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Online advertising is changing the rules of engagement within the advertising industry. As more and more companies question their current marketing mix, expenditures and return on investment, online advertising gains power and pull.
Answers to some frequently asked questions about the merits of online advertising, the future of online and offline media and hottest opportunities in the market.
Q: What are some of the major trends in online advertising?
A: Search is becoming the dominant form of online advertising, increasing the sophistication of search engine results and content as well as the consolidation of industry players. Market pricing will function more like network television, although the web still remains the great equalizer: Small business will continue to buy a significant share of online advertising because it’s effective, easy to buy and the same medium used by the big boys. Because of its inherent measurability, online advertising is already having an effect on the accountability of all advertising.
Q: When will online advertising really start to take off?
A: It’s already taken off, most dramatically a year or so ago. It was also consumed by entrepreneurial direct marketers that figured out economic models after the easy money exited the marketplace. Many of these upstarts have had to evolve into far more sophisticated players, as the market and competition have grown and matured.
Q: What advantages does online advertising have compared to print, for example?
A: In most ways that impact the bottom line, online outperforms print media. That is not to say print media is without value, but as the marketplace grows more digital (and therefore more accountable) the ability to track, measure, and optimize the results generated by media are difficult to beat. Print’s strengths include highly targeted or niche audiences and the business-to-business sector–though search is impacting that as well.
Q: What are the opportunities for specific markets, such as the real estate industry?
A: Real estate is a big opportunity, and the majority of decisions today are already influenced by online content and advertising. The challenge here is in capturing and organizing oceans of data, images, and entities in a super fragmented industry that is eminently localized. Sounds like a sweet market for a Google invasion, but upstarts like Zillow are doing a great job.
Q: What other areas of online advertising would be smart to invest in? Are there any areas that are untapped?
A: Online video is growing fast, but barely tapped. Online music and audio advertising opportunities are also hot. While Apple and pirated music dominate, upstarts like Soundpedia are taking the music world in a new direction and have a real plan to optimally leverage online music (which is likely to converge with online video as an ad vehicle). Another area is specialized local price and quality shopping engines–at least those that the major search engines index favorably–generally due to strong focus and a good SEO (search engine optimization) team.
Q: What online advertising listings do you predict will be popular in 2008?
A: Yahoo, already a monster in the category, will make significant strides in 2008 and 2009. Despite some organizational issues, they have some excellent people as well as the wherewithal to pull together a high-performing set of online advertising vehicles in an exceedingly scalable manner. Also, Yahoo Search is improving, but is still not as easy as Google AdWords. Yahoo’s acquisition of Right Media was a boost for smaller shops, as the auction model they implement allows savvier online advertising buyers to potentially outperform larger rivals cost effectively.
Q: What about digital game ads?
A: In-game advertising is getting a lot of traction. When you consider there is a generation that thrives on high-end video games, IM and text messaging, it’s easy to see why these ads have great value. Game consoles are turning into living room PCs on the web, They stand to dominate the attention of an exceedingly valuable demographic.
Q: Are there any interesting statistics readers should be aware of?
A: Online advertising has become a major opportunity for a majority of marketers. With so many options, however, it’s easy to confuse a strategy. Focus, and working with people that are experienced in pulling together a solution either in-house, outsourced, or some combination is the first step. Do the homework, keep expectations realistic and focus on learning about how a product or business responds within the online medium. The same advice applies for marketers already in the medium that are seeking growth of their programs and results
1. Google indexes a website if you add a Google Analytics code. Busted!
2. Google indexes a website if you use Google AdWords. Busted!
3. Google indexes a website if you add Google AdSense. Busted!
4. Google indexes a page that can only be reached through nofollow links. Busted!
5. Google indexes a page that is excluded by robots.txt. Plausible!?!
There’s been a slew of blog posts and articles recently regarding the type of salaries that search engine marketing and search engine optimization consultants are currently commanding in the U.S. Clearly, the search industry is making some people rich, depending on what is rich to you.
