08/10/2008 - 22:00

SEARCHsmart adds to impact

08/10/2008 - 22:00

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INTRUSIVE telemarketing phone calls may become a thing of the past if the boundless potential of the search engine used for 85 per cent of internet searches in Australia - Google - can be realised.

INTRUSIVE telemarketing phone calls may become a thing of the past if the boundless potential of the search engine used for 85 per cent of internet searches in Australia - Google - can be realised.

Google has established itself as the most used search engine in Australia during the past decade, in the process becoming a key advertising platform and a growing medium for market research.

Hillarys-based online marketing company SEARCHsmart has built its business on creating keyword-based search engine advertisements, combined with analysis of internet users' search patterns on Google.

"We can search the world, we can go to any country we wish to and type, let's say 'geologist job'; then we'll get a list of countries where there have been more searches with those keywords," SEARCHsmart managing director Chris Poulson told WA Business News.

"Then we can drill down further in those countries and find out the cities where people are searching. We can tell people where to place ads to target the people that are looking for jobs."

SEARCHsmart recently received the Google Adwords Authorised Reseller accreditation, the only one in Western Australia and among seven nationally.

Mr Poulson believes new marketing technologies can boost businesses to levels yet to be understood.

"People think they should advertise around the shops in Joondalup or in the city, but there are so many people from outside Perth using the internet before coming here and starting to communicate before they get here," Mr Poulson said. "Or somebody sitting in England wants to buy a present for their son and have it delivered to them. We place an ad in England to attract them to buy in Perth; we can turn a local shop into an international company just by placing ads in countries where people are looking to buy."

Digital business strategist and former CEO of search engine marketing business inneedhits.com, Jackie Shervington, believes online marketing has become fundamental for all business types.

"You have to have it as part of your marketing budget," Ms Shervington said.

"It is as essential as having an ad in the Yellow Pages used to be. It is typical today to see a plumber debating whether to have a Yellow Pages ad or not...we recognise that now, when people are looking for a plumber, they go online first."

Ms Shervington said Google created the Adwords accreditations (Adwords Qualified Company and Adwords Authorised Reseller) as a way to partner with people on the ground to sell advertising to small businesses.

"Adwords eliminates the cowboys in the industry and allows having the right systems and processes," she said.

The possibilities that online marketing research will provide to industry are enormous, according to Ms Shervington, thanks to the amount of knowledge stored in Google.

Synovate CEO Brent Stewart said traditional marketing companies had taken on the online medium early, as it currently was the fastest growing advertising medium.

According to media services group Zenith Optimedia, worldwide internet advertising will grow by an average of 20 per cent a year in the next three years, while traditional media such a television is expected to grow by an average of 6 per cent a year.

Keyword-based search engine advertising generates more than one third of the online advertising spend.

Mr Stewart said online research represented 33 per cent of all the marketing research undertaken.

"Search engine marketing and online media marketing are at the forefront...we look at interactive panels, blog tracking, and dialogue with the community as opposed to question and answer surveys," he said.

"The marketing industry is becoming more multimedia with multi-methodology for research and multimedia for marketing strategies."

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