Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Top Non Search Engine Marketing Channels

Lee Odden     Online Marketing, Reader Polls

reader poll

Marketing online is a mixed bag. While search marketing is high impact and high value, it’s not the only game in town.

In this week’s poll, I’ve assembled a variety, but not comprehensive, list of web site marketing channels that are alternatives to standard search engine marketing. Some are true, stand alone channels. Some offer the benefit of direct traffic as well as a positive effect for natural search engine rankings.

Name your top non-standard search engine online marketing channel

  • Email (20%, 16 Votes)
  • RSS (17%, 14 Votes)
  • Social News (Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit) (10%, 8 Votes)
  • Social Networks (9%, 7 Votes)
  • Offline Advertising or Promotion (9%, 7 Votes)
  • Web Site Links (free) (7%, 6 Votes)
  • Online Advertising (not PPC) (6%, 5 Votes)
  • Press Releases (5%, 4 Votes)
  • Forums (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Syndicated Articles (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Social Media (Video, Images, Audio) (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Directories (4%, 3 Votes)
  • Web Site Links (paid) (2%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 81

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As standard search engines evolve via personalized and social search, I think alternative online marketing tactics will become increasingly important for those currently relying on search engine optimization. Please share your thoughts and additional channel or tactics recommendations in the comments.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Joint ventures with email marketing take it to a totally new dimension.

  2. Not that I’d vote for it as next most important but you are missing Shopping channels and product datafeeds. I’ve found they are much more valuable than most commerce platforms realize as customers use them not to find what to buy but to shop, compare, and research; the ideal medium in which to create awareness or preference for a brand/product.

  3. Ah yes, shopping sites. Just goes to show you my personal bias towards B2B marketing. 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Good survey – a question well worth asking. I didn’t see online press release distribution listed (e.g. prleap.com) and this has produced some strong results for us. Great way to gain links and boost search in a short timeframe.

  5. Hi Jeff, press releases are actually there. And not votes either!

  6. Another one that’s missing is web site awards. Winning something like a Web Award from the Web Marketing Association or the Webby’s can certainly drive traffic, albeit probably not more than all the others on the list.

  7. I let the voting run for a while, to see if anyone would come up with 2 of the most powerful strategies.

    Viral marketing – as in things like free ebooks, public domain and shareware, widgets, plugins, themes

    Affiliate marketing

  8. Right on Andy, excellent! I was going to include viral marketing but didn’t for some reason. Thanks for keeping me in check.

  9. How does Offline Advertising or Promotion
    fit in choices about:
    online marketing channel
    ? 🙂

  10. Avatar Seo services says

    I think one point is missing here is free clssified ad submission.

  11. French, many companies have been very successful at driving traffic to their web site through offline channels such as TV, Radio and print advertisements.

  12. Free links can be great if you can get ’em. If you have the spare time to build them or link bait them in, the
    traffic can last for years.

  13. How about newspaper articles written about you/your company or quoting a company employee as a source? That’s been very effective in driving traffic for our company.

  14. Right, social media optimization has become a big part of online advertising and promotion as well. It includes, blog, articles, foksnomy, podcasting, vedio files, feeds distribution, press release, forums posting etc…It also helps driving traffic along with high rank in the search engines…what is new in the world of web 2.0? Please share.


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