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By Greg DiFalco


Paid Advertising

Paid advertising requires perhaps the biggest strategy modification. In December, while you should have necessarily increased your budget to capitalize on higher search engine traffic, in the first quarter of the new year, depending on your industry, traffic is much less dense. Couple that with a poor economy and low consumer confidence levels, and it makes sense to scale back your paid advertising budget.

In the past, we have recommended a Pay Per Click (PPC) budget allocation of at least 60% to Google AdWords, then the rest to Yahoo Search Marketing, MSN AdCenter, and the rest of the PPC engines. Now that you have December and nearly all of January data to review, we recommend you allocate your budget to the engine that produced the lower cost per sale/lead. This might mean that youíll need to significantly increase the amount of money you spend on one engine at the expense of another. It is always good to constantly tweak your budget anyway. But now, during a lower volume time period and a weak economy, it is especially important to spend only where you have seen results over the last few months.

MIVA Ė One of the little-known PPC search engines is MIVA. MIVA paid ads show up on miva.com and their various partner sites. We recommend allocating a small budget to this engine to test the results. Purchasing traffic here is significantly less than on the major search engines. Of course, the traffic is usually of poorer quality. For example, while your Google PPC ads might deliver users who read 3.5 pages every visit, MIVA users might read half that number. This is because MIVA doesnít do as good a job as Google at preventing click fraud. However, MIVA does work to reduce click fraud by preventing certain sources from driving traffic to your site.

In December, when sales are paramount, we donít recommend trying new things. Go with what works! But in subsequent months, it's important to test different traffic sources to see what works and what doesn't. This way, when your high traffic season comes, you know exactly where to allocate your budget.

PR

During a slower traffic time period, one way to bolster interest in your business is through press releases. It is important not to waste usersí time by reporting uninteresting news about your company or website. For example, announcing that you redesigned your website or you hired a new executive isnít really compelling to potential customers. If you donít have a new client or a new product line to announce, it might be best to consider reporting on an interesting industry trend. In this way, you can promote the fact that your company is equipped to deal with this industry trend. For example, if you sell security software, and a national story about a security breach comes out, you can submit a press release talking about the importance of securing your data.

Here are some further PR tips from prweb.com: Press Releases 101

Greg DiFalco is an Independent Internet Marketing Strategist.
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