Special Report: Search Engine Marketing
CS: How is SEM impacting merchants’ bottom lines?
Aronowitz: It’s allowed smaller catalogers to compete where they haven’t been able to before. It can level the playing field for competing brands.
CS: What mistakes do you see merchants making with SEM, and what’s the remedy?
Aronowitz: Most often I see a failure to ensure that natural listings are highly ranked.
On the flip side, when a company’s ranking is high, it may not [see the need to] purchase the keywords.
Another big mistake: not tracking results, which might prevent merchants from reinvesting in a successful campaign.
CS: For those catalogers not engaged in SEM, what are the compelling reasons to get started?
Aronowitz: Traffic, sales and getting new customers at a cost you can control.
CS: What does the future hold for SEM?
Aronowitz: I see other areas of search — such as contextual and behavioral targeting — growing, since many have a pay-for-performance model. That allows for testing at a very low risk.
I think the next big step is the migration of companies to the pay-for-performance model.
Paul Miller is a veteran writer and editor specializing in all areas of catalog/ direct marketing and e-commerce. He is the former senior news editor/Web site editor at Catalog Age. He can be reached at email@example.com.