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Search engine marketing and search engine optimization

4648 words (19 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Marketing Reference this

Since public network was successfully embedded with internet protocol in the past decade, the internet usage increased dramatically by 100 percent annually in the late 1990s, which is the organic growth without central supervision (Coffman & Odlyzko, 1998). Non-proprietary organic growth of internet protocol revolutionizes this public network into marketing channel for online marketer, who included internet marketing into their marketing mix (Alrawi et al., 2008). Search Engine is the essential tool for internet surfing, it gathers the information from both World Wide Web and FTP services that are the systems of interlink hypertext document accessed through the internet (Quittner, 1999; Berners-Lee & Cailliau, 1990).

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Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a type of online marketing that improves website visibility in search-result page through the application of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion; it usually focuses on brand development and direct internet user response. SEM provides the marketers the higher return on investment (ROI) than traditional internet marketing (Boughton, 2005; Sherman, 2002). Conventional internet marketing permits marketers to commence their advertisement through the ads banner with certain payment rate. The lower ROI of ads banner comparing to SEM has serious implication of inflexible payment rate since no matter what the respond of ads banner is the payment rate remains the same (Boughton, 2005; Ramos & Cota, 2009). The SEM strategies such as pay per click and cost per click offer the flexible payment rate to the internet marketers because the payment rate is directly related to the rate of actual ads respond which is determined by click achievement on the paid ads (sponsor link). The long term SEM strategy: Search Engine Optimization, on the other hand, enables marketers to improve their website the organic search-result ranking (Boughton, 2005; Ramos & Cota, 2009; Szetela, 2009).

The top organic search engine position merely triumph the keyword competition, however they cover no perfect SEO tactics because search engine ranking policies remain the business secret (Boughton, 2005; Castillo, 2004). Inorganic search (sponsor link) requires bid for the higher rank of ads; the keyword price index (KPI) alters the bid rate from one to the other keywords in which high competition on keyword will increase the KPI (Castillo, 2004; Moran & Hunt, 2006). Nevertheless internet marketer who cannot afford the bid for certain keyword may either change the keyword for their ads or switch to the lower-tier search engine resulting in various SEM issues which are click fraud that refer to the click on ads without any interest and the lower impression that refers to the lower searcher perception on the ads (Boughton, 2005; Kitts et al., 2006; Mordkovich, 2010a; Net application, n.d.). These issues exist for SEM in general however they will be enhanced once the marketer switches to lower-tier search engine because such search engine provides lower prevention on click fraud and has lower web traffic. These issues, in addition, degrade the sponsor link performance in which the lower impression confers the internet marketer the higher opportunity cost while the click fraud decreases the return on investment (Boughton, 2005; Mordkovich, 2010b; Ramos & Cota, 2009; Szetela, 2009).

Apart from creating E-commerce homepage, the internet marketers may organize their E-commerce website applying for the web application service from the provider such as tarad.com who provides E-commerce application to online firm with monthly charge, this service allows vendor to easily form the website with less time consuming. Nevertheless, sophisticated homepage creation techniques dictate the SEO friendliness of the website including programming language selection, language creation, and language arrangement in which the simplicity of language arrangement and its selection are considered two major language approaches that effect SEO friendliness of the website (Kymin, 2010; McCoy, 2010b). Content creation, on the other hand, is the key for SEO tactic since the web crawler ranks the non-sponsor link majorly according to the relevance of content to the entered query (Burani, 2010; Castillo, 2004; Cutts, 2010; McCoy, 2010b; Ramos & Cota, 2009; Szetela, 2009).

The Implementation steps of Search Engine Marketing provide the avenue to the search engine market for startups E-commerce site. Apart from the SEM strategies, the SEM implementation is prioritized to be the major discipline for the startups website since it involves with the tactics of ads optimization. It, moreover, allows the marketer to continuously optimize his page. Subsequent to the revision of Search Engine Marketing Strategies and Search Engine Mechanisms, this paper focuses on the development of SEM implementation steps for startups e-commerce site, the purposes are to suggest the SEM implementation steps and to revise the SEM philosophy. The paper covers the steps from homepage formulation to the SEO processing which involve with the long run SEM.

