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Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is one of the most popular forms of online marketing. SEM seeks to advance websites by increasing visibility in Search Engine results pages. There are three different techniques connected with Search Engine Marketing: Sponsored Links, Organic Search, and Paid Inclusion. 

- Sponsored Links are purchased through Pay-Per-Click or Pay-Per-Call campaigns (also known as PPC). Simply put, businesses bid on keywords that are relevant to their services or products. Then, according to how high their bid is, their ad appears in the sponsored link areas when a user engages the search terms. Sponsored links are usually located on the right side of popular search engines like Google, or Yahoo.

- Organic Search: The main body of search engines is made up of organic or "natural" search results. These listings are generated based on relevancy factors according to the content found in a website and to the number/type of links pointing AT a website. By specifically tailoring these elements, a company can focus on particular audiences in a similar fashion as PPC. Organic search results are much more difficult to get your site listed in and often require the hiring of an SEO expert.

- Paid Inclusion is when a search engines charges for placement within their search engine index. The most popular search engine, Google, does not provide this service.

Banner Advertisement is the method of placing an advertisement on a web page with the intention of driving traffic to your site. New technologies have given the advertiser amazing customization capabilities when it comes to banner advertising. Advertisers now have the ability to place their banner ads on very specific pages devoted to certain types of content and products. So if you are selling teddy bears, you can have your ad appear on a site only when it is presenting an article on the teddy bear industry. You can also zero in on geographical targets (or "geo-targeting"). By tracking the IP address of the user, you can have ads appear only to those people in your target area. Targeting has breathed new life into the traditional banner advertising industry. 

Affiliate Marketing is technique in which a business places an ad on another, high-traffic website and then rewards that website for the lead via a commission structure. This has become very popular in the last several years due to the ineffectiveness of generic marketing practices. This form of online marketing is very attractive since the business only pays for actual conversions, which is called Cost Per Action (CPA). It's like offering a family member a 10% commission if they recommend your business to a friend of theirs; you only pay them when their reference actually purchases something. 

E-Mail Marketing is a marketing tactic, which uses electronic mail or E-Mail as the form of communication to reach customers or clients. Due to the increase of E-Mail Spam, this form of marketing has become somewhat ineffective unless it is used in a controlled environment. Many companies maintain their own e-mail lists of current/former clients and strictly market to them. This can be highly effective if you have a large list and the products/services that you are selling meet the needs of those people.

We hope this has covered the basics for you, but please do contact us if you have more questions.

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