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Kansas retailer gets noticed by Googling.

The saying "location, location, location" has become a marketing standard and even a cliche in the brick and mortar realm, but is location as important in cyber space? The folks at Diebolt Do it Best Lumber & Supply in La Harpe, Kan., say it is.

"It started when we Googled ourselves and we weren't coming up at the top. We were sixth or seventh on the list," says Wendell Vest, Diebolt's IT director.

Vest turned to Google's pay-per-click program to help improve the store's rating and increase virtual and real traffic.

Because dieboltlumber.com has limited online sales, the purpose of the pay-per-click campaign was to drive traffic to the homepage and eventually into the store. In creating the campaign, Vest established a 100-mile radius for search visibility, making it available to local searchers only.

Vest set several other parameters including a list of appropriate search words such as lumber, doors and windows, and he placed a $200 per month cap on the campaign.

"We get a detailed weekly report so we see what words are getting hits and can choose the more popular words," explains Vest. "We've learned what key words need emphasis."

The campaign is priced per search word. The words range in price from $.01 to $1 depending on their popularity. Vest has been running the campaign for six months and normally pays between $140 and $180 per month, which translates into about 300 clicks.

The program's success is based on the number of clicks and views. Although Vest admits he cannot be 100 percent certain who is clicking each time (it may be a competitor instead of a customer), he says the program has been good for the business overall and has brought new customers to their web site and into the store. It has also boosted their ranking on Google, which has had the added benefit of increasing their rating on other search engines such as Yahoo.

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Title Annotation:Technology
Publication:Hardware Retailing
Date:Nov 1, 2006
Words:321
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