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1. Search, Social and Mobile:How to Integrate Newer Mediawith Search MarketingA Search Marketing Now Whitepaper
Search, Social and Mobile: How to Integrate Newer Media with Search Marketing Search, Social and Mobile: How to Integrate Newer Media with Search Marketing IntroductionS ocial media and mobile apps have taken consumers by storm, converging on traditional search to create enormous opportunities for marketers willing to brave the oft-murky waters of audience engagement and relationship building. Brands that understand and cater to the preferences of their social and mobile usersin 2012, and use that knowledge to adapt their search marketing strategies will experience the most success in2012. Technology will play a key role in that success, as data storage, analytics and modeling techniques becomemore critical.This whitepaper examines the growing impact of social and mobile on consumers and search marketingstrategies, as well as how search marketers are adapting to create more integrated, relevant campaigns. Adobeand Search Marketing Now would like to thank the following Search Engine Land and Marketing Land columnistsfor their contributions: Brian Klais, Founder and CEO at Pure Oxygen Labs; Jordan Kasteler, Online MarketingStrategist at PETA; Jim Belosic, Chief Designer at ShortStackLabs.com; Kevin Gibbons, Director of Strategy atSEOptimise; Manu Mathew, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Visual IQ; Greg Finn, Chief Marketing Officerat Cypress North; and Matt McGee, Executive News Editor at Marketing Land. This E-Book was prepared byNathania Johnson. n2 © 2012 Third Door Media, Inc. http://searchmarketingnow.com • Email: email@example.com • (203) 664-1350
Search, Social and Mobile: How to Integrate Newer Media with Search MarketingSocial Media and Mobile Growth, By the NumbersAt the end of 2011, Facebook had 132.5 million U.S. members and Twitter had 23.8 million, according to eMarketer.The digital research firm projects Facebook will reach 141.2 million U.S. members in 2012, while Twitter is expectedto grow to 28.7 million U.S. members.Overall, social networking accounted for one out of every five minutes online globally in October 2011, accordingto comScore. At the same time, Facebook represented three out of every four social minutes, reaching 55% of theglobal Internet audience. While 15-24 year olds are the most active social demographic, users age 55 and older arethe fastest growing social media adopters.Newer social network are also enjoying impressive growth. The top 100 Google+ brand pages experienced 1,400%growth in February 2012 according to BrightEdge. Pinterest is now one of the top 30 websites in the U.S., accordingto Experian Hitwise, needing just six weeks to grow from one of the top 60 to one of the top 30. Social media does not exist in a vacuum; mobile devices are driving consumer social media use. comScore found that 64% of smart phone users accessed a social network on their devices at least once in October 2011; two out of five users socialize on their mobile devices every day. Facebook’s 2012 public filing revealed that 50% of its traffic is driven by mobile devices. Additionally, its mobile traffic growth rate exceeded its overall U.S. growth rate by one percentage point in 2011 (17% vs. 16%). Despite obvious consumer desire to access the web via mobile devices, content has not kept up. According to a study by Mongoose Metrics, only 9% of publishing websites were ready for mobile at the beginning of 2012. Advertisers performed above average, with 33% optimizing for mobile, according to Google. This leaves a lot of room for search marketers to utilize their expertise.Social and Mobile Influence on Consumer Buying BehaviorThe impact of social media and mobile devices is changing the where and when of consumer online purchasingdecisions. Customers can just as easily find product information through Twitter as they can Google. ManyInternet users in the information-seeking stage of online purchasing use their social networks to see what theirfriends think – a phenomenon called “crowdsourcing.” More and more people trust getting purchasing advice andrecommendations from other people.Consumers are not waiting for marketers to catch up. Instead, they are turning their attention and loyalties to brandscatering to their newfound technological needs. For example, 57% of customers said they would not recommenda business with a poor mobile experience, while 40% said they would switch to a competitor offering a better one,according to a 2011 study by Compuware.Mobile users search with local and immediate intent. In its study “Understanding the Mobile Movement,” Googlefound that 77% of smart phone users engage in mobile search. Nearly 90% of those mobile searches led to actionwithin a day, and 53% led to a purchase – either in-store or online. Google’s study further found that 60% of mobile3 © 2012 Third Door Media, Inc. http://searchmarketingnow.com • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • (203) 664-1350
Search, Social and Mobile: How to Integrate Newer Media with Search Marketingsearchers go on to visit a local business, and44% use their devices while shopping.The Impact of SocialMedia and Mobileon SearchFor a long time, search and social mediamarketing were two separate departments.A successful brand had a social campaignand a search marketing campaign, and thetwo rarely mingled. Search was about beingfound, and social media was about loyalty andengagement. Source: GoogleToday, search and social campaigns areinseparable for marketers, consumers and the Search engines now evaluate a socialsearch engines. In June 2011, Google releasedtwo features to desktop users that were media user’s credibility just as theypreviously exclusive to mobile users: search byvoice and search by image. This was preceded evaluate a site’s credibility.by the inclusion of social profile links in searchengine results pages (SERPs).Search engines now evaluate a social media user’s credibility just as they evaluate a site’s credibility. For example,search engines consider retweet rates