Search Marketing is the process of acquiring traffic or customers via search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.

Search marketing generally involves two disciplines: SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing).

The former focuses on acquiring customers via visibility in natural/organic search results, and the latter focuses on acquiring customers by placing paid ads on search result pages.

Marketing Land covers major search marketing news and strategic advice in the area. Our sister-site, Search Engine Land provides in-depth news coverage, analysis and lots of tips and tactics.

Study: Integrated Search & Social Ads Double Conversion Rates & Lift Revenue Rates 26%

Marin Software logo In a new study evaluating search and social advertising campaigns, Marin Software confirmed paid search and social campaigns perform better when integrated, delivering double the conversion rates and a 26 percent increase in revenue per click. Based on data from Marin's Global Online Advertising Index, the study found customers who clicked on both search and social ads had approximately two times greater conversion rate and spent twice as much than users who only clicked on a search ad. Looking at users who only clicked on social ads, Marin saw conversion and revenue rates more than qua [...]


Report: Advertiser Revenue From Facebook Ads Rose 191 Percent YoY, 12 Percent From Paid Search

Search vs Social Trends Q1 Kenshoo Advertisers saw revenue from Facebook advertising shoot up 191 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014, while paid search drove revenue increases of 12 percent on the year. That's according to Kenshoo's quarterly look at ad campaigns run through the platform. A new infographic shows both paid search and Facebook advertising experienced strong year-over-year growth in the first quarter of 2014. Seasonal dips from Q4 were expected after coming off a strong holiday retail season. [caption id="attachment_80279" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Source: Kenshoo Q1 2014 Search & [...]


­How To Succeed With Content Marketing In Organic Search

young woman preso_shutterstock_176222933 Say you have a presentation with a very powerful message about the mission of your brand. You're qualified to speak on the subject matter because you live and breathe it -- and your audience cares, because what you do makes a difference in their lives. Your goal is to get this message in front of as many people as you can. So you sign up to talk at professional organizations, networking events, industry conferences, small groups of decision-makers and so on. After years of giving this presentation, you realize that there's one particular group of people who represent the most opportunity [...]


In A Mobile World, Not All Mobile Performs Equally For Advertisers

bing ads clickers It seems that every time I ride the elevator at my office building, every one of my fellow riders has a mobile device out -- checking e-mail, making a restaurant reservation, even booking a trip... Whether I'm at bus stop, in line at Starbucks or dining in the cafeteria, almost everyone I see is peering at a mobile device. This trend is not simply anecdotal. According to eMarketer, global smartphone users will top 1.75 billion in 2014, close to one quarter of the world's population, and growth will continue on a fast-paced trajectory through 2017. Mobile smartphone adoption is occurring [...]


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 [...]


177 Car Maker Sites Vied For Ad Supremacy On Google In Jan & Feb, Driving 14 Million Clicks To Their Sites

car-ads-adwords Paid search is attractive to luxury and economy car manufacturers alike. Jaguarusa.com and Scion.com were among the 177 automotive manufacturer sites that competed for visibility on Google with paid search ads in January and February. The ads drove 14.4 million clicks -- and that's just on desktops and tablets. The new analysis from search marketing intelligence Adgooroo shows similar levels of competition among car makers on mobile devices. If the pie chart below looks like a data-presentation-gone-wrong mess, that's the point. Adgooroo's chart underscores the fragmented reality of the hig [...]


Infographics & Visual Storytelling: How To Do It The Right Way

SearchEngineLand-Periodic-Table-of-SEO-2013-medium When Jay-Z released "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)" back in 2009, he took it upon himself to "draw [a] line in the sand." He pointed out that auto-tune had become a victim of its own success, with everyone jumping on the bandwagon and many artists using it as a crutch or a gimmick rather than a way of taking music to new and innovative directions. It was a polarizing yet seminal moment in Hip-Hop culture. The Problem With Infographics The marketing industry is having a similar moment with infographics. Over the last few years, infographics have become one of the most popular ways to build i [...]


3 Insightful Ways To Visualize Your Keyword Data

Data Vizu Over the past year, I have come across more and more fancy-looking graphs and charts in the online marketing space. This is most likely because strategists, analysts and executives are getting more savvy in general, but also because there are more and more easy-to-use analytics packages out on the market. Although this is great, this analysis is often times very high-level and informational. It's sometimes hard to understand the bottom line. Whatever analytics package you or your team currently uses, I want to share a couple of ways you can look at your keyword data in SEM. I have [...]


Mobile Will Be Primary Channel For Paid Search By End Of 2015 [Study]

mobile-devices-featured Looking at current trends, Marin Software predicts more paid search clicks will come from mobile devices than desktops by the end of next year. By December of 2013, mobile accounted for more than a third of all paid search clicks on Google. By the end of 2015, mobile devices will drive 50 percent of Google's paid search clicks, according to the 2014 mobile search advertising report published by Marin Software today. Smartphone paid search ad clicks nearly doubled throughout 2013 and accounted for just over 20 percent of total click share. The Marin study looks at Google performanc [...]


