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.
By now, most of us are aware of Google’s QS and vaguely cognizant of the standardized methods of attaining a reputable one. Keyword, ad copy, landing page relevance, historical data, click-through-rates, etc. are all considered necessities when creating high-performing ads.
So do the sponsored ads in positions 1 and 2 have the highest quality scores for a given keyword? Not necessarily. Your Quality Score affects how much you pay-per-click, so some advertisers may choose to pay the extra money to make up for their lack of QS. It’s a balance thing: the higher your Quality Score, the lower your cost-per-click and visa versa.
What if you could somehow locate which competitors had the highest Quality Scores? Then you could study their headlines, ad copy and landing pages, and apply what you have disseminated to your own advertisements. There is no clear-cut way to find these high Quality Score competitors, but there is a pretty nifty trick that will give you some of what you seek.
Type the keyword/phrase of the sponsored ad you would like to improve into the Google Search Bar. Make sure a series of meaningless numbers/letters follows the phrase.
For example: Search Engine Optimization 4564684651
-or- Search Engine Optimization qiuwheqiuh
Because Google cannot identify the keyword/phrase in conjunction with the numbers, it will instead display the best performing ads with the highest Quality Scores. Go ahead and try it out for yourself – let me know if it works for you, too!
Note: If you search on a keyword/phrase more than once without clicking on a sponsored ad, Google may cease displaying the ads.
With the 2007 NFL Draft now less than 1 month away, fantasy football geeks such as me are already in mid-season football form. To us, NFL Football is a year-round sport that does not stop for other sports, such as the Daytona 500, the “Final Four”, or even the NBA Finals. Thank the Lord for the NFL Network!
So the other day, a few of my fantasy football league members and I were reciting (and arguing) to each other what the top 10 picks in our draft would be, which is rapidly approaching in less than 5 months. Some of the reasoning behind our banter is based upon factors such as weather, coaching staff, offensive playbook, other teammates, and even plain old gut feelings.
However, our discussions and subsequent evaluations mainly centered on some Key Performance Indicators, such as:
-Yards (Passing, Rushing, and Receiving)
-Touchdowns (Passing, Rushing, and Receiving)
-Turnovers (Interceptions and Fumbles)
It was during this meeting of the minds that I realized how close Fantasy Football Analysis and Web Analytics are, as we also use Key Performance Indicators in Web Analytics. While these are usually different from campaign to campaign, or even Ad Group to Ad Group, there are usually a couple of very important metrics that you look at.
Example: I am running Campaign XYZ. My KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) just happen to be:
-Cost / Conversion
Now, we all know that looking at one of these metrics on its own can be extremely misleading. For example, last season, Tiki Barber gained 2,127 all-purpose yards, which is fantastic. However, upon further review, he only scored 5 Touchdowns, which is extremely pedestrian. Also, 258 of those 2,127 yards, and 3 of those 5 Touchdowns came in the very last game of the NFL season, which for most fantasy-footballers is completely useless, as our seasons generally end on week 16, and sometimes on week 15. Tiki Barber has retired from football, but if he were playing next season, he would no doubt have a tough time cracking anyone’s “Top 5” list, despite that massive yardage total.
If I’m looking at the performance of one of my Google CPC Campaigns in Google Analytics, via the All CPC Analysis report, I can see that I got 3,554 Clicks last month (Good!). I can also see that my Click-Through Rate is a very solid 7.74% (Awesome!). But then, as I use the bottom horizontal scroll-bar on my browser and slide it to the right, I can see that this cost me a whopping $1,844.93. My Cost per Conversion is a rather un-mentionable – $614.98. A quick math calculation will show me that I only collected 3 Conversions all of last month, costing me almost $2,000! Clearly, we would need to do some work on this Campaign, despite all that traffic and that good Click-through Rate.
“Player vs. Defense Match-ups” is one of the most under-rated concepts / strategies in Fantasy Football, but also one of the most over-analyzed as well. Every fantasy football team owner knows what’s coming when you “Over-Coach”, and possibly bench a great player for one week, only to see that player have the game of his life while scoring exactly zero points for your team. This happens quite frequently with superstar players. Last season, I was fortunate enough to play a team that benched Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Chad Johnson (an elite player), only to see him explode for 260 Yards and 2 Touchdowns, against, at the time, a very potent San Diego Chargers defense. The moral here is to always play your superstar players.
Your homepage on your website is YOUR superstar player. It’s going to get the most visits, the most Pageviews, and chances are very good that a lot of your conversions and sales are going to come right off of that homepage. So when you see that 3% of your visitors spent less than 8 seconds viewing your homepage before they left your site entirely, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should rush to change the font-size of all the text, the location of all the graphics, and add a giant Flash presentation right in the middle of the page. Know that your homepage gets the most traffic, and with more traffic, the more chances of some of it being of no use to you.
I could go on and on, but I’m pretty sure that by now you can see the correlation between two completely opposite worlds. Or, are they opposite worlds?
The Search Engine Industry never remains stagnant, and therefore, your online marketing campaigns shouldn’t either. It’s time to clean things up a bit! That being said, when was the last time you gave your campaign a Spring Cleaning?
It is always good to test out new engines, ad copy, keywords, and/or landing pages, especially if you are not seeing the results you are looking for. Maybe you have added new products and/or services that have not yet been incorporated into your Marketing Program? Perhaps you have a new landing page that you would like to try out? What about new engines/channels? If it makes sense for your business model, why not try: Business.com, Amazon.com, Quigo.com and/or Verizon.com?
While the big names like Google, Yahoo, and MSN still take up the largest piece of the pie, these other channels can certainly be beneficial and deliver very targeted and relevant visitors to your site. Don’t limit yourself, and by extension, your website, by focusing solely on the top 3 engines.
Get out there and test the waters with some new channels, keywords, landing pages, ad copy, etc! A Spring Cleaning may be just the solution to give your campaign the boost needed! Happy Spring Cleaning!