Browsing "search engine marketing"
Search Engine Marketing (SEM); – SEM, paid search, Pay Per Click (PPC) – why would this particular form of online advertising appear to be just about recession-proof? Google’s continued growth in such a down market is just one example of how SEM continues to grow at a faster pace than nearly any other form of marketing.
It is expected that SEM/PPC will grow at a rate of 13% a year up to 2013, even where print, broadcast and other offline mediums are stagnating or declining.
What is it exactly that seems to make SEM recession-proof? SEM does what marketers need a marketing medium to do in a down economy: it generates better returns on the smaller budgets organisations have to work with.
The true power of Search Engine Marketing lies in the fact that a search user is telling the advertiser exactly what he or she is looking for, and search engines provide the relevant results to the user. Other forms of advertising by contrast push a message to the consumers who may or may not be interested in them.
The fact that advertisers place their messages in an environment that is relevant to the user mean that SEM is a powerful tool for branding as well as achieving customer acquisitions and conversions.
SEM is cost-effective and efficient. Because you are getting the right message to the right people, at the right time, there is far less wastage than there is in most other forms of advertising.
The flexibility which SEM provides is another key strength. One could easily set up a branding campaign that will see a longer tail of keywords and the possible use of the content network. The focus is on achieving critical mass or to reach it in a cost-effective manner. Sales-driven campaigns by contrast, will be more targeted with a strong ROI focus.
Around the world, industry is buying into search. Research conducted by Forrester in Asia Pacific, North America and Europe shows that 85% of marketers are using, piloting or planning to pilot search marketing programmes this year.
Search marketing should be a cornerstone of any marketing strategy. Any company which isn’t visible when users are looking for their services or products online is throwing away opportunities to capture new sales and customers.
Winnipeg, Canada January 13, 2009 — The Fresh Traffic Group is proud to announce the launch of their new Canadian website www.freshtraffic.ca which showcases all their new and existing services for the search engine marketing industry. The site also uses enhanced SEO methods to affirm their position in the SEO marketing industry.
The site features easy navigation and more informative pages and; internet SEO tools to help visitors better understand the detailed services they offer and their benefits.
“We felt it was time to use the wealth of information and results we have achieved to better represent ourselves in the North American market. Our services needed to be clearer to the captive audience we are looking to approach, and its imperative we give them the facts quickly to ensure they have come to the right place”, says David Guspodarchuk, Sales Manager of Fresh Traffic Group.
“New products used to get a traditional introduction to the marketplace,” says President Jerry Booth. “A company would send out a press release and advertise in the paper, on TV or on the radio, and a website would be created to highlight the new product’s capabilities. But now, product launches involve a new strategy that focuses on social networking, SEO, link-building, website optimization and content creation, integrated into many of the traditional marketing and public relations techniques already in use.”
Mr. Booth further states, “Recent events where history has been made show how times have changed. You still need to do all the traditional work with websites to list high in search engines like Google & Yahoo, but we have now integrated traditional media and marketing strategies with new media and social media services. Fresh Traffic offers a personalized approach to communication practices in areas such as; marketing strategy and marketing intelligence; internal positioning and reputation management; brand management; public relations and media relations; and small business consulting and global marketing practices. “
“Fresh has just been awarded the Top SEO Company for the second month in a row by Search Tech which confirms our leadership position in the SEO industry,” comments Mr. Booth. “Although every employee at Fresh is proud to work for the best SEO Company in Canada, we are not satisfied. Indeed, we are restless. In order to achieve many more number one rankings for our company, we must build on our success, not rest on it.”
About Fresh Traffic Group – www.freshtraffic.ca
Fresh Traffic Group, operated by former Director of Google UK, Jerry Booth, specializes in organic search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), helping company websites to place high on the pages of the major search engines such as; Google, MSN and Yahoo. The company is headquartered on the 16th floor of the CanWest Global Building in Winnipeg, MB Canada.
