Articles by Allie Mims Archive

Articles and blog posts by Allie Mims, co-founder of Komodo Online Marketing.

Miami Business Resource: Where to Go and What to Do in Miami – Miami.com

Miami.com is a site dedicated to showing you what there is to see and do in Miami and South Florida. Miami.com staff and users can write reviews of restaurants, nightclubs, lounges, hotels, best beaches, museums, movies, best places to shop, celebrity sightings, and more. Users can also rate and comment on businesses listed on the site. Miami.com is owned by Miami Herald Media Company, which is owned by McClatchy Company. Miami.com is a great resource for locals looking for something new, tourists looking to plan the perfect South Florida vacation, and relevant local businesses for a host of reasons.

Check out this video from Miami.com to find out what they are all about. Yea, the video is a little cheesy…but just roll with it.

For local businesses:

Miami.com is a great resource for South Florida businesses, especially those in the entertainment, restaurant, and tourism industries. The site does offer advertising space for businesses, but they also write articles on varying nightlife and entertainment topics. These articles and reviews are independent of advertising. The About Us/Contact Us page of Miami.com states:

Our reviews and stories are not paid for by advertisers – our pages spotlight the best of South Florida, handpicked by our editors and users.

As an example, Miami.com currently has an article with information and reviews about local bars that offer the best (and largest) selection of beers. Now thats my kind of topic. Getting reviewed on Miami.com is a great source of free publicity for these businesses. Once a business has been added by the staff or a Miami.com user, the business can see what other users think of their location, product, or service by reading user comments and additional reviews. Check out the screenshot below of the Miami.com page for The Bar in Coral Gables, Florida. (click to enlarge)

So what are people saying about your business?

Marketers Preparing for Pricier PPC Ads

MediaPost published a great article yesterday about the increasing costs of paid search and how marketers are coping by investing in natural search. The article includes many quotes from Tim Kauffold, director of business development at Oneupweb.

The following are some of Mr. Kauffold’s quotes from the article along with some of my thoughts on the issue.

“In most cases, natural and paid search campaigns perform better together than they do separately. Greater awareness of a Web site created by a paid ad can lead to more natural traffic. In similar fashion, people are logically more likely to click on a paid promotional ad of marketers they recognize, such as those they’ve encountered during a natural search.” -Kauffold

I would also add that paid search and natural search campaigns perform better together through shared data analysis. Paid search campaigns provide detailed data about which keyword phrases are performing the best. This data is also great at spotting keyword trends like what keywords have increasing conversion rates and vice versa over a given period of time. Marketers can use this keyword data for their SEO campaigns to optimize content around those keyword phrases. On the flip-side, traffic data gathered from search engine optimization can give insights into user behavior on your website. These insights can help marketers improve the quality of paid search landing pages.

“One of the things that surprises marketers–particularly those who have been using the media for several years–is how the costs are rising. They think, ‘Why doesn’t the same dollar buy me the same volume it used to?’ But there are really big inflation numbers with cost-per-click. It’s still a great avenue, but as more folks jump in, costs are going higher.” -Kauffold

I briefly covered this basic market concept about two weeks ago in our post covering the Kelsey Group’s annual forecast, but it’s worth repeating here. As Kauffold says, paid search is still a great avenue but costs are increasing. Companies that optimize for natural search will reduce their dependence on paid search for leads and customers.

“Paid search is a media buy, and natural search optimization is an investment in the site itself, and that can take some time–maybe even a few months–to see results,” -Kauffold

This statement pretty much speaks for itself, and it is a statement that is important to remember. Many large companies and tech/internet related companies have known this for years. However, many small businesses and franchise companies are just beginning to realize the importance of natural search optimization and how long it takes to see results. If anything, undertaking a search engine optimization campaign is all about building a foundation for the future.

Google Finally Gets EU Approval for Acquisition of DoubleClick

The European Commission announced today that Google’s $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick can proceed without conditions. Google proposed the deal back in April to increase its sales of online display ads. Microsoft had vigorously opposed the deal saying it would hinder competition in the global online ad market. In the end Microsoft could only stall the deal, not kill it. You can read the rest over at Bloomberg.

Komodo Links: Why Data Matters, Landing Page Load Time and Quality Score, New Yahoo Maps Data, Zuckerberg on Facebook

It’s Friday and its time for some Komodo Links. Google, Yahoo Maps, and an interview with Mark Zuckerberg are on the list.

The Google Blog posted Why Data Matters a couple days ago. A great read including “a brief history of search.”

In the next few weeks Google’s AdWords will begin to factor landing page load time into your quality score. The primary goal is to improve the user experience.

Yahoo Maps has been updated with new data and functionality.
Improvements include:

  • 300 cities with new neighborhood data added throughout North America
  • 12,000 new neighborhoods added
  • Expanded worldwide coverage
  • New Points-of-Interest (POI) information

And to finish up, BusinessWeek has a short interview with Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. In the interview Zuckerberg discusses Sheryl Sandberg’s role at Facebook, their expansion plans, and his perspective on a possible initial public offering of stock.

Ask.com Wants to Answer Your Questions…Again

Ask.com, one of the major players in the search engine space, has announced that it will be cutting 8% of its workforce and focusing on its core user, married women. The Wall Street Journal article outlining ask.com’s new strategy (free preview) goes into greater detail. The San Francisco Chronicle touches on the ask.com retreat in their Daily Digest.

