Researching Search - A Study into Search Engine Marketing Practices in Ireland
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Barry, C. and Charleton, D. (2008). Researching Search - A Study into Search Engine Marketing Practices in Ireland. Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Business. Porto, Portugal. 26-29 July 2008. (CD-ROM).
Researchers have identified the Web as the searchers first port of call for locating information. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategies have been noted as a key area for firms to consider when developing, maintaining and managing their Websites. SEM falls into two categories - ¿Search Engine Optimisation¿ (SEO) and ¿Paid Search¿. To examine how these SEM methods are reflected in practice, and the issues inherent in carrying out SEM effectively, a survey was conducted amongst small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in Ireland. The research reveals that Irish SMEs plan to spend more time and resources on SEM in the future. Most firms utilize an informal SEM strategy, where SEO is perceived to be the more effective technique in driving traffic to a company Website. Respondents cite the use of ¿keywords in title and description tags¿ as the most used SEM technique; while ¿Pay for Placement¿ was found to be the most widely used Paid Search technique. In concurrence with the literature, measuring SEM performance remains a significant challenge with many firms unsure if they measure it effectively. An encouraging finding from the study is that Irish SMEs adopt a positive ethical posture when undertaking SEM.
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