For further information or to book an appointment to meet, contact: David Guspodarchuk, Sales Manager, 204-942-4200 ext. 2225
If the headlines threatening a global economic meltdown are causing you to rethink your search marketing strategy, you’ll probably have considered taking your paid search campaigns back in house, shelving your PPC campaigns entirely or turning your hand to organic optimization in a bid to reduce marketing costs.
However you’re cutting costs, organic search shouldn’t be the area in which you skimp. Organic traffic is often more qualified, more interested and less expensive than traffic accrued in any other way, making it a safe bet when times are lean. Unfortunately, a good SEO campaign can also cost serious bucks so it’s important to spend dollars wisely when all the indicators point to a nationwide financial slump.
There are several ways to make an SEO campaign a good investment during an economic downturn. One option is to focus on a single core area, giving you a performance focused optimization strategy based on tried and tested market share. Good SEO during a bad economy should never be a dressed up attempt to crack a new market – if the bottom line is being closely scrutinized, it’s not the time for experiments. Instead, efforts should be built around increasing the online presence of one best selling product or service with its own proven track record.
All search engine optimization activity needs clearly defined objectives and if the main thrust is to increase inbound leads or actual sales figures, targeting an individual business area makes the end result much more attainable. The example I often give here is to think of a house in need of decoration. Problem is you only have one can of paint. Do you choose to spread the can thinly around the whole house and do a mediocre job in every room or do you focus on just one room and do a proper job? When cash is short this mindset can be successfully applied to SEO. Choosing a product that has performed well previously also means you have historic data to base marketing decisions on. There’s also the confidence borne of a previous warm reception that ensures the new optimisation campaign is not wasted as an R and D exercise.
It goes without saying that a carefully constructed plan of attack is an intrinsic part of successful search marketing activity. Remembering this basic missive will provide structure and symmetry, especially if money worries have resulted in an in-house campaign. Like going into battle, each detail must be meticulously planned. Roles must be assigned and understood if a pared down campaign is to be successful. Just because you’re operating on a budget and targeting wary consumers is not an excuse for poor performance. Turning good into great means spending extra time on the details; you can’t just write off missed opportunities and forgotten deadlines in a fiercely competitive, recession-fearing market. To minimise this risk, gather a small, well drilled team who can each carry out a specific task. Giving others responsibilities maximises effectiveness as each person can play to their own strengths. Doubling the workforce also means twice as many hours can go into optimisation
At this stage of recession time SEO, you can tick off the usual starting points such as deciding on keywords, assessing the site for content changes and identifying link partners. Most importantly if your campaign is to bear fruit, decide on and implement reporting structures. Good SEO is accountable and measurable. If you can’t envisage using the data your reporting systems provide to write a performance testimony at monthly intervals, your SEO is not sufficient to survive economic turmoil. In order to justify SEO spend when times are hard, the number of sales, revenue generated, value of web presence secured and brand penetration of the campaign must all be available as real time metrics. If you can go into a meeting and say this piece of content resulted in 10 new customers, or traffic from this inbound link led to 15 referrals, you can be confident your optimisation activity is overcoming economic hurdles and adding value to your bottom line. If your reporting doesn’t give you this luxury, it will be difficult to justify ongoing spend on search marketing.
Use Social Media
Social networks provide an incredibly useful word of mouth buzz at a fraction of the cost of expensive pay per click and banner campaigns if done correctly. If you’ve only so far used sites like Squidoo and Blogger to build links, shame on you. These social media sites are a hot bed of peer to peer recommendation and consumer review. Now more than ever, a good social media campaign can build brand loyalty, secure new business and propel more relevant traffic than ever before. The key to incorporating social media in organic search marketing activity is to recognise it for what it is; not a place to preach ad messages but an interactive arena and space for conversation. Embrace this grassroots environment, provide content that respects and adds value to the conversation and your SEO will shine despite the gloom of financial forecasts.
