Search Engine Marketing Blueprint

The GFK Beginners Guide to Search Engine Marketing

We have made an article, to introduce you to the fascinating world of Search Engine Marketing. This is a tutorial that will cover everything you need to know, from the difference between SEM and SEO to explaining how PPC, Adwords, and SEM are connected to each other.

Furthermore, we will describe the steps you needed to improve your SEM marketing skills and become a certified Search Marketer. Firstly, let us describe some of the terms we will be using throughout our beginners guide to Search Engine Marketing for small businesses.

The dictionary

Advertising Network

Any network where the ads can be presented on any website. Of course, you will need to make a contract with the owner of the website that displays your ads. The income you earn from those ads is therefore shared with the website owner.

Algorithm

It is the term that describes the technology, used by the Search Engines to rank different websites on the Search Engine and show the search results to the end user.

Anchor Text

Its the text part of the hyperlink that communicates the important details of the linked site to the  Search Engine and its users.

Click through Rate (CTR)

The rate at which users click on your ad. It is established by dividing all the clicks with the number of impressions. This is an important piece of information that determines the efficiency of ads.

Cost per Action (CPA)

The sum an advertiser pays for an action from a user. The action includes a click, follow up call or a purchase.

Cost per Click (CPC)

It is a method by which an advertiser pays an agreed amount for every click on the displayed ad. It is also called Pay-per-Click (PPC). It is one of the most common ways to pay for an ad on a Search Engine.

Cost per Thousand (CPM)
Its the sum that an advertiser gives for each time an ad is displayed to a potential customer. It does not take into account if the user clicks the add or not. The cost is determined by every 1000 ad impressions. This is the model that is mostly used by banner ads.

Geo-targeting

The appearance of the ads, based on the user’s geographical location.

Googlebot

The software used to crawl and index material in the Google Search Engine. The term includes all of the Google spiders.

Inbound link

A hyper kid to an external site that channels the extra traffic to the page and also influences the website’s overall popularity.

Invisible web

All the online information, that Search Engines do not index.

Keyword

Any word or phrase that a user enters into a Search Engine when he is looking for something.

Link Building

The method by which Web sites link each other in order to build up their rankings on the Search Engines.

Meta Tags

Meta Tags include the Title, Description, and Keyword Tags. All Meta Tags are located in the HTML header of a website. They provide the information that helps Search Engines to properly index a page.

Pay per Click (PPC)

It is the method by which you pay for every click on your ad, same as the term Cost per Click.

Quality Score

A score is given to a website by the Search Engine. It is established by determining the click-through rate, keyword efficiency, landing page, and other parameters.

Search Advertising

It’s a paid search method by which advertisers bid on ads, so they appear on the front page if a user looks for a given keyword.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

All methods and techniques used to improve a website’s position in search engine results, using paid or organic strategies.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The process of optimizing websites content to make it more visible on Search Engines using only organic methods.

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

The page presented to Search Engine users that includes all the websites that fit their search inquiry.

Spider

It crawls the Web and scans the websites to improve and add their information on the Search Engine. It is also known as a Bor or Crawler.

Title Tag

This is a term that describes an HTML Meta tag that is basically a text that describes a website. It includes strategic keywords that determine the audience that search for similar keywords.

Universal Search

It means pulling the data from many different sources and displaying them on one page. It includes images, text and video material from any database (like maps, local information, news, etc.)

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 describes the second generation of Internet services that enable people to collaborate and share information on different social networks.

 

Since you are more familiar with the more important SEM terms, the next thing we will focus on in this guide is the difference between SEO and SEM. That will furthermore explain what SEM is and the basic principles of it.

SEO vs. SEM – what’s the difference?

difference-between-SEM-SEO

Marketing is constantly changing nowadays, and so does the language used by marketers. Different terms are often used in digital marketing, but SEO and SEM are notorious for confusing people especially when they are beginners. So let us repeat the definitions from our dictionary.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The process of optimizing websites content to make it more visible on Search Engines using only organic methods.

 Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

All methods and techniques used to improve a website’s position in search engine results, using paid or organic strategies.

So, the term SEM also includes the SEO techniques but also includes paid methods of increasing website ranking on Search Engines.

When talking about SEO, there are off-page and on-page tactics.

On-page SEO methods

On-page SEO methods deal with optimization of Metadata (page title tag, headings tag, Meta description and so on). Content that is optimized and quality-written is essential for a good website rating. To achieve that, you have to include important keywords, secondary keywords and a simple, well-rounded page URLs that include the important keywords.  A decent page speed along with a good social sharing integration are also some of the very important aspects of on-page SEO methods that should be included on your website.

Off-page SEO methods

When deploying a wholesome SEO campaign, you have to employ the off-page methods. This means establishing a good Link building strategy that acquires quality inbound links. This is one of the most important off-page SEO methods. Along with the link building, Social SIgnals and getting the attention from different social sites is also a very important way of improving your ranking through off-page SEO tactics.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

As we described SEO as a method of improving website visibility in an organic way, we will talk about the paid part of the SEM methods. Most commonly used paid SEM method are PPC ads (also known as Cost-per-click ads), Paid Search Advertising and Paid Search Ads.

Using paid marketing strategies allows you to target your potential customers with a great precision by using the right relevant keywords. The paid ads will appear in the SERPs right next to other listings. Using the paid methods guarantees you a better visibility of your advertised content.

Example of a good SEM practice

Google Adwords is one of the most commonly used services when doing SEM campaigns. It allows you to launch an ad campaign where you can target specific groups of potential customers, you can also create an ad group based on your target keywords. You should always be mindful to create content that includes as many of relevant keywords as possible. Reviewing and assessing the metrics is also very important so you can optimize your SEM strategy based on the results and efficiency of your paid and organic efforts.

So, should you use paid or organic efforts?

People have different opinions on that subjects. Some are proponents of using mainly organic methods, others prefer to focus on paid methods. However, we believe, that both of them are important as only the combination of both is bringing the best results. SEO makes a good base for your visibility as you optimize your content which in turn makes other paid efforts way more efficient. SEO is less costly but does not show immediate results. Using paid efforts can provide you with a quick increase in traffic which could also be crucial for your business. It is also advisable to make some research into the results you want to achieve along with your timeframe. Doing so will enable you to establish the most suitable combination of the paid and organic methods.

Understanding the PPC

search-engine-marketing-ppc-overview

When using PPC, the advertiser is required to pay a fee to the website owner, everytime someone clicks the ad. The conversion rate here doesn’t matter, so you will pay a fixed amount per click regardless of what that means for your business. When you start using the PPC methods, it is very likely you will be less efficient as you are still learning what works best and what doesn’t. Don’t worry about your initial expense as it is an integral part of your learning process. That also means that you shouldn’t put in too much money, at least when you are figuring out the marketing methods.

Whenever someone looks for keywords relevant to your service or product, your ad will appear on the search engine. You can also determine the geographical location where you want your ads to be shown. This is very useful for businesses that want to advertise to their local audience and have a strong brick and mortar side to their business.

PPC-advertising

What about Adwords?

Google Adwords is an advertising platform that links potential customers to various businesses, based on the keywords they use when searching on Google. Google AdWords enable you to advertise on Google and advertise your product or service to your target audience in a very precise manner. It is one of the top advertising platforms, more than 95 percent of Google’s revenue comes from the Google Adwords platform.

google-adwords-advertising

Conclusion

All in all, you should be employing both paid and organic efforts when promoting your business. The combination of both will give you the best overall results. If you are still a beginner when it comes to SEM you can also check out Aidan Booth and Steve Clayton’s new course called Parallel Profits which is teaching how to start your own local SEM agency.

If you want to learn more about the mentioned efforts and methods, you can always check the other material we have on this topic. Don’t be afraid of trying out different tactics as long as you don’t put too much money behind them. It is very important to try all the available options so you can configure what efforts suit your business and what strategies are the most cost-efficient.

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