Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Search Engine Marketing becoming the tool for 2005

Marketers, account execs and analysts have seen the value of branding and exposure in search. It will be used to support promotions, product launches and advertising campaigns. SEM strategists will increase their budgets to integrate associative terms for their client's target markets. Is that all...?

Paid Search, Pay for Performance, Pay for Placement, PPC Managment, Paid listings, CPC

So, they're all paid in their own rights. Instead of worrying about who's bidding ahead of me or I need to be #1 for "kangaroo pouch pillows", SEM's will be utilizing paid strategies to ensure the optimal branding exposure for their clients, supplement gaps in their organic positioning, support promotions, new products and in turn...drive the costs higher. If your client isn't increasing their paid strategy budget, well they better be implementing a new organic SEO strategy, if they haven't already.

Local Search, Localized Search:

What's the big deal?
If you are an Uncle Larry's Drug Store in New Paltz, NY and you do not have a website, how are you measuring your investment? Does Uncle Larry actually need a website? It's Yellow Pages online, well you get a nice dot on a map. I'm not seeing the benefit to the little guys yet.

Pay per Call:

"Uhm, Hello, yeah I was just on your web site, kangaroopouchpillows.com and do they come in periwinkle?" Seems like this is still in BETA.

Mobile Search Advertising:

Well if you pay $59.99 a month for the privacy of your own line and the ability to use it on the go, well you should be interrupted with ads while psuhing that web browser button. Guess this is still in BETA as well.

Personalized Search:

Google came out with their desktop search tool, MSN did too and so did Ask Jeeves. This seems to be the most potential for a custom-user browsing experience. If they can base the content of your browser on what you do on a daily basis, eliminating those affiliate ads, "spamorganic" listings and endless hours of never finding what you need ... then I'm all for it. In a way this becomes a tool for SEM's looking to place ads that have been behavioral targeted based on your unique IP or a cookie. If you delete your cookies, then is it really behavioral or temporal? Or are they just more content-targeted ads like Adsense or Kanoodle's content targeted keywords? You want personalized search...give me a Corona, beach chair, laptop and a view of the ocean. Now that's personal.

Blog Marketing, Weblogs, Blogarama - Tell us how you feel...

Good source for fresh updated content supporting your organic SEO strategy. This new tactic allows companies to show thier customers a personal side of their product. Keep your customers updated on your research and development. These also get crawled on a daily basis due to their fresh nature. Blogging, it's not for everyone and it takes one person to keep this updated ona daily basis so it doesn't go stale overnight because the blogging community will let you know so. Inlcude links to your website to improve linking stratigies and make sure the design is similair to your actual site. Research it, analyze the benefits for you and if so, setting it up is easy.

XML feeds, Data feeds, RSS feeds, Content Syndication, Press Releases, Oh My!

Yes there seems to be a backdoor into the search engines these days. Content syndication has allowed marketers, pr firms and even Uncle Larry to distribute current news about a product, sale or promotion online to a vast amount of media outlets including Google News, Yahoo! News, Pr Web, EmediaWire and whoever else picks it up. Not only will this encourage potential customers to click away to your web site, but these feeds and releases are getting indexed in record time. So ask your local SEM buddy to set one up for you or do-it-yourself.

Podcasting...Will Search be coming to an iPod near you? Never know...

At at last, our golden boy...Organic SEO, Search Engine Optimization

The art and science of manipulating a web site to position higher in search engines. some say it's a black art some say it's white. Just depends if you're into your doorway pages, cloaking, "keyword enriched information pages", ALT spamming, META spamming, anchor text spamming, invisible spam, but it sure isn't edible SPAM!

You could just call it, SPAMORGANIC

Google seems to be trying to clean up its act these days, adjusting backlinks, Pagerank, weighting META, TITLES, inbound links, etc. Yahoo seems to do a better job of offering filtered results that actually relate to your search and MSN, well they just need to get their act together...come on Microsoft, with all that money and your BETA search flops on its first day of school. Continue your link building campaigns and providing the best content/topic specific pages...it's good spider food. mmm mm. Oganic positioning will be the long term goal for many SEM's in 2005 as paid search budgets increase or get left behind to the cost-effective solution that these natural listings provide. Make sure you have some way to measure all of this as well. Why invest your money if you can't even measure simple ROI or CPA? I lean towards Urchin, but some others include Web Trends, WebSideStory, Clicktracks, etc.

Well that seems to be the way 2005 is looking from 2004, but we'll just have to wait and see I guess.

Feel free to post comments or email me here

Happy Holidays!

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