Search shifts place in plans


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Consider the following three recent developments: The major search engines have added Facebook and Twitter linkages to their search and e-mail pages; so-called “real-time” search results now are beginning to include comments on social media sites; and, completing the loop, social media links are offered by most, if not all, of the major commercial e-mail service providers. “We've kind of taken it for granted that when we buy text links and pay for keywords, we'd get X amount of traffic and a certain rate of return; so we keep on investing to build that return,” said Mark Simon, VP-industry relations with search marketing company Didit. “But what about the customer makeup? What other channels do they frequent? Are they reading print ads, picking up direct-mail solicitations, texting and searching on mobile devices?” Late last month, Google reinforced its belief that search and other channels are inextricably interwoven with the official launch of its Adwords remarketing service, which promises a way to conduct more, integrated online campaigns. After driving traffic to a Web site with search ads, a piece of code on that particular page allows for the subsequent display of discounts or other offers to those visitors. “If the average conversion rate for paid search is 2%, that means 98% of those clicks I'm paying for are abandoning me,” Simon said, noting that Didit has its own display ad remarketing tool, called Blizzard. “If I'm able to make my marketing more effective by targeting the persons who are more interested, to have a better shot at conversion, then my conversion rate goes up for the money I spend,” he said. M
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