This updated classic provides the right mix of search engine marketing fundamentals, strategic insights, and practical knowledge to help you think about how to make search work for your business no matter what changes Google makes.
My vote for that distinctive title in our industry goes to Search Engine Marketing, Inc.
Moran and Hunt have done it again—they’ve written a must-read guide to strategic search marketing.
This book will be on your desk, propped open and dog-eared, for a long time to come.
The #1 Step-by-Step Guide to Search Marketing Success… Now Updated and Reorganized to Help You Drive Even More Value
For years, Search Engine Marketing, Inc. has been the definitive practical guide to driving value from search. Now, Mike Moran and Bill Hunt have completely rewritten their best-seller to present valuable new strategies, best practices, and lessons from experience.
Their revamped and reorganized Third Edition introduces a holistic approach that integrates organic and paid search, and complements them both with social media. This new approach can transform the way you think about search, plan it, and profit from it.
Moran and Hunt address every business, writing, and technical element of successful search engine marketing. Whatever your background, they help you fill your skills gaps and leverage the experience you already have.
You’ll learn how search engines and search marketing work today, and how to segment searchers based on their behavior, successfully anticipating what they’re looking for. You’ll walk through formulating your custom program: identifying goals, assessing where you stand, estimating costs, choosing strategy, and gaining buy-in. Next, you’ll focus on execution: identifying challenges, diagnosing and fixing problems, measuring performance, and continually improving your program. You’ll learn how to:
Whether you’re a marketer, tech professional, product manager, or content specialist, this guide will help you define realistic goals, craft a best-practices program for achieving them, and implement it flawlessly.
NEW COMPANION WEBSITE PACKED WITH TOOLS AND RESOURCES
SEMIncBook.com includes exclusive tools, deeper explorations of key search management techniques, and updates on emerging trends in the field.
Search Engine Marketing, Inc. has garnered positive reviews from around the industry. And, hey, anytime the publisher brings out a third edition, you know it couldn’t be awful. Its wealth of information is easy to understand regardless of whether you have a technical or business background (or neither)—business types can understand the technical details and vice versa.
Its readable style makes this the essential guide for improving the search marketing for any business. It’s applicable to small companies and large, but its special treatment of the problems of large search marketing campaigns have differentiated the book from others.
Search Engine Marketing, Inc. is such a strong explanation of the subject that it is frequently used as a college textbook. But don’t take our word for it. Listen to what the critics have to say.
If you’re the kind of person who prefers to work through a physical book, this could well be for you. It’s well-written with lots of practical examples that you can work through; not only focused on organic search, but also the paid side.
Although it can only be up to date the day it heads to the printers, the fundamentals of search engine marketing don’t change dramatically overnight and most of the book will probably still be relevant in a year’s time.
The Red Rocket
My copies of the first and second editions of Search Engine Marketing, Inc. are ratty and dog-eared from extensive use. Because the book so effectively demystifies search engine marketing and provides such practical advice for success, I turn to it again and again and recommend it [to] audiences worldwide. This book is not academic blather or geeky techno-speak; it’s an approachable and digestible guide chock-full of real-life examples. This new third edition is completely updated with much more information on how to integrate paid and natural search strategies with social media.
If you follow the ideas in Search Engine Marketing, Inc. you’ll drive more traffic to your site and convert more visitors into customers.
That’s what I like about this book, Mike and Bill talk about the need to consider not just the technical side of SEO, but aspects such as search intent and understand buyer behaviour. Subjects which are (still) overlooked by many search marketers targeting keywords with the highest search volumes.
If you are new to Search marketing this book provides a comprehensive overview of the subject, written with great clarity. Even as an experienced SEO practitioner I enjoyed reading this book.
The book comes in at a meaty 500 pages, but it scarcely wastes a word while using a conversational tone to take readers through everything they need to know about search engine marketing from how search engines behave to how to execute to meet your goals.
If you’re just starting out with search engine marketing, you’ll appreciate the easy, conversational style and clear explanations Hunt and Moran offer, laying out a straightforward, yet scalable framework you can apply to your marketing activities. At the same time, those of you who’ve been around the block a time or two will find new insights into how to increase the value of your search marketing efforts for your business.