in their rankings. If a link tweeted to 1,000 followers gets 100 retweets, the linkis considered to have a 10% retweet rate and may do better in search rankings than a link with a 3% retweet rate.Google also considers the volume and source of social media links – both on and off the social network – to beimportant. A link to a custom tab on a business page will be weighted more heavily for a popular, recognized source.Well-earned “likes” are also a significant ranking factor on Bing.Similarly, search results are being influenced by mobile Internet use. Google has created separate user interfacesfor tablets, feature phones and smart phones, changing search results completely for certain queries from mobileversus desktop users. Mobile landing pages are now a factor in Quality Scores for AdWords, as well.Adapting to Social and Mobile OpportunitiesWhen it comes to search engine rankings, the names of social profile pages, custom URLs, and custom tabs arejust as important as headers, URLs, and meta data. Motivated search users want to find a brand’s Facebook, Twitter,YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn profiles on the first page of both mobile and desktop SERPs.A brand’s social profiles need to be made available to the public, whether or not a user has “liked” or is “following”the profile. While brands may be inclined to build login gates to drive up fan counts, walled content will be hiddenfrom search engines.Links to social profiles are just as imperative as website link building and internal links. Social networks allow searchmarketers to build relationships with industry influencers and determine which sources or profiles are legitimate.Like traditional desktop search link building, social link building takes time. The same rules of building networks,4 © 2012 Third Door Media, Inc. http://searchmarketingnow.com • Email: email@example.com • (203) 664-1350
Search, Social and Mobile: How to Integrate Newer Media with Search Marketingtrust and compelling content apply. Social media at its core is about connecting with people. Search marketersalready know how harmful bad reviews and other user-generated content can be. Interactivity and engagement arecrucial to maintaining a good reputation online.Search without KeywordsThe introduction of “search by image” has created a new challenge for searchmarketers: searches without keywords. Search engines scour their image The introduction ofcollections for related images and offer keyword suggestions based on keywordsassociated with the image. To capitalize on this traffic-building opportunity, “search by image”you need to make sure that logos and labels for all of your products are clearly has created adisplayed and optimized for logo queries in Google Image Search. Each of theselogos can also be attached to a mobile site that allows the viewer to recommend new challenge foryour brand on social networks. search marketers:Paid and Organic Lines BlurSocial media is blurring the line between SEO and SEM. Facebook Ads encourage searches withoutusers to “like” brand pages. Once a page is liked, that page’s updates will be keywords.automatically posted on users’ news feeds, generating more continual traffic asusers will regularly click on links that interest them. When compared to a basic adthat goes directly to a site’s home page, “like” ads may generate a greater audienceand steadier traffic with repeat visitors.Advertising on social bookmarking sites such as Digg and Reddit also looks similar to organic submissions.Since users are able to interact with the sponsored post, just as they would with non-paid links, ads garner betterclickthrough rates. And while Facebook and Twitter appear to dominate social advertising, less popular socialnetworks such as MySpace, which still has over 150 million members, may help stretch budget clout. MySpaceadvertising is part of the MyAds network, which is owned by the FOX Audience Network and hosts advertising onover 1,000 websites.Optimizing for MobileSearch marketers have an enormous and immediate opportunity to reach the millions of mobile consumers hungryfor mobile-optimized content. The best sites play to the strengths of mobile, compelling users to share and link tothem. Clicking on a mobile ad should not interrupt a user’s current activity. Additionally, the call to action must beeasy to engage on a small screen with a slower connection.Mobile-specific landing pages are essential for successful mobile SEM. Search marketers should take advantage ofsearch ad device targeting and give mobile searchers a clear signal that a site is “iPhone optimized” or “Androidready.” Searchers see these signals as shortcuts that may help them survive what often seems like the limitednature of today’s mobile web.Modern browsers now have access to the gyroscope, camera and accelerometer, offering the ability to createsomething unique that mobile users will find invaluable. Remember that mobile intent is not the same as desktopintent. Marketers who only use desktop keywords to optimize for mobile sites are at a disadvantage compared tothose who develop content based on mobile data. For example, a mobile home page could offer to find a user’slocation based on GPS and display a map and contact information for the nearest store. It could also link to anoptimized store page that would give local shoppers a list of products on sale at the local store with the option tobuy and pick up in store.5 © 2012 Third Door Media, Inc. http://searchmarketingnow.com • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • (203) 664-1350
