It’s Time For Marketers To Attend To The Branding Benefits Of Search

chart Google recently released a study that concluded, "Search Ads Lift Brand Awareness." The study tested brand recall for searchers who had seen the target brand in paid search ads against a control group who had not been exposed to the brand. The study concluded that brand-exposed searchers had a 6.6% increase (80% lift) over the control group. In Search Engine Land's writeup, editor Ginny Marvin pointed out that the study only tested the top brand position; it did not determine the degree to which the lift carried through to other, less prominent search ad positions. And, any study that exami [...]


A Step-By-Step Guide To Link Building For Boring Industries Or Products

innocent-drinks Within the current search landscape, most search engine optimisation campaigns have become increasingly content-led. The majority of the campaigns that I work on revolve largely around the production and placement of high quality content on top-tier sites. This approach to search engine optimisation is more akin to a typical PR campaign than a traditional SEO campaign -- and the former, in my opinion, is the way that most digital agencies should be positioning themselves. Yes, I'm gonna say it: content marketing is the way forward. Now that I've got that buzzword out of my system, we [...]


How To Build A Local Brand Through Online Marketing

brand-branding-shutterstock The terms Brand and Brand Marketing are usually associated with large businesses. Having a brand is seen as something significant -- something that only businesses with big ideas and even bigger wallets can afford to invest in and create. But that's not true. Businesses of all sizes can be Brands. A brand can't be built in a day, but over time, any business can achieve brand status in their own niche and/or location. Local marketing is typically focused on lead generation with performance measured by website traffic, inbound calls, appointments and customers walk-ins. But in the ques [...]


If Online Ad Targeting Works, Does More Targeting Work Better?

target roi A former colleague at Forrester Research recently published a study that described his view of the future of online marketing. The study is available to Forrester clients only, but the crux of the argument is laid out in a blog post: Why Google - Not Facebook - Will Build The Database Of Affinity. The author, Nate Elliot, describes large media companies building a "database of affinity," which he described thusly: Recently we described an idea called the database of affinity: A catalogue of people's tastes and preferences collected by observing their social behaviors on sites like Face [...]


10 Pro Online Reputation Management Tips For Local Businesses

Online Local Reputation Management Online marketing experts have spent a lot of time providing advice on managing online ratings and reviews for local businesses -- but reputation can have much broader impact than your reviews in Yelp and Google. There's hardly a business out there that doesn't have an occasional issue arise with a customer. Ideally, you can resolve things before it reaches a point where a customer believes they can only get satisfaction through a public forum or feels they ought to warn people about your business. The internet has made it so the barriers between one customer and another are far reduced -- w [...]


3 Paid Search Strategies For Maximizing Brand Equity In Retail

consumer shopping online Paid search continues to be a highly effective channel for retailers, driving traffic and a profitable return on investment (ROI). In fact, retail advertisers invest more in paid search than almost any other industry. [caption id="attachment_170720" align="alignright" width="239"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] For the most part, search represents an integrated step in the purchase cycle for consumers with selection, price-transparency and convenience as differentiating factors compared to traditional brick-and-mortar retail. Unfortunately, these factors result in a constant struggl [...]


5 Free Deep Reputation Management Checking Tools

Remember back in the day when search results were just ten blue text links on a page? Back then, the search results were so simple that reputation management was pretty straightforward. You could clearly see if those blue links connected to positive content -- if so, your reputation was great. Unfortunately, things aren't so easy now. Universal search, complaint websites, social media, wikis, forums and other platforms have increased those ORM touch points from 1 to an increasingly large number. Ultimately, monitoring all of these different sites for the purpose of protecting your image [...]


Bing Ads Pro Accreditation Exam Now In French, German And Portuguese

Microsoft is expanding the Bing Ads Accredited Professional Program to include three new languages. The "Pro Bingers" certification program is now offered in French, German and Brazilian Portuguese. Three new sites have been set up for each of the new languages. The sites include 29 training modules, an intro video and the exam in each localized language. Users who pass the free Bing Ads Accredited Professional exam can enroll in the Find a Pro Directory, designed to help clients find agencies and consultants to run their Bing Ads campaigns. Earlier this year, Microsoft added a languages [...]


Last Year’s Top 3 U.S. Search Marketing Agencies Continue To Lead In 2013 Report

top3-awards-featured Every year, Ad Age ranks the top performing U.S. search marketing agencies based on the previous year's U.S. and worldwide revenue. This year, the top three agencies held their 2012 report rankings, with iCrossing, 360i and iProspect coming in at No. 1, 2, and 3 on the list of largest U.S. search marketing agencies. 360i was responsible for the fast-thinking Oreo tweet during the blackout at this year's Superbowl. The agency also received a Facebook Studio Award for an Oreo social media marketing campaign. iCrossing recently received a Shorty Award for their Maker's Mark #CocktailParty2012 [...]


SEO Branding: Appearance In Search Results Impacts Brand Perception

Stop a search marketer on the street, whether a grizzled veteran or relative newcomer, and ask him/her to list the top goals of ranking in the search results; they will talk to you about traffic, revenue and conversions. Likewise, in reflecting what is top of mind for search marketers, a perusal of industry websites shows a majority of articles focused on the same. Far less covered -- whether research, POVs or even "thinking-out-loud" blog posts -- is content focused on other benefits of appearing in the search results, such as brand development. For decades, marketers have invested in g [...]


