Back to Basics

MoreVisibility - March 13, 2008

With all the advanced internet marketing tactics out there; I thought it might be a good time to get back to the basics. Not everyone is as experienced as the next; and with all the different techniques and terms, it’s easy for a beginner to get confused. The purpose of this post is to help novice internet marketers and business owners get a grasp of some common terminologies being used within internet marketing.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search engine optimization is the process of enhancing your website’s architecture to achieve higher organic rankings within the search engines. SEO is a continuous process that should be implemented on a daily basis. There are many tactics to search engine optimization; and the qualifications set by the engines are dynamic and ever changing.

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. Many people easily get confused between SEO and SEM. Search engine marketing refers to your paid efforts within the search engines. Aside from natural results, most search engines also have a space for paid search listings. These paid listings usually appear at the top and on the right hand side of the search results page. There are different formulas that the engines use to determine the rank of your paid listing. Some engines rank you solely based upon the price you are willing to pay per click; and some base the rankings upon a number of factors, including but not limited to, keyword bid, click through rate, ad copy, and relevant content on your website/landing page. Most engines operate their paid listings on a PPC basis. PPC stands for pay per click. This method allows the advertiser to only pay for actual clicks as opposed to other methods such as CPM; where the advertiser is paying for every 1,000 impressions. With PPC an ad may appear in the search results 10,000 times, but if the ad was only clicked on ten times, you are only paying for 10 clicks. This structure is very attractive to advertisers as they are solely paying to drive relevant traffic to their website that should result in an increase in conversion rates.

CPC stands for cost per click. This refers to the dollar amount you are willing to pay for a visitor to your website. Depending on your industry and competition; CPC’s can range from $0.01 to $10, $20 or even $50. Remember that when determining your ad’s placement, many search engines now take more factors into account than just your CPC.

ROAS stands for Return On Ad Spend. When it all boils down; ROAS may be the most important metric to study. A great advantage to SEO and SEM, as opposed to more traditional marketing methods, is that you are able to track your ROAS more closely. With all of the analytic programs out there, it is relatively easy to monitor your efforts and fine tune them as needed; ultimately increasing your ROAS.

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