SEM | 5 Unpaid & 3 Paid Methods To Increase Traffic

Unpaid is social media, articles, directories, video & press releases. Paid is PPC, inclusion & display ads


Please invest 2 minutes of your time to watch the SEM video below. It spells out how you can benefit. Or if you prefer to read, then feel free to skip the video and go straight to the text below:

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Search Engine Marketing (SEM) consists of both paid and unpaid marketing of content to increase traffic to your content.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consists of focusing the content so that SEs know what the content is about and can index it accordingly.

However to improve the ranking of your page in the Search Engine results for a given query, SEM is critical. Search traffic is only about half of all traffic on the Internet. So SEM is required to reach your prospective visitor wherever he or she may be.

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They could be on social sites, reading articles, looking through directories, watching videos or perusing through news sites. SEM tries to reach them wherever they are through paid or unpaid means.

Paid SEM gets you immediate results which stop when you cease spending money. Unpaid SEM takes longer to act but may also bring valuable links to your site which will improve its ranking in the search results.

On this page you will be able to read about both paid and unpaid SEM.

SEM: 5 unpaid SEM methods you can use


1. SEM: Social media

Most people use social media to post links to their content frequently. This is better than not doing anything. However any friends who are online at that time or are following you will be the only ones who see this. If the post resonates with them they may click on the link. Also their mindset must be in an information receiving mode.

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The other way is to make a business page and start engaging members in a conversation. The objective here will be to build a community of interested potential first time or repeat customers.

Be patient because conversations generally start after a membership or ‘like’ of 1,500 is reached.

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2. SEM: Articles

Article sites get high traffic and deliver decent quality links. Most of them have special requirements for format and structure.

But take care about issues pertaining to duplication.


3. SEM: Directories

Unpaid directories are also effective for back links to your site. Local directories will be very useful in this regard.

Paid inclusions to directories may bring you traffic but their links are discounted by the Search Engines. However if you are a member of an organization which has a directory it is not treated as a paid inclusion and will work for you.

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4. SEM: Video sites

YouTube is now the second largest search engine after Google. Many people like to get their information through videos and search for videos first.

Fortunately there are no duplication issues between your video and your content. So you can use it to make your video.


5. SEM: Press releases

News and .org sites give you the strongest back links.

Writing a press release is an art in itself. Issuing one is a relatively expensive proposition. However it is highly effective and cheaper than a monthly budget for advertising.

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A press release will need to be written specifically and is not the same as writing a page for your website.

News release sites generally guide you in how to do this.

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SEM: 3 paid SEM methods you can use


1. SEM: Pay-per-click (PPC)

It is possible to use this method on most Search Engines and on social media sites. The pay-per-click campaigns for many sites can be managed through a handful of companies such as Google.

PPC campaigns have the benefit of being able to tie payment to clicks giving you real time feedback on the effectiveness of your ads. You can also create multiple ads for one campaign with multiple key phrases.

On certain sites your campaign can target very specifically by age, address, likes, sex and income. Naturally such tight targeting is very attractive to marketing companies.

Traffic created by PPC also helps with lifting your page rank in the search results.


2. SEM: Paid inclusion

This is generally done for portals, specific purpose and general directories, rating sites and Search Engines.

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You will even see ads on forum sites.

Having any kind of ad on your own site is fraught with the possibility of the visitor clicking on the ad and leaving your site.

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3. SEM: Pay for visibility

Sometimes advertisers prefer display ads instead of PPC ones. Mostly because they are used as reminders to build the brand.

The rates are lower but you are unable to correlate the conversion from display to traffic coming to your content.

Whether to use paid or unpaid SEM depends on your objectives and budget. One way to do this would be to use unpaid SEM to build credibility for your site and use paid SEM for special offers, announcements and seasonal promotions.


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SEM was last modified: July 24th, 2019 by Manu Raj

Manu Raj

Has a positive attitude towards the job, is friendly and a team player.

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