Tim Peter & Associates
It’s common for comprehensive books written by respected authorities to be tagged as the “bible” of a particular topic or industry. My vote for that distinctive title in our industry goes to Search Engine Marketing, Inc. by Mike Moran and Bill Hunt. Both Mike and Bill are longtime search marketing veterans who were responsible for the search marketing strategy and implementation for IBM.com’s massive global network of web sites…Search Engine Marketing, Inc. is probably the closest thing to a definitive textbook for anyone wanting to learn search marketing. But it’s also so full of practical tips learned from years of experience that it’s a great read for experienced search marketers, as well.
Executive Editor, Search Engine Land
The second edition of “Search Engine Marketing, Inc.” doesn’t belong on a dusty old shelf. It belongs on your desk or at your work station, just like any other reference manual that you pull open time and time again. If you pick up the book, get ready to dog-ear and highlight information that is highly pertinent to your company’s SEM initiatives. Be prepared to read and re-read the portions of the book that help you navigate through the ebbing and flowing waters of search. It doesn’t matter if you’re agency or in-house. Moran and Hunt have done it again—they’ve written a must-read guide to strategic search marketing.
This is not a book for someone who wants a light read. But if you want to understand how search engine marketing really works and how you can master the tricks of the trade—buy it now. The book also comes with a DVD, filled with more than 2 hours of video tutorials, podcasts, articles and slide sets. This book will be on your desk, propped open and dog-eared, for a long time to come. I know mine will be.
McLellan Marketing Group
Search Engine Marketing, Inc., a new book from Mike Moran and Bill Hunt, addresses the needs of search marketers running large campaigns, and that’s what makes the book unique and valuable. Moran and Hunt are responsible for search marketing for one of the largest companies in the world, managing efforts for IBM.com. Their experiences and insights gained from directing search marketing at this global behemoth are infused throughout the book. That’s not to say the book isn’t useful for individuals wanting to learn more about search marketing—it is. Search Engine Marketing, Inc. is packed with scads of useful tactical information covering all aspects of tuning web sites for search engines and creating effective search advertising campaigns. I’ve just scratched the surface of what’s offered in this comprehensive 560 page volume. There’s very little in the search marketing arena that the book doesn’t touch on in one way or another. Search Engine Marketing, Inc. sets a new standard for quality in the ever-growing list of books dedicated to a complex and often arcane topic. Regardless of your experience or skill level, you should buy and read this book—and read it again.
Associate Editor, Search Engine Watch
You could fill a shelf with books on search engine marketing, read them all and still not have a grasp of what really goes into search engine marketing. To the unsuspecting it seems easy—just content and code twiddling. There is a new book that rips the covers off of any misconceptions about search marketing that you might have. It is Mike Moran and Bill Hunt’s Search Engine Marketing, Inc. This is the book that I have been waiting for—a truly strategic focused book that includes plenty of how-to. From information that will help the only marginally technical understand a dynamically-generated URL and step-by-step instructions for paid search optimization to how to configure a search marketing team and navigate the shark-filled budgetary waters. This is not just a book on how to improve the search positioning of a small business site. This is for those who must deal with the problems of the truly industrial-sized sites. And believe me I know from my own experience, they come with industrial-sized problems—different goals for different areas of the same site, different teams responsible for different areas of a single site, globalization and other challenges. Bill and Mike present lots of helpful advice that even the most seasoned of search marketers will find useful.
Principal, Searching for Profit
Mike Moran and Bill Hunt have put together an exemplary resource for anyone interested in search engine optimization and marketing. Their easy to understand, step by step explanations are filled with both practical advice and professional expertise. You will feel empowered reading this comprehensive manual, and will walk away better equipped to both understand and implement what’s needed to make yours or your company’s site attract more search traffic…I couldn’t recommend this book more highly.
