The Drum Search Awards, which seek to recognise the very best internet based businesses from both Ireland and the UK, take place later today (June 8th). These awards focus on the two main disciplines of search marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click), choosing from the year’s very best digital marketing campaigns.
As was the case in the European Search Awards, which took place in May, Irish entries are well represented at the Drum Search Awards. Among the big prizes handed out to Irish business on that night were “Best Use of Search for Retail” (Brown Thomas), Best Integration of Search and Social” (iClothing) and “Best Small PPC Agency” (Wolfgang Digital) as Ireland received four first placed trophies, the second most of any nation (bested only by the UK).
For the 2016 Drum Search Awards, Ireland finds itself looking to improve upon its European Search Awards haul, with no less than six award nominations in total. Many of the companies which represented Ireland at the European Search Awards find themselves on the Drum bill as well, including McElhinneys, iClothing and Littlewoods Ireland. This signifies that their European success was no fluke as their respective works and campaigns have been independently recognised by several respected judging bodies.
Irish internet based businesses have been nominated for the following Drum Search Awards:
- Best Integrated Strategy or Campaign: Littlewoods Ireland
- Best Use of Technology in a Search Campaign: Brown Thomas
- Most Innovative Search Campaign (SEO & PPC): McElhinneys
- Best Use of Technology in a Search Campaign: iClothing
- Best Use of Data in PPC: iClothing
- Performance Agency of the Year: Wolfgang Digital
While the competition at tonight’s awards is fierce, with many of the biggest companies and agencies in Europe in attendance, that was also the case at the European Search Awards back in May when several Irish companies emerged triumphant. It is hoped that the overall volume and quality of Irish submissions will prove to be the same recipe for success at tonight’s ceremony which kicks off at the Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel in London.
The full list of Drum Search Award categories and nominees can be found here.
To trial their ad platform and for research purposes, Mugurdy are planning to place graphic advertising on the search results page. They are seeking trial advertisers. The trial advertisers will receive reports on the number of impressions, click through rates, geographical breakdown etc. The trial will run for a month and there is no charge to the advertiser for the ads or reporting.
If you would like your company to participate in this trial at no cost, all that is required is a 160px by 600px graphic, the landing page the user is brought to, and the geographic regions across the globe (or everywhere) the advertiser wishes to target. Please send this information and the graphic to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact for further details.
This is a guest post from Ann Donnelly of O’Mahony Donnelly E-Business Development who are IIA Members based in Clonakilty, Co. Cork
This week there was a big buzz online about an article posted on Tech Crunch “The Time Has Come To Regulate Search Engine Marketing And SEO”. In the opinion of the anonymous guest author: “Due to Google’s dominance — and the fact that it controls such an enormous amount of consumer behavior through paid and organic search listings – the company in essence governs commerce on the web.” This is a topic that has come up time and again over the past few years in webmaster forums and search industry conferences, but in many cases the complaint comes from those that are looking for short cuts to get results through search engines or those that are focusing on one aspect of online marketing success instead of developing a full, well rounded online marketing plan.
A small number of these people are using techniques that some would consider unethical to promote their own websites, or are using these techniques to provide such services to others. Some are using ethical techniques, but using dishonest or hard sell marketing to promote their services. This sort of behaviour happens across all industries (we all trust used car salesmen, right?), but in our industry the consumer is particularly vulnerable, as he often feels he doesn’t have the technical knowledge and doesn’t listen to his own common sense – and there is such an enormous amount of bad advice out there.
It may sound harsh, but those people that have knowingly chosen these methods will probably laugh at what I am saying here and will continue in the same manner, full throttle, and may get very rich from it. On the other hand, I have met a number of people in the industry that honestly feel that these are legitimate methods and don’t see that they are limiting the type of results they will get from their businesses. Why do I care about these people? Their behaviour causes consumers to distrust the industry as a whole. A customer that has had a bad experience shopping online will avoid shopping online again. A business that has gotten poor results with their website because the web developer they chose was inexperienced, will just feel that online marketing won’t work at all for them.
There are also a large number of young men and women, as well as those recently made redundant, that are starting up their own businesses and are looking to those of us already established in the industry for guidance on the way to go with this.
It’s up to each business owner to decide what sort of methods he will use. Do you want to sign on a large number of customers that will use your services once or over a short period of time or do you want to develop longer term relationships built on old fashioned, good service and hard work?
If you choose the first method and are tricking people into signing up for your services, not providing good value and are not getting results for your customers the bad news will get around quickly enough and you may end up out of business. This is especially true with so many people using social networking web sites. News of bad service travels much faster than good reviews.
Are you providing the best products and services? If not, are you providing better value for what you do? Do your customers fully understand what they are getting for their money? Take a look at your business and see if you can develop a business model that’s good for your customers as well as for yourself.
