If your responsibility is to increase online revenue, you'll need the right resources.

Investing in a search marketing campaign is like spending money on any other type of marketing. The costs parallel the challenges. And everyone's challenges are different. Robust campaigns generally start around $30,000, require 6-8 weeks to implement and result in benefits as diverse as the campaigns themselves.

The scope of search engine optimization and marketing is extensive in regards to application and implementation. Search marketing—also known as Web site marketing, Internet marketing and Web site promotion—can help create a solid Internet foundation on which your business can build.

Because every business is unique, your first task is to clearly identify what it is you want to accomplish. Do you want more brand visibility? Do you want to reach a specific audience? Obtain a higher position in Google? Increase online sales?

After you identify your business goals, partner with a reputable search engine marketer (SEM)—also known as a search engine optimization (SEO) company. These specialize in the technology that generates traffic and positions for clients. A knowledgeable, experienced SEM/SEO can assist you every step of the way while keeping the best interests of your business in mind.

But before we delve into the fundamentals of how search engine marketing can increase your online revenues, let's take a look at some of the benefits of successful search engine marketing to get a sense of what can be accomplished.

Consider the following examples:

  • A nationally recognized healthcare complex made $185 for every dollar spent on search engine optimization and marketing during its first year. The healthcare company's goals were to increase Web traffic and target a specific audience that would, ultimately, improve the quality of its traffic. The comprehensive campaign included keyword and Web site architecture analysis, optimization of Web site and press release content, and the installation of tracking technology that monitors and evaluates the healthcare facility's investment.

  • A 75-year-old Fortune 500 cataloger of business and institutional supplies now has more than 650 keywords in Top 10 search engine positions and more than 940 keywords in Top 30 search engine positions—up from nothing in the course of just one year.

  • A nationally recognized furniture manufacturer, working within a tight budget and with a limited number of keywords, optimized for several highly competitive terms. After optimization, the furniture manufacturer reached more than 100 "Top 10" search engine positions and more than 130 "Top 30" search engine positions for these highly competitive terms.

  • A specialty grocer's homepage was as rare in the search engine listings as the unique, hard-to-find products it sold. After a year of search engine optimization, the grocer has sold $7 for every dollar invested in its search engine marketing campaign.

  • An international chemical giant needed to fix problems created by a previous search engine practitioner. It also wanted to increase traffic and educate a targeted audience. In less than a year, the company reached its traffic goals and moved from six Top 10 positions in the search engines to 500. Top 30 positions rose from 20 to more than 680.

This is just a small sample of cases where the right combination of resources and talent significantly increased online revenues for a business.

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Lisa Wehr is president of Oneupweb. For more information, visit oneupweb.com.