II. EARIER WORKS ON SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING

Boughton (2005) described that search engine usage in America is increasing and paid search advertising now occupies one third of total online ads expenses. For this reason, there is high competition for popular keyword; many advertisers cannot afford bidding for the top positions on the foremost search engines. Advertisers may then turn to second-tier search engines for better position and greater ROI. Lower-tier search engines offer lower bid prices, however they are usually features with click fraud issue, in which competitors click on advertisements themselves, either to boost a competitor’s ad expenditure or to increase their own compensation. Click fraud is very difficult to be detected, and the best solution is to implement advanced software systems tracking the locations of incoming clicks.SEM campaign, when properly implemented, has proven that it should be an essential part of any well-developed interactive marketing strategy.

Sen (2005) explained that buyers use search engines to search for information tend to trust and follow links displayed in the editorial section of the search-results page. Most online firms do not invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to get better search-results rankings for their listings, but instead prefer paid placements. They explain that SEO is more expensive than paid placements, and has low potential to improve search-results rankings. This implies that firms would invest in SEO if it was less expensive and its rankings were more reliable. Although SEO and paid placement cost are similar, and SEO usually produced high rankings, paid placement is still the prefered search engine marketing (SEM) strategy for most online firms.

III. SEM STRATEGIES

The strategies including paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion are the advertising model allowing marketer to improve his website visibility on search engine page result within inorganic search (Szetela, 2009). Pay per click a form of the paid placement, where advertisers pay the search engine only when their sponsor links are clicked such as GoogleAdword. The better position of this type of ads can be accomplished through the bidding; advertisers bid for their keyword that is relevant to their target customer. Cost per click, moreover, is the total cost that advertisers or other internet publishers have to pay search engine for the click on their sponsor link, which directs the traffic to their website. High-tier search engine such as Google have develop the automation system to prevent violent click by any distort internet user however click fraud is still major abuse issue for this plan (Ghosemajumder, 2008; Szetela, 2009).

Contextual advertising allocates targeted audience to the advertisers; its mechanism is to display the ads which are relevant to the neighboring content. Through this plan, internet advertising channel is extended rather than the inorganic search-result page. GoogleAdsense is an example of contextual advertising; its robot investigates the relevance of content to the ads and demonstrates the ads in form of pop ups or ads banner on that webpage (Szetala, 2009). Many search engine such as Yahoo mixes paid inclusion program, pay per click and pay per page with the organic search result from web crawling; advertiser pay the program to shorten the visiting schedule of the web crawler that promote the SEO tactics in the long run (Szetela, 2009; Zawodny, 2004) .

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the procedure to improve website visibility in natural or unpaid search-result page which is called organic search result. It is considered most technical part of SEM since it involves the process of webpage formulation and webpage modification (Burani, 2010; Witten et al., 1999). This strategy focuses on the relevance of content to the query entered by searcher; several tactics can be done to improve website search engine position including content optimization, link creation, and URLs formulation (Kymin, 2010; Morgan, 2008). In order to propose the SEO tactics and to suggest the SEM implementation step, the search engine mechanisms, moreover, are needed to be recognized therefore the author had revise its mechanisms in the following part.

IV. SEARCH ENGINE MECHANISMS

Once searcher enters the query into search box, the search engine will search for the Webpage relevant to the query from its index and ranking them according to that consequence; this process is called on-line operation or on-request execution (Castillo, 2004). The indexing process was located consequent to Webpage creation; the web crawler visits the Webpage and collects it for indexing then the Webpage was kept in search engine index after it underwent the indexing process, this process is known as off-line operation or periodically execution (Castillo, 2004). The first stage of indexing is to extort a standard logical view from the document. Bag of words is the logical model for the document usually used in indexing process, in which the document is seen as an unordered set of word (Castillo, 2004; Baeza-Yates, 2004).

