Browsing "search marketing"
Understanding what your competitors are doing in terms of online strategy is an absolute priority when launching a new website that is entering a competitive space. By knowing what your rivals are doing in their SEO and social media space, not only will be able to discern their online marketing strategy, but you can also emulate what is working for them, and generate internal ideas to stay proactive.
Furthermore, by understanding what your competition is doing in terms of on-site SEO, link building, social media marketing, developing third party properties and other search marketing tactics; you can also identify tactics which are working from them (or not working for them), that you can improve upon, and thrive from in your overall marketing strategy.
And who doesn’t love pretending to be a spy every once in a while?
The first step to identify your competition is by checking out the search results for your keywords for which you’d like to be listed. Do not look only at keywords which drive the most traffic, but also the longtail search terms.
After you have identified the sites you need to monitor as part of your intel, start looking into the on-site SEO factors which help them rank in the search engines. You may find not only what they are doing right, but what you are doing wrong. When forming a competitive SEO report, it’s suggested to include your own site in the report and even having a third party have a look at your results, say an SEO consultant.
Not only do onsite tactics assist with the ranking of a website, but more importantly the off-site SEO tactics benefit the competitive advantage to boost a site from the bottom of the front page on Google, into the top five.
By discerning the off-site SEO tactics, and social media tactics, you can get a strong sense for the link building strategies, their participation in blogs, sites they may own which are harnessing social media traffic, if SEM is working for them, and their standing on Delicious, Digg and in vertically targeted social networks. All of these factors have a direct influence on search engine rankings and you will not only learn what your competition is doing, but you can find, and use what they are not. And by identifying these holes, oversights or even genius ideas … and applying them to your marketing strategy, you can propel yourself within your industry.
This can be a lot of information to monitor, and you’ll probably want to add more industry specific terms to your research dependent upon how SEO savvy your market is. But in the long run by documenting this information now, and revisiting it, you will have a pinpoint idea of the tactics your rivals are utilizing, which they are not, and even what they are changing to keep up.
Some additional recconaissance you can do, monitor their listings on job search engines to identify the internal positions they are hiring for or have, like SEO Manager or Social Media Marketing Assistant. In this way, you may gather some insight as to what they are planning in the future, which may assist you with getting the jump on the competition.
If you need any help with the tools needed to perform a lot of this research, feel free to contact Freshtraffic and we’ll be sure to assist you.
I think Danny Sullivan first described search as a “reverse broadcast system”. It’s a great way to describe the value of search, and how to approach search in terms of marketing.
I liken search engines to being a ‘reverse broadcast network.’ People pay tons to be on television because you can get your message out in front of millions of people: broadcasting. With search engines, millions of people are telling you *their* messages: what they want to buy, purchase or get information about. You don’t broadcast to them; instead, it’s the reverse, they broadcast to you. There’s very little if anything as a marketing or information medium that I can think of that compares to this. It’s golden and still today amazingly unrecognized.
In search marketing, you prosper when you let your visitors determine your content. They broadcast their intent to you, by phrasing a search query, so you should listen to that intent, and respond by providing appropriate content. Google does the match-making.
If you hear your agency, consultant or service provider make any of these five statements, consider running.
1.) Hi, I’m Mike from XXX National Directory/Search/Ad Network Company, and I am a Marketing Consultant with the company. I am here to help you build your marketing plan.
RUN! FAST! Nothing against these folks (really), but selling Yellow Pages or even a “boxed” pay-per-click solution does not make you a marketing consultant. It makes you someone that is trying to sell Yellow Pages or a “boxed” pay-per-click solution. There’s nothing wrong with selling. God knows we all do it in some form or fashion, but please don’t try to mislead people by calling yourself a marketing consultant.
Clarification: If you are in fact interesting in purchasing what essentially amounts to an advertising package, by all means engage with these folks. Just don’t expect to get any marketing strategy advice out of them.
2.) If you choose us for your SEO project, we can guarantee multiple top 10 rankings on your targeted keywords.
I thought these people had gone away, but it appears they’re back in full force. And I can’t blame clients for listening. When someone tells you they can guarantee results, it’s hard to ignore.
That being said, let’s all say this together: SEO is not a quick fix, set it and forget it solution for driving traffic . The best SEO strategies I’ve seen involve a long-term commitment to the creation of relevant content, building that content in multiple formats, and finding multiple distribution channels for that content.
I am guessing there are companies that make an SEO guarantee and do follow through on it. I am also guessing that those guarantees are made on keywords like “patent attorneys that also handle divorce cases in reston virginia”.
3.) You really can’t afford to wait on addressing social media. We should build out your presence on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter right away.
Stop. Please. We all realize that social media is important, even though it’s getting a bit crowded. Like anything else though, you shouldn’t build anything if it doesn’t fit into a more strategic plan.
Some of these groups will bait you with the promise of thousands of Twitter followers, Facebook friends, or LinkedIn connections overnight. Great. Go ahead and recruit thousands of followers, all of whom could care less about your message. They’re following you because they’re trolling for followers as well. And the followers/friends/connections you do want? You’ll turn them off quick with the hundreds of meaningless updates you’ll have to post to accumulate all the meaningless followers.
