STAT WATCH: The Search Experience

Search engine marketing (paid and organic) has been a mainstay of the digital promotion toolbox for years, but the practice is changing. It's not just about optimizing a website for the results pages but also committing to the user experience. With comScore reporting smartphones have a 62 percent mobile market penetration, it's time brands starting developing smartphone-optimized sites. Luckily, the search engines have provided suggestions.

Specifically, Google suggests using responsive Web design (RWD) rather than a separate mobile URL, because it saves resources for both a company's website as well as Google's crawlers. Similarly, having a single URL (as opposed to separate mobile URLs) makes it easier for users to interact with, share and link to content.

It may come as a surprise, however, that of the 100 largest multichannel retailers in the U.S., only one site used RWD, according to The Search Agency's "2013 Mobile Experience Scorecard." As for which site that actually did, The Search Agency indicated it was a retailer for kids. Based on Website Magazine research, Carter's was the only merchant that fit the bill, while others like Toys "R" Us, Gymboree and The Children's Place did not implement responsive Web design.

Of the remaining companies in the report, 91 used dedicated mobile sites (like CVS, Walmart and Nordstrom) instead of RWD, while the remaining eight did not provide a separate mobile experience from the desktop versions of their sites.


Half of companies with self-defined "inferior" SEO strategies are not integrating social media with SEO strategies and tactics according to a July 2013 survey from Ascend2.


A website with the first position in Google search results average roughly 33 percent of the traffic share as opposed to 18 percent for the second position. Similarly, 92 percent of Google traffic comes from the first-page results. (Source: Chitika, June 2013.)


Through Cyber Monday 2013, brands set record highs for increases in retail paid search, including year-over-year spikes in clicks (26.9 percent), impressions (12.5 percent) and spend (34 percent), according to 2013 holiday data from Kenshoo.


SEMPO's 2013 salary survey showed the average salary for search marketers dropped nearly $7,000, from $75,543 to $68,600.


Covario issued its "Global Paid Search Spend Analysis" for Q4 2013, reporting that spending on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising by its global technology, consumer electronics and retail clients rose 13 percent from Q3 and 7 percent year-over-year.