Articles written in January, 2009

January 30 2009

Google Conversion Optimizer


Google is always releasing new tools in their AdWords interface, and one of the more recent tools being offered is Conversion Optimizer. This tool can help you reach your CPA (cost per acquisition) goals by using Conversion tracking and the historical data with your AdWords account. It’s ideal for users that don’t rely on a 3rd party bid management solution and a great way for the average AdWords user to optimize their account with automated bid management. Best of all — its free with any AdWords account.

If you are interested in setting up this feature on any campaigns in your account, it’s quite simple and setup takes a few moments for each campaign you activate. The only requirement is that the campaign being opted in must have at least 30 conversions over the last 30 days — Google needs a decent amount of conversion data to effectively manage each campaign. When initially setting up the feature, its best that you take the “recommended bid” to begin. You can experiment and tweak the CPA goal higher or lower from that initial setup.

Conversion Optimizer is a great tool for many advertisers, but it’s not for everyone. It’s really designed for direct response marketers, who can track conversions through Google Conversion Tracker — online purchases, or a completed form are good examples.

My suggestion is to experiment with the new tools being offered by Google. Most will make your job easier and help you improve the ROI of your campaigns.

January 29 2009

Don’t You Love Google Relationships that Benefit You?


If you stay current with Google updates, you know that last year Google ventured into the world of traditional advertising. This gave online ad agencies the opportunity to buy media space online for print, radio and TV without going down the traditional media buying route. Google recently cancelled their print offering, however, this hasn’t stopped them from branching out into the world of traditional advertising and making it available online. In fact, their recent agreement with SpotMixer proves that they aren’t gun-shy about delving into a realm of media that is unfamiliar to them.  

When Google first started offering the options of creating TV campaigns through an AdWords account, they would refer advertisers to video specialists; if they didn’t already have their own commercial to upload or to mail in via tape. Now, SpotMixer, and Google TV Ads have collaboratively put their heads together to create a tool that allows advertisers to easily create video ads which can be delivered via Google TV Ads.

 This tool allows a user to create video with their own audio from a radio ad, high quality photography and video footage. If you don’t have any of the above, Google has free photos, music and videos that you can choose from, along with provided templates.  The video ad creation tool is the same concept as the Google display ad builder and makes it cost effective for marketers to place their clients into the world of TV media. No longer do agencies have to pay high costs for outsourcing the production of a TV spot only to pass that bill on to the client along with media buy expenses.  It’s a great tool for online ad agencies that have clients with tight advertising budgets.

Limited advertising budgets used to hinder clients from exploring new media arenas, but not anymore. For online ad agencies that have clients who have wanted to try video ads; now is a great time to start. The video creation tool takes existing text ad copy that’s running for a search engine marketing campaign and makes it into a tailored video within the users AdWords account.  Keep in mind that Google allows you to download your finished video, so you’re not just limited to TV ads.  This is great for clients who have wanted to promote a video on YouTube or on their company website.  A client can save time and money by utilizing in house videos and photography for their video instead of paying money for a video shoot.

This is a great benefit for internet ad agencies that are well versed in the world of Google AdWords. It gives them the opportunity, along with the client to produce a marketing message that is consistent across all lines of media. Think about it- a search engine marketing campaign, radio, and online videos and TV ads all under one advertising roof, with one consistent marketing message. 

I am very excited about the relationship that Google has forged with SpotMixer. I believe it will give online ad agencies more deliverables to offer to their clients at a fraction of the cost of a traditional ad agency. As a team member of an interactive agency, I look forward to more Google relationships that will benefit the company I work for and our clients.

January 28 2009

Which Search Engine is the Right Fit?


More often than not, clients (especially those brand new to MoreVisibility) ask which search engine they should allocate their online marketing dollars toward.   Right out of the gate, many will say they want to focus solely on Google.  This is understandable given that Google holds anywhere from 65 to 70% of the market share; depending on which publication you read. Although no one can argue that Google is most widely used, there are a myriad of other channels worth considering.

So how do you know which engine is the right fit for you? It’s all about testing, testing and yes, more testing. Some clients perform better in Yahoo versus Google. Others experience a much higher ROI in MSN and a large majority of Ecommerce websites tend to do quite well in shopping portals like Amazon, Biz Rate and Shopzilla. It is advisable not to limit your online marketing initiatives to just one channel. Every search engine offers certain advantages, based on factors such as age, gender, demographics, etc. When creating a search engine marketing campaign, the preferred strategy is to take certain steps to achieve a more favorable result. These steps include, but are not limited to the following:

Budget – Determine an approximate monthly budget you wish to target. Keep in mind that this figure can change based on your results. Once you have the ability to gauge your progress (hint hint, I am referring to testing again), it will be much easier to choose which engine to spend the majority of your budget.

Bidding Strategy — Not all search engines are created equal; bid prices can vary depending on engine, industry and overall competition. 

Keyword Research – It is mission critical to take the time to research keywords for trends, competitiveness and volume. Certain keywords perform better in some engines than others. One word phrases are too generic and therefore, not often recommended.  The more targeted the phrase, the more targeted the searcher.

Testing — I am not trying to beat a dead horse, but you must analyze your results. Otherwise, you could be spending good money on top of bad money. Every dollar counts, specifically in today’s tough economy. Utilizing an Analytics Tool is essential and will afford you the ability to make educated decisions with respect to your online efforts. MoreVisibility utilizes Google Analytics (GA) and continues to source GA on behalf of our clients.

The morale of this blog? Expand your (online) horizons. Just because Google is dominating the market does not mean that your site will not also perform well in other engines. Get your hands dirty! Test out a few engines and take advantage of how robust and comprehensive analytics tools are today.  You will find the right potion for your site; you just need to figure out the right ingredients!

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