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The Search Marketing is probably the most misused term in the marketing industry in general. At least 50% of the marketers use the term incorrectly! Why?

Half of marketing people would define Search Marketing as buying paid search listings. The other half would with the paid listings within the search marketing realm include the natural search results listing within the term of search marketing.

Half of them must be wrong – but which half?

The split is actually really down to the middle. While even the top online marketing institution: Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) includes search engine optimization (SEO), most of the Marketing Agencies who are providing the service to the customers would do a very basic onsite SEO, and pour the clients budgets in the paid search advertising. Google AdWords Pay per Click (PPC) program, would in most cases take at least of 80% of the search marketing budget.

So although in theory the Search Marketing should include the SEO, the reality is that if the client doesn’t specify exactly what they are looking for – most of their money goes to PPC. This is excellent for any short term, once off publicity campaign. It is great for a rock concert ticket sales or political activists in a month before the election (and silent for the next 4 years). But for a site where you need a constant stream of new web site traffic, and you plan to run the site for more than a month or two – Google AdWords or any other PPC is probably your worst enemy. It is quick and seductive because it delivers within hours. But it will also drain your budgets if not planned properly, and leave no funds left for the SEO.

The Search Engine Optimization on the other hand is extremely slow (in Interment marketing time). Some search agencies will tell you that you have to wait for months for the results! It is not measurable up front, and a lot of SEO experience is required to properly plan the SEO budgets.

So next time you think of ordering the search marketing services, think about what your goal is (long term or short gain), and ask your search marketing company where in the SEM will they spend your money in – Is it PPC or SEO?


  • Merrill

    November 4, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    “This is excellent for any short term, once off publicity campaign (… ) It is quick and seductive because it delivers within hours. But it will also drain your budgets ”

    I guess you write for people who don’t know anything about Search Marketing.

    But if you know how to measure your ROI, PPC can be very profitable over a long period. There is a reason why all the big players (ebay, amazon, expedia…) are running PPC campaigns all year long. And it’s not because they want to do some branding, it’s because they generate sales and profits.

  • Abir

    November 6, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Yeah Merill is right. Through the ppc campaigns ebay, amazon.. are getting huge business through out the year. but to minimize the advertisement cost there is no better way other than seo. But for that one must have to keep patience.

  • SEO Consultant (admin)

    November 6, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    @Merin (Kieran I presume?) I write for the Irish SME. Can you pint a single Irish SME who is running a Google AdWords profitable on a long run? Look at the CPC during the years of the Google AdWords, and the costs have just one trend (in most industries).

    The investment in SEO for the Irish company with the target market in Ireland – Hence optimising for Google.ie, was in all the cases I participated in been more profitable on the long run.

    eBays, of this world pour tons in PC and it works well for them. They also poured tons in SEO, and that worked even better (ROI wise) for them.

    Would you not agree?

  • James

    November 13, 2009 at 3:17 am

    I almost always go for organic SEO over PPC because #1 it’s cheaper, #2 I can do some of it myself, #3 it has more lasting results than PPC which is based in the here and the now. I agree that only sites that are intended to be short lived should even bother with the PPC model because of this.

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