Paid Search: Building Brand Loyalty Two Seconds At A Time

There's no question that the vast majority of brand loyalty is created post click—once consumers are brought to a landing page with relevant offers and other brand messaging.   However, what happens in that 2-3 second window prior to the click?  A lot more brand building than you think. First impressions count Search marketers spend countless hours figuring out how to connect consumers to a brand/product, and then articulate that in an ad that won't get more than a mere glance.  But despite its short lifespan, an ad must be truthful, deliver value, and resonate with consumers. [...]

SEMPO Releases Survey Data Revealing State Of SEM

SEMPO formally released data on the state of search engine marketing, its annual survey of agencies and marketers. This year's survey consisted of 800 respondents from all over the globle. However 68 percent of respondents were from the US, with 20 percent coming from a range of countries. Seven percent of respondents were from Canada and 5 percent from the UK. The respondents/clients represented a range of industries. The top sectors were "retail, business services, electronics manufacturing and financial services." As part of the findings and related report SEMPO forecast that SEM spen [...]

Act Like A Cybersquatter To Capture Your Long-Tail Brand Traffic!

If your company has a major brand, domainers who exploit cybersquatting have likely already targeted your business. Their practices are often looked down upon, but if their dark powers weren't effective, they wouldn't make money. Still, you can learn the same black magic and turn it into good and profit for your company. In this down economy, don't ignore the shady domainers—instead, strike back by reducing what they're costing you and increasing your profits! Read on and I'll explain how. I don't want to stray too far off into a tangent, but terminology has been rapidly shifting about, [...]

Search Illustrated: Increasing Brand Awareness With Search

When brand awareness is the goal, it's sometimes easy to implement PPC as a "go to" for increasing awareness quickly and effectively. But, paid search is just one part of a broader, long-term brand awareness campaign. This week's infographic explores how SEMs can utilize all facets of search to achieve increased brand awareness. Graphic by Elliance, an eMarketing firm specializing in results-driven search engine marketing, web site design, and outbound eMarketing campaigns. The firm is the creator of the ennect online marketing toolkit. The Search Illustrated column appears Tuesdays at [...]

Seven Tactics For Leveraging Paid Search To Build Brand Awareness

Everyone managing cost-per-click (CPC) campaigns lives by three magic letters that can make the difference between a friendly pat on the back and a hefty push on the back... out the door. Those letters are ROI (return on investment). Put another way, are you bringing in more money from your CPC campaigns than you are paying out in clicks? I say "everyone," but maybe I should clarify: everyone who actually has something they can measure their ROI against—be it product sales, lead generation, or maybe just newsletter signups. But what if you don't have a hard measurement—what if [...]

iProspect: Blended Search Resulting In More Clicks On News, Images, And Video

Since the advent of "blended" or "universal search" last year across the major engines, there's been ongoing discussion and speculation about its impact on user behavior and search marketing. Gord Hotchkiss last year wrote extensively about how blended search (on Google) has in fact shifted the user focus from the so-called "golden triangle" at the upper left of the page to a more distributed pattern that resembles an "E." Now search marketing firm iProspect has released a study (conducted by JupiterResearch) that shows users are responding to the various specialized content types within sear [...]

Designing And Owning Your “Search Shelf Space”

Ever walk into a store to purchase something, only to find it’s not there? You know what you want and you’re ready to buy, but you can’t find it. Bewildered, you paw through the shelves, searching high and low, but to no avail. Exasperated, you leave. Sound like fun? Hardly. When you walked into that store you had expectations. When you walked out, all you had was disappointment. Clearly, consumer expectations are very real, but keep in mind that they’re not limited to brick and mortar venues. Online consumers have the same expectations as their offline counterparts. Likewi [...]

Third Annual Yahoo Searchlight Awards Happen Against Surreal Backdrop

As Yahoo was apparently laying off its promised 1,000 workers today, I was at the Time-Life Building in New York as a panelist for the third Yahoo Searchlight Awards. I've had the honor to be a part of this event since its inception in 2005 and think it's a terrific opportunity for ad agencies to showcase and share best practices about search, display, and integrated ad campaigns. In the three years of Searchlight the campaigns have become dramatically more sophisticated and inventive. The four finalists (out of a total of 40 entries) were the following agencies and their clients: -- Carat [...]

Paid Search For Big Sites, Big Brands: Webcast

Our sister site, Search Marketing Now, is hosting its first webcast for 2008: "Paid Search for Big Sites, Big Brands," tomorrow, Thursday, January 10 at 1 PM Eastern Standard Time, sponsored by iProspect. In this webcast, I'll take a look at how large organizations with complex websites and important brands can effectively implement paid search advertising campaigns. I'll cover tactical, technical, & organizational issues involved with running huge sites, as well as marketing issues and considerations unique to big brands. And, I'll explore the elements for success in a large paid search camp [...]

The Big Search Faceoff: Corporate vs Franchise

This summer, the National Hockey League took a cheap shot. No, they didn’t redesign the league’s uniforms or put a team back in Winnipeg. Rather, they took control of overseeing the league’s websites. Since the domains had previously been run by each franchise, naturally the move has some team marketers feeling left out in the cold. As it turns out, a friend of a friend—we’ll call him "Puck"—happens to run the website for one of these teams. Recently, he posted a game recap and included a photo of a fight that occurred during the match-up. Later that evening, he got a c [...]

