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Best of 2008 (So Far) - Web Marketing Research, Part 1

Monday, September 15, 2008

Which types of online advertising provide the highest ROI? Who's really clicking on your PPC ads? Why do PPC costs keep rising? How can you convert more clickers into buyers? Are Web 2.0 technologies now mainstream?

Learn these answers and more from this collection of blog posts and articles, some of the best reporting on online research topics so far this year.

Search Engine Performance Report: ROI up 13% in Q4 07, 97% of Additional Spend Goes to Google by Efficient Frontier

It's hardly a shock that Google dominates search marketing budgets, but it is somewhat surprising, as this post reports, that the 800-pound gorilla continues to grow at the expense of competitors with higher ROI increases.

Online Marketers See High ROI from SEO by Marketing Pilgrim

Blogger, SEO expert and PR pro Janet Meiners reports on an MarketingSherpa study detailing the growth in paid search and organic search engine optimization. Read her post to discover which types of online advertising get a thumbs up—and which are losing favor with interactive marketers.

Put current events in context with news search engine Silobreaker by Pandia Search Engine News

Check out this review of research tool Silobreaker, "a different news search service (which) aims to deliver meaning and relevance, not just aggregate and rank providing relational analysis and explanatory graphics to give you contextual insight into news stories and current events." Though acknowledging some problems, Pandia calls it an "amazing resource."

Who's really clicking? by iMedia Connection

Sandeep Krishnamurthy, Professor of Marketing and E-Commerce at the University of Washington, paints a bleak picture of the future of PPC advertising—then gets blasted for it in the Comments by some fairly high-profile sources. My take is that he does miss the distinction between B2B abd B2C here (PPC ads are very productive, especially for software and computer hardware products) but he's absolutely correct that search advertisers often underappreciate the value of branding and PR to enhance PPC results.

Eyeing Prices as Search Keeps Growing by eMarketer

This article summarizes a recent SEMPO study detailing "multiple reasons for SEM spending growth, including advertiser demand, rising keyword and pay-per-click campaign costs, small-to-midsized business SEM use and increased behavioral and demographic targeting." Search marketing is also taking money away from other advertising and PR programs. The question now the article!

The Main Factor Necessary to Convert Visitors to Customers by Marketing Pilgrim

In another enlightening post from Marketing Pilgrim, Internet marketer and online entrepreneur Greg Howlett reports that the average conversion rate for an online retailer is 2.5%—then explains how leaders like Office Depot, QVC and Lands' End are converting at a 16-20% rate.

Google Reveals CTR Average by Industry by Shimon Sandler

This post uses Google data to show the average conversion rates for a few different industries. I was most interested in learning that the average SEM conversion rate for B2B technology companies is 2.8%. Whew! Most of my clients are comfortably above that level.

First Page Listings On Google Even More Important by AccuraCast

If you had any doubt about the importance of SEO, these research results should eliminate them. Based on study from Jupiter Research, four out of ten searchers don't venture beyond the first page of results when searching, and a quarter look at only the top half of page one.

OMG! UM Finds Web 2.0 Breeding Consumers 2.0, Social Media Attains Critical Mass by Online Media Daily

MediaPost editor Joe Mandese reports on a Universal McCann study showing that "Text messaging, blogging and social networking have reached critical mass, with more than half of adults now relying on at least one of these so-called Web 2.0 platforms for communicating with friends, family, or colleagues on a regular basis...The research (also) finds that among digital media's bleeding edge - adults 18-34 - social media now is the dominant form of personal communication media," among other interesting findings.

Direct sales, branding primary SEM objectives: SEMPO survey by DMNews

Ellen Keohane highlights findings from a SEMPO study showing how marketing budgets are shifting, what marketers think of the branding value of search engine marketing, and how they feel about experimenting with new forms of media.

Previous posts in this series:

Best of 2008 (So Far) - SEO Guidance, Part 1
Best of 2008 (So Far) - SEO Guidance, Part 2
Best of 2008 (So Far) - Search Engine Marketing, Part 1
Best of 2008 (So Far) - Cool Web Tools, Part 1
Best of 2008 (So far) - Social Media Optimization, Part 1
Best of 2008 (So Far) - Blogging for Business, Part 1


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom
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