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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Are You Missing The Boat On Search Engine Marketing?

"The goal of the agencies and agency companies is to offer search marketing services internally rather than requiring clients to go to independent specialist agencies",

writes Stuart Elliott in an article in the New York Times.

Search engine marketing covers Google Adwords and other pay per click programmes and web site page optimisation.

eMarketer reports and forecasts some interesting data for search engine marketing:

  • Ad revenue of $5.1 billion was generated in 2005

  • Expect almost $6.5 billion for 2006

  • Forecast more than $10 billion by 2009.

The great thing about search engine marketing is that it is totally based around direct response by someone clicking on an ad or web site link. You see the number of clicks that have come through to your sales pitch and then you can check how many sales you made from unique visitors.

The New York Times article notes that Stuart Bogaty, leader of the North American operations of new company (NeoSearch@Ogilvy) says, "Search is so tied to R.O.I.,". Purely because advertisers are paying only when a text ad is clicked on.

The article also notes some concern about "click fraud" where another company, usually on behalf of a competitor continually clicks on links to text ads without providing sales. Because there is a cost each time your ad is clicked on you'll pay more for the sales you're getting than you should.

There is no doubt that as we move more and more onto the web for all our needs search engine positioning for web sites, blogs, video blogs, podcasts and ads is going to become more and more important.

That means anyone who is ignoring this important marketing tool is risking being left out in the cold for getting new leads, or for losing current customers as they browse for better value, or simply out of interest.

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