SEM is Like Picking up Chicks at a Bar – Vol 1

By Paige Payne | Nov 2, 2009
More Articles by Paige


For those who would like to get a general idea of what it means to practice online marketing but just can’t quite get past the intimidating terminology of the online world, may I humor you by explaining some of Google’s complexities in a more widely accepted universal language? By making the comparison of Google SEM to guys trying to pick up chicks at a bar in a college town.

(Let me begin by attaching my own personal FDA warning label: This post is going for entertainment value.  Therefore, some of the common social norms and rules of “this bar” for men and women are slightly skewed from reality).Setting the Stage:

Starting at the upper level, in traditional business terms you have your market which is defined as the environment of commercial activity where goods and services are bought and sold.  The location of our analogous will be your college town of choice .  With any or you have two general parties who participate in these commercial activities:

1.  Those looking to sell their products or services:

  • Businesses ( )
  • , the male population of the

2.  Those looking to buy the products or services being offered:

  • Consumers ( )
  • , the female population of the

Going Out to the Bar (or engaging in SEM):

One specific type of a is the internet , which is like the night life of the

The or offers a convenient way for s or s to match up with s or s.  As the or grew in popularity, s or  s came along to help streamline this process for the or and the or .

  • Eighty two percent of all those who use the do so by using search engines .  In our analogy, = for all the bars in the .
  • Of all the s on the , the # 1 search engine holding over 60% percent is  .  For our purposes,  = for the # 1 bar in the .

Google: Why do people use it?

s or s search for what they’re looking for on  s or in s in order to find find whatever they are looking for fast.

A priority ofor the is to provide s or s with the most relevant search results as fast as possible. or the recognized the value in the presence of s or s who are in a mode of active search and developed a system or algorithm to match them up with s or  s who are also actively looking for relevant s or s.

From a or ‘s perspective, when a or searches on or in the for a particular or on the or in the , then there are two basic types of results:

1. Organic: These results tend to take a little longer to achieve high rankings on.   s must have several components of their websites in line in order to be deemed relevant to show for a search query.  One advantage is that once a does appear in the top results consistently, each organic visit from a to your site is free per click.

In our analogy,  s and s who become friends in the and have a long courtship before starting a long-term relationship are like are s who find s through SEO for organic listings.  It takes a while to get there, but often the results are longer-lasting.

2. Paid or sponsored:  These results are the primary revenue generators in  or the  ‘s business models. This type of result typically allows most  s or  s a greater opportunity to reach a wider audience of or on or at the .  And paid search on or at the  puts s or s out there to connect with s or s immediately through ads (or a mix of drinks and pick-up lines).

Now that the stage has been set, be sure to keep a look out for one or two more Google/Bar comparisons to follow…

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