Search Engine Marketing

Cabela’s Derek Fortna on SEO
October 10, 2007

Cabela’s, a direct marketer and specialty retailer of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor merchandise, needed to revamp its SEO game plan for the 2006 holiday season. Prior to the fall of 2006, only a handful of static category and product pages were optimized. With its Web site approaching 50,000 product pages and more than 200,000 unique products, such as “hunting socks,” “compound bows” and “riflescope accessories,” the company required a more robust natural search solution. So it turned to software provider Netconcepts to update its site with GravityStream, a natural search management platform that helped Cabela’s gain a real-time, Web-crawler version of its

How to Ride the Holiday CPC Wave
October 3, 2007

The “CPC Wave” marks when cost-per-click (CPC) rates start rising on search engines and extends until the end of the holiday season. Despite high keyword costs, understanding the wave offers lucrative opportunities for savvy online retailers who plan early. The following tips will help you weather this wave and continue to see profits climb after the holiday season. #1 Understand and listen to historical reports. Late summer/early fall is the best time for gathering information and planning how and when to customize your search engine marketing programs for the seasonal rush. By tracking ROI, revenue cost and click data from past holiday seasons, you

Search Engine Marketing: Search Has a New Friend—DRTV
October 1, 2007

Orkin, the 106-year-old, Atlanta-based pest control giant successfully leveraged direct response television (DRTV) for SEM optimization this August, resulting in better search engine query requests and an increase in impressions and clickthrough rates. Coordinating SEM campaigns with DRTV commercials helps support the firm’s marketing efforts by capturing online orders triggered through search engines. According to Orkin’s Director of Interactive Marketing Rob Crigler, company data shows growing numbers of people are using the Internet to search for both the Orkin name and the “pest threat” concept the firm promoted via its DRTV campaigns. For Orkin, conversion rates across DRTV display URLs, “buzz” keywords and brand

Search Engine Marketing: Special Report
October 1, 2007

With key phrases replacing keywords in search engine marketing (SEM) and driving the long-tail economy, marketers continue to look for tools to maximize paid search conversions and create more efficient organic search. In this report, Alan Rimm-Kaufman zeroes in on three big ideas to: maximize brand search, grow your paid search program and intelligently use “the big four” social media networks to drive rankings. As the buzz about social networking settles to a quieter hum, savvy marketers are finding ways to leverage this medium to help optimize SEM. According to the 2007 iProspect Search Marketer Social Networking Survey, 48 percent of marketers place content on

The Opportunities and Pitfalls of Universal Search
September 13, 2007

In May, Google started a phased roll-out of its much-awaited Universal Search model. Through a new set of algorithms, Google Universal Search results now can include videos, maps, images, blog sites and press releases that the search engine will position by newly defined relevance and popularity. Although other search engines such as Ask.com already had started down this road, the sheer size and market share enjoyed by Google makes this latest step monumental in logistics and impact.

Five Reasons Why the Search Engines Hate You
September 1, 2007

I’m often amused by just how much flak the search engines get. After all, they provide users with a valuable free service and, in my opinion, they serve up solid results the majority of the time. But for the most part, the engines continue to take heat from users, site owners, marketers and advertisers. These people never seem to be short on criticism, as folks always are more than willing to gripe about what they don’t like. But rarely, if ever, do the engines fire back.

Search Engine Rankings: Be No. 1
August 15, 2007

Andrew Hazen, founder and CEO of Prime Visibility, an Internet marketing company, offers the following tips to help get your company Web site the best search engine ranking possible. Keywords: “Choose your keywords wisely,” says Hazen. “This may sound like common sense, but it’s an error that repetitively gets made and can be easily fixed.” Use keywords that are synonymous with your business, product or service. Avoid overly used and generic single keywords that will get overlooked. Title Tag: The title tag is the words that appear at the top left of your Web browser and in most instances the clickable link that will appear in

Mailers Go Multichannel, Or Else
August 1, 2007

To remain in your current line of work, imagine you had to move to New York City. It doesn’t matter if the move provokes mostly fear or excitement; similarly, it doesn’t make any difference whether you’ve got deep pockets or are low on funds. You don’t have a choice—you’re going to the Big Apple! Rents are high and competition is fierce, so you have to take on some roommates and find a way to make it work. But do you hope to simply survive, or succeed? That’s life for direct marketers, including mailers, today. Most companies have at least tested multichannel campaigns by now—direct

The Basics of Choosing Keywords
July 18, 2007

While there is no one best way to select keywords for a search campaign, the more you know about your goals and resources, the better your chances of getting it right. Many people fail to make the connection between their business goals and their keywords; the two should be aligned. For example, if your goal is to drive sales, you should focus on detailed, multi-keyword phrases, as they will produce qualified searches. However, if your aim is to drive awareness, you’d be better off targeting more generic keywords to generate eyeballs for your company name and Web site. In short, different goals require

Nuts & Bolts: RSS
July 1, 2007

Your RSS buffet might be loaded with information your market will find useful, but before it can feast on your insights and deals, it has to know where to request the feeds. Rok Hrastnik, international Internet director at Studio Moderna, a direct marketing service provider, shared his insights on this challenge at the ACCM conference held this past May. He identified the four hot spots marketers must use to publicize their RSS offerings to increase their reach through this channel: 1. Below your e-mail newsletter subscription box. Snag inquirers directly where they need to sign up to receive your e-mail newsletter, allowing them to receive