Archive for the 'search marketing' Category

How the web is driving the new rules of marketing and PR

Did You Know…

92% of people use the Web to evaluate purchase options, yet less than 30% of businesses allocate dollars for online marketing.


Over 30 % of online visitors go to social media sites.


Gen Y (aged 18 to 28) is the most Internet-savvy group, spending more time online than they do watching television, with 42 percent watching online video at least once per month.


The older Generation X (aged 29 to 42) also use technology extensively for more task driven needs, especially when they intersect with business and family.


*This research is part of Forrester’s 2008 North America Technographics Benchmark survey which gathered data from around 61,000 consumers in the US and Canada.



“The New Rules of Marketing and PR” – How to use news releases, blogs, podcasts, viral marketing and online media to reach your buyers directly

For decades, marketers have relied on buying expensive advertising and begging for media coverage. We interrupted “prospects” with our egotistical “messages” in the hopes of generating interest from buyers (who usually ignored us anyway), but the Internet is a marketing channel that is dramatically changing how we perform. As marketers, we must shift our thinking from mainstream marketing to the masses to a strategy where we target specific audiences and niches we want to reach.

Writing news releases is no longer just for when we have big news.  Now we write news releases that highlight our ideas and stories and we distribute them online so that our buyers and constituents can get them on the news search engines and vertical content sites.  As Meerman points out, the “Internet has made public relations public again after years of almost exclusive focus on media.”

The online marketing channel requires more than a big idea with great creative and a one-way message. Smart marketers now communicate with buyers through content rich Web sites, blogs, YouTube videos, e-books, and other online media that buyers actually want to consume. To succeed in marketing online, we need to adapt to using these very direct and interactive social media strategies. These mediums help us communicate and engage customers in places where we have no physical presence but where the customer can find out about what we offer and how we can meet their needs. The products and services offered by tuned-in companies resonate with people who willingly buy without being coerced. 

 If you would like to learn some of the new criteria for marketing & PR and how to succeed in a digital world, then come listen and ask questions of David Meerman Scott, a nationally renowned speaker and best-selling author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR.

 Scott will be the keynote speaker at the Advertising Federation of Northwest Pennsylvania’s Erie Ad Day on Thursday, September 25 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, 55 West Bay Drive, in downtown Erie. The full-day professional development event will focus on the theory, tactics and technologies driving the advertising and marketing communications industry.

Learn how to leverage the potential that Web-based communication offers. A step-by-step action plan for harnessing the power of the new rules of marketing and PR will be provided, showing how to identify audiences, create compelling messages, get those messages to the most consumers possible, and lead those consumers directly into the buying process. Told with many case studies and real-world examples, this a practical discussion about the new reality of PR and marketing.

 Register online at:

Or register by phone at (814) 451-8677.

Listen to Podcast

Get the lowdown on the New Rules of Marketing and PR in a podcast interview with David right here:



Discover Paid Search from A to Q

eBizITPA hosted a conference on December 6, 2007, entitled “SEM II: Join the Evolution.” The event was a great success, providing its attendees with some first rate information on the basics of search engine marketing, both paid and natural, as well as the steps that need to be taken in order to get started.

The conference kicked off with Neal Rabogliatti’s presentation on SEO, which was discussed in further detail in a prior post, The Next Step in SEO Presentations.

After a short break, Justin Seibert of Direct Online Marketing spoke on paid search marketing in his presentation, Get Found Fast! Learn Paid Search Marketing from A to Q. Seibert delivered an informative and dynamic presentation, incorporating some introductory information with more advanced, instructional information meant to assist individuals in creating a paid search campaign.

Paid ads are those that companies purchase, using paid search marketing programs such as Google Adwords and Yahoo! Search Marketing. They are usually listed at the very top and right hand sides of organic search results, although their location differs from search engine to search engine. Seibert continued by explaining how purchasing paid search ads on Google, Yahoo!, or other search engines differ. As of October 2007, Google owned 58.5% of the market share, followed by Yahoo! at 22.9%. Seibert noted that, although Microsoft search engines only had 9.7% of searchers, they are growing steadily, and should not be ignored.

