Being Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Savvy: Life Insurance for Your Website

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the ongoing process of promoting your website on the Internet in attempts to achieve better placement on search engines for your chosen keywords. There are a number of ways SEM can be performed, broken down into two major categories: organic and subscribed.

Organic marketing, if done correctly, covers methods that result in your website being el

evated in the natural rankings in search engine results pages. That is, based on the keywords you select, search engines evaluate their relevance to your website based on content and popularity, and your website is assigned a position in the search engine listings above or below your competition’s. Common organic marketing techniques include article writing, blog posting, social media bookmarking, professional network linking, online press releases, and other link-building resources. Done properly and within the webmaster guidelines published by major search engine companies, organic marketing is effective. Done excessively, irresponsibly, or unethically, improper organic marketing is labeled “black hat” and can get your website banned from search engine listings altogether.

Subscribed marketing is marketing which has direct costs associated with specific positions and traffic to your site. For example, some companies operate “directory services” that may include a link to your website based on a particular set of keywords, and you pay for specific positions that your website is listed within their directories. Other subscribed marketing includes pay-per-click ad campaigns involving a fee whenever someone clicks on your particular ad in the search engine results. Similarly, pay-per-impression campaigns charge you a fee based on the number of times your ad is displayed to people in search engine results.

Each category (organic and subscribed) has its pros and cons, and each method within each category has its strengths in lending to good search engine positioning. Too often, though, search engine marketing companies promote their own package deals that are slanted heavily in their best interests rather than yours.

To illustrate a comparison between organic and subscribed, think of SEM in terms similar to how life insurance works.

Organic marketing works like a whole life policy does. The premiums are typically higher than term insurance, but eventually the policy pays enough dividends to cover the premiums, thereby eliminating the need for you to