Guide to Web Search, about.com
Each day, more consumers are turning to Internet search engines to find the products and services they need and want. If you want those customers, and their dollars, you must get into the game of search engine marketing—Moran and Hunt provide all the information you need. From the mechanics of search engines to an even-handed prediction of the future, this guide will steer tyros and web-nerds alike through the world of search marketing. It will help you develop a web search marketing strategy, get your site indexed and weigh the pros and cons of paid search programs. Perhaps most valuable is the discussion of what web searchers—that is, your potential customers—want when they use a search engine. Though different people have different motivations (some want to buy something, others want information) they all share certain behaviors: they often scan rather than read websites entirely, and they tend to look at the first two or three sites a search engine produces. A clear glossary of terms like “alt text” and “keyword loading” is also very useful. Overall, an indispensable guide for marketing in cyberspace.
Search Engine Marketing Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company’s Web Site is a comprehensive guideline to incorporate a successful search engine marketing program into your company’s overall marketing effort. The book guides you step by step through the basics of search engine marketing, providing detailed information you need to formulate successful organic optimization, link building and PPC campaigns. This thoughtfully written book is a must read for those seeking to train in house search engine marketing personnel. Highly recommended for anyone in the search engine marketing industry.
Director of Search Engine Marketing, Search Innovation
Serious stuff here. This is a thorough, formal look at the factors involved in Internet marketing. Essentially, you’re dependent upon search engines, even if your company is a recognized brand name…Authors Mike Moran and Bill Hunt provide a very solid and exhaustive foundation for deciding how—and whether—to implement an SEO program.
Search Engine Marketing, Inc., takes you step by step through creating and running a search marketing program for your business. Large company or small, paid search or organic, U.S. or around the world, no matter what your business, this book covers every aspect of search marketing. The techniques described in this book have been analyzed and used by industry experts and by well-known companies as they pursue search marketing success. And Bill and i have used them all ourselves, for our own clients, so we know that they work.
Bill and I have been gratified by the positive feedback for the first edition of the book and are equally happy with what people have told us about the second edition, which completely updates the book and adds two totally new chapters on social media and Web site search. Although we update the book on each printing, it’s still a big deal to have a second edition. Here are what some industry experts have to say, as quoted in the book itself.
Keeping pace with the rapidly changing search marketing landscape, the latest edition of Bill Hunt and Mike Moran’s search industry bible, Search Engine Marketing, Inc., incorporates informative and enlightening sections on optimizing multi-media, improving Web site search, and the emergence of social media and what it really means to a search marketer. There is valuable information in this book to help inform at every level from the beginner who is curious about search to the advanced enterprise search marketer. Taking a very complicated, technical, and data-driven industry and making it easily understandable and actionable is no easy task, and Search Engine Marketing, Inc. succeeds on every level. If you only read one book on search marketing principles and best practices, this is the one.
Senior Manager, WW Search Marketing, Adobe Systems, Inc.
With Search Engine Marketing, Inc., Bill Hunt and Mike Moran have successfully updated what is already known in the industry as “The Search Marketing Bible.” With new content, examples, and insight including social media and Web site search, this is a must read book for marketers at companies of all sizes from startups to the Fortune 100.
Search is the opportunity of our time because of its ability to match up your online presence with relevant customers. It is big, it is small, it is simple, it is complex, but most of all it is deeply monetizable—if done right. That last part is where Search Engine Marketing, Inc. comes in. Mike and Bill have done a fantastic job of updating their bestseller. Any organization that wants to get search needs to get this book.
Author, Web Analytics: An Hour a Day
Search Engine Marketing, Inc. is an indispensable book to anyone tasked with managing their company’s search program. The book is easy to understand and implements best practices for maximizing the effectiveness of your search activities.
Director, Web Strategy, Siemens Corporation
Search engine marketing is often complicated. The subject can overwhelm the novice and expert alike. But Mike Moran and Bill Hunt cut through this complexity. They approach search marketing pragmatically with a calm focus on what really matters. If you run a Web site and want to bring in qualified visitors, spend an afternoon talking shop with Mike and Bill. If that isn’t an option, buy their new book!
—Alan Rimm-Kaufman, PhD.
Founder and President, The Rimm-Kaufman Group
Thorough and authoritative, Mike Moran and Bill Hunt chose their title well. They literally wrote the book on search engine marketing. Beginners won’t be lost, experts won’t be bored, and everyone will walk away knowing more about this critical topic.