The benefits of paid search are many, including:

  • immediate results, instead of waiting 2-6 months for search engines to crawl and index your site.
  • budget control: allows you to set a certain monthly spending, and then stops placing your ads once your monthly limit is hit.
  • geographic reach: allows you to customize the geographic areas that are reached by your ads instead of simply broadcasting them to the entire region.
  • Result based: the results are fully trackable; you know right away if it is working or not.

At this point, Seibert began talking about how paid search is NOT for everybody. He laid some guidelines, saying that it is probably NOT for you if:

  • You are a monopoly/ oligopoly: there is not much competition with keyword terms because you are the only, or one of two companies that provide the product or service.
  • Are in a search competitive industry with a small budget: in this situations, keyword terms are at very high bid rates, and some companies would use up their monthly allocated budget very quickly with little results.
  • Can only sell to a small geographic area which has yet to adopt to technology.

Once a company decides that paid search is right for them, they should decide if they should do it in house or hire an outside firm to handle it for them. Generally, if the company has a small budget, they should try in-house paid search. It is when time and resources are lacking when companies should decide to use an outside agency to handle search campaigns for them.

Begin a Paid Search Campaign!
Seibert then began a comprehensive tutorial for those who would decide to try in-house paid search marketing. The first step is to set up an account with the search engine you would like your ads to appear on.

  1. Set up an account
  2. Decide which geographic area you would like to target
  3. Write your ad: carefully choose your headline, description lines, and display URL.
    1. It is recommended that you use the Keyword Insertion Tool: this will insert the keyword the individual searched for into the headline of your ad so that they will be more likely to click the link due to relevancy.
  4. Choose your keywords after carrying out basic keyword research. Related keywords are usually suggested by your search provider after you create your ad.
  5. Set your budget and max bids

Tips for Better Results
Seibert also had a variety of tips and resources for anybody who decides to take on paid search marketing in house.

  • Positioning: you do not need to be #1. Aim for the top five search results instead, so that you’re not pouring your resources into a one or two spot difference.
  • Pick actual keywords being used by those searching for you, not keyword terms that you, as an expert of your business industry, would necessarily use.
  • Landing pages: generally, do NOT send people to your home page, but to a page on your site which would be most relevant to what they searched for.
  • Check out the competition: if a competitor is doing a good job, try to copy their techniques in order to compete.
  • Don’t forget to test everything so you know if it’s working!
  • Again, test everything!

Overall, Seibert’s presentation was very in depth and informational, containing specific instruction on how to get started implementing paid search. This is the type of information the “do it yourself” individuals are looking for. For more information, contact Seibert on his own website, Direct Online Marketing.

The Next Step in SEO Presentations

During the SEM II- Join the Evolution Conference on December 6, 2007, Neal Rabogliatti’s presentation on how to implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was, in my opinion, the missing portion of most SEO presentation and articles readily available today. Not only did Rabogliatti present the basics, but he suggested specific steps to take to implement SEO, a step many professionals are reluctant to take unless they are working directly for a client at a high hourly rate.

Introducing… SEO
Rabogliatti began by presenting an “E-Strategy Process,” where he explained seven phases of optimizing a site for both search engines and user friendly design.

  1. Define your goal: be as specific as possible
  2. Discovery: who is our specific audience?
  3. Research: find the terminology that should be used to appeal to the largest audience
  4. Compiling and Arranging: decide on the terms you should use in the site
  5. Review and test the keyword terms in order to modify your keyword selection
  6. Execute the plan: have a web developer create and launch the site
  7. Market, Promote, Optimize and Maintain the site

Rabogliatti stressed the importance of the initial planning phases in order to implement the most effective SEO plan. He also mentioned that, if possible, the web developer should be a part of all phases in order to increase his understanding of the goals.