Beside the relevance of Webpage, the value of Webpage which is the combination of page quality and page freshness improves the search engine position of the page. The page quality refers to the page interest by the user including the web traffic and user retention time on the Webpage; the web crawler measures Webpage’s intrinsic quality in term of link popularity, similarity to given query, usage popularity, location that focuses on the perceived path depth from the index to the certain page, and IP address of the domain name as well as the geography. Page representational quality concerns with page URL which represents the page objects (Castillo, 2004; Cho & Garcia-Molina, 1998; Diligenti et.al., 2000). High site freshness involves with the update frequency of the page, usually monthly or annually therefore the site need updating schedule to keep the freshness of the website.

The web dynamics refer to the web growth and document update; the document update is the change of the web in term of content creation, document updates, and deletion (Neil, 2001; Risvik & Michelsen, 2002). Web growth, on the other hand, is the expansion of Website content; it promotes the search engine optimization as the web crawler trends to visit the large site first (Castillo et al., 2004). Without extra Website information provided by the webmaster, Web crawler scheduling strategies including breadth-first, back link count, batch-pagerank, partial pagerank, OPIC, and large-sites-first are applied using only the information gathered during the crawling process (Abiteboul et al., 2003; Boldi et al., 2004; Castillo, 2004; Castillo et al., 2004; Cho and Garcia-Molina, 1998; Najork & Wiener, 2001).

Under Breadth-first scheduling strategy, the web crawler will capture first the high quality page; it will visit all homepage of the entire seed website and collect that information so that the new page is added to the end of its queue (Najork & Wiener, 2001). The backlink count strategy crawls first the Webpage with highest amount of link pointing to it therefore the next page to be crawled is the most linked page from previously download page (Cho and Garcia-Molina, 1998). Batch-pagerank scheduling strategy calculates the pagerank of the Webpage, using the crawled page information so far and first crawl the high calculated page rank when it completed the first round crawl. It was proven that this strategy is better that back link count however the application of partials graph can be inexact to approximate the pagerank (Boldi et al., 2004; Castillo, 2004; Cho and Garcia-Molina, 1998). Like batch-pagerank, partial pagerank assigns temporary pagerank to the new page during the re-calculation process dividing sum of pagerank of pages pointing to it by the number of out-link of that page (Castillo, 2004).

In OPIC strategy, all page starts with the same amount of cash. Once the page is crawled, the cash is split among the page it link to. The priority of the page being crawled is the sum of cash the other page split to it. Although it is similar to back link count strategy, the process is much faster since there are no random links and the calculation will not iterative (Abiteboul et al., 2003; Castillo, 2004). Large-sites-first prioritizes the site being crawl according to the number of un-crawled pages found so far of that Website therefore avoiding pending page in any Website (Castillo et al., 2004).

V. IMPLEMENTING SEM

On behalf of Search Engine Marketing implementation process, the SEM strategies have to be clearly understood including the Search Engine Optimization, paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion. The implementation complexity was arisen with SEO tactics since it includes Website formation and Content creation procedure which will require the expertise in programming language conception. Apart from SEO tactics, paid placement provides more simplicity in which it is operated base on the payment; the advertiser pay for their ads to make it visible in inorganic search section of the search engine. The SEO sometimes can be reinforced with the budget; the advertiser engages the SEO Company to organize these tactics, moreover the advertiser pays the search engine Web crawler in order to inquire the crawler to faster visit the Webpage. Search Engine mechanism is the prerequisite discipline for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics since it involves with the running process of Web crawler, the indexing process which collects the Webpage into search engine memory, and the search process. The entire discipline required for implementing the SEM was clearly revised in previous parts which are SEM strategies and Search Engine Mechanisms topic.

The author and his colleague had been experiencing regarding SEM procedure and successfully optimized Website visibility in the search engine; the website created by the author and his colleague seizes the top position in search engine for certain query. Moreover they acquired the know-how on SEO friendly Website creation techniques, which requires specialty in programming language. Entire SEM implementation steps were suggested by the author; it covers the processes from creating SEO friendly website to extending the website. The figure illustrate overall step of SEM implementation.

Figure 1: SEM Implementation steps Activity flow.

