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March 21 2007

The Google Phone is Coming

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Google has been offering various applications for mobile devices, but it looks like they are about to get much more involved with the mobile industry. For months, there has been speculation that Google will enter the mobile phone arena, and now it looks like a reality — Google Exec confirms phone in the labs

Mobile Maps, Mobile email, and Mobile Search have been gaining traction recently, and Google’s entry into the mobile phone arena should only speed up the adoption of these newer technologies with the masses. In addition, Google will be sure to strike partnerships with mobile carriers, which should help to price the unit affordably.

Google’s decision to develop a mobile phone further validates the huge potential the Mobile Industry offers for online marketers.

March 20 2007

Optimized Landing Pages are not Optional

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There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration when optimizing a search engine marketing program. It is never as simple as just building a campaign in Google and turning it on. Yes, a quick-launch campaign will drive traffic to your site — but search engine marketing is about conversions. For those of us who want more than just traffic, we need to be willing to get involved on a deeper level.

This means that we need to be willing to think about where we’re sending that traffic. Getting the right people to click (though a critical task) is only half the battle. The other half involves getting them to fill out your form or purchase your product. Focusing on one half of the process to the exclusion of the other is a common — not to mention costly — mistake.

That’s why the importance of having optimized landing pages for your paid search traffic cannot be overstated. The following are some basic tips that can get you on the path to optimization.

1. Tailor the message on your landing page to reflect the message in your ad copy.
2. Use the keywords that brought searchers to your landing page on your landing page.
3. Keep it brief — less copy equals more conversions.
4. If you’re using a form to generate leads, keep it simple. Too many fields will drive searchers away.

Try to remember that the perfect ad copy attached to the perfect keyword is likely to generate well-qualified clicks — but clicks can’t be deposited into your checking account. Don’t forget the importance of landing pages, and the integral role they play in turning those clicks into cash.

March 19 2007

Media Buys: It’s more than just Search Engine Marketing…it’s Online Marketing!

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Each day Online Marketing is looking more and more like Global Marketing. You can place text ads on third party news source sites (Contextual Marketing) ala newspapers or magazines. Banner and Image ads can be placed on many websites as can also be done in any city with billboards. Google has recently launched its click to view video ads, which are basically 30 second TV commercials. Google has also launched its Beta test of radio ads which can be heard on Google partnered radio stations.

The great thing is that there are so many ad networks to choose from. For search engine marketing of course you have Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com to name a few. It is also rumored that WikiPedia is currently working on a search engine that may finally give Google the competition the online marketing world has been waiting for. You can run your Site Targeted or Contextual ad campaign on Google, Yahoo, AOL or AdBrite. MSN also has launched its Beta version of Contextual ad placements earlier this year. Banner ad campaigns can be created in Google, AOL, 24/7 and AdKnowledge. And if you want to get really creative, you can create brand recognition for your website through video advertising, which Google and Tremor Media seem to be the frontrunners in. Quigo looks to be focusing more on creating a video ad channel and bypassing image or banner ads. Finally, Google has recently launched a beta test for radio ads, which they are hoping will work better then the very expensive pay for call ads.

Sounds like a lot huh? Well, the great thing is there are so many different channels you can use now when creating an online marketing campaign for your website. Though it may be costly, creating brand awareness through each network can payoff. If you do move ahead with running campaigns on different networks, I suggest using an analytics tool to watch the different channels closely. Some networks can spend very fast and may not exactly work for your site, so you will need to optimize your campaign quickly if your ads aren’t returning any sales or conversions on each of the networks. The ad networks have created so much more then just using keywords for search engine marketing; they have created an online marketing arsenal that approach the searcher from every angle on the internet.

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