The discussion then led to a basic explanation of SEO, including how search engines usually rank sites. The search engines first send out “spiders” that crawl your site, finding the pages linked to your site, and therefore creating an index of the page. The page is then ranked according to the page content’s relevancy to the key term that is being searched for. The ranking, or relevancy, of a site is determined by referencing:

  • Page Content: text keyword density should be around 5-7% of code. This can be found using a Keyword Density Checker.
  • Organizing Codes: Page Title, meta tags, and keyword tags can all be used to increase keywords and relevancy of your site.
  • Link Popularity: the number of external sites that link to your site.

How to Implement SEO
We now get into the “how to” section of Rabogliatti’s presentation, which begins with his “designing for success” suggestions. User friendly sites tend to be the most SEO friendly, therefore ranking as more relevant than non-user friendly sites. Your web developer should pay close attention to the following aspects of the site architecture and layout in order to maximize SEO potential:

  • File and Folder Structure: folder directories should be as close to the root directories as possible. The further from the root directory, the more likely the search engine is to interpret the file as less relevant and important, resulting in a lower ranking or no indexing of the pages furthest away.
  • Page Layout: the actual content containing the keywords should be as close to the beginning of the code as possible.
    • Keep content at beginning of code. Content that begins after code line 150 may actually be ignored by most search engines.
    • Using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) can help bring relevant content into the first few lines by referring to an external (CSS) file in order to give the instructions for what the page should look like.
    • Stay away from frame and table layouts, as search engines generally read these layouts differently than the order of importance.
    • Use Div / Layers in order to enable the code to tell the search engines which sections to read first, and therefore which are most relevant.
  • Navigational Structure: ensure every page is accessible from another within two clicks. This helps search engines index your site.

Social Media and SEO
Rabogliatti also introduced social media within the SEO context. Social media consists of online tools that people use to share opinions, insights, and information with one another in the form of text, images, audio, or video. It can be classified into four different types:

  1. Bookmarking Sites: users bookmark their favorite sites, which creates a link to that site, increasing the SEM power of the site. Examples include or reddit.
  2. Media Sharing Sites: examples include YouTube and Flickr
  3. Blogs
  4. Content Syndication: people place press releases and announcements on these sites, which increase the search engine marketing power of the site. An example is Digg.

There are several things you can do to use social media to help increase your search engine marketing power:

  1. Make tagging and bookmarking easy by adding a tool below each article, post, or on each page inviting visitors to share this tool. An example includes Add This.
  2. Create Content: begin to contribute to the current discussion on whatever topics in your area of expertise are hot at the moment. Become a thought leader in your field by getting involved through posts containing your opinion and the information your target audience is looking for.
  3. Know How to Target Your Audience: do some research to find out what they want, and then give it to them through the creation of content.

Helpful Tools
The following are some helpful tools that Rabogliatti recommends in order to utilize search engine optimization most effectively:

Overall, Rabogliatti did a tremendous job presenting this valuable information to the attendees of the conference. As well as providing some helpful and descriptive “how to” tips, he was lively and entertaining, obviously passionate and knowledgeable about the topic. Thanks Neal, for your wonderful presentation and insightful SEO tips!

SEM II: SEM- Paid and Natural Recap!

Last week’s conference, “SEM II: Join the Evolution,” was a great success, providing its attendees with some first rate information on the basics of search engine marketing, both paid and natural, as well as “how to” information to get started. Held at the Ambassador Banquet and Conference Center in Erie, PA, which resulted in a strong turnout and several walk ins, which was surprising due to the thick layer of snow that covered the ground that morning.

Neal Rabogliatti’s presentation on how to implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO) included the next steps necessary to implement the strategy, which the majority of SEO presentation and articles readily available today do not provide. Not only did Rabogliatti present the basics, but he suggested specific steps to take to actually implement SEO, a step many are reluctant to take unless they are working directly with a client, being paid an hourly rate.

After a short intermission to allow Rabogliatti’s wealth of information to settle, Justin Seibert presented on the topic of Paid Search Marketing. Seibert’s presentation also served as the next step presentation for paid search. Instead of focusing on the basics of the medium, he gives detailed information about how to set up accounts on sites such as Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing to begin implementing your paid search marketing strategies.

