The ‘bible’ for search marketers is available now from Marketing Sherpa and should be added to all bookshelves in Internet marketing companies if you want to know what is working and what isn’t.

The top points appear to be:

Once again, the majority of companies are still setting aside too little budget to carry out effective campaigns, or to continue successful campaigns once started.

Viral and email campaigns are also losing out on a decent budget spend, although they are inexpensive and effective.

Long tail terms are getting far more popular, with many search marketers focussing on phrases with three or more terms. In fact, over 54% of search terms are three words or more.

Natural or organic search terms are still winning over paid search terms, and this should be borne in mind when optimising your sites, adding new content etc. (See previous blog posts for more detail on solving these issues.)

Targetting is increasingly important eg geotargetting, behavioural and contextual. This is also being affected by mobile searches, where the device can be pinpointed precisely to a known area and search results delivered more precisely. Additionally, a considerable amount of work is being done on ensuring that PPC and paid advertising is targetted to those times and days when most conversions occur, thereby making budgets go further.

Metrics are maturing, and more people are using Google Analytics now than a year ago. However, there are still issues when working with clients about getting accurate sales figures where there is no e-commerce channel, or the time to the actual sale is quite long. This affects the judgement on ROI and effectiveness.

And finally the effect of search marketing on brand – there is a direct correlation between spending money on SEM and increasing the positive exposure and perception of a brand.

You can see slides from an interview about the report presented by Stefan Tornquist, Research Director, MarketingSherpa, and Tim McAtee, Senior Analyst, MarketingSherpa.

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ClickThrough is a digital marketing agency, providing search engine optimisation, pay per click management, conversion optimisation, web development and content marketing services.