What the Heck is Search Marketing?

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Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is used to increase the presence of your online business on the Web. It comprises a multi-pronged approach involving search engine optimization, keyword analysis, link building, social networking, and more. In our new 10 Step SEO 101 Series, learn the essentials of SEM, and find out what you can do to drive more traffic to your important pages.

Search marketing covers SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which deals with optimizing a website’s content and structure so it can be more effectively indexed (found) by search engines, as well as industry and keyphrase analysis and link building. Keyphrase analysis analyses what people search for and how often, and uses this information to give recommendations as to what topics you should focus your website content on. Link building helps build external links – ie. links from external websites that point to your website – an important metric search engines use to evaluate the importance of your website and its pages.

Learn SEO in 10 Steps

We’ve written 10 concise articles that outline the most important elements of search marketing in our SEO 101 series. Over the next 10 days, we will be releasing one article each day. Browse on over to What is SEO? to get started.

Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.

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5 Comments on "What the Heck is Search Marketing?"


I’ve been a freelance writer since 2006 and have watched search marketing change and evolve over the years. It can be hard to keep up at times, but it’s well worth it. Currently, I’m trying to get my website off the ground and make money from it. The blog began in February of this year and has around 31,000 page views and gets around 200 page views a day. Sadly, this is not enough to live off of. I’ve only made a few dollars through Google AdSense.

I plan to spend some time viewing your tips so that I can hopefully start bringing more viewers to my site. I know that I have great keywords and that there is a high demand for those keywords with little competition, but there is more I need to do to make this work. First of all, I know I need to work even harder on back links. I also need to work on fine-tuning my website and what it offers to readers.

Thank you so much for putting this resource together. I really do think it will help me become more successful as a blogger. If not, I can always use the tips in my writing career.


Search engine marketing is something that is like a living thing. The methods are constantly adapting and changing as more information is calculated. It is really hard to keep up with it if you don’t do it on a regular basis. This is not one of those things you can learn about in a day and the really interesting part is that so many sites use the information in such unique ways. In fact, no two sites that I deal with use SEM the same way. Learning about the individual needs of each site can be just as difficult as learning about SEM in general, but the cool thing is that you can combine methods to see what works for you.

I almost wish that every person who created a site had to learn this stuff before they were allowed to buy a domain name. There are an awful lot of sites out there that just don’t have any quality content. I think what happens is that the people who create them get a bit of SEM information and think they know it all, so they start putting garbage up. Sometimes this does boost their rankings, which means the audience has to go through a bunch of crap before finding what they actually need.


Search engine marketing is such a detailed process that you have to be very well versed in it is you ever plan to do anything successful online. If you are getting good traffic to your site, then you have pretty much found the key to good search engine marketing. The only problem is, there is so much misinformation out there and things are changing all the time. You really have to not only be well versed in search engine optimization and all the details that go along with it, but you just about have to be able to predict what Google’s next move will be so that you can keep up with all the changes as they occur and be prepared for what comes next.

Google Panda was a great example of this. For years content mills had been producing content that really did not share anything useful. Horrible articles were poorly written and were really just keywords embedded in fluff. Google had always said they were wanting quality content, but the traffic kept coming, right until it stopped. More than a few websites went down over it.

I look forward to reading your series as I am always looking to develop my knowledge in this area.


Having worked as a freelance writer for the past 6 years, SEO is something I’m continuously learning more about. While it would be nice to be able to learn search marketing and be done with it, that just isn’t possible, especially with Google constantly making changes to how pages are ranked. It can certainly make things difficult, but staying on your toes ensures that you’re always producing content that can easily be found by readers.

When I first started working in the freelance writing field it was about how many keywords you could stuff into an article and I am so glad those days are long gone. It wasn’t natural to stuff content and made it more difficult to write an article that flowed. Not to mention that readers who were unfamiliar with SEO found the pieces hard to read and thought that writers were doing this simply because they couldn’t write good content.

Today, articles are a lot like a fine recipe. You simply sprinkle a few keywords here and there and not only does the content sound natural, but it’s much easier to write. Let’s hope this is the way Google will keep things because I’d hate to go back to writing content that way.


I will be very interested to see how search engine marketing will affect my business. Currently I am working on setting up the business web site, and I have read a lot about SEM and SEO as well as talked to others in my field who have tried it. It sounds like it does help, but also that you have to be vigilant about it at first. Since this area is moving so quickly, people have warned me that it is very important to learn quickly what you are dealing with and to keep updating your knowledge base.

My hope is that this SEO 101 series will put me up to snuff with everything I need to know to get started and to perfect my skills. The key, I am told, is to just start doing it, and to budget a few hours per day to updating all of your web content and so forth. I am also curious how social media marketing will play into search engine marketing, and how to find optimal keywords for your website. But before that even, I need to learn what the rules and regulations for SEO even are!


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