DMNews essential guide to search marketing

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Search Engine Marketing

Feature: Search is a silver lining by Mary Elizabeth Hurn Case study: Search beams up success by Sara Holoubek Problem solver: How can I optimize search during tough economic times? by Chris Copeland Search speak 101: Search marketing’s juicy jargon by Jonathan Mack

A Supplement to DMNews

Search strategies: Should CPA replace your CPC model? by Dan Yomtobian Paid search: Unconventional wisdom for PPC campaigns by Damir Saracevic Organic search: What’s a SERP? Search engine optimization in layman’s terms by Will Pendergast Search 2.0: It’s time to get social with search marketing by Lisa Wehr

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he principles behind good search marketing are the underlying principles to understanding your company’s overall health and outlook. In order to put a strong search strategy in place you must know where you fit in the marketplace, what your customers are looking for and the assets you have that match those needs. Search has become the fundamental way that users browse the Internet. Pay-per-click campaigns used to be the equivalent of getting a sign for your storefront. However, they have become even more critical, because they not only put your e-commerce site on :XiX Nff[ the map, but act as a way to align your offline strategies, drive <[`kfi$`e$Z_`\] new leads and capitalize on brand name terms. Search engine ;DE\nj optimization tactics now inform the most basic site designs – if you aren’t considering keywords, links and metatags in your Web presence, you’re substantially decreasing your traffic potential. The 2009 Essential Guide to Search Engine Marketing outlines the basics of search and gathers tips and case studies from leaders in the field. In its simplest form, search can direct potential customers to your virtual doorstep at the moment they consider purchase. As search rapidly becomes more sophisticated, marketers must now manage all rich media digital assets, as well as develop a local search strategy, a mobile search strategy and weigh whether or not social search is right for their business. As your search options increase, consider how many begin in the channel – incremental building upon careful tests and analysis. In addition to being a gateway to online advertising, the channel also provides landmark scalability. We hope this guide serves to help you navigate all of your options.

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KXYc\ f] :fek\ekj =\Xkli\j 4 Search is a silver lining, by Mary Elizabeth Hurn 8 Problem Solver: How can I optimize search during tough economic times? by Chris Copeland

Fi^Xe`Z J\XiZ_ 19 Key search marketing tip: Get your keywords organized, by Larry Kim

25 What’s a SERP? SEO in layman’s terms, by Will Pendergast

19 Set your search budget to be based on its profitablility, by John Keenan

26 Search optimization tips that will put your brand front and center, by Bill Lan

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10 Search beams up success, by Sara Holoubek

20 Unconventional wisdom for PPC campaigns, by Damir Saracevic

12 Search speak 101, by Jonathan Mack

22 The priorities you should set before you prioritize SEM tactics, by David Wright

JkiXk\^`\j 14 Should CPA replace your CPC model? by Dan Yomtobian

22 Take advantage of pharma SEM: Your Rx for success, by Dan Brough

15 March Adness Madness: Capture demand with search, by Craig Greenfield

23 Three recession-proof strategies you can use for search success, by Wister Walcott

16 Three ways to boost site-wide relevance and conversions, by Pete Olson

23 The paid search puzzle: Putting the pieces together, by Roger Barnette

16 The five best ways to ruin your search program efforts in 2009, by Gerry Bavaro 18 Man and machine: A match made in search heaven, by Michael Radigan

24 The great influence of PPC on non-search conversions, by Melissa Mackey 24 Search retargeting: Using display to enhance search effectiveness, by Eric Franchi

18 How you and your company can survive universal search, by Pippa Nutt J<8I:? <E>@E< D8IB<K@E> >L@;<

26 Powerboost your SEO with social media to drive links, revenue, by Colton Perry 27 Use new ideas in link-building strategy for your SEO effort, by Jodie Barr J\XiZ_ )%' 28 It’s time to get social with search marketing, by Lisa Wehr 29 Utilizing video in your SEO: Your ticket to the top of the page, by Carol Lustig 29 Five ways to use search and social media to maximize your TV buy, by Joshua Stylman 30 Get ready to test the mobile search waters in 2009, by Gregg Stewart 30 From one search query, there are ten ways to get an answer, by David Berkowitz

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J\XiZ_ `j X j`cm\i c`e`e^ The economy may be sputtering, but search remains relatively strong, say experts, who share their thoughts on the latest trends in this continuously evolving sector. By Mary Elizabeth Hurn


mart marketers have always known that when they need to see strong ROI and measurable results, search engine marketing (SEM) is one channel that can offer a smooth ride toward those goals. Even with today’s rocky economic environment, in which marketing budgets are pinched and competition to stand out in the online space is fierce, search has stayed fairly balanced, thanks to its accountability — making it one of the most recession-proof marketing channels out there right now. According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO)’s most recent State of Search Marketing study, released in March, search spending totaled more than $13.5 billion in 2008, the bulk of which — 88% — was spent on paid search. And, while the upswing in search spending is expected to be tempered by the challenging economy, search is still growing and is expected to be $19.8 billion strong by 2011. Clearly, while the search business faces challenges, the recession is not affecting it as drastically as other sectors. ÈN_`c\ n\Ëi\ j\\`e^ information that shows that search growth is slowing, it is still growing, whereas other channels are absolutely shrinking,” says Mark Schwartz, managing partner at digital agency Steak. Michael McVeigh, associate director of strategic analysis with the search engine marketing group at Zeta Interactive, agrees, saying that search is “well-conditioned to weather changes in the economy.” He adds that part of the reason for this phenomenon is that advertisers who, before the recession, hadn’t fully embraced search or didn’t value it, now flock to agencies in droves, saying search is where they want their marketing dollars. “The economy lit a fire, so [marketers] are moving towards [search] much faster now,” he explains.

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DMNews • Search engine marketing guide 2009 FEATURE 05

Also helping search marketing’s fate is the fact that many marketers are pulling those same dollars out of traditional advertising that isn’t as trackable. “We’ve had clients say they had TV or print campaigns they were going to run, but now they’d rather run a brand campaign on search,” says Robert Murray, CEO of search agency iProspect. “If people are looking for increased efficiency and accountability for their media dollars, by definition more and more dollars are going to search.”

While… search growth is slowing, it is still growing, whereas other channels are absolutely shrinking.

Mark Schwartz, managing partner, Steak

The companies scaling back, Murray adds, are the ones that already do the majority of their advertising online and have maxed out their search budgets. “It doesn’t mean search is any less efficient, it just means companies need to cut spend in general,” he explains. Since the recession began, Murray continues, he’s seen a renewed interest in search engine optimization (SEO), or natural search, in which online content is optimized so that a brand’s Web site, video, image, blog or social media initiative is more likely to show up in natural search results. “Seventy percent to 80% of consumers’ clicks still happen within natural search results,” says Rob Garner, strategy director of search at search agency iCrossing. “So if you’re maxing out your paid search budget, it makes a lot of sense to think longer term to take advantage of that search traffic.” Unlike a cost-per-click (CPC) paid search campaign, there is no incremental cost with SEO, aside from the initial optimization of content. This becomes increasingly appealing when budgets are tight. Another plus, Murray points out, is having the ability to appear more than once in search results, both paid and organic. “We could have a client’s site in the results as a

[paid] listing, but also have video and image content from third party social media sites to promote the brand in the natural search results,” he says, “So I could have multiple brand touchpoints on a search results page because of that.” The influence of search results from sites such as Facebook and MySpace, as well as blogs and video, is the reason social media is also in the spotlight when it comes to search, say experts. “Social media in its essence is very search-friendly, in the way the sites are constructed,” Murray says. “Rich and user-generated content tends to interact with the engines very well.” In this way, Garner explains, social media has changed the nature of natural search. “There’s less of a technical barrier to get pages to rank,” he explains. “Marketers are now setting up content strategies and using their audience to create that content and engaging them in conversation around it in various interesting ways.” With major engines Google, Yahoo and Microsoft beginning to experiment with rich elements within paid search ads and integration between search and display, marketers are also noticing increased opportunities for brands looking for unique online ad options. “We’ve already seen what images and video can do in natural search results,” Garner says. “If images pop up on screen, there’s an obvious shift in eyeballs, so I think we’ll see more of those assets available in paid search as well.” There’s also, of course, still chatter of a Yahoo-Microsoft partnership, which many experts believe is the only chance that Google could meet any significant competition. But even as Google reigns supreme, marketers stress the importance of not giving up on other engines. “There’s a substantial percentage of people who haven’t given up searching on Yahoo and MSN,” McVeigh says. “However, because Google is constantly rolling out new and easy-to-use features, more and more advertisers are mistakenly making the choice to only advertise there.” At the very least, he points out, brands’ should make sure that their high-value terms are on all the major engines. Mobile search is another trend that marketers thought would fly high this year. And, with the proliferation of Apple’s iPhone and other Web-enabled mobile Search engine marketing guide

Trend-setting search What were the most talked-about search marketing topics over the past year? We asked four experts for their two cents Mobile search’s ROI still unclear

Mark Schwartz, Steak

“i look at mobile as an extension of local search. marketers now have the opportunity to present geo-sensitive data at the time of interest because the internet is everywhere. now marketers can access these mobile consumers from the social and e-commerce perspective, and they will increasingly do so as mobile search’s rOi becomes clearer.”

SEO is growing faster than SEM

Michael McVeigh, Zeta Interactive

“interest in natural search optimization is increasing faster than interest in paid search. even though paid is still growing, SeO is growing faster. that interest is leading to site redesigns and also drives increased focus on analytics — which show marketers how their brand is performing in natural search, what’s driving traffic and where they need to grow.”

