Search engine marketing includes organic search listing and paid search listings. Having a comprehensive search engine marketing strategy is essential if you want to maximize your online marketing spend.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- is a process that helps your website rank as high as possible in search engines. With 90% of all Internet users using a search engine to find information and ranking needs to be a important part of your online marketing strategy
2. Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) - Ads you place for your website with Google or Yahoo. You bid the amount you are willing to pay per click. The more you bid, the higher your ad will appear in the search engine results. Google AdWords has implemented an additional factor in where your ads rank that is based on the relevancy or importance that Google places on your site, which is very difficult to manipulate.
3. Pay For Inclusion (PFI) - In addition to search engines, like Google, Yahoo and MSN search, several directories also exist on the web. These directories are Human edited and general in nature or related to a specific topic. You can get free listings in some online directories, like DMOZ but most directories now charge for a listing. Version's Super Pages is an example of a PFI directory. Another example of a exclusive directory is Yahoo Directory.
All SEM campaigns should start with a strategic evaluation of SEM opportunities based on return on investment (ROI). You need to assess how much each lead is worth for each keyword phrase and determine which SEM tools will achieve the best ROI for the phrase.
You can also have to decide how much you want to work in-house vs. hiring an expert. A qualified expert will typically produce better and faster results but the high expenses may destroy the ROI. Often it is best to work with an expert as a team, the expert to develop the strategy and internal staff to perform implementation and ongoing management.