Marketing consultants come in many forms.
AsiaMarketeers specializes in driving sales through your digital or e-marketing channels
by thinking thoroughly about the marketing ideas and how your money is spent.
I'll talk to you, your employees and your customers before building a strategy and recommending any changes. This might sound obvious, but look around - it isn't.
We are also big on measurements and analytics; by measuring
your marketing efforts we can optimize for better marketing investments.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Search Basics for Digital Marketing in Asia

I first came into contact with SEO with an investment client back in 2003. I was running my own marketing firm then with 50% of our businesses devoted to web building. When we had the 7 languages site up and running, client requested to have the site listed as top ranking on major search engines.

I had no idea how to do it. Naturally I Googled for a solution. I found a local consulting company who had the capability and negotiated a great deal. Client provided a wish list containing keywords that were highly competitive but just a couple weeks later, the site was listed top ranking under most of the keywords. But almost immediately we had to cut the contract - method used was far less than acceptable.

He had used a cheating page whereby all the keywords were present without making any sense. This is a method widely used in the old days but no longer acceptable by search engines today and even at the time, there was real risk of client's site being banned.

This was a turning point for me as it triggered my interest to evolve from web building into digital marketing.

Here are some fast facts on search:
- In March [2004], 1.8 million at-home Internet users - or 71% of active at-home Internet users in Hong Kong - visited a search engine site
- 55% of all online purchases originate from Search Engines as opposed to only 9% from banners
- Portals and search engines continue to be the most popular websites in APAC, with 6 out of the top 10 websites visited by internet users being search engines
- Search engine optimisation was the top method cited by Web site marketers to drive traffic to their sites (66%), followed by email marketing (54%)

The two types of Search Engine Marketing are PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and SEO (Organic Search Engine Optimization).

PPC gives you results in 1-2 days. It is far easier that SEO. You have the flexibility to turn on and off at any time with the ability to geo-target any markets. It allows ease to compete in a highly competitive market space though it may be costly. But it is your best choice for short term and high margin campaigns.

SEO takes longer to see effect - anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months. It requires ongoing learning and experience and are more popular than sponsored ads. Though difficult to control flow of traffic or compete in highly competitive market space, it can generate exposure on related websites, directories, and are generally more cost-effective so better for long term and lower margin campaigns.

Most companies are finding it difficult to implement SEO because of their web or department infrastructures won't allow frequent update; part of a requirement to keep site ranking at top level. This is changing though with more companies now moving to CMS platforms but some clients are still facing obstacles: creating, implementing content and link building requires expertise and is time consuming.

The best strategy is to start with PPC; identify your high value keywords and slowly shift them into web content development. This way you don't loose out on time and effort in developing site content that might or might not work in your favor of having high search engine ranking.

Remember both PPC and SEO require expertise so unless you have a dedicated team or persons to perform these tasks, consider outsourcing!

I will be interested to hear your thoughts - please feel free to comment!

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