Search Engine Guide: Here's What to Expect From This Guide

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This guide is designed for both experts and beginners in search engine marketing. Its purpose is to help you better understand the use of online searches for promotions or commerce.


Time-starved consumers prefer to type in keywords to search for a product, service, news item or Web site on the Internet. Last year, marketers spent almost 40 percent of the estimated $10 billion in U.S. online advertising to ensure that they were at the right end of those searches.


So here's a soup-to-nuts explanation from DM News contributors on how to use search engine marketing to acquire and retain customers. Search is complex, but we have sought to demystify the discipline in short, tight and insightful articles.


The book progresses from the basics of search to intermediate level and then advanced. Research and case studies are interspersed through the pages.


Whatever your familiarity with the subject, do start by reading Forrester Research consulting analyst Shar VanBoskirk's article on search basics and best practices. From there on, expect to be spoilt for choice. There are pieces on smart copywriting, press release optimization, technology and software, search on a shoestring, keyword ranking and paid inclusion. Also included are tips on uniting paid search with organic and combining search optimization with blogs and RSS feeds.


Don't forget Melissa Burgess' article on budgeting, Kelly Kochert's take on the struggle for brand control online, Jason Wadler's tips for buying keywords and Zorik Gordon's advocacy of local search.


Other pieces that stand out are Alan Rimm-Kaufman and George Michie's pointers on trusting paid search reports and Tim O'Leary's concern over search marketing's rising costs driving out smaller advertisers. And then there's SEMPO president Dana Todd, who gives us a view of the road ahead.


Among the case studies are ones from major marketers and retailers like GiftCertificates.com, REI, Fairmont Hotels, CompUSA, hpshopping.com and Virgin Vacations. All are worth reading and absorbing.


You've noticed I haven't yet mentioned Google or Yahoo. Well, the floodgates open right after this. These two search engines are among the ranks of brands like Amazon, eBay and AOL that have changed the way we live and conduct business.


I thank the contributors and their public relations executives for remarkable patience and focus. Also, many thanks to DM News editor in chief Tad Clarke, news editor John Ervin, art director Sophia Jongsurasithiwat and CEO Adrian Courtenay for their hard work.


You hold in your hands the distilled wisdom of the best and brightest minds in search engine marketing. Please turn all pages. Imbibing these lessons might win you new customers, client confidence and a place in this search guide's next edition.


For more articles from The Direct Marketer's Essential Guide to Search Engine Marketing, visit www.dmnews.com/search .


A PDF of the guide is available at: http://www.dmnews.com/pdffiles/semguide.pdf


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