Search Marketing

Where Does Search Fit in Digital Marketing in 2015?

search

What does search fit in your digital marketing program? If you answered ‘with the SEO department’, you’re certainly not alone, as many marketers and businesses owners still use the traditionally siloed approach to search marketing, leaving the SEO folks to do their work, separate from the social, paid and content marketing teams.

However, in the ultra-competitive world of search marketing, integration of tactics under a unified digital marketing strategy is becoming more important than ever.

Similar to mobile accessibility, 2015 is the year when integration of search with the overall digital marketing strategy will increasingly move from a ‘nice to have’ to an essential. Brands that embrace an integrated approach will be rewarded.

Integrating Search, Social Media and Email Marketing – @Shoutlet Webinar Recap

Silos Are For Farms, Not Marketing

It’s a good thing we had a team of marketing “silo busters” present for a recent webinar hosted by Shoutlet.  Not only did this triple threat of marketers help break down the barriers between SEO, social media marketing, content marketing and email marketing, but we shined a spotlight on how to integrate.

Why is integration between search, social and email important?

Simple, it works.

It works for customers and what works for customers, works for reaching your marketing goals.

The most basic of marketers have some understanding of how their customers discover information on the web. They know their buyers’ preferences for content types and topics. Most marketers also have an idea of what offers will compel those customers to take action.  When you map that customer journey out, it is inevitable in nearly ALL cases that search, social and email play a role in bringing the customer through the buying cycle.

What Marketers at Dell, IBM, Optum, General Mills and Bank of America Think About the Future of Search Marketing

Future of Search Marketing in Digital

As the search marketing industry continues to feel the sting of Google narrowing down what passes as acceptable search marketing practices, more practitioners find themselves having to defend the channel. This is more true with SEO than Search Advertising, but for many, search marketing isn’t exactly the poster child it once was.

But that’s not how the panel of digital marketers we polled from major corporations including Optum, General Mills, Bank of America, Carlson, Dell, IBM and AOL see it. Their view is far more optimistic.

As companies begin to plan their strategic marketing initiatives, it can be tough sorting through the “propaganda” from search engines and search marketers alike. I’m a fan of going to the source whenever possible for clarity on marketing trends and besides your own data, what better source than companies making choices about marketing budgets, developing strategy, implementing tactics and defending marketing performance on a daily basis?

7 Steps to SEO at Scale: How to Ramp Up Your Search Engine Optimization Strategy

Scalable SEO in brands and organizationscomScore reports that in April 2013 there were over 20 billion search queries and of the 13 billion+ handled by Google, 16% of daily searches have never been seen before.  Each of those attempts represents buyers looking for solutions at the moment of need. Online marketers that take advantage of modern, scalable search engine optimization best practices as part of their overall digital marketing mix can gain a significant advantage over competitors to become “the best answer” when it matters most.

Understanding the basics of search engine optimization can be challenging given how often major search engines update and change the rules. However, buyers’ overwhelming use of search to find solutions is too great to ignore its influence on the buying cycle and achieving sales growth goals.

Search, Social, & Content Work Together at SES Chicago 2011

Wednesday morning’s panel discussion on search, social, and content was flush with information that was easy to digest and provided helpful tips for implementation. The session was moderated by Anne Kennedy from the SES Advisory board and featured speakers:

• Aaron Kahlow, Chairman & Founder, Online Marketing Summit & SES Advisory Board (@omconnect)
• Arnie Kuenn, President, Vertical Measures (@arniek)
• Lee Odden, SES Advisory Board & CEO, TopRank Online Marketing & SES Advisory Board (@leeodden)

Kahlow Presents the What, Why, How, and Who of Search, Social, and Content

Aaron Kahlow focused on some very basic but essential areas that all marketers should focus on when creating a campaign either online or offline. In regards to search, social, and content he had this to share:

What Chicago’s Best Restaurants Can Teach Us About Search & Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing Tips for Chicago Restaurants

I’m going to be visiting the windy city for SES Chicago this week and have been trying to figure out where to explore if I can find some time while I’m there. I always enjoy a great meal so turning to search engines and social media platforms was an obvious answer for me to find great restaurants.

Understanding how end consumers use search and social to find and discuss your business online is key in creating an effective online marketing strategy.  The more that you study and adapt your strategy to positively impact new customers, the more successful your social media strategy will be.

