Articles in the Digital Marketing 101 – The Basics Category

Once you get the hang of it, digital marketing can seem like old hat. Before then, it’s important to learn the basics. In our Digital Marketing 101 blog posts, we offer an education into the ins and outs of the digital marketing landscape. Read these blog posts to learn digital marketing basics, such as creating campaigns, writing effective ad copy, and more.

March 17 2008

The Weak Dollar Presents the Need to Expand Targeting Parameters

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As a Client Strategist, I am often the person that my clients go to for advice about their CPC campaigns and reaching their target audience. Recently, I have had several of my US based clients interested in targeting the Canadian market. Their interest stems from the struggling US economy and a desire to broaden their targeting parameters.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past several months, you are aware that the US dollar is extremely weak right now. I am sure that many of you are experiencing the hole in your wallet while filling up your SUV and/or taking a trip to the grocery store. It seems that the cost of everything is increasing dramatically, while the US dollar decreases in value. Several businesses are feeling the effects of the weakened dollar and are desperate to market their product/service outside of the struggling US economy.

According to a recent article I read, the United States Department of Commerce released 2007 tourism figures that demonstrated how the weak US dollar is bringing more people from overseas to the United States, especially people from Europe. At the end of February, the Euro was trading above 1.5 dollars- which was an all time record. It seems that people who are coming from overseas are taking advantage of the weak US Dollar by buying property within the United States, going on shopping excursions, and traveling to different areas of the United States that they may not have traveled to before. I cannot blame them! The value of the Euro surpasses the Dollar, therefore resulting in more “Bang For Their Buck”, or in this instance their Euro.

Therefore, if you consider setting your target parameters to areas outside of the United States, Canada might seem like the next logical place due to the common language, but don’t forget about Europe. With the value of the Euro at a record high, it might be beneficial to reach this target audience, especially if you are a real estate or travel company. Some of the concerns one might face, could be: how a company from overseas will react to a US based company/product, how a US based company will handle the language barrier, and the ignorance about an international market in general. Although those are valid concerns, I think it is worth the effort to investigate the situation and evaluate expanding the target parameters. There are several people interested in coming over to the US right now for plenty of different reasons, such as the ones mentioned above. Capitalize on their interest and increase your sales revenue by testing and targeting different markets. You never know how it could work, until you try it!

March 13 2008

Back to Basics

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With all the advanced internet marketing tactics out there; I thought it might be a good time to get back to the basics. Not everyone is as experienced as the next; and with all the different techniques and terms, it’s easy for a beginner to get confused. The purpose of this post is to help novice internet marketers and business owners get a grasp of some common terminologies being used within internet marketing.

SEO:
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search engine optimization is the process of enhancing your website’s architecture to achieve higher organic rankings within the search engines. SEO is a continuous process that should be implemented on a daily basis. There are many tactics to search engine optimization; and the qualifications set by the engines are dynamic and ever changing.

SEM/PPC:
SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. Many people easily get confused between SEO and SEM. Search engine marketing refers to your paid efforts within the search engines. Aside from natural results, most search engines also have a space for paid search listings. These paid listings usually appear at the top and on the right hand side of the search results page. There are different formulas that the engines use to determine the rank of your paid listing. Some engines rank you solely based upon the price you are willing to pay per click; and some base the rankings upon a number of factors, including but not limited to, keyword bid, click through rate, ad copy, and relevant content on your website/landing page. Most engines operate their paid listings on a PPC basis. PPC stands for pay per click. This method allows the advertiser to only pay for actual clicks as opposed to other methods such as CPM; where the advertiser is paying for every 1,000 impressions. With PPC an ad may appear in the search results 10,000 times, but if the ad was only clicked on ten times, you are only paying for 10 clicks. This structure is very attractive to advertisers as they are solely paying to drive relevant traffic to their website that should result in an increase in conversion rates.

CPC:
CPC stands for cost per click. This refers to the dollar amount you are willing to pay for a visitor to your website. Depending on your industry and competition; CPC’s can range from $0.01 to $10, $20 or even $50. Remember that when determining your ad’s placement, many search engines now take more factors into account than just your CPC.

ROAS:
ROAS stands for Return On Ad Spend. When it all boils down; ROAS may be the most important metric to study. A great advantage to SEO and SEM, as opposed to more traditional marketing methods, is that you are able to track your ROAS more closely. With all of the analytic programs out there, it is relatively easy to monitor your efforts and fine tune them as needed; ultimately increasing your ROAS.

March 13 2008

When it comes to a Google search, patience is not an option!

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You have just searched in Google for a specific product. You are ready to buy and your credit card is in hand. But wait! The page will not load. Annoyed and agitated, you click on the next ad to make your purchase. Let’s face the facts; time is a precious commodity and patience is not something people have a lot of (online shoppers in particular). That being said, there are few things more frustrating than clicking on a paid advertisement and then having to wait for the page to load. Most shoppers simply will not wait and as a result you (the marketer) pay for that click and unfortunately get absolutely nothing from it. You didn’t even get the chance to show what you have to offer! In addition, this will certainly increase your bounce rate and do absolutely nothing to improve your conversion rate or quality score.

It is always important to have your website pages load efficiently and accurately, but even more so now that Google has announced that they will be incorporating “landing page quality” into their quality score. Your quality score is a critical piece of the puzzle within Google in terms of paid rankings. The better your quality score, the better your positions. Google has always tried to provide the user with the best possible experience and this new metric should be in place in the next few weeks. Thus, all online marketers should take this time to ensure that their web pages are up to speed, literally and figuratively. Check out the latest buzz from Google!

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