I was having a conversation last week about the state of the SEM market place with a few seasoned practitioners and we all seemed to come to the same conclusion, search is now more than ever a complex and scientific beast! You might be saying to yourself, “Anyone can write ad copy and come up with keywords” and you only have to look at the number of PPC agencies who claim to be experts to see that your initial thoughts would be 100% correct! Almost anyone can come up with the basics. However search has really evolved over the last few years and it seems like every few weeks Google is releasing a new ad format or bringing out a new Beta. I will try and not be biased here but unfortunately the others just don’t seem to keep up. Search strategy and planning is now becoming more and more of a science and skilled job as agencies now need to consider all the extra ad formats available and combine these with their existing SEM efforts to create a holistic SEM approach. New Bid to Location Mobile Beta I have chosen to go into a little more detail about a new mobile Beta we are testing which allows you to up-weight your bids depending on the distance of the user from your store/location. Let me put this into practice. Say you are looking for a Local Gym and so you fire up your Iphone (Biased here as I have one) and search for “gym in Wandsworth”. Through a traditional mobile PPC campaign you could display your Gyms ad with a unique phone number and a map and location through Google places which we will cover off another time. However the new mobile bid to distance ad will allow you as an advertiser to up weight your bid and therefore position the closer the potential client is to your store or in this case gym. This is extremely powerful. It stands to reason that that user will be more likely to convert the closer he/she is to the gym. This would be even more powerful for restaurants, movies and other local services and goods. This is only one of many of the extensions to search marketing. Smart agencies are staying abreast of these and testing them when the fit is right. Over the next few weeks The Media Image account managers will give a detailed overview of the various Google ad formats and how they can be used to drive your online and offline business to new heights
Max Brockbank is Head of SEO at The Media Image. He previously served as Global Director SEO at Hilton Worldwide and Senior Client Success Manager at SearchMetrics. As a journalist, Max worked as a reporter and editor with regional and national newspapers including the FT and the Sun, and on global publications such as TIME Magazine.