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New Media Boot Camp highlights

By Shelby Stanger
September 23, 2010 7:15 AM

There was a lot of information shared yesterday at SIMA’s New Media Boot Camp in Dana Point, Calif. Panelists from the surf media world, interactive marketing experts from Vans, Skullcandy and Roxy, and the West Coast sales manager of Google all provided insightful tips and insights on the changing face of digital and multimedia platforms related to the surf industry.

 

Google

I thought one of the most interesting speakers for the day was Beth Greve, the West Coast sales manager for Google.

 

Google Search is one of the most powerful tools people use every day to find out exactly what they want and where they can get it.

 

When it comes to purchases, it seems that this could be a tool that brands could take more advantage of.

 

Bounce rates

One of the most powerful metrics businesses should look at is their bounce rate. Bounce rates tell the percent of visits that result in an immediate exit from a site.

 

For example, if someone types in an industry brand name and dress and lands on a page with only men’s boardshorts or just the girl’s athlete page with no dresses and then exits the site because that’s not what they were looking for, that would be considered a bounce.

 

A high bounce rate means your site is basically blowing it. “If you type in what you are looking for and you land on wrong site, you suck,” Greve told the audience.

 

Go to Google, type in boardshorts, dresses and your brand’s name and see what comes up. If you are not directed to exactly what you were looking for on your own site, Greve advises talking to your web team.

 

Organic vs. paid search

Greve explained the difference between an organic search and a paid search. An organic search is free. It’s based on an algorithm created by the geniuses over at Google that comb through everything on the internet in less than a second to come up with whatever is the most relevant and accurate page based on your search terms. Relevancy is often driven by new content to the website, key words, tags, and backlinks.

 

People can use SEO - search engine optimization - to increase relevancy. If your site has the highest relevance for the word surfboard when a user types it into a Google search, your website link should be first on the search results page.

 

A paid search refers to ad placements on the right or above the organic search results page based on whatever word you searched. A paid search is not free.

 

For example, if a user types in surfboard you can pay to have your brand page be at the top or the right of that page. The cost of one of these ads is based on an auction model and you only pay if someone clicks on your ad, which is called an acquisition.

 

Greve said, in the case of a surfboard if you spend $40 on an ad to sell a $600 surfboard, it might be worth paying for an ad. If you spend $40 using Google ads to sell a $45 pair of boardshorts, Google ads might not be the best investment.

 

See Page 2 for more on Google

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