Search Marketing

What is Search Marketing?

Search Marketing or Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a type of online marketing that uses both Search Engine Optimization (SE0) strategies and Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SE0)?

SEO is the process of proactively affecting the rank a web site shows up in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

There are 3 types of strategies.

  • White Hat
    These are the “above board” strategies that the search engines want webmasters to follow.
  • Grey Hat
    These are the “grey area” strategies that may get a web site penalized or banned from a search engine.
  • Black Hat
    These are the “below board” strategies that may work well for a while but ultimately get a web site banned.

For a legitimate web site with the goal of long term sustainability, it is recommended by most SEO Experts to only use White Hat techniques.

What is Pay Per Click (PPC)?

One of the first Pay Per Click programs was introduced in 1998 by goto.com.

Because it was new many of the most competitive key terms were on $0.10 per click. That quickly changed as advertisers realized PPC was a short cut to the top of the search engines as long as they were willing to pay the increasing bid prices for key terms.

Goto.com was later purchased by Overture.com then ultimately purchased by Yahoo.com

Not long after that Google introduced Adwords in 2000.

Later Yahoo and Microsoft joined forces in 2010 to offer a PPC solution that could hopefully rival Google Adwords.

What Search Engines should you focus on?

There is a great article located at http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/search-engines that shows the Top 15 Most Popular Search Engines.

For the sake of time, the top 5 major search engines are listed in the table below.

Each the 5 companies below offer a pay per click option.

Rank Company Monthly Visitors
1 Google 1,100,000,000
2 Bing 350,000,000
3 Yahoo Search 300,000,000
4 Ask 245,000,000
5 AOL Search 125,000,000

Because Google is the number 1 leader, many search marketing agencies focus most if not all of their time and client’s money on Google.

There are obvious benefits to going with the leader.

The other search engines definitely should not be ignored though.

One of the main reasons to focus on the other 4 is cost. Pay per click costs can be significantly higher in Google.


Almost every web site owner knows the value of email marketing to increase customer repeat purchases.

Did you know Voice Broadcasting with Sigma Voice can boost repeat sales by as much as 25% from existing customers?


The first step is to identify the key terms you want to target.

What is key term research?

Key term research is the process of matching the goods and/or services a company offers with the words potential customers types in the search engines.

There are several free tools available like the Adwords Keyword Planner.

Another free and helpful tool is Übersuggest. The benefit of using this tool is to get a list of related long tail key terms.

These results may get less searches per month but these key terms may be less competitive and easier to rank higher for.

The importance of key term research is critical. Ideally, the key term and the product and/or service being advertised is an exact match.

This will help immensely in web site conversions. A web site conversion can be a sale or a lead generation form completed.