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Search engine marketing, otherwise known as SEM is a marketing tactic designed to allow your customers to find you by getting your website seen by Google and other search engines. This is the blanket term used that includes things like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SMM (Social Media Marketing), PPC (Pay Per Click), and any other new acronyms that will inevitably come out.

There are a number of different way that this is accomplished. The most common being SEO, or search engine optimization. This is a complex every changing subject but I will try and give the essentials.

Traditional SEO places specific keyword data into each page of your website. Optimizing the content on your website to match that keyword data. Then going out into the internet to build links back to your website. These keywords are found by doing an analysis of your market’s search habits.

Basically knowing exactly what your customers are searching for. Then making your website match that. Finally getting other websites to recognize you so Google feels your site has strength and what’s called authority or relevance.

what is search engine marketing

It sounds amazingly simple, and at its core it is. It’s the execution of this fundamental plan that is not so easy.

After we have our standard SEO in place and our website has been optimized to be found. We have paid advertisement campaigns. Usually referred to as PPC (Pay Per Click). This can be done with Google AdWords, Bing Ads, on Facebook, or any of the various online ad networks.

With PPC campaigns you have keywords that are identified through using some kind of keyword analysis tool like Google Keyword Planner (free). Or more robust keyword research tools like Long Tail Pro. Then then amount you pay per click is based on a big you place for those keywords. The more competitive the keyword, the more you should expect to pay.

Finally we have SMM or Social Media Marketing. Obviously SMM uses sites like Facebook and Twitter. This is huge topic I will cover in the future. It is a mixture of things like content marketing, ppc and social engagement. The key to remember here is that just throwing money on social media is not the answer. Social is truly the keyword here. SMM gives you the opportunity to engage directly with your customers. Creating not just awareness but insight into the people that are buying from you directly from them.

So what is search engine marketing? It’s knowing what your audience wants and then giving it to them. That’s it. That and all the over technical stuff in the middle! At the end of the day we want results. A fully functioning marketing plan ensures that all the engines of the plane are working. Search engine marketing gives us the essential insight in getting the most out of the internet to grow our businesses.

Tell me what’s been working for your business in the comments below!

juan mirelez
– Juan Martin
Founder & Lover of Google

Featured Image Credit: Nick Ares