Internet Marketing Executive, Author of the Thinks blog
This book is required reading for anyone involved in marketing online—especially search. It provides precisely the right amount of depth and ideas to either get you off the ground or to optimize a highly complex site to meet your business goals. It’s written in a way to be accessible to both small site owners and mega-site managers, and I’ve found it invaluable to my team.
Senior Director, Global Search Team, SAP
When Bill Hunt and Mike Moran wrote the original Search Engine Marketing, Inc., I didn’t think it ever be better. I was wrong. They rewrote it and did just that–made the book even better.
Coauthor, Radically Transparent
Mike Moran and Bill Hunt have provided a most comprehensive roadmap to both putting together a search engine marketing program or overhauling an existing one within an enterprise environment. It talks about not only how to build an effective SEM program, but also how to sell it internally to all the internal stakeholders whose buy-in is critical for the SEM program’s long-time success. This book is an invaluable resource with practical advice and should be required reading for all search engine marketers on your team.
Chief Marketing Officer, E-Loan
This book is rock solid. It covers all the bases of search engine marketing, including multimedia and social media. Whether you’re a veteran search marketer or a newbie, whether it’s a reference for your bookshelf or a comprehensive primer you’re after, you won’t go wrong with Search Engine Marketing, Inc..
Founder and President, Netconcepts
Mike Moran and Bill Hunt knowledgeably guide users to all areas of SEO/SEM from basic target keywords, measurement, and optimization to advanced Social Media and Search. Each chapter has clear information, tips, related sites and warning on potential risks. Search Engine Marketing, Inc. is a must read for marketing professional and C-level leaders who want to embrace Social Media and Web 2.0 tools to keep their organization on top.
Everyone will agree content is King on the Internet. However, for content to rule your marketplace, it must be found in the search engines ahead of your competitors. Search Engine Marketing, Inc. is a must for any organization that has plans for global customer domination. Plan on picking up several copies; every member on your team needs it.
Author, New York Times bestselling Author of Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?
and Call to Action
If you’re looking to get ahead in Search Marketing and want to read a book, put this one down. This isn’t abook about search marketing, this is the book about search marketing.
MBA, Marketing Director, The Norwegian Computer Society
Bill and Mike’s book provides an excellent in-depth resource for companies examining their search marketing strategy. In addition to actionable SEO tips, this book outlines how to successfully develop a search strategy, determine what to outsource versus keep in house, and how to precisely outline the business case and “sell” search to executive decision-makers. If your company is wondering how to enter the search space—or if you’re revising your online strategy—read this book.
Author, Successful Search Engine Copywriting
Search Engine Marketing, Inc. is the ultimate source on how to implement a search marketing campaign. The book provides actionable instructions on topics from how to get the finances within your organization to how to make your pages rank well in search engines. Beyond that, the book explains conversion metrics and projecting your success. For anyone within a large organization, looking to make a difference with the corporate Web site; the book is a “no-brainer.” For any professional SEO or SEM, the book is a must read. The manner in which Bill Hunt and Mike Moran organized the book is both unique and smart. Both Bill and Mike are also extremely professional public speakers on the topic of Search Marketing. I have been to dozens of search marketing conferences and I can honestly say, I am as impressed with this book as I am with their top presentations.
CEO, RustyBrick, Inc.
This book has no silver bullets or snake-oil potions that will magically propel your site to the top of every search engine. What it offers instead, is the most comprehensive, well-thought-out, and well-motivated treatment to date of all aspects of search engine marketing, from planning to execution to measuring. If you are involved in any way in the economic aspects of web search technology, you need this book on your shelf.
—Dr. Andrei Broder
IBM Distinguished Engineer & CTO,
IBM Research Institute for Search and Text Analysis
A very comprehensive, yet light-hearted guide for internet managers that demystifies search engine marketing and provides practical advice for success.
Global Internet Marketing Manager, BP
Outlines every one of the major strategic steps to develop your search marketing initiatives. This book teaches web marketers what to do from the beginning so they can implement a successful search marketing program—the strategic steps to define the scope and cost of your search marketing program, develop a team, create a proposal, get executive approval, manage, and measure your search marketing program. You have to read it to appreciate it!
Web Marketing & Strategy, Cisco Systems, Inc.
