Dorab’s Crystal Ball: LOCAL Search Engine Marketing Predictions for 2015

January 14, 2015 · MatchCraft News

What’s ahead in the world of search marketing for small businesses in 2015? We asked MatchCraft co-founder and Chief Science Officer Dorab Patel to share his take on the future.

Extending extensions. Local businesses will have even more opportunities to improve their search campaign results with ad extensions that go beyond traditional advertising features. Site link and call extensions were the first

Site link and call extensions were the first step; now small business search campaigns can benefit from callout extensions, ratings / reviews, and social extensions, with more types of extensions no doubt on the way. Unadorned search ads will become the exception as

Unadorned search ads will become the exception as more local business take advantage of all opportunities to drive clicks and calls.

Mobile hits its stride. It’s no longer news that online experts expect mobile search to surpass desktop search in 2015. But certain verticals need to pay keen attention here – the auto industry, for example. Research shows a sharp uptick in the number of mobile vehicle-specific queries generated by customers while they’re actually on a dealer’s lot. The implication: Auto dealers need to make sure their search campaigns include the specific make, model and year of the vehicles on their lots, not just generic terms. Customers standing in front of a blue 2009 Camry at an auto dealer in Detroit and searching “2009 blue

The implication: Auto dealers need to make sure their search campaigns include the specific make, model and year of the vehicles on their lots, not just generic terms. Customers standing in front of a blue 2009 Camry at an auto dealer in Detroit and searching “2009 blue camry detroit” already know what they want – they’re just looking for the best price within a reasonable distance.

Getting closer to closing the loop. Big retailers are already experimenting with sensor technology to collect data that will help marketers understand how and when online ads are driving in-store shopping and purchases. This kind of passive data collection and analysis hasn’t trickled down to local businesses yet, but it will.

This kind of passive data collection and analysis hasn’t trickled down to local businesses yet, but it will. Google’s new store visit measurement – an enhancement to its Estimated Total Conversions (ETC) insight – is an interesting first step. Right now, implementing sensor technology is too complex for most local businesses, but over time it will simplify, making it possible for smaller businesses to track how their online advertising dollars are converting to in-store purchases.

Right now, implementing sensor technology is too complex for most local businesses, but over time it will simplify, making it possible for smaller businesses to track how their online advertising dollars are converting to in-store purchases.

“Show me the money.” We hope 2015 is the year when small businesses truly insist on visible, actionable ROI tracking for their search marketing campaigns. Of course, conversion tracking is possible today, but it’s still too hard for many small businesses to implement. The result: Local businesses give up on their search marketing campaigns because they can’t tell whether they’re really paying off. We’re working hard at MatchCraft to simplify this part of the online marketing process for our

The result: Local businesses give up on their search marketing campaigns because they can’t tell whether they’re really paying off.

We’re working hard at MatchCraft to simplify this part of the online marketing process for our merchants.. End-to-end tracking needs to get easier to put in place, and the resulting data needs to be easier for local businesses to understand.

The death of the keyword? Not yet. Online marketing pundits spent the end of 2014 predicting the end of the keyword as Google and others add options for behavioral and demographic audience targeting. Sure, there’s value in targeting users based on how they’re predicted to behave and react, especially for branding-oriented campaigns. But keywords still matter to local businesses that use search ads to reach potential customers looking, at any given moment, for the products and services those

Sure, there’s value in targeting users based on how they’re predicted to behave and react, especially for branding-oriented campaigns. But keywords still matter to local businesses that use search ads to reach potential customers looking, at any given moment, for the products and services those busineses sell. Keywords are still the best predictor of finding the right user at the right moment – and that’s not going away in 2015.

Keywords are still the best predictor of finding the right user at the right moment – and that’s not going away in 2015.

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