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Use Google Keyword Research To Target The Long Tail In Local Search

seokeywordresearchpic There's something of a void where local business marketing is concerned. Local marketers understand they need to target keyword queries in SEO and PPC campaigns, but they assume they know what people search for, and they miss out on valuable referrals because of it. Here's a brief guide on local keyword research to close the gap. Companies tend to get somewhat myopic about understanding how consumers try to discover their type of business. It's natural to find out how some people find your business and then focus your efforts on building and reinforcing that successful vector -- even to the [...]


4 Trends Paid Search Marketers Must Address In 2014: Audience, Relevance, Social & Mobile

Mobile Devices Upon revisiting last year's post on this topic, a couple of our bold predictions flopped and a couple turned out to be more reality than fantasy. Though we didn't see Apple monetize the search results served up by Siri, we did see ad formats evolve to increase relevance and user engagement. The inclusion of ad extensions as a factor in ad ranking and the expansion of Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to show on smartphone devices were less a result of explicit user feedback, as we had predicted, but more based on user behavior. Nonetheless, the changes have spawned a richer and more engaging ad ex [...]


Staying Competitive In PPC: Learning From Black Friday’s Most Popular Offers

black-friday-cash-mouse-featured The five-day Black Friday weekend from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday provided an insightful glimpse into how retailers are running their PPC strategies for the holidays. Particularly interesting are the variety of offer types run by retailers, ranging from the expected free shipping to 2-in-1 offers which include two offers in the same ad. Since shoppers were expecting to see a retailer's best deals during that weekend, we wanted to see just how far retailers were willing to go to get the sale. Using search engine results data gathered by Lighthouse (a partnership between The Search Monit [...]


4 Surprising Ways CPG Brands Are Using Paid Search For Brand Marketing [Study]

Retail Shopping Consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers have been spending an average of $6.2 million monthly on Google AdWords in the US over the past three years, according to a new AdGooroo study which looked at ad impressions between August 2012 and July 2013.  All of the CPG companies engaged in brand marketing, but AdGooroo found that several brands took surprising approaches in their targeting to reach their desired audiences in search. Here are four examples of CPG companies using search to broaden their share of voice in surprising ways: In a departure from the standard tactic of promotin [...]


10 Things RTB Rookies Can Learn From SEM Vets

ppc-paid-search-200px If I were to describe to you a digital media channel in which marketers bid on ad inventory in an auction-based model, would you think of paid search? Of course! But this also describes the relatively new online display category of real-time bidding (RTB) in which banner impressions are sold in a similar fashion. eMarketer recently released Programmatic Advertising Forecast and Future Growth Trends, in which it projects that RTB digital display ad spending in the US will reach $9.03 billion by 2017 and will represent 29.0% of total U.S. digital display ad spending. Although RTB has been [...]


Paid Search Spend Surges 27%, Mobile Grabs 40% Thanksgiving, Black Friday Spend

black-friday-cash-mouse-featured Amid reports that brick and mortar sales were lackluster over the Thanksgiving weekend, ecommerce is looking like a bright spot this holiday season, with mobile devices playing an increasingly important role. Mercent, which powers major retailer campaigns online for brands including Brookstone, Office Depot and HSN reports same seller online sales increased 40 percent on Thanksgiving Day compared to 2012. Black Friday same seller sales hit a record high, increasing 35 percent Paid search saw big increases in click volume and retailer spend. Retailers spent 27 percent more on paid search [...]


Three Steps for Crushing Multi-Location Local Search

local-search-featured Research firm BIA/Kelsey reports that 97% of consumers use online media to shop locally. If you're a multi-location business, this means it's more important than ever to be visible to Web users in all your business locations. This column tells you how to crush it. Based on my own daily searches, it's clear to me that many local businesses (especially brick-and-mortar multi-location businesses) are not optimized for local search marketing. If you're a business with multiple store locations, with a dealership network, or with multiple state or national branch offices, there's a good chance [...]


Apple’s App Store Search Engine Now Considers Misspellings & Typos

app-store-icon Sarah Perez at TechCrunch reports Apple has updated their App Store search engine to help with misspellings, typos and other "fat-fingered" searching mistakes. Sarah said she has "sources" that have confirmed these "App Store search engine changes went into effect a few weeks ago." One example I can personally attest to is when someone searches for [rusty brick] in the app store, normally it did not return apps from my company. Now it does. Here is a picture of the search results for [rusty brick] in the app store returning one of our apps with the name "RustyBrick" as one word. S [...]


5 Trusted Accounts Every Local SEO Should Have

Trust As local marketers, most of us know how to set up a Google Places for Business account or create a Facebook Page. But, these are not the only accounts you should be creating in order to get the full benefit of your local SEO campaign. Below are five trusted accounts every local SEO should have in their toolkit. 1. Google Map Maker Google Map Maker (GMM) is a way for people to add updates and corrections to Google Maps.  If you find a road on Google Maps leads you straight into a brick wall, you can correct that via Map Maker. There are a variety of reasons for a business or its agent to [...]


Covario Named 2013 Search Agency Of The Year By OMMA Third Year In A Row

covario logo OMMA (Online Media, Marketing and Advertising) Magazine has named Covario the 2013 search agency of the year for the third consecutive year. According to a release posted on the agency's website, Covario was recognized for, "its 'smarter approach' to delivering award-winning paid and organic search programs,"  as well as double-digit growth and 60-plus percentile Net Promoter scores. This award follows Covario being ranked as one of the ten largest search agencies in the nation by Advertising Age, earning, at least, $20 million in annual revenue. With former managing directors Mike Gull [...]


