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.

Yelp Advertisers Now Able To Promote Transactions Directly From Yelp Business Listings

yelp-logo Yelp announced a new Call to Action feature today that allows business owners to promote specific transactions directly on their Yelp business listing. In an attempt to increase potential revenue for advertisers, the new Call to Action feature enables a link within an advertiser's business listing that will take consumers to the website where the transaction can be completed. The sample below shows a 'Reserve Now' Call to Action button, but advertisers can choose whatever transaction they prefer. According to the announcement, Ticketmaster was one of the first Yelp advertisers to tak [...]

Digital Advertising Agencies 2013: A Buyer’s Guide

Many marketers opt to work with an agency to manage some or all of their digital marketing initiatives. But unless they have established relationships, it's sometimes difficult to know which agencies are reliable and are a good fit with other key stakeholders in the overall process. Our sister site, Digital Marketing Depot can help if you're evaluating an agency, offering a completely updated version of Digital Advertising Agencies 2013: A Buyer’s Guide. The report draws from primary and secondary research sources, including industry associations and publications, top-level executives at [...]

BrightEdge’s $42.8 Million In Funding To Go Toward Company’s Content Marketing Solutions

content-marketing-featured SEO and content marketing company BrightEdge has raised $42.8 million in Series D funding led by venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners, along with investments from Intel Capital, Battery Ventures, Altos Ventures and Illuminate Ventures. Originally an SEO company, BrightEdge says the newly raised funds will go toward building out their content marketing solutions. BrightEdge's existing S3 platform is a content marketing tool that allows users to evaluate how their content influences traffic, engagement and revenue. With customized dashboards, recommendations and analysis, the platfor [...]

DNI – What Mobile Search Marketers Need To Know About Online-Offline Attribution

With the rise in mobile marketing, measuring the online-offline attribution of a mobile search campaign has only increased in complexity. Most marketers today are making valiant efforts to track all secondary actions – from phone calls and driving directions to map and reservations look ups – but tracking a call back to the specific mobile search campaign that drove it is not as simple when working with a high volume of campaigns. As a result, dynamic number insertion (DNI) is one of the key online-offline attribution tools mobile marketers should have in their toolkit. With DNI, pho [...]

Leveraging Advertising Data For Behavioral Insights

image002 With marketing becoming increasingly programmatic, it is important to leverage every possible metric that can provide insights into customer behavior. For digital marketers, this usually means analyzing site traffic data; but, advertising data can also be used to great value in behavioral analytics. In this article, I show one example of this type of analysis along with the results. Distribution Of Click-To-Conversion Time A metric common in all forms of digital advertising is click-to-conversion time, also known as conversion delay, which is the delay between when the ad was clicked to w [...]

5 Keys To Improve The Marketing & Finance Relationship

[caption id="attachment_46777" align="alignright" width="240"] Kris is to Kim as Marketing is to FinanceImage via Shutterstock[/caption] Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries were a disaster from the start – a failed marriage that never had a chance. He, a naive, budding basketball player who followed his heart more than his mind and fell in love with Kim. She, a for-no-good-reason celeb trying to make a quick buck and keep herself in the spotlight with no emotional investment in Kris. They went together like oil and water, like fire and ice, like a head of digital marketing and a CFO. [...]

Former iProspect Leader Rob Murray Appointed Skyword President

Rob Murray [caption id="attachment_46692" align="alignright" width="196"] Skyword's new president, Rob Murrary[/caption] Content marketing and production solution provider Skyword has appointed veteran search marketer Rob Murray as their new president. Before joining Skyword, Murray held various leadership roles for digital marketing company iProspect, serving as the company's global president since 2009. According to a release on Skyword's site, Murray will be charged with expanding Skyword on a global level. "Rob brings extensive digital marketing leadership experience to his new role at Skyword [...]

SEOMoz Undergoes Major Rebrand – Changes Name To Moz & Launches New Analytics Software

Moz Roger Search engine and social optimization software provider SEOMoz announced today they are undergoing a major rebranding initiative and changing their name to Moz, in addition to launching their newest software solution Moz Analytics. According to Moz CEO Rand Fishkin, the company has evolved beyond an SEO software company, now offering a more broad set of marketing tools. "While SEO remains a key part of our product," says Fishkin in a release announcing the company's name change, "It's no longer transparent or authentic to say we're purely an SEO software company.” Not only is SEOmoz no [...]

New Tools Bring Major Changes To Mobile SEO

adwords device filter rip I know I said I would have mobile SEO case studies this month, but I’m postponing that a  month so I can discuss two tools that will soon turn the mobile SEO world on its head: Google Keyword Planner and Bright Edge Mobile SEO. Google Keyword Planner I’ve spent a lot of time in this column talking about how mobility changes search behavior and how marketers can do mobile keyword research to take advantage of the differences (when they exist, and they don’t always) between keywords entered on mobile devices and those entered on desktops and laptops. Since early 2009, the Google Keywor [...]

An Open Letter On “Super Firm” Failure And Composure

Disclaimer:  All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real businesses, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Failure is a key part of success, or at least an important step on the road to becoming successful. When the still-young search industry witnesses a failure of any kind, it seems to revel in exploiting the collapse for personal gain, personal indulgence and the ability to say, "I told you so." Without getting into names and details that will only initiate more drama and, dare I say, schadenfreude, I've noticed an overabundance of loony behavi [...]