Source: Created by this author for this paper

Last step is the iterative step since the website needs the freshness referring to the updating process of the Website. According to described theory of page freshness on paragraph 2 in Search Engine Mechanisms topic, the Website freshness benefits the SEO procedure therefore the iterative should be repeated monthly. Corresponding to the given theory of Large-sites-first scheduling strategy on last paragraph of Search Engine Mechanisms topic, the Webmaster ought to extend their website in term of number of pages.

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Step 1: Create SEO friendly website

The attractive website in the internet user viewpoint refers to the website with simple layout and colorful webpage. It will be more attractive to the user if it contains images, movie clip, flash, and the other kind of entertaining media. Web crawler perspective is difference; it considers the simplicity of programming language including the language arrangement. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the prime form of markup language for interpreting the text, which is considered the most SEO friendly language for the Webpage (Beasley, 2003; Camusio, 2009). Other SEO friendly programming language includes eXtendable Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) that is belonging to XML family which is the extend version of HTML. On the other hand, Web crawler (spider) considers the appearance and layout of the content therefore Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in the other programming language (code) improving SEO friendliness of the Website (Beasley, 2003; Biundo & Enge, 2010). Nevertheless flash objecst on webpage confuse the spider and it may causes the spider to stop crawling the page once those object was crawled, resulting in higher opportunity cost, while the script language such as Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) and JavaScript are not SEO friendly however they do not cause the spider to leave the page.

Content is the key consideration in SEO friendly website creation; the assigned keyword in Meta Tags should be included in the content so that the percentage of the keyword will fall between 3 to 9 percent of certain webpage’s code. Moreover the Meta Tags is highly recommended to be included in the code; these cover title name, keywords, and description. In addition the text size should be varied according to priority of the content using Tag

or

. URL should illustrate the object on the webpage for example the webpage contains the content and objects about water filter then URL will consist of the word “water filter”. Besides that, the URL ought to be in the same language as the webpage or assigned keyword. Anchor is website interlink tags; when the user clicks on it then will lead to another page allocated by the webmaster (Morgan, 2008; Walker, 2010). The anchors benefit both SEO and user friendly issues of the website as they allows spider to crawl on them and provide the simplicity to the user.

Step 2: Summit Web URL to the Search Engine

Once the Web URL is submitted to the search engine, the indexing process done by off-line process, described in the first paragraph of Search Engine Mechanisms topic, may be shorten. Considering the web crawling theories described by Castillo (2005), the submitting process provides the spider the website initial information which condenses the crawling schedule.

Step 3: Add the Backlink to your website

Concerning the described theories of backlink count scheduling strategy on paragraph 4 in Search Engine Mechanisms topic, the links pointing to your website from the relevant website should be added. For example your website is about water filter so you should have the link pointing to your website from another water filter or other related website such as healthcare, water treatment, pollution, or sanitary ware website. According to the batch-pagerank and partial pagerank scheduling strategies revised in same paragraph, the backlink should be added to high pagerank website because it will provide your site higher amount of cash than backlink from the lower pagerank website. These pagerank are direct proportional with temporary pagerank assigned by the spider; Google pagerank is an example of them.

One way backlink may provides the better outcome than two way backlink, which refers to link exchange among webmasters. Two way links are simple to acquire because they concerning with bartering process and most of the time require no budget from the marketer. One way links, on the other hand, have higher potential to require SEM budget especially backlink from high pagerank site because they are most of the time commercial. Moreover, one way links may be more effective operating with the hub website for example you have website A, B, C… Z link to one website then you have that website links to your website.

Step 4: Wait for indexing process

Following the URL submitting process, it is now the time to wait for spider to index your website during which you can continue adding the backlink for your site. This step is sometime overlap with the previous step. Normally the indexing requires couple weeks to be completed since the spider do not immediately crawl your website after your site was submitted however it considers given information of your website and move up your website in its crawling queue. The indexing process can be monitored entering the full URL of your website to the search box of search engine you submit your site to. For example, you submitted http://www.abc.def to Google search engine then in order to search for indexing outcome, you can simply enter http://www.abc.def into Google search box. The links of your website will be shown in organic search result page; the number of link will depend on indexed webpage of your site.

