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Don’t Break the Bank! Online Marketing Resources to Survive the Recession

Search engines are eagerly reminding advertisers of the numerous opportunities available to reinforce optimistic predictions of the search marketing industry’s resilience to the negative impact of an economic recession. With advertisers currently demanding more accountability for their dollars, direct marketing efforts take a more prominent role as advertising spending shifts towards performance-based search marketing.

In response to this immediate reaction from marketers to protect their pocketbooks, Google has recently launched a new web page. Google’s Do More With Less is a compilation of recommended strategies and mostly free Google resources to aid advertisers in achieving their online marketing goals in a recession. Google’s free resources help marketers plan by utilizing data-driven insights to guide marketing messages and media strategies, target the right customers, and measure and optimize each campaign for improved results.

To guide your marketing messages and media strategies, Do More With Less offers Google Insights for Search, Google Keyword Tool, and Google Ad Planner. Insights for Search can aid to further refine your campaign to achieve your set objectives, such as manipulating your ads to suit your target audience or even adjusting your campaign to fit a broader group for popular search trends. Google’s Insights for Search quantifies search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, and time frames to identify what is popular now and what new trends may be emerging.

Google’s Keyword Tool generates a list of new keyword ideas for your AdWords campaign to send more searchers your way, and also tests the impact those keywords have on your campaign’s performance. Google’s Keyword Tool provides options to generate keywords based on content from your website, or simply through descriptive words or phrases.

If you are a FireFox user currently running a Google AdWords campaign, you should consider a free add-on from www.FreePPCSpy.com. With FreePPCSpy, you can “spy” on your competitors to view the AdWords ads they have for each keyword, the cost-per-click for each keyword they’ve bid on, their position for each keyword, and the competition’s total daily spend. If you still need help generating a keyword list for your online marketing campaigns, try a free resource from SEO Book called the SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool.

Google Ad Planner is a free media planning tool that can help define a target audience, search for websites relevant to a target audience, and gain insight with access to unique users, page views, and other data for millions of websites. This tool can easily build media plans based on the websites your target customers are likely to visit or the keywords they are likely to search for.

Now that you have obtained insight into messaging and media planning, help your target audience find you through free online business listings such as Google’s Local Business Center, Yahoo! Local, and MSN Live Search Local.  Google’s Local Business Center is a free feature of Google Maps that provides an avenue to advertise your business locally, and easily share business hours, photos, discounts, coupons, and more. Yahoo! Local Basic Listing and MSN Live Search Local are the equivalent to Google’s Local Business Center that allows the user to upload a less enhanced business profile free of charge.

Video sharing sites are another free and beneficial channel to encourage your target audience to find you online. When optimized properly, relevant content such as videos can provide the opportunity for taking up valuable real estate within search results. Google is doing this with Universal Search, which incorporates various forms of media within traditional search results.

YouTube is the most popular and widely used, but it is not the only video sharing site out there. Vimeo has recently gained popularity among the artistic crowd, and niche video sharing sites like IMBroadcast, a video sharing site for Internet marketers, are also becoming increasingly popular.

With the increased traffic to your site due to utilizing free planning and targeting tools, online marketers should take advantage of Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer (GWO) measurement tools to better understand which of their existing strategies are working and how to make adjustments that can drastically improve results.

Google Analytics tracks referrals, ads, search engines, and email promotions to gain rich insights into your website traffic. As an online marketer, you can use Google Analytics to learn how visitors interact with your website while improving profit generation in the process.

Google Website Optimizer (GWO) is a testing tool that performs A/B and Multivariate tests on your website, landing pages, and other web properties. GWO is designed to increase your conversion rates and achieve optimal performance online. The results from these tests determine the most effective combination of content and landing page design.

In addition to providing free online resources to help marketers endure the economic downturn, Google’s Do More With Less and Yahoo! Small Business offers additional low-cost solutions that won’t break the bank.  For information regarding Google’s Do More With Less low-cost resources, visit http://www.google.com/domorewithless.  For more information about Yahoo! Small Business, visit http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com.

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