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Corinna Melcon

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News Item

Covario Challenges Economics of SEO

SEO Company Launches D3, Reduces Estimated 30-40 Percent of Expense From SEO Management

Covario announced a new, economics-based solution for managing online presence that challenges the traditional agency model. With its launch of D3 -- Data Driven Decisions for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Covario has identified an automation-driven solution that dramatically reduces inefficiencies in large scale SEO management programs by automating processes that consume an estimated 30-40 percent of current investment.

"Having worked with large advertisers over the past few years, it's become apparent that the current model for managing SEO is fundamentally flawed," said Craig Macdonald, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Covario. "We don't believe advertisers will move away from agencies in helping them manage SEO, but we do believe that they will move away from agencies that do not use technologies like D3. It is simply impossible to exploit SEO without scalable systems. Trying to optimize hundreds of websites manually translates into unnecessarily high costs when it comes to tasks that can be automated."

Added Macdonald, "Over the past three years, Covario has spent millions of dollars building out a system that automates data gathering and management of the analytics necessary to drive large scale SEO programs. Our D3 solution gives control back to the advertisers -- allowing them governance over their own sites. It allows them to build a controllable system, as opposed to relying on a practitioner at an external agency to manage a key advertising channel."

According to a recent survey by eMarketer, 55 percent of markets will increase spending on SEO in 2009 -- more so than any other advertising channel. Most large advertisers leverage consultants or agencies to help them with SEO, and these projects range in price from $100,000 to $250,000 per site. For a large advertiser, with tens or hundreds of sites, these costs make scalable investment in SEO economically infeasible.

SEO follows a four-step process:

    1) determine which keywords drive the most value for a brand or for a
        campaign
    2)  analyze the Web site for its "SEO health"
    3)  make changes to the Web sites
    4)  monitor the effect of these changes

Covario's D3 solution automates all aspects of this process except the change process -- which continues to require human attention. Deploying D3 drives out 30-40 percent of the cost of the process and focuses agency engagement on the change process which actually drives ROI. This is a fundamental shift in the economics of running large scale SEO programs, and for a large organization, eliminates millions of dollars in wasted investment.

"The actionable insights provided by D3 allow us to focus specifically on the keywords, search engines and Web site changes that drive the greatest ROI for our SEO program and for the company," said Robin Smith, search engine marketing manager at Invitrogen, a part of Life Technologies. "By automating much of the time-consuming and labor-intensive activities associated with SEO, D3 enables our team to focus on strategy, creative and Web site changes -- instead of spending valuable time gathering and compiling data every other week."

Together with Covario(TM) Organic Search Insight, the technology solution that underlies D3, large advertisers now have a complete system that builds an ROI analysis that prioritizes which keywords drive the most traffic and a competitiveness index which evaluates the relative SEO health of the Web sites currently ranking higher for the selected keywords -- automating key aspects of large scale SEO programs that have been done traditionally by humans.

In a supporting statement from Forrester Research, "Agencies can extend their value by measuring and reporting on advanced metrics such as attribution and brand awareness and then translating the knowledge into actionable client recommendations to meet and exceed client expectations. As tools and tactics grow in sophistication, marketers have embraced both in increased numbers, while training in-house staffers and moving away from agency relationships."

D3 is available to all customers of Covario Organic Search Insight, the winner of Gartner Group's 1:1 Award for Most Innovative Online Technology and the only truly global, enterprise class SEO solution in the market -- being used by Intel, Websense, TMobile, RIM, and Life Technologies (formerly Invitrogen).

More Stories By Corinna Melcon

Corinna is Advertising Sales Manager at SYS-CON Media and Cloud Expo, Inc. Each month SYS-CON Media reaches over two million i-technology professionals through its specialty online journals, conferences, and education programs.

You can contact Corinna with advertising or events questions or comments via email at "corinna (at) sys-con.com" or at her home page corinnamelcon.ulitzer.com, or by phone at 201 802-3026.