If you’re not depending on social media alone,  you probably rely on search engine marketing (SEM) to bring customers and referrals to your Website. Actually, you’re probably using some combination of the two. That’s good! It means you’ve got a good grasp on what it takes to get attention for your business in the global online marketplace. Our first link in today’s Small Business Trends roundup looks at the common ground between the two approaches. Enjoy!

Overview

Why your business needs the best of both worlds. In the era of Facebook and Twitter, the importance of search engine marketing can often be overlooked. One reason business blogs have remained popular despite the repeated reports of their demise is that they stand with a foot firmly in both worlds, able to be easily shared through countless social media formats yet also strong tools for SEM. BizSugar Blog

Tools

Using the Google Keyword Tool. When approaching Search Engine Marketing, your first step will be an application that should be in every search marketer’s tool box and will put your online business ahead of the game when it comes to attracting customers and referrals. Chris Hamilton’s video is a great introduction, but you’ll want to experiment with the tool yourself to harness the real possibilities. A Sales Tip A Day

New search marketing from the cloud. Software tools like this one allow an “organic search management” approach to marketing on a global scale and are easier to leverage than ever before as they become part of the suite of software applications available through cloud computing. How difficult will it be for your small business to compete with global giants in this landscape? Sys-Con Media

Strategy

What SEM is not. Search Engine Marketing is many things: a great way to drive traffic to your site, a great tool for reaching customers seeking your product or service and a great way of targeting your market and tying it to your brand. What it is NOT, argues Josh Shatkin-Margolis, is advertising. Here is a new approach to thinking about search marketing for your business. Ad Age Digital

SEM and social media both important tools. Both businesses moving into online marketing and those already there know the importance of a search engine marketing approach to develop targeted search engine traffic. This approach is different but in many ways just as important as social media marketing. Here, digital chief operating officer Kalli Purie of India Today Group talks about her company’s focus on both “Facebook and SEM.” Shouldn’t your business do the same? techcircle.in

Human Resources

How to hire a Search Engine Marketer. Seriously, this might be one path you might wish to  consider if your small business is looking to start maximizing search engine potential. The truth is that if your business needs to reach customers online, it will be a consideration sooner rather than later. Here Kelly Gillease, vice president of marketing for Viator, gives some no-nonsense advice. Search Engine Land

Trends

Investing up for marketing on the Net. Spending for both SEO and paid search are up, say a recent report, demonstrating a greater interest on the part of businesses with an online presence to invest in SEM. For those involved in Search Engine Marketing this is good news, of course. If your business offers SEM services, it’s time to get out there and market what you do. If your business needs more search engine traffic, it’s an investment to think about. Vertical Leap

More on SEM investment trends. Here’s a sample of the 2011 UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report referenced in the post above plus info on how to purchase a copy of the complete version. Suffice to say that what is true of the UK search market can probably be assumed to be more broadly true as well. What are you doing to make SEM work for your business today? Econsultancy

SEO

How Google changes affect strategy. After the latest update frokm the world’s largest and most influential search engine, search marketers should again be rethinking their strategies, improving the quality of their efforts and learning how to avoid trouble that can cost them big in the long run when it comes to search. Here are five tips that can help an online business owner or marketer, no matter how small, to cope in an every more complicated search environment. Inc.com

SEM goes social? After all this focus on search in a social media and social networking landscape, it is possible the twin worlds of search and social will collide again, this time with reports that search engine Google is planning a “social search” option that will marry the two concepts once and for all. How would you add a social dynamic to your search marketing campaign. Stay tune as this story develops… WSJ

Some interesting ideas about search engine marketing.

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