Search Engine Marketing

Two Tips for Formatting Content for Natural Search
May 23, 2007

When considering natural search optimization, it’s important to remember to build your site for your user first, and for the search engines second. What search engines ultimately want is to serve results that users will find helpful and relevant—subsequently, users and spiders seek good content and helpful links, both properly formatted. Here are two things to consider when formatting online copy: • Order your information properly. When you optimize content for your users, think prominence and focus. Use techniques such as writing in a journalist’s inverted-pyramid style, with the most important information at the top of the piece. • Make your headline stand out.

Nuts&Bolts: Case Study
May 1, 2007

Challenge: Increase brand awareness and drive sales through creative affiliate marketing solutions. Solution: Develop relationships with bloggers and other online influencers, using product education and incentive plans to generate word-of-mouth buzz. Results: Sales for Q4 2006 increased 10 times over same-quarter sales in 2005. For Dean Rist’s money, few channels deliver ROI like affiliate marketing. Which is why one of the first things he did two years ago after being named the director of direct marketing at iRobot, a Burlington, Mass.-based manufacturer of robotics for consumer and military activities, was to start planning an affiliate marketing strategy. One of the challenges facing iRobot, says Rist, was that its

Reaching Hispanics Online
May 1, 2007

With 14 percent of the U.S. adult population being Latino and about half of this group going online, your company very well could have a Hispanic following without actively seeking it out. According to a study, “Conexion Cultural/Connected Culture,” released in March by Yahoo! Telemundo and Experian Simmons Research, Spanish-dominant survey participants reported they consume two-thirds of their online content in English due to a lack of Spanish-language alternatives. In a March report, “Latinos Online,” researchers from the Pew Hispanic Center and Pew Internet Project noted that just one in three Latinos who speaks only Spanish goes online; that rate is three times higher

Three SEO Tips for Videos
April 4, 2007

Day by day, the Web is shifting from a text-dominated culture to one populated by video and audio messaging. The popularity of video sharing sites such as YouTube and iFilm along with the increasing use of video on mainstream media firms’ sites is propelling marketers to become part of this online video revolution. But, as with any content posted on the Web, you first have to let people know it’s there to get significant viewership. To help marketers with this challenge, video search engine firm blinkx has developed a whitepaper and wiki (which is an open-access Web site that allows visitors to edit information presented

Three Ways to Use Blogs as SEO-boosters
March 14, 2007

When it comes to the information that search engines prefer and rank highly, well-run blogs have it in spades, says MoreVisibility, a search engine marketing firm in Boca Raton, Fla. In its whitepaper, “Blogs—Learn How and Why They Fit Into Your Search Engine Marketing & Optimization Campaigns,” the firm explains that blogs with rich and frequently updated content, keyword links, and unique and popular content offer up just the precise blend of relevance and recency that search engines desire for their top search results listings. To help your blog meet the above criteria as well as be easily scannable by both readers and search engine

Media Usage Forecast 2007
March 1, 2007

Welcome to Target Marketing’s first Media Usage Forecast, which we plan to turn into a yearly peek at how you and your peers will be divvying up your marketing media dollars to attract prospects and maximize relationships with current customers. After the first half this decade, when all you heard in conversations during the cocktail hour at conferences and industry functions was how everyone’s direct marketing budget had been slashed, it’s refreshing to see that at least 80 percent of the marketers we surveyed are going into 2007 with coffers equal to or more than last year’s media dollars. Since this story is chock full of

Results Are In on SEM: Synergy Sells
February 21, 2007

Given that we provide integrated online marketing services at our firm, my team and I find ourselves persuading natural optimization clients to run paid search campaigns. And just as passionately we encourage paid search clients to optimize their Web sites. There’s only one reason we spend so much effort convincing clients to balance natural and paid search marketing campaigns—it works. Three critical factors are at the root of this principle: 1) the physical properties of a search page; 2) the nature of how natural search and paid search work together; and 3) the human reactions to both types of search results. Simply put, having both natural (or free

SEM: Measuring Up
February 1, 2007

Welcome 2007—a year sure to bring the continued growth and maturation of digital advertising. New forms of online advertising have emerged from their infancy stages and now offer advanced measurement capabilities. Marketers can track ad spending down to the penny. Pay-per-click (PPC) search engine advertising, one of the more effective online advertising methods, offers real-time tracking for marketers. But all this doesn’t mean potatoes unless you have a clear performance measurement program in place, helping you to measure the long-term value of your PPC program. Defining Measurement Needs When beginning a pay-per-click campaign, the amount of available data, statistics and tracking information

Battle of the Banks
January 1, 2007

In the past year, Bank of America has secured more than a few No. 1 positions. First, in early 2006 it purchased MBNA, making it the largest issuer of credit cards. Next, it acquired U.S. Trust from Schwab, garnering the title of largest private bank in the United States. And then, just a month ago, it scored a victory that CEO Kenneth Lewis has been aiming for since taking the company’s reins in 2001: Bank of America passed rival Citigroup to become the largest U.S. bank based on market value. These developments have prompted financial expert Michael Sivy to predict that the Charlotte, N.C.-based

Orkin’s Rob Crigler on Branding Challenges in SEM
December 20, 2006

According to various Internet analytics firms, Google pulls in anywhere from 40 percent to about 80 percent of Web searches, giving it the muscle to do as it pleases online. Part of that rule-setting process includes allowing any marketer to bid on any search term, regardless of whether the word is a competitor’s company or product name. It’s no wonder then that big brand marketers are concerned about online cannibalization of their trademarks. Robert Crigler, director of interactive marketing at Orkin, the pest control company, discussed the ramifications of this SEM challenge and suggested a couple lines of attack for brand marketers interested in fighting