Marc Purtell | Director, SEO
The Federal Trade Commission recently issued a warning to the major search engines requesting that they more clearly distinguish between the organic results and paid ads. This applies not only to traditional search engines, but also social media outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as mobile apps.
The FTC’s warning to search engines should be a wake-up call to the search marketing industry. The days of playing fast and loose with mixed paid and organic search results on search engine results pages (SERPs) appears to be coming to an end. In its place will be more stringent oversight of how search engines display paid search results and, as a result, more cumbersome and potentially onerous restrictions on what search marketing can and cannot do with their campaigns.
What are the potential implications for marketers of this new guidance? What do search marketers need to do now to begin adjusting for these changes?
It is unclear at this point the extent that each search engine will address this request, but it is expected that minor changes to the way paid ads are identified will ensue to avoid possible FTC action.
These changes, however, can impact the efforts of search engine marketers, as they will potentially need to make more drastic modifications to their search engine marketing efforts.
Here are some potential effects that the FTC’s warning will have on marketers:
By Heather Fernandez | Senior SEO Strategist
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt of an op-ed originally published in Mobile Marketer magazine. Read the full opinion piece here.
Mobile is not just for email anymore.
That is evident to any marketer who has spent time around teens, at a mall or at a sporting event. Mobile is everywhere and it is reshaping how people interact with brands and make online purchases.
In a three-month study spanning February to May 2012, comScore found that 234 million U.S. consumers use smartphones and, of that number, 110 million are smartphones owners.
This impressive growth demonstrates the need for marketers to understand that consumers are changing their online behavior when they research and engage with brands.
Consumers are using the Web 24/7, thanks to the affordability and portability of owning a mobile device. The issue they increasingly face is trying to connect with businesses that have yet to adopt a mobile-friendly digital strategy.
Brands that have not developed such a strategy are missing out on the largest segment of online growth opportunities.
Read the full op-ed in Mobile Marketer.
By Adam Riff | @AdamRiff | SVP, Digital Strategy
Want to feel like a super-spy while learning valuable secrets that can help grow your client’s business?
Here’s how you do it: invest your time and money in paid search marketing (PPC) competitive intelligence and, please, shhh … don’t tell anyone.
As the auction grows more expensive and more complex, it’s critical to have a view into your client’s competitors paid search program, otherwise you’re fighting blind. The simple truth is that PPC is a competition. You’re competing for the world’s most valuable inventory and for the top positions in an auction that you can’t just win with a wallet, but with skill (i.e., your ability to generate click-thru-rate).
Dozens of factors go into winning, of course. One of the critical factors is knowing your opponents. If you don’t know them, it’s going to be difficult to beat them. Competitive Intelligence tools can help you do that, and in this post, I’m going to disclose a few that we use at MediaWhiz to look at some key metrics and some tips on how to use them.
Here you can see the average monthly spend. Ispionage tends to be on the low side of its estimates when it comes to spend, so be sure to cross-reference with KeywordSpy, which tends to report on the high side. It also shows you seasonality which can allow you and your clients to know when to expect more competition and potentially higher returns.
By Adam Riff | @AdamRiff | SVP, Digital Strategy
If you’re a marketing or advertising professional, then lately you’ve probably been running ads on Facebook or have heard the phrase “paid social” or “Facebook ads.”
That’s because according to eMarketer, social media is the fastest growing digital media channel. As impressive as that is, it doesn’t tell the whole story. First, let’s consider some statistics:
- “More than half of 25-to-34-year-old social network users say they can’t live without their social media sites” — eMarketer 2011.
- “9 out of 10 Internet users visited a social networking site each month in 2010” — comScore, February 2011.
- “74% of consumers are influenced to buy AFTER soliciting feedback from social media ” — comScore, February 2011.
- “67% of Twitter users who become followers of a brand are more likely to buy from that brand” — comScore, February 2011.
- “60% of Facebook users who become fans of a brand recommend that brand to a friend ” — comScore, February 2011.
With the demand for social media continuing to skyrocket, it’s critical that we, as advertising professionals, hone our craft to leverage this channel on behalf of our clients.
To help marketers create successful Facebook ad campaigns, MediaWhiz has developed the following list of “secrets.” (more…)