Search marketing has grown to become the largest part of the online advertising landscape generating $35 billion in annual revenue. Why? Because it works! With search advertising, messages are deliverable to potential customers at the "moment of relevance" - when they are in the buying window actively seeking information on an advertiser’s product or service. This is unprecedented in marketing history.
But this potent advertising tool is evolving rapidly through innovative platforms and applications. Because of its success, more advertisers are competing for the search audience driving up the price of paid search across expanding keyword portfolios while integrating advanced search capabilities like call tracking and Google Places. Industry estimates suggest as many as 300,000 businesses have registered with Google to improve their local search presence. Search messaging is progressing as advertisers add mapping, site links, phone numbers, geo-targeting, and day-part segmentation to their campaigns. Search is also going mobile with roughly 15 percent of searches conducted on smartphones and tablets in the last quarter. On the SEO side, recent changes to Google's algorithm are impacting the quality score of advertisers making organic search optimization much more complex. And most importantly, search is increasingly influenced by social media.
Adding social to the search mix is essential in order for marketers to stay relevant in search results. It is arguably the most significant evolution in the search space. Search Engine Land recently described how Facebook has potentially patented "social search." And The Wall Street Journal cited Google's launch of "+1" as an indication it saw the need to more fully incorporate social signals into its search results, while Search Engine Watch summarized the fundamentals of "+1" here.
The heightened awareness of social search makes sense. If you were searching for a great restaurant or skilled plumber, would you rather poll your friends or the entire web audience? As search continues to capture buyer intent and incorporates the influence of social signals - what your friends think - results will become even more relevant for users and potent for advertisers.
The good news for marketers is that the rapid development of search marketing can make their efforts more efficient in a complex, competitive environment. Here are five trends to consider to effectively navigate the advancing search landscape.
Search has emerged as the king of online advertising because it works. Getting your message in front of the right consumers means mastering this landscape and being better than the competition at overcoming its increasing complexity. The transition to search 3.0 means you cannot waste time. The competition, online and offline, is building capabilities across all search providers, configuring their sites for local and mobile, coordinating SEO and SEM programs, and investing in their complete social media presence, to ensure the addressable market finds them before you.
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Jonathan was CEO at MediaWhiz until July 2011. He was responsible for guiding strategy and operational execution, including overseeing the integration of the company's suite of marketing services, leading the development of new and unique capabilities, and ensuring the organization delivered better results for its performance marketing clients.
Before joining MediaWhiz, Jonathan was president of Lillian Vernon Corp., where he was responsible for the management of the company and its subsidiaries. Lillian Vernon was sold to a group of investors in July 2006.
Previously, Jonathan was the chief strategy officer of DoubleClick, where he was in charge of setting strategy and overseeing M&A. He began his tenure at DoubleClick as vice president responsible for the company's Internet Advertising Network before being appointed senior vice president of the company's Abacus online division, where he created DoubleClick's data strategy and oversaw development of new online targeting products and services.
Additionally, Jonathan was the executive responsible for developing United Media's original Web businesses (The Dilbert Zone, Snoopy.com, and Comics.com), and was a senior consultant with McKinsey & Co.