This is the second part of a recap of what I spoke on in a session entitled “So You Want To be a Search Marketer” at the recent Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose. In part 1, I provided some statistics on how much money is pouring into this industry, explained how I happened to “stumble” into search marketing after experiencing success marketing one of my own sites, and talked about how to gain hands-on experience by applying search marketing techniques to a working web site before engaging paying clients. In part 2, we are going to look at how budding search marketers can network with businesses as well as peers, how they can effectively brand themselves, how to stay on the cutting edge of this fast paced industry and some things not to do.
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.
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.
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?
SEM, short for search engine marketing has come a long way since it was first heard of in the mid nineties. When I first entered this arena of Internet marketing in 1997, there was very little competition among firms offering these services and the marketing process itself was quite simple. Modify a few title tags, add some meta description and keyword tags and then make sure the targeted key phrases are incorporated in the body copy of a web site and it typically enjoyed success.
With the current rise of pay per click (PPC) advertising services such as Overture, Google AdWords and many others, professional search engine optimization (SEO) companies are having to deal more and more with the issue of why their clients should spend money on traditional SEO when they can simply “buy their way to the top.”