Search, Social and Mobile: How to Integrate Newer Media with Search MarketingMeasuring Search, Social and Mobile ROISearch marketers attempting to integrate search, social and mobile marketing results face several challenges inmeasuring ROI, namely the difficulty in accurately tracking referral data. These challenges can be overcome withsmart data mining and attribution modeling techniques, which are available through an increasing number ofcampaign management platforms such as Adobe’s Digital Marketing Suite.Referral data is the connective tissue that enables search marketers to attribute success and allocate resources againstROI metrics. Smartphone apps are innately unable to pass “referring page” information to site analytics because theyare not recorded as website referrers, but rather viewed as separate applications. The net result is that “direct” trafficand sales counts become inflated, and a sizable percentage of actual mobile traffic becomes understated. This oftenleads marketers to under-invest in mobile and give inaccurate conversion credit to other channels. For brands with a strong search and social media presence, Facebook,Google, and Twitter apps are the most commercially relevant apps likely to be driving volumes of misclassified visitors.For brands with a strong search and social media presence, Facebook, Google, and Twitter apps are the mostcommercially relevant apps likely to be driving volumes of misclassified visitors. Upon the second click within theFacebook app browser, the “referrer” gets populated with “Facebook.com” through the “l.php” redirect script pagepath. This is exactly how desktop-sourced Facebook clicks get recorded making it difficult for marketers to determinethat the traffic came from the Facebook mobile app.To get a more accurate reading on both mobile app and mobile organic traffic, use log file data-mining. This canget a bit complicated, as marketers can pivot around the user agent data, yet need to filter out the 301 and 206status codes that were requested from the same user agent string. When linking between profiles, branded redirect“tracking” links can be utilized instead of linking directly to a social profile URL. This allows you to measure howmuch activity each profile drives to a given profile and vice versa.Solving AttributionAttribution is the science of calculating the contribution that each marketing touch point experienced by a consumerhas on generating a “conversion action,” such as a purchase. Instead of analyzing the performance of social, mobileand search marketing channels in silos, attribution defines the performance of channels by their true contribution toa campaign’s overall marketing success.Search marketers’ use of attribution models have become more accurate, thanks largely to retargeting searchusers that visit a social network or website. With Facebook and Twitter opening up their ad networks to the mobileversions of their sites, the ability to reach mobile users through retargeting will also increase.Attribution also helps search marketers optimize for different channels. For example, mobile search lives closerto the bottom of the conversion funnel, while desktop search sits closer to the top. As a result, abandoned mobilesearches should be considered more like abandoned shopping carts than like a traditional desktop search. The bettera brand is at properly attributing and weighting that activity, the more confidently they will be able to optimize it.6 © 2012 Third Door Media, Inc. http://searchmarketingnow.com • Email: email@example.com • (203) 664-1350
Search, Social and Mobile: How to Integrate Newer Media with Search MarketingLet’s look at this example:If a site converts 3% of 1,000,000 desktop search queries at an average order value of $100, the result is 30,000 ordersand $3,000,000 in sales. A similar value can be assigned for each user that opens a site cart. Perhaps 20% of thoseusers convert at $100 each (i.e., each open cart is “worth” $20 in revenue). Because mobile search is more immediatein nature, the attribution value ascribed should be closer to that of an open cart ($20), than a desktop search ($3).In this case, mobile search may still just be 7% of search traffic, with 70,000 queries, but the business value of mobilesearch would be closer to an estimated $1.4 million than the crude $200,000 value ascribed by unsophisticatedmodels. A slight change in viewing the opportunity may be powerful enough to change corporate priorities. Searchmarketers can lead that conversation.ConclusionSocial media and mobile devices are changing the way consumers search and shop online. Successful digitalmarketing requires relevance, agility and the ability to target products and offers to the right consumer at the righttime based on their preferences and behavior.These newer media offer search marketers unprecedented opportunities – as well as some challenges. Measuringsocial media and mobile marketing results currently requires more technical effort than desktop search campaigns,but it’s crucial for search marketers to begin. By grasping solutions, such as learning to optimize mobile content,understanding how the lines between SEO and SEM are blurring, and adapting search marketing to capture mobileand social users, marketers can ramp up their ROI.Search marketers that embrace the convergence of social, mobile and search are poised to enjoy the most successin 2012 and beyond.Search Marketing Now provide authoritative and actionable education about search engine marketing issues.Register today for one of our free webcastscovering topics about search engine optimization, paid searchadvertising and search marketing in general.Search Marketing Now is a division of Third Door Media, which publishes web sites, and produces in-person eventsand webcasts. Each of the four brands - Search Engine Land, Search Marketing Expo, Search Marketing Now, andMarketing Land - fosters continuing education, evolution and engagement for the community we serve. n Search Marketing Now webcasts and white papers provide authoritative and actionable education about search engine marketing issues. Register today for one of our free webcasts covering topics about search engine optimization, paid search advertising and search marketing in general. Search Marketing Now is a division of Third Door Media, which publishes web sites, and produces in-person events and webcasts. Each of the four brands - Search Engine Land, Search Marketing Expo, Search Marketing Now, and Marketing Land - fosters continuing education, evolution and engagement for the community we serve.7 © 2012 Third Door Media, Inc. http://searchmarketingnow.com • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • (203) 664-1350