An Approach to Advertising on the Internet
Not all methods are created equal
Budweiser has the frogs. McDonalds has Ronald. Goodyear has the baby. Each of these companies has used different images as a means of advertising with traditional media. Television, radio, and print ads have been extremely successful in helping companies develop a successful brand image. With the World Wide Web, however, marketing departments struggle to incorporate traditional advertising into a high-tech medium like the Internet.
The Internet continues to grow at a rapid pace. Billions of dollars have already been transacted this year and with the holiday season approaching those numbers will only increase. The traditional forms of marketing and advertising still have their place; however, in a world where one out of every eight dollars is spent online, the traditional 4P’s of business might not fully apply.
In the past, the business mantra was “location, location, location.” More businesses have realized that, with the Internet boom, the new mantra is more like “logistics, logistics, logistics.” Marketing is not an issue of where you are anymore. Instead, companies need to properly place themselves in the vast World Wide Web so that customers can easily search for the products and services they are looking to buy. This becomes difficult because consumers do their shopping from their computer at home.
According to a recent study conducted by DoubleClick and Nielson/NetRatings, the last quarter of 2003 yielded amazing results, up 40 billion impressions from the third quarter. Throughout the year, advertising volume on the Internet increased by 49 percent—that equals about 200 billion impressions in the fourth quarter!
Rand Blair, of 10x Marketing (http://www.10xmarketing.com), believes the increased numbers result from the fact that people are using the Internet more to find products they are seeking to buy. “As people become more familiar with the Internet, they are becoming more comfortable searching, learning, and purchasing. As a result, online advertising is booming!”
Two of the most popular and successful advertising techniques on the Internet are pay per click campaigns and natural search engine optimization campaigns. A brief description of each is listed below:
Pay Per Click
A pay per click campaign consists of advertisements on the side and top of search results pages. For example, try searching for a popular item. When Google, Yahoo, MSN, or any search engine brings back the results, there will be some links near the top and side of the page. These results are placed there because companies pay the search engine each time a visitor clicks through to their site.
When companies pick the right keywords to target and monitor, a pay per click campaign can be extremely effective. Many executives like this type of campaign because they only pay for those people who click through to their site. If nobody clicks on the link, no money is spent.
Natural Search Results
On the other hand, when search results come back from a search engine, the websites listed in the heart of the page are those pages that are the most exact match for the keyword. Each search engine uses complex algorithms so that the most relevant websites will naturally appear at the top of their results. As consumers realize that pay per click ads are placed at the very top because companies buy that position, consumers are looking to the natural results with greater frequency.
It is possible for a company that is nowhere to be found to take steps to increase their placement on the results page. In fact, those companies who do nothing to increase their page ranking are giving potential millions of visitors away to their competition.
Deutsche Safa Rashtchy said last year, “The search market has become the Holy Grail of Internet advertising and continues to grow faster than our expectations. Our initial estimate of 7 billion by 2007 is most likely to be too conservative and we believe we are still in the early stages of an expanding and large market.”
In April, PricewaterhouseCoopers released a study that showed the dramatic increase in keyword search revenue spent the previous years. While most other advertising techniques are failing, keyword search investments and pay per click campaigns are skyrocketing (for more information, please see http://www.10xmarketing.com/internet-advertising-statistics/).
What Does This Mean for Your Company?
As a business owner or leader, you might ask yourself the following questions:
- Where does my business appear in search engine results for keywords associated with our company?
- Are we putting any money into search engine marketing? (Remember that almost 90% of Internet users are using search engines to find products and information).
- How much Internet revenue is our company bringing in?
- How potent is our Internet presence compared to our competitors?
If your company is not competing at the level it should be, perhaps it is time you looked into focusing more of your time and efforts into Internet advertising techniques that are successful. Don’t be left in the dust as your competitors invest and reap the rewards of the Internet.