After over 12 years practicing the art of SEO, and selling SEO services to clients, I thought the industry had reached a stage of “acceptance”.
But there is still a very smart group of people out there that are doubters – The Acquisition Marketers.
SEO Personality Types
Company executives and owners have varying degrees of sophistication when it comes to understanding why SEO is important, or why it should be an important part of the marketing mix. I would break down the most common personality types as follows:
- Me Too – My competitors are doing it, I will too.
- The Rank Hound – I want to be #1 for my favorite keyword because I know it’s important (without any proof to back it up).
- The Small Portfolio Ranker – I understand that there are a number of relevant keywords that appear to drive business for us, let’s attack them as a group.
- The More, The Merrier – Capturing the long-tail is an important part of driving relevant visitors to our site, and they are more likely to be buyers.
- Doing Great, Just Need A Bit More – Our SEO is performing well for us. It would be nice to push it up a notch or two, what’s the latest and greatest?
- Been There, Done That – I’ve hired consultants before, and we just haven’t see the results we needed.
Online buyers rely on a healthy mix of search and social media throughout the purchasing process
Purchasing funnel. Buying cycle. Path to purchase. Over the years, the desire for marketers to label and map the exact nature of the online buying process has uncovered the complexities of the journey and the growing number of resources buyers rely on as they move to make informed purchasing decisions.
Research from GroupM Search and comScore highlights the increased use of yet another resource consumers are turning to in combination with their tried-and-true search engine usage: social media.
Marketers still skeptical of the overall influence of social media on online purchasing habits have reason to rethink that skepticism. In fact, buyers who purchase or convert online are almost as likely to use a combination of search and social resources (48%) as they are to use just search (51%) along the path to purchase. Read More
As mentioned in my previous column, “SEO and Integration With Social Media,” B2B and B2C companies across the globe are beginning to trust social media as a viable strategy and are jumping in head first. There is no doubt that social media has become a global phenomenon. However, in order to achieve its true value within the SEO context, as well as to not outdo yourself in the early stages, there are a number of organizational strategies that should be incorporated early on in the process. The two strategies outlined below will yield a higher ROI sooner rather than later when starting out and may help you avoid scratching your head asking “Why am I not ranking for this keyword?” “Why is there no scrolling window of tweets in the SERPs about the keyword?” or “Does it have anything to do with the fact that my efforts are fragmented across too many channels?”
Google sites handle about 88 billion searches each month. YouTube is the second most popular search engine second only to Google. Facebook is now over 600 million users. Twitter has nearly 200 million accounts. LinkedIn is at 101 million users and FourSquare grew 3,400% in 2010.
The variety of options for customer marketing and engagement ranging from social media to SEO to email marketing to online advertising can be overwhelming. As a result, some of the most common online marketing questions I hear from client side marketers revolve around, “How to decide which tactics are best?”
As Geo-targeting Drives Hypergrowth at Facebook, Groupon, Search Giant Supplements Science With Salespeople
After years of fits and starts, Google’s latest push into local online advertising suddenly looks serious — and even professed internet novices like Barbara Oliver are noticing.
The owner of an eponymous boutique jeweler, Ms. Oliver depends on advertising to drive people to her hard-to-find third-floor shop in Williamsville, N.Y., near Buffalo. Not satisfied with TV and other advertising on which she spent $40,000 last year, she hired a consultant who bought $50 a month worth of Google search ads targeted to an 80-mile radius around Buffalo and set up a web page in the Google Places local directory service. That netted her enough new business that she has slashed her other ad spending by 40%. “Now I’m getting more people who say they found me on Google,” Ms. Oliver said.
Some 6 million businesses worldwide have claimed Google Places pages.
Google aims to reach many of the millions of other businesses like Ms. Oliver’s that want to attract potential customers nearby. After failing to crack radio and print advertising several years ago and still struggling in TV ads, Google views local online advertising — both by national brands and by smaller businesses such as restaurants and plumbers — as a juicy target. “It’s a big focus for me this year,” said Susan Wojcicki, Google’s senior VP-product management and the search giant’s top ad products executive. “It’s a huge opportunity where we can do things we haven’t done before.”
Google in recent months has unleashed a flurry of new local services and ad formats and expanded others. In an especially noticeable change to its search results, last October it tweaked its search engine to make local businesses and listings, including Google Places, much more prominent in response to a likely local-oriented query. The same month, Google moved Marissa Mayer, its high-profile VP-search products and user experience, to VP-consumer products, where her main job will be developing new geographic and local services.
The average price of CPC search ads in the travel sector grew by more than 20 percent in January on a year-over-basis, according to data from online ad management platform provider Efficient Frontier. Prices also rose in the automotive, finance, and retail categories, pointing to an increasingly competitive overall search ad marketplace and growing investment from advertisers.
Following the holiday period in December, CPCs across all sectors dipped on a month-over-month basis, with retail – unsurprisingly – experiencing the largest change. After a year of strong growth in CPC prices in 2010, Efficient Frontier predicts more modest rises in 2011 as the market returns to more stable conditions following the economic turbulence of 2009.
|U.S. Average Search CPC by Category,
January 2011 and December 2010
||CPC January 2010 ($)
||CPC December 2010 ($)
||CPC January 2011 ($)
||Month-over-Month Change (%)
||Year-over-Year Change, January (%)
Traditionally, the worlds of online display advertising and search marketing have mainly operated in silos. The two tactics may both be part of the bigger online strategy, but the people involved with search generally do not really work in or understand display and vice-versa. Lately however, it feels like there’s a greater interest in fusing the two worlds together,
maybe fueled by the diversion of traffic away from search and into social media and/or Google’s rebranding of its Content Network into Display Network. Regardless, when the search and display professionals come together, a lot can be gained from the sharing of information. Today, let me give my media planning brethren some tips from the search side.