Small firms urged to consider search engine marketing
Small businesses could do more to take advantage of the benefits of search engine marketing.
This is according to Microsoft, which has released the findings of a new survey suggesting that six in ten US small businesses with a website currently do not make use of search marketing services.
The study also found that 86 per cent of the 400 small business owners surveyed were fearful they may be missing out on ways to grow their operations, with three-quarters of respondents saying it was likely that consumers search online for their offerings.
A quarter of firms said they felt search advertising was too complicated for them, while 35 per cent admitted that they would require the services of a search engine marketing agency to help them with such campaigns.
“By investing in paid search marketing, small businesses can track online sales and determine the return on investment for their campaigns, while at the same time boosting traffic and visibility for their websites,” Brian Boland, director of adCenter at Microsoft Advertising, commented.
Recent research by the Federation of Small Businesses showed that 70 per cent of small firms in the UK currently have their own website.
The online marketing strategy of search engine optimization [SEO] could prove to be an asset for those working in nonprofit organisations,according to researchers.
A team working at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management discovered that search marketing can prove to be a cost-effective strategy and therefore useful for non-profit groups.
It also suggested that using keywords to boost SEO could attract the attention of potential benefactors, which could provide a welcome boost during the economic downturn.
The researchers stated in their report: “The compilation, selection, and evaluation of search engine keywords are vitally important to any Search Engine Marketing campaign.”
Last week, ITV released the results of a poll, which discovered that respondents claim prefer overlay advertisements to pre-roll advertisements.
For some reason, some clients tend to look at Organic SEO like a vending machine. Almost as if they want to put their money in a slot and instantly want the prize. Organic SEO depends on the climate of the competition, the industry and variables such as the content on your pages, if your site is new, if your website has links or if it is virtually unknown. The list of potential obstacles that an optimization specialist has to overcome oftentimes seems insurmountable in comparison to the expectations of a client.
In the event that time is not a luxury one can afford for long term results, there is pay per click marketing. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for solid organic placement, but before getting there, oftentimes an education and above all clarity needs to be established between the SEO company and the client before embarking on a voyage into the raging waters of the search engine marketing.
Patience may be a virtue, but in SEO it is the cornerstone to long lasting organic search results. If you have a newer website that barely ranks for your company name and you hire an SEO company with the expectation of taking over a 2 word phrase with 5,000,000 pages competing for that term, what likelihood do you have of achieving search engine domination (that lasts) within a month? 2 months?, 3 months?, bleak…you see the point. To acquire such (in the real world) and not just theoretically would mean that you would have had to start somewhere (with related keywords) to chip away at the tail or the term (sometimes for 3-6 months), before even considering attacking the head. Not to mention that your ranking potential is to a great extent based on your link popularity. Now those of you who are not familiar with link building, here is an analogy.
Say for example that you want to appear for a search term that sparsely appears for a fleeting moment on your website, you don’t really want to change your content and you want fast results (all SEO’s raise their hand if they have had to deal with clients like this) then I have news for you. Your better breaking it to them that they are better off sticking risk vs. reward, no guarantee, pay per click marketing. At least then they know what their getting, a shot at the top, with no safety net. One can easily burn through 2-3 times as much money using PPC than just observing a bit of patience to organically occupy a top 10 spot and have the users click happily ever after when they visit your site free of the toll of the PPC troll. But to expect this from Organic SEO right out of the box (from a newer site – less than a year old) is simply contrary to the principles (mainly the algorithms) that control organic rankings.
What is the solution?
