Search Engine Land Discusses Small Business

January 3, 2007

The ever popular Search Engine Land blog managed by Danny Sullivan got even more popular in my eyes recently with the post – SMBs, Paid Search And Self-Service. The post, by Greg Sterling, highlighted how important small businesses are to the paid search industry and how they can be under-served by Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

I think paid search is a great marketing tool and I spend plenty every year on it. But, I was completely amazed at how little support I received from Google and Yahoo until I started to spend more. Now, I have great account reps who are very responsive. Was it the money or did they beef up their service?


Online Ad Prices on the Rise?

December 28, 2006

I found a quick stat about online advertising revenues and 2007 prices written on the iMedia Connection website by Roger Park. The article states that rates will be on the rise for 2007. I’ve planned and signed orders for most of my online media for 2007 and I really haven’t seen much of an increase. I buy primarily in the tech arena and most of my pricing has carried over from this year.

One trick I live by is to ask for better pricing based on quantity and other media being purchased. For instance, if I’m buying print ads, I’ll hint to the vendor that I want to do something online (email marketing, banner ads, etc.) and flat out ask for better pricing since I’m purchasing print ads. Most vendors are willing to negotiate and the good ones get me to spend more in the end. But, the bundling seems to help lower costs.

Use Search to Grab Those Last Minute Holiday Shoppers

December 21, 2006

How many of you marketing managers out there are dealing with trying to grab the attention of last minute shoppers? There are quite a few this week. I came across a good article written by Kevin Ryan on iMedia Connection about the use of Search Marketing immediately before and after Christmas. Its worth a read even if you’re not trying to push sales over Christmas.

Search Arbitrage Defined

December 20, 2006

I just came across a good outline and commentary on search arbitrage. Jeremy Luebke at Marketing Pilgrim outlines the different definitions and methods of search arbitrage. If you’re doing PPC search marketing or optimizing your site for search, you’ll want to check out this post.

He raises a great point – is Google not putting an end to this because they enjoy the additional revenue? My experiences at my company lead me to believe that Google can end some of this, but they’re not.

Good News for Online Advertisers

December 16, 2006

As more of us move marketing dollars from print and other traditional avenues towards online marketing, we need more and more reassurance that we’re getting results from our dollars spent. Since many analytics programs don’t give us the warm fuzzies we need, we can at least be comforted by some studies and polls of Internet users. Check out this quick blurb on a study done by DoubleClick posted on the BtoB Online website.

“The survey found that 19% of influencers cited Web advertising as a source of information when they were researching a purchase, compared with 8% for noninfluencers.”

Turn Those Google Searches into Buyers

December 14, 2006

I’ve come across another great article on turning search engine searchers into customers. I recently did a post on how paid search has to be more than just click-throughs – it has to be a focused sales campaign with the end goal of converting the searcher. This article on iMedia Connection by Dale Hursh talks about this very topic.

“To maximize search marketing ROI, you must manage the entire search marketing lifecycle, from Search-to-Sale. This includes finding and driving traffic to your website, as well as converting the visitor by persuading them to take the desired action.”

Check out the article

Advertising Proposals Throwing Curves

December 11, 2006

I’m in the middle of analyzing and signing a ton of print and online advertising contracts for 2007. The whole process has officially given me a headache this year. While I enjoy researching new mediums in which to advertise our products, wading through all the options available can be maddening.

With that said, I have a few observations this year that are unique to other years I’ve been doing this.

I’m being proposed more print and online bundled solutions from vendors and my pricing is based on CPI (cost per impression). I’m used to analyzing online marketing by impressions and click-throughs, but not print. After you untangle the mess of a proposal you see that these vendors are bundling their online with their print and jacking up their impressions with their print readership statistics.

These proposals are more common from magazines who were built on print ad sales and are having a tough time selling online ads because their websites don’t get the traffic that more online-centric websites and publications do. You need to be careful not to jump at the total impression method of proposing. I don’t believe it accurately depicts what you’re buying.

White Papers, White Papers, and more White Papers. Obviously, White Paper syndication is hot. For those of you not familiar, White Paper syndicators will post your WP content and pass along contact information for people who register to download the content. Its a great source of lead generation. The people who register to receive the content – you would think – are genuinly interested in what you have to offer.

Well, many vendors are now a WP syndicator and vendors are offering discounts on print and online marketing if you post your WPs with them. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of this method of distributing your content – BUT, I don’t have any fresh content! I’m also a believer that that your content needs to be informative, fresh and loaded with the latest information – otherwise the reader may think you’re company is old news.

The folks over at My Educated Guess have a post up today talking about successful syndication. They also have a variety of other quality posts talking about White Papers.