Silverback Strategies Primes Competitors for Google Online Marketing Challenge

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SEM experts, Silverback Strategies, a top DC Internet Marketing Firm advise West Virginia University seniors on AdWords strategy - and stamina.

Neil was able to take a real campaign scenario offered up by one of the students and discuss strategy on the fly

Marketing students around the world are taking part in the Google Online Marketing Challenge, a global student online marketing competition, between now and May. Last month a few lucky competitors got some pre-race tips from PPC and SEO Campaign Management gurus Neil Welsh and Joseph Erfe of Silverback Strategies, a top DC Internet Marketing Firm.

Welsh, along with Silverback's director of search engine marketing Joseph Erfe, recently sat down in Morgantown with college seniors at West Virginia University who will be competing in the Challenge as part of a course in Services Marketing. Welsh and Erfe gave students real-world advice on planning and executing AdWords campaigns based on the work Silverback does for its clients on a daily basis.

"Pay Per Click management is not a spectator sport. With constant shifts in paid search rankings and Google standards, we have to be on top of our clients campaigns pretty much around the clock," said Welsh. "I think the Challenge is a great way for students to get a sense of how dynamic this kind of marketing is - being able to manage an Adwords campaign while directly interacting with a client is a phenomenal opportunity for anyone considering a career in marketing."

The Challenge allows teams of four college students to test their online marketing skills by spending $200 in Google-provided AdWords vouchers on the real-world business of their choice. Each group works with their professor and chosen business to set up an AdWords account and structure an effective online marketing campaign. Google and a panel of independent academics will select the winning teams based on the success of the campaign and the quality of the competition reports.

"Neil was able to take a real campaign scenario offered up by one of the students and discuss strategy on the fly," says Michael F. Walsh, assistant professor of marketing at the College of Business and Economics at WVU. "His insights will be valuable for these students well beyond this competition because SEM is clearly a salable skill right now."

The 90 WVU students involved in the Challenge selected small area businesses to promote - ranging from law firms to restaurants to the University's own School of Business. From January 26 to May 22, they and teams from other universities will execute online strategies in an effort to boost online performance for their chosen business - be it traffic, inquiries, online purchases or other goal.

"I think the students were a little surprised at the intensity and vigilance required. Professionals like the guys at Silverback Strategies aggressively monitor campaigns multiple times per day - it's extremely fluid, and my students have to be ready for that if they want to do well," concluded Walsh.

Read more about the Google Online Marketing Challenge at:

About Silverback Strategies:
Based in Alexandria, Virginia, Silverback Strategies partners with businesses large and small to provide state-of-the-art web design, search engine marketing and pay-per-click campaign strategy, consulting and execution. The company is privately held.
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