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Good Evening Introduction to Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

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1 Good Evening Introduction to Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

2 Introduction to Web Marketing Presented by Rob Laporte of DISC, With the Steady Sales Group, with Sheldon Snodgrass Sponsored by HCDC

3 This Evenings Plan Speakers Background Audiences Background A Three Minute History of Web Marketing

4 This Evenings Plan (cont.) ROI (Return On Investment) What I Will Not Discuss Email Marketing (Briefly) Affiliate Marketing (Briefly) Banner Advertising (Briefly)

5 This Evenings Plan (cont.) u Key Definitions u Pay-Per-Click (PPC) u Search Engine Optimization (SEO) u Submitting Your Web Site to the SEs u Predicting & Tracking Results u In-house vs. Outsourced u The Future of SEM

6 This Evenings Plan (cont.) Usability in Web Site Design Questions and Open Discussion

7 Speakers Background Traditional Marketing to Shakespeare Scholar to Web Marketing Consultant and Business Owner Founder of DISC,

8 Audience Background Your professions and why you are here How many have web sites now? How many have done some web marketing? How many would like to do some web marketing? Vocabulary Quizz

9 Audience Background (Cont) By show of hands, how many of you have done or contracted for paid placement or pay-per-click SEM? How many have done or contracted for search engine optimization (SEO) or organic SEO? How many have heard of the software, Maestro? How many have heard of the SEM software, IGAAMI? How many plan to do some web marketing within the next 6 months? How many find SEM to be a baffling field?

10 One Minute History of SEM 1995-1998: Text-rich, often ugly sites got lucky with good SE position 1997 – 1999: A plague of spam tactics, most of which will now get you banished or demoted 2000 – 2001: failing web design firms scramble willy-nilly into SEM; illegitimate tactics and pricing confuses buyers and poisons the SEM well. 2001 – Now: SEM moves firmly into mainstream business, with major corporate attendance at the Search Engine Strategies conference series, and with a major shift of corporate marketing budgets into SEM.

11 One Minute History of SEM (Cont.) Unlike other web marketing channels, there is a lot of published statistics about the growth and viability of SEM. Recent moves by Microsoft and Yahoo, for example, attest to present and future importance of SEM.

12 Brief History: Re-Cap Poor Thinking, Bad Investments, and now, at last, Focus on ROI

13 ROI (Return On Investment) The Current Buzz about ROI Not all ROI is Measurable, but much is. (Clicks to your Web site x Conversions x Gross Profit) – Costs (in labor, software, and advertising). Assign a value to a contact from the web, whether a form, and email, or a phone call.

14 What I Will Not Discuss Few details, but I will point you to good resources Ebay, Froogle, Yahoos new Product Search and Trusted Feed Several other secondary and / or advanced web marketing tactics

15 Email Marketing Fuggetaboutit No spam, no rental lists Careful use of in-house opt-in generated email list is OK But how do you get that list in the first place? u SEM, people who email you, from all other traditional marketing channels.

16 Email Marketing Resources In my opinion the best book on e-mail marketing as of about a year ago is Permission-Based E-mail Marketing That Works by Kim MacPherson (2001). I have not read The E-Mail Marketing Handbook (2002) by Dr. Ralph Wilson, but I suspect that it is very good. There are tons of web sites with information, but one of the best, if not the best, is The Direct marketing Associations web site can have some good information:, (esp. see www.the- ). Another excellent resource is the I-copywriting discussion list and archives:

17 Affiliate Marketing Maybe Later ($30,000 minimum in first year) a system of tracked referrals from one web sites content to a related site, such that the referring site earns a contractual percentage of the value of all present and/or future sales or leads – Rob Laporte

18 Affiliate Marketing (Cont.) The Big Five are:, Commission Junction (, BeFree (, LinkShare (, and Performics ( Two of these have moved into SEM Big investment, medium risk, big rewards It can help your SEM, via inbound links.

19 Affiliate Marketing Resources Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants (2001) by Shawn Collins. ng/article/0,,5941_1577071,00.html – Good statistics on affiliate marketing compiled by Shawn Collins. ng/article/0,,5941_1577071,00.html php -- is a good resource for all web marketing matters. The links here pertain to affiliate marketing. php

20 Banner Advertising Fuggetaboutit u Upcoming ROI analysis will explain But there are always exceptions, so have a few standard sized banners ready to go u Ask for publisher for stats and references

21 Banner Advertising Resources ( but – Internet Advertising Bureau. By far the most authoritative resource, though they do push the industry and in the past have published patently biased research.

