Cultivate Organic Search
February 1, 2005

Optimizing search terms for conversion may be the key to great ROI By Bryan Eisenberg It's no longer speculation, it's a chilly reality: Search engine pay-per-click (PPC) ad prices are on the rise. The Keyword Price Index, published monthly by search engine marketer Fathom Online, shows an overall 13 percent increase in keyword price for October 2004, up to $1.55 per keyword from September's average of $1.37. Average keyword prices for consumer services (e.g., entertainment and spas) rose from $0.54 to $0.96, an increase of 78 percent. Retailers saw higher prices as well, with a 50 percent increase, from $0.32 to $0.48. Organic

E-commerce Link: Make Your SEM Click
September 1, 2004

Six tactics to improve your pay-per-click search engine marketing program It is no secret that search engine marketing (SEM) can be an effective online marketing tool. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy practice to master. Here are six proven tactics to help you increase your ROI from pay-per-click search engine marketing. Choose Your Weapon Before you begin, you must decide on a plan of attack. Determine which keyword selection strategy will help you hit your SEM goals: • the shotgun, • the laser or • a hybrid? Practitioners of the shotgun approach start their SEM campaign with a wide variety of keywords

Optimize Search Results Now
February 1, 2004

Make your Web site click with algorithm search engines … and customers. You may be under the impression that getting your Web site ranked on “spidering” or algorithm search engines such as Google involves the dark arts, or at least a secret handshake. If so, you can’t be blamed. Some search-engine optimization (SEO) companies make it sound as if high rankings are more hocus-pocus than strategy—that the algorithms (part computer program/part math equation) that determine page rankings are designed to estimate something other than how relevant a site will be to an Internet searcher. While there are a number of complicated and technical aspects

December 1, 2003

By Denny Hatch I've been an American Express Cardmember since 1964. As a company that has been in business for a long time, you would think it would have business on the Internet aced. Think again. I lost my American Express platinum card (for which I pay $300 a year) and wanted to report it. I went on Google and searched both "American Express Platinum Card" and "American Express," and went through screen after screen looking for how to report a lost card. Finally I found an 800 number to report a lost card and dialed it. The recorded message: "You have

Business Buyers Are Online
November 1, 2003

The online medium is not merely effective for consumer marketing. "75 percent of U.S. businesses are now buying direct goods and services online," said Jake Winebaum, founder and CEO of search engine, during his session at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Advertisers Forum in New York in September. To this end, he ranked B-to-B marketers' online priorities, the foremost of which is an intuitive and informative Web site. Also important is investment in search, both natural (to rank on algorithm engines such as Google) and paid (to rank on engines such as Overture). While Winebaum feels e-mail marketing and online branding are also

Ad It Up: The skinny on banners and pop-up ads
October 1, 2003

By Brian Howard Internet advertising works. No, really. Yes, it's taken a few years to actually figure out how to make it work. Not surprisingly, the build-it-and-the-money-will-come model worked about as well for advertisers as it did for dot-coms. But when done with an eye toward return on investment and with a specific goal in mind, advertising on the Internet is not the money pit it's been painted as in the post-bubble world. There are many questions to ask before you undertake an online campaign. Will you employ an in-page unit, a pop-up or a pop-under? What sites, or publishers,

The Direct Marketer of the Year (3,039 words)
October 1, 2003

By Hallie Mummert Master of Multichannel Marketing If Richard Thalheimer was a different kind of person, he might be inclined to stick out his tongue at the big-box electronics and department stores that carry his company's line of product designs. After all, it was only a decade ago that these retail giants were copying The Sharper Image's merchandise mix of outside brands as well as its store layouts, diluting the strength of the company's message and stealing market share. But the same entrepreneurial spirit that drove Chairman and CEO Thalheimer to launch the company in 1977

Set Your Search Engine Marketing Preferences (1,596 words)
April 1, 2003

By Brian Howard Search and deploy. Just ten years ago, who had ever heard of a search engine? Now search engines are vital links between ready-to-buy Web surfers and Web sites seeking traffic. A mitigating factor in the dot-com crash was the fact that the concept of display advertising (randomly placed banner ads) was too unreliable as a means of driving traffic and leads to a Web site. Mere clicks and hits are meaningless without some sort of inherent intent to buy. Search engines have become the Internet's robotic lead-qualifiers, matching interested buyers with willing sellers. But getting your site listed on a search

Internet Marketing FAQs
June 1, 2002

Answers That Can Help Get the Creative Wheels Rolling By John Deneen E-commerce is a lot like philosophy—questions are answered only by asking more questions. The following are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that are pertinent to inquire about your Web-inclusion program. Now that Web orders comprise 20 percent to 25 percent of most catalog orders, does it still make sense to manually enter these orders? While there will be some upfront costs associated with developing the programs and systems to automate the process, the question really involves whether this is the time to do it. One major cataloger reports that

Driving Customer-Acquisition Traffic
May 1, 2002

By Kelly J. Andrews Let It Ride The business-transforming power of e-commerce seemed unlimited just two years ago. Back then, the door was open for direct marketers to apply their knowledge to a new direct-to-consumer medium that had reached mass acceptance at unprecedented speeds. Business plans were laid, money was invested, and glossy front-ends were seamlessly integrated with flawless back-ends. But for many marketers, results didn't live up to the hype. Blame the economy, blame overblown expectations, but don't blame the medium itself. Says Will Tifft, senior vice president and general manager, mail and network product marketing, 24/7 Real Media, "The