What’s new and interesting in the world of search marketing? What role should search play in your overall marketing plan? Our expert contributors weigh in.

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10 Lies You Should Never Believe From SEO “Gurus”

shutterstock_178473206-snakeoil While the days of the snake oil salesman are long behind us, we're still plagued by people out to make a quick buck at our expense. As business owners, it's sometimes not apparent when a charlatan is trying to wheedle money from us, especially when it relates to something we don't know much about. Take search engine optimization (SEO). While it's generally accepted that a well-run SEO campaign is an essential part of any online marketing strategy, many business owners still aren't really clear on how to improve their search rankings; and so, they turn to supposed experts for help. The pr [...]


The Future Of Paid Search (From A Data Perspective)

future-computer-woman-shutterstock Over the past five years, the media buying world has changed dramatically. The incredible advances in adTech (Advertising Technology) and consumer electronics have opened up the doors for never-before-seen targeting and measurement capabilities. Especially in the field of programmatic and audience-based buying, we have made progress at a rate that has even outpaced consumer behavior. As I've mentioned previously, we know more about our consumers today than we can leverage without creeping them out. So how has this inside knowledge changed marketers' online ad-buying behavior? Histor [...]


Prepare For Future Search: SEO For The Connected Home(Kit)

connected-devices My wife called me at work last week to let me know that she locked herself out of the house. Oddly enough, she had her phone with her but not her keys. If this had happened six months in the future, I would have never received her call because she would have just unlocked the door with her phone. This is all thanks to a newly announced iOS feature called HomeKit, coming to iPhones and iPads this fall. HomeKit, which premiered earlier this month at Apple's WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference), turns your iPhone or iPad into a remote control for your house, giving you the ability t [...]


Why Your Content-Based SEO Strategy Will Eventually Fail

Sixteen Handles How many channels does the average cable subscriber have access to? Hundreds? Thousands? And how many of those channels do they actually watch -- maybe 10 or 20? Over the past few years, most savvy search engine optimizers (SEOs) have traded in their outdated SEO tactics for a more modern, content-focused strategy. This is great, but make no mistake -- content, even really good content, will eventually fail to drive organic rankings due to the fact that it won't stand out. Consumers can only consume so much content in a day. The quality of content online used to be so low that any bra [...]


Is Our Industry Finally Maturing? Thoughts From Internet Week NY

logo_IWNY_2-bigger For many a year at many a major seasonal conference, seasoned attendees would look around and see no end to the hype. While legitimate, long-standing business themes -- integrated marketing, leveraging your media mix, standards, attribution and allocation and, of course, ecosystem "complexity" -- always get their airtime... we often see sort of a hazy frenzy around a few new bright shiny objects. For a while, that was search, and then social had its day. Then it was mobile. It stayed mobile for a while. Next up, we swirled around programmatic. Then it was Big Data. But, it seems to m [...]


How To Sell Your CEO On Investing More In Search. Hint: It’s About Insights

comScore-Magnetic-Image If you're the CMO of any business, you're likely aware of popular search strategies and how search can take consumers along the purchase journey from intent to action. According to Fleishman-Hillard and Harris Interactive's 2012 Digital Influence Survey, 96% of consumers worldwide indicated that they searched for information about brands or products on the internet, with 89% relying on search engines to help make purchase decisions. comScore has also released data showing that there are billions of searches every month, with 65% happening on search engines. Despite these statistics, c [...]


Vendors, Listen Up! Here’s How Your Marketing Software Can Stand Out

Affiliate Marketing Tools The reality for the modern marketer is that while the discussion about SEO resources (in the form of software and tech tools) may be getting long in the tooth; it continues to occur and evolve as the market itself matures. Companies big, small and in the middle -- not only in search but in digital marketing as a whole -- are dealing with a whole new set of industry demands… and buzzwords. The industry has evolved, and this evolution demands a whole new value proposition from tool makers. Or does it? I’ve just spent the better part of the year evaluating, reviewing and otherwise discu [...]


Your Guide To All Things Hashtag Analytics & Optimization

Diet Coke #ShowYourHeart Campaign Hashtags. You've heard people talk about them, you've seen them on Twitter, but have you added them to your marketing toolbox? If not, let me show you how you can use hashtags to turbocharge your marketing efforts. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57dzaMaouXA[/youtube] #Origins The present use of hashtags dates back to 1988, when early internet users began including them in messages on the popular chat platform IRC. They were used to group messages, images and videos into categories. Hashtags reappeared on Twitter in 2007 when Nate Ritter used the hashtag #sandiegofire at the e [...]


Choosing A Media Agency: Look Inside & Hold Up The Mirror

agency_shutterstock_164258969 In our industry, we are constantly evaluating the way we choose our vendors and agencies. Increasingly, we are applying the same scrutiny, inspection and even introspection to how we choose our clients. Matches made in heaven are rare and certainly not static. The landscape around us is constantly changing, so keeping the evaluation ongoing and tuned to current and future states, is the best way to foster healthy partnerships. I had the pleasure recently of sitting down with a couple of media agency executives to talk about the wisdom and art of choosing the right media agency for your b [...]


Reading Keywords’ Future In Interactive Marketing

shutterstock_120330325-crystalball If you think keywords have any place in the next-generation, digital marketing world, you’d be mistaken. If you haven’t taken notice of recent announcements about keyword restrictions, you really should take a minute or two and have a look. Right now, Google is moving away from providing third parties with the depth of data it once did. With the change, advertisers will be more dependent on Google itself for data. The once laughed off “never gonna happen to search ads” comparison to organic Not Provided is suddenly less funny. As is often the case, search marketers focus on wh [...]