Getting your site indexed is the most fundamental, yet one of the most challenging, aspects to search engine marketing. Search Engine Marketing Inc.: Driving Search Traffic to Your Company’s Web Site is a detailed and comprehensive guide through the pitfalls and opportunities of this complicated subject. I started reading Chapter 10: Get Your Site Indexed and havent really put it down since. It is a wonderfully well-written and detailed reference that you will come back to again and again to get more out of your SEO efforts. From price engines to paid placement, Chapter 14 covers everything you need to know about paid search. I have yet to come across a more useful book for SEM pros. From budgeting to bid strategy and optimization, Mike and Bill take you through the steps to create successful paid search campaigns. Whether you are just starting out in paid search or are already a power player, you will learn something new from this book.
Search Marketing Manager, Buy.com
Mike Moran and Bill Hunt have delivered a masterpiece on enterprise search marketing. Both engaging and results-focused, Search Engine Marketing, Inc. guides the marketer through the basics of why search is important and how search engines work to the more challenging organizational tasks of selling a search marketing proposal to executives and executing on a search marketing plan.
Unlike many previous search engine optimization books that have treated search marketing as a guerilla approach disjointed from other organizational needs, Search Engine Marketing, Inc. shows how to incorporate search into the overall marketing mix in order to increase both customer value and business return-on-investment. Full of real examples from other enterprise search marketing organizations and thoughtful treatment of the business issues surrounding search, this book is the reference volume for bringing a successful search marketing program to fruition in the organization.
Search & Community Manager, National Instruments
Required reading for anyone interested in how to apply leading-edge search marketing within large enterprises. With search marketing now of critical importance, the authors provide practical advice and approaches that are both sophisticated and invaluable.
CEO, Converseon, Inc.
Mike Moran hired Bill Hunt’s company to help start IBM’s search engine marketing program in 2001, and they worked together for five years at ibm.com—taking one of the world’s largest corporate Web sites from nowhere to leadership in search marketing. Mike and Bill started with a site that drew fewer than 1% of its visitors from search engines, and now draws over 25%.
All along the way, Mike and Bill ran into issues that any company faces in search marketing, as well as the problems that a large and global company must tackle. Luckily, they wrote it all down, resulting in Search Engine Marketing, Inc., a best-selling book now in its second edition which is updated with new information at each printing.
About the Authors xxiv
Chapter 1 How Search Marketing Works 3
Why Search Marketing Is Important 4
Searchers Are Highly Qualified Prospects 4
Search Marketing Is Cost-Effective 5
Search Marketing Is Big Business 6
Why Search Marketing Is Difficult 6
You Need Flexibility 6
You Need Coordination 7
You Need Name Recognition 7
You Need Resources 8
You Have Lots of Competition 9
What Search Marketing Is 10
How to Get Started in Search Marketing 18
Getting Started with Organic Search 18
Getting Started with Paid Search 23
The Steps to Search Success 29
Chapter 2 How Searchers Work 31
Visitor Behavior 32
Buyer Behavior 33
Other Visitor Behavior 34
The Searcher’s Intent 34
Navigational Searchers 35
Informational Searchers 38
Transactional Searchers 39
The Searcher’s Device 41
The Searcher’s Typing 42
The Searcher’s Click 44
How Searchers Look at Results 45
Why Searchers Click Where They Do 46
When Searchers Don’t Click Results 46
The Searcher’s Follow-Through 48
Customer Behavior and the Buyer’s Journey 49
Search Marketing and the Buyer’s Journey 51
How to Work the Searcher 54
Don’t Pick Keywords That Are “Too Hot” 54
Don’t Pick Keywords That Are “Too Cold” 57
Pick Keywords That Are “Just Right” 59
Chapter 3 How Search Works 61