Here are some typical salaries in USD from 2004/6:
Entry level SEO/SEM position = $30-45K
Three to five years experience / online account managers = $50-75K
Five + years / organic SEO specialists = $75-90K
Senior management level = $70-120K
SEM Director = $95-150K
VP Level = $100-200K (although there have been reports of offers ranging from $250-315K at this level)
Now were in 2007 going into 2008, Search Engine Optimization & SEO Services should be an essential core part of the Online Search Engine Marketing Strategy for most Online Businesses today anyway,
My thought is simple, I think the above amounts are a good guideline, but should you find a seo consultant who has proven results, on his own website as well as his clients, has made massive ROI for other company’s, with some of the larger Fortune company’s this could mean $millions in extra profit, then the guy is just about priceless, $300k, $500k is a small price to pay if someone is generating an extra $5 million a year don’t you think?
The facts are you do not find these guys working in-house, why would you? unless of course they earn these amounts, most work for themselves or have there own companies.
I dont go for these guys who sell CD’s or books either, not that they are not any good, some are, but just feel they are taking advantage of the wannabes, and lets be honest, there are plenty of suckers out there who think they will become seo experts by buying these things and are only too happy to stump up a few hundred bucks to find out.
My old granny always told me that cream rises to the top and if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, old sayings I do really believe are true.
Buys ya tickets and takes ya chance
Online advertising spend in the US is set to outgrow the amount spent in newspapers by 2011, according to a new study.
Figures from the Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) report predict that internet advertising will grow by more than 21 per cent per year to reach a total of $62 billion in 2011, exceeding the predicted $60 billion spent on newspapers.
It was also shown that spending on alternative advertising, including internet, mobile, video games and digital out-of-home, grew by 36.6 per cent last year to $26.53 billion. In stark contrast, traditional advertising spend only grew by 2.4 per cent to $183.21 billion over the same period.
James Rutherfurd, executive vice president and managing director at VSS, commented: “Leading national advertisers have accelerated their diversion of dollars from traditional print and broadcast media to alternative digital platforms to combat media and audience fragmentation, increased consumer control and multitasking, and the growing impact of advanced technology on conventional media models.
“The result has been the extraordinary growth of alternative advertising and marketing.”
A separate survey by Burst Media highlighted the fact that the internet has become very important in many women’s lives, which is great news for internet advertisers.
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Microsoft has made huge gains with its Live Search, posting year-on-year growth of more than 77 per cent for the 12 months to the end of June 2007 in the US.
Google remained at the top with yearly growth of 46.3 per cent and close to four billion searches, followed by Yahoo in second spot, with annual growth of 20.3 per cent and 1.49 billion searches.
However, it was Microsoft that really shone, racking up 0.98 billion searches and managing to increase its share by almost five percentage points from 8.4 per cent in May to 13.3 per cent in June.
Microsoft, which is in intense competition with Google and Yahoo over their respective internet advertising programs, was boosted by the launch of its Vista operating system, which makes it easier for people to use Live Search.
This has been a bone of contention for Google, with the company accusing Microsoft of unfair practices.
Google managed a healthy 46 per cent increase in year-on-year growth, but its share of searches was down by 3.6 per cent from May to June, signifying that its reign as the undisputable search king may not last forever.
Yahoo posted 20 per cent year-on-year growth but its share of searches was down by 1.8 per cent to 20.2 per cent. AOL search figures were up by 8.8 per cent, while Ask.com increased by 21.2 per cent.
Recent poor weather across the UK has taken its toll on the high street, but has seen sales undertaken online soar, according to new figures.
A report from online retail organisation IMRG revealed that the month of June saw internet retail sales hit £3.5 billion in value, in a boost to internet advertising.
Year-on-year growth for the second quarter of this year reached an average of 52.5 per cent, up from the 35.3 per cent increase recorded during the same period of last year.
In contrast, rainy weather kept overall retail sales growth at just 0.2 per cent during last month.
