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Shedding new light on search engines.

Although there are some high-profile news and entertainment sites on the Web, none can boast the kind of traffic seen by search engines, the most utilitarian kind of tool on the Internet. Garnering huge numbers of hits per month, search sites are very attractive to companies looking to get their products seen by click-happy surfers. But simply buying space ad isn’t enough — advertisers need a plan. That’s where Rockville Centre-based is happy to help. One of the company’s founders, Kevin Lee, talks about why businesses should go searching.

Why did you decide to start a company specializing in search engine marketing?

Back in late 1996, it became obvious to me and my two partners that search engines were going to become critically important to organizations that had Web sites. The way people find what they are looking for is to search, and therefore, being in those search results became paramount in importance. We had the luxury of staring as a hobby business, one we though had potential, and wanted to explore while continuing our other business activities as entrepreneurs. It worked out that we struck a hot area that has only gotten hotter.

What interested you in search engine technology?

It’s fascinating, in that it attempts to index vast amounts of information in huge databases and then provide the results based on the user’s search, while trying to get as close a match as possible. Equally fascinating is the fact that a marketer wants to be in those results, and is willing to pay to be in both the CPC (Cost-Per-Click) paid placement and paid inclusion, but also to have consultants spend time and energy to try for better unpaid placements.

Why should companies pay to be listed with search engines?

Search marketing is one of the few types of non-intrusive advertising. It places links to the appropriate products, services and information in front of the user right when they want it most. Most advertising tries to catch your attention from another activity and convince you to learn or buy. Companies using search marketing can be in the right place at the right time, and that is valuable.

Do you find that companies don’t concentrate enough on the value of search engines?

It’s all over the map. Some companies know the value of search results and may even spend too much time and energy on search engine marketing, particularly on activities meant to influence unpaid placements. Other companies have not yet realized the power of search traffic.

Why do you believe that search engine traffic is the most targeted traffic available?

Much search engine traffic goes right to the mind-set of the searcher, right to their mission and goals at an instant in time. Few other types of traffic can achieve that level of targeting. Of course, the keyword or phrase that is searched on must match the marketer’s goals and profile. It takes a particularly good confluence of creative, media placement and timing to catch the consumer in the right state of mind, or to put them there.

Search engine technology is constantly changing; how is working to stay current?

We are integrating the search campaign data with applications like live chat, so service reps or sales people know where the traffic came from and how much was paid per click. The site is in beta ( We are also tracking conversions that come in from phone calls. If a company has a product that’s complex and usually requires a phone call, how would they know what keywords are working? We have a solution to that, and it automatically makes marketing campaign changes, too.

How does your latest product, Maestro, work to maximize search marketing?

It manages all types of paid advertising for marketers in one location, based on how well each type of advertising works for the marketer. For example, if you sell bicycle equipment online, we make sure that searchers looking for “bicycle pumps” will find your site, if it makes sense at the cost-per-click the search engines are looking to get for that traffic. We also make sure that all traffic investment meets the client’s objectives. After all, not all keywords are created equal.

do you know a local company we should cover? Let us know about it. Send your local profile candidates to [email protected]

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