What to consider when it's time for a Web site revamp, why size doesn't always matter and more

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With a limited Web marketing budget, should I spend my dollars on search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising?

“The ideal campaign includes both search engine optimization and pay-per-click. But if you have to choose, pay-per-click offers the better short-term investment,” says Colleen Scrivner, principal of DickinsonGroup.

PPC has three distinct advantages, she says: It delivers more reliable results, delivers them quickly and allows a “head start” on an organic search effort.

“From the moment you launch your campaign, your PPC keywords start directing search traffic to your landing page,” she explains. “By establishing the primary keywords of your target audience, you accelerate the results you'll achieve when you do conduct an integrated SEO/PPC campaign.”


What should I consider when redesigning my site?

When organizations decide that they need to redesign their Web site, they often have an abundant list of requirements that come with an abundant price tag, says Naveed Usman, principal of the Usman Group. To successfully redesign their site, he suggests companies follow a process centered around the end user.

“Use a development process that helps you define your target audience, identifies your customers' primary and secondary needs, and assists in breaking the project into phases,” says. “The development process should determine the overall budget, identify your target audience and their needs, and divide the project into phases so that the total project cost is more manageable.

Following a development process that utilizes customer research helps ensure a more effective site design within your allotted budget.”


What is the most viable option for current online video marketing efforts?

“The online video advertising industry remains in the experimentation phase,” says Chris Gardner, CMO of ExtendMedia. He anticipates a spike in video service operators introducing pay-per-view, download-to-own, rental and subscription-based offerings.

“Three of the most successful online video services – Hulu, Netflix and iTunes – already leverage very different business models,” Gardner notes. “What is critical at this point is to have the flexibility to try all models. Don't limit yourself or your marketing campaign to a set of predefined constraints – there is a realm of opportunities that both supplement and challenge traditional ad models.”


In today's marketing industry, do size and scale really matter?

“Critical mass was once the silver chalice of all advertising,” says Christopher Schroeder, CEO of Healthcentral.com. “Technology and precision have changed this forever.

The right message in front of the right person at the right time equals useful, valued experiences to audiences and ROI unimagined even a few years ago.”

He cites the health vertical as an example. “‘Qualified scale' is the golden opportunity,” he says. “I'd take 10 million passionate and engaged people — with knowledge of their conditions, needs, stages, roles — over twice as many unique ‘health seekers' any day. ‘Size for size's sake' portals/networks must have a shrinking place over time. Technology will allow the new breed to serve audiences on their terms and for their needs.”

Interested in sharing your tips and tricks? E-mail lauren.bell@dmnews.com to contribute to Toolbox.

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