Of course there's no easy answer, but Lisa Raehsler analyzes a commonly asked question in paid-search advertising: "What is a good click-through rate?" She defines the concept and tells us about the differences in channels such as search and display before explaining how several factors -- from audience and targeting to type and offer -- can influence the rate.
To predict changes in 2013 online search marketing, Gianluca Fiorelli analyzes Google's mission statement: to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. He tells us that Google's algorithms represent the how, and products represent the what. Useful represents the experience in "E" or "engine" in search optimization. This is why content marketing -- the media that creates useful information -- will become the priority for search marketers next year.
Greg Habermann takes us through 10 old SEO methods that marketers should avoid. The list begins with simple things like exchanging the task of "going after easy links" for building relationships with bloggers and writing guest posts that add value to a site. Marketers should also stop distributing press releases that do not include news, and ignoring social signals that can provide benefits. One of the major changes that marketers will need to make is a focus on engines other than Google. Marketers don't put their retirement plans in one stock, so why put the entire company's search budget in …
Ted Ives serves up some best practices for "perfectly legitimate marketing practices," better known as commenting in blog posts or recommendation engines, when done properly with the right intentions. The detailed post offers up advice on setting up form-filling plugins for browsers, creating spreadsheets to record when and where you left comments, suggestions on the correct anchor text, and where to put links. This checklist for writing comments provides advanced tips and tricks.
The parody video, "Everything Wrong With The Amazing Spider-Man In Two Minutes Or Less," points to Peter Parker's use of the search engine Bing in 'The Amazing Spider-Man" movie. The Bing product placement in the movie demonstrates Microsoft's marketing push for its search engine. Scott Johnson tells us that while in the movie Peter Parker prefers Bing, in the comic books he prefers Google.
Kenshoo asked more than 300 marketers in the United Kingdom about their priorities and views on search. Some of the things learned include how mobile search delivers benefits, how Facebook augments search, and influences from social sites like Twitter. The study also analyzes what search engines U.K. marketers prefer, paid-search budgets and effectiveness of SEM toward meeting key business goals, and how brands are integrating search marketing into their overall budget.
Many search engine optimization professionals find they must write and edit their own copy. Erica McGillivray serves up some tips for those who do it all. Many are found in journalism 101. Start by finding a style and incorporating it into your own. Use an active voice versus a passive one to provide descriptions that move the reader along with the content. And use short sentences. Get directly to the point.
Announced last week, Google provides tips on making finding things via Google Maps app for iPhone easier and faster. Swipe to see more, place a pin, compass mode, shake to send feedback, save a place, and street view are some of the features. The shake-to-send-feedback features allows users to capture a screenshot of their Google Maps screen giving context for the feedback.
An Apple patent titled "Integrated Coupon Storage, Discovery and Redemption System" details a repository application similar to Passport for mobile coupon redemptions. The patent describes how users would redeem coupons by presenting the mobile device to a store clerk to enter the barcode or using near-field communication technology. The patent calls it a "near field payment system offered by the location." Although Apple didn't offer a NFC chip in the iPhone 5, perhaps developers changed their mind.
Aaron Wall created an infographic that dissects how Google makes it difficult to perceive or understand algorithm changes. For example, overlapping changes to Panda and Penguin make it more difficult to fix after differentiating between the two. He also calls attention to Google's propensity to make updates during the weekend when search experts are away from work, making it more difficult to reverse engineer during normal shifts. It also makes it difficult to isolate changes.