Turf Wars: How Aggregator Search Results Can Affect Your Brand

Are you a marketer looking for additional online sales outlets? If so, you’re probably considering partnering with aggregation sites as they have proven to be a highly effective solution for many marketers. However, keep in mind that partnering with such sites is not risk free. Doing so can both cause overall branding issues, as well as implications for your brand in regard to your search marketing efforts. So what’s a marketer to do? Opting not to partner with an aggregator means you’ll forfeit valuable space that your brand could occupy on the search results page—which is [...]

The Power Of Branding For Small Business, Part Two

People often associate brands with money. And lots of it. Generally, if you try to run a branding campaign such as you see from big companies like Target, you certainly will have to fork over a big chunk of change. But we small business owners don't have that kind of money. And from my examples in last week's installment of this column, you might conclude that full-scale SEO or PPC is the only way to brand yourself online. But that's just not true. As you will see, some SEO will come into play, but cheap and easy SEO will get you started on the path to brand recognition in search results. [...]

Google Fight: Nokia & Apple Ads Trade Blows Over iPhone Price Cut

Bought that iPhone and now upset over the $200 price drop after it's been out only 60 days? Nokia's guessing plenty are and reaching out to them on Google via search ads. But Apple's not sitting back in the face of the Nokia ad campaign. Apple has put out its own counter ads. The ad actually came from an Apple affiliate. Nokia Marketing Team Reaches Out To Angry iPhone Users from TechCrunch covers how Nokia acted quickly on getting an AdWords ad up for a search on iphone price drop. The ad reads: Sorry, Early Adopters iPhone drops $200. Salvage yours with free content at MOSH. Soon aft [...]

The Power Of Branding For Small Business, Part One

More and more I'm discovering the necessity of helping our customers brand themselves in the search sphere. In the past, we often felt that some clients just didn't need to be branded in the search results. Maybe because they were smaller clients or didn't have a nationally recognized name. But then how do companies become nationally recognized names? You got it. Branding. Branding isn't just for big companies any more. With the internet and search, it's become easier and cheaper to for companies to brand their names in front of their target audience. It's true that good branding effor [...]

Protect Your Employees, Online

Have you ever checked out what people are saying about your brand on blogs and on photo-sharing sites such as Yahoo's Flickr or Google's Picasa? Have you also taken the time to monitor what people are saying about your employees? You owe it to your employees to look out for their reputation online when it is associated with your brand, just as much as you ought to look out for your corporate reputation online. In today's Web 2.0 environment, people pour out to the world everything that happened in their day. They went to the car wash on 14th Street and had a great experience, they went to [...]

Best Practices For Corporate Domain Name Management

While a decent percentage of the global business community has become aware of the importance of search engine marketing, very few businesses seem know about the best practices surrounding the purchasing and ownership of web site domain names (e.g. when to purchase, what to purchase, etc.). Unlike SEO problems, where a banned site can get re-included if the webmaster fesses up to bad behavior, mistakes involving domain names are frequently permanent (though sometimes large amounts of cash can be used to overcome problems). Here is an example of a particularly egregious corporate domain name [...]

What To Do When Your Company Wikipedia Page Goes Bad

It happens to many companies: their Wikipedia page evolves and starts reporting bad stats, inaccuracies, legal stories you thought were water under the bridge and more. Wikipedia is a web 2.0 success story, and almost always ranks on page one in Google search results for your brand. Anyone can make changes, and there is little you can do to keep the public from adding, expanding and telling your story, their way. While you can’t make it disappear, you there are things you can do to mitigate the visibility of any negative content on your company’s Wikipedia page. Wikipedia is a free-for [...]

Dominate Page One For Your Brand Phrases

Facing unfavorable content on page one in the search engine result pages (SERPs) for your brand terms can be a challenge. Today's article discusses a strategy that allows you to mobilize all of your company websites to jump to the top of the SERPs so that your company dominates page one for your brand phrases... leaving unfavorable content nowhere to be seen. Which sites to mobilize To start dominating page one in the SERPs with your company-owned websites, consider any company-owned website that is either on a separate domain or a subdomain. Here are a few examples of company micro sites [...]

Political Candidates Need Serious SEO Help

Whether DNC or RNC, Political Candidates need SEO from SEOmoz takes a look at the current political landscape in the search results. What we learned from this article is that the U.S. political candidates need some serious help with SEO and search marketing. For example, John McCain's web site currently ranks number 68 for a search on "John McCain" in Google. Plus none of the candidates rank in the top fifty at Google for keywords like "candidate," "2008 election," "united states presidential election," and "democratic candidates" or "republican candidates." [...]

What Are Search Engines Saying About Your Brand?

In the offline world, companies make it a priority to influence the message people see in the media. However, in the search marketing world, very few companies make an effort to influence the message seen in search results pages. Instead, many companies ensure their website(s) are at the top of page one, and leave Google, Yahoo and MSN free to determine what to display in the remaining positions. What many companies and public relations professionals do not realize is that you can employ strategies to influence what the search engines display for your brand. As a search marketer, whether [...]

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