Search Engine Marketing Explained

Where your website appears in the search engines is a mystery to all but the experts who practice Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques. There are really two sides to the SEO coin – the first is the paid listings which is in fact an online auction. The second is the natural or organic listings and are determined by a complex algorithm which SEO practitioners try and guage and both are important from an online marketing perspective.

The paid listings, which are generally at the top and down the right hand side of the results page are online bidding system where companies vie to be higher up the listings and pay a small fee every time someone clicks through to their website. This may seem fairly simple but some websites have thousands of clicks and visitors per day driving huge amounts of traffic to their site. Even at one pound per click (some categories are much higher!) several thousand clicks per day can cost a business a small fortune.

The organic listings are technically free and certainly don’t involve a bidding system. The search engines list the businesses or results pages it deems best for any given search query. They have a secret algorithm for working this out which involves on page factors like titles and tags but also involves off site factors such as backlinks and citations. While there is no cost to actually be placed on the organic listings there is a cost in employing the SEO firm who optimises your site to appear high up on the first page of the search results.

In competitive market places there can be a large on going cost involved with both forms of search marketing. As long as the cost is justified with a positive return on investment (ROI) then it is money well spent. Take your time before diving into either method as it can be a real shock to the uninitiated.