How Paid Search Can Aid Your SEO Efforts

Don't you feel smarter? PPC and SEO have always been complementary marketing channels -- but have you been using this combination to its full potential? With keyword data now largely gone and Hummingbird making quality content vital to your SEO strategy, it has never been more important to invest in SEO -- but you may not have the time or the resources to wait and see how your SEO strategy shakes out. This is where PPC can help. Paid search provides immediate, measurable feedback into which keywords and content are performing well, so we can use PPC as a testing environment for SEO strategies. In today's colum [...]


2014 SEO Roadmap: Adopting Semantic Markup

Semantic Search & Knowledge Graph: Information Architecture & Website Structure In Google's relentless pursuit of organizing the world's information, the most exciting shift we've seen over the last year is about its ability to understand the "meaning" behind content (via the Knowledge Graph) and queries (via its Hummingbird algorithm update). In the past, Google had to rely on the words on the page, matching them to the words that someone searched on. Now, the revolution that is upon us is matching the intent of the query to the suitability of a page that matches that intent. This has significant implications for SEOs; and, as I speak with some of the smartest SEOs [...]


Optimizing For Seasonality: 4 Critical Paid Search Strategies

Holiday Snowflakes November and December are the most seasonal months for search marketers. For retailers, this holiday shopping period continues to be the most profitable time of the year. In fact, in 2012, over $42 billion was spent online by consumers in these two months alone, a 14% increase over 2011. For other online advertisers, however, the holiday season represents a significantly quiet period as consumers shift their focus toward retail shopping. Regardless, seasonal shifts in customer behavior throughout the year, such as during the holidays, influence ad performance and result in opportunities [...]


A Mature Digital Marketing Industry Provides SEO Opportunity For Small & Ambitious Businesses

Localisation Opportunities for Small Business & Large Alike

As we are approaching the end of the year, I thought it would be worth reviewing 2013 from the perspective of a UK based SEO with a diverse range of multinational clients and what opportunities lie ahead for all things SEO.


3 Ways B2B Search Marketers Can Stand Out With Rich Ad Formats

b2b-building-blocks We all know B2B customers differ from regular consumers for a variety of reasons. Their purchase cycle is longer, as they have to consult more options before pulling the trigger on signing a contract for a solution or purchasing a product. There is also more risk involved when a B2B client finally makes a purchase, as the success of their business may hinge on the decisions they make. We also know it's critical for paid search to be present to finally close the loop on the sale or lead when that B2B client is ready. But when the search engine results page is a sea of text ads and organic li [...]


There’s Still Time To Take The 2013 Moz Industry Survey

moz Search marketing software provider Moz is asking SEO professionals to complete its 2013 Moz Industry Survey. According to the announcement on Moz's blog, the survey should take only five to ten minutes and the data will be shared publicly once it's published. This year's survey is intended to gain insights on industry trends, including SEO tactics, tools, technology and budgets, as well as demographics of the people practicing SEO. Anyone wanting to participate in the Moz Industry Survey can do so here. Participants will be included in a contest for a number of prizes, from a fully pa [...]


SEMPO Asks Search Marketers To Take 9th Annual State Of Search Survey

sempo-logo Just after publishing its annual salary survey results, SEMPO is calling for participants to take part in its 9th Annual State of Search Survey. For the last eight years, the professional search marketing organization has polled search marketers to identify trends and offer insight on the industry. With two separate tracks of questions for advertisers and agencies, the survey asks participants about their search marketing budgets, objectives and metrics. Last year's survey found that the rise of mobile Internet use and Google algorithm updates impacted the industry most. According to [...]


Results Of SEMPO Survey Shows Search Marketing Salaries Have Dropped Nearly $7,000

sempo-logo Published last week, SEMPO's fourth annual salary survey revealed the average search marketing salary dropped from $75,543 to $68,600. In conjunction with ClickZ, the SEMPO Research Committee surveyed 2,180 participants representing both in-house advertisers and third-party agency personnel. The survey included 20 questions covering a number of topics, including salary levels, job roles and search marketing efforts. In addition to the drop in average search marketing salaries, VP-level search marketers and respondents in the top four salary ranges also saw a drop in pay. The number of [...]


How To Leave Anonymous Business Reviews In Google+

CreateaPage For a long time, I've had some doctor friends complaining to me that once Google Places changed over to the new Google+ format, all their patients lost the ability to leave anonymous reviews (thus hurting their business and their rankings). They asked me what to do; and I, in turn, asked my fellow SEO friends what to do. No one really had a good answer, except to start leaving reviews on doctor-specific sites like healthgrades.com and vitals.com. That never seemed like a good answer to me, so I kept searching. Even answers from Google staff (in Google Groups) don't shed much light on th [...]


How B2B Sites Can Align Their Website Strategy With SEM Tactics

aligning website strategies A B2B website that does not drive traffic, promote the brand, deliver company messaging or convert users into customers represents a waste of online marketing investments. A good B2B website should help build a strong brand while educating relevant users on industry topics and promoting products and services. Fully integrating all SEM tactics with website strategies will help the website achieve optimal results. This involves combining analytics, content marketing, SEO, conversion optimization and website maintenance into one large, overarching website strategy where all website changes are [...]


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