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phones and devices, marketers are keeping their eyes on mobile search. However, some say 2009 is just not the year for the channel to truly blow up. “The iPhone has a killer application for mobile search right now, but no killer app for the advertisers,” McVeigh says. “Mobile in general is improving more from the user perspective, but isn’t quite there yet from the advertiser perspective.” Additionally, more marketers say they are lumping mobile search into their local

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search budgets. Murray says mobile really stresses the importance of local search because 80% to 90% of queries from mobile devices are local in nature. “Unless I’m killing time at the airport, I’m not browsing for a new car on my mobile phone,” he says, “I’m looking for a gas station, a restaurant, a bank or something of that nature when I’m on the go.” Schwartz says the idea of advertisers moving more quickly into the mobile space is dependent upon mobile agencies and applications being able to deliver the same type of measurability available online. “In the past, we saw more and more companies testing mobile campaigns because budgets were looser,” he says, “As we get better at measuring the results of mobile marketing, I think we’ll see more marketers try to embrace it in more interesting ways.” 8^\eZ`\j Xi\ Y\^`ee`e^ to stress integration now more than ever — not only with each component of a brand’s marketing mix, but also with all of a brand’s agencies. “More and more, our clients are giving us full insight to their budgets and other agencies,” Murray says. “Because of this, we can make sure that anything they’re doing offline or in other online initiatives that are driving intent, that we’re there to capture that intent via search.”

Garner says generating returns is not a one-way street. “Search doesn’t do it all,” he continues, “You have to be ready to meet search intention through a landing page, compelling content and a specific call to action.” Murray adds that transparency and communication between agencies will synchronize marketing efforts and maximize the efficiency of all channels. But perhaps more importantly, McVeigh says this type of integration can also save money. When search drives to a landing page, which prompts an e-mail capture, it’s easy to see how search can impact other channels, he says. “Marketers are asking the tough question: ‘How do we make this all work in unison and not as separate limbs from the same body?’” he explains. “You can’t afford to spend that same money again and again, reacquiring those customers through paid search.” A down economy is no excuse for search campaigns to remain stagnant, especially with changes in so many industries, says McVeigh. “In every industry vertical there’s been a pretty seismic shift in the way people are searching, even if the volume is still high,” he says. Many marketers still tend to stick with the status quo, Schwartz adds. “I’d urge marketers to continue to test new keywords, creative, landing pages and even new engines and channels,” he says. “Now is an opportunity to grow market share, steal customers away from competitors and try to build long-term value in your brand through the search channel.” Garner adds that research is key for today’s search marketers. “Look at your natural results, your history of optimization, your traffic history and your analytics,” he says. “Test as much as possible, and invest in where you send your visitors.” Though search is one of the few sectors still on the rise today, marketers need to remain realistic about clients’ budgets and the economic reality of the year ahead. “I don’t think innovation is going to be a core focus this year,” Murray says. “No one is coming to us with a big pot of money they have lying around to try something new.” Because of its accountability, though, search should remain strong, he says. “This means search has a major seat at the table,” he continues. “We’ve been saying for years that search deserves a seat, and guess what? Search now has it front and center in marketing plans and budgets.” O J<8I:? <E>@E< D8IB<K@E> >L@;<

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Rob Garner, iCrossing

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Robert Murray, iProspect

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08 FEATURE DMNews • Seach Engine Marketing Guide 2009

Problem Solver: How can I optimize search during tough economic times?


Chris Copeland CEO, GroupM Search

As economic clouds darken and search spend grows tighter, many search marketers are looking for creative means to retool their strategic planning efforts. One such approach may be simply to focus on what has served them well in the past.

ith the US economy in a decline of historic proportions, a slew of recessionary experts have emerged with suggestions for how to advertise in a recession. Take search advertising. The last time a recession hit, Google was still a noun, not a verb, and its stake in the game was actually strengthened as Yahoo lost share due to display markets dropping. It also didn’t hurt that it was still a growing private company. So, those professing a playbook for search advertising in a recession can only do so based on a quick study or by having a portfolio large enough to gather quick trending in the space. There are strategic solutions we have utilized in normal times — when firms have faced market conditions outside the norm — that are worthy of our consideration: Squeeze the most from all media As times become tight, a natural reaction many have is to cut media. Usually, TV is first. Yet in every case we’ve measured, when a cut is made in overall TV advertising, the impact is felt in search. One study we conducted in the retail space found that more than onethird of query volume is directly correlated to other media, with two-thirds of that coming from TV. When advertisers want to start hacking out of a given channel, we advise them to understand the implications. Likewise, when we spend a dollar in another channel, we need for it to pay off in search. This means the alignment of search buys with TV, local radio or print and our geo-targeted messaging in given designated market areas — as well as alignment with in-store offers and online messaging. Delivery needs to be precise and aligned to ensure maximum return across all channels. ESSENTIAL GUIDE

King for a day, or a lifetime? Rap group Three 6 Mafia won an Oscar before Martin Scorsese. Ricky Martin had more No. 1 hits than the Grateful Dead. But if we measured achievement by a career view vs. a short-term view of who’s on top, we’d see who won the marathon vs. the sprint. The application to search is similar. Advertisers are obsessed with being on top. A No. 1 paid search listing puts them into consideration before all others. However, if a trade-off between return and revenue is an option, then a solution exists for most advertisers. Advertisers have seen a 40% decrease in costs by vacating the top position to move down into the No. 3 to No. 5 positions, while actually creating an improved ROI. Stay relevant Searches for coupons and discounts have surged as the economy weakens. For large advertisers, there’s a waiting goldmine surrounding their brand terms. For those less fortunate, the best option is to look for differentiators in products and offerings that can be translated into long-tail keywords and less competitive terms. The more spend that’s invested in keywords that are cheaper and more targeted, the better your performance. Likewise, if you are going to invest up the funnel into awareness and consideration keywords, do so with an eye to their assisting nature.

Success is possible regardless of economic influences. The key is to take intelligence you gain during good times and focus it during weak environments. With a bit of luck and the application of stringent behavior, you’ll find not only a means to survive, but opportunities to prosper. l You can reach Chris Copeland at chris.copeland@

Chance, meet Strategy.

PM Digital gives you 3 proven strategies to minimize the risk — and maximize the reward—of your online retail marketing. 1. Search Engine Marketing A smarter SEM approach that complements brand keywords with product keywords, drives e-tail traffic, and meets your target P&L goals. 2. Search Engine Optimization The scientific approach merged with customized solutions for high natural search rankings. 3. Datafeed Marketing More than just pushing data from Point A to Point B—achieving higher rankings, better visibility and more sales from comparison shopping sites and Yahoo!® SSP*. *PM Digital is a certified Yahoo!® SSP provider One of the fastest-growing digital agencies specializing in retail accounts. 2007 and 2008 Honoree

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J\XiZ_ Y\Xdj lg jlZZ\jj Using psychographic keywords, as well as YouTube video, Esurance is using a Star Trek partnership to take its search campaigns where they have never gone before. By Sara Holoubek


n insurance firm might not seem to be an obvious partner for a major motion picture release. But in 2009, the in-house marketing team at Esurance is forging new territory with a sophisticated search engine marketing campaign to promote Paramount Pictures’ May release of the feature film Star Trek. This isn’t the first time Esurance has teamed up with Hollywood. The insurance provider’s past success with Warner Bros. 2008 film Speed Racer prompted multiple movie studios to approach it. “Apparently, [studios] were impressed with our creative,” says Darren Howard, media director for Esurance. “Of all the [upcoming] releases, we thought that Star Trek would be a good fit with our brand.” K_\ ZXdgX`^e was strategically structured in two phases. The first, beginning in January and ending in March, was aimed at Star Trek fans who regularly go online, also known as “Trekkies,” as well as other science fiction fans. The second, beginning in March and leading up to the premiere in May, is aimed at the mass audience of potential moviegoers. <JJ<EK@8C >L@;<

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At the core of the first phase was a microsite — — featuring the “Biggest Trekkie” contest, which encouraged fans to submit 60-second video entries to win two tickets to the film premiere in Los Angeles. The microsite also housed exclusive film content, a flash game and links to activity on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. To attract this highly engaged audience, Esurance worked closely with the traditional search engines, as well as with YouTube, to develop a radically different search engine marketing campaign using psychographic keywords based on content that would appeal to the audience. ÈN\ efidXccp Y`[ on rather boring terms like ‘auto insurance’ and ‘car insurance,’ and we optimize those campaigns for a variety of metrics that are much deeper in the process, such as your likelihood of getting in an accident, or paying your bills on time,” says Kristen Brewe, director of brand and public relations at Esurance. “But with the Star Trek campaign, we had to reimagine success. [We weren’t aiming for] ‘auto insurance’ clicks and purchases, but less tangible brand goals, about interaction with certain elements on our microsite.” So, the Esurance search team had to essentially start over from scratch, because it didn’t have a manual for what would work as they bid on movie-related terms and re-imagined its targets for the campaign — Star Trek enthusiasts, sci-fi fans, and role-playing game enthusiasts. Not only was the campaign different across the traditional search engines, but its heavy use of YouTube also revealed new insight and opportunities to raise awareness and engagement. The firm employed sponsored results as well as InVideo overlays and side display units. “Esurance and YouTube collaborated to pick the relevant psychographic terms that would appeal to the target audience,” says YouTube spokesperson, Victoria Katsarou. “The process involved using YouTube’s keyword suggestion tools but also a lot of brainstorming on both sides. The human touch really helped round out the portfolio of high-impact keywords.” As a result, the performance of InVideo over-

