Search Engine Marketing Blog

Cutting edge interactive advertising.

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a rapidly changing field rife with opportunities, but it takes expertise and experience to run optimal interactive advertising campaigns. When engaging in digital advertising, such as paid search, display media, social media advertising and remarketing, it's extremely important that your efforts are backed by knowledge and strategy. Here, our SEM experts provide the tips and information you can use to improve your campaigns, and your ROI. To stay up to date on our search engine marketing blog, subscribe to our feed.

February 19 2007

Your Link-Building Philosophy – Are You Doing it for the Right Reasons?

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What’s more important? Looking good, or being healthy? Though some would probably say “looking good” without any hesitation, I think we can all agree that if we were honest with ourselves, we would admit that health is just a tad more important than beauty. But what people rarely stop to think about is this: If you focus on getting healthy by eating right and exercising, you’ll end up improving your looks. The latter is a by-product of the former. However, the opposite is not always true. If you start with the wrong priority, focusing on looks rather than health, then you might feel pressured to take short cuts that actually compromise your well-being. In other words, objective is everything. If you aren’t doing it for the right reason, you’re less likely to do it the right way.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? The same is true with the linking strategies we employ for Search Engine Optimization. Take a moment to stop and think about why you’re doing it in the first place. What is your primary objective? Is your end goal to improve your search rankings? Or is it to increase the amount of qualified traffic your site receives? Is it the rankings that matter more? Or is it the conversions that follow them? The answer should be obvious: Conversions are what count; high search rankings are just another means of getting them.

If you really think about it, links are not important because they improve your natural rankings; they’re important because they drive qualified traffic to your site. Try to forget about search engine optimization for a moment, and start thinking about what’s best for your business. If your goal is to increase conversions, then one of the first steps you take should involve building up a network of links with popular sites and directories thematically related to yours. By doing so, you’ll kill two birds with one stone. Not only will your conversions increase, but so will your natural search rankings.

If, on the other hand, high search rankings are all you can think about, then you’ll probably make some bad linking decisions. You’ll chase after links for the sake of having links, forgetting why the engines value them in the first place. But the engines are smarter than they used to be. They know what’s best for your business. The question is: Do you?

February 15 2007

Choosing Keywords – Quality vs. Quantity

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When I start new campaigns for clients and perform the keyword analysis for a specific web site, I often get the common question: How many keywords should I use? Selecting a large quantity of keywords may result in more impressions, but if the keywords don’t accurately describe what the company offers, they may be doing more harm than good. One example would be a consulting firm that helps businesses to improve their performance. The word “improve business performance” appears on the site many times and is very relevant to what the firm offers. This keyword may get a lot of clicks but the question is whether searchers are really looking to improve their business performance with a firm. It’s possible that they may be looking to read about it or benchmark for their business, or they could be looking for free ideas and articles; not necessarily willing to pay a firm to help them. As an advertiser, put yourself in the place of the person that needs your service. What would you type in a search engine in order to find a business consulting firm?

You’d probably type “business consulting firms” or even “business consultant”. In order to build a successful campaign, think about keywords that will generate leads and convert to sales. Ultimately, you should consider the goals of your site. If your website is e-commerce driven, choosing a large quantity of keywords may increase impressions but doesn’t necessarily equate to generating conversions. Therefore the focus should be on quality keywords. If however, the purpose of your website is to provide information, then the more impressions the better.

February 14 2007

Making Way for the Talkies: Can Google Hit a High Note with Radio Advertising?

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Typically when we speak of media and technology we talk about new kinds of media replacing older ones. Like electronic downloads are replacing CDs, which replaced cassette tapes, which replaced 8-tracks. So do we think the Internet will replace traditional print, television, and audio media or at least transform them until they are each a subsidiary of the larger Online world? Given the recent behavior of some of the major Internet players, however, that predictable forward motion of media transformation may not be steadfast any longer; Internet companies are increasingly vying for in-roads to traditional media outlets.

Through acquisitions and independent initiatives, Google continues to expand into more traditional media advertising outlets beyond the Internet. According to a recent New York Times article, however, the company is facing radio industry resistance over its Google Audio endeavors. After investing over $1 billion in dMarc and its automated radio-advertising software in 2006, Google is still, a year later, struggling to procure premium ad space inventory. This struggle has been further compounded by the recent departure of dMarc’s two founders.

Unlike its forays into print advertising, Google’s radio advertising program, as of yet, has not included a partnership or licensing deal with a media outlet large enough to widen its advertising scope beyond remnant time slots. Without access to premium air time or being able to offer advertisers the ability to select and target specific stations and listener demographics, Google Audio is lagging behind the company’s print advertising efforts. That could change for the better, however, if negotiations with CBS, or a similarly influential partner, pan out.

While industry analysts point to the stiff competition of automated radio advertising, it’s clear that Google’s media presence and brand equity set it apart as a formidable competitor in the radio advertising industry and it’s only a matter of time before it secures a foothold in this new (old) medium.

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