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BizReport : Search Marketing : October 31, 2011

Expert offers top 3 SEM tips for upcoming holidays

With Halloween basically in the books for 2011, retailers are brushing up their holiday campaigns hoping to get an early start on the 2011 holidays. While many will focus on the online conversion funnel and polishing search campaigns, one expert says it's the search phrase that is hot this year, not the search keyword.

by Kristina Knight

"We're seeing keyword phrases like 'wine racks under $20'," said Wil Reynolds, Founder, Seer Interactive. The platform helps search marketers determine which small adjustments - geo-targeting, changing keywords, etc. - will improve campaign ROI. "Brands need to know what phrases will be or are being used. All of that data is out there. Using Google Insights, for example, brands can find out what is trending over different periods. When you see that, as a company, you have to take action on it so that you can consistently stay on top of trends within the search space."

How to begin? First, advises Reynolds, test now not later.

"Test the messaging now. Waiting until mid-November/December, you may not have enough data to determine which ads really work. Testing now means you're prepared for the bigger rushes."

Second, integrate the campaigns to ensure that your keywords are pushing natural/organic traffic. Search Engine Optimization should push both paid and organic traffic to your website - analytics can help you see that is actually happening.

Finally, use search to test offline advertising. "It may be tight, doing this for 2011," said Reynolds. "But, you can do it for 2012. Find out what calls to action, incentives or other offers work so that the overall message - offline and online - resonates with the audience."

Tags: search marketing, search tips, SEER Interactive, SEM tips, SEM trends

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