Did you miss the conference? You didn’t miss out! Stay tuned for the next few posts on this eMarketing SIG Blog, in which we will be recapping both Rabogliatti and Seibert’s excellent presentations, in order to supply you with a taste of their experiences and knowledge they shared about search engine optimization and paid search marketing!

Search Marketing; One of the Triumvirate Three

Search Engine Marketing is one of three most essential online marketing strategies for businesses that are seriously committed to using the online channel to find new markets, build awareness, promote product and services, qualify and generate leads, acquire new customers and close a sale. The triumvirate three includes having a website and email marketing but I will cover those another time. 

New activities are emerging and becoming a significant influence on Search Engine Marketing.  This includes Web 2.0 activities commonly known as social media, social networks, and user generated content.  Sites like Facebook, Blogs, Video sites like YouTube and user reviewed sites like Digg all of have the ability to influence searcher behavior by generating valuable inbound links which are so important to a search optimization strategy. 

Effective online marketers are always looking for ways to enhance and improve website visibility in natural or organic search engine listings.  The primary goal for most is to increase the number of visitors and increase online conversions. 

Google Paid and Organic Search            

Optimizing your website involves a process of testing and tweaking website structure, search terms research, content creation and link equity. So understanding how to use Web 2.0 activities and linking strategies starts with understanding your particular audience and figuring out how they will benefit, if at all. 

However, Paid Search Marketing, also known as Pay Per Click (PPC,) is the fastest growing tactic used to drive relevant and qualified leads.  Google, MSN and Yahoo all have paid sponsor or advertising opportunities driving close to $6 billion dollars in 2006. One reason PPC is so compelling is because it delivers results almost immediately. Quick measurable results make PPC a smart way to plan your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. All the major search engines offer reporting and analytics tools so you can monitor and tack every click gaining valuable data to be used when planning your SEO strategy.  It makes sense to develop a combination of PPC and SEO strategies for driving traffic and generating leads.  

Search marketing is one of the tools you need to market in today’s digitally savvy world.  Search marketing is a long term strategic investment and marketers need to evaluate how it fits into their marketing plans. Start taking advantage of search and other tactics and technologies to grow your business and gain an edge.

sem2home.jpgBecome an eMarketing Rockstar! Attend the SEM II: Join the eVolution Conference. The web is outpacing all other media for user involvement.  This conference and other educational programs offered at the eMarketing Learning Center @ eBizITPA will help you understand, navigate and integrate Internet marketing strategies to support you business growth.  This evet is sponsored by the NWIRCErie Ad Club Members and Tech Council Members qualify for special rate.

An E-Commerce Event Provides Useful Tools…

Recently, I represented eBizITPA at the E-Commerce Summit at the University of Pittsburgh in Bradford.  At the summit, there were case studies and tools provided that gave insight into how some small businesses are utilizing the Internet to grow their business.  As most of you know, case studies are a helpful way for businesses to learn from others what may or may not work.     

Darron Schott of Blair Corporation, explained the importance of shopping cart navigation, especially when 60% or more of a site’s top audience includes senior citizens.  Though more and more elderly are beginning to surf the Web, many have difficulty finding their way around.  Therefore, navigation has to be quick, simple and in no way confusing, or the company risks losing customers.  Darron explained the process they went through to test which features should be provided and in what way for their target audience.  They completed a workshop with several elderly women where they were able to purchase a product online and as they were going through the check out process, they were videotaped so Blair Corp. could see exactly what areas gave them difficulties.  They then could fix those problems in order to create a better shopping experience for their customers. 

Another speaker, Sarah Caniglia of, explained how one small Benedictine Abbey in rural Wisconsin had an idea that could help raise money for his monastery.  But as with many other monks, the Father leading this novel business idea, had little business practice.  They wanted to sell ink cartridges on the Internet.  Sarah and a colleague of hers volunteered to assist the abbey by creating a business plan utilizing Internet marketing.  The company, which focuses highly on supporting their communities by donating to charities are not only able to support their abbey, they are also able to donate any leftover profits to other good causes.    

