Search engine marketing is all about interest-based marketing. It forms a larger portion of the Internet Marketing pie, along with display advertising, email marketing, social media marketing etc. What makes search engine marketing stand out from the crowd is its ability to target a niche-interested community. Companies vie with each other to get in the forefront of a user or a user community that has shown a stated interest in a particular service, product or a need in the form of a keyword or a key phrase typed into a search engine.
Search engine marketing can be broadly classified into Search Engine Optimization, popularly known as SEO and Pay-per-Click advertising, widely known as PPC. If search engine optimization is compared to news articles in a news paper, then pay-per-click ads are the advertisements you see in that news paper.
A search engine, though might display hundreds of thousands of results for a query, the vital real estate is limited to the first page results and to some extent the second page. That is, about 20 spots out of hundreds of thousands! So started the mad competition to occupy that critical real estate that is likely to convert into more business. Either you are an intrinsically top notch company, la Microsoft, that you get to enjoy the best visibility, or you try and make a search engine think you are a top-notch website by getting expert search engine optimizers work on your site, which essentially is reverse engineering a search engine’s algorithm. Even a top-notch company’s website might have a hard time getting its due, if it is not structured according the search engine optimization best practices, so there is demand all round for an able SEO specialist.
Since SEO is the organic side of search engine marketing that takes time to mature, there is bound to be an inorganic side to it and that is Pay-per-Click advertising. Just as with any form of advertising, PPC advertising is all about paying for visibility. It works by paying a particular price each time a visitor clicks on the sponsoring company’s ad, called Cost-per-Click (CPC). The higher you bid for a keyword, higher will be your ranking position, in a separately demarcated section on a search engine result page for sponsored ads. Google has introduced a quality score (QS) in its PPC network called Adwords, that checks an ad’s performance to determine its position alongside its bidding cost, so as to improve the user experience. A PPC campaign with a large budget needs expert management to determine the right bid, right positioning and conform to the quality score guidelines to achieve the optimal performance.
The popularity of social medium such as Facebook and Twitter meant there is a sizeable audience to tap for the marketer and this resulted in a relatively newer form of digital marketing called Social Media Marketing. The combined force of social medium has even surpassed that of search engines, making it inevitable for marketers to give its due share to stay in the reckoning. Social medium in particular gives an added advantage of precision demographic targeting, which is so much vital for the marketing business intelligence.
Brick Marketing is a Boston, MA, based search engine and social media marketing company. It specializes in SEO, PPC management and link building services. Nick Stamoulis, President and Founder of Brick Marketing, personally overseas the strategy for every client and project.