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Search Engine Advertising Not Just About Today's Sale

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-09-13

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So you've paid for placement on the search engines, and would happily pay by the click to get visitors to your site.

But what would really be thrilling would be watching those visitors turn into sales -- instant gratification. Just ask executives advertising on the Internet. What you may not expect, however, is most of these same executives are advertising on the search engines to increase long-term brand awareness.

One Internet marketing expert, Catherine Seda, says that even though Internet advertising is more commonly thought of as a short-term marketing vehicle, more businesses are seeing long-term benefits from paying for placement on the top search engines.

In a book just released, Search Engine Advertising, Buying Your Way to the Top to Increase Sales (New Riders Publishing 2004), Seda writes that while companies very often track immediate sales to justify advertising expenditures, creating brand awareness is a growing secondary goal for advertisers.

"According to research from The Conference Board," Seda writes, "60 executives from major U.S. firms cited search engine listings as their top Internet tool for enhancing their companies' brands."

"It's interesting to note," Seda says, "that search engine listings fall behind only print ads as a brand-building tool used by U.S. companies."

Seda believes that search engine positioning should be a requirement for companies doing traditional marketing too. "Search engines act as brand builders as well as shopping tour guides," says Seda. "They lead interested consumers right to your doorstep."

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