White Paper: Smart Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Strategies for Economic DevelopmentOctober 18, 2008For use only by clients of Atlas Advertising and Development ResultsTable of ContentsPage<br />A conversation about Search Engine Marketing today3<br />About Atlas Advertising3<br />About Development Results3<br />Trends in Online Marketing4<br />Online Marketing for Economic Development 4<br />How to Get Started5<br />Development Results’ top 25 Most effective search phrases for ED4<br />How to Use the List6<br />Survival Guide to Online Marketing7<br />Search Engine Marketing<br />Email marketing<br />Atlas Advertising SEM Glossary of Terms10<br />A conversation about Search Engine Marketing today<br />Most Atlas Advertising search engine marketing clients, during the course of working with us, say three things:<br />First, they say “Can you help my site show up on Google?” To which we reply – “Sure, if showing up is all you would like to do.” <br />Second, during the campaign planning, they say “I don’t know what you just said, but I sure hope it works.” To which we say “It will.” <br />Lastly, after the campaign has been in operation for some time, they say “Why is my phone ringing so much?” To which we say “Blame the internet.” <br />We’ve actually never said the third statement, but we use the conversation above to illustrate a few points. First, many economic developers know that they need to use the internet more effectively in their business, but find the terminology frustrating and a bit hard to comprehend (and rightly so). And second, many of our clients are extremely surprised by the results they get from search engine marketing, both in the form of web traffic, but also in the form of information distributed and prospect inquiry. <br />This document is intended to enable clients to demystify search engine marketing terminology and to use search engine marketing more effectively. We hope that you will act on the strategies suggested inside, and we hope that you like the Glossary of Terms so much that you become the hit of your next cocktail party. <br /> <br />Sincerely, <br />Ben Wright<br />Principal<br />Atlas Advertising<br />ben.wright@Atlas Advertising.com <br />About Atlas Advertising<br />Atlas Advertising is a marketing agency that helps clients reach national, international and local audiences. Unlike firms with little or no place marketing experience, Atlas Advertising uses a proven mix of marketing tactics that generate interest from site selectors, business professionals and local audiences. This saves our clients time and money, impresses stakeholders and boards, and delivers better prospect response relative to general or unfocused economic development campaigns. <br />Atlas Advertising has in its history worked with 36 different economic development agencies in 21 states. Our branding and website work has been named among the best in the country by a number of national and regional marketing groups. This includes our client Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, whose website, www.treoaz.org was named the best general purpose economic development website in the nation by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in 2007. www.Atlas Advertising.com<br />About Development Results<br />Development Results, LLC is a website analytics service provider with economic development clients representing communities in 35 states. DR’s analytics tools help clients understand how their prospecting and marketing efforts drive actual prospect behavior. By combining the power of online marketing best practices, measurement tools, and consulting, Development Results helps economic developers get the most of their websites, and their overall prospecting programs. DR’s industry leading website analytics platform provides a number of valuable features, including board ready reports emailed to clients on a monthly basis, the ability to track document, audio, video, and other downloads with no special coding, and conversion funnels to show you how your marketing efforts are driving prospect activity. Most importantly, DR’s analytics tools can benchmark your website’s performance against that of economic development websites in 35 states, giving you needed data in a comparative industry context. There is no other provider that can make this promise. www.developmentresults.com.<br />Trends in Online Marketing<br />Online ad spending is growing between thirty and fifty percent per year worldwide and search alone is estimated to be 46% of this online ad spending by 2009. Currently, Google manages the most traffic at 50% and Yahoo! at a close second managing 40%. Business professionals and most consumers rely on websites, search engines and email communications as vital parts of their daily and professional lives. In economic development, communities are studied, selected, disqualified and ranked via online research. One consultant told us that he searches (on Google) 20 times per day from his office trying to learn about communities. <br />Source: Marketing News July 2007 Marketing Fact Book; March 2007 Hitwise; Atlas Advertising Site Selection Research<br />As online marketing becomes more sophisticated and continues to become integrated in overall marketing efforts, organizations and businesses should take website optimization, paid search engine campaigns and direct email marketing seriously. Organizations are rapidly establishing themselves as sophisticated users of search for marketing avenues that capture leads, captivate the educated market and continuing to offer a top echelon approach for their clients. <br />Source: March 2006 comScore Networks<br />Atlas Advertising’s search engine marketing strategies are focused on the cost effective and measurable nature of this evolving media. We believe that clients that do not use these tools are losing business. <br />Online Marketing for Economic Development<br />Economic developers are focused on job creation, business growth, and overall economic development vitality for their