Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Poor Content = Big Time Wasted Search Marketing Dollars

By guest author Todd Miechiels, Internet Marketing Consultant

There’s a crisis out there in the internet marketing world, specifically in the area of search engine marketing (SEM). Companies everywhere are wanting to throw money at search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising in hopes of getting their share of the new, less-costly-to-acquire customers that internet marketing has promised.

The truth is, without content—and I mean good content that clearly communicates, persuades, and inspires—a good amount of search marketing dollars are wasted. A lot of companies get lazy on the content development side, which turns a pretty low risk marketing channel into a pretty sure bust.

Why? Because search marketing—particularly PPC advertising—only accelerates and magnifies what's already true about your message, offer, content, creative, etc. From the ever-important tiny little Google PPC ad copy, straight through to the landing page copy, to the position paper you toiled over for so long…if the content isn't good, you'll know right away when you take a look at the basic analytics (you do have basic analytics in place, don’t you?) People won't click your ad, won't stay on your landing page, won't fill out the form. Or, even worse, a lot of people will get their hands on that piece of content you were never very pleased with in the first place.

The big problem is that most search agencies aren't going to try and convince you that you need better content (although the good ones will). And the webmaster trying to optimize your site isn’t likely to think about the strategic consequences of less-than-stellar content.

Search marketing has become ultra-competitive, and content is a big factor. It takes a steady release of good, relevant content—preferably the kind of content that will create a viral word-of-mouth effect—to help ensure a successful campaign. My advice to my clients who want to jump into search marketing? Make sure you've got some killer content!

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