homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 23.20.77.156
register, free tools, login, search, pro membership, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Become a Pro Member
Visit PubCon.com
Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Professional Webmaster Business Issues
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: LifeinAsia & httpwebwitch

Professional Webmaster Business Issues Forum

    
How would you spend an SEO budget?
budget burning a hole in my pocket
TallTroll




msg:788730
 10:15 am on Jul 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

So, one of the benefits of working for a fair size company is that you get a lot of other peoples money to experiment with. The downside is that if you don't spend it, you don't get it next year...

Now, the rules are fairly loose - we have a separate link purchase budget, but if a nice PR 8/9 link crops up for 10k / month, we could justify that as SEO, especially for the new site, for instance, as a way of priming the pump.

We also have separate budgets for new creatives, outsourced agency work, SEO tool purchases, a small budget for directory submissions, and a conference attendance budget, so no need to take from them, unless the costs are high.

I've got several hundred thousand pounds to spend by the end of this financial year. So long as it shows a return, and is strictly whitehat (we have branded domains to protect here), it'll be considered, no matter how wild and wooly.

All suggestions gratefully recieved

 

Marketing Guy




msg:788731
 10:20 am on Jul 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

You didn't mention PPC but I would assume you've covered that already! ;)

Viral (e)marketing campaign? Sponsorships? Setup / implementation of an affiliate scheme? Give it all to me for the "consultation" we just had? ;)

MG

TallTroll




msg:788732
 11:12 am on Jul 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ah-ha, hi Scott :)

>> You didn't mention PPC but I would assume you've covered that already! ;)

Hmmm, you could say that... Some targetted PPC for very specific purposes may be supportable, but probably no more than a few tens of thousands, total

>> Viral (e)marketing campaign?

Good idea

>> Sponsorships?

Counts under the paid links budget, but high value ones (over the 5k / month mark) might well have to come out of the SEO budget

>> Setup / implementation of an affiliate scheme?

Funny you should say. It's already happening... PM me if you more details

>> Give it all to me for the "consultation" we just had?

LOL, I talked to you first... you OWE me, and if you don't want to be counting the fingers you haven't go, I suggest you get me those guns! (been watching Lock Stock too much recently...)

Marketing Guy




msg:788733
 11:58 am on Jul 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

black hat's for show, white hat's for a pro? ;)

> Sponsorships - was thinking more along the lines of one off, media type events rather than purely for IBL / PR purposes. Potentially could tie into viral marketing campaign to generate some organic IBL growth (media, blog, forum, etc), media buzz, etc.

Also how about considering new media for your site. Presumeably you have plenty of resources in house and a budget for outsourcing if required, so how about embracing new techs - mobile surfing for example - SMS alerts - interactive support - etc.

Potentially consider portal advertising - Y!, MSN, etc? Starting to see some awesome creatives these days that are really beginning to stand apart from the old "banner ad" stigma.

> Affiliate programme

Yeh fire your details to me via PM and I'll take a gander, but if it's your profile site I may have not long ago signed up to one of your competitors! ;) Although I'm always open to new markets! :)

Scott

TallTroll




msg:788734
 2:38 pm on Jul 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> Potentially consider portal advertising

I gather that MSN are good for that. With a big enough spend they'll WRITE a section for you.

>> embracing new techs - mobile surfing for example

Excellent idea. We could hook up with a local search provider, who have good airport data

Marketing Guy




msg:788735
 2:49 pm on Jul 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

How about impulse buy text messages pitching last minute deals to people who live reasonably close to departure airports?

figment88




msg:788736
 3:10 pm on Jul 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hire writers, create destination guides.

decaff




msg:788737
 5:47 am on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Tough to say exactly...without knowing the exact industry sector your company is in...and without knowing the current state of your site in the eyes of the search engines....and what type of usability issues you site may face from a conversion point of view...

I would say a comprehensive overview of your current "branded domains to protect here" would be the first order of business..

