Google Contextual Advertising

What is Google Contextual Advertising? Google Adwords – one of the very best examples of contextual advertising.

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is taking adspend away from traditional media in big way. In the first quarter of 2005 Google Adwords accumulated more than $1 billion of adspend and this expenditure on PPC is growing exponentially. Today Google has a higher market capitalization than Time-Warner. Have a look at our Google Adwords services and our Google Adwords articles here.

You can also read our article on Internet Trends that relates to this post.

Google Contextual Advertising

The reasons are simple

  • It is contextual i.e. meets the immediate needs of the web searcher
  • Results of the ad campaign are measurable in almost real time as is the campaign ROI
  • Ad campaigns can be switched on and off any time
  • Ad campaigns can be modified and enlarged in minutes
  • Now how can any traditional ad medium compare with this model?

The state of website design generally relative to internet marketing in South Africa

Our country is some 3 or 4 years, maybe more, behind Europe, Australia, the USA and many other countries when it comes to the Internet.

There are many reasons for this chief of which in my opinion are as follows:

  • High ISP charges for domain registration and hosting (often blamed on Telkom although this is far from the truth)
  • Lack of bandwidth available certainly the national telecom operator Telkom is 100% to blame here. The bandwidth is available it has just not been released in order to maintain high connectivity charges
  • Lack of affiliate programs
  • Lack of shopping channels
  • Lack of on-line merchants and exorbitant charges made by those companies offering ecommerce websites such as a major ISP here.
  • Lack of easy to use shopping carts
  • Lack of Payment gateways for ecommerce
  • Website designers not paying any attention to even basic SEO so most website owners complain the web does not work in South Africa when they really mean that their website does not attract any traffic. When you look at the state of the vast majority of South African websites it is plain to see why they fail to attract traffic.
  • The media in general rarely publicize any positive, motivational Internet coverage yet they pounce on any single event that has any negative connotation such as the occasional stealing of a credit card number. People are thus scared of the web.
  • In 2004 we exhibited at the premier IT event in Johannesburg called Futurex. The 4 days we spent discussing Internet marketing with a large number of participants and website owners confirmed what we thought we knew before going to the show.

On returning from the show we investigated every single website of all the participating exhibitors (web addresses were obtained from the show catalogue) and confirmed why so many leading websites stood no chance of ever being found on any search engine anywhere in the world.

So bad was the result of our analysis that I wrote to the main business newspaper published in South Africa. Heres the letter that tells the story of almost exactly 12 months ago. The situation has not changed…

Letter to business day editor … never published to best of my knowledge

SIR

The four days Futurex show at Sandton last week appears to have been an exceptionally successful marketing event in that it seemed to attract lots of highly targeted visitors… those interested in future trends and the internet/communications world in particular. However I wish I could say the future potential of the vast majority of websites of the exhibiting companies was also as exciting.

By the end of the show it had become obvious to us that most web designers and website owners were unaware of even the basic requirements that mattered in getting a website found on the already crowded internet.

In an effort to try and better comprehend what we seemed to have identified as a major lack of understanding about website design, development and purpose within the communications and information technology areas of South African Industry we looked at the websites of every exhibitor who had published their website address in the show catalogue.

We seemed to identify a sorry state of affairs within these “leading” marketing and communications companies internet capabilities …. anyone interested in wanting to know any details can access the internet directory web page that we have created to see how poorly these sites in the main were set up.

In taking a look at the link subject and site description text the only question any manager or website owner needs to ask is “Does this directory entry text create excitement about the benefits my company offers to any potential internet customer and based on this are they highly likely to click through to the company website?”

The information in the directory has come from the website concerned without any editing whatsoever. We even struggled to place many websites into appropriate categories so poor was the information on some websites.

We identified a number of serious deficiencies. The deficiencies highlighted were measured against the overriding objective for any website …. Let your website be found by the maximum number of targeted visitors so that future marketing efforts can be geared to satisfying the lifetime needs of those potential customers who visited the website.

These are the major points that we identified from this ad hoc “research.” We deliberately excluded foreign exhibitors’ websites

1. Of 159 published websites well in excess of 90% were highly unlikely ever to be found on any search engine when important keywords and phrases relating to the particular market sector concerned were entered into the search box of a search engine.

2. The vast majority of the websites viewed were company-focused and NOT customer-focused.

3. A large percentage did not tell the reader of the site what the site actually did in a way any normal person could understand. The level of gobbledygook and computer speak was alarming.

4. The sites were full of Flash design, frames, and other unimportant design approaches that worked against the websites ever being found … it does appear highly likely that web designers with no internet marketing knowledge and not senior knowledgeable company marketers are being allowed to position many large companies for the future and in our opinion this cannot be correct.

This situation reminds us of the problem, as we perceive it, existing in South Africa around call centres … what should have been a major step forward in customer service is actually frustrating customers and insulating company management from real problems within a company. It is a kind of abdication of real responsibility.

5. Of the many people we spoke to at Futurex who had functioning websites hardly any knew how many visitors their sites were attracting

6. Very few websites actually provided any mechanism to collect information (e.g. permission-based email addresses) for future marketing efforts. With only minor exceptions did any site call for any action to be carried out … like visit our online store now, buy now or download our price list or catalogue now.

Many millions of Rands were spent by the exhibiting companies … the time has come for the same companies to spend a few hundreds to fix up their future internet marketing efforts or continue to pay to remain lost in cyberspace.

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