Google's relationship with luxe auto maker BMW just got deeper, as the search giant will now serve info from Google Maps directly into cars equipped with the BMW ConnectedDrive driver information and comfort system. With a feature called In-Car Google Local Search, BMW ConnectedDrive model owners can search for and navigate to any Google Maps-listed business, and the service even has click-to-call functionality.
Google's AdWords team continues its set of blog posts on how advertisers can get the most bang for their PPC buck. This segment dives further into creating the best ad text possible, moving beyond the basics (from a previous post)of proper grammar and a clear call-to-action, to deciding whether to include price information in the ad, what benchmarks and metrics to use for ad text testing, as well as the best sources for performance tracking.
Shimon Sandler's piece on effective SEO copywriting is not about stuffing paragraphs full of keywords. Instead, the independent search consultant covers how to increase both search rankings and user engagement by adding paragraphs (and sometimes pages) of effective content. For e-commerce sites especially, original content is key -- not rehashed product or brochure information. While placing keywords in the anchor text helps, site owners should also ensure that their copy is genuinely interesting, that there are links to high-ranking "authority" sites, and that the copy touts user benefits -- not just product features.
In this Q&A session with David Harper, founder of mobile tech firm Winksite, columnist Stephen Wellman delves into the basics of mobile SEO, covering link strategies, analytics, carrier issues, and the similarities and differences between mobile and desktop search optimization. As more companies build out a mobile Web presence, ensuring that their sites rank high is key -- as an iCrossing study found that 75% of mobile searchers were unwilling to browse beyond the second page of search results.
While Fortune 500 companies have the budgets to grab top paid and organic search rankings, smaller businesses can snag eyeballs with local search. Big Oak SEO's founder Shell Harris details how adding user reviews to local engines like Yelp, Citysearch and Google Maps can help SEO pros boost their small- and medium-business clients' rankings.
Jeremy Luebke gives an overview of why blog Webmasters may choose to include the "nofollow" tag in their source code, why some opt out, and why search engine optimizers aiming to use blog comment streams to build links may be barking up the wrong tree. The piece also gives detail on how Google's technology actually differentiates between blog text and user comments.
SEO pros have said that using a "holistic approach" to optimizing a site's entire inventory -- from text, to images and video -- is the best way to take advantage of the fact that the major search engines are blending more than just documents into their search results. This post, by SEM Elliance, lays out an easy six steps the average site owner can take to make sure that his images get indexed for maximum visibility -- from providing appropriate keyword tags to quality supporting text.
Did-It's Dave Pasternack takes SEM firms to task in this article, arguing that during the pitching stage, most search marketing agencies wax poetic about their technology and their successes - not about how they'll use their expertise to deliver concrete results for the client. Pasternack cites a new study by UK-based Intelligent Business Group, a report that surveyed 150 top level U.S. marketing execs -- revealing that some 61% of them believed that the agencies pitching to them had done no research at all on the core issues the company was facing. While Pasternack does fault the ...
A joint study between Jupiter Research and iProspect found that 50% of search marketers have their performance rating tied to total sales metrics, up 16% from 2005. In contrast, 86% of SEM pros said that agencies used search metrics as the primary gauge of their performance (up 19% from two years ago). Analysts at Jupiter are predicting the trend of sales and other true business-results-based SEM performance measurement to continue to rise, as more advertisers begin to understand the direct correlation between consumer search activity and retail sales.
J.D. Rucker discusses the challenges search marketers face in crafting effective campaigns for automotive clients, from the sheer volume of dealership competitors, to the often techno-phobic mentalities of the business owners themselves. He debunks four common myths that SEO pros on the dark side might use to take advantage of the auto industry's seeming naiveté.