Articles written in March, 2009

March 31 2009

Getting Granular With Google Analytics


Late last week, I was speaking with a client about their campaign performance by using Google Analytics.  Since this client only services one specific part of the country, I was able to show them a state view which indicated how many visitors arrived from each city in the area.  It occurred to me that many advertisers are not getting as deep of a level of information as they could be.

Not only does Google Analytics allow advertisers to track both paid and non-paid search engine marketing efforts, but it also allows insight into user patterns and trends.  For example, by comparing goal conversions to amount of visitors, an advertiser can see which days result in higher conversions.  From this information, it is even possible to then determine which days may require a larger budget than others.

Google Analytics data is also helpful in assessing which countries, states or cities result in goal conversions and sales.  For example, an advertiser who sees that specific states have significantly lower conversions and higher bounce rates compared to other performing states may use this information to exclude the non-performing states or cities.

I always recommend to my clients to use their Google Analytics or at least play around with it.  The level of detailed information available with Google Analytics plays an important role in shaping your online efforts.  There is more to look at than only the Google Analytics dashboard; try clicking around and see what types of campaign information you discover.  Remember, you are not going to break it, so explore the wonderful world of Google Analytics for yourself.

March 27 2009

Hooray for Yahoo Search Engine Marketing Additions


Of the 3 main search engines, Google is known for being the most advanced when it comes to detailed settings and targeting.  However, Yahoo has made a series of improvements, especially with the recent interface updates that have been added.

The layout might not look that different, but Yahoo definitely has added some new features that are worth talking about. For starters, Yahoo allows the user to change geo-targeting, ad scheduling, and set demographic bidding for each campaign, all on the campaigns tab. This makes it easier for a user to make or check changes quickly without having to go deep (several clicks within a campaign). In fact, I just changed the demographic bidding for a client in less than five minutes for the search network. That’s right, the search network.

Yahoo is upgrading the way demographic bidding is done for search.  In fact, they’re leading the way. On Yahoo’s interface the user has the option to increase their bid based on gender and pre-specified age ranges. You might be thinking, doesn’t MSN offer demographic bidding for search? Yes, they do, but the difference is the user has full reign to set and increase their bid by dollar amount or by percentage on Yahoo. For example: If I want to bid $0.23 more for females, I can. If I want to increase my bid by 22.2% for males and females ages 25-29, I can. At present, MSN only offers percentage bidding by 10% increments on their interface for search and Google only offers demographic targeting for their content network.

Yahoo has also beefed up their geo-target settings. The user has the option to target by country, state, DMA, city or zip code.  This is especially helpful when someone only wants to target a specific area; and from what I’ve noticed, they have most of the cities, and zip codes available to geo-target. The reason I mention this is because I’ve gone to other engines who claim to have detailed geo-target settings. However, when you go to choose the cities for a state, let’s say New York. The engine only gives the user seven cities to choose from. Everyone knows that there are more than seven cities in New York.  This can be a challenge to overcome at times.

Speaking of time, Yahoo now allows you to do ad scheduling, and gives you some cool options. Not only can you do regular ad scheduling, but a user can also bid to pay more at a certain time of the day. For example: If  a pizza shop owner wants to bid higher between noon and 2pm (lunch time) to ensure he’s in top position during that timeframe,  he has that option. One of their best features is the time zone option. Yahoo gives the user the option to target their time zone or the audience’s time zone at the campaign level. This means, one campaign can target my local time zone and another campaign can target the audience’s time zone. It’s a plus because now a user doesn’t have to say I want to run between 9am and 5pm Eastern Time zone, but I don’t want to miss out on the people that run on Pacific Time. The time problem is now solved.

Yahoo’s addition of ad scheduling, and demographic bidding as well as advancing their geo-target settings is definitely a plus, especially, since a user can access these options quickly and with ease on the campaign tab. I would recommend taking advantage of these new features as soon as possible.

March 26 2009

Enhancements to Yahoo’s Targeting Features


Yahoo introduced several new enhancements to their targeting capabilities this week including geo-targeting, ad scheduling, demographic targeting, and added bid adjustments based on those targeting features.

Now, according to the Yahoo Search Blog, you can incorporate different geo-targeting settings at different levels within the same campaign or ad group. For example, you can set a geo-target option for a zip code in New York and the entire state of California. In addition, you can set higher bid amounts for each geo-targeted location.

Another enhancement is the long awaited ability to day-part. Advertisers now have the option to have their ads be displayed at the designated time of their choosing. In addition, you have the option to increase your bids at specific times of day.


Demographic targeting will allow advertisers to target theirs ads to a specified group of people. For example, you can target females, ages 18-20. You will also have the option to set a premium bid for audience segments you feel are more valuable.


With these improvements, advertisers have greater control over who sees their ads. They also have the ability to drive a more targeted user to their website and get higher qualified customer.

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