Digital Insights

Part II: Search Engine Marketing — SEO a Key Step in Online Promotion


Published: April 22, 2012

“The search for truth is more precious than its possession.” — Albert Einstein

Search engine marketing (SEM) is the practice of marketing or advertising your website through search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo or MSN.

SEM is a key component of any Inbound Internet Marketing strategy.  It helps convert prospects into warm, pre-qualified leads and drive them toward your sales funnel.

As a form of Internet marketing, SEM promotes websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through OPTIMIZATION (both on-page and off-page) as well as through ADVERTISING (paid placements, contextual advertising and paid inclusions).

SEM may consist of one or more of the following components:

— Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the practice of applying techniques to maximize your ranking in natural, organic natural search results. SEO adjusts or rewrites website content to achieve a higher ranking in SERPs or paid components.

— Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) – Ads you place for your website with a search engine. You bid the amount you are willing to pay per click. The more you bid, the higher your ad will appear in the search engine results.

— Pay For Inclusion (PFI) – In addition to search engines, numerous directories also exist on the Web. These include DMOZ (free), Verizon’s SuperPages and Yahoo Directory.

Steve Wiideman, SEO Expert

SEO has become more than just a way to create additional revenue from the Internet, according to Website optimizer, consultant, strategist and SEO expert Steve Wiideman.

SEO is the primary source of affordable online marketing.  Beyond best practices, businesses must now become creative to compete using SEO, and do so in a way that keeps costs low.

“An SEO Expert is charged with understanding the various algorithms of the search engines and to design and or modify Web pages based on the ever-changing standards of Google, Yahoo, Bing, as well as many other major search engines,” states Wiideman.

Regardless of whether you are a Fortune 100 business or run a small mom-‘n-pop store, natural search engine traffic could be the main source of most of your online revenue.  Having the right creative strategy will be the one element that points you toward success.

Most companies don’t stop to think that their competitors may be watching every move they make online.  For example, perhaps a company invested a year creating dozens of keyword-rich Web pages, invested time and resources acquiring keyword-rich links to those pages, and possibly even invested in sponsored advertising.

Thanks to online tools, within one day a competitor can find and list every single keyword the competition is targeting and each and every link they have acquired, thus rendering a year of hard work nearly in vain.

The same creativity could lead a business to crawl a competitor’s website, index keywords in page titles, meta data, headings, HTML site maps, page nomenclature in XML site maps, and scrutinize internal linking structures. Aggregated, categorized and emulated with better content, the on-page search engine optimization playing field has just been leveled.

Creativity of a Website

With tools such as Wordtracker’s Link Builder  and others, an advertiser can not only find and prioritize links acquired by the competition, but also catalog the keywords used within the link text and the actual pages being linked to. (Search engines prefer a diversity of activity as opposed to a pattern of influence.)

And here’s a key bit of advice:

Never choose an SEO Expert who doesn’t practice what he preaches.

Part I: Inbound Internet Marketing — Generating Leads, Building Brands

Part III: Social Media Marketing — Attracting Attention, Encouraging Sharing

Part IV: Content Marketing — Powering Online Marketing Success

  1. Thanks for the mention. You’re so right, search is a process that so many agencies and SEO’s take for granted.