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Monday, April 16, 2007

Ejobcost online ads working

Dee Giarratano of called me today. He wants to increase exposure on our network of regional construction related websites to a fixed rather than rotating banner presence, and offered enough money to make his proposal worthwhile. Of course his order is a fraction of what we earn in off-line revenue in our printed publications; assuming his banner runs for a year, it will net less than our new print salesperson sold today for three half page insertions in our Ontario regional publications.

Nevertheless, Dee's order is a significant milestone for both of our businesses. He has seen the high flying -- and sharp crash -- of the era; only to rebound with his new, low-cost model for construction services including online directory listings, help wanted ads, and takeoff and electronic job room services. His prices are far lower than many competing services and he achieves these economies by managing his web business without excessive overhead.

Dee understands the importance of search engine marketing, coupled with localization techniques. His objective is to increase his page ranking within Google's algorithms by playing by the rules -- providing useful content and building high quality and relevant in-bound links (that validate the site's effectiveness).

Sometimes little changes make a lot of difference. If you go to his site, you'll see a scrolling list of links of companies currently using his service. He discovered he could use tracking software to serve regionally relevant companies to people visiting his site -- in other words, when you go there, you will see companies operating in your area. This simple change has increased sales dramatically, because businesses seeing their peers in the listings are more likely to sign up for their own directory listings themselves. (And while our printed directory listing service in Canada is worth every cent of what we charge, we don't price it as low as $25 per year.)

Dee's story hasn't been an easy ride to success. See this article in the Atlanta Construction News files.

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