By Marc Purtell | Director, SEO
Editor’s note: This is the first post in a 13-part series on the newest search marketing strategies that will enhance your brand’s search strategy. All 10 search strategies, including 3 bonus search strategies, can be downloaded in our new report, “10 New Ideas for Enhancing Your Brand’s Search Strategy “. Download here.
The search marketing landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. Gone are the days of a walled garden between a company’s organic and paid search programs and the rest of its online marketing strategy. Now, there is a recognition by marketers that search, like any form of marketing, must be engaged in a holistic, interconnected manner. It must create measurable results that tie into the whole of a company’s marketing campaign, rather than being off in its own universe.
With that being said, here are five trends from the modern search landscape that will help enhance your brand’s search strategy.
- Search is not just for online retailers; it’s for everyone. Online searches influence offline purchases. Forrester Research estimates that more than $1.1 trillion of retail sales in 2011 were “Web influenced” versus $173 billion of actual online sales. This is especially true for considered purchases such as autos, financial services, education, furniture, etc. For example, JD Power estimates 90 percent of potential car purchasers research their purchase online before going to a dealer.
- Search means more than Google. It is important to diversify your company’s paid search (PPC) efforts. Google attracts the majority of paid search but Bing and Yahoo are gaining share. Similarly, Facebook appears intent on charging into the search market. But search audiences at Bing and Yahoo differ from Google. In 2012, click-through rates for small and medium sized businesses grew 109 percent for Bing, 123 percent for Yahoo, but only 32 percent for Google. As Facebook emerges, targeting and response rates will likely vary from the other providers. Search success will require the ability to manage all four platforms successfully. (more…)
By Darrell Long | SEO Innovation Lead
Google’s announcement this week of its much-anticipated Disavow Links tool marks a new era for search marketing. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Web spam team, released a video detailing the new tool, why it was launched and its value to brands and marketers. Watch the video here.
The tool is live and can be found here.
What the Disavow Links Tool Offers Marketers
The Disavow tool allows webmasters to inform Google of links pointing to their website they believe are irrelevant to their brand or may be spam.
Google cautions webmasters to use the Disavow Links tool with restraint. Marketers should only use this tool if they have already reviewed their link profile and contacted the hosts of potentially harmful links pointing to their website, requesting removal of the links to no avail. (more…)
Welcome to The Friday Five, curated reads about marketing, advertising and digital media from the team at @MediaWhizLLC. Read previous Friday Five posts here.
Mobile Ads: What Works and What Doesn’t | Wall Street Journal
It’s no secret that there are a lot of bad mobile ads out there. From poor creative to brands not realizing that a consumers’ tiny smartphone screen isn’t the best place to use detailed copy in an ad, the number of bad mobile ads seems outweigh the good ones. But as this Wall Street Journal article examines, those characteristics are starting to change. Marketers are learning more about how to work around the “fat finger effect” that afflicts smartphone users. And they are also tailoring their mobile ads specifically for users of different smartphones, rather than just scaling them to size.
RELATED: WSJ Article on Mobile Ads Nearly ‘Content Free’ (i2G)
Social Media Proves Value, Gets Budgets | eMarketer
Despite prognostications from naysayers suggesting otherwise, budgets for social media marketing are on the rise, with both B2B and B2C marketers proving they have generated leads and sales from their social outreach, according to eMarketer.
140 Characters of Risk: Some CEOs Fear Twitter | Wall Street Journal
“CEOs should accept that social media is part of their job description.” That’s the prognosis of this Wall Street Journal analysis of Twitter use by Fortune 500 CEOs. Despite having been around for more than five years, some CEOs still don’t see the value of Twitter or are leery of using the social network. But in an era when consumers expect transparency from brands and their executives, those fears may be misplaced and potentially damaging to a company’s bottom line, reports The Wall Street Journal. (more…)
By Keith Trivitt | @KeithTrivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
Editor’s note: The following post was originally published in iMedia Connection.
Google has always been a search marketing dynamo. It has literally invented or made mainstream several well-known search functions, including autocomplete of search terms and the basic structure of search-based online advertising that is used today. So it should come as no surprise that in its seemingly never-ending race to one-up its competitors, it has recently introduced or improved two critical functions of its search business:
The latter isn’t an earth-shattering announcement. Google launched voice search for both desktop and mobile platforms in 2011 and now serves dozens of languages. This latest update, according to Direct Marketing News, adds languages from various European markets, including Swedish, European Portuguese and Finnish, along with regional tongues such as Basque, Catalan, and Galician. The company said in a blog post that the addition of those newly added languages will add nearly 100 million people to its voice search function.
It’s the integration of Gmail into search results that has generated the most intrigue. Industry reaction to the announcement varied. Some said it wasn’t that big of a deal, while others called it “interesting and creepy.” (more…)
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
As digital marketing professionals, we work with a wide range of clients. Some are Fortune 500s and some are mid-tier businesses trying to compete in tough markets. The latter of these can be considered “challenger brands” for two reasons: contending with the industrial strength heavy hitters can be daunting for them; and positioning these brands to stand head to head with the top players can be difficult for marketers.
So what is the solution to effectively grow the market share of these challenger brands while improving their online positioning?
Turning a challenger brand into a market leader requires following a specific five-step process. Each step builds on the one before it resulting in a continuous cycle — a cycle of growth and efficiency.
Let’s review the steps:
- Conduct a market analysis of your client’s vertical.
- Dig into their competitors using Competitive Intelligence (CI).
- Audit your client’s program and baseline.
- Create efficiency through optimization.
- Use the room you created to test and drive growth.
Rinse and repeat.
By properly leveraging this cycle, you can take a brand that is spending significantly less than its competitors and incrementally increase its market share through growth and efficiency tactics. (more…)
By Adam Riff | @AdamRiff | SVP, Digital Strategy
I’m excited to report that MediaWhiz’s award-winning search marketing division continues to win accolades from the digital media and marketing industry. MediaWhiz is among nine full-service digital agencies ranked in the 2012 Direct Marketing News “Ultimate SEM Services and Products Guidebook.”
DMNews listed agencies across various categories, including total number of Google-certified staff; the number of dedicated search marketing staff within the agency; the percentage of an agency’s work dedicated to direct response marketing versus branding; and other relevant metrics.
MediaWhiz is the only agency in the Guidebook that DMNews verified capabilities across every search marketing service category.
According to the DMNews Guidebook, our level of service and capabilities is unparalleled in the search marketing industry. Our ROI turnaround time for clients of one to three months is rated by DMNews as one of the best in the industry.
With expertise and capabilities across all facets of search marketing, MediaWhiz is a recognized leader in search engine marketing. Advertising Age also recently ranked MediaWhiz as the No. 11 search marketing agency in the U.S.
The keys to MediaWhiz’s search marketing success come from a deep understanding and respect for the new realities of digital marketing. (more…)