So what can you do if you are interested in increasing your rankings without spending a fortune? Invest your time in (a) looking at the top tier websites that are returned for the search terms you are coveting and (b) be frank with yourself to determine what those websites have that yours does not. Do they have 1000 pages and you have 3, do they have 25,000 back links to their site and you have 28, trust me details like this matter. What can you emulate and what can you do today to make changes that can provide relevance for your website aside from wishful thinking…
All kidding aside, if you are considering what it would take to be on top, usually the first thing to consider is what you need to be doing differently that can aid the process that is already known for being conducive with top 10 rankings. Because frankly, if you were doing that already, your wouldn’t need SEO to begin with. So if you are afraid of change, or quite simply just don’t have the time to commit 3 hours a day to your site (minor tweaks, revisions, polishing the content, building links, socially bookmarking to promote, etc) then your better off hiring an SEO company who does know how, and that can avoid the pitfalls in the first place.
Start from the ground up, content is the key
Organic SEO is based on maximizing the content on your pages to achieve the right balance of word density (percentage of keywords to non keywords) as well as proper use of signal flares or signifying elements that say HEY OVER HERE, HERE I AM, when it comes to that term. Not that repetition for the sake of redundancy occurs (otherwise known as SPAM), but your message should be clear, themed and concise, while being informative, compelling and engaging to consume (otherwise known as sticky) to ensure sales and conversion.
If you are a bit on the shallow side on the links, you can sign up for the Yahoo Directory to get the ball rolling, it’s the best $299 one could spend on investing in their websites instant recognition based on the process of affiliation with one of the oldest directories online. One site which was less than a year old went from a page rank 0 to a page rank 4, just on the strength of Yahoo’s back link, so this is a start.
My suggestion is to build links for about 3-5 months gradually sprinkling the terms you want to rank for in the anchor text (the text in the link) that reference your site. The idea is to have a balance of broad search terms as well as a combination of exact match terms to dial in the net and funnel the potential searches that may have any number of keywords that pertain to your industry. In this way, your site can become a catch all for various top 10 searches and create inroads with search engines as an authority in your industry.
This is what link building is for, building authority, from there once your website is viewed in that capacity, you can work smarter not harder to rank for more competitive terms. This is not intended to be interpreted as a tutorial, but rather a needed statement to address all of the misconceptions about organic rankings.
Organic SEO can work fast, but it depends on variables and since no two sites are alike, what works for one, may not work for another. Competition and the industry have the greatest impact on this part of the equation. Real estate vs. ant farming, sure you could rank in the top 10 for the best ant farmer, but then again the daily search volume may be 3 people a day if that.
The point being, the market is based on supply and demand and as any commodity is in great demand, it is taxed accordingly. In this case, the search engines view this as a commitment of time and energy. Visibility and links are crucial, but finding the right combination of old and new links as well as being present in the headlines, social scenes and other known factors that can produce rankings are all investments of time. So the next time you wonder why SEO companies charge so much, this should provide some incite into the logic behind the equation. They are essentially micro-managing thousands of steps and protocols, analyzing the results and systematically applying fundamentals to give your website the proper balance so that it appeals to the hungry, yet picky spiders and bots, whose purpose it is to catalog and retrieve useful content.
If you don’t make the grade, you can always build a few more links, clean up your code, your content and your act and then wait for them to breeze through again and catch a glimpse of your wares. If they like what they see, you should be ranking in no time flat. But if the results you are seeking fall short of your expectations, then it is either you than must come to terms with what you want and where your at, so that you can make the needed adjustments to find a happy medium between on-page SEO, off-page link building until you achieve your goal.
Online advertising spend in the US is set to outgrow the amount spent in newspapers by 2011, according to a new study.
Figures from the Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) report predict that internet advertising will grow by more than 21 per cent per year to reach a total of $62 billion in 2011, exceeding the predicted $60 billion spent on newspapers.
It was also shown that spending on alternative advertising, including internet, mobile, video games and digital out-of-home, grew by 36.6 per cent last year to $26.53 billion. In stark contrast, traditional advertising spend only grew by 2.4 per cent to $183.21 billion over the same period.
James Rutherfurd, executive vice president and managing director at VSS, commented: “Leading national advertisers have accelerated their diversion of dollars from traditional print and broadcast media to alternative digital platforms to combat media and audience fragmentation, increased consumer control and multitasking, and the growing impact of advanced technology on conventional media models.