In addition to case studies, a list of Internet tools was provided to help business owners with Web site analytics.  Carolyn Newhouse of SuperUser Technologies  introduced a tool to assist with researching good keywords.  As many of you know, the key words or phrases you choose to use in the content within your site can help your ranking in popular search engines such as Google or Yahoo!.   With this tool by SEO Company, you can type in keywords or phrases that you use, or are thinking of using, within the titles or pages of your site.  It will provide you with the number of search results that particular word or phrase will receive in Google or Yahoo!.  For instance, say I plan to have a Web site selling glass vases.  I would type in ‘glass vases’ and see how many results that exact phrase will conjure up in Google today.  If the results display 175,000, then there are 175,000 other sites that use that keyword within their site.   

This tool also allows you to not only see how much certain words or phrases are being used but also enables you to go directly to the results within Google or Yahoo!.  Doing that will allow you to research who you’re direct competitors may be. 

Do you want your site to get lost in a pool as large as 175,000?  Of course not!  If you have a niche product or service, you should consider using words or phrases that don’t have as many search results in order to allow users to hone in on your site, and of course your product or service.  This will ensure that you’re site isn’t getting lost in the search results among the other thousands of sites that happen to sell a product similar to yours.   

So, what’s different about your product or site and what are the best key words that describe it?  This tool is really helpful for those of us that can think of keywords but have no idea if they’re the best words to use in terms of search engine rankings.  Have you used this tool before?  Tell us what you think! If you haven’t used it yet, check it out at SEO Company and give us your thoughts!

For other keyword tools, visit the following:

Search Engine Optimization and Web Presence

Search marketing consists of two different aspects: natural, or organic search, and paid-search. Through the proper utilization of these marketing initiatives, companies can enhance and increase their web presence relatively inexpensively, or even at no cost at all!

At the Center for eBizitPA‘s seminar, “Enhance Your Web Presence Through Search Marketing,” held yesterday, August 23rd, 2007 in Franklin, PA, three experts on the topic discussed both paid and natural search. The concluding presentation consisted of a critical analysis of six different attendees’ company websites.

PennTAP LogoPennTAP’s Donald LeGoullon kicked off the seminar with his presentation on natural, or organic search engine marketing and the search engine optimization (SEO), the improvement of the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines. LeGoullon efficiently covered a great deal of quality information regarding the state and usage of search engines today, and useful tips and tricks in order to raise companies’ websites upwards in the ranking of search engine results using SEO. Although only given an hour of time, LeGoullon did a tremendous job of efficiently creating a general understanding of what SEO is, as well as ways to use it to increase the visibility of a web site on the web.eDynaQuote logo

Doug Luthringer, Client Development Manager for eDynaQuote, and an avid ebay seller, was the second speaker of this half-day seminar, speaking about paid search using Google AdWords, which offers pay per click (PPC) advertising, and site targeted advertising for both text and banner ads. Google AdWords LogoThe ads placed on Google AdWords are included in the following locations on the Google Search engine, when the purchased key search terms are searched for.

Google AdWords Placement

Luthringer began his presentation by introducing the concept of paid search marketing with common terms and the different pricing models available. Some of these pricing models include pay per click, pay per lead, pay-per-sale, and performance pricing. The presentation continued with specifics about the Google AdWords service, as well as a step by step tutorial on how to set up an account, design ads, and purchase keywords for the ad. Tips and tactics for creating an effective ad to optimize results and ROI were also covered.

The final presentation of the seminar was presented by Cathy von Birgelen, of the eMarketing Learning Center at eBizitPA, and Don LeGoullon. Six individual company websites were constructively analyzed by these professionals from a marketing and SEO point of view. Many suggestions were made on how the sites could be improved. The positive and effective aspects of the website were also pointed out as a guide for what other companies should and should not be doing with regards to their web site creation. For more information on how to get a personalized analysis of your company’s website, contact Don LeGoullon at PennTAP via email, or telephone (814-677-3152).

If you missed this event, continue to visit eBizitPA’s website for other similar search or e-marketing courses! If you attended this seminar, we invite you to comment on the overall quality and value of the information presented throughout the morning and into the afternoon.

Note: This event was sponsored by:

eMarketing Special Interest Group

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