lays exceeded Esurance’s expectations, according to Katsarou. “This campaign is a great example of how YouTube’s sponsored videos can be used to efficiently target a very specific demographic, balancing the wide reach of our platform with high relevancy,” she says. “At the conclusion of the first stage of the campaign [March 4th, 2009], we were able to drive more than 8,000 additional users to watch the Esurance Star Trek video at a highly efficient cost per click.” From a search engine optimization and social media perspective, visibility was bolstered by a multimedia press release sent by PRNewswire, which allows for embedded links, images and video as well as quick links to share the news across social networks such as Facebook. In this first phase of the campaign, Esurance experienced more than 500,000 interactions on the microsite, prior to the launch of any television advertising. In addition, this first phase allowed Esurance to garner important information about the target audience. “Some of our top keywords, on both search engines and YouTube, are actually search terms related to other sci-fi movies – not just Star Trek,” said Brewe. “This shows how we are finding fans using conceptually related search terms.” She also mentioned that while costs per click were initially very high, Esurance has been able to optimize quickly and effectively. 8k k_\ k`d\ f] k_`j ni`k`e^, the Esurance team eagerly looks forward to phase two, which will build upon the base built earlier this year. A Space Camp trip sweepstakes will be launched, as will multiple offline media efforts — including a 30-second television spot — mainstream print to reach a wider audience, and offline events. However, the advertising campaign does not begin and end with print and TV, Brewe emphasizes. “If you’re not viewing search as a part of your advertising strategy to reach your target, your campaign won’t be as effective, since search consumers are so motivated and you can really tailor your messages to them,” she explains. “Whether that’s for car insurance or for Klingon space ships, search is a vital part of any advertising efforts.” O J<8I:? <E>@E< D8IB<K@E> >L@;<

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Use “click bot” or “doorway page” as party conversation and, unless you’re at an industry function, you’ll probably get blank stares. But you’ll want to know all this juicy jargon as you move forward with any search marketing campaign. These are just a few terms to make you sound like a search expert. By Jonathan Mack results pages (SERP) to augment click amounts. :c`Zbk_ifl^_ When a user enters a Web site from a hypertext link listed on a SERP. :c`Zb$k_ifl^_ iXk\ :KI The percentage of people who actually click on a link out of the all the users who view the link.

8lkfdXk`Z fgk`d`qX$ k`fe When a search engine shows an ad more than other ads in the same ad group because it has a higher clickthrough rate. 9Xj\c`e\ d\ki`Zj These are calculations used to measure an ad’s current performance compared to its performance in the past. 9cXZbc`jkj A group of sites that are forbidden and left off of search results. A site may be blacklisted for being

fraudulent or because it sends spyware or other viruses to users.

:fem\ij`fe iXk\ The conversion rate is the percentage of users who perform a desired action on a site. For example, if a site wants viewers to buy a product it is selling — the desired action — and one person out of every 100 people who visit the site makes the purchase, then the conversion rate would be 1%.

9iXe[ i\glkXk`fe This correlates to the position a brand places in ;ffinXp gX^\ Also known as a gatesearch results. way page, this is a Web :fjk g\i Zc`Zb :G: page that is designed to get rankings within the The price that some natural search listings. It search engines charge is basically a page filled a Web site for every clickthrough sent to that with links and keywords site that came as a result to increase its search ranking. of search. :c`Zb Yfk A program designed to click on paid listings on search engine

>\f$kXi^\k`e^ The act of controlling where and when an ad <JJ<EK@8C >L@;< <JJ<EK@8C >L@;<

will be shown based on a search audience’s geographic location. @dgi\jj`fe One view of an ad. Based on the total number of impressions an ad gets, an advertiser can understand how many times their ad was displayed based on the keywords entered by a searcher.

GX`[ `eZclj`fe Paying a search engine to be included, although listing and ranking will not be guaranteed. HlXc`kp jZfi\ Determines an ad’s rank and position as determined by Google.

Hl\ip The keyword or keyword phrase entered by a searcher B\pnfi[ g_iXj\ to search and receive A combination of two information on a given or more words that a subject. The query will searcher will enter in lead them to the SERP order to find information with relevant organic and on a desired topic. Also paid listings. known as the long tail, these entries are usually I\c\mXeZ\ The meavery specific and return surement by which an fewer results. ad’s title, description and keywords compare E\^Xk`m\ b\pnfi[ to search queries and Keywords that are left searchers’ anticipations. out of a site’s or ad’s keyword list. This ensures J\XiZ_ \e^`e\ i\jlckj that a searchers query gX^\ J<IG The page will not lead to unwanted or pages of listings to listing on the SERP. which a searcher is taken after entering a query. GX^\IXeb Created by This is where organic and Google, this technolpaid listings appear. ogy helps determine the importance and ranking Le`m\ijXc j\XiZ_ of a site in the search When the results from difresults. This used to be ferent specialized searchlarge factor in determin- es all appear on the first ing a site’s ranking, but SERP. For instance, links is now just one of the to YouTube and images hundreds of factors that might appear along with determine ranking. Web site listings.

14 strategies DMNews • Search Engine Marketing Guide 2009

Strategies strategies

Page 14

Should CPA replace your CPC model? by Dan Yomtobian


ith the pressures of today’s challenging economic environment, search engine marketing has never been more critical to a company’s marketing budget. However, taking advantage of the best strategies is essential. These articles share best practices on topics such as relevance, conversion, universal search, keywords and budgeting.

Page 15

March Adness Madness: Capture demand with search, by Craig Greenfield

Page 16

Three ways to boost site-wide relevance and conversions, by Pete Olson The five best ways to ruin your search program efforts in 2009, by Gerry Bavaro

Page 18

Man and machine: A match made in search heaven, by Michael Radigan How you and your company can survive universal search, by Pippa Nutt

Page 19

Key search marketing tip: Get your keywords organized, by Larry Kim Set your search budget to be based on its profitablility, by John Keenan

Should CPA replace your CPC model? By DAn yoMToBiAn he cost per click (CPC) and cost per action (CPA) advertising models have been vying for first place in ad spend for several years now. The debate over which method is better still has not been resolved. On the surface, CPA makes a lot of sense, especially for an advertiser. Who wouldn’t want to invest in a plan where you only pay for advertising if and when a customer actually buys something? So why hasn’t CPA really taken Dan Yomtobian off and replaced ABCSearch the old CPC model? Let’s examine the barriers to adoption of the CPA plan and the direction we’re moving in as online ad spend continues to grow and fuel the success or failure of companies worldwide. actions are difficult to measure One of the biggest problems with CPA models is that there are various ways in which an action can be measured. Many argue that the final purchase made by the online consumer is the ultimate action. But tracking this action can be a significant challenge for ad networks. If a person clicks on an ad for a bathing suit and is directed to a company’s site where he buys the bathing suit, that is counted as an action for which the advertiser is charged and



the publisher compensated. But what happens if someone is directed to the site, browses around and ends up buying a different bathing suit? Even though it resulted in a purchase, this is not considered an action of the same value because following that person’s path through the site is not measurable. This results in a skewed measurement of ad success and, as such, not every interaction can be properly tracked. CPa is more expensive than CPC While advertisers don’t pay for clicks in the CPA model, they end up paying much more for each contact a consumer has with the brand. It’s simply a difference in the measurement of success. Measuring and determining billing based on the action of the user versus simply the click of an ad involves a difference of typically several dollars per interaction, with CPA costs usually in the range of several dollars per action while a click may only cost 40 cents. This provides little incentive for the advertiser to switch from CPC to CPA, and has led to decreased adoption of the model over the last few years. What are the alternatives? Getting the most out of your traffic is definitely the first place to start. Whether using a CPA or CPC pricing model, streamlining traffic sources will narrow an advertiser’s audience to relevant targets, thereby increasing the likelihood that they’re paying for the right clicks. In short, you can leverage a great deal of control over your online ad campaigns without needing to move to a CPA model.

Dan Yomtobian is CEO at ABCSearch. Reach him at

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DXiZ_ 8[e\jj DX[e\jj1 :Xgkli\ [\dXe[ n`k_ j\XiZ_ 9P :I8@> >I<<E=@<C; arch Madness brings joy and disappointment to college basketball fans, but it creates headaches for advertisers. In 2008, 30-second spots on CBS’ coverage of the NCAA Final Four and National Championship netted $1.3 million each. While not the $3 million price this year’s Super Bowl commanded for many of its 30-second spots, big-dollar ad buys like the Super Bowl, March Madness, the Grammys or a high-profile series finale raise the stakes tremendously for marketers. NBC is currently charging $425,000 for :iX`^ >i\\eÔ\c[ 30-second spots during the series G\i]fid`Zj finale of ER, which is scheduled to air on April 2. Lofty prices aside, even local cable, radio and print spots cost enough to warrant backing them up with more cost-effective online efforts to capture the resulting search demand.


