Articles written in June, 2008

June 30 2008

Google introduces Ad Planner – Web Measurement tool


Google just announced a new tool called Ad Planner – a research and media planning tool that connects advertisers & publishers, and helps identify the best places to buy ads online. Media planners can now enter demographics and sites associated with your target audience, and the tool will return information about sites that are likely to be visited by their target demographic.

The tool, which isn’t a complete surprise to the industry, will compete with established leaders in the web measurement space – ComScore and Nielsen. While these services base their estimates on surveys or customer panels, Google’s web measurement results will be based on data collected from servers, which should provide a deeper picture of Internet behavior. As is the case with the majority of Google offerings, the tool is free which should help to attract additional advertising business. Since the tool is new, it’s currently available by invitation only.

The announcement of this tool did draw the attention of critics. With Google already controlling a good chunk of online advertising pie, some advertising executives are uncomfortable with placing more power into the company’s hands. One senior executive was quoted as saying “For an advertiser, the last thing you want to do is to have your adviser be the same person you are spending your money with.”

June 27 2008

Is Google Taking Over the World?


I keep hearing the comment, “Google is taking over the world”, but is there any truth to this statement? According to the latest data from Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence service, Google is “accounting for 68% of searches in the US and 87% of searches in the UK. Everyone knows Google is the search leader king of the internet. So, why would they say “Google is taking over the world?”

People could be saying this because Google is branching out by offering traditional advertising through the internet. Are you surprised? Google now offers print, radio and TV advertising via their online interface. How? The same way they do search marketing- through a bid auction.

In order to bid for space in a newspaper, an advertiser would select the typical newspaper options (size, color, run dates, section of the paper) and then they would place a bid. The newspaper evaluates your bid and then decides to accept, decline or counteroffer. Once the newspaper accepts the bid, an advertiser can upload their pdf to the Google site and have their ad placed in the paper. Are you curious about radio and TV? I thought so.

Radio and TV also work on the bid auction format, but a little bit different. For radio and TV you select the type of stations, (you can only advertise on certain cable stations for TV), the days you want them to air, the times, the amount you’re willing to pay along with a few other details, and Google will tell you how many impressions you’ll get for the amount you bid. Once you settle on the bid amount, you’ll be on your way to broadcasting your advertisement(s). Does this mean Google is taking over the world?

Not yet. They currently, don’t reach all advertising market areas, but I’m sure that will change in the future. Google is actively branching out in the traditional advertising space and encouraging businesses and marketers to link their search ads with their traditional advertising, which is definitely a plus from a cohesiveness standpoint. Businesses that advertise in the traditional advertising space and on the internet should work with their internet advertising agency to link their online marketing efforts with their offline efforts. In fact, your internet agency could do it all through Google and possibly get you a better rate. Google may not be taking over the world, but they are definitely making themselves a dominating presence in the world of advertising.

June 25 2008

And the Numbers Are In: CPC Stats from May 2008


It seems every time you go to the grocery store, food costs have increased yet again. Well, the same holds true for costs associated with search engine marketing.

Given the current state of our economy, I have been keeping a close eye on the monthly Cost per Click (CPC) statistics, as reported by Search Engine Watch. To no surprise, some industries show more than a 10% increase in click costs (retail, insurance, and mortgage).

With this in mind, while many campaigns are built with all the time and thought in the world, business owners often do not stay on top of the changes in their competitive environment, over time resulting in a non-optimized campaign.

It is important to check your CPC bids and keywords at least once a month to ensure they are still translating into the most effective positions for your target cost per conversion, lead, or sale. In addition, the engines place a significant importance on the bids, daily budgets, and keyword relevancy within a campaign. This will fluctuate not only when changes are made to a specific website, but when changes occur in the general landscape of search. There are some tools to help automate this keyword bidding process, but should not be used in lieu of detailed, personal attention to a search engine marketing campaign.

Keep up to date with changes, stay competitive with your bids, and don’t let your campaigns go stale!

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