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October 12 2009

Look For Clicks in All the Right Places

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Any advertiser who has experimented with image ads within Google AdWords has probably asked themselves ‘how do I know my ads are being seen by the right audience?’  Recently, I had the opportunity to answer this question for a client.

Image ads are also often referred to as display ads.  Image ads are a vital component for any cost per click (cpc) campaign since these types of advertisements rely on a visual aspect, versus text ads.  Implementing image ads can attract visitors to your site who may not have visited through traditional text ads.  Since image ads are only available through the Google content network, many advertisers become concerned whether or not their ads will appear on relevant websites for their brand, brand or service.

Google’s placement targeting feature gives marketers the opportunity to pick and choose which sites they wish their ads to be featured on.  Although each site is different, each site only allows image ads of specific dimensions.  It is best to use the Google placement tool to see which image sizes are most common and create image ads based on these specifications.  By selecting the sites or genre of sites you want your ads to appear within, advertisers can rest assured knowing that the image ads are being seen by the ideal demographic.

Once your image ad campaigns build momentum and begin to generate impressions, advertisers can run paid placement reports.  Paid placement reports are helpful when optimizing the image ad campaigns as they allow advertisers to see which sites are generating impressions, what cpcs should be increased, which sites are leading to conversions and much more.  When selecting a placement site genre, advertisers can transparently see which sites are producing, or not producing traffic within the new Google AdWords interface.  Placement targeting also allows the opportunity to remove or block certain cites from receiving clicks and impressions.

Google’s placement targeting feature can not only ensure that your ads are featured on relevant pages, but can also help you improve brand recognition and most importantly, conversions.

September 8 2009

Are Your Ads Making An Impression On Searchers?

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Late last week, I was asked by a client ‘How many searchers are actually seeing my ads?’  This is the eternal question advertisers have asked for years; the Google AdWords impression share report makes it possible to actually measure impressions within cost per click campaigns.

Not only does the impression share report give you data on the amount of impressions you have lost according to your rank, but also impressions lost due to budgetary constraints.  Impression share reports are useful for determining which campaign budgets should be increased to accommodate a larger amount of impressions.  More importantly, comparing impression share to your average position will give you an idea as to which keywords bids need to be increased.  A high average position will greatly lead to a lower impression share, as searchers are not able to find your ad.

Google’s impression share report can be accessed within the report section of an AdWords account.  This simple report can help you maximize your Google AdWords campaigns to their fullest potential.  Remember, impressions and clicks go hand in hand, don’t miss out on traffic.

July 16 2009

The World Outside of Google

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For many clients who participate in pay per click (ppc) advertising, the one engine that seems to get the most attention is Google.  Clients want to concentrate most, if not all, of their budget on Google AdWords.  While advertising on Google is important, there are many other search engines that deliver qualified customers to your site, sometimes for a lower cost per click.  According to HitWise, as of February 2009, Google accounted for 72.11% of the search engine market share, which still leaves a huge amount of advertising opportunities in other search engines.

Engines such as Yahoo have modified and improved their demographic targeting functionality, to not only attract more advertisers, but to deliver more qualified customers.  Yahoo’s improved targeting tools now allow advertisers to focus on their core customer base by selecting age, gender, location and time of day.

Bing is another search engine that everyone is talking about.  MSN launched Bing just over a month ago and the buzz surrounding Bing continues to grow.  MSN’s reinvention of their search engine has many advertisers questioning what demographic they expect to reach with this new makeover.  Wister Walcott of Search Engine Land says ‘Bing is a blend of the old and the new, and best-practices in search marketing still apply. If you are managing very large search marketing programs, Bing probably won’t be the main focus of your job, but it was and is still a great place to pick up some incremental traffic.’

When creating your search engine marketing (SEM) campaign don’t discount the amount of traffic that lies just beyond the threshold of Google.  Just because a search engine is smaller, does not mean that the traffic should be disregarded completely; not every search engine will perform the same.  Each campaign will need to be fine tuned, according to the search engine, but by proactively managing and monitoring your campaign, you can make smaller search engines work for you.

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