22 ROI Interlude Please See ROI Hand-out

23 Search Engine Marketing u Definitions & Perspectives u Pay-Per-Click (PPC) u Search Engine Optimization (SEO) u Submitting Your Web Site to the SEs u Tracking Results u In-house vs. Outsourced u The Future of SEM

24 SEM Definitions SEM = Search Engine Marketing (Some now say Inquiry Marketing is more apt) SEO = Search Engine Optimization, also called Organic or Natural SEO/SEM PPC = Pay-Per-Click (e.g., Overture, Google AdWords)OvertureAdWords Paid Placement includes PPC plus any way by which you pay to get into the search engines, e.g., Trusted Feed, Yahoo Directory.

25 SEM: Its Hot Paid search listings will total $1.6 billion by the end of 2003, making up 25 percent of total online advertising spending. Two years ago, it made up only 10 percent of spending. -- Jupiter Research, July 2003 42% of those who bought from online retail sites arrived via search engines. The average work user spends 73 minutes per month at search engines, second only to 97 minutes at news, info and entertainment sites. Over the next five years, the researcher expects spending on search to increase by a compound annual rate of more than 20 percent. -- Jupiter Research, July 2003 Please see the handout, Search Powers Online Ad Revival.

26 SEM: A Highly Disciplined Field If there were a cheap (under $2000) or easy (under 20 hours) solution, tons of businesses would do it, thus nullifying the competitive advantage of the solution. To better understand the skills and labor time needed in SEM, please see my article, SEM: In- House vs. Outsourced, at the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO), That article is crucial for deciding not only whether you should try SEM in-house, but also for evaluating a prospective SEM vendor.

27 Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a method of advertising on search engines like Overture and Google and their many affiliated search engines. Companies pay to be listed in search results. The higher a company's bid for a particular search term, the higher its listing in the results.

28 PPC: Hype and Reality Theres been a lot of media hype over PPC, because: u It has proven the best revenue source for the SEs, who thus promote it heavily. u The media fastens onto The Next Great Thing. Many SEM vendors hype PPC, because, compared to SEO, it is easier to do (but not easier to do well) and is easier to hire for. In PPC it is also easier to guarantee placement (though not ROI).

29 PPC: Hype and Reality (cont.) Reality: It is a lot more difficult to get positive ROI than you might think – see my Reality: Tons of people over-bid and dont know it -- or dont care because they have a marketing budget to spend and the boss can see the placements in the SEs. Reality: Click charges can bleed you to death slowly, and when you stop paying, your site vanishes from the SEs. Reality: Tracking ROI and adjusting your PPC campaign accordingly can take a lot continuous time.

30 PPC: Hype and Reality (cont.) SEM professionals concur that, while SEO earns better ROI than PPC, PPC is still worth doing, especially if you use PPC management software, like BidRank, Did-Its Maestro,, or several others that improve on the bid management tools built into Overture, AdWords, FindWhat and the other PPC SEs.BidRankDid-Its Maestro GoToast.comFindWhat The key is predicting, tracking and adjusting ROI: (Clicks to your web site x conversions x gross profit or value of a lead) – costs (in labor, software, and click charges) Your SEM vendor or marketing manager should work out with you in detail the ROI formulas specific to your business by which to determine the optimum amount of your PPC expenditures.

31 PPC Trends Localization Better Self-Serve (less expertise needed) The Major Search Engines Begin to Take Over SEM Firms work (and Clients)

32 PPC: Sample ROI Calculation $400 (cost of sale) x 4.6% (3158 April visits divided into 146 online catalog requests) x 1.8% (conversion of prospects mailed a brochure who became customers) = $0.33 maximum bid. Please see your handouts for sample Overture reports.

33 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) The web is above all a linguistic phenomenon The top search engines constitute the nexus, the spider at the center of this web of words. Match the language of your web site to the language used in searches performed by your best prospects.

34 SEO: What It Is SEO matches the language of your web site (every keystroke, not merely copy writing) to the language used in search engine queries by your prospects. u Copy writing, html titles, navigation links, all file and folder names, and (least effectively) keyword meta-tags and alt tags – all words count. u But what frequency, density and distribution of key phrases should you use in each page? This question is one major reason SEM professionals exist. The best SEM firms reverse engineer the SE algorithms.

