Many startups use a variety of online marketing efforts to attract new customers and increase their overall sales. As a $16 billion industry, Search Engine Marketing represents an opportunity to connect with customers when they are looking to buy. A fundamental knowledge about the basics of Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click is not enough to remain competitive in the online marketing world. Here are five search marketing trends for every local startup to be aware of:
- Customer search online influences purchases offline. As reported on TechCrunch, Forrester Research estimates that $917 billion worth of retail sales in 2009 were “Web-influenced.” A total of $155 billion worth of consumer goods were sold online during the same year.
- Beyond Google: Startups should diversify their paid search. Google attracts the majority of paid search advertising, but Microsoft Bing advertising has had notable gains. A recent report from WebVisible showed that Bing click-through-rates for startups grew 109 percent and Yahoo 123 percent, compared to Google at 32 percent between the fourth quarter of 2008 and the fourth quarter of 2009.
- Local and mobile searches: With the explosion of smart phones, the web experience has moved beyond the personal computer to mobile devices such as iPhones, Blackberries and iPads. For companies that serve customers in specific regions, it’s essential those businesses are present in local search results.
- Social media advertising: With over 650 million registered users, Facebook offers an audience that shouldn’t be ignored. Social networks like Facebook provide online marketers advertising opportunities that can tap into new customer segments and complement other paid search programs.
- Paid search and SEO boost overall SEM performance : According to Vanessa Fox, creator of Google’s Webmaster Central and author of “Marketing in the Age of Google, there have been several studies that show click-through rates, conversion rates and revenue are all higher when both organic and paid listings appear for a search.