Let’s go back to “Big, Bad Google”. They state on their Corporate Overview page: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” They do this by providing “an easy-to-use free service that usually returns relevant results in a fraction of a second.” Looking just at the search side of Google’s businesses the changes they have made over the years have all focused on returning “relevant results” not because they are really nice guys, but because that is what makes people come back to use the Google search engine again and again. Focusing on this has brought about the “dominance” that is resented by their competitors and search marketing professionals that are looking for short cuts to success.
This resentment is even stronger now that Google AdWords have brought financial success as well. Google has made their products and services easy to use, with full documentation and helpful videos. They now have staff speaking at most industry conferences and using social networking tools to more fully communicate and assist users of all of their products.
This shows the importance of setting the right mission statement for your business and, once you have done this, maintaining your focus on that mission to bring best results for your business. What do you want to achieve in your business? Are you looking to just make a living or are you looking for greater satisfaction in helping others achieve their business goals; or do you need to be the best (in number of sales, awards, publicity)? Are you looking to build up your business to a point where you can sell it on to another bigger business? Your goals are going to be based on the type of products/services as well as what your personal needs are. I am not judging any of these goals, just saying that it’s important to define them and remain focused.
By developing the best mix of products and services with the right pricing structure you then have a business that is financially viable and, hopefully, lucrative with a base of happy, loyal customers (as well as happy, loyal suppliers) that are with you for the long term and referring you to their friends and colleagues – working with you to build a successful business that is around for the long term. Just have a look at “10 Things Google Has Found to Be True”.
Her business O’Mahony Donnelly E-Business Development specialises in Search Engine Placement &
Offering a full line of Online Marketing Services:
– Web Design & Development
– Shopping Carts & Payment Processing
– Search Engine Placement
– Email Marketing
– AdWords Campaign Management
– Social Networking (Blogs, Forums, etc.)
– Online Customer Service
No doubt many of you heard on Morning Ireland that Microsoft have a launched a new search engine called Bing. You may even have seen the chair of our Online Marketing Working Group talking about it on the RTÉ News. While Microsoft are touting it as a “decision engine” (as in “It’s time to Bing & Decide”) which will give you the right answer and not more confusion, others are wondering whether it will be a Google-killer.Whatever else their big bucks marketing and PR campaign which rarely goes unmentioned in posts and online articles seems to be working: if you’re on Morning Ireland, you’re mainstream! 🙂
Now while I’ve been fluting around with it and the other new kid on the block, Wolfram Alpha, only a tiny little bit I wonder how they will manage to break the ubiquity of the Big G. We’ve been busy here in the IIA over the last month with Congress and the Net Visionary Awards and when I did have the urge/ time/ need to search, trying out the search in a new engine was not top of my priorities. Add to this that Google is in my face every time I get a Google alert, check my mail or my feeds etc. etc. And I’ve got the Firefox toolbar and it’s my default search engine in my browser. It’s amazing I even heard about any new search engine!
In the article linked above about whether or not Bing will be a Google-killer, the author, Jordan Golson, makes the very valid point that it’s not neccessarily that there is anything wrong with any given search engine but that searchers do not know how to search to get the results they want or the right results. I can avow to this when I think of the numerous phone calls I receive in relation to certain member companies. I inwardly grimace when I hear some member companies running an ad campaign on the radio knowing that I will be fielding calls from their potential customers. Obviously the IIA does not want to be getting your calls; we do not want to be appearing in search results for our members’ products or services. So if on the one hand the searcher knew a little bit more about how to get the results they want and what to do with the results when they get them that would improve search on any engine. However I do think that Bing’s preview will hopefully steer people in the right direction and away from our phone!
These developments in search highlight the fact that now that consumers have a new improved way to reach your site it becomes ever more important to develop your site as a searchable site. Search algorithms are constantly developed to make them more and more “human like” so that the most popular content among real humans (you and me, like) is served first for certain keywords. That’s not necessarily the most often changed content: the algorithms have become far smarter than that. How often do you change a blog post? An example? Do a search on Google for “dreech” Or ahem indeed bing it! I have never changed this content (I know what you’re thinking – maybe you should change it drastically and delete it!) but the IIA blog is still considered the most useful site for that keyword. This may be because anyone else writing about the word dreech doesn’t update their site all that regularly. But I’m no SEO expert so I would welcome any comments on the topic. I’m sure the boss will be delighted that we are coming up no. 1 for the word dreech…. 🙂
You might like to check out some of these other articles about Bing too:
Mashable: Bing: Microsoft Launching New Rival to Google? (Look at the retweets on that item!)
A big welcome to Vazumo.com, the IIA’s newest member. Vazumo.com is a search engine designed to help you find companies, products and services in a specific location. They also help businesses reach the customers in their area. Vazumo.com charge a flat fee for their service to businesses. They have also recently launched a text service whereby you can text, for example, “newsagent dublin 2” to 53118 and you will receive information about newsagents in Dublin 2. I know this because Chad Gilmer, one of the directors, sang the jingle down the phone to me! Multi-talented, our members, I tell ye!