5 Surprising Facts On Quality Score Change

In the paid search world, ad rank and average cost per click (CPC) are determined by three factors: your own bid (max CPC), your competitors’ bids, and a numeric representation of ad relevance known as quality score. This quality score acts as a modifier, making it possible for an ad with higher “quality” to outrank a competitor’s ad at a lower bid. While the relationship between bids is straightforward to understand, quality score is much more opaque, being affected by many factors such as click-through rate (CTR), keyword and ad copy relevance, quality of landing page, etc. Man [...]

Google Glass Isn’t A Segway, It’s Gordon Gekko’s Cell Phone

Gordon Gecko's phone Now that Google Glass devices are making it out into the real world through Glass Explorers, the debate has started. Are these things just an expensive joke? A device like a Segway that seemed cool but never took off as some expected? I'd say no, and I'll draw from the TV series "Arrested Development" and movie "Wall Street" to help explain why. It's The Next Segway! If Mike Butcher of TechCrunch didn't originate the Segway comparison, he's sure had one of the best summaries of how Google Glass might go that way. Based on his limited experience in wearing them, he wrote: So Google Glass [...]

Key Learnings On The PLA Marketplace

Google's switch to an all-paid shopping search experience, featuring Product Listing Ads (PLAs), was the single largest change to the retail paid search landscape last year, and the offering continues to evolve as the official release of PLAs on smartphones was announced last month. PLAs are not only a new ad format but also a new marketplace, with auctions running independently of traditional text ads although they're often being served alongside them on search result pages. Now that the new market has had time to mature, we can take the opportunity to step back and review what we have lea [...]

Microsoft Study: Multi-Screen Behavior And What It Means For Marketers

mobile-devices-screens-featured We all know the day of multi-device and cross-screen usage is here. The challenge for marketers is to understand how to communicate effectively with consumers as they engage with multiple devices simultaneously and sequentially throughout the day. A new study commissioned by Microsoft, titled Cross-Screen Engagement, aims to help marketers learn how users are engaging with multiple screens and to find opportunities to reach consumers "in their moment". In the two-phase study, Flamingo Research and Ipsos OTX interviewed consumers in five markets—Australia, Brazil, Canada, the UK and t [...]

How Google’s Enhanced Campaigns Affect Your Ad Scheduling Strategy

Before getting into ad scheduling strategies for Google's Enhanced Campaigns, let's review Paid Search Trends for March. CPCs remained relatively flat month-over-month with little movement. Retail CPCs showed a slight decline for Google, showing relative softness compared to last year. It remains to be seen whether this is a temporary dip or a long-term indicator. Finance CPCs nudged up as the tax deadline approaches. Overall, Google CPCs are 1% up year-on-year, while Yahoo!-Bing is flat. March 2013 Cost-per-Click (CPC) Update, US Search MoM Change YoY Change [...]

Book Review: “Content Strategy For Mobile” by Karen McGrane

I recently began teaching a class in mobile content marketing for MarketingProfs University, taking over for the user experience expert and content strategy pioneer Karen McGrane.  At the time, her book, Content Strategy for Mobile, had not yet been released, so I relied on other resources when putting together material for the class. First I gathered what I knew about adaptive content from her online writings and presentations. Then I added some information gleaned from my own experience with content marketing to mobile users. My goal was to present a well-rounded overview of solutions t [...]

Product Listing Ads Remain Strong – Paid Search Trends For February 2013

Cost-Per-Clicks (CPC) fell across the board month-over-month, as is typical for February, resulting in a 5% lower CPC for Google and 3% lower for Yahoo!-Bing, compared to January. Year-over-year (YoY), retail CPCs are stronger on Google, partially due to rising CPCs on Product Listing Ads (PLAs), ending at a 5% YoY gain for Google and a slight 1% loss for Bing. February 2013 CPC Update, US Search MoM Change YoY Change Google Retail -3% 7% Finance -10% 2% Overall -5% 5% Yahoo!-Bing Retail [...]

Why You Can’t Find The Official Fast & Furious 6 Web Site In Google & Bing

fast & furious 6 - Google Search The latest movie in the "Fast & Furious" franchise is coming, Fast & Furious 6. It's getting a lot of attention because of its Super Bowl ad on Sunday and the debut of its extended trailer today. But, if you're trying to find the official website, Fast & Furious will send you on a chase that leaves the search marketing basics behind and exposes some Google & Bing failures, as well. Missing: The Official Site The official site is nowhere to be found in Google's search results, as this screenshot I took yesterday shows: Of course, there are several ways you could search for [...]

Google’s CPC Drop Bottoms Out? — Paid Search Trends For January 2013

Click Share by Device This is the first installment of a regular column following cost-per-click (CPC) trends in search marketing. We will focus primarily on the US market, but we'll also take a regular look at international markets, as well as providing additional insights into segments that appear to be significant short-term trend drivers. Google’s CPC drop has finally bottomed out in January, our analysis finds, supported in part by increasing CPCs and click share on tablet devices.   January 2013 CPC Update, US Search MoM Change YoY Change Google Retail [...]

Why People Hate SEO

seo-code-schema-featured Every few months, someone seems to attack search engine optimization. SEOs are often quick to rise in defense of their profession. I've done that plenty myself, in the past. But a barrage of recent cold-call SEO pitches in my inbox even has me hating SEO. Of course, I don't really hate SEO. That's because I know the difference between: SEO and search engine spam SEO and snake-oil promises SEO remains the act of gaining free traffic from search engines, and also to me, gaining that traffic in ways that don't put you at risk of being banned or penalized by those search engines. I [...]

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