Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

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Planning a vacation: value trumps loyalty and search engines rule

Booking a vacation used to be a job for a qualified professional, but now everyone’s a travel agent thanks to sites like Kayak, Orbitz and Expedia. But online booking sites come in second to the good old, everyday search engine.

The Great American Vacation Study: How Travelers Seek, Shop and Save,” from parago takes an in-depth look at how Americans are planning their leisure travel and I think there’s a lot to learn here – even if you’re not specifically in the travel industry.

It starts with a big number. 90% of the people who responded said they travel for leisure at least once a year. 82% of women and 74% of men always or almost always plan the trip themselves. I don’t know if that speaks to the ease of online bookings or a rise in our need to control all things.

Multi-channel marketing leads to increased engagement for SMBs

main street - ericortner - rgbstckThere are more than 28 million small businesses in the US. They provide 55% of all jobs and 54% of US sales. Unfortunately, the failure rate in the first two years is between 50 and 70%. Some sources say it’s even higher. You have a better chance of watching your business fail than your marriage and the fact that that fact is scary says a lot about the world, doesn’t it?

Glass half full time – a record number of entrepreneurs are getting rich off their small business idea and that’s incentive enough to keep millions of people in the game.

A new survey from Constant Contact shows that the majority of small business owners are cautiously optimistic about not only their chances of survival, but of their growth potential.

50% of local smartphone searchers visit a store within a day

Google Think Local Searches 1Google Think Insights just posted the results of a new study called “Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior” which is all about understanding consumers’ local search behavior. There’s nothing terribly groundbreaking or earthshaking in the report but it’s great for validation if you’re not sure you’re going the right way. It’s also very authoritative if you’re in need of some data to sway a boss or client.

We’ll talk highlights then you can download the full report right here.

4 out of 5 consumers conduct local searches using either a smartphone (88%) or computer / tablet (84%)

These aren’t just browsers looking for a way to waste time while they wait for their lunch. These are people with a specific goal in mind. They want a fast, relevant answer. If you’re the first one to the party, you’re going to be their first choice . . . provided you’re close by (5 mile radius is best) and you have what they need at a decent price.

Google acquires the company it previously discredited: Click Forensics

Now here’s something you don’t see every day.

Google has acquired a company that it spent years trying to undermine: Click Forensics.

Of course, as the WSJ reports, Click Forensics is now called Adometry, but that’s just the new name for the company that Google worked so hard to discredit. Here are just a couple of posts that show how hard Google worked to belittle the company’s click fraud research.

Now it seems Google wants the company’s click fraud technology, but, more likely, they’re interested in its ad attribution business.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but Google officials said the acquisition did not have to pass through any regulatory hurdles. Adometry raised $8 million in funding in early 2013. The firm will continue to operate independently, as least for the near future, Google said.

Search still driving ecommerce, social and affiliate on the decline

Maybe it’s my naturally pessimistic state of mind, but when I see a comparison report, I’m more interested in what stopped working than what’s still working.

A good example is this chart from the Q1 2014 US ecommerce report from The Custora Pulse.

Cutora Pulse April 2014

Comparing 2013 to 2014, we see that search marketing is still going strong. Organic and paid combined are responsible for 44% of ecommerce orders. It worked last year and it still works today. Google is responsible for almost three-quarters of that traffic which is both good news and bad news. On the good side, you know where to go if you want results. On the downside, there’s only one place to go if you want results and that’s scary.

2014 search marketing interview with Danny Sullivan

Marketing Pilgrim’s Gareth Davies asked search marketing legend Danny Sullivan the ten most pressing questions for any search marketer…

#1 Google:

Danny Sullivan

Gareth: Danny, in the last 2 years it appears to some that Google’s Algorithm may favour a larger brand over a smaller business in the search results. How effective can SEO be for driving organic traffic to a small businesses in 2014?

Danny: I think Google’s algorithm is trying to favor brands — not large brands over small brands but brands over sites that you wouldn’t care if you never found them. Brands have value, usually offer something that you can’t get elsewhere. So I think small businesses can continue to do well with SEO.

A beginner’s guide to the difference between PPC and SEO

This post is by Simone Schuurer of Bing Ads, our Search Channel sponsor.

As we mentioned in this blog post we started a blog post series to make sure anyone is able to find information on our blog about pay per click advertising ‘basics’. When I ask people running their own business if they are investing in pay per click (PPC) advertising I get told, every so often, that they don’t need to as their site is already showing up on search engine result pages. This prompted me to write this post on what organic and paid for search engine results are. Most people will agree that showing up on both organic and paid listings will bring you the best search marketing results so – if you are a bit in the dark on this topic – read on!