You would want to know all the variables relating to how the search engines view your site (keywords, pages indexed, link relationships)...you can ask these via a number of special command line entries into the search boxes of the major engines..

Once you know these variables...then you will know how best to strategize your spend..

You can't lose building out customized targeted content that addresses your targeted audience(s) for your various sites.. (and I am not talking about low balling this...get some good solid professional writing that adds real value to your site...not the $.02 cents per word crap)

Carefully researching link relationships is critical...but you must approach these first from the benefit of the link relationship, FIRST, and then the benefits of this relationship, OVERTIME, from the eyes of the search engines...if you start out buying links ... this could lead you down a path that can do more harm then good..

Build out real business relationships that benefit your brand for the long haul...(and so you can get the funding again next year!)

Another starting point is to determine your conversion rates for whatever your sites are designed to do....if you acquire new traffic and your conversion are poor you will not be gaining anything ... in fact...if you work on improving your conversions as a first front ... through some usability testing ... your gains for the long haul will be substantial (wouldn't that look good for refunding your efforts next fiscal year?)

* Affiliate programs
* Revenue Partnerships
* Email Marketing (data mining your existing customer base)
* Targeted PPC campaigns
* Selling Ad space on any of your sites
* WAP/WML Mobile Marketing
* RSS/XML
* Comparison Shopping Feeds

So much to consider...so much time to implement..(for the long haul..white hat style)

Good luck....

TallTroll




msg:788738
 9:40 am on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> without knowing the exact industry sector your company is in

*cough* profile site *cough*

>> and without knowing the current state of your site in the eyes of the search engines

For our main keywords, pretty good, plus good performance in the tail. We could ALWAYS expand our keyword reach though

>> and what type of usability issues you site may face from a conversion point of view

Our conversion rates are good now, and we are working on some enhancements

>> Affiliate programs

On the way...

>> Revenue Partnerships

Hmmm, a good thought

>> Email Marketing (data mining your existing customer base)

We already do a fair bit. New ideas for sources of quality, demographically qualified subscribers always welcome though

>> Targeted PPC campaigns

We already do a fair amount...

>> Selling Ad space on any of your sites

You could say that that is all we do

>> WAP/WML Mobile Marketing

Thats come up before, and is an excellent idea

>> RSS/XML

We are making some very tentative moves into this type of thing. If anyone has advice on what kind of thing has worked for them, or they would like to have done if they had the budget, I'm listening

>> Comparison Shopping Feeds

Again, it's fair to say we do this....

Thanks to everyone so far, keep the ideas coming

Web Footed Newbie




msg:788739
 10:17 am on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's funny how we emarketers get trapped into thinking only about what we can do on the web...
How about small print ads in targeted travel magazines in the UK? Have a catchy call to action, get the audience to the site on a particularly designed landing page, and them give them a referral fee for telling there friends about you (viral offline marketing - I just coined this phrase!)
A-B test landing pages for PPC advertising and study the results over and over; the real gold is found in improved conversions. Just think, if your conversion rate is 2%, and you increase it to 2.5%, that is a 25% increase in business!
WFN

TallTroll




msg:788740
 11:33 am on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> we emarketers get trapped into thinking only about what we can do on the web...

We do significant work offline too, but that's not my area, and they have their own budgets ;) I'm just thinking about SEO and related stuff, pretty much purely online spend

>> the real gold is found in improved conversions

We do OK; regularly over 50% conversions. However, I agree that there is always room for improvement, and we are looking seriously at improving the value per conversion. Any ideas there would be good too (not exactly SEO, but hey, there are other budgets in the business too)

Web Footed Newbie




msg:788741
 12:33 pm on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

TallTroll,
Regarding the conversions, a 50% rate is excellent - but how do you measure this to get this figure? Is it conversions divided by total visitors, or conversions divided by unique visitors? Any of the top 400 etail sites in the USA would love to have that kind of conversion, making you a very hot commodity!

