Simply put, the purpose of search engine marketing is to increase the position of a web site or web page within the search engine result pages. However, search engine marketing is much more complex than the definition gives it credit for being. In reality, search engine marketing encompasses a variety of strategies and techniques, which include:
Search Engine Optimization: Search engine optimization (or SEO as it is commonly called) is the process of increasing a web site’s search engine ranking for different keywords. This is normally done by working on a combination of onpage and offpage factors. Onpage SEO factors include things such as meta tags, title tags, H1 and H2 tags, keyword densities and internal linking. Offpage SEO generally refers to obtaining links from quality web directories and relevant, trusted web sites. A big part of offpage SEO is obtaining external links that have anchor text which includes the desired keywords.
Pay Per Click Advertising: PPC advertising has gained a significant amount of popularity in recent years. Pay per click advertising allows you to list your web site in specified areas of search engines (for example, the right side of Google) or on relevant web sites (for example, a web site that is related to yours that displays Google AdSense ad units). Every time your listing is clicked, you pay the amount that you had bid on. A PPC campaign can be an excellent way to establish your brand and/or draw a significant amount of traffic. This is especially true for new sites which have not been around long enough to achieve solid organic search engine rankings.
Social Media Optimization: Of the three search engine marketing strategies, social media optimization is by far the newest SEM technique. Social media optimization refers to using social media sites such as Digg and Reddit to gain valuable traffic and backlinks. The term link bait refers directly to the practice of creating content specifically for social media web sites.