35 SEO: Immediate Results & Long-Term Investment Done right, SEO brings in a larger quantity of targeted traffic than does PPC, without click charges. Contrary to what some SEM firms (who want retainer fees) say, SEO, properly done, does not require frequent tweaking or re-submitting. DISC SEOd client sites in 1998 and 1999 that are still prevailing in the SEs, with no changes to SEO tactics.

36 Is Your Site Ready for SEO? Unlike PPC, SEO almost always requires some site redesign or at least re-coding of the current design. Most sites have been and are being built by webmasters who know little or nothing about SEO architecture. If you are planning to build or re-build your site, consult with an SEM expert or online resource before even taking a crayon to paper. Even if you dont do SEO, you want your site to be open to the SE spiders.

37 SEO, Dynamic Sites, Shopping Carts, & E-catalogs Opening non-static sites to the SE spiders is a major trend now. I do not have time even to summarize this field. Flash only sites cant be read by the SE spiders. Use Flash sparingly. Mod_rewrite for Apache and its Windows equivalents alone are NOT a solution.

38 SEO: Examples Please see your handout for the dog training web sites.

39 SEO Resources A Good starter for the beginner is the brief how-to section of my former employees web site: More SEM resources will conclude the SEM section

40 Submitting Your Site to the SEs Following the instructions at the SEs is good enough for beginners and for most smaller budget operations. For the top SEs and their relations with one another, see your handout and

41 Predicting and Tracking SEM Results In most cases you can predict and track the site traffic and revenues and resulting Return On Investment (ROI) of both PPC and SEO. Improvements in software for predicting and tracking comprise a major trend in SEM today. I highly recommend that you use an experienced SEM person to predict SEM ROI before beginning SEM, so that you can allocate resources and measure results.

42 Predicting and Tracking SEM Results (Cont.) WordTracker, Overtures Term Suggestion Tool, WebPosition reports, and server statistics (WebTrends, Webalizer,, showing SE referrals to a site are industry standards for predicting and tracking SEM results. WordTrackerOvertures Term Suggestion ToolWebPositionWebTrendsWebalizer Many other excellent tracking tools are available:,, – see the resources section of and Improvements in and wider use of such tools are a major trend in SEM today.

43 Tracking Results: Re-Cap You can track the source of every visitor to your web site, what that visitor does on your site, how much they spend, and use that info to hone your web marketing. Please see your handouts for a sample server statistic.

44 SEM: In-House or Out-Source? SEM is a serious, difficult discipline, requiring months of training and experience However, you can do (or have your webmaster do) a few things that will help For more, please see my article at outsourced.php ( under Resources at ) outsourced.php

45 Choosing or Hiring an SEM Expert Ask for proof of past successes in the form of WebPosition reports and server stats. Ideally, a vendors web site would display some of this proof. Get names and numbers of past clients with whom you can speak.

46 The Future of SEM Better regional and local searching and marketing More screen real estate taken by paid listing vs. free editorial listings Better ROI Tracking and automatic bidding.

47 The Future of SEM: Localization Localization and regionalization of the SEs: See ya later Yellow Pages (both print and online). Localization of SE queries, a trend that is happening as we speak, means that smaller budget businesses will be able to earn good ROI from SEM.

48 The Future of SEM: SEO Prevails More screen real estate will be taken by paid listings as opposed to the free editorial listings in which only SEO can positions you. However, SEO will remain the most cost-effective web marketing channel. The SEs cant sell all or even most of their screen space, because if they do, another Google will emerge to convince people that it has great objective, non-paid listings.

49 The Future of SEM: Optimizing Site Conversion Rates When most businesses deploy automatic optimization of PPC web marketing, your competitive advantage will come from superior SEO and from optimization of the conversion rates of your web site. The latter will require superb usability and navigation design, and testing of multiple landing pages. This trend is in full swing now. – Jakob Nielsen is the Guru of site usability and navigation – His books are required reading for webmasters and web marketers.

50 Usability in Web Site Design Half of successful web marketing is getting the right people to your site; The other half is convincing them when they are on your site. You or your web designer must read Jakob Nielsen, who is by far the top usability guru: and the wonderful book HomePage

51 SEM Resources: A Few Good Links – The best, but you could spend months reading it all – Second best, and more condensed. SEM vendors here should become members. – The single best source for all things web marketing. – Enormous, well selected array of web marketing articles. - shows affiliate relationships among the top SEs. - A good how-to primer, by DISCs former employee and current luminary in the SEM field. – The Guru of site usability and navigation – His books are required reading for webmasters and web – tons of great web marketing statistics.

52 Questions and Open Discussion

53 Thank You and Good Night Introduction to Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

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