Every Year, North American advertisers spend US$13.5 billion on search engine marketing. The largest SEM vendors were Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter. As of 2006, SEM was growing much faster than traditional advertising and even other channels of online marketing. Because of the complex technology, a secondary “search marketing agency” market has evolved. Some marketers have difficulty understanding the intricacies of search engine marketing and choose to rely on third party agencies to manage their search marketing.
Search engine optimization consultants expanded their offerings to help businesses learn about and use the advertising opportunities offered by search engines, and new agencies focusing primarily upon marketing and advertising through search engines emerged. The term “Search Engine Marketing” was proposed by Danny Sullivan in 2001 to cover the spectrum of activities involved in performing SEO, managing paid listings at the search engines, submitting sites to directories, and developing online marketing strategies for businesses, organizations, and individuals.
There are four categories of methods and metrics used to optimize websites through search engine marketing.
1. Keyword research and analysis involves three “steps:” (a) Ensuring the site can be indexed in the search engines; (b) finding the most relevant and popular keywords for the site and its products; and (c) using those keywords on the site in a way that will generate and convert traffic.
2. Website saturation and popularity, how much presence a website has on search engines, can be analyzed through the number of pages of the site that are indexed on search engines (saturation) and how many backlinks the site has (popularity). It requires your pages containing those keywords people are looking for and ensure that they rank high enough in search engine rankings. Most search engines include some form of link popularity in their ranking algorithms. The followings are major tools measuring various aspects of saturation and link popularity: Link Popularity, Top 10 Google Analysis, and Marketleap’s Link Popularity and Search Engine Saturation.
4. Whois tools reveal the owners of various websites, and can provide valuable information relating to copyright and trademark issues.