Build a social media strategy. Make sure it ties back to your overall marketing strategy. Then join, listen, learn, and eventually execute. It’s that simple.
And one more thing, and I know this will be painful for some “social media gurus” to hear. Social media is NOT a necessity, nor is it necessarily effective, for every business and business category.
4.) We know you think of us as a print design shop, but just last week we added capabilities in web design and development, search engine optimization, pay-per-click management, email marketing, social media…oh, and we can also handle your dry cleaning if necessary.
Wow, just last week huh? So you must have hired an entire new team right? Nope. Acquired a company that specializes in those areas? Nope. Formed a joint venture with a web marketing agency? Not so much.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with trusting a marketing service provider that has done you right over the years and who is now claiming to offer new services. Just make sure you probe a bit or execute a small trial project before diving in head first.
5.) You shouldn’t cut back on your marketing/advertising spend in a recession. As a matter of fact, I was reading in Business Week (or insert another referenced publication) that the companies that spend MORE during a recession end up as the top brands years later.
So your client just laid off half his/her staff, notified remaining staff that salaries and bonus levels have been frozen for the time being, cancelled plans to open the new office in the commuter-friendly downtown location…and you’re going to bring the “increase your marketing spend” message?
Don’t get me wrong. Increasing marketing spending may be right for certain companies; we’ve even seen a few of those up close and personal in the last few months. But the first move – as an agency, consultant or service provider – should be to figure out how to spend your client’s marketing dollars more efficiently.
Petsecure Pet Health Insurance, Canada’s leader in pet insurance, has announced that they have engaged the services of Fresh Traffic Group to drive qualified sales leads to their website and strengthen their brand online.
“Since undergoing a major rebranding of Petsecure in early 2008, we have seen a noticeable difference in how people are finding us online. We identified our placement on the search engines as one of the major areas to invest for this years marketing budget. We understand that to achieve high placement on the search engines, the best approach is to hire an SEO expert to consult us on the optimum way forward online,” says President of Petsecure Randy Valpy. “We were pleasantly surprised to find that a former Director of Google UK was headquartered right here in Winnipeg. We are confident that by engaging his company we can regain our position as leaders online for pet insurance in Canada.”
Comments Fresh Traffic President Jerry Booth, “We are always proud when we have the opportunity to work with industry leaders. We hit it off immediately with the management team at Petsecure, and we are confident that we can help them restore their position as leaders online. We often meet with companies who have placed a great deal of accountability in their IT departments or web designers to handle the task of marketing online. The reality is that SEO is a completely different skill set than that of an IT professional or web designer. This is why we welcome the opportunity to work with a company like Petsecure who value the importance of our service. We are excited to show them the results that come with engaging the expertise of a company dedicated to search engine marketing.”
About Petsecure Pet Health Insurance.
Petsecure Pet Health Insurance, the core brand of SecuriCan General Insurance Company, is 100% Canadian-owned and operated. It is Canada’s first and leading pet insurance provider, helping to provide the best care for dogs and cats, and peace of mind for Canadian pet parents since 1989. Their signature member package, Secure For Life™, provides comprehensive accident & illness coverage, routine care for pets, plus member benefits including dental, alternative care and more.
For further information on Petsecure, please visit their web site at www.petsecure.com or contact Mika Sanson, Manager, Marketing & Communications at: 204-942-2999 ext. 7297, firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com
The economy is forcing travel search marketers to change the way they approach online marketing.
The travel vertical is already one of the most advanced groups of search marketers, but the industry has been under more pressure in recent months to make their campaigns count.
With business travel tanking, leisure travelers looking for deals, shrinking marketing budgets, and tougher competition than ever, the stakes are even higher.
You might think you have a handle on your target keywords, but in this economic environment, what your target travelers are looking for may have changed. Relax, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change your keyword focus to “cheap hotels,” “discount airfare/cruises,” or “travel deals,” but you may discover new areas of opportunity or searchers looking for value. Package deals, inclusive prices, and special offers may be something you haven’t optimized your content around before.
It’s also difficult to take a risk changing any of your title tags, page names, headings, and so forth if you’re already ranking reasonably well. But you could be leaving some traffic on the table if you aren’t including location data appropriately, or capitalizing on related searches (e.g., “lodging near any National Park/attraction” or “things to do in anytown, USA”). It’s an opportunity to create new pages and internal links targeted at these specific searches.
If successful, you may start experimenting by folding these concepts into your main pages, or just go for it and add to them now. You can always change it back if it doesn’t work.
The UK’s search engine marketing spend grew 11% year on year during the fourth quarter of 2008, according to a report.
Search spend increased by 14% between the third quarter and fourth quarter of 2008, according to a Search Engine Performance Report.
This reflects the trend for consumers and marketers to increase online activity during the busy Christmas trading period.
Google grew its overall UK market share from 82.6% to 88.2% year on year, largely as a result of its Google Content network which grew by 300% year on year.
The increase in market share by Google was in part at Yahoo!’s expense. Its market share dropped from 13.9% to 8.4% year on year.
Microsoft Live Search was able to maintain its presence in the UK market at 3.4% market share.
The increased level of search spend during Q4 can be in large part attributed to the strength of the online retail channel in price comparison and shopping efficiency, particularly for more established online brands who increased spend to reach revenue goals.