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Advertising Online - A Guide to Successful Market Penetration Part One: Why Internet Advertising

Written By: Deborah Kilpatrick
Published On: January 5 2003

Why Internet Advertising?

Online advertising in the past year has proven to be no longer an option, but a requirement. With billions of pages on the web, companies are increasingly feeling the pressure to advertise online to bolster corporate presence, B2B and B2C revenues and to also turn their websites into sources for acquiring client information. Indeed, statistics show that more and more business is being conducted online, and a recent study conducted from Ernst and Young reveals that 74% of Americans purchased online in the last year.

Accordingly, of all Internet users in the US, 94% of them query search engines to find information on the Web (Nielson-Net Ratings). Even more appealing is the fact that 81% of people querying search engines find the information every time they search (NPD). Considering these numbers and how relatively inexpensive and risk free Internet advertising is compared to other types of traditional media, it is a wonder why more businesses are not optimizing their sites on search engines (aka SEO Search Engine Optimization) to bolster online presence.

This is Part One of a three-part article on successful online advertising.

Part Two will discuss Search Engine Strategies.

Part Three will cover Geographical Targeting and Fraud Prevention Programs.

Search Engine Marketing Is Essential

Reaching the ever-increasing number of online users is critical to complementing your offline advertising efforts as well as establishing your corporate presence on the net. Corporate websites should be information rich for both returning users and new users. They should also be a platform for your company's values and offering. Attracting your clients, or potential business partners to your website is therefore the key to not only forging long-term relationships, but also bolstering online sales.

CEOs and marketing directors need to acknowledge the power of search engine marketing. It's one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available, yet most companies spend little on search engine optimization. In a recent study from Marketing Sherpa, "more than 90 percent of the Fortune 100's websites not optimized properly". This is a striking statistic when considering that next to email, search engines are the most widely used application on the Internet (Market Leap).

A fully integrated marketing campaign should therefore include aggressive Internet advertising, which consists of listings on search engines, portals, directories and banners on strategic portals and large sites. Most importantly, listing your site on search engines with a broad reach is important to expose your product and/or services. Search engines will provide the technology to bring your corporation to people who are actively looking for your solution. And since over 80% of web site traffic is guided by search engines (Forrester Research), the question remains: how do you use search engines effectively in order to draw clients, partners and industry experts to your site?

To support online initiatives, listing and ranking high on search engines is a critical step towards garnishing success. In the industry, the top 10 results receive approximately 80% more traffic than those in positions 11-30 (I search). Now, how do you achieve that top rank?

There are various ways to approach getting top listing with the large search properties. Some sites use specific keywords and phrases to allow large indexing engines to recognize the validity of the site to the users, some also purchase relevant keywords and phrases from content suppliers who feed this information to the large search properties. Most of these content suppliers charge per referral.

There are many different types of pricing structures, the two most popular being bidding and CPC. The later version charges only when a user clicks on the search result (CPC- Cost per Click- Model), and redirects the user to your site. There is little risk in comparison to traditional advertising media, which charges strictly on demographics, circulation, and the likelihood of how many people will see or hear your message. Paying a content supplier on a "cost per click" referral is akin to having someone deliver a bus load of people to your store and charging you pennies for every potential customer who steps through the door. In this scenario, even if two people purchase, you will have been successful in your online marketing efforts.

Added Benefits of Advertising Online: Tracking your ROI

You can analyze down to the penny your increase in sales through keyword advertising by tracking the conversion rates (sales generated from clicks) for each ad dollar that you spend. You only have to create a specific URL, per initiative, pointing to your website so that you can track which marketing effort the click is coming from. You will then be able to monitor someone clicking on your advertisement, going to your site and converting into a sale. This information will notify you which keywords, creatives and marketing effort are producing an ROI and which efforts are not.

Data Warehousing

An organization's Data Warehouse is detailed information obtained about each client, including their behaviors, and their preferences. The Data Warehouse is typically a combination of detailed demographic data on a customer. You may obtain this type of information from clients that submit information about themselves by opting in to your company's newsletters, updates or specials information via your site. Oftentimes, parties that are interested in your product/service offering are more willing to take five minutes in the comfort of their own home to optin to receive company information.

This concludes Part One of a three-part article successful online advertising.

Part Two will discuss Search Engine Strategies.

Part Three will cover Geographical Targeting and Fraud Prevention Programs.

About the Author

Deborah Kilpatrick has been employed at Mamma.com since August 2001 and currently holds the position of Product Marketing Manager. Previous work employment includes Marketing Specialist at Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc. and Marketing Research Specialist at Marconi Communications (a telecommunications firm). She holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Marketing from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University.

Best benefit from the web! Know more about how to enter an effective Search Engine Optimization campaign at URL http://ads.mamma.com/signup/signup.php3.

Mamma.com Inc., The Mother of all Search engines (NASDAQ: INTA), is one of the world's largest Meta-search engines. Mamma.com uses its meta-search technology to search multiple engines, directories and other information sites, combining their results and returning only the top listings. Mamma.com not only retrieves top results for the user, the engine also distributes results to a network of over 2,000 sites, with accumulated traffic of over one million unique users a month. This setting is the ideal marketplace for buyers and sellers to meet, and Mamma.com's core competency is built around fostering this environment.

To start you online advertising campaign or to grow your online business, click here.

 
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