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When you work for someone else, it’s often OK to be an expert atjust one thing – whether it’s sales, management, distribution, orproduction. But when you’re a small business owner, you need to beadept at a variety of professional functions, including advertisingand marketing that employ the latest technologies and media.

Online advertising, in particular, can be a useful tool forsmall businesses to communicate with current and potentialcustomers. You may know just enough about advertising on theInternet to realize it’s something you need to do. But if you don’tknow the difference between search engine marketing and emailmarketing, it can be difficult to know what type of onlineadvertising could help your business.

Here’s a quick primer on some of the most popular types ofonline ad campaigns.

Banner/display ads – These ads resemble old-fashioned displayads in print media. You pay to have your ad appear on Web pagesthat you expect will be of interest to your target customers.

Text ads – A text ad may appear as a simple hyperlink on a pagesuch as a news website frequented by your potential customers.

Natural search and search engine optimization – in which youbuild the content and code of your Web page in such a way that itattracts the attention of search engines – are among the mosteffective and popular forms of online advertising.

Pay-per-click and paid search – Your advertisement is displayedon a Web page of interest to customers, and you’re charged eachtime a user clicks on your ad. Or, you pay to have your websiteincluded in search engine results pages for keywords that pertainto your business; this is called “paid search.” With paid search,you pay for the ranking and again when a user clicks on yourlisting. The major search engines all offer some form of thisadvertising with tools like Google Adwords, Yahoo! SearchMarketing, Microsoft AdCenter and Facebook Ads.

Keeping track of multiple campaigns can be especiallychallenging. Many small businesses rely on a management tool suchas SearchManager by American Express to help keep track ofcampaigns and results. The service allows you to view and managecampaigns through a single access point, eliminating the need toremember multiple logins and learn different interfaces. Acustomizable dashboard makes it easy to track results, make changesand ensure your advertising produces measurable results andincreased business.

SearchManager’s set of straightforward tools helps take thecomplexities out of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and providessmall businesses easy management across ad networks. To learn moreabout SearchManager and how it can help you advertise online, visit www.searchmanager.com.