As direct marketers consider purchasing a greater number of high-priced ads, they should take advantage of previous mistakes. Take one of this year’s big Super Bowl advertisers: Pepsi pulled out all the stops. They hired members of the SNL cast and crew and put a well-known character to work on the brand’s behalf — McGruber, who announces his official name change to PepSuber. Pepsi seemingly did everything but prepare for the influx in search demand. A recent blog post, “Super Bowl Advertiser Search Marketing Blunders,” includes a screen shot of the top searches on Google Trends an hour after the game. While Pepsi created a lot of buzz with Pepsuber, climbing to No. 41 on the top searches list, it didn’t have cost-effective paid or natural search results set up to greet people searching on the newly coined term. Such terms don’t endure competition, because they didn’t exist previously. Site content has a great chance to grace the first page of results, and AdWords ads can be bought at a bargain. As direct marketers buy more high-priced broadcast advertising, they will undoubtedly keep their eyes on the ROI. They should also consider implementing a “search net.” In almost every case, a “search net” strategy can catch demand created in these costlier broadcast channels and boost ROI immensely. Craig Greenfield is VP for search and performance media for Performics. Reach him at

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9P G<K< FCJFE earch marketers spend plenty of time and money on their campaigns, but how much of it is wasted? Whether visitors enter a site at the homepage or through a product, landing or content page, marketers must make the experience relevant, keep the visitors on-site and move them to a conversion. Only by delivering personal on-site experiences can marketers achieve the best return for their marketing spend. Optimizing a site is worth the investment since it improves the effectiveness of all marketing activities. As site stickiness increases, every marketing e-mail, TV ad or search keyword can produce conversions. Creating a G\k\ Fcjfe bridge of consistency from these 8dX[\jX external promotions on through the site to conversion enables marketers to extend relevance further. Specific to search, improving overall conversion rates for a site increases the accuracy of keyword data; when marketers remove a keyword from a program or decrease a bid price, they are more confident in doing so. Here are three ways to boost your campaign’s stickiness: O Match site content to the pre-click message driving the visitor. Test content alternatives to determine what is most compelling. O Create and apply visitor segments based on priority criteria (referring search engine, referring keyword, PPC keyword, geography, etc.) and serve content and promotions accordingly. O Improve product recommendations offered through automated merchandising, increasing order values and revenue per visit. These approaches often produce results in mere days. A/B and multivariate testing enable marketers to analyze variable page experiences and implement the best content combination. Applying customer segments take testing further; creating unique content for segments helps ensure that on-site experiences feel unique and personalized. Effective product recommendations also work wonders, but marketers should do more than cross-sell. Product recommendations offering visitors similar, competitive or complementary alternatives streamline browsing, buying and more. Once marketers have personalized and optimized their own site, they can then move onto auditing and optimizing search programs based on conversion data. Marketers who do outbound marketing well can expect improved returns from their search program and other marketing channels for that matter, online or off.

9P ><IIP 98M8IF hether you’re talking about major banks or the stock market, poor performance is hot for ’09. Don’t leave your SEM campaign out of the mix — read on for five great ways your search can underperform this year! ?Xm\ X YX[ jkX]Ôe^ jkiXk\^p If your search staff leaves you — and takes your search campaign history with it — you’re well on your way to bad things. With no backup staffing strategy, your SEM will be down the tubes. Don’t think your search team will find a new home in this economy? Think again. Your budget may be contracting, but the search industry is growing. Someone will gladly invest what it takes to poach your whole team. >\k jcfn k\Z_efcf^p Quick quiz: If your search technology updates bids once a day, and your major competitors update their bids in real time — which of you will make the most of ongoing changes in the search landscape? Who’ll be able to afford a greater share of search clicks? Answer: It’s not you. Cfj\ \m\ip fggfikle`kp Your search touchpoints include — but are not limited to — keywords, ad copy and landing pages, often in tens (or hundreds) of thousands of permutations. Each of those touchpoints and permutations are opportunities to lose the attention of potential customers. Be certain to stumble over all of them! (Tip: To be sure you lose out on those touchpoints, run inadequate reporting and testing. You’ll have no way to know what’s helping or hurting you.) ;feËk kXi^\k Yp Zljkfd\i j\^$ d\ek Every customer segment is different. Men and women might respond to different ad copy. >\iip 9XmXif Florida searchers might use differ;`[`k ent keywords than Texas searchers. Firefox searchers might like different landing pages than Internet Explorer users. Don’t want to do well in search? Be sure to ignore the wealth of campaign data that will let you target different audience segments. @^efi\ k_\ i\jk f] pfli dXib\k`e^ Customers search for you simply because they’re interested in you. One reason they’re interested in you is because of your marketing. So if you want to hurt your overall marketing and let your SEM go to waste, don’t follow up your TV, print, catalog or other marketing efforts with search. See? It’s that easy! Follow these simple rules and your search campaign will be bleeding money, hemorrhaging opportunity and hurting badly fast. Happy losing in ’09!

Pete Olson is VP of product management at Amadesa. Reach him at

Gerry Bavaro is EVP of Didit. Reach him at



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Winning Awards: Sweet

Marin Software Winner of 2008 ClickZ Marketing Excellence Award for Best Search Application

Winning Over Clients: Sweeter “Last year, we undertook a comprehensive process to select the premier search technology partner for our SEM business. We sought an application with high-end functionality and scalability as well as an intuitive and easy-to-use interface to serve our search analysts worldwide. Most of all, we were looking for people whose passion for search matched our own. We chose Marin.” Matt Greitzer VP Search Marketing National Practice Lead, Razorfish

Say “No” to Black Box PPC

“As a large-scale performance marketing agency, we needed a paid search management solution that not only had all the ‘must-have’ features like bid management, but also the ability to scale quickly with an easy-to-use interface. It was less about search and more about software performance, and Marin fit the bill on both fronts. Receiving the best client service support we’ve had from any SEM company to date was simply icing on the cake.” Terry Fung VP of Advertising Trouvé Media

For more information, please visit us at For Agencies & Advertisers spending $100k+ per month on paid search

“Marin allows us to expand our search programs in an incredibly easy and efficient way - saving a ton of man hours when creating new campaigns. All three ad centers have different standards & fields for imports, which makes batch additions and updates difficult. Marin eliminates these painful steps and brings the process together seamlessly.” Andrew Hahn Manager, Online Marketing Luxury Link

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DXe Xe[ dXZ_`e\1 8 dXkZ_ dX[\ ?fn pfl Xe[ pfli ZfdgXep ZXe `e j\XiZ_ _\Xm\e jlim`m\ le`m\ijXc j\XiZ_ 9P D@:?8<C I8;@>8E ike peanut butter and jelly, two very different things can come together to make something new and powerful. As odd as it seems, both humans and machines share a common need: the ability to find relevant content. Like every relationship, this bond is intertwined and codependent and lies at the intersection of where we as marketers and solution providers can find the best places to help both man and machine. We call these intersections findability, control and shareability. =`e[XY`c`kp Both man and machine must find information quickly and easily to make them useful. Example: Searchers in this economy are hungry for deals. Information architects must work with writers to develop D`Z_X\c IX[`^Xe user-focused language based on AXm\c`e ;`i\Zk what customers seek, especially for navigation, page titles and headlines. Words are key to search engine results and rankings. Create a search strategy early during Web design, structuring your site upon carefully defined personas and best practices. :fekifc Unlike customers who receive an e-mail or direct mail communication, users who search are actively seeking information. They’re saying, “Help me, I need ‘X.’” This does two things — it puts them in control of how, when and where they find information about your product, and it raises the value of each visitor. These folks are not “page kickers,” checking your Web assets without intent to buy. These “warm leads” need content aligned to their needs — if you drop them at your home page, you’re sure to disappoint them. J_Xi\XY`c`kp Know that shareability is more than merely giving users the ability to pass along your pages. How able are you to create confidence in your content, which will make a user want to share it with others through social media (Digg, Reddit, Facebook, blogs), send-to-a-friend or refer-a-friend? The more “link love” your pages receive, the greater the value that search engines attach to your content. These machines equate those links to a level of confidence and value from other humans/searchers, thus leading us back to increased findability for the user. By making your site findable, understanding the controls (read: setting expectations) and generating confidence in your content, you eliminate the need to “outwit” the search engines. This serves to strengthen your bond — not only with the search engines, but with your customers as well.

9P G@GG8 ELKK Of 1.2 billion recent Google search queries, roughly 220 million contained a universal returned result. Listen up, folks: The onset of universal search makes dominating the first page of search results more competitive. What you lack could be the thing that hurts your ranking and visibility on the landscape. The universal approach to searching blends video, images, news, maps, wiki, books, blogs and standard text links into a single set of returned search results. What was once a series of subdirectories is being folded into one and what lies ahead is a bottleneck — and your competition just multiplied. As search engines test this concept, you’ve probably noticed results bouncing all about. Now what? Just show up everywhere — video, audio, images, blogs, book listings, news releases, etc. Invest in vertical search. With universal search, Google might scan a range of its vertical search engines, then decide if a result from a book search is more relevant than a keyword match from a Web site. So saturate the landscape to raise the likelihood that at least one of your listings will show up on the first page. Vertical searches include blog, book, image, local (Zip Local), news (Google News) and video searches (YouTube). If your site has news content, submit your G`ggX Elkk site to Google News, leting them Efik_\ie C`^_kj ;`i\Zk I\jgfej\ know your content has been updated by submitting a news sitemap. Submit historical content to the news archive search. Become an “authority owner,” one who commands top rankings using wiki posts, news, blogs, etc. The search landscape is no longer about you and your Web site — searchers have more control than ever. If they aren’t coming to you, reach out to them and engage them on their terms. In universal search, the future lies in Digital Asset Optimization (DAO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO). SMO involves generating publicity through social media and online communities, e.g., RSS feeds, Digg buttons, etc. DAO takes inventory of your company’s digital assets (text, images, audio and video) and matches them with the appropriate distribution channel to broaden reach and improve visibility. Roughly 47% of online users look for content, so proven SEO tactics, such as relevant link-building and keyword targeting for your pages, continue to build credibility with search engines. But continual testing and experimentation is the key to success.

