PUBLISHED: Jun 21, 2013 3 min read

Optimizing Search Engine Marketing Strategies



A challenge that most Search Engine Marketers are facing right now is the over-analysis of data with lack of insights drawing.  The most frequently used analyzing models are last click and first click; however they are mostly inaccurate or wrong.   Thus the method of over-analyzing data based on an inaccurate model is hardly helpful to optimize the Search Engine Marketing strategy.



For both B2B and B2C, SEM involves multiple channels and multiple platforms. As  a Search Engine Marketer it is crucial to understand your customer’s digital journey and multi-touch attribution model is definitely the right approach to doing so. Building the digital attribution model requires the understanding impacts from different channels/platforms.

  • Direct Mail

Direct mail drives quality, and 79% of direct mail acquisition has navigational brand activity from a search or site visit.  From the client side, it’s important to understand the site content and the on-site search functionality have a huge impact on the direct mail acquisition thus on the sales quality.

  • Offline

Offline presence drives about 20% of the sales in major market.  Applying the right offline to online measurement can provide the insights of how to boost the online sales, especially for the business with physical stores.  The common approach is putting pixels on the email receipt after purchase or the invitation to an in store event.  After the email is opened, the pixel gets fired and tag gets detected.  Finally the credit will be given.

  • Devices

Studies show that most customers use mobile devices to compare prices and 57% mobile users finish the purchase on another screen.  Understand the users’ digital journey is important to budget allocation and mid adjustment.

  • Paid and Organic

Based on a series of hypothesis tests, we know that generic terms drive branded search; and branded activity is lifted by ads frequency.   For some B2B companies with long sale cycles, paid search may be important at the opening stage, more important than the c losing stage. However for some B2C companies, conversions could occur with an hour of the first exposure, paid search plays an extremely role in the whole process.  As I mentioned before, understanding the digital journey of your customers helps you understand how different media vehicles interact with each other, thus helps you optimize the PPC and SEO strategy.

  • Before and After

Before the building the digital attribution models, you need to put master tags across all digital touch points.  And tagging governance and process is also required.  Once all digital touch points are indexed and tagged properly, data can be pivoted.    After applying the digital attribution models, you will also need to take the learning from your digital attribution analysis to testing.   The combination of digital attribution analysis and testing, you will be able to identify different media vehicles as indicator or influencer or closer in the whole sales process, but also allows the action taken for you by your customers.

Building the digital attribution model could be an extremely big project if the company has multiple online properties and huge inventory of content.  But the application of digital attribution will benefit the validation and allocation of budget, optimization for PPC and SEO strategy, and reach your business goal.


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