A friend of mine was recently hired as the ad director for a mid-market newspaper, owned by the Tribune Company. After he was there about a month I asked him, "so how do you plan on selling ads for a dying media?"
"For starters," he said, "I do something absolutely no one in that office does. Every morning I read the newspaper. Cover-to-cover."
Despite the fact that SEO can make or break a business online, SEO still conjures up a lot of negativity.
Some of the negativity is fair. While there are plenty of legitimate SEOs, the market still has its fair share of snake oil salesman going from client to client in a hit-and-run fashion promising the world but delivering none of it.
Isn't it a shame when you can't finish a headline alliteratively? Anyway, despite the odd politician claiming they can already see the green shoots of recovery, the economic downturn continues to kick the nation's finances squarely in the groin.
Fortunately for my industry, there are many financial savvy reasons for
continuing to spend money on search engine optimisation (SEO) and other
online marketing strategies. I have listed the ones I consider most
pertinent below but please feel free to add more.
As newspapers continue the struggle to adapt and survive in a digital world, just about everyone in the business is trying to figure out how to make journalism a profitable exercise in the 21st century, especially online.
Charging for content is back in vogue, but charging for valuable content that publishers have foolishly devalued through ad-supported business models that don't look so great today is a tough proposition.
No secret that performance-based advertising is dominating internet marketing. But brands are still trying to find the right mix for all those performance options, email, and a rapidly declining display market.
According to IDC research analyst Caroline Dangson, the display market contracted by 7 percent in Q4 of 2008, and will continue to see decreased spending until the end of this year. With this in mind, several brands are trying to find some balance for all the advertising options available.
Hopeful to reel in the big brand, big bucks advertisers, YouTube is working on technology that would link up ads on its own site with spots on television, and even on other web sites.
Google's director of television ads, Michael Steib, is reported by wsj.com as saying the technology would allow
advertisers to buy ads across Google TV, which sells remnant inventory from on-air
commercials, YouTube, and video on other Web sites through a single
interface. Google TV Ads Online is reportedly being tested with a small group of advertisers and will bow within months.
Internet marketing analysts are finding more reasons to be cheerful. Presentations at yesterday's CPL Summit in New York supported the recent theme that conditions for a second half surge are starting to take shape.
The summit, sponsored by Pontiflex, focused on differing approaches to pay-for-performance advertising. Growth in PPC, search, and pay-per-lead are part of the reasons the second half of 2009 could be brighter than many projections that were revised downward over the past few weeks. Imran Khan, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan, singled out three more reasons for cautious optimism:
Sears, one of the largest e-tailers in the US, has just relaunched the websites for two of its online brands, Kmart.com and Sears.com, and has introduced an interesting new multi-search feature.
This means that shoppers at either of the relaunched websites can search on one site and receive product results across both of them. Sears has also added tabs at the top of each page that allow users to quickly access any of the company's six e-commerce sites.
Research firm comScore released some stats on iPhone usage in the UK this week, finding that 93% of iPhone owners accessed mobile media in January, much higher than the average for smartphones.
I've come across a few other stats on mobile internet usage and mobile commerce recently, so I've rounded some of them up to coincide with the release of the latest version of our Internet Statistics Compendium.
Flower retailer Interflora has just launched a transactional mobile site, offering a limited range of the flowers and gifts that are available on the desktop website.
It's a product which should be well suited to mobile, as it offers shoppers a chance to but last minute gifts when they cannot get to either a shop or a computer.