The Fatal Mistake Content Marketers Are Making With Nofollow

shutterstock_182841941-RIPContentMktg RIP, content marketing. Thanks to Google's algorithm updates and quality guidelines that require paid links to include a nofollow tag, there's simply no value any more in online promotions for brands and agencies. After all, if a sponsored link can no longer provide a direct PageRank boost, what's the point? Everyone knows the only reason to bother promoting a brand online is for the improved search engine rankings. Did you detect a hint of sarcasm there? I hope so, because when marketers focus too much of their attention on search engine optimization (SEO), they lose sight of the big pi [...]


The Slipperiest Search Campaign Ever

ky date night ad There are a lot slick opportunities out there in search marketing. The wheels of progress have never been greasier. Yep, since people first started paying to be included in search results, a lot of smooth transactions have taken place. Yet, for a whole lot of good reasons, search lacks certain criteria for brand building. Over the years, more than a few studies have measured engagement, and many brands have attempted to overcome the very simple transactional relationship search advertising has with its pay-for-clickers. Paid search does not exist in a creative void. The process of entici [...]


Beyond SEM: When You’ve Maxed Your Search Ads, What’s Next?

brick-wall-300x187 Advertisers frequently tell me, “If you can hit my CPA target, my SEM budget is unlimited!” This is great in theory but often limited in practice — at some point, there simply are no more new keywords, or landing page tweaks, or ad text tests that can increase an advertiser’s SEM spend. Two years ago, maxing out on SEM resulted in a virtual dead-end for online marketing growth simply because other channels could not come close to the CPAs achievable in SEM. Today, the landscape of profitable online marketing channels goes beyond SEM and is expanding daily. In this article, I’d [...]


For Product Brands, Paid Search On Retailers’ Sites Pays Off

google.retailer.search Last year, Google made what was to some a surprising announcement: its previously free Google Product Search would become Google Shopping, which would ask a fee of product brands and retailers that wanted to be included in new Product Listing Ads. I can't say that I disagree with Google's decision. The company has hit on a solid way to increase both its revenue and its visibility as a retail platform, and the shift to pay-to-play has been considered successful -- particularly for Google, but for e-commerce retailers as well. It's less beneficial to product brands. Shoppers get on Goo [...]


7 Ways Google Glass Will Change Search, And How It Should Change Your Marketing

google-glass-model-featured It's official. Google Glass will be openly available for purchase later this year. That means two things: Expect to see a lot of new Glassers soon, and it's time to start thinking about how such technology will change the way consumers search. Below, we’ll take a look at seven areas likely to be affected and how you can prepare: 1. Death To 10 Blue Links A search on Glass won't return a page with 10 blue links, rather it'll use info cards: As you can see from the screenshot above, you can only view one info card at a time. To move to the next card, you need to s [...]


Growth Hacking Is Bull, Part 2

Internet Marketing "Accounting is a department. Marketing isn't. Marketing is something everyone in your company is doing 24/7/365." Fried, Jason, and David Heinemeier. Hansson. Rework. New York: Crown Business, 2010. 193. Print. Unadulterated Growth Hacking In response to my article Growth Hacking is Bull, Sean Ellis provided some background on how he came about the term back in 2010. Anyone claiming to be a growth hacker today must read Sean's definition of the term because it strips much of the bull away from how the term is abused today. If you understand the message, what he really means by "hire a [...]


Say No To Commercial Creep In Search Results

search_Marketers You've read all the guidelines. You've hired experts to determine the morally correct and righteous path. You've watched the endless hours of Matt Cutts videos on YouTube. You pay experts thousands of dollars a month to make sure your search efforts are optimized safely and accurately. You work within the confines of the assumed moral high ground of the company that doesn't do evil. You've spent countless hours analyzing content for trends in interest to make sure your information matches searcher intent. You have invested heavily in technology to help monitor positions, have spent what see [...]


Growth Hacking Is Bull

2014-01-04_1230 Doing SEO, SEM or social media marketing isn't "growth hacking." It's just marketing. Problem is some marketers & start-ups don't get that. — Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 4, 2014 The phrase "growth hacking" upsets me more than I should let it. Why? Because it takes me back to 2007, when I was about to graduate from college and start my career in online marketing -- the same year Jason Calacanis started his highly-publicized crusade against the online marketing industry and, in particular, against professionals specializing in SEO and social media. The whole thing was no [...]


All I Want For Christmas…Is Bing Ads?

bing-2013-logo-featured As of November, Google garners just under 67% of the market for search. One would expect the distribution of budgets within a PPC portfolio would be in line with market share. The reality is quite the contrary: more often than not, AdWords represents closer to 85-90% of the budget and gets 95% of the internal resources, leaving Bing Ads as an afterthought. I can certainly understand why AdWords deserves the lion’s share of resources; however, 30% is quite the spicy meatball to push under the rug. Think about where your resources are going -- one of the biggest opportunities in your PPC [...]


Facebook’s Flawed News Feed Bumping & The Rebirth Of Bad Content

An old post and orange suit from December 2006 Personally speaking, I have no problem that Facebook is making changes to the news feed. I also have no problem that it has started story bumping. But I do fundamentally have a problem with how the company is doing this. Bringing Missed Content Back to Life What Facebook is trying to achieve is actually not a bad thing. I miss content all the time. It happens. So if that piece is popular among my friends, then, truth be told, I do probably want to see it. That being said, story bumping in its current form is majorly flawed. Why? Because of this post from October 16th at 5:27PM [caption [...]


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