Make An Impression

The goal of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is to get relevant traffic to a website utilizing the search engines. There are two basic ways to achieve this: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC).

The difference between SEO and PPC

The difference between the two is that SEO is free, but difficult to achieve a prominent position in Google that results in meaningful traffic. PPC is not free but is easy to achieve prominence in Google and drive a lot of relevant traffic to a website.

About That “Free Traffic”

Of course anyone who implements a search engine marketing program with any degree of seriousness, quickly learns that my initial definition is actually pretty absurd and getting more so every day. The truth is that undertaking SEO is anything but free. Undertaking SEO is time consuming and requires expensive expertise. So while a website owner is not paying google, there is a significant cost to gaining that “free” traffic.

Didn’t You Say Easy?

When it comes to Pay Per Click, my initial explanation is again very wrong. It is fairly easy to implement a pay per click program. The problem is that since it is easy to set up and since it really does drive a lot of good traffic, everyone is doing it. And everyone is driving up the costs of those clicks, big time. So running a paid inclusion program that is profitable is actually not so easy at all.

SEM Is Not Magic

The problem with search engine marketing is more perception than anything. Many people are drawn in to this revolutionary marketing opportunity because of the many promises that are offered. People think that online marketing is going to be a magical form of advertising. Yes, leveraging SEM can have impressive results. Yes, online marketing can be much less expensive. But magic it is not.

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