You may have set foot amidst the process of PPC (pay-per-click) advertising because you heard, while your business is working day and night, you could get on the ball more quickly, leveraging PPC services (such as Google’s AdWords – Is your brand using AdWords for keyword research?  Proceed with caution says Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz.)  While the idea of attracting the attention of target markets seems immediately charming, the associated costs could be a harsh reality, especially without experience.  The process warrants diligence, the kind of attention a lot of small outfits can’t address on a daily basis.  Pay-per-click specialists devote full-time attention to your PPC campaign, allowing brands to enjoy surefooted outcomes.

Three Little Pigs

As the latest Comscore data reveals, Google is still tops in search.  2011 experienced a number of Panda visits, a Google-unleashed penalization system influencing online rankings.  You may have heard a number of suggestions regarding upcoming Google updates.  It’s like Google’s Panda is the big bad wolf from the Three Little Pigs story.  You have to constantly build a better online ‘property’ to meet the Panda’s demands and capricious temper.  You could wait, riddled with anxiety, for the next update or align your brand with help.  Experienced professionals swear by the hairs on their (chinny chin) chins to keep abreast of ongoing changes and best-practice implementation.

The Tortoise and the Hare

You have the same end goals as your competitors in the race toward customer attention and revenue acquisition.  There are parallels between SEO and the Tortoise and Hare tale.  Sure, there are immediate changes, which can be performed by SEO professionals (fix SEO technical problems in less than one hour!) allowing for improvements but the process of search engine optimization is a slow-and-steady race, a marathon and not a sprint.  Each brand has areas of needed improvement but quick fixes could lead to ironic long hauls.  The process of online success requires a lot of in-industry understanding as more opportunities proliferate.  Take a look at Neil Patel’s link building tactics; attracting attention requires knowledge of technical, social, copywriting, and other aspects of online marketing.  Making quick-and-hasty, in-house decisions is not the way to win the race for consumer attention; slow, steady, experienced, and methodical approaches win in the end.

Rip Van Winkle

Are you sleeping on lines of communication with your target market?  While executives are busy, focused with a tunnel-vision-like concentration on business processes and numbers, they can lose sight of target markets, their consumers.  Is your brand dreaming of better brand-to-consumer engagement?  Don’t neglect the ‘social’ aspect of online marketing; numbers in this Mashable post reflect social sites accounted for over 16% of browsers’ online time in 2011.  As with PPC above, social media usage is immediately beneficial, but inexperience comes at a cost.  Social media is great for branding and reputation management purposes but is best left to those with experience regarding trends and best practices.  It’s no tale, SEOs tailor your business to the Web, making adjustments as your business continues to grow.

Happy Valentine’s Day, valued WebiMax readers.  Are your customers headed, straight as an arrow, toward your site’s services and products, not just today, but each day of the year?  Search engine optimization facilitates a love connection and the endless search for brand attention.  Brands engineer goods and services to meet the needs of valued customers.  Online marketing helps align and spark brand-consumer connections. 

Online marketing has become diverse (offering an array of separate yet intertwined initiatives), yet ‘separate’ services ‘connect,’ working well together to create online success.  For instance, copywriting (an essential SEO need) is complemented well by social media usage (gives content further extension and exposure).  Let’s consider more search engine optimization, inter-service love connections:

Technical SEO < —— > Pay per Click

Technical SEO addresses the on-site needs of a  Web property such as meta data, ensuring search engines properly read a site’s pages and understand what on-site elements are ‘communicating’ to engines and users.  This helps a brand’s exposure on the search engines; as Comscore’s January SE data reflects, users mainly leverage Google (Google Webmaster tips) for search at the moment.

Addressing technical needs helps search traffic and PPC (pay-per-click) services complement technical notions well, giving brands immediate opportunities for increased exposure.  While PPC demands meticulous attention to ensure ROI, it’s a good service to leverage while natural SEO efforts gain momentum.

VSEO < —— > Web Design

I read a good post today on Google+ by Erica McGillivray.  If you’re using Google+ (Rand Fishkin urges all people in marketing to develop a strategy), you’ll notice personalized search results and interests of others in your circles.  Undoubtedly, you’ve noticed more videos finding way into SERPs.  Video production is another method of conveying information; in some cases, video can better communicate than text (think about DIY projects).  A number of vendors opt for video production and VSEO (video search engine optimization), allows for better exposure.

Your brand may love the idea of VSEO, deciding to host a number of on-site videos.  Web design services invigorate and improve the design and usability of Web properties.  While your brand is producing videos, it is necessary to improve the look and function of its associated online properties.  Videos intrigue attention while Web design implementations aesthetically please browsers and improve user satisfaction.

Copywriting < —– > Social Media

Great content is essential for every brand.  While video, infographs (see infograph of StumbleUpon success via Distilled), podcasts, and other varieties of media are expanding our interpretations of ‘content,’ copywriting (have you been paying attention in copywriting class?) remains an integral part of a successful SEO campaign.

Of course, brands desire increased readership and traffic.  Social site, like Google+ above as well as Twitter and Facebook (read Todd Bailey Facebook tips).  Social media sites allow for real-time sharing and increased exposure to Web site content and properties.  If a brand is producing content, social media becomes a complementary process it can’t afford to pass over.

Thanks for reading – Happy Valentine’s Day

Google released details on their official blog that the company has developed interactive ads compatible on smartphones and tablets.  The new rich media ads are designed to engage the user and create a deeper experience.

