Covering marketing and advertising on all platforms - if it's promotion related, you'll find it here.

Are Blogs a Passing Phase or Marketing Gold?

Thread Title: Blogs: Fad or Marketing Medium of the Future? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Linked above is a piece over at adage via stece rubel on blogging. It's really only telling us, threadwatchers, what we know already: That we dont know for sure, but for now, blogging works well (both in seo and general marketing online).

It's a good excuse to talk about it a little bit though if you're so inclined :)

What do you think? - Are blogs here to stay or will they quickly be replaced with other communications media?

Public Relations meets Search Marketing

Thread Title: Dec. 14 Audio Conference: Leveraging Search for Greater Impact Thread Url: Thread Description:

Slowly but surely the admen and prguys are moving in on Search. Time to start circling the wagons has probably been and gone...

Join these leading experts in the public relations and search engine marketing industries to learn how you can gain better visibility for your brand, increase traffic to your Web site, stand out against the competition and further your sales strategies through search engine visibility techniques:

Online Ad Spend Rockets in First 9mts of 2004

Thread Title: U.S. ADVERTISING EXPENDITURE TOTALS $102.4 BILLION FOR FIRST NINE MONTHS OF 2004 Thread Url: Thread Description:

A new report from TNS Media tells of a dramatic rise in online ad spend in the first 9mts of this year over the same period in 2003:

Total advertising expenditure for the first nine months of 2004 increased 10.3 percent to $102.4 billion compared to the same time period in 2003

"Throughout 2004, the advertising market has experienced steady, healthy growth with increases in all three quarters," said Steven Fredericks, president and CEO of TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, a division of TNS, the world's second largest market information company. "As we forecasted earlier in the year, third quarter spending for the Olympics and the political season elevated the volume of overall dollars brought into the advertising market."

Conversion Metrics - Thinking outside the Box

Thread Title: Are Visitor-to-Buyer Conversion Metrics Outdated? Thread Url: Thread Description:

MarketingSherpa have an interesting article with JCPenny's Richard Last on convertion stats and techniques. Last year they did about $600M - within 2 more years they want 1BN

Tactic #1. Expand your metrics

If you're going to think outside the shoppers-to-conversions box, you need a new way to measure success. "It's a challenge going forward," notes Last. For example, "What are the levers that truly point to multi-channel success? We should understand the impact of conversions online vs. shop online and buy in-store, especially when she is buying other products in addition when she gets there."

Last's team has begun to focus not only on immediate conversions, but more on how to measure "if we helped her with her buying decision" with the ultimate purchase to follow in any channel. Currently they use the following tools prior to the launch of any major site change:

An in-house usability testing An outside usability lab A/B real-time testing on the site Monitoring trends in fashion and style relevance Talking with customers and with top selling associates in brick and mortar stores

Chikita Under the Microscope - T&C's Examined

Thread Title: And you thought AdSense had tough T&C's... you haven't seen Chitika Thread Url: Thread Description:

TW member Jenstar takes a close look at new contextual ad network Chitika that launched this month.

Some interesting things caught my eye when I took a peek at Chitika's terms and conditions. Things started to sound familiar... very familiar... So familiar, in fact, that it turns out Chitika decided to take the February 18, 2004 version of Google's AdSense terms, and use the entire "Prohibited uses" for themselves. What did they change? Google to Chitika, "ad unit" to "paid listing unit", and other minor specifics like that.

Makes for very interesting reading for contextual ad guys and girls..

Gaining top position in googles sponsored results

Thread Title: Top position? Impossible? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Gilgul asks how an advertiser can achieve top spot on Googles sponsored results – these are the premium slots in the horizontal band.

AdWordsRep explains how ranking is calculated and reveals the extra criteria used for allocating premium slots.

Now, here are details about how placement in the top one or two spots differs:

* Ads go to the top when they have met an additional performance standard, which focuses on the relevance of the ads to our users.

* This is measured by CTR. So ads/keywords with a particularly high CTR are the ones that go to the top. This also means that CTR is weighted more heavily than CPC in the algo for 'promotion'.

* Actual CPC is more important than Max CPC in terms of going to the top. This means that simply 'bidding higher' is not likely to get one 'promoted'.

* Ads/keywords must first be reviewed and approved, in order to be sent to the top one or two spots.

Slightly different from what Google have documented in the support section

Why Bother With SEO?

Thread Title: Isn't Ppc Really The End Of The Line? Thread Url: Thread Description:

If you're selling competitive stuff like herbal products and only have a small site, is it worthwhile to even bother with regular SEO?

Torka has a great response which in part says:

I guess it depends on how long you plan to be in business. If you're talking about a business plan that spans years, a few months to get better "free" search engine ranking is a drop in the bucket. If, on the other hand, the business plan is for a "quick hit" followed by an equally quick exit, then PPC is definitely the only way to go.

Forrester urges Companies to Monitor Blogs

Thread Title: Forrester report on corporate blogs Thread Url: Thread Description:

When And How Businesses Should Use Blogs

Although Weblogs (blogs) are currently used by only a small number of online consumers, they've garnered a great deal of corporate attention because their readers and writers are highly influential. Forrester believes that blogging will grow in importance, and at a minimum, companies should monitor blogs to learn what is being said about their products and services.

From Charlene Li's blog.

Russell Beattie also made some notable comments about blogs, content & communicontent today..

Seems everytime i hit bloglines someone is saying somthing about corporate blogs these days...

Ad:Tech in New York Next Week - 4K Internet Marketers

Thread Title: Ad:Tech in New York Next Week - 4K Internet Marketers Thread Url: Thread Description:

From the thread in SEW forums, I just found out that Ad:Tech in New York is next week. This is the biggest internet advertising conference there is (afaik) and some real pros will be there, I'm sure.

If you know me & you're going, drink one for me too, eh? And stop by to give us the scoop if any new Search stuff gets announced!

The Positive & Negative Sides of Pay-per-Click

Thread Title: PPC Pitfalls? Thread Url: Thread Description:

Although this post does have some internal strife/bickering, there is some fantastic information on the downsides and strategies that can be used for Pay-per-Click advertising. Even a long-time user of PPC will find some tasty tidbits of information that can be put to use right away in this thread. Of particular interest are the lists of factors that can affect performance, and the measurement SEOs should be aware of to help calculate, track and learn from their SEO campaigns.

Press Releases for Link Development

Thread Title: Press Releases for Link Development Thread Url: Thread Description:

Interesting topic over at wmw. The general concensus seems to be that the ROI on this strategy is poor but there are some excellent tips and recounted experiences on gaining backlinks from for example, contacting columnists directly. I'll leave you with this snippet from the excellent martinibuster:

Are Press Release Services a Waste of Money? There is less certainty of a backlink when spending that $ on a PR service. I'm interested to know from anyone at WebmasterWorld who has had a positive experience submitting press releases to these services and generating a backlink. How about a temporary boost in traffic?

I have had some success, however, identifying the writers for columns dedicated to specific interest areas then writing them directly. This way, instead of your press release sitting over at the PR Service waiting to be found, you deliver the message straight to the scribe- which is where you want it to be.

Related: Free Press Release Websites

Free Press Release Websites

Thread Title: Free Press Release Websites Thread Url: Thread Description:

Not only a nice list, but some resonable discussion on optimizing press releases, pros and cons and members personal experiences.