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.

Parse.ly: Search Overtakes Social (Again) As Referral Source For Major Publishers

parsely-search-social-referrers It's kinda like a heavyweight fight, only without the really expensive pay-per-view and the sweaty athletes filling your big screen TV. Search and social media are duking it out for supremacy as the top source of referral traffic to some of the biggest publishers on the web. New data from Parse.ly -- a content analytics platform that counts Reuters, Mashable, Slate, The Next Web and many others among its clients -- shows that search retook the lead from social media as the top source of referral traffic in March of this year. Its publishers saw 32.8 percent of its traffic coming from [...]


What Can Keyword Planner Tell Us About Mobile Search Behavior?

mobile-devices-screens-featured If you were to ask the question posed by the title of this article a month ago, the answer would be: nothing. Unfortunately, when Google sunsetted the Keyword Tool and replaced it with Keyword Planner in July of last year, one of the things marketers lost was the ability to see traffic by device. But mobile keywords are back! Well, sort of, as it's not exactly what we had before. If you haven't heard, Google recently added nine new features to Keyword Planner, including the ability to see percentage of search volume by device. This allows us to do some pretty cool things to optimize for [...]


VIDEO + SLIDESHOW: What’s Next For Paid Search Marketing?

What's Next For Search Marketing? image courtesy of Shutterstock.com 2013 was a year of big changes for search marketers, from the launch of Google's Enhanced Campaigns and PLAs, to new cross-channel retargeting options, advances in real-time bidding and new ad formats. Paid search is still the most effective and measurable digital ad medium, and in 2014, it will become more closely linked with display, mobile and social, and with offline marketing tactics. The coming year will see Big Data transform paid search, enabling advanced audience-based targeting for the first time. Below, watch the keynote presentation Looking Forward: What's Next For Paid Searc [...]


360i Claims Its New Search Optimization Tool Removes Mystery Around AdWords Quality Scores

360i-agency-logo Digital marketing agency 360i announced today it has launched a search marketing tool to monitor paid search campaigns. 360i claims its new Digital Nervous System, or DNS, can help marketers better understand their brand's Quality Score assigned by Google, and adjust their campaigns for better results. "There are already scores of optimization tools that enable teams to work faster," said 360i president Jared Belsky, "But what was missing was a technology that unlocks Quality Score - the central nervous system of Google's auction." According to the announcement, 360i's new platform re [...]


Google Courts App Marketers With New AdWords Features For Search, Display, YouTube

App install ad YouTube TrueView ads Today, Google announced new efforts to entice app marketers in a livestream event at the AdWords Performance Forum. Google has offered advertising options for app marketers both through AdWords and its mobile ad network AdMob. Now it is aiming to compete more forcefully for app ad dollars and rely on that growing bank of data it's got stored up in Google Play. Google is unifying ad processes for app marketers with what it calls a "holistic solution" that can be managed within AdWords and adding new formats that allow app marketers to advertise on search, the Google Display Network and  [...]


VIDEO + SLIDESHOW: The SEO Revolution Will Not Be Televised

seo-600 Search engine optimization has been in a state of constant flux since birth. While many of the trends and changes have received broad attention in the field, others have gone quietly unnoticed. The tactics that work, the KPIs that matter, the way searchers search, and who is practicing SEO has subtly changed not with a bang, but with a whimper. Watch the keynote presentation, The SEO Revolution Will Not Be Televised given by Rand Fishkin at Marketing Land's Digital Marketing Summit, as he explores the quiet revolution of SEO and how it will impact marketers in 2014. The SEO Revolution [...]


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 [...]


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