Home > display advertising, online marketing, search > Introduction to SEM and Online Display Advertising (for Mike)

Introduction to SEM and Online Display Advertising (for Mike)

My friend Mike told me, “Lisa the blog is really entertaining, but I don’t really know much about search marketing. I’m just a programmer.” True, Mike. I almost forgot… I was too busy geeking out to ask you what you wanted. The Mavens were spewing CTR and ad networks and we haven’t written a back-to-basics for awhile. This is important since most of the clients we work with are beginners themselves. Much too busy running major brands, they leave it up to the Mavens to handle. And we appreciate that.

So Mike, this one’s for you.



Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the practice of promoting a website through search engines like Google or Yahoo. Since there are millions of searches daily, it’s important that your website shows up in the search results when people are searching for you. Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.

When the search engines produce a results page (a list of web pages related to your search terms), they list the pages in order of relevancy, with the most relevant page appearing first, then the next, and so on. It’s desirable to appear near the top of these results to get the most traffic to your website.

There are paid and non-paid SEM tactics one would use to show up higher in the search engine results. You can see there are a list of web pages on left. These are called “organic results” (non-paid) because Google and Yahoo find these naturally while scanning the Web. On the right-hand side, you will see “sponsored links” (paid): these are ads that match up to your search terms.

Appearing in the search results, higher up on the page, using a combination of organic and sponsored listings is what search marketing is basically all about. See, that was easy. – Lisa


teach me the basics, please

Online Display Advertising

Online display advertising consists of using ad space on websites to reach a desired target audience. Sites may include web portals, blogs, casual gaming sites, social networks, instant message applications, widgets, RSS feeds, and more.

The most common type of display advertising is banner ads. Banner ads typically come in standard sizes such as 728×90, 160×600, and 300×250 which refers to pixel width x height and are most often animated through Flash. For an extra serving fee, banners can also incorporate rich media functionalities which include interactive elements such as banner expansion, data submission, and gaming. Other types of display advertising include things like site skins (wallpapers), fixed sponsorships, and video.

Online display advertising is an important consideration as part of a media mix due to the exciting array of targeting and messaging opportunities and the fact that people are spending more and more time online. -Sarah

We have already outlined success metrics for online display and SEM campaigns, but will be getting back to the basics in future posts, talking about pros, cons, and opportunities within the SEM and online display industries.

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