After years of trying to compete as a credible, all-purpose alternative to Google, Ask is throwing in the towel. Ask’s new strategy will be a return to their AskJeeves days where they catered to the married women of middle America “looking for help managing their lives.” As a result, Ask will go back to focusing on answering search queries posed as questions.

It will be interesting to see how Ask’s loyal users react to this new strategy. How many users who don’t fit Ask’s core demographic flee to one of the remaining major search engines? I think Ask will loose a fair amount of search traffic, as once loyal users become dissatisfied with the new strategy.

Another interesting question to ponder, will Ask’s retreat create a viable opening in the major search space for a new search engine player such as True Knowledge or Cuill?

Apple: America’s Most Admired Company

Apple took the top spot in Fortune Magazine’s “America’s Most Admired Companies” ranking for 2008. Google came in at number four and Microsoft made it into the Top 20 at number sixteen.

The Industry Champions list is worth looking at as well. Anheuser-Busch is not only the King of Beers but the King of Beverages. Altria Group is the champion of the tobacco industry. I guess thats a good thing… Two companies with a large presence in Florida made the Industry Champions list. Publix Super Markets took the top spot in the “food and drug stores” category, and FPL Group (Florida Power and Light) took the honors in the “electric and gas utilities” category.

Add BBC Videos to Your Blog with Mochila Marketplace

BBC Motion Gallery streamlines distribution of video clips online by joining the Mochila Marketplace. (Press Release)

Mochila Marketplace is a content syndication platform that helps publishers grow their businesses, content owners promote their content, and advertisers reach target audiences. Once registered, a user can search for news articles, videos, and images from a wide range of sources including: the Associated Press, Reuters, the Boston Globe, and MSNBC.com. A user can select individual content assets to use on his or her website. For example, say you need a picture or a video of a high speed train for a blog post you are writing.

Mochila users can also select a channel widget to display on their site or blog. Mochila has hundreds of pre-made channels such as 2008 Presidential Election, Fitness and Health, and Technology Trends. If pre-made isn’t your thing you can also create a custom channel with specific content items and providers.

The channel widgets serve up ads in addition to fresh syndicated content. Mochila splits the ad revenue, 40% to the content owner (Getty Images, Boston Globe, etc.), 30% to the site or blog that publishes it (you), and Mochila keeps the remaining 30%. I think its a pretty fair deal. The content creator/owner gets the lion’s share, the publisher gets a nice chunk, and Mochila makes a buck for providing the platform. Not too bad, as long as you don’t mind some advertising on your site. 😉

Kelsey Group Annual Forecast: Interactive Advertising Revenues to Reach US$147 Billion Globally by 2012

The Kelsey Group released their Annual Forecast (2007-2012) today. The Kelsey Group is the leading provider of research, data and strategic analysis on directories, small-business advertising, online local media, vertical market advertising and mobile advertising. According to the Annual Forecast, the global advertising market will be fueled by exceptional growth in the interactive segment.

Some interesting highlights from the press release:

Interactive advertising revenues will increase significantly from US$45 billion in 2007 to US$147 billion globally in 2012, representing a 23.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

“We see Internet development—including increased subscriber/user access and broadband penetration—as a driver of both interactive advertising revenue as well as migration of traditional ad spending to new media platforms.” -Matt Booth, senior vice president, Interactive Local Media, The Kelsey Group.

Interactive advertising, which comprises search (including local search), display advertising, classifieds and other interactive ad products, grew its share of global advertising revenues from 6.1 percent in 2006 to 7.4 percent in 2007. By 2012 Kelsey Group analysts expect the interactive share of global ad spending will reach 21 percent.

Directional advertising, which comprises local search, print Yellow Pages and Internet Yellow Pages (IYP), will grow from US$33.3 billion in 2007 to US$41.4 billion globally in 2012 (4.5 percent CAGR).

  • Local search revenues will grow from US$2.1 billion to US$6.6 billion (25.5 percent CAGR).
  • Print Yellow Pages revenues will decline from US$27.5 billion to US$25.6 billion (-1.4 percent CAGR).
  • IYP revenues will grow from US$3.7 billion to US$9.2 billion (20.1 percent CAGR).

What does this mean to a small business’s online marketing budget? My bet (and I’m really going out on a limb here) is that costs are going to increase as more small businesses begin advertising online. Cost-per-click (CPC) bids are going to increase for the majority of keyword phrases and advertising rates for local search directories and Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs) will increase.

Small businesses that follow best practices for search engine optimization and provide the informational content that online consumers want will reduce their dependence on online advertising for leads and customers.

Komodo Links: News Corp and Yahoo, Search Engine Audience Profiles, NewsClipper, and RFPs

Komodo Links is back and we’ve got some quality links for you this week.

Enjoy.

Google AdWords Display URL Policy Update

Google’s AdWords blog, Inside Adwords, has posted an advance notice of new changes to their display URL policy. According to the post, redirects, vanity URLs, and certain uses of tracking URLs will no longer be acceptable. This new policy will go into effect on April 1st and will be strictly enforced. The blog post gives a brief example of what will still be allowed in regards to tracking URLs and sub-domains.

I don’t think most advertisers will be unduly affected by this new policy, but I encourage you to read up on the new policy so you aren’t caught off guard.