Michael Radigan is VP of interactive and technology, Javelin Direct Inc. Reach him at

Pippa Nutt is director, online strategy, at Northern Lights Direct Response. Reach her at


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9P C8IIP B@D uccessful PPC and SEO starts with keyword discovery, research and organization. In paid search, discovery and research are important, since searches of the keywords you pick are what you’re paying for. Organization is an often overlooked, yet critical, task. Intelligent keyword management and organization are important for organic search optimization. To achieve high ROI in paid search, you’ll need to match the keywords in your keyword lists with relevant, compelling and original ad text and landing pages, resulting in: ?`^_\i hlXc`kp jZfi\ Keywords with higher quality scores enjoy greater exposure and a lower CPC. 9\kk\i Zfem\ij`fe iXk\j By selecting specific keywords and using relevant ad text and landing pages, your customers are more likely to find what they were looking for. You can’t write different text ads and landing pages for each keyword, so be creative. Group and organize your keywords (i.e., segment your keyword list) into close-knit keyword groupings, and author targeted ad text and landing pages for each group. Put yourself in the shoes of the searcher — analyze the search phrases for the presence of discriminating words that give clues to what they were actually looking for. For example: @e]fidXk`feXc fi`\ekXk`fe Someone who types “SQL database” is likely looking to learn more about the topic. Gif[lZk fi`\ekXk`fe Searchers who write “SQL database software” or “buy SQL database software” or “best SQL database software” into a search engine all reveal something unique. Now you can craft text or page content for various query types. This process is hard work, but, if done well, provides great returns. Prioritize your work based on the keyword verticals that drive the most traffic to your site. The good news is you can apply the work you do in creating your PPC campaign structure to your SEO efforts. Having CXiip B`d grouped and organized keyword Nfi[Jki\Xd data into ad groups, you can leverage those same keyword organization structures to inform content authoring, information architecture and workflow prioritization for SEO. PPC and SEO data sharing and keyword organization results can be staggering — keywords support your search campaigns, and developing an intelligent keyword infrastructure impacts search-driven revenue.

9P AF?E B<<E8E If you win an auction but pay more for an item than you would have paid somewhere else, is that auction a success? How long can a company stay afloat if it pays more to acquire each new customer than it makes in profit? Keep these questions in mind as you set up your keyword bids. Limits must be understood in the context of profitability, compared to what you pay to acquire a customer through other channels. Recently, and other sites paid over $5 per click to gain traffic during a uniquely newsworthy event. Can that pay? If we assume is able to charge a display ad CPM of $10, or 1 cent per ad viewed, each visitor who is attracted through paid search at $5 per click would have to view 500 ads for to break even. That would require each visitor to make a commitment to CNN. com as their primary source of news. Ad-supported sites should not pay more per click than they can realistically expect to generate in revenue from the resulting traffic over a very short time frame. Af_e B\\eXe What about companies that 8ek_\d DXib\k`e^ Jfclk`fej are selling online? What can they afford to pay to acquire traffic? A quick analysis suggests how they should set an upper limit on paid keywords. Let’s say your paid search campaign has the following parameters: Click-through rate . . . . . . . . . . . . 1% Cost per click . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5 Sales conversions from search . . 10% Revenue per sale. . . . . . . . . . . . $50 Cost of goods sold . . . . . . . . . . . 50% A new customer generates $25 in gross margin but costs $50 to acquire. The break-even bid in this situation should be $2.50. If the market says this keyword is worth $5, then the retailer should consider other options, because they will not stay in business long with paid search as their primary lead source. No matter the type of site you operate, you must know when search bids have reached the limit of profitability. Then, your acquisition budget is better used for other online strategies, including search engine optimization, targeted online ads elsewhere, social media opportunities and other Web 2.0 solutions. The key for any of these tactics is to include a measurement component that tests the profitability of each campaign to select those that are bringing in positive cash flow and attracting profitable traffic.

Larry Kim is the founder of WordStream. Reach him at lkim@

John Keenan is managing partner of Anthem Marketing Solutions. Reach him at


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ost companies’ spend on search in the US is spent on paid search, or SEM – so it becomes ever more important to make sure you use your budget wisely. Here, experts offer thoughts on a wide variety of topics related to paid search, including top priorities, recession-proof strategies, search retargeting and pharma SEM.

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LeZfem\ek`feXc n`j[fd ]fi GG: ZXdgX`^ej 9P ;8D@I J8I8:<M@: hen I attend conferences and chat with peers, there’s consensus regarding best techniques for pay-per-click (PPC) campaign management. After all, if conventional wisdom is most sound, why not repeat it? Instead, I have four unorthodox concepts to share. First, unless you’re buying 100% of Google’s inventory for your particular set of keywords, don’t bother listing your terms at another engine. Think about it: If you can access ;Xd`i JXiXZ\m`Z a broader market :XkXcpjk ;`i\Zk through Google, why engage another search engine — and suffer the costs and workload of managing different systems, lists of keywords and different sets of measurements. As you expand beyond Google, it makes sense to engage additional search engines according to their relative size — for the same reason. Second, be certain to pursue general keywords for your SEO plans vehemently, and use them appropriately for your pay-per-click campaigns. PPC resources should be spent on developing “long-tail” keywords up front. Including some “short-tail” keywords in your campaigns helps identify long-tail terms people are searching for. Ultimately, this helps lower your cost as you shift budget from generic


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terms to the long-tail variants you find. For each keyword you identify, you’ll lower your marginal cost of customer acquisition — permanently. Most clients want to create a short list of keywords and then let their budgets run, generating immediate sales and shiny quarterly numbers. And let’s face it: The idea of paying a firm to research 10,000 keywords is less exciting than showing sales with just 10 — particularly in this economy. The truth is, each long-tail keyword added to the list is an asset that pays small, but steady, dividends — and that’s an asset base worth building. Third, rewrite your copy and test it. While most pay-per-click ads are far from prosaic, it’s also true that almost all could be improved. Simply recognizing this opportunity puts you miles ahead of the competition. Relentlessly test and retest your ads. My most important comment about pay per click isn’t about PPC at all. We tend to judge the efficacy of search ads with shorthand statistics such as, “cost per conversion” or “cost per action.” These terms are astonishingly misleading. While search ads can identify and drive targeted traffic, it’s your Web site that does the heavy lifting of conversion. When you can’t think of any other ways to further improve the performance of your search campaigns, look to improving your Web site. Better yet, balance these efforts from the start. It’s often helpful to engage with search marketing firms who have solid information architecture and usability design skills. For conversion challenges that are especially tough to crack, a usability or eye-tracking study can’t be beat.

Damir Saracevic is director, interactive marketing, at Catalyst Direct. Reach him at

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9P ;8M@; NI@>?K hen a business considers using search engine marketing (SEM), the answer too quickly is, “Yes, of course.” You ought to be there, right? It’s among the least expensive of all online marketing tactics. But are you really well prepared for SEM? A few difficult questions might determine whether your SEM will succeed — even before a single cent is spent, keyword bid placed or optimization tactic pursued. Your highest priority is to ask questions about what you are trying to achieve. Are you selling a product, service or cause, and just how do you know when you’ve made a “sale”? Then ask yourself, how do you know when a sale happens, or — for these purposes — how will you know when SEM has contributed to a sale? Too often there is disconnect when you move from another type of online advertising to search engine marketing to sale — especially when tracking breaks down at various points. Knowing what costs lead to a sale should help determine what you’re willing to spend on SEM to make a sale, right? Wrong! Enter the real world and your second priority: Does your product, service or cause exist within a distinctive product category and have a memorable brand name? If not, you may be in trouble because SEM is based on recall for both brands and category names of products. This should cause you to build brand and product category recall, notably in relation to your competition. Your marketing mix needs to include advertising wrapped around awareness of the product category and brand. If you are similar to your ;Xm`[ Ni`^_k competition, ask why someone :c`Zb ?\i\ should choose your product over a competitor’s? You might discover that your marketplace is driven by price points and promotions. Does this suggest that if someone is considering your product, they need to feel they’re getting a “deal”? If you answer all these questions, you set the stage for SEM success by relating SEM to the realities of your product in the marketplace. SEM tactics are not secret, hidden or complex. Every business’ SEM program should include exhaustively researching keywords; creating and testing landing pages aligned with keywords; using bid management tools to meet spending limits; continually testing ad content and using a robust tracking tool to provide data to analyze what really leads to a sale and how much it really costs.

9P ;8E 9IFL>? itwise reports that medical searches made up 45% of total online traffic from all categories last year, and eMarketer says online ad spend by the pharmaceutical industry is expected to reach $2.2 billion in 2011 — up from $1.2 billion in 2008. Search engine marketing (SEM) is growing within the pharma arena. I\Zf^e`q\ X [lXc Xl[`\eZ\ Unlike most SEM campaigns, pharma SEM needs two distinct strategies — one for consumers, one for physicians. Ads and keywords for physicians are more technical, but note that there’s overlap. Distinctions between the two audiences are determined by their post-click activity. Match keywords to either group based on their on-site activity. DXb\ c\^Xc pfli ]i`\e[ The Food & Drug Administration monitors pharma ads, so everything must be seen from a legal perspective. Content can be scaled back due to legal restrictions, and allow time to gain approval for updated keywords or for creative changes. Dynamic keyword insertion is often denied by legal, which reduces the chance of high click-through rates. J\gXiXk\ Y`[ jkiXk\^`\j Yp XnXi\e\jj Xe[ `ek\ek Pharma marketing doesn’t rely on SEM to generate ROI or online sales, so success is based on a patient visiting a doctor and asking for a brand. That’s why weighting page views and capturing form downloads and e-mails are important. But users’ office actions are difficult to tie directly to SEM performance. This leads marketers to separate bid strategies by awareness and intent. Awareness keywords — broad-based generic terms — capture users who doesn’t know a drug’s name, ;Xe 9ifl^_ with success measured on volume ;iX]k]ZY E\n Pfib or ad effectiveness (as shown by click-through rate). Intent keywords — brand-specific — match users to site pages that lead users to the doctor. 8 _fc`jk`Z flkcffb Tie your search planning to TV and print advertising. Pharma is committing a share of its ad dollars to paid search, but the majority of marketing budgets are allocated to traditional media. SEM campaigns must work in tandem with traditional channels to take advantage of the lift they provide. ?\Xck_p gif^efj`j Fewer direct competitors vie for select branded and unbranded keywords in the pharmaceutical arena compared to other categories. Generic terms often drive high volume, resulting in heavy traffic in a short timespan and a shorter learning curve for marketers.