“The result has been the extraordinary growth of alternative advertising and marketing.”
A separate survey by Burst Media highlighted the fact that the internet has become very important in many women’s lives, which is great news for internet advertisers.
Boost your web presence with link building.
The motivation to write this post came after reading Todd’s post regarding Negotiations and Client Sales for SEO Consultants. Todd’s post is about how to handle selling a prospect when they call you for SEO Consulting. My post is about the opposite scenario. It’s how an SEO Consultant can sell a prospect when the SEO Consultant initiates the call (cold calling). Sales is a necessary part of every business ( as uncomfortable as it may be ).
When I worked at Did-it, they invested in training all employees on Sandler Sales Training (no relation). In my opinion, that’s was a very smart corporate strategy/edge. Pattern Interrupt, Mirroring, and Reverse Selling were a big part of it.
One of the sales trainers called my voice mail, pretending to be making a sales call. He didn’t do half-bad with only getting a 10 second prep on what is SEM. Below is my transcription:
Hi Jay, this is Your Name calling. This is kinda an ackward call…we haven’t actually spoken before…maybe if I took a brief second to explain why I called, you could decide whether we should continue or not?
[Prospect says, “Sure”.]
Okay. Great. First, I’m calling from a company called Did-it. We specialize in managing Search Engine Marketing campaigns. What we do…uhh…it might not make any sense for you. But, typically, the companies or people I speak with like yourself that are interested in having a conversation…they may complain to me about things like…CPC prices are going up, and their ROI is going down, they know there is a lot of business is out there on the web, and each deal is worth a lot of money for us, but we’re just having a challenge pulling it in. They’re really not sure what to do. Paid Search is getting more & more challenging.
Now here’s the thing. At this point, I’ll leave it up to you. I don’t know if you’re having any issues like that. Are you experiencing any challenges with Paid Search?
Then ask PAIN QUESTIONS:
1. Tell me more about that.
2. Is that a big deal?
3. How long has it been going on?
4. How does that affect you?
5. That stinks.
If he says, “Not interested”. Say….
Really? Sounds like we’re done. Can I just ask you a research question? If there is one aspect that you could improve in your Search campaign…What would it be? What keeps you up at night?” [Listen to him]
I know we said it’s over. But, you should know you’re not alone. That’s exactly the kind of thing we work on. However, I need to learn more about your business & campaign before I can be absolutely sure we can help you. If you don’t have time now, would you like to schedule another time to speak about that specific issue?
For a PPC Consultant, work into the conversation some operational questions like:
1. What are your Campaign objecties ( Share of Traffic, ROI, CPA, Position, CPC, etc.)
2. Monthly spend?
3. What engines are you on?
4. How many keywords?
5. Are you using any technology for Bid Mgmt and Conversion tracking?
6. How are you optimizing the campaigns now?
7. Do you have a creative strategy?
8. Are you doing any testing? (What are you testing?) (ad copy, positions, keywords, landing pages)?
9. Are you doing any Local Search vs. Global reach?
10. Are you doing any Demographic Targeting?
11. Are you managing your Search campaign or is it outsourced?
12. Have you tested high-cost phrases vs. low-cost phrases to see which delivers a better ROI?
13. Are you using Keyword Matching Options like Broad Match, “Phrase Match”, Negatives, and [Exact Match]?
For an SEO Consultant, here are some conversation starter questions:
1. Are you equipped to handle an increase in business?
2. How are you driving traffic to your site now?
3. Is the landing page that appears in the SERP’s the one you want to appear?
4. Do you know what percentage of your Share of Traffic is for your Keywords?
5. Have you conducted a Keyword Analysis?
6. How much traffic are you getting now? Organic vs. Paid?
7. What are your highest traffic keywords?
8. Do you use Web Analytics?
9. Have you previously done any SEO on your site?
Posted by Shimon Sandler