“Who Sent Me Chocolates?” – Company Tries Sweet Twist To Tap Into Google Traffic

who-sent-me-chocolates Yesterday, I received a package all the way from the United Kingdom. It was a chocolate bar but it was packaged differently. The cover around the bar had a personalized message to me that read: Hey Barry, We wanted to send you a treat to introduce ourselves! To find out who we are type: "Who Sent Me Chocolates" into Google. So, I naturally went to Google and searched for [who sent me chocolates] and then clicked on the first result. It took me to a marketing company named CMA Digital and asked me to type in my code. After I entered the code, it took me to a customized landing page wit [...]


Why You’re Paying More For Your Brand Terms On Yahoo

Yahoo has suffered through its fair share of turmoil over the last few years: a revolving door of CEOs, significant layoffs, investor revolts, and a declining share of the search space, both paid and organic. One recent bright spot for Yahoo was their first year over year growth in search revenues after traffic acquisition costs (ex-TAC)  since their alliance with Microsoft in the fourth quarter of 2010. In fact, before last quarter, Yahoo hadn't shown Y/Y growth in search revenue ex-TAC since they began reporting it in 2009. Not too shabby then, and Yahoo's results were generally well [...]


Growing Your Business By Branding Through SEO

You're surfing your favorite news portal before leaving for work. Almost subliminally, you notice an ad for a new book on financial planning. Next, you drop by a forum to chat, and someone is talking about the same book. You then quickly pop in to Amazon.com to select some reading material for a weekend trip - and there's the title again, in the recommended list of "Weekly Picks". Hmm... you start wondering. What's that book about? Who's the author? But you don't have time to explore further. At the office, you check your email and Gmail displays an ad for the book you now realize you've bee [...]


Why Search Marketers Are The Future Media Planners

Search Marketers are the Future Media Planners [caption id="attachment_82475" align="alignright" width="258" caption="Display and search - are search marketers becoming the new media planners"][/caption] Chalk and cheese? Oil and water? Facebook users and MySpace users? Just how different are search marketers and display advertisers? Just three years ago, these two groups of people would be completely segmented, often sitting at opposite ends of an agency office, rarely collaborating on projects and with a slight dislike of each other. Their ways of working were very different, their basic principles were alien to each other, and [...]


Search Marketing Remains Strong For Retailers: Survey

Search engine marketing -- both pay-per-click and SEO -- remains a strong source of traffic and sales for retailers. That's according to an Internet Retailer survey conducted in April of 102 web-only retailers, chain retailers, catalogers and consumer brand manufacturers. According to the survey, 27% of respondents say that search engine marketing is responsible for more than half of their online sales. (See chart at left.) 47% say that more than a quarter of their web sales stem from search engine marketing. That includes both PPC- and SEO-driven sales. As far as traffic is concerned, [...]


Search + Social: Three Search Platforms Incorporate Facebook Ads API

Yesterday there were three press releases from three search platforms, two aimed partly or substantially at the local market, that are incorporating the Facebook Ads API into their platform capabilities: Marin Software, Clickable and Kenshoo. Here are excerpts from the three releases: Marin Software: Marin Search Marketer will provide marketers with the tools necessary to manage large-scale advertising programs through Facebook Ads. By marrying impression, click, and cost data with conversion and revenue data, Marin Search Marketer will provide a complete view of campaign ROI and effec [...]


The 4 Most Siginficant Changes To Paid Search In 2009

I'm writing this on January 1, 2010, and I'm reminiscing about the changes to paid search that emerged in 2009 which will impact your brand and affect how you execute your brand strategies on paid search in 2010 and beyond. Here are the top four big changes, in my mind: Google changes its trademark policy On June 15, 2009, Google changed its trademark policy to make it easier for advertisers to use brand names in ad copy text. Prior to this change, Google restricted the use of brand names in ad text and was willing to take action to prevent it, allowing brand owners to authorize spec [...]


Use Transient PPC Campaigns To Support Branding Efforts

In today’s real-time brand management world, separate teams often control strategy and channel tactics for SEO, PPC, public relations, online reputation management and social media. In many cases, however, out-of-box thinking and creative silo-breaking to cross traditional boundaries can yield sweet marketing fruit. Today I'm going to explore the systematic use of paid channels like AdWords and Facebook ads as channels for intervening in quickly moving public relations incidents. Ads can play an important role as powerful tools for supporting the usual tactics of social media and reputat [...]


WSJ: Advertisers Doing More And Less With Search

In case you didn't see it there was an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning that seeks to capture a kind of shift or broadening of advertisers' attitudes toward search marketing. Formerly search was something of an island and not well integrated into wider marketing campaigns. Many search + display studies and several years later it appears that marketers have developed a somewhat more nuanced view of search in the context of broader consumer behavior. Here are some bits from the article: Sprint is buying the top ads tied to phrases consumers tend to search for when they are clo [...]


Affiliates: Trusted Allies Or Conniving Cannibals?

It is not uncommon for businesses to find that the relationship they have with their affiliates is one of the most difficult to handle. On the one hand, affiliates can be valuable partners that provide leads and sales for your company. But on the other hand, they are independent entities which require compensation for their services and have their hearts equally divided between your best interest and their own. But if you stop and think about it, this is not an unusual situation: your business probably relies on a number of providers and suppliers with whom it has built a relationship of trust [...]


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