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Boston SEO Firm Grows By 100%

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-11-01

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The recent buzz surrounding Google's IPO and its surging stock price has brought attention back to a very hot sector of Internet marketing known as search engine optimization (SEO).

As a online marketing firm that focuses its services on website design and search engine optimization strategies, Backbone Media, Inc. is feeling the increasing effect of the boom with over 100% growth in 2004.

Backbone's president, Stephen Turcotte, attributes the dramatic growth to, "advertiser awareness that search engine optimization works best when it's integrated into the entire Internet marketing strategy." He says, "Our search engine optimization strategies go way beyond bidding for clicks and require an expertise at marketing strategy, management, search engine optimization, and website design optimization. Very few of our competitors can offer all of that from under one roof but the ones that can are slammed right now."

There are essentially two ways to target market to the search audience. Advertisers can Pay-Per-Click (PPC) to be positioned in the search results for specific groups of keywords and (or) they can optimize their website to be listed in the non-paid Editorial Search engine listings . Either way, top search positioning can provide advertisers with a steady stream of qualified leads with relatively less cost than all other direct marketing methods.

Advertisers view pay-per-click (PPC) search advertising as the red of a bull's eye. It enables them to target the enormous search audience of Google, Yahoo and MSN at various stages of the purchase cycle. The simple text ad can be tracked like a banner and tracking data can include information about the search phrase used and if the search that lead to a conversion point (sale, lead or contact). The efficiencies and relative low cost of PPC advertising have made it very popular. However, popularity has its price, high demand has driven up the average CPC (Cost-Per-Click) by 24% this year (Source: JupiterResearch, July 2004) and is expected to continue increase into the foreseeable future.

The escalating prices are a testament to the effectiveness of search advertising, but they are prompting many advertisers to look beyond the red of the bull's eye and into the yellow circle that surrounds it. The yellow of the bull's eye is editorial search engine optimization tactics that place clients in the editorial search engine listings (a.k.a. organic results). Recent Forrester studies have shown, especially in search engines like Google, that users respond and trust editorial listings more than pay per click or sponsored listing.

That's where Backbone comes in. A common theme with their new prospects is that paid campaigns are working very well, but they want to put a cap on search ad spending and gain more traffic through editorial search listings. Backbone advocates an integrated website design, development, search engine optimization and Internet marketing strategy. The overall strategy centers on making the website more relevant and open to search engines, thus making their clients less reliant on paid search traffic. This is accomplished with good old-fashioned search engine optimization techniques such as website optimization, content optimization, linking, and newer techniques such as press release distribution and white paper distribution with KnowledgeStorm. Effective implementation of these tactics creates top editorial positions and increases editorial search traffic, while allowing the company to decrease its paid search spending.

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