Search Engine Marketing, also referred to as SEM is a complicated and misunderstood subject. For a site to get traffic, it needs to get good placement on search engines. Without incoming links, no matter how good your site is, you will not get good placement on search engines. If you have good incoming links, but have lousy content, or poorly organized content, you also will not get good placement. Another misconception about search engine placement, is that it matters how you place on your major search terms. This was more true many years ago when one-word terms were highly popular search terms. These days, analytics are showing that its multi-word search terms that get the majority of the terms, and a particular site might have an excess of one-thousand relevant multi-word search terms.
There are many components of search engine marketing that include:
(1) Pay-per-click advertising campaigns
(2) SEO - search engine optimization
(3) Content management
(4) Social Media & Blogs
(5) Links & Banner campaigns.
Each one of these topics will be described on separate points, so this page serves as a very general introduction only. As an overview, it should be pointed out, that a successful site should take advantage of all of the five components listed above. The fear among many is that it seems time consuming and expensive to do search engine marketing. This is only true the first year when you are developing new structures and programs. Once your site has been adapted to good optimization, and you have figured out and mastered the art of finding your 1000+ search term variations, your workload becomes much smaller. Once you have figured out what your social media fans like to hear about, your life becomes easier -- just keep giving them more of what they like, and let them interact on their own too. Once you have good content on your site, you can add more sparingly, a little at a time, if necessary. Once you have enough links to get you on the first page of google, you can add a few more for "security" and stability a little at a time. The big push is at the beginning.
The web business is ultra-competitive. You are competiting on a level playing field with everyone else in the entire world. If you are in the widget business and there are ten-thousand other widget companies out there, you will not get market share unless you can figure out how to get above these other competitors on the search engines. Some companies get ahead easily, while others have to really work at it. The main point is that its well worth any amount of effot if you succeed. One main suggestion which we give to anyone who asks, is geographical keywords. If you run a business that depends on location, you can differentiate yourself from the competitors based on location. So, mix location keywords with industry keywords in every conceivable variation.
SEM Pay-Per-Click advertising tutorial
SEO and Links
SEM - content and content management.
Search Engine Optimization - SEO Part 1