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Hearing The Rhythms Of Human Search Behavior: What We’ve Learned

(Click to enlarge.) Watching people search is great entertainment. It's not a one-note performance. It's an all-day, around-the-clock jazz show, with the performers constantly changing their themes, rhythms, even their instruments. Along the way, one gains some great insight into human behavior and how people go about their connected lives. Search marketers that pay attention to this tune will come away with some big advantages. Why do I make the analogy to jazz? Because consumer search behavior is extremely varied, but also tends to follow patterns that we can discern, like the way a drummer can anchor a j [...]


How To Generate Customer Experience Reviews For SEO Profit – Part I

mobile-review-shutterstock Here's a question for all you search marketers out there: given the option, would you prefer to optimize a site that sells products, or services? Personally, I find product-based websites far easier to optimize than service-based sites due to their generally clearer site architecture, access to photos and videos, and the ability to incentivize content creation through influencer marketing and free samples. But service-based sites have one ace up their sleeve: experience reviews. Experience Reviews I recently bought my first house; thus, I had my first experience working with a real [...]


Bing Ads Puts Insertion Order Management Online

bing-ads-600 Agencies or advertisers that have invoice billing enabled and use Bing Ads Insertion Orders can now create and approve IOs online rather than having to rely on email or fax. This has been a top request among agencies, in particular. Insertion orders can be created either by the customer or a Bing Ads account manager. Once an IO is approved via the API or the web interface, campaigns will begin to run. It's possible to create overlapping IOs so that there is never an advertising lapse between orders. Here's what the process looks like depending on who originates the insertion order: [...]


A Review Handout Alternative: Try P&P To Get More Local Reviews

review handouts vs. review postcards Everyone knows how important reviews are -- they factor in to the local algorithm and they play a huge part in click-throughs and building trust. Good reviews can make you, and bad reviews can break you… so businesses do everything they can to get positive reviews. Since Google doesn't allow on-site reviews, we have to rely on customers to take the time and effort after leaving the location to sit down, log in, and write a review. Small business owners and SEOs the world over know how hard that is to actually do. As Local SEOs started to really specialize in reviews, the review han [...]


Bing Ads Refines Local Targeting Features

Bing Ads Location Targeting Today, Bing Ads released new interface updates and features for location targeting. Radius targeting is now more granular and available in kilometers as well as miles. You can set radius targeting in 1 mile or 1 kilometer increments, up to 500 miles or 800 kilometers. Previously targeting was limited to 5 or 10 miles and then went up in 10 mile increments. Another change is that you can now use location targeting (a city, say) and radius targeting in the same ad group or campaign instead of having to choose one or the other. When selecting and opting-out of geographic locations, t [...]


Google Launches Free AdWords Express App For iOS And Android Devices In The US

Google Launches AdWords Express App Today, Google launched a free app for Android and iOS devices for AdWords Express, the simplified version of Google's search advertising platform designed for small business. The app has all the features of the web version, allowing advertisers to edit ads and set targeting parameters more easily from their mobile devices. Google is also making targeting more flexible. Advertisers can target ads by their own zip code, city, state as well as in other areas around the country, though the extended targeting is available only in English-speaking countries at this time. The app is now [...]


Bing Ads Puts Estimated Keyword Bid Suggestions In Columns, Adds Keyword Delivery Status Alerts

bing-ads-600 Bing Ads launched a couple of relatively small but helpful features today. Both bring keyword status and bid insights into closer parity with Google AdWords. To get a better understanding of where keyword bids stand in relation to the competition, Bing Ads has added estimated bid suggestions for first page bid, mainline bid and best position bid in the web user interface. This data was available before, but in a more cumbersome format. With the addition of estimated bid suggestions along with the bid landscape tool, Bing Ads has retired the old Estimation workflow -- the dropdown from th [...]


Paid Search Spend Rose 21 Percent YoY In Q2, With Mobile Up 98 Percent [Covario]

Paid Search Grwoth G2 2014 Covario Global paid search investment continued its rise through the first half of 2014, according to Covario's latest quarterly analysis of search spend. Overall spend among the firm's clients rose 21 percent in the second quarter year-over-year, and 2 percent over the first quarter of 2014. Mobile search spend nearly doubled, rising 98 percent year-over-year and 6 percent quarter-over-quarter even as cost-per-click prices fell. Overall impressions dropped off 15 percent year-over-year, which Alex Funk, Covario’s director of global paid media strategy and author of the study, says is largely [...]


Now Link Google My Business And AdWords, Get Account-Level Location Extensions

Account level adwords local extensions Google is introducing the ability to set up location extensions at the account level by linking your Google My Business account to your AdWords account. No longer will location extensions need to be set up separately for each campaign. Formerly called Google Places for Business, Google My Business, is where businesses can manage location listings to display on Google Maps, Google Search and Google+. Once you've added all of your locations to Google My Business and link to AdWords, you choose "upgraded" (i.e. account-level) location extensions from the Extensions tab to have them show aut [...]


88% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations

mobile-review-shutterstock We at BrightLocal have released the findings of our annual Local Consumer Review Survey, which reveals the growing importance of online reviews in the purchasing decision. About Local Consumer Review Survey 2014 This is the 4th year we have conducted this study into consumer usage and attitudes toward online reviews. In May-June, we sent a questionnaire to our local consumer panel and received 2,104 completed survey responses. All respondents are from the USA (90%) and Canada (10%). The purpose of the survey is to understand how online reviews influence the attitudes of consumers towar [...]


