GTA Greater Toronto Search Engine Marketing Solution For Small Business Advertising Campaigns
Search engine marketing is a process of promoting your website, or a particular product or service, via an online search engine advertising campaign. Search engine marketing (SEM) and Internet marketing, though often used interchangeably, are related but there is a clear distinction between each small business marketing method. Contrary to the popular term applied to this method of Internet marketing it applies to more than just search engines. Popular search engine marketing solution outlets include search engines, web directories, web portals or even websites designed and developed for writing about topics of popular interest for a purpose of displaying affiliate advertisements. Do not confuse search engine marketing with Internet marketing, they are different, as I will explain later in this writing.
Search Engine Marketing Solution For Business Online Advertising
If you read my search engine marketing introduction on my homepage you already know that I am not a professional marketer. That in itself is not a hindrance to explaining small business search engine marketing as it relates to online advertising from a common sense as well as technical perspective.
Many traditional media marketers have difficulty figuring out online advertising and how to implement a successful search engine marketing solution because they do not understand search engine algorithm logic. The Internet industry, more specifically search engine optimization companies, whether knowingly or unknowingly, create an exaggerated mystery surrounding search engine algorithms to have you thinking it’s hard to place high in search engine results so they can promote their search engine optimization services. I have a background as Computer Programmer Analyst myself, as well as a well-rounded overall understanding of fundamental design and development principals. I am familiar with these programs. Examples in my website design portfolio case studies also provide evidence of my website optimization abilities to successfully accomplish high placement on search engine results pages of targeted descriptive keywords or terms.
In order for your online business venture to be successful you must be able to achieve what in Internet development is known as high search engine placement through “natural or organic” methods. Personally I think it is a ridiculous term to apply to something that is as far away from a definition of what natural or organic means and stands for. But I guess like most everything else in this world of ours whenever there is an opportunity to take advantage of a popular term for financial gain someone will find a way to do it. I will refer to it as non-paid results.
Non-paid placement results are ones that appear in the body on search engine results pages from queries. Search engine marketing results are paid advertisements that you will typically see above or possibly to the right of non-paid results. I have tried SEM to be qualified to discuss it. From what I’ve seen, even if someone has selected your targeted descriptive keyword in their query they are still only likely to click on an advertisement about two or three percent of the time compared to almost one hundred percent if you appear on a first page of non-paid search engine results. That should paint a very vivid picture of how effective, or ineffective depending on your point of view, unsolicited advertising is. People are tired of advertisements; they have trained their visual senses to ignore them. My Internet marketing discussion provides more insight.
When Or Why A Search Engine Marketing Solution May Not Be Required
For purposes of my work and individuals or companies that I may be able to help with their website design and development requirements I do not incorporate an SEM solution into an overall plan. I am confident in my ability to achieve high placement in engine results without your company having to pay extra to advertise a website after it goes live. It takes approximately six months from time of launch; less time for some engines, to see positive results.
There is no real great mystery to high placement in engine results, it simply requires proper website optimization. It is not hard to get a regionally or locally focused website placed into top results for their targeted market audience if there is room among sites occupying those spots; I’ll explain.
My method of determining whether or not there is a chance is to perform a query on three major engines; Yahoo, Bing (MSN), and Google using your targeted descriptive keyword combined with targeted geographic name or names. I will then study results to determine if sites coming up are sites that would eventually be considered competitors of yours or are there web directories or web portals among results.
If there are web directories or web portals within the first page or two then there is a very high probability of placing your website above them in ranking results. Other directories and portals are competition to these search engines. They would rather not display competitors in search engine results but when no matching high quality regional or local business site is available to match a query term they will display them rather than send you to a site that doesn’t provide any answers to your questions or solutions for a product or service you may be searching for.