David Wright is an interactive media director at Click Here. Reach him at

Dan Brough is SVP, search director at Draftfcb New York. Reach him at



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DMNews • search engine marketing guide 2009 paiD search 23

Three recession-proof strategies you can use for search success

The paid search puzzle: Putting the pieces together

By Wister Walcott y now, most marketers know the drill for 2009: Trim budgets and focus on effectiveness. For search marketers, there are several ways to meet this challenge. In fact, you can often wring more ROI out of your paid search campaigns without sacrificing much traffic. Here are three clear steps you can take: set clear goals Search is the most measurable and immediate form of marketing, but measurability doesn’t mean much if you’re unsure of what metrics to analyze. The first step is to decide exactly what your goals are with SEM. Do you want to sell more product? Is your goal to collect e-mail addresses to generate subscriptions or leads? Do you want to drive conversions on your Web site, on somebody else’s Web site, over the phone or in a store? Make a clear list of your goals and then build your own measurement metrics for those goals. If you can justify a newsletter sign-up or catalog request with additional marketing dollars, it can allow you to bid for the terms driving that traffic. Measure with precision When every penny counts, maximize spend on the keywords and ads with the highest ROI. But first you need to identify them. If you are not using free publisher conversion tracking, each keyword will need to have a unique ID and include a creative ID as well (on Google, this is the {creative} substitution parameter). Some firms actually need to measure conversions that happen on other sites, or offline via a call center, which is trickier, but still possible. Wister Walcott Optimize, optimize, optimize marin software If location is the rule for real estate, then optimization is the rule for SEM. Make sure your ad shows to as many of the right people as possible. Do this by expanding your keyword set and experimenting with broad match and content distribution. Then, improve your click-through rate by breaking your keywords into many small ad groups and writing specific ads for each group. Reference a category in the ad text and include the keyword in the ad using the keyword parameter. Test your new creatives at “even” traffic split — what’s best for Google may not be best for you. When adjusting creatives for different prices or seasons, don’t delete the old ones, just pause them. That way you preserve their history if you want to turn them back on. Finally, make sure your ad is not showing to the wrong people. Check the Search Term Query Report in AdWords to see what people are typing when they see your broad match search terms.

By roger Barnette n these challenging financial times, ensuring that your paid search marketing campaign is fully optimized is crucial. We all want to squeeze full value out of our existing media budgets, but how do you do that? The best way is to see your paid search campaigns “holistically.” Each piece of your campaign is an integral part of the paid search puzzle that needs to be carefully managed, tracked and optimized to ensure the best performance. Using a search management technology with robust analytics can provide you with an immense amount of data about your search campaigns in aggregate, across all of the engines. Make sure you track normal ROI performance metrics, as well as queried keywords, assisting keywords and landing page and ad creative performance. Data about queried and assisting keywords — for example, keywords that help a searcher convert but are not credited for the transaction — can help you build your existing keyword list. Tracking your ad creative and landing pages helps you to understand what works best and in what circumstances — and provides you with the data you need to fully optimize and improve your campaign. Once you’ve built your keyword list and have access to a wealth of information about your campaign’s performance, how do you optimize it to achieve the best results? Again, it starts with keywords, but doesn’t end there. Bid optimization technologies can ensure that your keyword bids are appropriately aligned with your campaign goals and automate much of the manual labor involved in search marketing. The best technologies predict what your return on ad spend will be at varying budget levels, helping you determine how, and how much, to allocate roger Barnette towards your paid search efforts. searchignite With the technologies available to sophisticated marketers, optimization goes way beyond automating keyword bids. Sophisticated technologies can determine which landing pages align with which ad creative and keyword, and then serve up the combination most likely to encourage a click and result in a transaction. By building your keywords, gathering detailed performance data and optimizing all aspects of your search campaign – from bids to landing pages and ad creative – marketers can integrate individual strategies to perfect their paid search puzzle and weather the economic storm.

Wister Walcott is co-founder and VP of products for Marin Software. Reach him at

Roger Barnette is president and founder of SearchIgnite. Reach him at



search engine marketing guide

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9P D<C@JJ8 D8:B<P n difficult economic periods, online advertisers are tempted to slash PPC budgets. But PPC doesn’t act in a vacuum — it also influences online traffic and conversions from other channels. Historically, December has been a strong month for one of our clients. This year, they asked us to pause pay-per-click advertising in December, due to budget constraints. On the surface, this looked like a smart move — even with the lack of PPC, online conversions increased in December from November. But, the lack of PPC presence had the unintended effect of reducing non-search traffic — over 80% of the client’s total online traffic — resulting in lost conversion opportunities not only from PPC, which converts at more than twice the rate of other online channels, but from non-search traffic as well. We analyzed traffic and conversions based on historical data, and found that, due to the lack of PPC, non-search traffic fell 30% in December vs. November, resulting in 26% fewer conversions. Most of the client’s traffic comes from non-search traffic, so total online conversions saw a fall of 23% from projections. Non-search traffic had trended upwards since September. But the pause in PPC caused this trend to reverse, with unspecified traffic dropping 30% in December from November levels. Again, this resulted in those lost conversion chances, because of the heavy dependence upon non-search traffic noted above. In January, the client resumed PPC, at a reduced budget level. Online conversions increased by 25% overall in January upon the resumption of PPC — when norD\c`jjX DXZb\p mally conversions decrease from =cl\eZp D\[`X December’s holiday pace. Predictably, PPC traffic increased in January after the campaign was paused in December. However, organic search traffic and non-search traffic rebounded along with it — up 36% and 34%, respectively. This illustrates how important PPC presence is. Impressively, non-search conversions increased by 30% in January, commensurate with the 34% month-over-month increase in traffic. Last year, non-search conversions were flat from December to January — indicating that maintaining PPC presence in 2009 helped bolster conversions from not only PPC, but non-search visitors as well. Certainly, lost sales as a result of stopping PPC can far exceed the amount saved in advertising costs.

9P <I@: =I8E:?@ earch is generally the recipient of any online budget’s “dollar one.” It generates strong, measurable ROI and influences important factors like brand metrics and later sales. But, search can hit a point of diminishing returns from an ROI perspective. With thousands of competitors bidding on coveted keywords, marketers can walk a fine line between paying enough and paying too much. It may be argued that a maximal amount of potential users search for anything at a given time. Therefore, marketers should look for tools to extend the effectiveness of their SEM campaigns, such as bid optimizers or lesser-known display tactics like search retargeting. It’s no secret that there has been massive investment in the display advertising space over the last few years. Major portals and search players have all acquired ad-serving technology and ad networks to compete with established, full-service ad networks. This isn’t just a reaction to the fragmentation of user surfing habits, or a bet on greater growth coming from display-focused brand marketers. The vision that these players share is that data on all consumer Web interaction — <i`Z =iXeZ_` search, Web-surfing and all other Le[\ikfe\ E\knfibj measurables — can be leveraged for marketer ROI benefit. The good news is — as a marketer leveraging search — you don’t need to wait for technology to be developed in the space. The best ways to leverage display already exist. Enter search retargeting. Search retargeting is relatively simple: Insert code designed to drop cookies within your search click-through URL or on dedicated landing pages. This allows you to create valuable, granular segments of users in distinct phases of the purchase funnel and serve them relevant display ads as they visit a site within your portal or ad network partner’s universe of sites. An auto maker, say, may be able to serve rich-media display ads for the specific make and model of the users’ last vehicle search and create custom business rules based on site pages visited. This clearly makes intuitive sense. A 2006 study by ATLAS showed a 22% lift in conversion rates over search alone by users who were exposed to display advertising for a specific marketer following a search. As a best practice, it’s advisable to test with highly trafficked search terms which can then be A/B-tested against an SEM control group. Either way, search retargeting can surely augment and extend the effectiveness of SEM.

Melissa Mackey is online marketing coordinator at Fluency Media. Reach her at

Eric Franchi is SVP of business development at Undertone Networks. Reach him at



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DMNews • search engine marketing guide 2009 orgaNic search 25

Organic Search orgaNic search

Page 25

What’s a SERP? SEO in layman’s terms, by Will Pendergast


rganic search, called natural search or search engine optimization, is a crucial part of most marketers’ search strategies. With the dawn of universal search, SEO has shifted once again, but it’s importance continues to grow. This section features expert input on SEO-related topics such as SERPs, brand-building tips, social media optimization and link-building.

