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Search Engine Marketing FAQs

What you need to know about Search Engine Marketing

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing is a comprehensive approach to promoting a business website and the products and services that are sold on it. There is some overlap between Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but Search Engine Marketing goes much further.

What are some of the most effective Search Engine Marketing Techniques?

There are several strategies involved with a successful marketing campaign, including:

  1. Website design and optimization
    • making the website professional, attractive and user friendly
    • targeting the right keywords and phrases for 
      your products and services
    • creating meta tags that help boost search 
      engine rankings
  2. Generating targeted traffic (prospects)
    • managing pay-per-click ad campaigns
    • purchasing banner and text link advertising 
    • building link popularity 
  3. Closing the sale
    • creating effective landing pages for every
      search term (or every product/service)
    • building the prospect's confidence in the 
      company and its products/services by providing
      background information, testimonials, etc.
    • creating sales copy that entices the 
      prospects to buy
    As you can see, effective Search Engine Marketing requires many skills and the ability to "wear several hats".
Should I try to learn how to do all of this myself or hire someone to do it for me?

If you have the aptitude, dedication, and time required to learn and practice the basics of Search Engine Marketing, you can certainly market your site yourself. If not, you can hire an experienced and competent Search Engine Marketing firm to do it for you. 

Regardless of which way you ultimately decide to go, your top competition will definitely be using Search Engine Marketing to keep their businesses at the top of the heap, so your ability to compete will depend in large part on the effectiveness of your own SEM and SEO campaigns.

If I decide to take on the challenge of doing my own Search Engine Marketing, what resources are available for "learning the ropes"?

There are numerous places on the web for learning the basics of Search Engine Marketing, some free, some not. These include (among others) tutorial websites and SEM/SEO forums.

How much should I expect to pay if I decide to hire a Search Engine Marketing firm?

As with most everything in life, you can find people who will do the job for a little or a lot, and the quality and effectiveness of their services doesn't necessarily depend on how much they charge.

Don't just compare prices when evaluating the candidates. Compare effectiveness as well. Here are a few tips for finding a good Search Engine Marketing firm:
  • How well does their own website perform? Is it professional and attractive? Are they near the top of the search results for the term "Search Engine Marketing"? Does their home page have a high Google PageRank?

    A firm that has done a good job at promoting their own website and services will probably do a good job at promoting yours.
  • Make a list of the SEM companies that you're interested in and call them on the phone. Did they answer right away or promptly return your message?
  • Ask each firm for references. Check out the reference websites and ask yourself the same questions listed above.

    After you have narrowed your choices down to two or three firms, contact the references and ask if they are satisfied with the results of their campaigns.

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