Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Section 2: Around the Net in Search Marketing

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Search Marketers Are So-So At Integration
New research from iCrossing finds that only about half of all search marketers integrate their client's search campaigns with offline channels. When they do, about a third of them cross-promote with direct mail or print (magazines and newspapers), and only about 12% tap broadcast mediums like TV or radio.

The biggest factor hindering multi-channel campaigns is a lack of budget, as 20% of the survey respondents said that was the cause. Other factors include a lack of human resources (15%) and personnel silos--11% of respondents said that they their organization had separate people managing search and offline channels.

The problem with these stats is that there's a clear correlation between offline marketing efforts and increased search traffic. For example, over two-thirds of search engine users hit the SERPs because of an offline promotion--and nearly 40% of them make a purchase from the company that prompted their initial search.

"Unfortunately, by failing to integrate their efforts with offline, search marketers are essentially ignoring the very channels that drive users to search," said iProspect President Robert Murray. "Obviously, there is a big disconnect between search marketing strategy and search engine user behavior." - Read the whole story...

Should Search Firms Offer Refunds?
High Rankings Forum
How do you handle refund requests? Have you received any lately? What happens if a current client underwent a management shakeup and now the new powers that be are asking for a refund for previously unmet goals? That's the situation one High Rankings Forum member is facing, and is seeking advice for how to handle it.

While the particular SEO's issue may be unique, it raises the larger question of how refunds are handled in the space. SEO services fall into a gray area when it comes to results--as unless both parties are extremely clear on what the tangible goals are (i.e. attaining the third spot on the SERPs or increasing site traffic by 25%) there can be tons of wiggle room.

One thing is clear--in this SEO's case, there was no written refund policy, and that's a big mistake according to one respondent. "It's always been my policy that everyone [should have] a written refund policy, even if the policy is simply No Refunds," he says. "People who are truly dissatisfied are going to stop paying and/or want some money back. But by limiting how far they can go back on the monthly charges you're controlling your risk and putting the onus on the client to do what they need to do." - Read the whole story...

PR And SEO: Broader Strategies
Lee Odden goes beyond the basic SEO-focused PR tactics and digs a bit deeper into strategies. The post covers everything from blogger relations, to social media monitoring and crisis management. First up is knowing how to seed briefings and interviews with target keywords.

"We've always counseled our clients on the use of targeted keywords during interviews and in communications with the media as well as with content published to the web," Odden says. "In a push and pull PR strategy, keywords are used to optimize content and digital assets to enable the media to pull themselves to a client's news."

Constantly staying on top of the multiple conversations going on a about a particular brand is key, too. "The bigger the brand, the more you have to lose by not paying attention to what social communities and the blogosphere is saying," he says. "Social media monitoring is keyword based, so understanding keyword research from a SEO and branding perspective can be instrumental in an effective listening effort." - Read the whole story...

Why Use PPC When You've Already Got Top Organic Rankings?
When you've attained prime organic placement for a client across the major search engines, the question of why/whether they need to continue to (or start to) invest in PPC for their branded terms may arise. And the MoreVisibility team has got some insights to help you formulate a good answer.

"In reality, having strong positions in the natural listings in addition to strong presence in the paid listings gives your website (and business) the best chance for success in online marketing," the team says. That's because you can't bank on searcher behavior. Some users may just click on the first result they see, while others scan the entire page before making a choice. Meanwhile, some searchers make it a point to avoid paid results, while others make a beeline for them.

There's also the question of competitive advantage. "Just because you rank high for your business name organically doesn't mean the web surfer won't click on the paid ad your competitor is running on your business name," the team says. "Why give your competitor a chance to grab that lead because you rely on only one section of the page?" - Read the whole story...

Greenseng: The Search Engine For Greenies
Greenseng is a search engine (built on Google's Custom Search platform) that measures the amount of energy used by its servers (and the computers of its users) and purchases renewable energy certificates to offset the negative effects on the environment.

It's the latest offering from YCombinator startup CO2Stats, and the company plans to continue to develop the engine--working to fold in ranking algorithms from Yahoo BOSS. - Read the whole story...

Search Insider - Around the Net for Wednesday, September 3, 2008


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