SEM for Managers

Internet History and Search Engine Marketing

Back in the early 90s, websites were a corporate novelty. By 1999 however, the novelty wore off as more and more companies jumped onto the Internet bandwagon. The mentality that every business needed a website began to flourish. Compounding matters was the inflated stock prices for web based companies. The vision of millions of dollars in dividends virtually overnight spurred even more businesses to develop a “web presence.”

Soon, the face of the web changed. Gone were sites with straight text and simple layouts; these were replaced with multimedia extravaganzas filled with JavaScript, Flash, and dynamic databases. Many companies mistakenly believed that if they put enough bells and whistles on their web pages, that customers would come.

They did not take into consideration the way traffic moved around the web, nor did they implement a search engine marketing strategy. They simply built websites and expected a massive influx of visitors. Needless to say, most of these companies went broke

A recent study shows that 85% of people looking for goods and service on the Internet begin their search at one of the major search engines. Similar research shows that 65% of click-throughs from these search engines come from the first page of displayed results. If your site is not in that first page of listings, then you can assume that you are almost invisible on the web.

If your company derives revenue from its website through advertising, direct sales, or lead generation, then your webmaster’s main focus should not be on eye candy, but on how to get a top ranking in major search engines. Search engine optimization is the most cost effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website. It is also where search engine marketing comes into play. A good search engine marketing strategy can help you get and keep a top 10 position in search engines.