Search Engine Marketing 101

Search Engine Marketing 101

Search Engines are one of​ the​ most popular methods of​ finding information in​ the​ 21st century. Gone are the​ days of​ opening an​ encyclopedia to​ find the​ answer to​ a​ question or​ skimming the​ yellow pages to​ locate a​ local specialist. Search engines are helping us tackle every conceivable problem that we happen to​ face in​ our daily life. Need to​ do research on​ the​ Civil War? Car having problems? Shopping for a​ new microwave? Curious about evolution? the​ possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Search Engines provide a​ means to​ possibly answer any question that anybody has at​ any time. So how can this help us in​ promoting our business?

To start,​ let’s discuss how search engines work,​ without boring you​ with too much computer tech babble. Search engines consist of​ a​ number of​ very sophisticated software programs that gather and organize information from the​ internet. the​ first important program is​ called a​ “robot spider” that is​ used to​ index,​ or​ “find” pages posted on​ the​ internet. the​ search engine then uses an​ algorithm,​ or​ mathematical equation,​ to​ determine how important a​ web page is​ in​ relation to​ a​ particular word or​ phrase (referred to​ as​ keywords or​ keyword phrases.)

Let’s use an​ example to​ better understand this concept. Say you​ went to​ and entered the​ words “los angeles pizza”. the​ results shown by Google will be shown on​ your screen. the​ results are numbered starting with #1; Google is​ telling you​ that,​ based on​ its very sophisticated mathematical equation,​ that the​ number one listing is​ the​ most relevant web page for the​ words “los angeles”. Hopefully,​ that # 1 listing will provide you​ with the​ information you​ are looking for.

Now imagine if​ you​ were a​ pizza shop owner in​ Los Angeles,​ and your websites home page just so happened to​ be that # 1 listing on​ Google. you​ don’t have to​ be a​ rocket scientist to​ see how this listing is​ an​ important marketing tool for your pizza business.

Now,​ before you​ jump out of​ your seat,​ hold on,​ because it​ gets better. Another software program the​ search engines use has the​ ability to​ keep track of​ how many times a​ word or​ phrase is​ being searched. This is​ where the​ dynamics of​ search engine marketing really start to​ shine.

In traditional marketing,​ like television or​ radio,​ demographics are used to​ determine what audience you​ should target your business to. a​ commercial for a​ kid’s cereal would probably be shown during a​ children’s television show. TV companies would charge more for an​ ad spot that ran during a​ show that attracted more viewers for a​ specific “target market”. Super Bowl ads are the​ most expensive because the​ program attracts the​ attention a​ millions of​ 18-35 year old men who tend to​ spend quite a​ bit of​ money on​ consumer products,​ thus the​ crazy amount of​ money that is​ spent of​ advertising.

With search,​ however,​ the​ information that is​ collected helps us target our websites (which are a​ basically commercials that run 24 hours a​ day) to​ a​ more specific audience; we can actually pinpoint roughly how many people searched for the​ words “ford mustang parts”. Now if​ you​ are someone who sells ford mustang parts,​ this information is​ very important to​ you. Ten years ago,​ the​ only way of​ marketing your business would be to​ purchase advertising that probably targeted a​ large number of​ people,​ usually in​ a​ car trade magazine. you​ would have a​ good idea about your audience,​ but you​ didn’t have any real numbers of​ how many people were looking for your product. With search engine marketing,​ it’s possible to​ focus marketing campaigns on​ just people that are actually looking for the​ products or​ services you​ sell,​ saving you​ precious time and money that would otherwise be wasted on​ those not interested in​ you. This is​ why search engine marketing is​ especially important to​ the​ small business owner,​ who usually does not have deep pockets to​ spend on​ marketing and advertising to​ begin with.

Search Engine Marketing has taken the​ business world by storm,​ and has propelled search engines like Google to​ become huge,​ billion dollar corporations through their advertising revenues. Traditional media has begun to​ transform as​ the​ barriers between television,​ radio,​ print,​ and the​ internet begin to​ blur. the​ internet has introduced a​ new performance-based marketing and advertising platform that will spill over into these other forms of​ advertising. Understanding the​ actual process of​ marketing your website through these search engines is​ crucial in​ understanding how the​ marketing industry is​ evolving and changing in​ the​ new century.

Eric Hebert

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