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Search marketing & surviving a recession

Amplify Interactive’s notes from SMX Advanced Seattle 2008

Second day of SMX Advanced, Multiple tracks

Moderator: Jeffrey K. Rohrs, ExactTarget
Q&A Moderator: Jessica Bowman, Business.com

Panelists:
Andrew Beckman, Location3 Media
Dave Davies, Beanstalk Search Engine Positioning
Russ Mann, Covario
Jon Miller, Marketo

Right at the beginning, the moderator asks if we are in a recession. Most people believe we are. This was not a presentation panel, it was Q&A style. Therefore, I will hit some of the points made.

Companies are going to tighten up budgets in these economic times.

  • This will lead to more focus on results rather than branding. Top companies may spend more to take advantage of smaller companies weaker positions in these times.

Since larger companies may increase paid search spending to get what they perceive as more measurable, results-oriented traffic, there could be a rise in competitive term costs.

  • Because of this spike, it would likely be better (according to David) for more companies to focus their efforts on link building and SEO. This type of marketing can be effectively measured through analytics and has lasting effects.

Where should you spend your first advertising dollar?

  • Most panelists agree that fundamentals–building a sound, search-friendly website–is the most important way to spend advertising dollars. There is also discussion of customer research and how SEOs must think like businesses in understanding customers.

SEO and value

  • Good analytic reporting can prove the value of SEO to clients. It is more difficult than other forms (ppc), but is doable and SEO is the most effective means of advertising.

Prioritizing SEM

  • It is much better to do strong SEO first before beginning other campaign. People often overlook simple fixes such as title tags and meta descriptions.

What to do when clients want guaranteed search results?

  • There are many ways to show growth of search engine presence for clients. You may not be able to guarantee 1st place results, but you can increased results. SEO in a constantly evolving process.

How to deal with differing economic regions?

  • You can geo-target your paid search to spend money in areas that are doing better economically.
Ben Lloyd

About Ben Lloyd

Ben Lloyd serves as Principal at Add3 and manages the agency’s Portland office.  Ben got his start in SEM way back in 1999 – when there was like, 15 search engines and Google was barely a thing. Prior to Add3, Ben had founded Amplify Interactive in 2003 (which was acquired by Add3 in 2013), and hasn’t looked back since. Ben likes lots of stuff like golf, pinball, food(ie), booze/beer/wine – in that order, etc. Mostly – he likes doing that stuff with his friends. Ben is also co-founder of SEMpdx. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn