Marketers To Quit Fiddling With Corporate Brochure Sites in 2009?

SEO, Blogging, and PPC are at the top of marketer’s priorities for the next 6 months hinting that companies are becoming more familiar and comfortable with new media as a prime directive. In addition a shrinking emphasis on the corporate brochure site provides hope that reaching out to the customer has finally arrived as a marketing technique.

SEM Agencies as Educators, Innovators in the Growing Search Field

The North American SEM industry grew from $9.4 billion in 2006 to $12.2 billion in 2007, exceeding earlier projections of $11.5 billion for 2007 and marketers are finding more search dollars by poaching budget from print magazine spending, website development, direct mail and other marketing programs.

The SEMPO study released today offered some good news for Agencies, as 53% of advertisers outsource their organic SEO because it is to hard to stay up-to-date with best practices in-house. 37% say they don’t have the right tools, and 33% say they get more bang for their buck with an outside provider.

But overall, a trend to in-house these efforts is still strong. Forrester research shows least two-thirds of U.S. businesses prefer to keep SEM in-house. In-house training and education efforts will probably continue to improve and drive performance gains.

The Amazing World of Navigational Searches

In the past few months’ time I’ve spent more than my usual amount of time watching others surf the web. I am always astonished by how poor people are at knowing where to type searches, or web addresses, or login information. When I ask someone to go to a website, there is genuine confusion about where or how. It’s no surprise to me that a thriving sub-economy exists based on navigational searches – which I define loosely as “typing a web site URL into a search box because you want to visit it.”

Most of the time it’s user issues that causes navigational searches IMO:

The toolbars have been dragged out of whack.
I don’t even think about, I just type.
Ambiguity between “search”, “find”, and “address bar” in browsers such as IE7.
Alcohol or Drugs, Senility, or perhaps Loud Children.

Some people have real reasons for it. Here are a few:

I don’t have to worry as much about typos.
I sometimes want to look at the cache
I get a quick glance at other sites referring to it (talk about ad-hoc reputation management!)
I’m a rebel, damnit, and you ain’t gonna change me.

A terrific article on navigational searches prompted me to begin a list of good resources on this matter. I also found this terrific write up by Jeremy Crane over at compete’s blog. It was also eye-opening.