cities, counties, states, and regions Your websites target audiences that are looking to relocate their business, site selectors who are assisting businesses with prospecting and relocation, and individuals seeking to know more about what your region has to offer. Atlas Advertising’s primary objectives for online marketing is to assist our economic development clients by increasing conversions and thus increasing our clients’ prospect activity. <br />How to get started<br />The Top 25 Most Effective Search Phrases for Economic Development Source: Development Results data from websites representing communities in 35 States, 12/07.organizational namecity/region name “economic development”incentive type (depends on community)resident company name (i.e. Boeing)region namecity/organizational name (if different)incentive granting commission namecity nameorganizational url (without .com/.net.org)campaign name (initiative or fundraising)city/region name “maps”region name “counties”region name “industries”url (without .com)county name economic developmentcity name “major employers”city name “economic development commission”“growth industries” region nameregion name “demographics”city name business park namecity name “commercial”city name developer namecity name “workforce”city state economic developmentmajor development nameAtlas Advertising’s online marketing plans include six distinct strategies: Reciprocal linking strategies (asking your partners to link to your site from theirs), registering your website on local search and the Economic Development Directory, organic search engine optimization that optimizes your website content so that your website “ranks” well based on an algorithm used by search engines to return results for specific keywords in the main search results, paid search campaigns which requires writing and purchasing advertisements or “sponsored links” on major search engines (which appear on the top and at the right of results pages), and combining search with other media marketing efforts such as a banner advertisement campaigns, and monthly email campaigns that include links to the website and that are archived on the website for search engine indexing.<br />Our approach to marketing is holistic, cost effective and comprehensive. We believe that there is not a better way to get exposure for your market and to your key audiences than through the strategies outlined in this plan. We are confident that implementing all aspects of this plan will increase your website conversions. <br />Development Results’ Top 25 Most Effective Search Phrases for Economic Development<br />As of the time of writing, Development Results tracks website statistics economic development websites that represent communities in 35 states. The terms at right represent the top 25 phrases that drive traffic to these sites. This sample of websites is the largest single source of such information in the United States, outside of the search engine companies (Google or Yahoo), who don’t publish this information. <br /> <br />How to use this list: <br />To get the most out of this list, and the most out of your SEM, you should:<br />Budget at least one third of your marketing budget for online marketing, including website, search engine marketing, website content, and other online marketing activities. <br />Have a search engine marketing professional audit the content on your current website to see if your site contains the appropriate keywords taken from the list above. This should be done every six months or so. <br />Optimize the website code and content around words provided in the list above by adding them to your main website pages, browser titles, page titles, page urls, body copy, photos and captions, and meta data. If you can’t change all of these without programming, you should invest in a new content management system. <br />Have a search engine marketing professional create a second keyword list that contains terms that your site will not rank well for, but which could drive significant traffic to your site. This could include the names of competing regions, trade groups you are a part of, the names of large companies in your area, etc. <br />Launch a paid search (PPC) campaign on Google, Yahoo!, and Live search engines with a maximum of 75 keywords and phrases grouped in specific adgroup categories relevant to economic development, based on your list in item 3. <br />Perform monthly statistical analysis and reporting of pay-per-click campaign efforts, using Development Results. Report your findings to your board, executive committee, or other stakeholders as appropriate. <br />Develop a reciprocal linking strategy that includes linking from partner sites utilizing your logo or a small graphic element. <br />Register your website for local search with Google, Yahoo, and Live. <br />Purchase a membership to the Economic Development Directory, ecodevdirectory.com. <br />Make search a key supporting approach to your overall media efforts, and use tactics such as A/B ad testing, banner ad tracking and optimizing landing pages for unique keywords. <br />Initiate a monthly direct email marketing campaign targeting each interest audience, partner organizations and the media. <br />Atlas Advertising Survival Guide to Online MarketingThis is an overview of online marketing. We explain search engine marketing and email marketing in brief with five reasons why each is important to your overall marketing investment.<br />The Five Benefits of Search Engine Marketing<br />Campaigns are completely Trackable & Scalable<br />Flexible cost structure and price ranges to meet many budgets<br />A/B Concept testing allows for constant tweaking of creative for campaign performance<br />Targeting the engaged customer – you market to those who are already interested<br />Response rates prove to be higher than other forms of media<br />What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)? Marketing a website via search engines, which includes improving rank in organic unpaid listings, purchasing paid listings, or a combination of both.