Drive It – Convert It! #11 (podcast): Internet Marketing Diversity

(Note: This podcast was originally published 1n 2006 under another domain name – bastioninternet.com/blog.  In 2010, the blog was later migrated to this site.  Some links may be outdated or there may be issues with RSS feeds)

Don’t put all your eggs in one web marketing strategy. The key to short and long term success is diversity.

Suggested Tags: seo, sem, web design, website design, web site conversion, online sales, ecommerce, internet marketing, web marketing, trust, credibility, web promotion

Show summary: SES San Jose – A little about the recent Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose

Diversification – Be careful about jumping too soon AND jumping too late. Longevity is one more reason to diversify now, though. Think your safe with SEO or Pay Per Click – think again.

Upcoming podcasts – Switching back to the Drive side of Drive It – Convert It! Look for the new Getting Started series to help get you started with new Internet Marketing vehicles and for those that want some extra tips on doing it effectively.

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Read a full transcript here …

Hi and welcome to Drive It – Convert It!, for August 29th, 2006. This is episode #11: Internet Marketing Diversity

Drive It – Convert It! is the podcast where Small and Medium Sized businesses learn the marketing strategies and tactics behind Driving More Traffic to their website and Converting that Traffic into qualified leads and sales.

Drive it, convert it.

Well it’s been over a month sine the last Drive It – Convert It! podcast. Thanks for sticking with me. It’s been a busy summer. I went on vacation. They tried to catch up. Then I went to a conference. Then tried to catch up. I little more vacationing, and I’m still trying to catch up. But the podcast gods were calling my name and promising retribution if I didn’t get things going again.

Actually, I have been dying to get podcasting again. There’s a ton going on. I’m fresh from the latest Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose and clients are keeping us on our toes here at Bastion Internet. We’re pushing some limits and exploring into new territory.

If you want the details of my vacation – send me an email. From here on in, this podcast is all about driving traffic to your website and converting it once it’s there.

We’ll start by reviewing the summer Search Engine Strategies conference. That’s going to lead me into what’s hot, what are the trends in Internet Marketing. From there, the main event – I want to talk about the importance of diversity within your online marketing plan and how we’re going to get you starting down that path. Finally, with diversity in mind, I’ll give you a forecast of the upcoming podcast series.

Search Engine Strategies: I attended the summer Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose. For those of you that are familiar with Search Engine Strategies you know how much information gets thrown at you over a 4 day period. For those of you who aren’t familiar with these conferences – I’ll give you the rundown.

Search Engine Strategies, also know as SES is put on by Incisive Media. It’s chaired by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch fame. It runs over a four day period and follows a pretty typical trade show slash conference type of format. There’s 5 hour to hour and a half sessions running at any given time and that’s done 4 times a day. So over the course of the conference there’s well over 70 different sessions. The sessions break down into different focuses – you’ve got ones more targeted toward beginners, ones targeted at advanced users. You’ve got a SEO track, an Advertising track, vertical tracks like shopping search and local search, you’ve got a B to B focus. It’s really got something for everybody.

The sessions are a little bit teaching, a little bit opinion, lots of Q and A. Most sessions have 3 or 4 panelists that are subject matter experts, and a moderator. Each panelist gives a 10-15 minute presentation offering their slant on the subject and then it gets opened up for questions.

Based on how people put up their hands when the moderators ask, it seems like about 60% of the attendees are in-house employees at various companies outside of the Search industry and about 40% are from Internet marketing firms of one description or another. My numbers could be way off, though, I’ve never seen anything published on that.

There’s also a exhibition floor where there’s a good100 or so exhibitors ranging from SEO companies to dot.coms to analytics software firms.

Anyway, I don’t want to make this a commercial. Go to SearchEngineStrategies.com Go to SearchEngineStrategies.com for more info if you’d like.

One of the things I look for when I go to these conferences is trends.
Where things seem to be heading. In marketing if you’re always following other companies’ leads, you’ll likely always be following others – stands to reason – huh. So if you can get out in front of the trends, you stand a better chance of success.

One of the most highly attended sessions was on Social Search. I think it was highly popular because it’s pretty new. We’re all trying to figure out how we want to play. How many resources do you put into something without having a good idea of the payoff.

Now it’s always a little dangerous because new stuff is alluring. If you’re like me, you work so much with standard SEO and Search Engine Advertising that it can start to seem a little mundane at times. So when something new comes along, you want to jump all over it. And then you step back and look at the statistics and see what an overwhelming amount of traffic is still generated by those two 500 pound gorillas – Optimization and Pay Per click

So it can be dangerous to go after the new, alluring marketing vehicles – I call them market vehicles one, because they drive traffic, two, because they are often self contained. Anyway, back to the danger of pursuing the new, mysterious strategies. But, it can be more dangerous not to pursue them. If you don’t diversify, and that even includes doing things that are new to you and not necessarily new to everyone else, you will absolutely suffer from that decision.

