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Friday, September 10, 2010

Google has just rolled out one of the greatest advancements in search techology in a number of years.  It's called 'Google Instant', and will revolutionise the way we search for and find information online.

What is Google Instant?
Google Instant is a new search technology that causes Google search results to be displayed on screen in real-time as the searcher is typing their search phrase.  As each word of the search phrase is typed, the search results change to display results relevant to that phrase.

How will this impact the search experience?
Google claims this will save the average searcher between 2 and 5 seconds for every search.  When you consider how many searches are being performed on a daily basis, this is a massive productivity gain globally!

This new search experience has the potential to alter searcher behaviour as they refine their search phrase. 

Consider a normal search for "BMW speaker E46 replacement" - when you type this into the search bar and click Enter this would take you directly to the relevant search results for this phrase.

With Google Instant the results will be different.  When you type in "BMW" you will most likely see listed in the search results, then as you add "speaker" to make the phrase "BMW speaker" you may see search results for new and used speakers, or even about spokepeople from BMW.

Will our behaviour change as a result of Google Instant?
Most likely it will.  In the example above, the searcher may be tempted to visit the BMW website, or even buy a whole new set of speakers for their car through a website that appeared when they had only typed the first part of the phrase.

What about Google AdWords?
The same applies for Google AdWords - the ads will dynamically change as the searcher is typing.

What impact with Google Instant have on SEO?
Greater importance will need to be placed on ranking for generic phrases.  A website that specialises in replacement speakers for BMW's will need to also optimise for 'BMW speakers' or similar to ensure their website gets is visible as searchers start off with a broad search phrase and narrow it down with additional keywords.  As a result, websites will become even more reliant on their Link Popularity as it can be tough to rank for generic phrases in competitive industries.

We also anticipate that this will further decrease the likelihood of searchers going to page 2 and beyond to find what they are looking for.  Instead, they will alter their search phrase and see the results change dynamically before their eyes - without the need to even move their mouse!

When will it be rolled out in Australia?
Google Instant is currently being rolled out in the US and is anticipated to hit Australian shores before the end of the year.

Yet another amazing advancement from the search industry leaders!

Watch this video to see Google Instant in action!

Monday, February 01, 2010
Despite the financial crisis over the past 18 months many web-related companies have enjoyed strong growth as businesses become more savvy and cost-conscious about their marketing.  With traditional forms of advertising becoming less cost-effective businesses are turning to the internet as a reliable source of low-cost leads.

One particular recent situation stands out, highlighting the major differences in return achieved from traditional advertising when compared with website marketing -

A long-term client shared with us a full page press advertisement that their competitor had run in The West Australian (WA's leading local paper).  The advertisement was on page 48 of the newspaper, just before the stock prices. 

At $7,500 one might think twice about placing such an ad, but the value of this businesses services is such that around 4 new clients would need to be obtained in order to make it a worthwhile venture.

72 hours after running the ad we were told that the business had received 3 phone call enquiries and zero appointments - i.e. the return on investment was practically nil.  It was $7,500 wasted on something that had a shelf life of around 24-48 hours before the next edition of the newspaper was produced.

One might argue that there are other less tangible benefits (such as branding) and that further potential customers may have booked an appointment at a later stage, however the business was not of a substantial enough size to warrant a branding focus.  Hence, the purpose of the ad was to generate appointments, which it clearly failed to do.

What is different about web marketing?
A business that goes about its web strategy correctly will benefit from an asset that continues to generate a good source of leads or sales with minimal ongoing expenditure.

Using the example above, a $7,500 investment in a website that is professionally designed and marketed to be found on the major search engines will continue to reap rewards for many years.

Newspaper advertising, radio advertising, TV advertising and Yellow Pages all require an ongoing investment in order to be given "air time".  By comparison, a websites ongoing costs are generally hosting and domain registration fees (which are easily <$1000 per year).

Think outside the square
Before you invest in your next traditional form of advertising, consider whether that money would be better invested in a website designed specifically to market a particular product. 

Investing in more "salesmen whilst you sleep" will help generate a strong source of leads and sales - why have 1 salesman, when you can have say 3.  Likewise, why have one website trying to capture everything your business is about, when you could have 3 highly specialised websites targeting different divisions/products/services/angles of your business.

To discuss some creative ideas on how you can add more "salesmen whilst you sleep" to your team, call us on (08) 9313 2699 and we can demonstrate how other Australian small-medium businesses are benefiting from our innovative online marketing strategies.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The majority of mainstream industries are saturated online with an overwhelming number of websites, blogs, portals and online shops. New businesses entering the online world can find it tough to compete against older, more established websites that have greater repour with customers and a longer history with search engines, something the engines now consider relevant when determining a website’s rankings.

Some of the most successful internet-based business are those that identify a niche market based on market or ‘keyword’ research. Businesses in a niche can find it easier to compete because of less competition, and at the same time customers searching for a niche product may be more ready to buy.

For example, a large portion of searchers looking for ‘promotional products’ could be unsure of what to buy and may be looking for ideas. There will be less people searching for a keyword like ‘promotional ball point pens’, but searchers are more likely to be buyers.

Applying this logic to a web-based business means that you should consider identifying a small market niche before attempting to tackle established players in the industry. There are various keyword research tools available online that can identify niche markets. A search for ‘keyword research tool’ on Google will reveal a whole range of useful tools to help with your decision criteria.

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