Page 26

Search optimization tips that will put your brand front and center, by Bill Lan Powerboost your SEO with social media to drive links, revenue, by colton Perry

Page 27

Use new ideas in linkbuilding strategy for your SEO effort, by Jodie Barr

What’s a SERP? SEO in layman’s terms By Will PEndERgaSt f your business is online, chances are that you’ve heard about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how it’s designed to improve your site’s rankings for major keywords. What doesn’t get talked about as much, however, is that a good SEO engagement will work on how your results appear, and not just where. So, let’s take a look at exactly what shows up in a search result on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and how you can improve it. Just do a search for whatever term(s) you want — whether you write, Will Pendergast “Texas Rangrange Online media ers baseball” or “platform heels,” the way you read the results will be the same. The headline of the result is taken from the page’s title tag, and the plain text below it is taken from the page’s meta description — or, if the page doesn’t have one, from text found on the page. These are both bits of information that can and should be included on every web page in your site. Listed below the meta description — and the easiest to recognize — is the URL of the page in question, along with its size. Next to the URL are two other links that are provided by the engine to offer more information about the site. But there’s one


search engine marketing guide

link in particular that can help you learn how much SEO help you might need in order to go beyond just making your results look nice, and to help them rank well — the “Cached” link. When you click on the Cached link, it provides two key pieces of data, which you will find at the top of the following page. One is the date that the search engine last crawled this page. More importantly, however, is the link list, in the lower right corner of Google’s gray cached box for a “text-only version.” Here you’ll see a better representation of how the search engine crawler saw your site. What you’ll commonly find is that the content is not laid out how you’d expect, or is simply missing — you might even be faced with a nearly blank page. A good SEO company will help educate your coders on ways to make sure that your site’s content is seen by the engine, how to emphasize your site correctly so it carries the right weight with search engines, and they can help you rank for the right keywords. Which keywords are the right keywords? It’s not as simple as you might think, and it will often surprise you. Is it notebook or laptop? Footwear or shoes? Clothes, clothing or apparel? Also, are there other elements your customers might add to their search query, like a brand name or color? A good SEO engagement will look closely at this, as well. All effective search engine marketing is built upon providing the best descriptions for the most relevant content. If you can provide that to your customers and build it in a way that engines can read, you’ll take away a lot of the mystery of rising both in the ranks of SERPS and in business. Will Pendergast is director of SEO, Range Online Media. Reach him at

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J\XiZ_ fgk`d`qXk`fe k`gj k_Xk n`cc Gfn\iYffjk pfli J<F n`k_ jfZ`Xc glk pfli YiXe[ ]ifek Xe[ Z\ek\i d\[`X kf [i`m\ c`ebj# i\m\el\ 9P 9@CC C8E oller-coaster economies force marketers to seek strategies that reap the highest levels of ROI. Even in times like these, they feel confident that search advertising will continue to be a valuable investment in the marketing mix. But with increasing competition and a shifting marketplace, marketers must understand the best practices for optimizing search to achieve the desired levels of return from their advertising spend. JZXc\# jZXc\# jZXc\ For effective search advertising, you must scale. Implementing the right technology platform helps ensure that the number of keywords you purchase and report on is in line with your firm’s needs. Using fewer keywords makes you more reliant on using broad match keywords to gain volume — but they face more competition and are more expensive. Create the right keyword footprint, and you’ll be rewarded. KiXZb pfli IF@ To improve search advertising results, look at how your campaigns actually perform. Marketers are moving toward a granular level of tracking, but plenty still assess campaign success at the ad or campaign level — which doesn’t lend insight into overall achievement. Tracking success at the keyword level can provide information on trouble areas of campaigns and allow for quick correction for those that are not performing. NXkZ_ pfli HlXc`kp JZfi\ Keeping a high Quality Score with the search engines will help lower your cost per click, increase your ROI and extend the effectiveness of your search campaigns. Search engines reward the relevance of keywords, so test your ad copy and keyword groupings to ensure they’re relevant to your business. Using tools, such as match types and negatives, will improve the quality of your traffic and boost your campaigns. @ek\^iXk\ [XkX XZifjj Z_Xee\cj Your customers use many channels. So, incorporating information across many of them offers you a cohesive overall marketing strategy. If your display ads are doing well on a particular site, 9`cc CXe use that information to tailor <]ÔZ`\ek =ifek`\i keywords and ad copy for your search campaigns. Cross-channel optimization also allows you to adjust budgets depending on which channels show success. Search advertising remains an effective tool for acquiring and retaining profitable customer relationships. As marketing budgets shrink, ensure that you’re taking advantage of the resources and strategies available to lower costs and improve results.

9P :FCKFE G<IIP s the economy struggles, marketers are challenged to do more with less. Many are turning to SEO as the efficient, effective way to drive links, conversions and revenue. But, here are a few words of experienced caution as you consider SEO. Effective SEO strategies, plans and programs are not easy, requiring a high degree of expertise to effect, and a long-term commitment to maintain. But the return can be long lasting. Social media have made a splash in the last couple years as a cost-effective and successful strategy for branding and customerrelationship management, but it’s now ever more important to search. The speed at which information is distributed via social channels is helpful for search, generating tremendous numbers of quality inbound links quickly. Socially shared content ranks higher, and rises through the ranks quickly. Social media can help boost your SEO to gain from the combined efforts. It provides traction and footing in a new area that is highly measurable. This requires investment, but a foundational program can be launched for your goals and budget. Blended Meta/Social Media sites are expected to rise in popularity this year, efficiently driving SEO results. Meta sites collect links to content from original sources and social sites allow conversations on stories from original sources. Blended sites rely on content from other social sites and automate, organize and structure data. Optimize your Web site content so that it’s easily crawled and indexed, by adding :fckfe G\iip bookmarking widgets and RSS or E\kGclj DXib\k`e^ Atom feeds to a Web site or blog. When boosting SEO, consider a blog program. Technically, blogging is not considered social media, but it relies on many of the same principles — conversations, opinions and the ability to spread virally and rapidly. In terms of its relation to search, blogs are very SEO-friendly — lots of text, which is updated frequently, and bloggers like to link. Those links add up and contribute to SEO results in a significant way. Encourage your clients to explore a corporate blog and work a strategy into your overall SEO program. Social media and SEO are not free — to do it right still entails investment. But the returns can be staggering when they are integrated strategically. We’re in a new environment for online marketing, but being smart about SEO can help keep you on top — no matter the economic situation.

Bill Lan is VP of account development, Efficient Frontier. Reach him at

Colton Perry is SVP of technology and creative at NetPlus Marketing. Reach him at



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Lj\ e\n `[\Xj `e c`eb$Yl`c[`e^ jkiXk\^p ]fi pfli J<F \]]fik 9P AF;@< 98II he natural search rank of your Web site is determined largely by link popularity — defined as how many wellranked Web sites link to yours. Link analysis has been gaining more importance to the search engines, not less. Search engines look at the quality and relevance of links that point to your Web site rather than the number of inbound links. A high-quality link comes from a page that already has a high rank. But the days of link farms and random link exchanges are over. The major search engines warn webmasters against link schemes, and Web sites are penalized for links devoid of contextual relevance. New link generation Af[`\ 9Xii strategies surround content as Fi[\iJkfid search engines look to provide their customers with the most relevant content. Links from ranked pages with relevant content are what build rank, build a brand name and send targeted traffic to your Web site. Creating inbound links to a Web site can be difficult. The value of creating unique content can’t be overstated. But chances to place your content and links on external Web sites abound. O Develop feeder sites with encyclopedia-quality content linking to your site. Feeder sites will also send you real customers. O Submit articles and press releases to free syndication Web sites that can use your article for newsletters — or get targeted news feeds. They offer links back to your Web site in return for the free use of your articles. This type of publicity brings oneway links, helps build your brand and increases traffic. O Participate in industry-related forums, or blog on sites related to your industry. Put a link to your Web site in your signature. O Social network sites give out lots of links. The types of wellregarded content that usually generates viral links on social networking sites, like, include useful, relevant and unique information; controversial topics; the bashing of the government, brand-names, organizations or politicians; and anything funny, gross, disgusting or bizarre. Use an automated system for domain management, submission tracking, keyword ranking and referral traffic to focus your time on content creation. A solid, ongoing link-building strategy will keep your Web site ranked high in natural search, build your brand identity, reduce dependence on cost-per-click advertising and increase your sales.


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28 search 2.0 DMNews • Search Engine Marketing Guide 2009

Search 2.0 search 2.0

Page 28

It’s time to get social with search marketing, by Lisa Wehr


ocial media, video, mobile and blogs have all become key players in the drive for search results — as smartphones boom, YouTube becomes a search engine powerhouse, and social networking and blog results show up increasingly in search result pages. These expert columns share strategies on how best to take advantage of these search-friendly developments.

