One of the most enduring misconceptions about search engine marketing is that whomever has the largest advertising budget wins. Although a larger advertising budget can certainly be advantageous, especially when targeting highly competitive keywords, but it’s far from a requirement for success with search engine marketing. This is because all ads go through a process known as the ad auction before appearing alongside search results. For the purposes of this explanation, we’ll be focusing on the ad auction in Google AdWords.
The combination of charisma, charm and intellect has helped catapult Sharpe to the top of the heap. In a recent conversation with him, I wanted to learn what it truly took to become an expert digital marketer. And one of the most important takeaways from that phone call was that if he could do it, anyone could do it. For someone who failed so devastatingly very early on in life, to rise from the ashes like a phoenix was no easy feat.

Engagement – Google is increasingly weighting engagement and user experience metrics more heavily. You can impact this by making sure your content answers the questions searchers are asking so that they’re likely to stay on your page and engage with your content. Make sure your pages load quickly and don’t have design elements (such as overly aggressive ads above the content) that would be likely to turn searchers off and send them away.


SEM is the wider discipline that incorporates SEO. SEM includes both paid search results (using tools like Google Adwords or Bing Ads, formerly known as Microsoft adCenter) and organic search results (SEO). SEM uses paid advertising with AdWords or Bing Ads, pay per click (particularly beneficial for local providers as it enables potential consumers to contact a company directly with one click), article submissions, advertising and making sure SEO has been done. A keyword analysis is performed for both SEO and SEM, but not necessarily at the same time. SEM and SEO both need to be monitored and updated frequently to reflect evolving best practices.

You’ve got your KPIs — but KPIs alone don’t equal money in the bank. You’ve still got to translate your KPIs into accurate, reliable figuresExtended ArticleHow to Measure the ROI of Video MarketingWe’ve talked about some of the key performance indicators to keep an eye on when you launch your video campaign. But how do those… Read More that your marketing team can get behind.
Another excellent guide is Google’s “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.” This is a free PDF download that covers basic tips that Google provides to its own employees on how to get listed. You’ll find it here. Also well worth checking out is Moz’s “Beginner’s Guide To SEO,” which you’ll find here, and the SEO Success Pyramid from Small Business Search Marketing.

Ideally, you’ll use all three distribution methods. You know your audience and hopefully you know how they’ll respond to your video. Focus on the distribution method that’ll give you the biggest return. If you’re in the film industry, focusing more on paid distribution might be your best bet. If you’re in the field of cancer research, earned media might be the way to go. Are you an entrepreneur that just launched your own startup? Spread word via your owned channels. It all really depends, so do a little research and see what fits your situation best.
One video is great, but the more often you post engaging video, the better. It may not be realistic to post videos every single day or for every single initiative, but if you’ve got a major campaign you’re working on or an initiative that would really benefit from video, dedicate some resources to video creation. Even overlaying text on a piece of stock footage can be highly engaging on your website and bring more visitors from organic search.
Social Media Marketing (SMM): Focuses on branding, reputation enhancement and enhanced customer service via social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Smaller SMM channels include Digg, Delicious, Wikipedia, StumbleUpon and MySpace. Social networks are visited by a collective total of over one-billion people. Thus, even the simplest marketing efforts, like paid advertising, reach potentially large audiences.
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