In Search of Search Engine Marketing Strategy Amongst SME’s in Ireland

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Abstract

Researchers have identified the Web as a searchers first port of call for locating information. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategies have been noted as a key consideration when developing, maintaining and managing Websites. A study presented here of SEM practices of Irish small to medium enterprises (SMEs) reveals they plan to spend more resources on SEM in the future. Most firms utilize an informal SEM strategy, where Website optimization is perceived most effective in attracting traffic. Respondents cite the use of ‘keywords in title and description tags’ as the most used SEM technique, followed by the use of ‘keywords throughout the whole Website’; while ‘Pay for Placement’ was 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 is that Irish SMEs adopt a positive ethical posture when undertaking SEM.