A memorable decade..

Last day of a decade.. and what  a decade it was.  Still remember those initial internet and online marketing days when “But who will see it on internet” was such a difficult question to answer. . I remember struggling with data to justify a merge 1.5-2.0 lac spends on online.

Client, and probably rightly so, were very apprehensive of the medium..  those days with dial-up connections, only animated gif banners and emailers were possible.

However,  few clients had that vision and they utilized online marketing and paved way for innovations.  Citibank, Incredible India campaign (Ministry of Tourism) come to mind not only as they were top spenders, they were open to new formats.

Now with the kind of broadband connections, internet penetration and interactive media units, social media and networks mushrooming every day, we surely have come a long way..  

And with so many options available, we now have problem of plenty..  How to target right audience without being intrusive or spreading ourselves too thin..


SEM Strategy – in a nutshell

1. Identification of Keyword/key phrases


Ask SEO agency for Your SEM strategy
  • Demand analysis
    • Search volume
    • Competition
    • Estimated Google Adwords daily clicks
    • Potential SEO volume.
    • Average PageRank for the keyword
  • Performance analysis
    • Average position
    • Click volume referred from search
    • Click quality
    • Outcomes (sales, registrations or leads)


Demand analysis 

  • Use SEO to target the key phrases with high search volume and popularity. For best impact, select words that are popular enough and have average competition rate
    • Average Position 1 ad slot for Google receives approx. 5% clickthrough rate, so this can give an idea of the total expected SEO volume.
    • If the average PageRank for the given keyword is much above the site PageRank, then it is unlikely to be able to compete using this particular keyword. Hence the keyword should be discarded.
  • Use PPC to target the niche and rare keywords as it is often impractical to use SEO for the full range of niche phrases

Performance analysis

  • Create benchmark for the agency
    – Current Rank across Search engines
    – Actual monthly SEO volume  
    – Relevance 
    – Conversion (contact us, subscription form, downloads) 


 2. Internal ranking factors 

Recommendations for 

  • Amount of text on a page
  • Number of keywords on a page
  • Location of keywords
  • Text format – Title tag; alt tag etc
  • Directory structure
  • Navigation menu format
  • # keywords/keyword phrase per page
  • Keep page size between 500-3000 words
  • Keywords density should be between 5-7%
  • Keyword location – closer a keyword to the beginning of a document, more significant it becomes for the search engine.
  •  Search engines pay special attention to page text that is highlighted or given special formatting. Hence
    • Use keywords in headings.
    • Highlight keywords with bold fonts.
  • Title tag – 50-80 characters from the TITLE tag are displayed in search results and so limit the size of the title to this length.
  • Avoid subdirectories
  • Avoid javascript/flash/image menu. If that is mandatory, create a sitemap with html links to the pages.
  • Try to follow the rule – One page – one keyword phrase
  • Internal linking – not more than 50 links on one page.


 3. External ranking factors 

  • Index coverage
  • Link building strategy
  • Submission to general purpose directories
  • DMOZ directories
  • PR and Blog strategy
  • Link-building – Quality is determined by context, relevance, and popularity of the linking page, as well as the link text.
  • Focus on Natural link-building using quality content
  • Ensure Inbound links are from relevant sites that have high PageRank.


Moving Beyond Viral Marketing

I still love the word “viral” and I include this in most of my marketing plan. But increasingly, with so many social media marketing, breaking clutter for “word of mouth” campaigns is getting difficult.

Going forward, to break the advertising clutter one would need to create concepts that are not just entertaining but are mashable and expandable/hackable. This would help them become extreme customizable and shareable.

It’s like a great idea that is entertaining enough to be forwardable, is Mashable to form a part of other applications and is expandable which allows others to add their bit to it and provide a framework for people to be creative!

Imagine a company that allows users to not just choose / select / vote to help decide corporate Logo (NDTV Convergence Ltd), or a title (Movie : Jab WE Met) or even title song (Movie : Rehna hai tere dil mein) but even ask the users to Create commercials where a company might provide different video assets and soundtracks to enable customers to create their own commercials.

NDTV Convergence logo selection

This ways, the viral and word of mouth effect would be extended and made customizable creating a different genre of marketing – Co-creative marketing!

Internet to help preserve local culture and language

With increasing popularity of local languages on net and Broadband allowing the use of rich media –audio and video files, Internet can play an additional role in  helping preserving local language and culture. Rich media formats can capture pronunciation and physical movements associated with the languages in details and document the same. For instance, the Tlingit language of the Inuit people in southeast Alaska has been preserved in an online database used by schoolchildren in Glacier Bay. More places would be seeing the development of indigenous language projects and databases online Though till now English is world’s lingua franca and with world becoming a global village, there was a threat of English becoming so indispensable in communicating that it would displace other languages.Though until translation technology is perfected and pervasive, people will have to find other ways to communicate as effectively as they can across cultures, but as Thomas Keller, a member of the Registrars Constituency of ICANN rightly says “The net of the future will very likely evolve more into a big assembly of micro webs serving micro communities and their languages.”  

NBC proposed to launch TV show ‘widgets’

Thought an interesting concept, still not too sure if this is the only way to solicit visitors and entice social interaction.

What is that they would offer different from other social networking sites? I agree, NBC video is something they can leverage on, but then why do the run of the mill stuff of providing buddies, personalized profiles, blogs etc.

Though not mentioned in explicit terms, hope they do not just provide blog infrastructure and invite people to create blogs within NBC domain. This can stickiness, but early adopters would, all probability be, those who have profiles on multiple sites. Through this, they can definitely increase pageviews and traffic, but no guarantee of “relevant” and “serious” traffic.

A better approach would be to collaborate with existing social networking sites, allowing people to share and upload videos and photos from NBC and generate discussion.

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