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Search engine marketing (SEM) has only been around for about a decade, or just a little bit short of it. Online journalist Danny Sullivan first introduced the term in 2001. Since then, search engine marketing has grown by leaps and bounds.

At its core, SEM consists of paid search and SEO – search engine optimization. Early SEM professionals spent most of their time focusing on driving traffic to websites and increasing the number of site visitors. That, however, has proved to be an unprofitable venture as high numbers of traffic do not necessarily lead to conversions. That’s why search engine marketing management, or SEMM, has started taking hold.

SEMM professionals focus more on increasing ROI through search engine marketing efforts. If you can increase your ROI by decreasing traffic, would you?

That’s not to say that decreasing traffic is always a necessity, but sometimes you can increase profits by decreasing traffic to your website. This is done by focusing on a narrower niche or topic or by writing about your niche in such a way that it appeals to a certain subset – i.e. specialization. If you reach the right target market with increased specialization then you can increase your ROI. You may lose some traffic from people not interested in your specialty, but they weren’t likely to buy from you anyway.

SEMM involves a tighter focus on profits and ROI instead of vague concepts like traffic an site visitors.

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