How Search Engines Work 61
Analyzing the Search Keyword 62
Choosing Matches to the Keyword 66
Ranking the Matches 70
Displaying Search Results 81
Finding Content for the Organic Index 82
Analyzing the Content 85
Spotting Words You Don’t Normally See 86
Building the Organic Index 88
How to Work the Search Engines 89
Your Organic Search Writing Philosophy 89
Your Paid Search Bidding Philosophy 92
Your Content Quality Philosophy 98
Chapter 4 Unlock the Business Value of Search 105
Identify Your Website’s Goals 105
Web Sales 107
Offline Sales 112
Market Awareness 115
Information and Entertainment 116
Measure Your Website’s Success 120
Count Your Conversions 120
Count Your Traffic 137
Count Your Money 139
Measure Your Search Marketing Success 141
Target Your First Search Marketing Campaign 142
Assess Your Current Situation 147
See Whether Your Existing Landing Pages Are Indexed 150
Calculate Your First Campaign’s Opportunity 157
Chapter 5 Create Your Search Marketing Program 167
Define Your Search Marketing Strategy 167
Choose the Scope of Your Search Marketing Program 168
Divide the Search Marketing Work 173
Choose Your Search Marketing Approach 180
Project Your Search Marketing Costs 188
Sell Your Search Marketing Proposal 194
Assemble Your Search Marketing Proposal 195
Sell Your Proposal to the Extended Search Team 202
Sell Your Proposal to Executives 216
Set Up Your Search Marketing Program 222
Organize Paid Search 222
Organize Organic Search 226
Organize Local Search 228
Chapter 6 Choose Your Target Market Segments 235
Understand the Value of Targeting 236
Building Brand Awareness 236
Increasing Web Conversions 238
Choose Your Primary Targets 239
Brainstorm with Your Team 240
Check Your Current Search Referrals 244
Consult Your Site Search Facility 244
Use Keyword Research Tools 245
Check Out Your Competition 246
Deepen Your Targeting 247
Use Your Buyer’s Journey 247
Decide a Match Type for Each Paid Search Keyword 248
Localize Your Targets 250
Organize Your Targets 254
Understand the Need to Prioritize 255
Choose Your Keyword Tiers 257
Prioritize Keywords by Your Buyer’s Journey 259
Structure Your Paid Search Keywords 262
Optimize Your Keyword Models 263
Segment Your Keywords by Categories 264
Use Searcher Interests for Content Development 266
Use Social Data to Improve Keywords 266
Chapter 7 Get Your Content Listed 269
Get Your Pages Listed in Organic Search Indexes 269
Assess How Many Pages Are Indexed 270
Increase the Number of Indexed Pages 278
Get Social Content Listed in Organic Search Indexes 301
Get Your Blog Indexed 301
Get Your Videos Indexed 302
Getting Your Images Indexed 302
Getting Your Social Network Content Indexed 303
Get Your Merchandise Listed in Product Search Databases 304
Feeding Your Data to Product Search Engines 304
Making the Most of Product Feeds 306
Chapter 8 Optimize Your Content 309
Choose Your Search Landing Pages 310
How Not to Choose a Search Landing Page 311
Landing Pages for Multiple Keywords 312
When You Can’t Find the Right Landing Page 313
Analyze Your Metrics 315
Measure Your Search Referrals 317
Calculate Your Search Conversions 317
Improve Your Content 318
Improve Your Search Results 319
Improve Your Landing Pages 334
Chapter 9 Prove Your Content’s Quality 351
Organic Search Quality Factors 352
Links as Quality Factors 352
Social Media as Quality Factors 378
Human Ratings as Quality Factors 386
Paid Search Quality Factors 390
Using Your Quality Score 391
Understanding Product Search Quality 392
Improve Quality with Co-Optimization 393
Chapter 10 Make Search Marketing Operational 397
Why Is Operating a Search Program So Hard? 398
Multiple Specialist Teams 398
Multiple Product Sites 399
Multiple Audiences 400
Multiple Countries 402
Multiple Technologies 403
Set Up Your Search Center of Excellence 404
Staff the Team 405
Develop the Team’s Skills 406
Establish Search Marketing Best Practices 407
Monitor Your Search Metrics 413
Assess Your Site’s Content 413
Check Your Search Rankings 421
Monitor Search Referrals 425
Calculate Search Conversions 430
Review Your Measurements with Others 434
Monitor Your Search Health 437
Your Organic Page Inclusion 437
Site-Wide Organic Search Problems 439
Your Paid Search Program 441
The Companion Website 445