Secondly, major searching engines want people using their sites to have a good user experience so that people can find what they are looking for quickly. If searchers quickly find what they came looking for there is a greater chance they will continue coming back and that supports their advertising revenue model. If their results only return other website directories or website portals then it produces a bad user experience when it duplicates their efforts when they go to them to begin their searching all over again. It is in the best interest of a search engine to provide direct results to business websites rather than filter them through other website directories or website portals.
A search engine advertising solution for small business advertising campaigns almost always becomes necessary when trying to compete on a national or international level. If you are unlikely or unwilling to include city names or regional terms into site content it usually means that you don’t want to restrict yourself to a smaller regional or local markets. In this case your requirements may be beyond my design and development scope of focus.
If you do require a search engine advertising solution for an online advertising campaign the three most obvious, as well as most reliable sources, would be Yahoo Search Marketing, Microsoft AdCenter, as well as Google AdWords. These are popular destinations where people perform searches so you might as well advertise where audiences are in highest concentrations. An increasingly popular alternative marketing choice for web publishers is OpenX.org. It is an open source ad server and ad manager platform that allows you to take full control over offering your advertising space inventory or purchasing advertising space on specific websites.
I recognize that there are scenarios where it will be required. Search engine companies provide us with a very valuable service for free; an ability to find important information with a few keystrokes. Someone needs to support this service and that is where business marketing through online advertising picks up the tab.
In spite of what I previously explained about search engines being eager to place your website high in their results pages they still will not hand it to you on a silver platter. You, or your Internet developer, must still work at producing a very well structured site, designed and developed to high W3C World Wide Web Consortium standards. It must be presented with professionally written high quality web copy while weaving your web together with successful website optimization strategies. After all is taken into consideration it is likely your website will achieve high placement in engine results pages.
Defining Terms Of CPM, PPC And CPC
CPM is short for Cost Per Mille (French meaning thousand). Cost Per Mille advertising revenue models determine a cost to an advertiser for every thousand times an advertisement is shown on a webpage. In this model the advertiser agrees to pay the publisher whether their advertisements are actually clicked on or not. This advertising model would be attractive to high traffic volume pages, it would assure a base advertising income.
Next is PPC which is Pay Per Click. In this one the advertiser only pays the publisher a typically pre-determined fee if someone actually clicks on the ad and follows through to the site. It does not matter if the ad is even shown ten thousand times. A Pay Per Click model is typically more attractive to advertisers because it is highly targeted and usually if someone is clicking through they mean business!
Finally is CPC which stands for Cost Per Click. CPC runs in unison with PPC because it is the method that establishes the pre-determined fee of the PPC advertising model. The Cost Per Click method of advertising will typically be slightly more expensive because typical advertisement click through rates are low. Typically somewhere in the neighbourhood of two to five percent.
Difference Between Internet Marketing And SEM Campaigns
I’ve presented a general overview concerning an SEM campaign in as much depth as necessary for my purpose of design and development but now I want to touch briefly on Internet marketing. I will not devote too much time to it here because I have a full page discussion devoted to Internet marketing elsewhere on this site. As I mentioned in my introduction to Internet marketing on the front page, it is the best source of free online advertising when it is leveraged to work for you instead of against you.
Internet marketing when thoroughly understood and applied is the most efficient as well as cost effective method for small business advertising. Here I am referring to non-paid advertising that is successfully accomplished by a properly designed, developed, and optimized website. Other sites that are not making top results are the companies that will have to pay to advertise. They will be supporting portal companies so you can continue to use free advertising to your advantage.
Summary Of SEM Best Practices
An SEM solution becomes necessary when competition for a product or service is high on a local or regional level and other popular companies that you share the market with have successfully achieved front page placement on results pages. I have an unwritten moral guideline that will prevent accepting an opportunity to design and develop a website if there is little chance of helping your company gain in position of popularity without incurring the added long term recurring expense of SEM. Analysis of website design and development begins with assessing probability of high placement in results without imposing additional expenses on your business advertising budget. I do not want to be a contributor to increasing your cost of promoting your business online beyond the initial design and development costs or long term maintenance and website hosting.