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May 22 2008

Microsoft proposes to buy Yahoo!, again.

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Microsoft Corp has proposed to buy Yahoo Inc’s search business, stopping short of a full-out merger. Earlier this month, Microsoft walked away from a proposal to acquire Yahoo for $47.5 billion. If the new deal is completed it would forge an alliance between the two companies that would represent an alternative means of competing with rival Google Inc. Microsoft confirmed on Sunday that it was talking with Yahoo about an alternative transaction that did not involve a full buyout.

The proposal from Microsoft would likely complicate ongoing discussions between Yahoo and Google. The two companies are still working on a possible search advertising partnership. Talks between Yahoo and Microsoft resumed after Microsoft insisted for two weeks that it had moved on from its pursuit of Yahoo. Yahoo shareholders criticized its board for mishandling negotiations with Microsoft. Last week Carl Icahn launched a proxy fight to force Yahoo to reopen talks with Microsoft and formally filed on Monday to nominate 10 new board members.

It seems that Microsoft is also interested in purchasing Facebook, which they already hold a small share of. Microsoft is definitely making moves to increase its market share. Google holds a 60 percent market share according to comScore. With a purchase of Yahoo’s search marketing company and possibly a purchase of Facebook, this would give Microsoft a great opportunity in gaining a larger piece of the internet pie.

May 12 2008

The Benefits of an Internet Ad Agency

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These days everybody wants your advertising dollars. “Give us your money and we will make you number one, give us your money and your business will double in profit.” But the real question every business person should be asking is, “What kind of ROI am I getting on my advertising dollars?” This question will weed out the competition. Why? Advertisers have no problems spending your money, but if you ask them to track where your money is being spent some of them will start to choke. However, that’s not the case with a good internet advertising company backing you. For once you can have your cake and eat it too.

Where are the Results?

First off, you don’t pay if there are no results. When is the last time your ad agency told you that if your TV, print or radio campaign didn’t drive traffic they would foot the entire bill. I used to work at a traditional ad agency and I didn’t hear those words come out of anyone’s mouth. It was always “well let’s see what we can do to improve it,” but no one was giving money back. In the case of internet advertising, when they click on your sponsored ad you pay for it and when they don’t click on your ad you don’t pay for it. Have you found a deal that good with a traditional ad agency? If you are one of the rare one’s who have, don’t let them go. If you’re one of the 99% whose paid and seen no results, you should consider internet advertising, especially since you can track it.

How can I track it?

Having access to track your ad and knowing your ROI is definitely a plus for any business person. Tools such as Google Analytics, Omniture, Hit Box, and others allow you to track the users that visit your site, in great detail. Google Analytics allows you to track what pages a user visited the most, what city they are searching from, what keywords caused the most conversions on your page and so much more. Lets do a hypothetical for a moment- What if you’re located in Kansas Missouri and you sell stuffed animals. Let’s say you’ve been thinking about expanding your business and opening up a 3rd location in a major city but you’re not sure where. You’ve thought about Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas and everyone’s been telling you to open a store in Atlanta. After looking at Google Analytics and checking your financial books you realize that 55% of your revenue is coming from the internet, and more than 35% of those people have searched to see if there is a store near them. Furthermore, you see that most of your internet conversions are coming from people located in Chicago. Bingo! Now you know where to open your second store. How easy was that? But you’re a busy business person and you don’t have time to track?

A Good Internet Ad Agency

That’s where More Visibility can help. We specialize in SEO and SEM and can help you reach your goals. We will look to see what keywords are driving traffic and which ones are taking up space and need to be removed. The best part is that we will show you how to use Google Analytics so you aren’t 100% dependent on us. We believe in educating our clients and treating them like partners. That way, when you’re flight is delayed at the airport at 10 PM at night you can login to Google Analytics and see your ROI and know your advertising dollars are being well spent.

The next time you think “Where should I spend my advertising dollars?” Think about your ROI, can you truly track it? Can you login to Google Analytics and say I’m spending $1000 a month and gaining $3000? When you truly consider your advertising company by these standards I guarantee you More Visibility will be one of the last one’s standing.

May 2 2008

Mobile Advertising – Is It Ready to Turn the Corner?

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Many marketers had predicted that 2007 was going to be the year that this advertising option would break through to the mainstream, but Mobile Advertising has still not begun to realize its huge potential. Slow growth of high speed networks and lack of an overall mobile internet audience have slowed the mass adoption by advertisers.

The recent introduction of flat-rate mobile plans and lower cost smart phones should help to expand the mobile phone user audience and increase mobile ad spending levels. According to eMarketer, worldwide mobile ad spending will grow from 2.7 billion in 2007 to over 19 billion in 2012. Text message (SMS) campaigns will likely account for the majority of the spend, with advertisers using the “walk before you run” approach before testing more complex campaigns with Mobile Search and Display formats.

Consumer costs continue to drop and mobile technology is improving, but there are still obstacles to overcome with mobile carrier constraints, user privacy, multiple ad formats, campaign tracking, and the unawareness of what the space can provide to an advertiser. 2008 probably wont be the year that Mobile Ads hit the mainstream, but its a good bet that Mobile Advertising will eventually rival Search Advertising.

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