The Company announced “65% of consumers who own tablets use them at least one hour per day. Consumers are embracing them as the third digital screen in their lives.”  Apple, alone has sold over 240 iPads, with other consumers owning similar devices from Samsung and others.

The new interactive ads act as sort of a cross between mobile-ap development and pay per click management services.  Google released this video to demonstrate:

Ad formats are available through AdMob and “tablet-targeting” functions in AdWords.

Lately, we’ve been covering pay per click and paid search topics as reports illustrate the surge in demand for these advertising services.  Amongst the data that have recently been published, new data released today by ZenithOptimedia (advertising and communications firm), states Google owns 44 percent of the global advertising market.  That number represents a 10 percent increase over the past 5 years.  Not only does Google own the majority of this market, the industry titan also accounts for 85 percent of all searches.

With Google’s dominating presence in these key areas, it is important for marketers, advertisers, and search marketers to accept their guidelines and play by their rules.  Google has made excellent strides forward this year with cracking down on unscrupulous search firms utilizing black-hat optimization methods.  Although there is no such thing (yet) as black-hat paid search, as a marketer looking for a PPC company, it is vital to contract with a Certified Google AdWords Partner.  These companies demonstrate the understanding and expertise of how to properly leverage and design paid search for their clients.

Online ad expenditures are expected to continue to climb over the next 4 years, as models end at 2016.  A recent analysis by WebiMax founder and CEO Ken Wisnefski states that there is a lot of cash sitting on the sidelines right now illustrated by the dramatic upsurge in Thanksgiving holiday expenditures.  Although advertisers are being cautious right not, including those in Europe who are presently dealing with debt-ceiling uncertainty, one thing is clear; Paid search is booming and Google is leading the industry with second-place (Microsoft, 4 percent) far behind.

Paid search has more or less taken over as one of the leading forms of advertising on the internet.  Traditional techniques including mass-media (newspaper, television, radio, etc.) have been suffering over the past couple years as challenging economic times have caused advertisers and marketers to be cautious and even abandon their marketing initiatives. A recent report by the Newspaper Association of America projects newspapers will achieve a new low in advertising sales in 2011.  The Association expects ad revenue to be $24 billion, almost 50 percent less than its peak of $49 billion in 2005.  While this sharp decline in newspaper advertising certainly includes concerns over the economy, at the same time, cost-efficient advertising including paid search has been surging.

Paid search includes the implementation of pay per click services to create targeted ads on search engines including Google, Yahoo! and Bing.  While PPC is still a relatively new concept to marketers, its results thus far are astounding.  Google release their Q3 earnings report in October and posted a $10 billion increase in revenue, 23% of which is due to a surge in paid search revenue.  While this is a small piece of the puzzle, truth is research indicates paid search is expected to continue its upward trend thru 2016 (*important note models end at 2016).

As paid search becomes the new era of advertising, marketers should pay attention to the reputation of PPC companies.  Ensure your PPC firm is a Certified Google AdWords Partner.  Also, make sure the firm has a reputable list of clients and has demonstrated their expertise in the field.

Kenneth C. Wisnefski, online marketing expert and founder / CEO of WebiMax, announces how the evolution of the internet has changed the way merchants and consumers navigate the holiday season.  Components including E-commerce, reputation management, reviews and social media have supported the online marketplace that acts to end the traditional shopping experience people have enjoyed for many years.

“If we simply focus on the 2010 statistics of ‘Cyber-Monday’ versus ‘Black-Friday’ (on-line versus in-store), we see that Cyber-Monday experienced 16 percent growth to just over $1 billion in online revenue, whereas Black-Friday revenue only experienced a small increase of 0.3 percent compared to 2009”, states Wisnefski.  “The simple fact is that it is more convenient, consumers can read online reviews, and compare products and purchase from the comfort of their own home (not to mention they don’t have to deal with holiday crowds)”.

These figures are parallel to the success of small business start-ups entering the online advertising market.  Wisnefski’s firm, WebiMax, founded in 2008, has flourished due to the heavy demand for search engine optimization, search engine marketing, E-commerce solutions, social media, pay per click management and more.  The company’s revenue is up 400% year over year compared to 2010 and Wisnefski says “companies are investing more resources than ever before in to these online services.”  He furthers “we represent many retailers that are conducting most of their holiday business online versus in-store”.

It is well-documented that investments in E-Commerce are on the rise as consumers move on-line to make their holiday purchases.  In fact, comScore reported positive growth in E-Commerce spending for the last 8 consecutive quarters.

“The present-day consumer is more price-conscience and aware of competition amongst manufactures which are more reasons why demand is shifting heavy to on-line purchases versus in-store”, states Wisnefski.  “There is a plethora of resources available to the on-line consumer including reviews and ratings, product comparisons and customizing options which ultimately leads to a more educated buying decision by the consumer”.

The fact that companies are investing more and more each year in to E-Commerce and illustrated by recent holiday revenue statistics, it is strongly believed that on-line revenue will outpace holiday in-store shopping over the next few years.

“I will close with this.  Everyone loves A Christmas Story when Ralphie sees the BB gun in the store window.  Nowadays, Ralphie would have found the BB gun online and his parents would be reading reviews about how many kids actually shot their eyes out with it”!, exclaims Wisnefski.