• Better RFPs: A Field Guide For Agencies And In-House Teams
    I have a lot of SEM agency friends who refuse to participate in RFPs (requests for proposals). Their rationale usually boils down to this: if you (e.g., the agency) wasn't involved in writing the RFP, you aren't going to win. Or to put it another way: With most RFPs, the "fix is in" -- there's an agency that has already won, but the marketing team has to go through the RFP process to appease procurement.
  • How Google's Emphasis On Mobile Will Affect You
    When it comes to search algorithm changes, Google has gone from making official announcements to a "this is something we do every day so don't expect to hear from us" attitude. With this in mind, the upcoming mobile-friendly algorithm change is a very big deal.
  • The Real End Goal Of SEO
    Some brands have been obsessed with the notion that rankings are the only SEO metrics that matter. While rankings can contribute to overall success, they are not a reliable measurement or predictor of success. Instead, increases in traffic and revenue, along with other conversion metrics, should be the sole metric by which SEO success is measured.
  • What 'Mobile First' Means For Search Marketers
    I'm not sure exactly when it happened (my guess is 2011, when smartphone shipments surpassed PCs) but the "Year of Mobile" has officially come and gone. We're also past the year of "Mobile Too," in which principles like responsive design dictated our approach to creating experiences that worked for consumers on desktops and mobile devices alike. We're now in an era of "Mobile-First" thinking, when all marketers must adopt this mantra or (their brands will) perish. So what does "Mobile First" mean for search marketers? Here are 10 key areas to focus on:
  • SEMs, Don't Get Left Behind!
    SEM superstars are in great demand these days, and likely will continue to be for several years to come. That said, tying your horse to SEM exclusively is a dangerous proposition these days. The market is moving toward multichannel, multi-device marketing; eventually, SEM-only experts run the risk of becoming obsolete.
  • Is A Google 'Buy Now' Button Inevitable?
    It's been two months since the Wall Street Journal reported that Google has been considering a "Buy Now" button on Google Shopping. The rumored feature would transition Google from a custom search engine to a marketplace, more directly challenging Amazon's "one-click" ordering feature and dramatically changing the customer experience on Google Shopping. The "Buy Now" button sounds great in theory -- but here are four major challenges that may delay or completely derail this new feature.
  • Battle For Search Market Share Heats Up Again
    It's been a long time coming, but the fight among Google, Yahoo and Bing is worth discussing. Yahoo is making an effort -- and a big prize, the default search engine in Safari, is up for grabs. And for the first time since 2009, a search engine besides Google might get more than 20% market share.
  • When It Comes To Search, Is Purple The New Black?
    There's been a bit of brouhaha lately about how Yahoo is stealing search share from Google, and the numbers back it up. To be sure, we're only talking about a couple of percentage points -- but they do equate to billions of ad dollars. Indeed, Yahoo is making noise on a number of fronts as the company strives for reinvention and relevance in search and beyond.
  • Top Search Trends This Year
    One more quick look back as we begin the second month of a new year: 2014 was a tumultuous year for search. While SEO didn't die, even with the loss of keyword data within Google Analytics, we did say goodbye to several other things: Google Local Carousel, Author Photos within search results, 70-character title tags, phone numbers in paid search ads, and visits in Google Analytics.
  • Retail Search Intent For 2015 And Beyond
    The term "retail search intent" is new, but the concept behind it -- consumers conducting online searches who have a distinct plan to buy something during their browsing session, as opposed to virtual window shopping -- is not. Tapping into this core search behavior is the key to selling successfully, both online and offline, but until recently has been a challenge for retailers.
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