Search Beyond Google, Part 1 of 2
As the influence of search engine giant Google, and to a lesser extent Yahoo! and MSN, continues to grow, many multichannel marketers have been left to wonder if there are any other avenues to reach an online audience. In a recent whitepaper from search engine marketing and optimization services provider MoreVisibility entitled Marketing Strategies Beyond Traditional Search, author Amber Frensley provides several ways to effectively market to your audience through less-traveled roads. Here are some options she advises trying out.
1. Contextual advertising. This involves advertising your product/service on such digital media as Web sites and mobile phones, primarily on a cost-per-click basis. These ads generally appear next to related non-search engine-generated content, such as news articles, travel articles, etc. Because of the large number of impressions contextual advertising can deliver, the cost-per-click structure assures marketers that they’re paying for leads and not just eyeballs. This type of advertising appears in two forms — keyword-targeted and site-targeted ads.
Keyword-targeted ads are based on keywords used in sponsored search listings. The ads are provided to third-party distribution sites (partner sites) that have content relevant to the keywords. The whitepaper’s author cites an example of an advertiser using the keyword “interior paint” within its sponsored listings campaign. A search engine may associate that with an interior design article on a partner site. The engine notes a relationship between the behavior of a reader of that article and the relevance of the search term, and displays the ad next to the relevant article.
Site-targeted ads appear on specific sites a marketer chooses based on the relationship the site has to the product/service being marketed. Dependent on the Web site, text, banner and video ads are possibilities.
2. Use second-tier engines. With the cost-per-click increases seen from Google, Yahoo! and MSN, it may make sense for some marketers to devote more money to the smaller, second-tier search engines. Some of these include Ask.com, FindWhat.com, LookSmart and MIVA, among others. Though these engines drive a smaller percentage of the search-market share, most offer lower-priced clicks, sometimes up to half that of Google, Yahoo! and MSN. While these engines may not provide the same quality traffic or offer conversion tracking, they do put you where your competitors may not be.