<br />What are Pay Per Click (PPC) listings?With search engines, pay per click advertisements are usually text ads placed near search results; when a site visitor clicks on the advertisement, the advertiser is charged a small amount. Variants include pay for placement and pay for ranking. Pay per click is also sometimes known as Cost Per Click (CPC). Paid Search includes pay per click, paid inclusion and banner advertisements. Rankings are based on bid & quality score. Ranking = CPC X Quality Score <br />What are organic search listings? Organic search listings are results based on factors such as keyword relevancy within a web page. These listings are generally found on the left hand side in search engines and are not influenced by direct financial payments, only by effective search engine optimization (SEO).What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?Altering your website and all of its components (hidden and visible) for it to have success in the organic search engine listings.<br />00<br /> <br />0225425Search Engine Optimization via Website Optimization<br />The SpiderEvery website should be designed with the user AND the search engine spider in mind. This includes incorporating keywords in the copy of the website copy/content; writing the HTML code that includes title tags, meta descriptions, hyperlinks, heading/image alt attributes; and submitting your website to search engine directories. <br />Keyword Selection <br />There are several facets to consider when selecting the keyword list. Atlas Advertising will assist in narrowing the list after the initial considerations. The first round should include large buckets (far reaching) of words or phrases. The keyword list should include:<br />1. Spelling variations2. General terms or phrases related to client/product/website3. Qualifiers such as “best place”, “new developments”4. Negative matches5. Specific terms only associated with you, your company, your product, your website<br />The Five Ways to Optimize Website Content<br />Write for your audience <br />Use 2 to 3 keywords or keyword phrases per page consistently, meaning, don’t try to use all of our targeted keywords an every page – focus the pages. <br />Keep the content focused and about the same topic per page <br />The spider wants to know that page is the top and the expert so write as such. <br />Disperse the keywords throughout the website focusing on a few key pages. <br />Email Marketing Campaigns<br />Email marketing campaigns are a useful tool to reaching current customers and potential customers. Direct e-mail marketing is a format for e-mail-based campaigns in which standalone advertisements are sent to a targeted list of recipients. The advertisements may not be traditional ads but can also take the form of a newsletter. The messages can be text, HTML, or rich media. Email marketing is permission-based opt-in email versus unsolicited commercial email (UCE).The Five Benefits of Email Marketing<br />Tracking Metrics by subscriber and by email campaign<br />Allows for customer segmentation techniques<br />Personalized HTML emails<br />Attractive & Compelling<br />Consistent marketing to target consumers<br />Samples of Email Newsletters<br />Atlas Advertising SEM Glossary of Terms<br />AB/ ad testing: setting two ads for a keyword and testing which ad performs the best.<br />algorithm: A set of rules that a search engine uses to rank the listings contained within its index, in response to a particular query. In order to protect themselves from competitors and spammers, search engines do not reveal the exact formulas.<br />banner ad: A graphical online advertising tool. Users click on the graphic to be taken to another website. The term “banner ad” refers to a specific size image (468x60 pixels).<br />bounces: emails that are not delivered due to an incorrect email address.<br />email marketing: Direct marketing via email.<br />click through: when a prospect takes an action and clicks on a Web link or online advertisement.<br />click through rate (CTR): a statistical term that indicates the percentage of website visitors who click on a banner or text link advertisement and follow the link to the site being advertised. CTR is determined by using impressions as the numerator in a simple ratio - divide total click through by the number of ad impressions. <br />CPM: CPM or Cost Per Thousand is a recognized industry standard measure in advertising representing ad impressions. CPM equals how much an advertiser pays for 1,000 impressions of its banner. <br />conversion rate: The key metric to evaluate the effectiveness of a conversion effort (a mathematical equation that determines what percentage of site visitors actually complete a desired action). For example, if 4 out of 100 individuals sign up for an online newsletter, the conversion rate for that web page would be 4%.<br />cost per click: the fee paid to an online advertising vendor or search engine for each click on a link that sends consumers to an advertiser's web page.<br />cascading style sheets (CSS): A coding option, developed by W3C. With CSS, designers can create style sheets that define how different elements, such as headers and links, appear. These style sheets can them be applied to any web page. The term cascading derives from the tact that multiple style sheets can be applied to the same web page.<br />hypertext markup language (HTML): is the authoring language used to define the structure and layout of a web document.<br />heading tag: An HTML tag that designates headlines in the body of a website. These tags are designated in importance by the numbers 1 through 6. For example H1, H2, H3, etc.<br />Impression: number of views and banner or text advertisement receives. This is simply viewing and not a complete click through.<br />information architecture: The layout, organization, classification, navigation and searching systems that enable users to find and manage online information.