I recently had the opportunity to speak on a brand new session introduced during the Search Engine Strategies San Jose conference entitled “So You Want To be a Search Marketer.” The session explored ways that budding SEMs can educate themselves as well as get started in the industry. I approached this topic from the perspective of one who learned and applied SEM techniques to one of our own sites before ever deciding to take on paying clients. I thought I put together a post on what I spoke on as well as include the actual PowerPoint slides for those who would like to view them.
I had the opportunity to speak at the Business Network of Anthem’s weekly meeting on the subject of what else – search engine marketing. A small group of around twenty people gathered, all who own small businesses in the Anthem, Arizona area where I also live. The group consisted of bankers, financial advisors, insurance brokers, home improvement service providers, an auto repair facility owner, a flooring company, a swimming pool service provider and the list goes on.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” – uh oh you caught me singing Christmas melodies. It is that time of the year again – faith for some, the gathering of family as well and of course, gift giving. And with gift giving, there is gift getting (receiving). Have you made your wish list yet? I have, at least from a search marketing perspective. Allow me to share what I would like for Christmas this year.
Andy Beal has just published an article entitled “Five Secret Strategies to Add $1 Million in Revenue to your Interactive Marketing Agency in 2007″ in which he provides some proven strategies that any marketing firm can implement. The five secret strategies Andy lists are tried and trusted as he has used them to help grow one firm to $25+ million in annual revenues and another to an annual run rate of $2+ million in its first year. I will provide a bullet list with some excerpts but definitely check out original article as it is a worthy read.
As an owner of a full service SEM (Search Engine Marketing) firm, there are two things I love – word of mouth referrals and partnerships with traditional agencies. How can one not love these two means of acquiring new business? Word of mouth referrals is as old as the dinosaurs. As a consumer, you buy a product or receive a service that you are just absolutely thrilled with and you tell everyone you know. Not quite as old is the process of SEM companies who partner with agencies, whether those agencies specialize in PR, web development, traditional media (print, radio and video), etc. Very similar to word of mouth advertising, partnerships allow you to tap into an existing customer base who has already put their trust in the agency you are partnering with.
This Thursday, those of us in the United States will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. While I am thankful for my family, faith and the many blessings that have been bestowed upon me, I thought it would be fun to put together a list of things I am thankful for related to the world of search. These include tools, resources and even influential people. Search marketing has come a long way since I first entered it in 1997. With its evolution, there are many things I’m thankful for that help me to do my job well on a daily basis.
A new study released by Piper Jaffray shows that search is the most efficient marketing channel for acquiring new customers, more than twice as efficient as yellow pages, which placed second. The cost per acquisition for search is on average $8.50, whereas the Yellow Pages was the second-most efficient channel at $20 per customer acquisition. These two are followed by online display ads at $50, email at $60, and direct mail at $70. The study also found that because of the explosive growth of local search, the number of online advertisers could reach 2-4 million over the next five years from the current number of 700,000.
In lieu of all the top 10 lists going around, I have created my own with regards to site redesign. It is inevitable that web sites need to be redesigned, upgraded, spruced up, etc. from time to time. If your site is currently enjoying great search engine traffic, then the old adage, “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” will haunt you when considering any major site revisions. How can you have your cake and eat it as well? How can you have a brand new shinny site and retain all the search engine referrals you have come to love and enjoy?
Do certain search marketing firms have special partnerships with search engines like Google, Yahoo or MSN? You would think some do in the way they have pages on their sites announcing “special” search partnerships. Sure SEMs can have account reps in regards to PPC of PFI services that the search engines offer. They can even know powerful contacts such as Matt Cutts or Tim Mayer, both of whom are prominent reps of Google and Yahoo. But are there any SEM firms that have formed partnerships with the engines that would give them some kind of advantage or special status? Or are web pages that announce special partnerships between SEMs and engines simply a sales technique?
A recent study by Outsell shows that online advertising is now being used by 80% of marketers. Key findings include growth in search engine ad spending, keyword ads are more affective then contextual, Google rated more effective than Yahoo! & MSN and more.
Jennifer Laycock, editor of Search Engine Guide, has authored a new eBook entitled “Small Business Guide to Search Engine Marketing” specifically for small business owners. Jennifer has been involved in Internet marketing since 1995 and with search engine optimization (SEO) since 2001. Although I have not reviewed the eBook yet, I am sure it is packed with valuable information that will help any small business owner understand more about the benefits and “how-to’s” of search engine marketing.