your article!?!
Blog marketing is not as successful as it was (due to 'great article!' aficionados getting carried away with their spamming), but it's still a way of increasing your profile on the web. How does it work? When you read articles on the web or on Blogs of other people in your industry and you want to add your comments - you can and naturally you'll ensure your comment links back to your website - well that's it. But don't just scribble, as above “great article”, it's not likely to be accepted, ask a question, expand on the authors ideas, this way you will interact with the author, which is exactly what they want you to do (why else would they have written it), and you know what you've a win - win situation and in my opinion that's the purpose of the web a generosity in the form of altruism.
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- PPC - Google AdWords
- SEM - Search Engine Marketing
- Social/ New Media Marketing
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