Articles in the Digital Marketing 101 – The Basics Category

Once you get the hang of it, digital marketing can seem like old hat. Before then, it’s important to learn the basics. In our Digital Marketing 101 blog posts, we offer an education into the ins and outs of the digital marketing landscape. Read these blog posts to learn digital marketing basics, such as creating campaigns, writing effective ad copy, and more.

September 11 2009

Analyzing Click-Through Rate to Improve Your Pay-Per-Click Campaign


There are many factors that determine the success of a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign.  Every campaign has variables that can (and must) be watched closely to achieve success.  If you’ve ever run a report in Google AdWords, you will see metrics for Clicks, Impressions, Click-Through Rate, Conversions, Cost per Conversion, and many others.  The variable I will focus on is the click-through rate (CTR).

Quite simply, the click-through rate (CTR) is calculated by dividing the number of users who clicked on your ad by the number of times your ad was delivered (also known as impressions).  For example, if your PPC ad was served up on a search engine results page (SERP) 1,000 times and 150 people clicked through to your website, your CTR would be 15%.  While there isn’t a magic number to establish a good or bad CTR, there are ways to analyze and improve your PPC campaign by reviewing your CTR.

The first step is to review the CTR of all your campaigns and identify the low and high percentages relative to the rest of your campaign.  Once they are identified you can start making optimization changes to your campaign to achieve better efficiency.  For example, if you see a certain keyword has a low CTR in relation to other keywords in the same AdGroup, that could be an indicator your keyword is not matching well with the associated ad copy.  You may want to break out that keyword into a separate AdGroup and develop new ad copy for that keyword.  If you notice that certain ads have a low CTR across all keywords in an AdGroup, you should optimize the campaign by testing new ad copy against the current ads or rewriting ad copy with a different message.

For keywords with CTR’s that are relatively high, you will want to focus on how well those visitors interact with your website.  Are they viewing multiple pages and converting?  If not, you may want to tweak the ad copy to bring about a stronger call to action.  If your bottom line goal is for visitors to make a purchase, and you find that certain keywords have a strong CTR but low conversion rate, it would be wise to make changes to the ad copy to bring aboard a more qualified visitor.  An excellent way to “cut the fat” out of your PPC campaign is to identify keywords with a high volume of clicks and high CTR, but low conversions.  You may need to optimize the ad copy, change the match type, or remove the keyword from your campaign altogether.  Remember, the CTR is just one of many variables that provide you with insight into your campaign’s effectiveness and provides a road map to optimization.

August 31 2009

Blending Targeting


When running a pay-per-click campaign, many advertisers have a specific demographic of customers they would like to reach. Selecting the appropriate demographic is not only easy but it allows you to broadcast your message to the exact audience you are trying to target. Many search engines such as Yahoo allow you to target your audience by age, location, even income level.

A blend of the basic targeting options can produce good quality traffic. Using targeting features in conjunction with a behaviorally targeted media buy could produce an enhanced volume of qualified traffic. Behavioral targeting uses information collected on a searchers web-browsing behavior. Some these behaviors include the pages they have visited and the previous searches they have made. A user’s online behavior is evaluated when displaying ads to that them.

It’s practical to believe that behavioral targeting can deliver your ads to the users who are most likely to be interested. The other forms of targeting include geography and demography (mainly age, gender, income level). Behavioral targeting can increase the impact of your ad messaging.

Yahoo recently introduced Yahoo! Retargeting in an effort to help advertisers allocate marketing dollars efficiently to their targeted audience, hence increasing the effectiveness of online advertising expenses. Yahoo! Retargeting is an online advertising platform that monitors prospects who have visited your site before and tries to bring them back by displaying your ads the next time the searcher is on a Yahoo network. This is an attempt to convert users into customers and customers into repeat buyers.

Yahoo is one of the first search engines to introduce a behavioral tool that can be used with their other targeting options within Yahoo Sponsored Search.  For more information about Yahoo’s other targeting options, read Enhancements to Yahoo’s Targeting Features.

August 19 2009

How to Stay Ahead of Resellers


 Have you ever gone online to look for a product and all the ads seem the same? Ever wonder which ads will take you the official site, and which ads are going to take you to an unofficial site. How does a company solve this issue? Set yourself apart so people know that your ad copy will lead them to the original product maker and not a reseller.

When a company is advertising its original product online a rule of thumb is to put the trademark symbol in the ad copy line. This lets people know that you’re the real deal. There can be a lot of competition out there for your very own product. A trademark symbol sets you apart. What’s even better is that competitors and resellers shouldn’t be using your trademark symbol in their ad copy which gives you an advantage.

Secondly, if you have space, put “official site” in your ad copy. This also differentiates you from resellers, especially with the new rule Google recently passed. Google has said that resellers are allowed to put trademarked products in their ad copy if they are reselling it on their site with a price point. Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re Nike, at one point only Nike could say “Nike” in their ads. Everyone else had to say, “We sell those cool shoes with the check mark sign.” Now, that Google has passed this rule, resellers can now say, “Buy Your Nikes at a great price online.” When resellers start marketing, this way, the words “official site” will let consumers know which ad is truly by Nike.

Last but not least, make sure to monitor your core keywords and stay in top position. Remember, not everyone plays by the rules. If you see ads with “official site” in them that don’t belong to your company, do something about it. Contact the company and ask them to refrain from using deceiving ad copy, because they aren’t the official site. Also, Google will allow you to file a formal complaint against those using deceptive ad copy, if that becomes necessary. The clear rule of thumb is to make it very clear to consumers that your ad copy will lead them to the official site.

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