Page 29

Utilizing video in your SEO: Your ticket to the top of the page, by Carol Lustig Five ways to use search and social media to maximize your TV buy, by Joshua Stylman

Page 30

Get ready to test the mobile search waters in 2009, by Gregg Stewart From one search query, there are ten ways to get an answer, by David Berkowitz

It’s time to get social with search marketing BY LISa WEhr earch engine marketing is changing — and it’s time to stand up and take notice. No longer is it enough to optimize content and create meta tags. While these elements are still important, social media has revolutionized SEO. All of the major search engines are now indexing blogs, images, videos, podcasts, press releases, social profiles, news and more. To increase and/or maintain posiLisa Wehr tions on these Oneupweb search engines, companies need to start integrating social media into their marketing mix. Today, SEO and social media go hand-in-hand. Here are five tactics to consider in boosting the performance of your search campaigns: start a blog A blog is a great way to talk to your audience. Let them know who you are, what you think and what the latest news at your company is. It’s also a great way to engage in open, honest dialogue with your customers. Plus, the search engines view blogs as relevant, indexable content. Get behind the camera Videos add content to your Web site and provide another way for someone to engage with your brand. Whether it’s a clip about your latest whitepaper or an



instructional video, it allows your audience to learn more about your company. By posting it on video sharing sites like YouTube, you increase your brand exposure and your company’s visibility. Remember to add descriptions and tags to your videos, to ensure that they’re indexed by the search engines. snap some photos Whether you have existing photos on your Web site or just a few photos of a company event, they’re a great way to let the world know who you are. Make certain that you include tags with all of your photos, so the search engines index your content properly. Also, be sure to post your photos to sharing sites such as Flickr. record a podcast A podcast is portable, popular, personal, entertaining, informational and accessible. In other words, podcasting is a great way to reach your target audience. It provides another outlet for your listeners to find out more about your brand and the products, services and people behind it. You should post your podcasts to iTunes and your corporate Web site with a written description. Tell your news to the world Press releases announce your news to the world. To ensure the world can actually find your press releases online, include relevant keywords that can be indexed by the major search engines. This will help raise your search positions and spread your news to an even bigger audience. By providing a variety of relevant, indexable content to the search engines and optimizing your complete online presence, you will increase your online visibility. So, go ahead and get social with search marketing.

Lisa Wehr is CEO and founder of Oneupweb. Reach her at

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9P :8IFC CLJK@> magine being able to give your best sales pitch to a prospect at the exact moment they make their buying decision. Now, with video SEO, you can. Unlike SEO for a Web site, video SEO can place multiple versions of a customized video about your business with major search engines, such as Google Video, Yahoo Video, MSN Video, AOL Video, Media Café and YouTube. Each version is optimized with specific keywords for prime placement. In this manner, a single business can own organic search in their specific industry because each video comes up independently in the search results for those specific keywords. As a search is made and results are displayed, it is possible for a company to own the entire first results page with video SEO. Forrester Research observed recently that for keywords on which video results were offered, an average of 16,000 videos were competing for space on results pages — which contained an average of 1.5 video results per page. This means that each video had roughly an 11,000-to-1 chance of ranking on the first page of results. In comparison, for nonstandard HTML results, there were an average of 4.7 million results competing for a spot on results pages with an average of 9.4 text results per page, or a 500,000-to-1 chance of appearing on the first page of results. If you compare the likelihood of a video result appearing on the first page with that of a standard HTML result, indexed videos have, roughly, a 50 times greater chance of making the first page. Prior to 2007, videos were only shown in video-specific searches. Today, with the new universal or blended search, multiple types of :Xifc Cljk`^ information are viewable in one Fgk`fej D\[`X&(KflZ_ DXib\k`e^ unified search result. That creates more competition for real estate in search results, so it’s vital to get prime position. A ComScore study on 2008 Google user behaviors with blended results noted that video ranked second to news for total clickthroughs. Additionally, Jupiter Research reported that users are more likely to click on specialized content — such as video — when it appears within blended search results vs. vertical results. Video SEO needs to become an integrated part of a firm’s total SEO plan to drive traffic and gain name exposure in the market. When it comes to Web sites, if you build it, they won’t come — if they can’t find it.

9P AFJ?L8 JKPCD8E f a potential customer is intrigued by a TV ad, how can brands capture them when they search the Internet for information? This type of integration needn’t be complicated. These five tips can help capture the online buzz generated by your ads. @em`k\ m`\n\ij kf pfli j`k\ Include a URL onscreen or in the voice over of your commercial to give viewers a next step. Even if those people don’t visit your site now, the call to action signals that more content is available online. 8ek`Z`gXk\ _fn g\fgc\ n`cc j\XiZ_ Given that 80% of online sessions begin at a search engine, make sure your customers can find your brand — no matter how they search for it. ;feËk aljk ]fZlj fe pfli YiXe[ eXd\ Viewers may not remember details. Note the memorable points of your commercial, such as taglines or spokesperson names, and use them to expand your keyword list. 9\ n_\i\ g\fgc\ Xi\ c`b\cp kf j\\b pfl flk Not all interest is expressed on traditional search engines like Google or Yahoo. If someone wants to watch your commercial again, their first instinct may be to search YouTube. Build a presence on the social networks that best drives online customers to you. Profiles and content on social networks often find their way into general search engine results, providing more opportunities to reach interested people. B\\g d\jjX^\j Zfej`jk\ek Because people search for elements of your TV campaign, use the same message in search ads, social networks and landing pages. This provides continuity Afj_lX JkpcdXe for your message, and that conI\gi`j\ D\[`X sistency tells people that they’re heading in the right direction. <e^X^\d\ek [f\jeËk \e[ Xk pfli cXe[`e^ gX^\ After someone clicks through to your landing page, what’s next? Provide a call to action that allows people to take the next step with your product. Reward those who find your site with something interactive. This could be a game, an extended cut or some behind the scenes content about your brand. Finally, cross-link all of your brand’s social profiles on your landing page to let people find the interaction that best suits them. Their initial visit may not result in a sale, but if you can maintain an ongoing dialogue with your audience by turning them into followers on Twitter or fans on Facebook, you give yourself a chance to drive some form of conversion later.

Carol Lustig is director of marketing at Options Media/1Touch Marketing. Reach her at

Joshua Stylman is managing partner at Reprise Media. Reach him at



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30 search 2.0 DMNews • search engine Marketing guide 2009

Get ready to test the mobile search waters in 2009

From one search query, there are ten ways to get an answer

By GreGG Stewart esearch seems to say that this is the year of everything mobile. Smartphone use is increasing and manufacturers are slashing prices, making them available to the masses. So, although wireless carriers still need to offer non-prohibitive data plans, this may prove an important year for mobile search. Soon, most of the expected 191 million Americans carrying a mobile device will be searching for everything local on their phone — an opportunity for marketers to dip their toe into the mobile search waters. According to TMPDM research, two out of three Wi-Fi-enabled consumers already look up local listings and maps on their smartphones. This doesn’t mean that you need to revamp your whole campaign, but you do need to extend it slightly to diversify your media mix. Invest in Google’s adwords for mobile Most businesses have not tapped into Google’s offering because it is so new, but this service is an easy extension to your existing Adwords campaign. ensure that your listings are correct Businesses often find their local listings inaccurate, from their phone number to the physical business address. Many Internet yellow pages offer mobile applications for smartphones, so ensuring your business listing is accurate for the mobile searcher is critical to boosting sales. Investigate social/mobile search behavior Look at local search sites that invest in mobile as well as social search tools. Citysearch lets Facebook users Gregg stewart read and write reviews on their tMP directional Marketing devices. These reviews are then broadcast in Facebook, allowing you to read Citysearch reviews from your Facebook News Feed. Businesses can track Facebook reviews of their establishments, to take easy advantage of local, word-of-mouth promotion. consider mobile voice search With a possible 2.1 billion ad-sponsored directory assistance calls to be made by 2012, voice search is a wise tool to examine. Mobile phone searchers are in an advanced phase of the buying cycle — typically with an immediate need — so you can target specific messages and even offer coupons to searchers receiving listings via text. As more people buy smartphones and carriers offer unlimited data plans at little cost to the consumer, it will be imperative for advertisers to weave mobile into their search strategy. Early adopters of mobile local search will have the benefit of testing the platform and building loyalty without a huge investment.

By DaviD Berkowitz hile the vision of search activity reaching past the desktop has been around for a while, the proliferation of mobile devices and new technologies makes “anytime, anywhere” search easier. Marketers may not need all of them, but it’s increasingly crucial to be aware of the disparate ways to reach consumers when, where, and how they search. Here are ten different ways of conducting a search query. We’ll say that Alex in Dallas is looking for flowers for his girlfriend. home Pc Query: “flowers dallas tx.” Alex uses Google and Yahoo to look for flowers in his area. Twitter search Query: “flowers dallas.” Thinking he might not have many followers in or from Dallas, he checks search.twitter. com to see if anyone has mentioned local florists recently. sMs: search engines Query: “flowers 75248.” Alex enters the ZIP code to narrow the results. Plus, with his phone’s keypad, he can enter as few characters as possible. sMs: Q&a services Query: “anyone know where to get the best flowers in dallas” sent to 242242, the shortcode for ChaCha. A guide responds via SMS with suggestions. Alex can also seek answers via, a rival service. WaP (mpobile Web) Query: “flowers 75248” entered in Google Mobile on his phone. Voice search Query: “flowers,” then “dallas texas.” He dialed 1-800-FREE-411, or could have used 800-GOOG-411. car: GPs Query: “florist.” On his device, Alex selects “search nearby” and picks the closest match. It doesn’t return the most David Berkowitz comprehensive results, working 360i better for other searches. airplane Query: “flowers san francisco.” On business, Alex flies on a Boeing 767-200 plane with in-flight Wi-Fi. His girlfriend is meeting him for the weekend. On Google on his laptop, he finds Rossie & Rovetti Flowers near his hotel. TV Query: “flowers 75248” entered on his Samsung with Intel software with Yahoo widgets. Alex finds the initial technology frustrating compared to PCs and mobile devices. Word of Mouth Query: “Know any good florists in Dallas?” Search is anchored in word of mouth. But it might take time to think of people Alex knows who live in the right area who know of good florists. But when he calls his flower-loving friend and gets a recommendation, there’s no question where he’ll wind up.

Gregg Stewart is SVP of interactive, TMP Directional Marketing. Reach him at

David Berkowitz is director of emerging media and client strategy, 360i. Reach him at



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