“Thanks to the internet, shoppers are getting used to thinking about, finding and buying goods and services in new ways,” IMRG’s Jo Evans told VNUNet. “They no longer need to plan their lives around when the shops are open.”
A recent report from Jupiter Research forecast that one fifth of the world’s population would be online by 2011.
Online spending in the US grew by almost a fifth to a massive $47.5 billion during the second quarter of 2007, indicating the huge impact of internet marketing.
Digital measurement expert comScore found that non-travel e-commerce increased by a whopping 23 per cent to $27.2 billion, while travel spending on the web grew by 14 per cent to $20.3 billion.
The comScore study also predicted that online consumer spending in the States would probably reach $200 billion in 2007, as more and more shoppers shun the high street in favour of the ease and good value of the internet.
Video games, consoles and accessories sales rose especially sharply, rising 159 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2006.
Other categories that grew rapidly included sport and fitness, consumer electronics, event tickets, jewellery and watches, and furniture and appliances.
The figures demonstrate the massive response garnered by internet advertising.
“Even factoring in the moderate growth rates from Q1, we’re currently on pace to break $200 billion in e-commerce spending in 2007,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.
“However, in the past we’ve seen growth rates accelerate as the year progresses, culminating with the online holiday shopping season, so $200 billion may actually turn out to be a conservative estimate.”
A recent report from IPA showed that online marketing budgets are increasing fast as companies come to see the benefits of the medium. In the second quarter, 24 per cent of firms reported an increase in their total marketing budgets, with internet advertising posting the strongest gains.
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The internet has become so important that a third of online women now say their lives would be disrupted if they had to go for a week without web access.
A Burst Media survey seen by Marketing Charts found that 66.1 per cent of women would feel their lives were disrupted, with 43.6 per cent saying significantly so, if they went internet free for seven days.
Encouragingly for internet marketers, most online women (54.5 per cent) say that the internet is their main source of information for products they are thinking of buying.
The study also found that more than 80 per cent were online during most dayparts. Four out of five online women use the internet between 7:00am and midnight, with a significant number of women aged 65 or over saying they go online before 7:00am.
Mornings and afternoons are generally used for work, while evenings spent online are generally for personal use.
The figures clearly show the massive use of the internet among women, which is great news for internet marketers.
It never ceases to amaze me how some media companies get SEO work, this is not picking just on Latitude here, they have done a great job promoting themselves and others in the last few years and I am sure a few would love to have done so well.
But, they just win an SEO account for Haven Holidays to do all there SEO work?, when they cannot even do there own?, anyone who has to advertise on Adwords or any other PPC Search Engine to be found for SEO and PPC services as they cannot be found anywhere near the 1st pages on organic search engines speaks volumes.
I am sure there branding skills, outside media skills making people aware is what they do best, but Online Marketing, SEO, PPC, sorry that does not work for me.
I must get half dozen emails or calls from media company’s monthly, they all usually have fantastic web designers, branding skills, smart educated marketing sales people who talk a good show, but when it comes to the net, they are nowhere to be found, unless of course you type the company name in the browser.
Look at this Google Report
I think this trend will continue to happen, especially here in the UK, until these people and company’s realise that SEO Experts dont grow on trees, the techie web designers they employ with ten degrees from university in computers,design and Linux is exactly what they do, design, they are not a sure fire guarantee to have your website sight seen in the top pages of search engines, its not what they do.
Having spent the last few years working in the USA with some of the largest company’s on the planet, I’m convinced on a whole that a lot of company’s here in the UK are at least 3-4 years behind when it comes to search, until these companies realise how important the net is and how important being found on organic search engine results on the top pages for your profession and for the services you offer, this trend is going to continue.
Some say SEO is a Science, an Art, I tend to agree with some of these comments, but what I do agree on is this, I am not a web designer, I cannot write programs, but I can and do know the art of Search Engine Optimisation, why? because I am where I should be on the Net for my profession, the front pages.
In typical northern style, listen people, Horses for Courses, the sooner you learn this the higher you will climb.