Want to boost search results? Try benchmarking based on the latest trends, says Performics' Michael Kahn in a Chief Marketer article. An analysis by Performics of data from more than 200 paid-search programs uncovered some important shifts this past spring within many actively managed search campaigns; they could signal the beginning of a turnaround. The results identified the types of trends search marketers need to keep watching in the current economy. For instance:

  • Same-store online retail sales from search-engine marketing rose 4% year-over-year in May 2009.
  • From January to June, the average cost-per-click declined $.05, "reflecting current market conditions and advertisers more focused on efficiency versus investment," says Kahn.
  • Search campaign ROI improved 4% through June for same-store online retailers.

"Marketers can use these and other findings as a barometer to gauge the success of their own search-marketing programs and ensure effective and efficient campaign management," Kahn advises.

To optimize search strategies based on trends, Kahn says, search marketers should consider regularly asking these questions:

  • Did our past quarter show any signs of an improvement in search advertising results?
  • What steps have been taken to reign-in costs and boost efficiencies?
  • How can we better leverage promotions and offers to grow average order value and maximize returns?
  • Is it time to increase spending to generate more clicks and transactions?

The Po!nt: Keep an eye on trends to keep your performance strong. "Marketers that closely track their teams' [search] performance … position themselves to make timely, informed decisions," Kahn says.

Source: Chief Marketer. Read the full post here.

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