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Trends in Online Advertising
PPC Search Engines Creatively Promote Your Site

Fancy, flashy advertising is just not cutting it anymore. The once novel rich media format has become commonplace throughout the web, and curious surfers are no longer as easily tempted to click on ads. The decline in click-through ratios coupled with the recent nose dive of the dot-com industry have caused already skeptical businesses to hold back on online advertising spending. Could these observations be taken as an indicator of the demise of online advertising? Is there a viable alternative? 

While the use of rich media formats has lost much of its novelty and appeal, considering all online advertising efforts as ineffective would be a bit of a stretch. The click-throughs of more popular methods of advertising (such as pop-ups, banners, etc.) have been decreasing. However, the use of these ratios as the most viable means of measuring online advertising efforts has recently come into question. 

Click-through ratios may provide telling statistics such as visit to purchase conversions. However, they do not take into consideration the power of an impression, by which the success of the more traditional means of mass media advertising—billboards, television, radio, etc.—are measured. Since the more traditional advertising media do not have the burden of “proof” for their effectiveness, online advertising should likewise be measured—by exposure. Jupiter Media Metrix reports that in the US alone, internet users grew from 37 million in 1996 to over 122 million in 2001 and is expected to surpass 200 million by 2005. With such a significant online population, the impressions that various forms of online advertising can make on the users cannot be easily dismissed. 

This is where a less known form of advertising—pay per click search engines—enters the scene as fertile grounds for advertisers' messages. The web, once inundated with curious surfers who aimlessly wandered and clicked merely out of curiosity, is more and more consisting of searchers with highly targeted objectives for being online. Search engines have thus become the preferred means of locating sites, providing the “highly focused” searcher with a return list of what they are looking for. These searchers are thus looking to “click-through” in order to locate information, eliminating the need for newer and fancier advertising media to entice their click. In addition, as they read the return list to find what they are looking for, a well-written and creatively branded listing that they pass up will inevitably still make an “impression” on the surfer. Pete Prestipino, Internet Marketing Consultant, states that search engines are indeed unique to the world of advertising. “Because consumers are actually looking for what you are selling, it becomes very easy to zero in on the market.” 

With the PPC search engine model, your site is charged per click and you have the ability to control your sites’ ranking. You can be listed in the 7Search.com search return list for little as $25—best of all, you have the power to control your ranking on the search return list and monitor your spendings. Not only does 7Search.com enable you to generate targeted traffic, but it is always taking concerted efforts to market your site. 

With their new, patent-pending Predictive Search Technology, your site automatically appears on the right hand side of the search return list under terms of related categories. For example, if you own a site that sells baby strollers, your site can appear in the predictive column of 7Search.com when a surfer is looking for pregnancy books. The “highly-focused” searcher will more likely read through a search return list than click on a banner ad, especially if the listing is already related to their search needs. Even if the searcher does not click through to your site from the right hand column, the mere exposure of your site has already made an invaluable, related impression so that when the searcher is actually ready to purchase a stroller, your site would be branded into their memory and it will appear in their mind’s eye. 

Although no one can really measure the impact of an impression, from our understanding of more conventional advertising media, we can be certain that impressions are worth the investment. So, before a business considers cutting online advertising dollars, perhaps they ought to take advantage of alternative methods.

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