Articles written in September, 2009

September 30 2009

Google Opportunities


Google has created yet another tool to assist advertisers with optimization of their Google Adwords campaigns. Recently, Google rolled out the Opportunities tab within the new Adwords interface. The Opportunities tab is intended to help advertisers discover new ways to improve their campaign’s efficiency.

Google automatically lists their suggestions within the Opportunities tab. Listings alert advertisers that they have recognized suggestions from Google that may benefit your account. The Opportunities tab is a central location for keyword and budget optimization ideas across the Google Adwords account.

The two types of opportunities that the tab currently suggests are keyword and budget ideas. Keyword ideas are linked to ad groups and can help advertisers receive more impressions and clicks. This new tool analyzes the volume of Google searches that could be captured with new keywords; if those keywords are added, the campaign has more ad exposure and gains the attention of more potential customers.

Budget ideas show the amount of ad traffic available and are only visible for campaigns that are meeting or exceeding their current budget. Google reviews how many searches your ad could appear on and then recommends a budget amount that could help you reach that potential.
Since the Google Opportunities are automated, it’s possible that you will see some suggestions that may not be pertinent or do not suit your business objectives. All optimization “opportunities” should be reviewed thoroughly before implementation.

September 29 2009

Pick a Picture


Bing has brought a whole new meaning to the quote, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” In fact, they may change the way search results are displayed on all search engines if their new search “prototype” turns out to be a winner. Recently, at Tech Crunch50, Bing announced the launch of Visual Search (it’s still in beta).

Bing’s Visual search beta actually shows the searcher thumbnail images of certain products or items that they are searching for. When a searcher scrolls over the picture of the item the name of the item appears in the search query. At present, Bing only has a little over 40 categories or galleries as they call them that utilize visual search.

Visual search can be a great help in the decision making process when shopping. Let’s use digital cameras as an example. On Bing Visual Search, when a searcher clicks on digital cameras over 1500 pictures load. The searcher can scroll, in order to see pictures of all the different cameras. If the searcher hovers over a camera (see screen shot below) the name of the camera will appear in the search query box. Once, the searcher finds what they’re looking for they hit enter and regular text results appear.


It may seem overwhelming to view thousands of pictures. However, Bing already thought of that. To the left of the images are “narrow down” options. If a searcher only wants to view cameras by megapixels, optical zoom, brand, etc. Bing can do it. Let’s say a searcher, clicks on the mega pixel option and selects “5 mega pixels”. The cameras rearrange and only 5 mega pixel cameras are displayed in the image results. The Visual Search feature comes to the rescue when a searcher says, “I know what it looks like, but I don’t remember who makes it.” Problem solved.

What about travel destinations? Bing’s Visual Search comes to the rescue again. In fact, Bing will list destination images in alphabetical order and will allow the searcher to narrow down the results.

Visual Search by Bing is definitely an innovative way to search, and if it catches on, it will definitely change the way searches are done. More importantly, it will impact how marketers advertise on Bing.  If you want to take Bing Visual Search for a test drive
click here. It does require that you download a program call Silverlight. Bing has tapped into something cool, which has significant implications for the future.

September 18 2009

The Holidays Will Be Here Before You Know It!


Yeah, I realize it’s only the third week in September, but before you know it, the holiday season will be upon is. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have plenty of time to get your online marketing campaigns into top shape for the upcoming holiday season! It is not too early to start strategizing.
Below are some ideas and tips to capitalize on holiday sales:


  • Bid more aggressively in an effort to appear in the top real estate of the engines.
  • Bid on your branded terms if you are not already doing so.
  • Do not let competitors snatch away your shoppers!
  • Do some investigating; what is your competition bidding on?
  • Shoppers love free shipping. Offer this perk whenever possible.
  • Send out a holiday blast to your existing database offering loyalty discounts.
  • A seamless return policy is critical, especially when it comes to gift giving.
  • Offer online only specials to entice shoppers to buy holiday gifts on your site.
  • A free gift with purchase makes an already good value even better!
  • Provide free gift wrap. What a convenient luxury for online shoppers!
  • Create compelling holiday ad copy, with clear calls to action: Buy Now, Free Shipping, Free Gift With Purchase, Free Gift Wrap, etc.
  • Guarantee delivery BEFORE the holidays, even if you charge more for this option. Last minute shoppers still exist in large numbers!
  • Ensure that your site is 100% secure. Shoppers want to feel safe and protected when giving their credit card information.

Happy strategizing!

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