The Internet Marketing Field of 64 Tourney – Round 1 Midwest Region
The Midwest is the last region left in round one of The Internet Marketing Field of 64 Tournament. We’ll be covering round two, the sweet sixteen, the elite eight, the final four and the championship in subsequent blog posts. Today we’ll take a look at the Midwest bracket with the match ups and scores below. Google Panda made its debut in this year’s tournament and impressed many. Round one South, West and East region results are available. Unlike the NCAA Tournament, if you have yet to fill out your Internet Marketing Field of 64 bracket, you can do so now.
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Internet Marketing Midwest Region [seed]
 Inbound Marketing 106
 Article Marketing 15
Article marketing took a big hit in 2011 with the introduction of Google Panda. It no longer packs the same SEO punch as it once did for link building aficionados. On the other hand, inbound marketing had a booming season. More than 2,000 companies signed up for HubSpot inbound marketing software in 2011, signaling that businesses are starting to understand what it takes to be successful online. Some in the Internet marketing world are proclaiming inbound marketing as the new catchall phrase when describing content marketing, SEO and social media marketing.
 Yahoo 58
 Google Webmaster Tools 49
SEOs around the world love Google Webmaster Tools because it gives them a snapshot into what Google sees when it looks at a website. While the insight is incredibly valuable, on its own Google Webmaster Tools can’t surpass the paid search opportunities from Yahoo. Even though Yahoo search results (including PPC) are powered by Bing, a total of 21% of search engine using Americans are confronted with Yahoo/Bing ads when they do a search. More than 10% of Americans use Yahoo as their search engine of choice.
 Keywords 55
 Google Panda 63
This is Google Panda’s first visit to the field of 64. It’s ironic it's matched up with keywords in the first round, too. While keywords are important for technical search engine optimization, they certainly aren’t as important as they once were, because tracking 100% of individual keyword traffic and conversions is no longer possible. Google Panda also freed up webmasters to focus more on the quality of their content rather than keywords, on-page and off-page factors.
 Email Marketing 72
 Pinterest 45
Pinterest just surpassed Google+, Reddit and YouTube for percentage of referral traffic delivered in the month of January. It’s a very popular platform for sure. However, Pinterest is still relatively new, its use seems to be niche and it isn’t too appealing to B2B companies. Email marketing is still an integral part of any serious Internet marketer’s tool box and is one of the fastest most direct ways to deliver content on the Internet today.
 Ecommerce 52
 Membership Portals 50
This was a close battle indeed. For companies whose business models revolve around ecommerce or membership, there can only be one winner. However, for those of us who are outsiders, it’s not so clear. Since ecommerce had projected sales of more than $197 billion in 2011, it comes out on top in this matchup.
 LinkedIn 81
 Brochures 4
Brochures in this matchup are not the trifold piece of paper you’re used to seeing. They embody the vast majority of websites on the Internet – generation one or brochure websites. Companies with these types of websites are ripe for inbound marketing. LinkedIn had an IPO in 2011 and according to Business Insider, “LinkedIn’s Growth Metrics are on Fire, and it’s Crushing the Competition.” This matchup wasn't even close.
 Online Videos 64
 QR Codes 38
Online videos are popular; YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world. QR codes have become popular among marketing types over the last few years. While more than 14 million American smartphone users have scanned a QR code, some are beginning to doubt their effectiveness or longevity as a marketing tactic.
 Search Engine Marketing (SEM) 74
 Contact Us 11
A website’s contact us page is the de facto one and only landing page for a generation one brochure website. According to HubSpot, 96% of first time website visitors aren’t ready to take a buying action yet. Don’t expect a contact us page to grow meaningful conversions or customers overtime. SEM, in contrast, can be used to drive thousands of visitors to dedicated strategic landing pages in order to capture leads and/or capture new customers. SEM includes all paid advertising with search engines like banner and text ads. Some consider SEO a part of SEM.
That’s a wrap on the entire first round of tournament games. Check back soon when we’ll break down the results of the second round of matchups. For the rest of the week and part of next week we'll publish the latest scores all the way to the national championship game. Don’t forget, if you have an argument for one team over the other and it wasn’t addressed, or if you have a favorite you’d like to see advance, leave a compelling reason why below and you may see them in the final four.
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