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June 26 2009

Are You Seeing A Dip In Traffic?

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For many advertisers who run a search engine marketing campaign, it is very common to get comfortable with a certain amount of visitors.  Over the life of a campaign, advertisers may notice trends in regard to their paid efforts. 

But, what should an advertiser do when the amount of paid traffic to the site begins to decrease or halt completely?  It is important for advertisers to try multiple methods in order to maintain a consistent performance level.  By using an analytics platform, such as Google Analytics, advertisers can identify which keywords are causing the campaign bounce rate to increase.  An analytics program can also help you identify geographic locations where your ads are performing better.

Checking the Quality Score or Quality Index of your keywords gives you an indication of whether or not a low score could be preventing your ads from showing.  Also, by reviewing your minimum bid requirements, you can see if your keyword bids are not aggressive enough to have your ads display on the first page of search results.  It is important to check cost per click bids regularly, as over time certain industries may become more competitive; this may cause cost per click bids to increase.

If keyword bids and quality scores are not the problem, it might be your ad copy; stale ad copy can certainly impact campaign performance.  Creating fresh, exciting ads with captivating offers or specials can not only attract new visitors to your site, but also improve the amount of sales you generate.

Another suggestion to increase your online marketing campaign performance is to conduct new keyword research.  Many advertisers consistently use the same keywords in their paid online efforts year after year and do not perform research on what additional keywords may be added to the campaign.  The addition of new keywords allows advertisers to capitalize on ones that they have not in the past.  Also, by using geographic analytics data, you can include geographic areas within your keywords to attract new customers. Geo-specific keywords resonate highly with searchers and more often than not, lead to significantly higher conversion rates.

Increasing campaign performance is never an easy task, once the traffic has slowed to a crawl or stopped completely.  However, by habitually reviewing different aspects of the campaign you may be able to prevent dips in traffic from even happening.

June 12 2009

Google AdWords Getting A Makeover

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For years, the Google AdWords interface has maintained the same look and feel, leaving advertisers comfortable with navigating around campaigns and making adjustments.  Google has decided to shake things up with their AdWords appearance by not only giving it a fresh coat of paint, but an extreme makeover.

Google’s new AdWords interface, while still in its beta format, makes a cohesive transition to a Google Analytics experience.  Not only can advertisers view campaign data in graph format, but they are also able to compare mutiple metrics at the same time.  The new interface is more efficient by allowing bulk changes to budgets and cost per click rates.  The update also makes adding negative keywords across the entire campaign an easy process.  Best of all, Google AdWords revised interface makes downloading campaigns simple; with just one click you can send your client’s up to date versions of their campaigns.

While the new interface is still in beta mode, Google will be making the transition to solely using this interface in the near future.  Eligible advertisers can click the ‘new interface (beta)’ link at the top of their AdWords account to try it out.  During this transition, Google makes it easy to switch back and forth between the current interface and new interface.  Advertisers can take a tour of the new interface by watching a Google produced YouTube video.

Whether you love or hate the new interface, one thing is clear: Google’s new interface is here to stay.  Take time to click around and explore the new interface.  Who knows? You might even find that you are a fan too.

May 28 2009

What Are You Offering?

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I am asked very often by my clients, ‘What is going to make me stand out from my competition?’  Advertisers have been asking themselves this question for years, and the answer still remains the same; ‘what is your offer?’  A captivating offer in a search engine marketing campaign is not only key for obtaining potential customers, but also can make the difference in whether a customer will consider going with your company, versus your competition.

When deciding which offer to use, remember that there needs to be significant perceived value for the customer; put yourself in the mindset of your customer.  For example, if you are a plumber, an enticing offer for your customer may be $49 to unclog any drain.  Not only is this offer easy for the customer to remember, but it makes the plumber stand out from his competition; the perceived value of this offer makes a potential customer want to find out more.  An example of a poor offer might be for a car dealer who is offering ‘a free air freshener with the purchase of a new car.’  The incentive for the customer to click on the ad is non-existent.  If the customer is purchasing a $30,000 car, they would expect to get more than a $2 air freshener.

Try testing several different offers over the course of your search engine marketing campaign; not every offer will perform the same.  Not only are you able to differentiate what offers work best for specific products, but you also have the opportunity to update your ad copy on a regular basis.  Don’t simply test an offer for a few days; allow a significant amount of time to pass for you to gather information regarding the performance of specific offers.

Remember, you won’t know what offer works best, until you test.

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