The Key To Growth Hacking: Never Stop Testing

never stop trying I'm often asked by business owners about online marketing best practices. They want to know what will help them gain an advantage over their competition or simply drive more leads and more sales. They often want to look better than their competitors, rank higher in search engines and pay less for advertising. The answer I give them isn't necessarily what they want to hear, but it is fundamental to their success. Don't Stop Growing, Don't Stop Experimenting The key to digital success and growth hacking is to never give up. That seems like a simple tip -- but more often than not, compa [...]


How To Use LinkedIn Company Pages For Search, Social & Reputation Management

Use LinkedIn Signal We social media marketers frequently preach that simply having a profile on social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn is not enough to be successful. While this is true -- and I highly encourage my clients to maintain active pages for their businesses on social networking sites -- it's also worth discussing the inherent value in simply being present. I used to think LinkedIn was only useful to job seekers and head hunters. So naïve. I also used to deny the fact that LinkedIn was a form of social media. Silly girl. For any business, LinkedIn provides a mountain of opportunity for maximizing a [...]


Google Calls It Quits On Brand Banner Ad Test In Search Results

Google Brand Banner Ads test ended Google has ended last fall's test involving large brand banner ads on Google.com. Amit Singhal, Google's head of search, confirmed the experiment was over in his keynote at SMX West in San Jose, California yesterday. Google started the test in October 2013 with roughly 30 brands. The banners ads appeared at the top of brand search results in the U.S. only and for just a small subset of searches. Singhal did not go into detail about what constituted failure in this test, but its possible the click-through rates on the banners were lower than desired. Additionally, when the branded banners di [...]


5 Steps To An Integrated Approach To SEO-Friendly Content Marketing

puzzle The content explosion and the search engines’ shift toward meaning-based content in 2013 has led to a tipping of the scales in the opposite direction from where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was before Panda and Penguin. Gone are the days of black hat practices like keyword stuffing and paid linking schemes that resulted in a bad user experience and little focus on content quality. While the increased focus on quality has created a better user experience, now the challenge of the marketer is to integrate SEO best practices into the content creation process. User-friendly conten [...]


Boost Your Social Strategy With SEO Data

social media We all know that a great social strategy can help your SEO efforts -- gaining visibility and shares, helping create relationships, etc. -- but thinking about things the other way around is a little bit trickier. In other words, can you use your SEO data to help improve your social media strategy? Although this method isn't quite as popular amongst small business owners, it absolutely can help. Your SEO data is full of interesting facts and trends about your audience and your online visibility, all of which can help improve your social efforts. One man who is very knowledgeable as to t [...]


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 [...]


What Marketers Need To Know About Mobile Usage During Holiday 2013

Graph1marketingLandArticle2.7.14 If Santa hasn't already gotten himself a smartphone, it's about time he did. With US smartphone penetration now at nearly 65%, there is nary a name on his nice or naughty list that isn't addicted to their handheld technology. And this year, shoppers turned to their devices en masse to help them navigate the gifting season. Year-over-year, we saw an 86% increase in retail-related mobile search activity on the xAd mobile-location platform during the holiday season. From big box retailers to local boutiques, advertisers understood the opportunity in mobile and planned accordingly this year. [...]


4 Things Online Marketers Should Know About User Experience (UX)

browse-ask-search Many people like to use the term user experience as a reason to justify their website design, development, search engine optimization (SEO) and content decisions. Why are we migrating to a responsive design? Because it's good for the user experience. Why are we implementing structured data? Because it's good for the searcher experience. Why do we have to create a blog and write new posts every day? Because it's good for the user experience. Why are we decreasing the download time of our web documents? Because it's good for the user experience... and it's good for search engine rankings, too [...]


Grow In-Store Visits From Smartphones For Better Traffic From Google Mobile

mobile-devices-featured We know 2013 was the year that Google finally started to improve the smartphone search experience, warning webmasters and marketers about things that make a site less usable for smartphone users -- like Flash, faulty redirects, slow loading pages and so on.   I know sites can be difficult for mobile searchers to use, regardless of whether they're dedicated mobile sites, dynamic serving, or responsive web design -- so let's focus instead on what we can do to improve the mobile searcher experience on our sites.  I'll be suggesting ways to improve the mobile searcher experience througho [...]


10 Big Brands That Were Penalized By Google, From Rap Genius To The BBC

google-flyswatter-penalty-600 It's been a busy year already with big brands getting hit by Google penalties. First came Rap Genius, slammed so hard that you couldn't find it for its own name. Then came Expedia's suspected penalty that may have hurt its traffic. But these are also a familiar tune. Big brand violates Google's rules, gets in trouble but ultimately returns to Google's good graces with what may seem a virtual wrist-slap. Below, in reverse chronological order, is a list of major brands that have been hit by Google penalties over the years for various reasons. Some violations weren't even intentional. 10 [...]


Selling Search & Social To The CEO: Measure Business Outcomes

Altimeter Group Social Survey If you were one of those children that sold lemonade under a homemade stand (or, like me, sold lawn-mowing services), business was pretty simple. All it took was the product or service, the flash of a toothless smile or a knock on the door, and your weekly allowance began to grow. If only digital marketing were this easy. Let's say that back then, you needed a cash advance from your parents in order to stock up on startup supplies. And let's say in order to get this loan, you promised your parents you'd pay them back within 30 days. In this example, your parents probably don't need t [...]


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