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Old 10-13-2005, 10:21 PM   #5
Czar

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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 9,507
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Competitive research is definitely a key ingredient in any search marketing plan, since you're competing for the exact same real estate in many cases. That said, as well as identifying what the others in your space are doing, try to also locate gaps that your client can fill. Look at what the competition is not doing.

Sometimes, gaps are self-imposed by those who were first movers in the space when they found particular strategies to be frought with risk of failure. Sometimes, however, you'll locate gaps that others simply haven't thought about and this is where you'll see the best potential upside.

Definitely start with straight SEO/SEM first before asking your tech-averse clients to put faith in too many new fangled concepts and platforms, such as interactive media, affiliate programs, viral marketing, video streaming and all the other bits and pieces that are often associated with large online campaigns. AdWords and Yahoo SMS will be your best avenues initially.

Yahoo's keyword suggestion tools may be found here:
http://inventory.overture.com
and here:
http://uv.bidtool.overture.com/d/search/tools/bidtool/

Google's tool is also free to use, but is available only to AdWords advertisers, so you'll have to sign up for an account to tap into their knowledgebank.

It's hard for us to gauge what response rate you're likely to attract from your search marketing efforts without knowing your client's product/service range and industry, but if you structure a plan that is designed simply to attract qualified leads that ties in:
- Organic search optimisation
- Link acquisition
- Website redesign with usability and conversion ratio enhancement
- Landing page development to simplify for specific campaigns
- Mailing list development and email newsletter delivery
- Paid search placement
- Analytics/reporting/evaluation
- Customer relationship management
- Consultation and ongoing management
- Hints at your ability to tap into new geographical markets via search and affiliate programs if a greater quantity of leads are required.

Keep the initial plan simple. You can still make mention of any advanced work that you'd like to see the company embrace, but if your task is focused entirely on generating leads and on fostering pre and post-sale relationships, the company should be able to forecast how many conversions are likely to result from your acquisition efforts.

Hope this helps.
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Czar

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