Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

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Free Business Advice for Search Marketing Firms

Back in September, I posted the Top 10 Mistakes Search Marketing Firms Make. Since then, business coaching for SEM firms has become a large part of my consulting services. I’ve had the privilege of working with SEOmoz, We Build Pages and many other marketing agencies, looking for assistance with scaling their business, structuring their services and building a better SEM firm.

I’m going to write a follow-up article that looks at the top-10 ways to grow your search marketing firm. I have some ideas for the list already, but thought I’d get your input on what areas you’d like me to cover.

Here’s some of the ideas I have already:

  • How to price a campaign to win a client account
  • How to grow your business to 200 employees

Google Checkout Buying Market Share from PayPal

Google has deep pockets, and is certainly not afraid to use its war-chest of cash to take on PayPal. Hitwise reports Google Checkout’s $10 off $30 promotion (and the just announced $20 off $50) is helping the company to buy its way into the online payment processing market.

Its market share of visits was up 30% in the past four weeks (week ending 11/18/06 vs. week ending 10/21/06), and soon it should rank in the top 20 Google properties.

While PayPal gets 70% of its traffic from eBay, Google Checkout is casting a wider net with its partner network. Here’s where Google Checkout is getting its traffic from…

R.I.P. Search Engine Watch

Please mark your calendars for December 11th. That is the day we will say a sad farewell to Search Engine Watch as Danny, Chris, Barry (and everyone else) leave to start Search Engine Land.

While I am sure SEW will continue to attract eyeballs, it will clearly see a sharp decline in traffic, once its all-star cast of authors leave. No one goes to SEW because of its looks or interface. They go there because Danny Sullivan is there. Without Danny and his posse, why would you want to continue reading?

Search Engine Land is a success before it has even launched. I predict that within 6 months, it will have more traffic than SEW.

So, what about you? Will you stay loyal to SEW or Danny?

Best Time to Schedule Your Pay-Per-Click Ads?

The WSJ tackles a reader question about the best time to schedule PPC ads. Of course, WSJ knowing nothing about the subject, turns to recent comScore data for its answer.

The best day of the week?

ComScore analyzed online shopping trends in 2005 and found that Monday and Tuesday had the highest shares of consumer spending, each with 18% of total sales for the week; Wednesday had 17% of sales; Thursday 15% and Friday 16%. Sales fell off markedly on Saturday and Sunday, averaging 9% and 8% of a week’s total sales, respectively.

The best time of day?

The highest percentage of dollars spent online during a typical weekday occurs between 11 a.m. and noon, followed by 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and then 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., comScore says. By far, consumers spend the fewest dollars online in the hours between midnight and 8 a.m.

Google Offers Sitemaps Tool for News Sites

Google has launched a new version of its Sitemaps for news sites looking to have better control of what content is indexed.

News Sitemaps tell Google exactly which articles to crawl for inclusion in Google News. The News Sitemaps XML definition lets webmasters specify a publication date and time for each article and to set keywords for each article that determine placement of the articles into the relevant sections on Google News.

More at PC Pro.

New Eye Tracking Report Looks at Google, Yahoo & MSN

Enquiro has released a new eye tracking report and it’s worth every penny of the $149 you’ll pay to get your hands on it.

If you caught Gord Hotchkiss’ presentation at PubCon, you’d already have a good idea of some of the search-candy inside the new report. In case you missed it, here’s some of the things you’ll discover:

  • The difference in the user experience between Google, Yahoo and MSN
  • Real relevancy vs. perceived relevance and how this impacted interactions
  • Interactions with organic vs sponsored across the 3 engines

There’s also great insight on what Enquiro calls “pogo-sticking” – where users go back and forth between search results – and how the search engines are using icons to attract a searcher’s attention. Also fascinating is how searchers click on a search listing, but still scan the search results page, while waiting for the new web page to load.

Google Page Creator Gets New Features

Google’s Justin Rosenstein just announced some nifty new upgrades to Google Page Creator – the “so easy, even a caveman can do it” web design tool.

Here’s what users are getting…

Image editing (see image):  Now you can make a picture look just right in the context of your web page. Once you add a picture, crop, rotate, lighten, darken, and add crazy special effects to it right from within your browser.

Multiple sites: When you first sign in to Google Page Creator, we automatically give you a site with the same name as your Gmail address, so you don’t have to worry about choosing a name when you’re just trying to get started. But because not every site is a personal site, starting today, you can create up to five sites with different URLs.