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Tuesday 2 November –Recent analysis carried out by Search Engine Marketing pioneers Sitelynx confirms the benefits to be gained by companies which are using Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as part of their online marketing activity.

Sitelynx’s findings are based on a recent project undertaken for Thistle Hotels which included detailed reporting on the relationship between traffic to the new Thistle.com site from major search engines and revenue-driving activity on the site, provided by Sitelynx partner, WebAbacus.

In the middle of this year, Thistle Hotels re-launched their flagship website, bringing the site up to date and adding new online booking facilities. Thistle was keen to maximise the return on this investment by promoting the site heavily with both offline and online activities, and Search Engine Marketing formed an important part of this strategy.

Marie Doherty, Online Marketing Manager for Thistle, wanted to spend her marketing budget on marketing that could not only drive traffic to the website but deliver results in the form of hotel reservations. Sitelynx, following its Design4Visibility methodology, provided research, technical consulting and implementation during the site build, to ensure that the new site had maximum search engine visibility. Also, in line with the methodology, Sitelynx assisted Thistle in selecting an appropriate tracking solution to provide concrete figures on the effectiveness of the marketing and the site itself. Thistle chose WebAbacus - one of the UK’s market leaders in enterprise-level online behaviour analysis software and services - for this task. WebAbacus was used to analyse the behaviour data flowing from the new site from launch, and immediately confirmed the value of the work carried out by Sitelynx.

Marie Doherty said, “Since the launch of the new website in July of this year, we have seen a dramatic increase in its performance, both in terms of traffic levels and reservations. Since the first month after launch, we’ve seen high levels of relevant traffic being delivered to the site; we broke even on our SEO investment after just two months. The reports I get from WebAbacus give me an at-a-glance picture of the effectiveness of the marketing I’m doing, which helps me enormously.”

Graham Hansell, Head of Strategy at Sitelynx, commented, “Visibility and usability are crucial factors that have to be carefully researched and understood in any SEO project. Organisations are simply giving away sales to competitors by designing a website that cannot be found or is difficult to navigate through.”

The success achieved here reflects recent report findings that have highlighted the impact that Search Marketing can have; in the States, a recent survey highlighted the fact that 15% of marketers’ overall online budget is being spent on search*. Hand in hand with this is the need to ensure that, once visitors arrive, they have the best possible experience. For example, increasing visitor satisfaction by just 5% on a website can increase sales by as much as 25%**.

Ian Thomas, Strategic Development Director at WebAbacus, added, “The SEO industry is one that continues to go from strength to strength. However, measuring value and therefore profitability is still something that marketers are identifying as the sector’s weak point. By working alongside Sitelynx we have been able to address this, by delivering detailed reports on how the website’s visitors have behaved and what drive-to-site and usability tactics have lead to Thistle’s marketing success.”

Due to the success of the project, Thistle is now considering using Sitelynx across all its web properties: “The success we’ve had and what we’ve learned with the main Thistle website makes it an obvious choice to turn to Sitelynx and WebAbacus to help make a success of our other sites”, added Doherty.
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• *(Source: MarketingSherpa 2004)
• ** (Source: NetRaker)


Notes To Editors

About Sitelynx
Sitelynx, established in 1997 is one of Europe’s first SEM companies providing internet marketing strategy and consultancy across all digital network media platforms.

The Sitelynx team is client focused, providing an internet marketing strategy tailored to the individual client, whilst identifying the requirement’s of sophisticated searchers in today’s dynamic marketplace.

Clients today include: Highlife Breaks, Prudential, Thistle Hotels, Timesonline.co.uk

About WebAbacus
WebAbacus’ highly flexible and powerful online behaviour analysis software is the product of choice for organisations who are serious about improving the service they deliver to their customers by understanding their online behaviour. Now in its fourth release, WebAbacus software is in use at companies across the world, including Volkswagen, Johnson & Johnson, TNT, Expedia, Lastminute.com, Confetti, Screwfix, Haymarket, Centaur Communications, Research Machines and Ocado.


Contact Details

Sitelynx Press Office

Sam Eaton - Cinnamon Communications Ltd
Tel: 01206 546 576
Mob: 07802 218 852
Fax: 01206 546 579
Email: sam@cinnamon-pr.co.uk



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