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.

Rakuten’s Quarterly Report Shows Growth On All Fronts, With Mobile Commerce Up 87%

rakuten-r-logo Based on its 2014 2Q results, Rakuten Marketing has experienced year-over-year growth on all fronts, including mobile, search and affiliate marketing. The company reported mobile phone orders in its affiliate channel have increased 87 percent in the US. Rakuten also saw international mobile commerce growth, with the UK up 117 percent, Canada 197 percent, Japan 32 percent, and Australia 28 percent. Rakuten claims tablet orders increased 21 percent in the US, 37 percent in the UK, 157 percent in Canada and 55 percent in Japan. According to the report, Rakuten's search side of busine [...]


Reports Show Paid Search Spend Is Up Over Last Year

color_graph_going_up_shutterstock Second quarter reports coming out from the large search marketing firms this week point to continued growth in paid search investment in the US and globally. The reports also underscore the increasing influence of mobile and image-based product ads on growth. RKG's analysis of the US search market, based on its client portfolio, which skews retail, showed Q2 spend increased by 23 percent year-over-year, with investments on both Google and Bing rising. Google spend grew 24 percent year-over-year with a 13 percent increase in click volume and CPCs rising by 10 percent. Bing Ads spend rose [...]


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 New Shopper Marketing Paradigm Part 3: Solving the Digital Paradox Of Performance

shutterstock_129636221-warehouse Return On Ad Spend, or ROAS, is a wonderful metric of digital media, but it is ultimately a measure of an acceptable cost of advertising. The real goal for product manufacturers is volume – to actually see a rise in orders shipping out of the factory. When something really works at scale, you don’t need fancy metrics to know. But most consumer product brands want to take baby steps into digital, or at least into new digital media opportunities. Modest budgets can generate incremental sales, but it will probably be hard to actually “feel” the incremental sales among the larger oce [...]


Merkle Acquires RKG To Form Largest Search Ad Agency In US

RKG logo screen capture July 2014 Customer relationship management firm Merkle Inc. announced today it has acquired search agency RKG, creating what the two companies claim is now the largest independent search agency in the U.S. “RKG represents the best of breed in search, display, social and other digital media marketing solutions, and we are delighted to have them join the Merkle family," said Merkle's executive vice president and digital agency group leader Craig Dempster. According to an announcement on Merkle's website, RKG’s expertise and penetration in retail and other key markets were a big draw for Merkle, [...]


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 [...]


4 Data-Driven Tips For A Successful Mobile Marketing Plan

mobile-devices-trends Mobile marketing is coming into its own. With the 2013 mobile e-commerce market valued at $43 billion and mobile traffic making up nearly 50% of site visits in the first quarter of 2014, the savviest retailers -- e-commerce, brick-and-mortar and omni-channel alike -- are investing in building out dedicated mobile marketing teams and capabilities. These numbers come from the Custora E-Commerce Pulse Mobile Report, soon to be published by Custora (disclosure: my employer). These metrics and others hint at the size of the opportunity for marketing teams that are able to harness the power [...]


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 [...]


New Study Charts Influence Of Facebook Ad Spend On Paid Search Conversions

Following up on last year's study that found increased Facebook advertising yielded higher paid search conversions, Kenshoo released new data and a formula for determining the ideal Facebook spend required to move the needle on paid search. The study, conducted by Kenshoo and commissioned by Facebook, analyzed the paid search performance of data services company, Experian, in which some segments were exposed to Facebook advertising while others saw paid search ads only. For the three groups also exposed to Facebook advertising, on average, total conversions increased by 19 percent, conv [...]


Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Influencer Campaign Backfires: Another High-Profile Example Of Why Details Matter

Another case of poor marketing campaign execution is making waves this morning, with news that an agency has been soliciting paid posts on behalf of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. TechCrunch founder, Michael Arrington, posted a solicitation from advocate marketing agency, Socialchorus, to: "collaborate on a sponsored post opportunity for Internet Explorer... If you accept our invitation to work on this program, we would like for you to write a blog post by July 10th, in addition to sharing links to the new Internet Explorer across your social channels. Compensation for this post is availabl [...]


100+ Questions You Must Ask When Developing A Web Site

business-people-asking-questions-shutterstock As a long-time web marketer (since 1998 -- that's like 160 internet years!), I'm a bit of a stickler for things that impact my online marketing efforts. Aside from actual on-page optimization and linking efforts, there is nothing that impacts a site's performance more than the development and design. In fact, a site with excellent on-page optimization and strong linking will always suffer under a poorly coded site architecture and/or design. All too often, businesses come to us after the site has already been designed and coded. We then charge the client hundreds, if not thousands of dol [...]


