July 27, 2012, 10:24 AM

The Internet Retailer Survey: Search Engine Marketing

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Google, though, is hardly running scared. Just a shade under 90% of respondents said that Google accounts for at least half of search engine referral traffic. By comparison, 59.5% report that Bing referrals bring in less than 10% of traffic from search engines, with 32.5% crediting Bing with between 11% and 30% of traffic. Put more simply, 92.0% of respondents say Bing brings in less than a third of their search engine-generated traffic. Similar to last year, however, there are outliers: Two respondents, or about 1.6%, reported that Bing accounts for between 71% and 90% of their search engine traffic. Last year, one respondent said the same thing.

When it comes to conversions, there is also little contest. 81.5% of respondents said Google yields the highest conversion rate, compared with 18.5% who said that about Bing. That is significantly higher than last year's figures: 66.3% for Google, and 33.7% for Bing.

Now, though, many retail eyes are focusing harder on Google as it introduces its Google Shopping program right before the holiday shopping season kicks in. The program, Google says, is designed to give shoppers more up-to-date information about prices and discounts, and give merchants more control over where their products appear in search results.

That more than a third of respondents are either unsure about taking part, or had yet to hear of Google Shopping, suggests that Google has some marketing of its own to do. But the largest e-retailers are ready, Goldman says, and are working to integrate Google Shopping with other marketing programs.

"Kenshoo works with seven of the world's 10 largest retailers and they are definitely up to speed on Google Shopping," he says. "Key challenges include collaboration between the paid search and feed management teams, definition of 'product targets,' and ongoing management and optimization of increasingly large and sophisticated product ad campaigns."

As if search marketing were not interesting enough, the introduction of Google Shopping, along with Bing, will keep retailers busy in the coming year.




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