Scoop.It: The Topic-Centric Curation Tool

As an Internet marketer I am always on the hunt for new content marketing tools that can increase my efficiencies and improve engagement with my audience.  I cannot begin to express how valuable content curation can be if done right.  It will allow you tap into and respond to what people are searching for, what they like to read and share, what influences their buying decisions and so on.  In my search for a new means of marketing I came across a tool called Scoop.It.  Below I have detailed my review of this tool including some of it’s cool features.

#MIMASummit: Avinash Kaushik Keynote on Improving Engagement Through Innovation

Avinash Kaushik

Photo from our interview with Avinash at SES Hong Kong

The morning keynote speaker for the 2011 MIMA Summit was none other than Avinash Kaushik co-Founder of Market Motive Inc and the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google.  Avinash was a very funny and engaging speaker.  Nothing was off limits during his keynote.  Caught in the crosshairs of Avinash’s presentations were what he called “small” local companies (General Mills, 3M, etc) that dared to provide a “less than ideal” user experience.

Innovation was the topic of the morning’s keynote, ranging from which companies are a good (and bad) example of implementing innovation to proper metrics to show success.

What Are the 3 Definitions of Innovation?

In Search, Your Competition Isn’t Who You Think

SERPS Competition“Who are your competitors?” asks the Online Marketing consultant to the new SEO client. “Company XYZ and 123″ says the VP of Marketing. The consultant goes to Google and does a few searches on the key solutions offered by the client’s business. Company XYZ and Company 123 are nowhere to be found in the search results.

This situation happens a lot in the search marketing world. Companies tend to see competitors solely as who they bump up against when going after new business, or who prospects say they are also considering. But in the search world, the competition extends beyond other companies in your industry. It also includes any kind of content or information source that appears in search results wherever prospects are looking.

The Junction of Social Media & Content Marketing in New Zealand

social media junctionIn a little over a week I’ll be giving the opening keynote at a social media conference in Auckland, New Zealand called Social Media Junction. The topic? The answer to one of the most common questions asked about social media:  “The Truth About Social Media ROI”.

New Zealanders aka “Kiwis” are an active bunch on the social web with more than 2 in 5 interacting with companies via social sites and 84% of mobile social networkers there having visited Facebook (Nielsen). The social media momentum is growing and companies are hungry for information and perspective.

I’ll follow up the keynote presentation with a workshop, aka Masterclass Programme, the following day focused on Social Media Content Strategy that drills down into the mechanics of social media marketing, content marketing and SEO.  Here’s a bit of a preview on what I’ll be presenting in the workshop:

Content Marketing Book Review: Audience, Relevance and Search

audience relevance searchA few months ago, the PR folks working with IBM Press sent me a copy of “Audience, Relevance and Search: Targeting Web Audiences with Relevant Content” by a trio of authors: James Mathewson, Frank Donatone and Cynthia Fishel. I have somewhat of a connection with IBM Press because of editing the Social Media Marketing chapter of Mike Moran and Bill Hunt’s Search Engine Marketing Inc., 2nd Edition. (Interview)

Funny Story: Fast forward to Oct 13th and I’m on my way through the MSP airport to catch a plane to Las Vegas where I’m speaking at Blog World New Media Expo. I complain on Twitter about $36/day parking (highway robbery in my book) and James Mathewson chimed in with advice on parking at Terminal 2. Ironically, the book I picked out to read on the plan was Mathewson’s “Audience Relevance and Search”. On top of that, James is a fellow Minnesotan and we’ve never met or had any kind of correspondence before. Writing this review was simply meant to be :)

10 Resources on Google Instant & What it Means for Search Marketing

Google InstantYesterday Google implemented their new search experience, Google Instant and the SEO and Tech blogs lit up like a Christmas tree. It’s nice to see something get these folks excited for a change. While the notion of instant search isn’t new, Yahoo had it in 2005, Google commands the vast majority of search engine market share so such a major, public change to the Google interface warrants attention.

Essentially, in Google’s quest to improve user experience and increase speed, they’ve already lowered the time it takes to return results on a query.  The actual act of searching and refinement of queries by users is what takes time, so Google Instant is designed to shorten the time it takes for users to find what they’re looking for by showing search results as you type. If you’re logged in to Google, those results are personalized as they have since personalization was implemented.