Search Engines

The Difference between Search Marketing and Other Forms of Advertising

By Justin Seibert| 2 Min Read | January 30, 2007
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When all you deal with every day is online marketing, it can sometimes be easy to completely strip yourself of your experience to fully explain the medium to people outside the industry.

I think I normally do a good job of explaining to people how search engines work at the most basic level. That’s not always the case apparently.

We just launched a search engine marketing campaign for a client and the results have been slow in the extremely early goings. This isn’t new to me; I make it a point to tell clients and potential clients that the results in week two will be better than week one, better in month two than month one, and so on. That’s one of the benefits of search engine marketing as an extremely direct marketing platform – testing can be done inexpensively, quickly, and effectively.

The representative I deal with at this company is an extremely experienced marketer. She was very concerned because she expected the best results to occur immediately. Of course she would – she’s seen it happen with all sorts of campaigns from newspapers to tv to radio and more.

But search is different. You’re not broadcasting a message to someone that’s not looking for you. With other forms of advertising, you hopefully can hit people a couple times to wear down their resistance to ubiquitous ad messages. And if it works, you’ll get the best response within the first couple days.

Search engine marketing is the complete opposite, although good results can happen immediately with the right conditions. You’re showing your ads to people looking for you. So each time your ad goes up, it’s appearing to a (typically) new searcher who’s already interested in what you’re selling. There will be new people looking the next month, week, day, and hour. Like an Etch A Sketch during an earthquake, you perpetually have a clean slate to work with.

Shame on me for not better explaining this advantage of search engine marketing to my client. Part of my self-mandated punishment is this post explaining it to you. Reap the benefit and bask in your new-found knowledge that no one in a bar will ever care about. Alcoholics: you are better served to go memorize sports stats. I recommend Bill James.


Full-Scope Online Marketing Services | justin-seibert-headshot

Written by Justin Seibert

Justin Seibert is the President of Direct Online Marketing. Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University. He contributes a wide range of online business-oriented topics, including the subject of exporting. His contributions can be found on publications such as the Pittsburgh Business Times, AdAge, SES Magazine, and La Voz del interior. Justin and his family enjoy learning about new cultures during their travels.

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