Search engine marketing (SEM) is a rapidly changing field rife with opportunities, but it takes expertise and experience to run optimal interactive advertising campaigns. When engaging in digital advertising, such as paid search, display media, social media advertising and remarketing, it's extremely important that your efforts are backed by knowledge and strategy. Here, our SEM experts provide the tips and information you can use to improve your campaigns, and your ROI. To stay up to date on our search engine marketing blog, subscribe to our feed.
Google is endlessly ambitious. Right from the start, they sought to revolutionize the way searchers found results. From there, they went on to revolutionize the way advertising works, reversing the trend from “push” advertising (when sellers promote their products/services obtrusively) to “pull” (when buyers seek out sellers on their own terms).
Now, they’ve taken it a step further. Just a couple of weeks ago, Google announced the open beta form of their new Website Optimizer tool. In the same vein as analytics, this tool is offered free to Adwords users with the intention of assisting in the process of overall campaign optimization.
So what does it do? In short, it eliminates the guesswork in page design by allowing users to test multiple variations of a page to see which one performs the best. When a searcher lands on your site, the website optimizer tool will track their activity. Versions of your page that perform well (resulting in sales or leads) will begin to stand out in contrast with those that don’t, allowing you to optimize your site more completely and effectively. Essentially, this tool allows for a more reasonable, systematic approach — you get to optimize your site by selecting pages that objectively outperform other versions, rather than settling on what your gut tells you is most effective.
Why is this revolutionary? In a sense, it’s not. Google is not the first to think of providing a website optimization tool. In fact, several companies have been providing multivariable testing services since as early as 2001. However, Google is the first to offer this type of service for free and on such a large scale. Their hope is that millions of Adwords users will begin fine-tuning the look, feel and content of their sites, building them around “what works best” rather than “what feels best.” Google believes that if their tool is used correctly – and on a large enough scale – then over time the overall user experience of the Internet will improve. Sounds like a win-win scenario.
Best Practices is not an idea that arose from Search Engine Optimization. It has been applied across diverse industries globally. Initially, the whole concept came about from what was termed “Total Quality Management” which is a strategy aimed at embedding awareness of quality in all organizational processes. The latter explains why Best Practices is a culture within an organization, a lifestyle and an underlining value that employees follow from the top down.
At MoreVisibility, Best Practices simply means that we are not going to do anything to jeopardize your website. Our methodology is consistent with the submission criteria and guidelines set forth by each of the major search engines, including Google, Yahoo! And MSN.
In the past months, I have spoken with several individuals who have previously entrenched themselves in partnerships with SEO companies that utilize illicit, or black hat techniques. They didn’t understand or have a grasp of what they purchased, but were thrilled to be guaranteed excellent natural placement. I have even heard some companies mention that they don’t care if they engage in a link farm as long as it works in getting better organic positions! It seems these days people will do anything to get ranked higher naturally in the major search engines. I can even remember asking a webmaster who was inquiring about our services why he had hidden text all over his site. He responded by saying that it helps their keywords rank higher naturally. Ironic that he was on the phone with me requesting help, isn’t it?
We believe there is no quick fix to a successful online marketing campaign and that solid marketing principles are the driving force to success. Which do you think is more important: Winning, or how you play the game?
For a lot of companies, the typical AOL user — the modern American housewife — is the ideal consumer. If you’re the purveyor of family-oriented products and services you need to be seen on AOL, and there’s excellent news on the horizon.
As of this week, advertisers will be able to target the AOL market in a whole new way when AOL Search Marketplace moves out of Beta. For the past several years, search advertising results on AOL were served via Google, but now companies will be able to bid on keywords for sponsored results directly through AOL (though Google will still have a share).
So, what does this shift really mean? Obviously, now that AOL services are free, this added advertising revenue will be a potential boost to the company’s bottom line. For AOL users it’s a great opportunity to be served more relevant advertising. And there is a chance of increased revenues for Google as well since more relevant ads will most likely lead to more clicks.
Overall, however, it’s clear that the biggest winners are the companies who can now go straight to the source and create customized campaigns on their core-audience’s top site for shopping, information, and search. The average AOL user holds the purse strings of the American family and there are a lot of companies that will benefit greatly from advertising through AOL Search Marketplace.