Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Meta Advertising

It's amazing how advertising has so drastically changed in the last couple of years. The advent of DVRs and online content has completely changed the advertising landscape. Advertisers are pressured to come up with new ways to capture eyeballs. Advertising has become more creative, more edgy, and more memorable. The YouTube category for advertising contains 24,000 results. Advertising has now literally become destination content.

Consider this. Last night I was watching television and I saw an advertisement advertising an advertisement. I'm not kidding. It was an ad for Career Builder notifying viewers to tune into watch the new ad campaign for Career Builder that will be aired on the Super Bowl. The ads have become so popular that the agency is actually promoting the campaign as if it were a feature. Is this the beginning of a new genre called Meta Advertising?

Other advertisers have embraced user generated content. There are numerous contests for users to create the next campaign for products including Sony, Toyota, and L'Oreal. The contests have resulted in thousands and thousands of entries. Now everyone has the ability to become a producer, writer, and actor, why not harness all this free creative talent?

But does this mean the end of the ad agency creatives? Probably not, but in the case of user-generated advertising, ad agencies will have to give up creative control. More and more marketers should embrace this trend as the landscape changes. User-generated content means more options, less agency spending, and advertising that actually appeals to your target audience.

As more advertising becomes destination content, the lines between advertising and content will be even more blurred and we'll be seeing many more ads about ads.

Ivy Hastings is a Project Manager at Fusionbox, a Denver web design and development company. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Ivy has published many articles about Internet Marketing. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for Arts Street, a local non-profit that teaches at-risk youth the craft and business of the Arts.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

SEO - The Three Things You Must Know

SEO - The Three Things You Need to Know

by Ivy Hastings

Clients are always asking me about SEO. They want to know what it is, how it works, and what they need to do.

What I tell them is that SEO comprises of three main components: content, code, and inbound links in that order.

Content is still King not so much because great content creates sticky sites, but because great content does more to help your search engine rankings than many of the other tactics that SEOs use. Knowledgeable SEOs must first and foremost be great writers who can incorporate the right ratio of keywords within your content.

The way your site is coded can have dramatic results when it comes to your organic positioning. Make sure your designer knows what this means. If your web design and development company knows what they are doing, they will know how code affects your SER (search engine ranking). Your site should also be optimized, but that can sometimes have less of an effect on your SER than the structure of the code itself.

Inbound links are perhaps the most time-consuming and troublesome of the three keys to great organic SER. Don't clutter your site with unrelated links that you trade with just anyone. Trading links does not have nearly the effect that inbound links do. Save your energy by increasing links.

If you spend your time and energy on these three core tactics, you'll definitely increase your ranking. And the beauty of it is that these techniques only improve the stickiness of your site, the performance, and your reputation as an expert in your industry.

To learn more about how Fusionbox can help you increase your organic search results, contact us at: 720-956-1083

Ivy Hastings works for the Denver web design firm, Fusionbox. She writes for several publications and blogs on subjects such as search engine marketing, usability, web design best practices, and internet marketing techniques.