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Ramtron’s search efforts increase visibility, Web traffic

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Ramtron International Corp. is a semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets specialized memory and integrated solutions used in a wide array of product applications and markets worldwide.

About a year ago, the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based company completely revamped its Web site and core messaging and, in the process, decided to take a critical look at search engine optimization.

In short, the company just wasn’t happy with its Web visibility.

“Neither myself nor others here truly appreciated what SEO is,” said Christopher Wray, marketing communication manager at Ramtron. Trying to manage its search-engine program in-house became overwhelming, given the company’s constant introduction of new products and exploration of new markets, Wray said.

“There is terminology that is very meaningful on the design-engineer level, and we wanted to make sure we hit those key points,” Wray said, referring to the evaluation of Web content, making sure keywords were prominent in product feature copy. Adding to the complexity was the number of industries the company targets, from automotive to computing peripherals, metering, industrial, scientific and medical.

Increasing visibility
Ramtron turned to marketing agency 90octane to help.

“Since they were launching a new Web site, we wanted to make sure they were going through the process as they should,” said Brooke Caesar, account manager at 90octane. “Yes, many engineers already know about Ramtron, but we wanted to address nonbrand visibility as well, to increase visibility among those who don’t know what’s out there.”

The Denver-based agency worked with Ramtron’s Web site design shop to build the new site with the proper search-engine formats and metadata. It also provided recommendations for PDF content, an important that sharpens search engines’ ability to find white papers and features lists. Finally, Ramtron’s online news releases were optimized for search.

Assessments of keyword performance were done regularly, with a comprehensive keyword refresh untaken every six months. The Ramtron-90octane effort included a small paid search component, but the program focused on organic search.

“Because we didn’t have much of a PPC program, we didn’t have the option to augment landing pages,” Caesar said. “We can affect that by putting higher-designated keywords on certain pages, but we wanted to be very careful there, to make sure the copy tied together.”

Ramtron focused on about 400 keywords and phrases, with a majority consisting of popular terms, such as “smart airbags” (for the automotive industry) or “digital hearing aids” (for the medical field). Also included, of course, were the names of Ramtron’s best-performing products as well as more arcane terms—such as “EPROM,” a type of memory chip—to capture design engineers searching for these words.

The search program was augmented by an e-newsletter, as well as online banner ads on such technical sites as Semiconductor Applications, Electronic Design News and the vertical search engine and indexer SupplyFrame.

These more technical sites helped drive visitors to Ramtron’s microsite, the data-heavy Ramtronsolutions.com, where viewers could register for the offers.

Lead conversion key
“What we’re really interested in is lead conversion,” Wray said. “We want to attract the right kind of customers and drill down with specific offers.”

Wray said the Ramtron search engine program has paid off nicely for the company to date. Measuring results through January 2009, Ramtron’s No. 1 rankings across the top five search engines increased by 14%; top -10 listings increased 25%, and top 30 listings, 16.7%.

The company also saw a 21% increase in its visibility in queries on branded terms, and a 2% overall lift in traffic from the targeted audience of electronics original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

“Any time you go through a site redesign, you’ll encounter a number of concerns, and maybe even a drop in listings as a result of the search engines reindexing everything,” Caesar said. “We didn’t see a decrease, however, which was very exciting for us.”

In the future, Ramtron plans a lead-generation program, with 90octane helping develop a marketing microsite, an online push media plan and an e-mail marketing program.

“Last year we did search engine optimization,” Wray said. “This year we want to take it to the next level with a search engine marketing program that leverages media buys in a smart manner.”

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