PPC and SEO Work Well Together

When dealing with the complicated world of internet marketing, there are numerous headaches to getting a web site noticed. Whether it is the competition or the clutter, really driving prospective customers to a site can be a hassle. Some seem to think internet ads are the best way to go, while others would rather crawl their way though the ranks of search engines to come out on top. While many internet companies search intently for the solution, the true answer is easier than it may appear. The answer is BOTH: Paid search ads and natural search optimization together work more effectively and efficiently than either by themselves.

*12.6% of conversions credited to natural search were preceded by ad clicks

*Searchers use nearly as many branded searches as non-branded searches

*Branded ads increase new visitor traffic by 12%

Some internet businesses stick to one or the other, but the truth is that they are an effective tag team for many reasons. Most companies aren’t the number one result in an online search results page immediately when they begin their search engine optimization, so while your web site climbs in search rankings internet ads keep you in the customers immediate search results.While your natural rank may not show immediately, your ad will. This supplementation will lead to valuable traffic as your ad can drive interest to your web site. Many companies believe they are done with advertising once their site has a sufficient rank. Sadly, this is not the case. Many times customers’ searches are too long, too specific, or just to general. Paid ads can help insure that your relevant page is still displayed even in these instances. Another benefit with the saturation and supplementation of both elements is it can aid in brand association, so that customers think of your product or service in a particular category due to its dominate presence in a search.

A successful marketing campaign must include both advertisements and a high ranking natural search result. In the highly competitive internet market no company should simply be satisfied with a decent ranking or clever advertisement. Using both strategies ensures that you are receiving the maximum return on your investment. – J

Holiday Sales Disappoint Optimistic Retailers

Massive retail discounts failed to rescue this holiday season and delivered the most dismal 4th quarter in nearly 40 years. Consumers spent cautiously this year worried about the U.S recession, job losses, and a sinking stock market.

This is a disappointment for companies that had hoped the holidays would offset a year when sales have been sliding steadily, draining profits and, in many instances, undermining the ability to pay down debt. No retail sector was spared. Some sectors hit the hardest were:

Luxury Items -35%

Electronics and appliances -26.7%

Women’s apparel -22.7%

Furniture -20%

E-Commerce -2%

E-commerce showed the most persistence, however it was disappointing compared with last year which showed an increase of 22.4% during the same period.

The season’s dismal results have left stores with mountains of inventory to clear, prompting many to move up their typical January clearance sales earlier to help salvage what they can of the season. Retailers like JCPenny are having door buster clearances starting at 5:30a.m with 70% discounts while luxury retailers like Neiman Marcus are trying to offset the 84% fall in its fiscal 1st quarter with 40% on already reduced merchandise.

200,000 stores are predicted to close this year, which some experts predict will be the most in 35 years, is likely to come across areas from electronics to apparel, shrinking the industry, taking advantage of the long tail of fewer niche players and suppliers. Moreover, retailers soon may face yet another blow. In recent years, they have seen a big lift in post-Christmas sales as shoppers coming back to stores to redeem gift cards often spent more than the card amount to buy full-price merchandise. This year however, shoppers expected to spend only $151 on gift cards this season, a 24% drop from last year. – IR