<br />keyword: A word used in performing a search. Search engine optimization involves researching the keyword or keyword phrases that users enter in order to find websites and then optimizing a website around those words or phrases.<br />keyword density: refers to how many times a keyword is repeated within the text of a web page. For example, if a page contains 10 words and 10 of those words are “iPod”, then the keyword “iPod” is said to have a 10% keyword density. This also applies to keyword phrases. Search engine algorithms give higher ranking to a site that contains the keyword phrases that a user is searching for. Also known as keyword rich.<br />keyword tag: A meta tag used to help define the primary keywords of a web page.<br />link popularity: A set of rules that a search engine uses to rank the listings contained within its index, in response to a particular query. In order to protect themselves from competitors and those who wish to spam the search engines, search engines do not reveal exactly how their algorithms work. The quick fix solutions like FFAs, Link Farms, Artificial Link Networks, or other artificial means will not help a site's link popularity.<br />meta descriptions: is a brief description of the contents of a Web page usually written in plain-language in the form of a sentence. This description may appear visibly on a search engine results page so care should be taken to ensure it's clearly written and accurately reflects the content of the page.<br />meta keyword tags: can supplement the title and meta description of a Web page. This is usually a comma-separated list of document related keywords that are helpful to some search engines for indexing a Web page. <br />optimization: the changes that are made to the content and code of a web site in order to increase it's rankings in the results pages of search engines and directories.<br />opt-in: when a person chooses to receive an email such as an email newsletter or email advertisement. This is required for all direct email marketing.<br />organic: Also referred to as natural listings, organic listings are search engine result listings that have been positioned based solely on the fact that the search engine has deemed the website relevant or important enough to be included. <br />page views (impressions): relate to how many times a page was "
by visitors. A view does not necessarily mean visitors actually looked at your web page but that their browser requested and loaded the web page for whatever reason. The same general principle applies to ad or banner impressions where the defining factor is usually when the ad is downloaded by the user.<br />paid inclusion (PFI): is paying a search engine or directory to include a website in their index. <br />qualified traffic (engaged consumer): Traffic that is produced by users that find a website by searching for a topic, product or service that is offered on that website. These visitors are thought to be more likely to interact with or purchase from your website.<br />ranking: The placement of a website within a particular search engines results pages. A ranking within the first 3 pages is important and within the top 20 is ideal.<br />reciprocal links: An exchange where two sites agree to link to each other.<br />referral or referrer: The URL of the website that a visitor has come from. This information is stored in the server's referrer log file and can be used to discover which search engines or websites are delivering traffic to your web site. <br />robot (bot): is a program that automatically traverses the Web and requests documents from URLs. A robot usually starts from a historical list of URLs and retrieves referenced documents. As it visits new Internet websites it checks to see if the site is already listed in its database. If the site is already listed it usually updates any changes it finds. Robots are also commonly known as Spiders or Crawlers. <br />SEO: is a set of methodologies used to improve the overall visibility of a Web site in search engine results pages. Better visibility usually comes from having a higher ordinal rank or listing than other Web sites.<br />SEM: Also referred to as SEM, search engine marketing is the process of marketing a website via Web search engines; whether by improving rank in organic or natural listings, paid or sponsored listings or a combination thereof. <br />site map: A hierarchical visual representation of the pages of a website. Site maps help users navigate through a website by presenting them with a diagram of the entire site's contents. Similar to a book's table of contents, the site map makes it easier for a user to find information on a site without having to navigate through the site's many pages. Also, a site map can make it easier for a search engine spider to find all a site's pages.<br />spider: an automated program that follows links to visit web sites on behalf of search engines or directories. Robots then process and index the code and content of a web page to be stored in the search engine's database. <br />targeted keyword subsets: Targeted Keyword Subsets are the most specific keywords or phrases for a main target keyword group and one of the most important aspects of a solid SEO campaign. These keyword phrases are usually discovered through in-depth market or keyword analysis. <br />title tag: An HTML tag used to define the text in the top line of a web browser. Also used by many search engines as the title of search listings.<br />website traffic: People directed to your site through the various marketing and advertising programs a business employs to “drive traffic.”<br />unsubscriber: opt-in email subscribers that choose to unsubscribe to an email newsletter or advertisement. Once a user chooses to unsubscribe it is illegal to continue to send them emails.<br />unique visitors: Individuals who visited your website during a designated time period. If someone visits more than once during that time period, they are counted only the first time they visit.<br />visits: number of visits to the website. This includes multiple pages. This double counts the unique visitor.<br />