Search Engine Marketing, Inc.

Mike Moran / Bill Hunt  
Total pages
December 2014
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Search Engine Marketing, Inc.
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This book shows how to holistically integrate organic search, paid search, and social media, so they all deliver far greater business value. The reader will  learn how today’s search engines and search marketing programs work — and above all, how searchers — potential customers — work. Moran and Hunt guide students through every step of planning a search marketing program. They cover choosing target market segments, getting the website “found,” optimizing content, proving content’s quality, and much more.


  • Covers everything students need to know to plan, execute, and manage a modern search marketing program -- even if they've never done anything like it before
  • Revamped to help students learn to fully integrate organic search, paid search, and social content
  • Focuses first and foremost on the business value of search, not just tactics
  • Explains the reasons behind its recommendations, giving the reader a philosophy and approach that will withstand non-stop change

New to this Edition

  • A complete cover-to-cover rewrite
  • The first guide to holistically integrate coverage of organic search, paid search, and social media
  • Will change the way people think about search!

Table of Contents

Preface xvii

Acknowledgements xx

About the Authors xxiv

Part I: Understand Search Marketing

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

Part II: Plan Your Search Marketing Program

Chapter 4  Unlock the Business Value of Search 105

Identify Your Website’s Goals 105

Web Sales 107

Offline Sales 112

Leads 113

Market Awareness 115

Information and Entertainment 116

Persuasion 117

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

Part III: Execute Your Search Marketing Program

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

Glossary 447

Index 487



Mike Moran has worked on the web since its inception, in both marketing and technical roles, including eight years at, IBM’s customer-facing website. In 2008, Mike retired from IBM to pursue speaking, writing, and consulting at Mike Moran Group, and also serves as a senior strategist for both the social media consultancy Converseon, and its spin-off social analytics company, Revealed Context. He’s twice been named one of the top 50 Internet marketers and regularly consults for Fortune 500 companies around the world.


Mike is also the author of Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, perhaps the first book on agile marketing. He writes regular columns on digital marketing at WebProNews and Search Engine Guide, and is the founder and senior author at Biznology (

He’s a Senior Fellow of the Society for New Communications Research and an Open Group Distinguished IT Specialist. Mike is a frequent keynote speaker on digital marketing at events around the world, serves as a Visiting Lecturer to the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, works as an instructor for both Rutgers University and the University of California at Irvine, and holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing.


Mike also has a broad technical background, with over 30 years of experience in search technology, working at IBM Research, Lotus, and other IBM software units. He led the product team that developed the first commercial linguistic search engine in 1989 and has been granted 11 patents in search and retrieval technology. He led the integration of’s site search technologies as well as projects in content management, personalization, and web metrics. Mike led the adoption of search marketing at back in 2001 and pioneered product search facilities that dramatically raised conversion rates. Mike was named an IBM Distinguished Engineer in 2005.


Mike can be reached through his website (


Bill Hunt has been a pioneer in search marketing, first optimizing pages in 1994. He is considered the top thought leader on enterprise and global search engine marketing and is an internationally recognized search marketing expert who has spoken at conferences in over 30 countries.


Press, industry analysts, and corporate leaders frequently seek Bill’s advice to help them effectively leverage enterprise and global search marketing. Bill is the CEO of Back Azimuth Consulting. Through Back Azimuth, Bill provides cutting-edge keyword data-mining models to identify missed opportunities and increase revenue based on understanding consumer needs. Bill is also responsible for Back Azimuth’s search marketing thought leadership and for developing global search marketing strategic roadmaps for multinational corporations such as Absolut Vodka, Cisco, HP, MGM, and Pernod-Ricard.


Bill is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and he earned a B.A. in Asian Studies/Japanese from the University of Maryland, Tokyo Campus, and a B.S. in International Business from California State University, Los Angeles. Bill can be reached through his company website (www. or his blog (