Yahoo and MSN/Bing announced this week that you will now see “Powered by Bing” at the bottom of search results on Yahoo. What we have been hearing since the initial announcement of the Search Alliance is finally coming to fruition; organic search results in Yahoo are now based on Bing’s index and algorithm. If you have been hesitant to bid on keywords you already ranked well for in Yahoo, now might be a good time to rethink that strategy. The fact is, most websites ranked differently in the two engines prior to the partnership and now that difference can directly affect your site’s performance and your company’s bottom line.
One strategy I believe is very relevant today, given the Yahoo-Bing search partnership, is leveraging the keywords from organic traffic and adding those keywords to your PPC campaign. This approach takes on greater significance if your website historically ranked well in Yahoo, and not so well in MSN/Bing. If you haven’t seen it yet, you soon will see a major change in traffic to your site based on how well your site is ranked by Bing’s index. You can offset the loss of traffic from Yahoo’s organic rankings by adding the keywords you ranked well for into your PPC campaigns.
Hopefully you employ an analytics tool to analyze and identify sources of traffic and the keywords that drive people to your site. Google Analytics (GA) is an excellent choice given its wide array of features and cost (it’s free!). It is imperative you bridge the gap between Yahoo and MSN/Bing for any terms you held strong organic positions in Yahoo, but lack under the Bing index. The quickest way to accomplish this is to incorporate those terms into your PPC campaign. In this way, you can maintain a strong presence for search queries in Yahoo even if your organic rankings are buried by Bing’s algorithm, while you work to improve your organic presence.
Google has unveiled the broad match modifier in the United States. Many questions and confusion have come up about when to use the broad match modifier and when to use the previous broad match feature. Also, many ask how the broad match modifier will improve my campaigns if I only run phrase and exact match type keywords?
Phrase match types will show your ads for the keyword you are bidding on, but the search query can also include words before or after your phrase. Essentially your keywords must be present in the search term somewhere in its original order..
Exact match types will only appear when a searcher directly types in your keyword. No plurals or misspellings will appear. Also, no other words can be included in the search other than the keyword you are bidding on.
Keyword you are bidding on: solar panels
Broad: buying solar efficient panels, solar panel companies, solar system, solar universe, solar flare, planets
Phrase: buy solar panels, solar panels distributors, who sells solar panels
Exact: solar panels
The broad match modifier was created to have more control of your keywords and not have a large list for each misspelling, plural, etc.
Keyword: +solar +panels
Queries: solar panels, solar panel, buying solar panel, soalr panels for my home
The plus sign in front of the keyword acts as an “anchor” ensuring your core keyword showing for searches and no synonyms, but including the common misspellings and plurals.
Please check out other blogs about the broad match modifier:
MoreVisibility: New Match Type for Google Canada & UK
MoreVisibility: Using Adwords Editor and Broad Match Modifier
Google: New Keyword Targeting Feature
Google: Broad Match Modifier Common Questions
What would your temperament be if one of your direct competitors stood just outside of your office and started promoting their services to people who were coming into your location? I doubt that you would invite them inside for tea and muffins.
That said, how would you feel about competitors who are bidding on the name of your company or your branded keywords in the sponsored results? They may not physically be at your doorstep, but this is worse, as they can man the post 24 x 7 if they so choose.
The fact is that Google AdWords now allows companies to bid on the name and branded keywords of competitors. You can’t actually mention the other company in your ad title or ad copy, but competitors can be visible for searches for your most important keywords.
With this in mind, it’s essential that you devote the resources to both track who (if anyone) is bidding on your branded terms and also devise a strategy to both ensure that you maintain a strong presence on your branded terms and also possibly bid on your competitors. Don’t make the common mistake of complacency. Protect your branded search results by developing branding campaigns so as not be overtaken by your competition.