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Monday, September 10, 2007

Six Key Components Of An Online Marketing Campaign

Six Key Components Of An Online Marketing Campaign
By SEOJoe

Companies have many options for communicating with prospective customers. The Internet has become the primary medium for reaching potential clients anywhere across the globe. With advent of search and popular brands like Google and Yahoo, the Internet is an excellent source to obtain new clients and build your bottom line as well as build your brand beyond your wildest dreams.

Let us begin by outlining the primary components of Online Marketing:
1. SEO / Search Engine Optimization:

SEO is short for search engine optimization, the process of increasing the amount of visitors to a Web site by ranking high in the search results of a search engine. The higher a Web site ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user. It is common practice for Internet users to not click through pages and pages of search results, so where a site ranks in a search is essential for directing more traffic toward the site.

SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine.
2. PPC / Pay Per Click:

Pay per click (PPC) is an advertising technique used on websites, advertising networks, and search engines.

Advertisers bid on "keywords" that they believe their target market (people they think would be interested in their offer) would type in the search bar when they are looking for their type of product or service. For example, if an advertiser sells red widgets, he/she would bid on the keyword "red widgets", hoping a user would type those words in the search bar, see their ad, click on it and buy. These ads are called "sponsored links" or "sponsored ads" and appear next to and sometimes above the natural or organic results on the page. The advertiser pays only when the user clicks on the ad.

While many companies exist in this space, Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing, which was formerly Overture, are the largest network operators as of 2006. In the spring of 2006, MSN started beta testing their own PPC service, MSN adCenter. Depending on the search engine, minimum prices per click start at US$0.01 (up to US$0.50). Very popular search terms can cost much more on popular engines. Abuse of the pay per click model can result in click fraud.
3. Pay Per Inclusion

Paid inclusion is a search engine marketing product where the search engine company charges fees related to inclusion of websites in their search index. Paid inclusion products are provided by most search engine companies, the most notable exception being Google.

The fee structure is both a filter against superfluous submissions and a revenue generator. Typically, the fee covers an annual subscription for one webpage, which will automatically be cataloged on a regular basis. A per-click fee may also apply. Each search engine is different. Some sites allow only paid inclusion, although these have had little success. More frequently, many search engines, like Yahoo!, mix paid inclusion (per-page and per-click fee) with results from web crawling. Others, like Google (and a little recently, Ask.com), do not let webmasters pay to be in their search engine listing (advertisements are shown separately and labeled as such).

Some detractors of paid inclusion allege that it causes searches to return results based more on the economic standing of the interests of a web site, and less on the relevancy of that site to end-users.

Often the line between pay per click advertising and paid inclusion is debatable. Some have lobbied for any paid listings to be labeled as an advertisement, while defenders insist they are not actually ads since the webmasters do not control the content of the listing, its ranking, or even whether it is shown to any users. Another advantage of paid inclusion is that it allows site owners to specify particular schedules for crawling pages. In the general case, one has no control as to when their page will be crawled or added to a search engine index. Paid inclusion proves to be particularly useful for cases where pages are dynamically generated and frequently modified.

Paid inclusion is a search engine marketing method in itself, but also a tool of search engine optimization, since experts and firms can test out different approaches to improving ranking, and see the results often within a couple of days, instead of waiting weeks or months. Knowledge gained this way can be used to optimize other web pages, without paying the search engine company.
4. Banner Advertising Programs
Cost Per Impression (CPI) / Cost Per Thousand (CPM), Cost per Action (CPA) / Cost Per Click (CPC)

The web banner or banner ad form of online advertising entails embedding an advertisement into a web page. It is intended to attract traffic to a website by linking them to the web site of the advertiser. Banner Ad programs can be structured into any of the following types of programs.

Cost Per Impression is a phrase often used in online advertising and marketing related to web traffic. It is used for measuring the worth and cost of a specific e-marketing campaign. This technique is applied with web banners, text links, e-mail spam, and opt-in e-mail advertising, although opt-in e-mail advertising is more commonly charged on a Cost Per Action (CPA) basis.

The Cost Per Impression is often measured using the CPM (Cost Per Thousand; "M" is the Roman numeral for 1,000) metric. (A CPM is the cost of one thousand (1,000) impressions.)

CPM is considered the optimal form of selling online advertising from the publisher's point of view. A publisher gets paid for each ad that is shown.

This type of advertising arrangement closely resembles Television and Print Advertising Methods for speculating the cost of an Advertisement. Often, industry agreed approximates are used. With Television the Nielsen Ratings are used and Print is based on the circulation a publication has.

For Online Advertising, the numbers of views can be a lot more precise. When a user requests a Web Page, the originating server creates a log entry. Also, a third party tracker can be placed in the web page to verify how many accesses that page had.

CPM and/or Flat rate advertising deals are preferred by the Publisher/Webmaster because they will get paid regardless of any action taken.

For Advertisers a Performance Based system is preferred. There are two methods for Paying for Performance: 1) CPA - Cost per Action/Acquisition and 2) CPC - Cost per Click Through.
5. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a method of promoting web businesses in which an affiliate is rewarded for every visitor, subscriber, customer, and/or sale provided through his/her efforts. It is a modern variation of the practice of paying a finder's fee for the introduction of new clients to a business. Compensation may be made based on a certain value for each visit (Pay per click), registrant (Pay per lead), or a commission for each customer or sale (Pay per sale), or any combination.

Merchants like affiliate marketing because it is a "pay for performance model", meaning the merchant does not incur a marketing expense unless results are realized.

Some e-commerce sites run their own affiliate programs while other e-commerce vendors use third party services provided by intermediaries to track traffic or sales that are referred from affiliates. Some businesses owe much of their growth and success to this marketing technique, although research has shown in general the increase to be approximately 15-20% of online revenue.

Merchants who are considering adding an affiliate strategy to their online sales channel have different technological solutions available to them. Some types of affiliate management solutions include: standalone software, hosted services, shopping carts with affiliate features, and third party affiliate networks.

Revenue generated online grew quickly. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the web, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. Many companies hired outside affiliate management companies to manage the affiliate program.
6. Online Reputation Management

Online reputation management is a developing field that encompasses public relations and search engine optimization.

Consumers go online to make buying decisions. When they research brands using search engines, the results that they observe often influence how they behave. Consumer generated media sites offer the general public the opportunity to express their views of brands. This information can be found in search engine results. Members of the public such as competitors, and ex-employees can take part in the online conversation which can adversely affect the brand reputation.

Online reputation management is a field that involves the monitoring of online conversation, and the action undertaken, to improved brand reputation within search engine results.

These components are extremely crucial in order to successfully marketing your products and services online. With the right Online Marketing firm, your company can see exponential growth with a highly satisfactory return on investment. The most rewarding aspect of online marketing is the brand recognition that comes with your campaign. The actually campaign effectiveness can be tracked in terms of dollars through ROI calculations. However, this is would be pert of short–term success. The long–term benefit of a well executed online marketing campaign will positively build your brand and provide added recognition within your industry. The affects of this are priceless!

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