Search Marketing encompasses:
- SEO: Earning traffic through unpaid or listings
- SEM: Buying traffic through paid search listings
Search Marketing traffic is considered the most important source of Internet traffic because it’s targeted. It is widely accepted that people use the search engines to find a solution to a problem, an answer to their question, or to learn how to do something. When searchers click on an organic link or a Paid Search Advertisement within that specific search, those individuals are more inclined to convert to a customer. The relevancy of the displayed websites and the PSA’s make Search Market traffic more valuable than any other source. Traffic coming directly from search engines have superior ROI vs. other platforms.
The concept behind Search Engine Marketing is quite simple: when a consumer or business person searches the Web through either a text box or by clicking through a directory hierarchy, he or she is in “hunt mode.” This psychological state is unique because it signals to the search engine (and to marketers) that the person is looking for information, often of a direct or indirect commercial nature.
Marketers understand that this “hunt mode” means that the searcher may very well be at the beginning, middle, or end stages of the buying cycle. When someone is researching a product or service to satisfy an immediate or future need they are in an unusual state: they desire relevant information and are open to digesting and acting on the information at their fingertips, all made possible by a search engine. This makes search engine results, some of the best sources of targeted traffic, whether this traffic originates from “organic” unpaid search listings or paid advertising listings.
Many marketers think of search engines as delivering the search results or SERP (Search Engine Results Page) in the form of purely textual results. The truth is that search results can be any mix of text, images, video, audio, or other file formats. In the United States, search engines don’t simply include Google, Yahoo, and Bing; they also include commerce sites such as eBay and Amazon, as well as specialty search engines such as YouTube and Hulu for video, restaurant search engines, “people” search engines such as LinkedIn, or online business directories for local results, including IYPs (Internet Yellow Pages) and sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and others.