Step 5: Organize the paid placement program

Organizing the paid placement program is simple to operate and it requires SEM budget; making a payment to one of the paid placement program offered by search engine, then selects the query you want your website to be visible in. For example, you select the GoogleAdword program, which is form of pay per click, then you pick “water filter” query as your website is relevant to this query. When the searcher enter the query “water filter” in the Google search box, the links for your website will appear inorganic search-result page. Sometime your link may not be in the top position in this result page since there is high competition in certain query, in the case you are required to make a bid to improve the positing of the link; the higher you pay for one click the better position your link is.

Step 6: Monitor the result of paid placement

The Search Engine reports the paid placement outcome via their dashboard therefore you are able to monitor the result of your marketing program. Click through Rate (CTR) is a ratio of number of click achievement to the number of impression; it is a measurement of online advertising performance (Stern, 2010). Moreover the dashboard shows daily report in which optimum time that your link is clicked the most is illustrated allowing you to improve your strategy on bidding. Within the same dashboard, the cost per click can be observed since the cost of sponsor link at different time of the day is varied base upon the bid rate. Furthermore, monthly and annually report are demonstrated by the dashboard where the peak day and month are shown.

Step 7: Perform the SEO

As the long term SEM, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) requires expertise and clear understanding regarding Search Engine Mechanism. SEO tactics can be outsourced, several SEO company with these expertise is available for you to appoint. If the time is available for you to conduct SEO tactics yourself, the explained strategies in step 1 and 3 are the keys; the initial step of SEO friendly website creation is prioritized to be the most importance step among these steps since they may cost you more if you have to come back to correct them. Moreover you will sometime need to follow the SEO check list illustrated in SEO tactics website such as webconf.com, where approximately 70 factors that will enhance your optimization process are shown. On the other hand, the paid placement program reinforces optimization performance because it increases the traffic of your website; search engine ranking the links with the consideration of web traffic apart from relevance of the content.

Step 8: Monitor the result of SEO

The outcome of optimization process may be monitored though the search engine result page; you can simply enter your selected query in the search box then you can keep track on your link’s position on different search engine. On the other hand, the website for webmaster such as iwebtool.com and webmaster-toolkit.com report amount of backlink, search engine position, keyword analysis, and other parameters importance for optimization process. Keyword analysis allows you to make an adjustment on your webpage code to match 3 to 9 percent of keyword. Consequent to this step, you can return to add the backlink for your website if you find they are inadequate for your website when comparing your website to those of competitors. It is, moreover, importance to know which sites are your competitors, which refer to the websites with the same query as your website. The basic method to improve you optimization process is to perform better than your competitors in term of relevance, backlink count, simplicity of your website in which you will need to minimize the load time of your website, and other SEO perspectives your competitors included in their website.

Step 9: Update your Webpage

Apart from adjustment of your code described in previous step, you should consider adding the content into your webpage where you will sometime need to add more webpage for your website and you will need to include the content for new webpage. According to the large-sites-first scheduling and page quality described in Search Engine Mechanisms topic, website should be updated monthly with the new webpage in order to maintain its freshness and its attractiveness to spider in term of page quality. Updating your website too frequently such as weekly or daily will cause your website to be suspended for months; in that stage your website search position will not be improved.

VI. CONCLUSION

In aid of the keyword competition, the search engine marketing corresponds to traditional marketing in which information regarding competitor should be analyzed. The SEM strategies matches brand promotion campaign since it improves the website visibility in search engine. The website carries the brand to the marketplace, which is the internet protocol allowing customer (internet user) to aware of the brand. Search Engine, moreover, is competitive advertising media on internet nowadays since it provides more ROI that other online media such as ads banner. Search Engine Marketing can be enriched using various methods however the entire suggested implementation steps focus on website development, and SEM strategies including paid placement and SEO process. Others search engine marketing perspective could be enabled by further suggestion including the use of social network in SEM. Search position of the website may be sustained through search engine optimization process including all suggested steps in this paper. The paid placement, on the other hand, is considered to be short term plan since it consumes the marketing budget. Since firm should minimize its expenditure on SEM from time to time, SEO is the solution to this issue. In addition, paid placement increase web traffic once implemented benefiting optimization process because web traffic is a factor considered by search engine in ranking process.

 

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