The New Data Currency In A Digital World

How first-, second-, third-party data is collected The list of options on the performance marketing menu has been growing steadily. Whereas search had historically been the primary channel for direct marketers to drive leads and revenue, the array of opportunities has been increasing within the social and display channels, particularly given the rising popularity of retargeting. First-, Second- & Third-Party Data In A Data Currency World Accordingly, there's been a shift in the essential data currency for marketers. Within the search world, that currency has mainly been keyword data. But within the world of display and social, that curre [...]


Search Engine Marketing Helps Drive Back-to-School Sales

back-to-school-shutterstock Summer may just be starting, but advertisers that want to do well this back-to-school shopping season need to plan now to make the most of this really impressive annual consumer shopping event. In fact, at an estimated $72.5 billion in combined back-to-school and back to college spending in 2013 [1], this is the second-largest retail event of the year, after the winter holidays. What advertisers are best positioned to capitalize on this major seasonal event? Not surprisingly, 87 percent of the people we've surveyed report that school supplies are the No. 1 category. [2] Not far behind, [...]


The 10 Most Important Paid Search Developments So Far In 2014

money-mouse-ppc-600 It's been a big year so far for product listing ads on both Google and Bing. Google started putting more ads in the Knowledge Graph. Bing followed Google's lead on combining tablet and desktop traffic. And Google said it would begin stripping paid search queries from referrer strings. Now that we're halfway through the year, let's step back and look at what's happened so far in paid search. These were the 10 biggest announcements and changes to come from Bing Ads and Google AdWords in the first half of 2014. Bing Ads There were three announcements made by Bing Ads in the first hal [...]


Mobile Calls Are The New Conversions: 7 Tips For SEMs

mobile-conversions-money-shutterstock Are you seeing depressing plateaus, or even declines, in your year-over-year conversion numbers? The fact is that a huge portion of search activity is moving to mobile. Soon, mobile activity will account for over 50% of searches. The problem is that the mobile conversions don't follow the mobile searches. For many SEM accounts, this means that year-over-year conversion volumes may be stagnating, or even look like they are declining. They probably aren't; it's just less trackable as people jump devices in their journey. People grab the device at hand and execute conversions in non-linear [...]


Google Beefs Up AdWords Location Extension Reporting And Targeting

google-adwords-local-map-featured Google has rolled out a couple of enhancements for paid search advertisers with brick-and-mortar locations. A new distance report for ads with location extensions show performance broken out by distance from your businesses, ranging from 0.7 miles to over 40 miles. The distance report is located from the Dimensions tab. Separate Settings For Location Extensions Within A Campaign Instead of having every every location extension within a campaign restricted to using the same setting, now location extensions can have different radius settings for targeting and bidding. For example, s [...]


How Hard Should You Press The Gas Pedal In Paid Search?

1 to 2 The following post contains a number of metaphors strained to the breaking point; viewer discretion is advised. An enduring truth in the paid search business is that paid search managers and marketing teams spend far more time thinking about tactical minutia than they do thinking about what are far and away the most important questions to the business: "What is the ultimate objective of paid search for our company? And how do we measure success against that goal?" If the goals and measurement have been thoroughly fleshed out, considered and analyzed, then it makes sense that attention be [...]


Now You Can Apply AdWords Conversion Settings To Goals Imported From Analytics

new-google-adwords-logo The ability to import goals from Google Analytics into AdWords just got even more useful. Now you can tailor them to your paid search objectives by adjusting the conversion settings on each imported Analytics goal and transaction within AdWords. Flexible conversion counting, customized conversion window and editable conversion values can now be applied to any goals and transactions imported from Analytics. Conversion windows can be set between 7 to 90 days. Flexible conversion counting gives advertisers the option to count unique conversions only or every conversion action that occurs [...]


Google Updates Its AdWords Auction And Ad Rank Video For The First Time Since Revising The Key Formula

ad-rank-video-screenshot Along with a overview on Quality Score factors, this week, Google released an updated video on the AdWords auction and Ad Rank, the scoring system used in each auction that determines the order in which ads appear. Chief Economist at Google, Hal Varian, who has been starring in these videos since at least 2009, is back. This is the first new video on the AdWords auction since Google changed up the Ad Rank formula to factor in the use of ad extensions and formats. Varian's Ad Rank formula visual now includes "Format Impact". Varian walks through the factors that go into Ad Rank, how it is [...]


Top 10 Tips For Local Search Success

shutterstock_183277097-options-choices Many local businesses today are overwhelmed by the variety of local marketing choices available. Unlike the old days when a small handful of advertising outlets would cover the majority of your audience, the sheer volume of marketing options has seemingly flattened the reach of each advertising channel. Business owners see all the different ways that consumers are seeking out, discovering and considering local businesses, and they don't know where to start. The key to getting started is building a strong foundation for local search success by checking off the basics. From there, you can [...]


Is Your Local Business Ready For Google’s Neighborhood Algorithm?

East-Side-Costa-Mesa-with-marker While doing some research in Costa Mesa, CA last week, I hit a Google test bucket that specified the East Side Costa Mesa neighborhood as my location in Search Tools: Google has long understood super well-known dense neighborhoods like SoHo, NY. But there's a good reason why neighborhoods, particularly smaller city neighborhoods, have not been used as default locations in Google: it's pretty tricky to define a neighborhood's boundaries. In the local search-data world, neighborhoods are known as "informal space," meaning there are no standard boundaries. So the definition of where a n [...]


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