Up Close @ SMX Advanced: Rethinking Retargeting

Rethinking Retargeting Session at SMX Advanced Retargeting is one of the most effective techniques in paid search and display advertising. The concept is straightforward. The site owner puts a piece of code on their site or on certain pages on their site. When a visitor lands on the page with the code, the visitor is “tagged” with a cookie. If the visitor then leaves the site, they may later see ads about the site so the site owner gets a second chance to convert the visitor. The reason retargeting is so effective is that with retargeting you only target users that have visited your site so they are already familiar with your bra [...]


How Trademark Worries Block “World Cup” Ads On Google

worldcup The World Cup is one of the most popular events in the world, far surpassing the popularity of the Super Bowl, with millions of fans tuning in throughout the month-long tournament. Soccer (football, to most) fans have already begun turning to Google for World Cup information, and search volume will continue to surge once play gets underway on June 12. Ironically, in what would seem to be a boon for the ad-driven search engine, the large percentage of "World Cup" results on Google.com will show no ads at all. Google's Keyword Tool in AdWords hints at the revenue potential for the sear [...]


The New Shopper Marketing Paradigm, Part 2: Measuring Impact For Product Brands

shutterstock_196202399-new-shopping Consumer product marketers have long had to operate under the assumption that direct sales attribution, while an ultimate goal, is largely unobtainable and that marketing success must be judged through predictive modeling and sophisticated estimation. The exception is when brands decide to operate their own stores or e-commerce sites, where they can use and measure direct response tactics to drive traffic and purchases. However, the vast majority of product brands either do not have their own stores, or they operate a small e-commerce site that serves as the brand backbone but carefully [...]


Wearables, Connected Homes, Mobile & The Future Of Analytics

connected-devices The world around us is changing at speeds never seen before. Mobile devices are collecting countless levels of data through innovative technologies like motion coprocessors, gyrometers, GPS, ambient light sensors, application analytics and more.  Consumers are now connecting their physical bodies to electronic devices such as Fitbit and other health monitors. We are also seeing a huge increase in the number of “smart” homes equipped with connected lighting, air conditioning, all the way to internet-connected refrigerators. All this is on top of the numerous connected devices alread [...]


3 Ways To Change Your Thinking About Display Ads & Move Out Of Your Comfort Zone

display-ad-here-featured We have all seen it: marketers deeply loyal to “last click attribution” and the comfort zone it brings along with it. With a last-click mindset, they have focused on maximizing their search marketing volume via Paid Search and SEO until the query supply is maxed out. These marketers also use remarketing (another comfort zone), with proven intent similar to search queries, as well as similar success metrics such as return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and effective cost per acquisition (eCPA). But once these three channels are maxed out, what can marketers do to continue to ramp business? Getti [...]


Is AdSense For Mobile Apps Ruining Your Google Display Network Results?

Device-clicks Have you checked your Google Display Network (GDN) campaign placements recently? If the answer is no, then I would take a look ASAP -- chances are, you're appearing on a hell of a lot of apps now, and you might need to make some adjustments to your campaign in order to improve your results. The Issue Eighty percent (80%) of people's time on their mobile device is spent in an app now, and this has caused a significant shift in the traffic available on the Google Display Network via different devices. We all know that there's been a big shift in the amount of time people spend on mobile de [...]


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 [...]


New Display Research: State Of The Industry Retargeting Report #4

soti-retargeting-q2-2014-chango The fourth edition of the State of The Industry Retargeting Report has just been published and with some surprising results. With the support of Digiday, the survey (conducted by my employer) received responses from 333 agency executives and 117 brand executives; questions covered site retargeting, paid social marketing and mobile marketing. Paid Social (FBX, Twitter Tailored Audiences and LinkedIn) has shot onto the scene relatively recently; yet, respondents reported having their own dedicated budgets for them and reported this channel as their path to solving the problem of connecting [...]


Adobe’s Media Optimizer And Analytics Updates Include New Predictive Modeling Capabilities

adobe-logo-180px Adobe made several product announcements at its customer Adobe Summit EMEA in London today relating to its Media Optimizer and Analytics products. The company updated the predictive modeling algorithms used by Media Optimizer for campaign optimization across channels. With the integration of Adobe Analytics providing a direct flow of data into Media Optimizer, the modeling is able to provide recommendations based on visitor engagement data on keywords that haven't converted, for example. Adobe says the new predictive modeling has been shown to increase search campaign performance by up to 2 [...]


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