The spectacular development of the internet has triggered much interest in different areas such as marketing. Businesses are experimenting with this new type of technology to support their commercial activities. There are various e-marketing tools available to e-marketers. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast various e-marketing tools currently being used by e-marketers. In order to achieve this objective, this paper will discuss the following four e-marketing tools that are being used widely: search engine optimisation, pay per-click, Web 2.0, and online social networks. Finally this paper will draw conclusions from the discussions.
SEO is a way of building traffic via organic search results. The content will rank higher in the search engines if it is better and more popular (Suarez, 2005). Hard work and dedication are required for this type of online marketing, because it’s a long and arduous process to position the website and its content at the top of the search engine page (Palmer and Koenig-Lewis, 2009). No website really ventures past the first page of any search engine, but if the website is optimised for SEO, then it will begin to appear more obviously on the first page of search engines like Google (Whitla, 2009). Consumers respect and trust organic results more as sources of information than paid search results; consequently they are more likely to click on an organic result compared to a paid search result (Trusov et al., 2009). A study showed that 95% of search engine users chose to click on organic results, while only 6% clicked on paid results (Wang and Zhang, 2012). This divergence can be explained by the fact that many search engine users have selective blindness towards paid search results (Jobber, 2010). The mind of a search engine user considers organic results that appear at the top of the search engine results page as credible. This depicted credibility gives the user faith in the content, products and services (Pang and Lee, 2008). If the content is relevant even after a long period of time and a search engine still ranks it high because of optimisation, then the content will stay at the top of the search engine results page for a very long time (Armbrust et al., 2010). Therefore, SEO is a means to keep the content pertinent and at the forefront of the company’s target audience long after they were created. This is why, SEO is better than Pay-Per Click (PPC), because PPC will fall off the radar engines once the payment of fees is stopped (Armbrust et al., 2010). Armbrust et al. (2010) argue that the return on investment of the website will continue to rise with SEO, whereas with PPC it will reach a certain point and then become stagnant. This is because SEO pages’ click through-rates continue for an extended period of time, whereas PPC only has the ability to funnel clicks and convert them to sales for a short period of time.
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