Article Archive by Author

June 22 2009

People See That I’m #1, but They Aren’t Clicking

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In the world of search engine marketing companies work to get the most bang for their buck. Many setup their accounts with keywords, ad copy and cpc bids and they are off to the races. The difficult part comes once a campaign has been running for a while. How do you analyze the data and make beneficial adjustments? If you find that you’re averaging position 1, receiving a good amount of impressions but no clicks, there are several steps you should take. 

Step 1. Check Your Keyword Grouping
Many times when a search engine account is opened, one campaign is created with one or two ad groups and all keywords are put into them. This isn’t a good setup practice. Make sure the keywords in each ad group are relevant to each other. For example, if you own an Italian restaurant, don’t just throw keywords like: homemade lasagna, garlic bread, Italian restaurant, and baked ziti under one ad group. They should each have their own separate ad groups; from there you can add in more keywords that are related to your main keywords. For example keywords that could be added into the lasagna ad group would be: homemade Italian lasagna, homemade meat lasagna, etc. Organization is always important when structuring keywords, ad groups and campaigns.

Step 2. Check Your Ad Copy
Is your ad copy relevant to your keywords? For example: If you are bidding on the keyword running shoe but your ad says: Shoe Sale. Shop Now and Save. Free Shipping on All Shoe Orders Over $45. Guess what? Your ad isn’t specific enough. Think about it, there are all types of shoes out there, men’s shoes, sneakers, sandals, flip flop, dress shoes, etc. How do they know you have the shoe they are looking for? Being specific is always better.

Step 3. Run Reports & Add in Negative Keywords
Reports can always give helpful data that isn’t always visible from a top level view. Google offers a report called the search query report which tells what keywords a user typed in when your ad appeared. For example: If you sell jewelry collections and one of your keywords is the Twilight collection, you may have noticed that in recent months your impressions went up, but you received no clicks. This was probably due to the fact that many movie and book fans were searching for items related to the movie Twilight. Therefore, you would want to add in negative keywords like: books, movies, dvds, etc to your negative keyword list. This way your ad doesn’t show for irrelevant searches.

These are only a few of the steps that need to be taken when optimizing an account, but they are definitely a good starting point. If you’re in a high position, but not seeing the clicks, start making adjustments to your search engine campaigns. The results may surprise you.

June 4 2009

Is This What You’re Searching For?

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Have you ever walked into a department store and had a store associate ask if you needed help. Normally, you’d say, “Yes, I’m looking for”…“or no thank you.” What would happen if you walked into a department store and an associate said, “It looks like you’re heading toward the shoe department, and you’re probably looking for Nike’s since that’s the type of shoe you’re wearing. In fact, weren’t you in here two weeks ago looking for Nike’s? Does this Nike ad interest you?” This is exactly what Google is doing on their home page, Google Suggest, which most people know as www.google.com.  According to a Google blog post, Google said….”we’re introducing more features to Google Suggest to help you make your searches even faster.”  These features include: suggestions on the results page, personalized suggestions, navigational suggestions and sponsored link suggestions.

We’re all familiar with “suggestions on the results page” because that’s been around for a while on other search engines.  This is when the search engine tries to anticipate what you’re looking for based on the words you type in a search box. The Personalized suggestion actually takes into account your Web history and past searches. According to the Google blog post, “we may show some of your relevant past searches as you type. Personalized suggestions will make it easier and faster for you to repeat searches that have worked before.”  Navigational suggestions will actually give the searcher the option to click on a link and go directly to a site’s page. For example if you are searching for “Kennedy Space Center” Google will suggest the link to the Kennedy Space Center home page along with other suggestions.
 
Now I’ve saved the best for last. Google’s sponsored link suggestions will actually show an ad in the suggestion box. According to the Google blog post, “sometimes we detect that the most relevant completion for what you’re typing is an ad.” This is an awesome feature especially for those who run text ads on Google.  From what I’ve seen so far, only one ad shows up per search query and the ad is always the last suggested result. This could be a great advantage for the company who gets their ad displayed on the Google Suggest page. Google has yet to say how to bid or word your ad so that it’s displayed on the Google Suggest search results. It’s only what they “detect as the most relevant completion” of a search query.

These new changes to the Google Suggest page should prove interesting in the next few months. I’m personally interested to see how the Sponsored Link suggestions will play out for advertisers. The next time you do a search on Google, check to see how many of the above suggestions you receive; you may be surprised at what you find.

April 13 2009

Questions About Blogs

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What is a blog? What’s the purpose of a blog? How Often Should I write a Blog?  These are all questions that have been asked by clients when we suggest that they post blogs to their web site. In simple terms, a blog is 2 to 4 paragraphs about your company, industry and/or product(s). For example if you have a shoe company that just released their spring shoe collection; a blog about the colors and types of shoes to wear for spring would be a great blog topic.

One important reminder about your blog topics is that they should be tailored and written for your products. The purpose of a blog differs depending on the context of the website. According to Wikipedia a blog “provides commentary or news on a particular subject.” Let’s say that you own a car insurance company and summertime is right around the corner. A blog about summer vacation spots would be a little off topic, bug a blog about “making sure your car is insured before going on summer vacation” or “summer savings on car insurance means more money for summer vacation” are topics that would work. This way you’re focusing on car insurance, but tying it into a current occurrence.

Another important factor for blog writing is to make sure that blog postings are a common occurrence. Some people write one blog in March and then don’t write another until June. A blog doesn’t have to be written everyday, you could post twice a week or once a month, but be consistent on the blog posting timeframe that you decide on.

Blogs are a great way to share your ideas and also let prospects/clients know that you’re excited about keeping them informed. Now, that you have a few questions answered about blogs, start a schedule and go write one.

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