As for improving conversions, there is nothing like knowing your customers, especially how you treat the different personality types when they come to your site. Do you have options on your landing pages to cater to each of the four personality types? For instance, a melancholy personality needs more information before they can make a decision, so you should have a link that shouts out "complete information about your company, pricing, privacy policy, etc."

Also, review the logs with a good analytics program. Where is the customer coming in, why are they exiting at certain points, examine shopping cart abandonment, and absolutely know the various sales funnels or paths customers are taking to final purchase.

With some of the money, have an outside company develop personas of your typical customers - and then build sales paths to accomodate those personas.

If you have several hundred thousand pounds, then you might convince management it is time to go shopping. Study your competitors, there size, length in business, strengths and weaknesses, and how you would improve their company if you acquired them. Buying out second or third tier competitors is a great way to help you catapult above your fiercest competitor. After all, competiting with yourself (your current site vs. newly acquired site) grows your market share, while eliminating redundancies and other costs.
WFN

TallTroll




msg:788742
 2:33 pm on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> how do you measure this to get this figure?

conversions divided by total visitors, I believe

>> As for improving conversions, there is nothing like knowing your customers,

Yup. We are in a VERY price driven market, so we find it works best to match landing page content to buying cycle stage

>> Also, review the logs with a good analytics program.

Grrr, sore point. Being addressed

>> With some of the money, have an outside company develop personas of your typical customers

Hmmmm, another good point

>> convince management it is time to go shopping

LOL, as well as we do, I SERIOUSLY doubt we could afford a straight cash buyout of any of our major competitors. A fair few of them are owned by IAC, who have a market cap of around $16 billion. But, Barry, if you are reading this, we'll make you a fair offer, LOL

decaff




msg:788743
 8:56 pm on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't think it would be wise to raise the hairs on the back of the neck of Barry Diller .. buy sniffing around his valuable properties...unless you could win a hostile takeover war...as he could easily turn the tables on you in an instance....then again...if your company is looking for an exit strategy...go ahead and raise the hairs on the back of Barry Diller's neck...

One other idea...you could focus your SEO efforts on major event driven traveling spikes ...for example (and by the way...congrats on UK London snapping up the 2012 Olyimpics...I predict there will be a travel boom that year...giggle

So you could use some nice data minig techniques against your own recent trends and then go after this type traffic with package deals and the like...
You are data mining your logs aren't you? if not you are definitely leaving money on the table...

Web Footed Newbie




msg:788744
 11:18 pm on Jul 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> Also, review the logs with a good analytics program.
Grrr, sore point. Being addressed
>> With some of the money, have an outside company develop personas of your typical customers
Hmmmm, another good point

---Thanks, I'm glad I could at least make points!

>> convince management it is time to go shopping
LOL, as well as we do, I SERIOUSLY doubt we could afford a straight cash buyout of any of our major competitors.

I didn't say major competitors, minor ones. It is easier to catch one fish in a bowl when there is only one fish... Did I just say that? I like it! What I really mean is that teaming up with competitors by acquiring them is the Achilles heal to the giants (this is the single fish in a bowl). Why are we able to squeak out a living, even when we have major competitors? We work harder, faster, smarter - and we attend WW conferences when they don't..
WFN

TallTroll




msg:788745
 10:45 am on Jul 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> I didn't say major competitors, minor ones.

The only problem with this is that our minor competitors are actual PROVIDERS - holiday companies, small airlines. We specifically, DON'T do this, we do price comparison. Kelkoo might have been a logical choice, but Yahoo kinda beat us to the punch... Most of the other price comparison sites suck a bit, at least Kelkoo were competent spammers, LOL

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / WebmasterWorld / Professional Webmaster Business Issues
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Home ¦ Free Tools ¦ Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About ¦ Library ¦ Newsletter
WebmasterWorld is a Developer Shed Community owned by Jim Boykin.
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved