glossary

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): A set of marketing methods to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs). The three main methods are: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, and Lead Generation.Today, when over 85% of traffic is generated by search engines, the importance of high placement and high visibility is key to any online business or organization, regardless of market or size.

Affiliate Network: A network composed of a group of merchants and affiliates. Merchants join the network in order to have affiliates promote their products. Because of the structure of this network, merchants are able to promote their products throughout a broad spectrum, lowering their advertising costs. The affiliate is paid on a commission basis from the merchant and in order to profit substantially, the affiliate doesn't need to make a certain sale amount for one particular merchant but rather for the entire range of merchants. Some affiliate programs promote one group of merchants exclusively and some offer many different types of merchants from an array of sectors.

Return on Investment (ROI): Also known as rate of profit, rate of return, or return. The ratio of money that is gained or lost in an investment and money invested.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Each search engine has a unique way of ranking or caching pages. By optimizing the structure of the website and improving its content, it's possible to improve the website's rankings for relevant keywords in search results. SEO has become an exact science as only when the website's overall structure and content can be easily read and understood by the individual search engine's programs, true optimization be achieved.

Pay Per Click (PPC): A popular advertising technique used on websites, advertising networks and search engines. Advertisers bid on keywords that are associated with their market. Once a user searches using those keywords, the advertiser then has their ad placed in the "sponsored links" or "sponsored ads" portion of the page and pays when the user clicks on the ad. The largest network operators are Google (Google AdWords) and Yahoo! (Yahoo! Search Marketing.) Like SEO, this field has been narrowed down to an exact science that includes when to bid, how to bid and what to bid on to keep costs low and returns high.

Paid Inclusion: While organic results are always preferred Paid Inclusion is another option to work to help optimize a website's standings. When a search engine company charges fees related to the inclusion of a website into their search engine. (Most search engine companies offer this service. The most notable exception is Google, where Paid Inclusion is not an option.)

Lead Generation: The making of connections between well matched consumers to corporate sellers. A commission is earned on the leads generated (PPL - Pay Per Lead) or the sales made (PPS - Pay Per Sale) or a combination of the two. The key to lead generation is to find and match targeted consumers with quality products.

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