Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages through the use of Pay Per Click, paid placement ads, and other paid inclusion methods. The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), founded by Barbara Coll in 2003, includes search engine optimization (SEO) within its reporting, and SEO is also included in the industry definitions of SEM by Forrester Research, eMarketer, Search Engine Watch, and industry expert Danny Sullivan. The New York Times defines SEM as ‘the practice of buying paid search listings’. There are several SEM methods that can be employed in a web site.
Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web pages. There are two categories of web analytics; off-site and on-site web analytics. Off-site web analytics refers to web measurement and analysis irrespective of whether you own or maintain a website. It includes the measurement of a website’s potential audience (opportunity), share of voice (visibility), and buzz (comments) that is happening on the Internet as a whole. On-site web analytics measure a visitor’s journey once on your website. This includes its drivers and conversions; for example, which landing pages encourage people to make a purchase. On-site web analytics measures the performance of your website in a commercial context. This data is typically compared against key performance indicators for performance, and used to improve a web site or marketing campaign’s audience response.
Search Analytics is the analysis and aggregation of search engine statistics for use in search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO). In other words, search analytics helps website owners understand and improve their performance on search engines. Search analytics includes reverse searching (entering websites to get their keywords), search volume trends and analysis, keyword monitoring, search result and advertisement history, advertisement spending statistics, website comparisons, affiliate marketing statistics, multivariate ad testing, et al. Search analytics provides insight beyond typical click tracking often through third party websites and software.
Pay per click (PPC) is a SEM Method of Internet advertising used on websites, in which advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system.
Cost per click (CPC) is the amount of money an advertiser pays search engines and other Internet publishers for a single click on its advertisement that brings one visitor to its website through various SEM Methods.
In contrast to the generalized portal, which seeks to drive a high volume of traffic to one site, PPC implements so called affiliate model, that provides purchase opportunities wherever people may be surfing. It does this by offering financial incentives (in the form of a percentage of revenue) to affiliated partner sites. The affiliates provide purchase-point click-through to the merchant. It is a pay-for-performance model — if an affiliate does not generate sales, it represents no cost to the merchant. The affiliate model is inherently well-suited to the web, which explains its popularity. Variations include, banner exchange, pay-per-click, and revenue sharing programs.
Websites that utilize PPC ads will display an advertisement when a keyword query matches an advertiser’s keyword list, or when a content site displays relevant content. Such advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads, and appear adjacent to or above organic results on search engine results pages, or anywhere a web developer chooses on a content site.
Although many PPC providers exist, Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter are the three largest network operators, and all three operate under a bid-based model. Cost per click (CPC) varies depending on the search engine and the level of competition for a particular keyword.
The PPC advertising model is open to abuse through click fraud, although Google and others have implemented automated systems to guard against abusive clicks by competitors or corrupt web developers.
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