Let’s run through some scenarios. You think SEO is the place to be. Well it can be until you get banned or shoved down in the rankings by an algorithm change or a spurt of competition. Have you noticed that Froogle and Google’s local results have started showing up high in the rankings of search engine results pages. How’s you’re Froogle ranking. Are those Froogle results knocking you down in the rankings an inch or two.

If you rely on leads just from the natural search results, what happens when those results suddenly dry up. A lot of companies have been thrown into a panic for just that reason. Now a lot of times you can go way down in rankings and it’s just a temporary thing. You bounce back up after a week or two. But if that’s where all you’re business is coming from and it’s now gone, you’re under a ton of pressure to do something. You can’t just sit there and do nothing – which is often the right thing to do. So you’re sort of forced to take action just so it looks like you’re trying to do something. If you had some other traffic driving vehicles in place, the pressure’s off a little. You can wait it out a bit to see what’s real and what’s not in a rankings bump or shuffle.

So you think you’re safe by driving leads through search engine advertising – pay per clicks. Hey, you pay, your ads show up, people click, you get customers. Well along comes Google and their quality score. Now it’s just not a matter of price bids. Click through rates and the relevance of landing pages are affecting the rank of your sponsored ad. Plus with all the Tivo’ing going on, just how much more competition is flowing in from companies looking for better places to spend their advertising dollar then television. How does that affect the cost per click.

Here’s something to think about. Do you know what two of the highest downloaded Firefox extensions are – a script blocker and an ad blocker. Do you think that might have an affect on your Google and Yahoo pay per click business. History has definitively shown us that people like to block ads. Don’t think Google and Yahoo’s ads are immune to that. Getting a little sick of seeing AdSense on sites – yeah, me too. Where’s that Firefox extension. Maybe once I’ve turned it on it’ll block the ads on the Search Engine Results Pages, too.

I think you’re getting my point.

So if you haven’t already started getting systems in place to diversify efficiently, you need to.

Another trend – longevity. Longevity goes hand in hand with trust. If you’ve been around awhile people tend to trust you a little more. Heard of the Google sandbox. There are pretty good indicators that length of time you’ve been doing something means something in this web site marketing world of ours. It’s pretty hard to go out a get a new link that’s 2 years old. You would have had to have done that two years ago.

So the key to longevity is to get started now. It a few years you’ll have it. Meanwhile, why not drive some traffic and have some fun while were at it.

I believe it was John Lennon said that 90% of success was just showing up. I’m not sure that I totally agree with the exact percentage, but the principle does apply. You’ve got to get in the game if you want to score and if you want to win. Most people sit on the couch and are content to watch.

So, how do we all get into the game.
Well, Drive It – Convert It! is shifting back to the “drive it” side. Over the next several podcasts I’m going to talk about getting into different games – we’ll call it the Getting Started series.

What do I want you to get started with – to diversify into. Lots of things.

We are going to talk social search and social networking. We are going to talk about podcasting. Blogging – yeah it’s been out awhile but you’re still not doing it, are you.We’ll revisit Vertical search engines like shopping search and local search. Pushed out any press releases lately, how about Ezines or newsletters.

I’m calling it the Getting Started series but don’t let that fool you. I’ll be lacing it with something for everyone whether you’re a beginner or an old hand at it.

I can’t wait for the podcast on Social Search and Social Networking. I am excited about it and dreading it all at the same time. I’m 42 years old, do I really need a My Space account. Do I really need to Digg stuff. Is it a goldmine or a big waste of time.

We usually avoid what we fear or what we don’t understand. I know a lot of SEOs that hate getting links because they don’t want to have to actually communicate with another person. A lot of us have a fear of speaking – not looking forward to that first podcast – are you? Don’t understand all the tech stuff surrounding Shopping Search – don’t worry it’s probably just a fad anyway.

Let’s face down some of those fears, that apprehension together. Let’s go back and revisit some of those online marketing vehicles that we took a look at a few years ago and turned our noses up at – darn shopping engines. Let’s get diversified. A little secret – it’s mostly just about repurposing content.

So if you haven’t yet subscribed, you won’t want to miss out. You can follow the subscription links on our site. Or, if you use iTunes, do a search for drive it convert it and pick us up there. I’m John Boulter, for Bastion Internet’s Drive It – Convert It! podcast.

Visit us at bastioninternet.com or Email us at podcast@bastioninternet.com. I’ll get back to you. See you then.

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About JohnB

John Boulter is the President of Bastion Internet and a major contributor to the Drive It - Convert It! website. Avid interest in the web and Internet marketing and a student of life.
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