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.

March 6 2007

Free and Low Cost Alternatives to Paid Search Engine Marketing

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The cost of Marketing a website is soaring as coveted keywords and positions in content networks are becoming more expensive. So what if the price is too high for your company? There are options for those who can’t afford a significant monthly budget.

For starters, there are a number of directory sites such as www.superpages.com who offer free listings for businesses under the paid section of their yellow page directories. Depending on the industry and location, these free listings could really be a benefit to companies with limited budgets. Other yellow pages sites offer flat rate annual fees to show up higher in search results. A cost of $500 per year may be well worth the return. Join your city’s Chamber of Commerce. Membership comes with a variety of benefits above the extra exposure and, depending on your location, costs a few hundred dollars per year or less. If you offer a local service, The Better Business Bureau can be a great place to find new leads. A paid membership to the BBB is about $500 per year and also includes a number of great benefits. Note that there are higher costs involved with clients who serve larger areas. Some other free advertising opportunities may work for your company also, depending on your industry and reach. Search for any free directory, local or national, create a social networking webpage and advertise for free on www.craigslist.com.

Though search engine marketing is largely about paid search, there are a few free and flat rate opportunities available for those who are looking to scale back on their monthly spending. Though they may be harder to find and more trouble to keep up, these free and low cost alternatives could help you to get the leads needed to move into the next level of Internet advertising.

March 5 2007

Yahoo’s Keyword Matching System

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Yahoo’s new advertising platform, Panama, offers advertisers and online marketers many new features to increase a campaign’s effectiveness.

When it comes to developing a strong Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign, advertisers are faced with various decisions. The following is an example of a question advertisers face in the development of ad copy for a campaign:
Does the choice to use a specific matching type on my keywords make a difference in paid search?

The answer is yes. The keyword matching you choose plays an important role in serving ads. Keyword matching is a tactic advertisers can place on individual keywords inside a specific ad group. Keyword matching is prevalent throughout the many search engines’ advertising platforms available today. For example, advertisers can use keyword matching from inside Google’s Adwords advertising program. The keyword matching options available are broad match, Google’s default setting, phrase, exact and negative keywords.

Similar to Google Adwords, individuals who advertise on Yahoo can also utilize a keyword matching system. Yahoo has developed a highly intuitive ad placement system to aid in positioning ads properly for distribution in the Yahoo content and sponsored networks. Yahoo’s default setting is an advanced match, which is a combination of phrase and broad matches.

In the past, Yahoo sponsored ads were delivered only on a bid-to-position system. However, the new system now incorporates relevancy as a key factor when serving ads. Paying the highest maximum bid for a specific keyword may not help an individual gain the top position when ads are displayed.

It is important for Yahoo’s customers to choose wisely when building their campaigns. From within a search engine’s interface, advertisers can easily switch between keyword matching options. The key to developing an effective campaign is to create a specific keyword list and to alternate or mix match types to cover a breadth of search engine result pages (SERP).

March 2 2007

Google & the Government Tame the New Frontier of the Wild Wild Web

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As search engine marketing evolves and grows, the rules of the game are made, changed and re-thought. In a recent court decision, Google’s right to filter and disallow ads they feel are objectionable was upheld. The ruling declared that first amendment rights do not extend to paid advertising on search engines and that Google could prevent the site in question from appearing in the sponsored listings. However, the defendant’s site is not prevented from being active, crawled and advertised elsewhere on the web.

This may seem like a bold move for Google and the government, but it reminds us that Google and the internet are not synonymous; Google is part of the web, it is not the web itself. Also it is an advertising venue that has the right to categorize and monitor content like traditional venues. One is not surprised that racy ads are not played during children’s programs or displayed in schools — the same applies on Google. That being said, as advertisers we must better understand how we can utilize the online outlets available to reach the target audience by evaluating where, how, and when we want to appear.

The other half of this recent controversial advertising story is how pushing the limit, offending someone, has become an advertising tactic due to the viral spread of the offense across social networks. The user generated content demands that articles be written and coverage be done in every outlet possible! We’ve seen this in Boston and all over the super bowl ads. One has to wonder, when will pushing the limit get old and become too much of the norm??

What is an internet advertiser to do — offend the media & fight with the engines to get attention? This is not the best course of action. It may produce quick results, but they are not lasting – just like spamming. Instead, practice and encourage responsible advertising in line with the regulations and best practices of each engine and outlet. Working this way produces results and longevity — not to mention protecting an organization’s image as being responsible and reliable rather than trendy and tricky.

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