The Arrows in the eMarketer's quiver

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In Chapter 1 of the eMarketing 101 series we told you: What eMarketing is, why it's important and the benefits of eMarketing over traditional marketing methods.

In Chapter 2, we'll be looking at the weapons an eMarketer has in their arsenal. SEO, PPC, ORM, WebPR - the acronyms are going to be coming thick and fast. What are they? How do they benefit you and your business? That's exactly what you're about to find out.

Search Engine Marketing - SEM

Daily search volumes run into the hundreds of millions and Search Engines drive a huge proportion of all web traffic. Search is usually the first port of call for anyone looking for anything online. Those who seek online, search.

Fundamentally, what makes SEM so effective is that you get found by potential customers looking for the service you offer. So, provided you've got your keyword strategy right, you're getting targeted traffic.

Search Engine Marketing is divided into two distinct categories:

Paid Search and Organic Search
Talk about Paid Search and you're talking Pay Per Click or PPC. Talk about Organic Search and the focus is Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. They're similar enough to be classified together under SEM but they're different enough to warrant separate explanations.

PPC - Pay Per Click

It does just like it says on the tin. You Pay Per Click. Simple. Targeted. Effective. You buy sponsored adverts on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), often displayed either above the normal "organic" listings or across to the right hand side. The beauty of the system is that you're paying purely on a performance basis, that is, when the ad is clicked on.

A few points on PPC:
  • Advert positioning is based on a bidding system. At its simplest, the highest bidder gets the highest ad placement.
  • A PPC campaign is a dynamic strategic process. It needs to be closely monitored and managed to ensure maximum ROI.
  • An appropriate keyword strategy is imperative to ensure the clicks you pay for are as targeted as possible. The more targeted your traffic, the greater your conversion rates, and the better your ROI.

SEO - Search Engine Optimisation

Why pay for your clicks when you can get them for free?

SEO is PPC's roommate in the house of SEM. (I warned you the acronyms would come thick and fast.) Strictly speaking, SEO is about optimising websites to achieve high rankings on the Search Engines for certain selected key phrases.

Sometimes called "organic" or "natural" optimisation, SEO involves making changes to the HTML code, content and structure behind your website, making it more accessible for Search Engines, and by extension, easier to find by users. SEO rewards relevant, helpful websites that add value and give visitors what they're looking for.

SEO is an extremely cost effective way of generating new business to your site. Once your site ranks highly on a Search Engine Results Page, you don't pay for any traffic that arrives at your site from that listing. SEO is a continuous process though; both to maintain rankings and improve rankings for other terms that may bring in relevant traffic.

Free clicks!

Well, not quite. But you're not paying per click, so over time, ROI is excellent. Ideally PPC and SEO work synergistically to maximise Search Engine traffic.

Online Advertising

Eyeballs. They're a large part of the traditional advertising equation. For brand awareness, you need your brand to be seen.

Online Advertising is strongest on - adverts on websites, email newsletters and other electronic publications and is generally paid for on a Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) basis.

Unlike some of the other eMarketing techniques we've looked at, online advertising is not biased towards directly measurable ROI. Rather, it provides a means for combining the brand awareness bias of traditional advertising techniques with the immediacy of eMarketing.

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