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.
Everyone knows Google, and as a result new online advertisers are relatively comfortable to dabble with its Adwords program and its seemingly simple interface. They usually will also experiment with Yahoo and even the new MSN AdCenter. More sophisticated Internet advertisers, familiar with cpc marketing, may also venture into Shopping Feeds or Comparison Engines and/or Travel Portals, if sites are within those verticals. But what else is out there?
An option to consider is some of the lesser known or newer entrants into the cost per click market, including contextual platforms. Based on your industry or vertical, some may be more applicable than others. These can potentially deliver some very qualified and targeted traffic at a reasonable cost. Again, any new marketing venture should be carefully analyzed for performance and ROI data prior to making a long term implementation strategy or large financial investment.
Here are some Ad Networks/Engines to consider:
ASK– listings override those supplied by Google AdWords. Pricing is determined by Engine and is typically market priced to Google. There are only 3 advertisers accepted per Keyword — Engine gaining marketshare; it’s about 6% currently.
SuperPages (previously Verizon) — this popular offline brand provides online premium ads via Yellow Page listings (local or national) through Keyword / Category cpc advertising. They also offer a Pay Per Call program — great for those advertisers preferring a phone call from web traffic over a click to their website.
Quigo — Adsonar program allows content-targeted advertising through a cpc model. Option of ads to be displayed on specific pages selected, in relevant sections of sites requested, within targeted RSS Feeds or email newsletters.
Amazon/ClickRiver — Sponsored ads on Amazon.com search results and product details pages via cpc, which compliment the shopper’s experience. Not all advertisers accepted, based on competitiveness to company (Amazon) itself. Program still in Beta but is performing well so far
Industry Brains – Contextually based cpc and cpm advertising — ability to target specific sites/portals that match your demographic or are complimentary to your target market.
Banners and text ads offered — targeting by industry offered.
AdKnowledge – contextually driven cpc advertising, based upon category and sub categories self-selected. Text ads can appear in header/footer of network emails.
StumbledUpon & Performancing — Very new opportunities; these are geared toward advertising within Blogs or social media platforms, via CPC or CPM contextual ads
Google announced this week it’s plan to to stretch it’s muscular arm into a new advertising medium. According to a Wall Street Journal article, Google is in talks with AdScape Media, whose specialty is advertising in video games for consoles like Nintendo, Xbox or PlayStation. According to a PaidContent.org article, most new gaming systems offer the option of online game play, which makes this type of advertising possible. Google said “We are always considering new ways to extend Google’s advertising program to benefit our users, advertisers and publishers. In-game advertising offers one such possible extension among many others.” I think that this type of advertising will allow for an interesting edge in putting very targeted advertising in front of a virtually untapped audience, but I’m curious of how success will be tracked. Will this be a CPM project for branding or will players be expected to pause game play to visit a sponsor’s site? I will be very interested to see how this idea unfolds into statistics and conversion rates.
Please check back often for the latest information as it becomes available either at our blog or www.MoreVisibility.com.
So you want to show up in the top results within the search engines? The question is, are you willing to pay for it? Whether you are new to Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or a savvy online advertiser, setting an appropriate budget can be a difficult task without a strategy in place. I have found through experience that many firms setting new Cost per Click (CPC) budgets are simply shooting in the dark.
A common recommendation is to set a testing budget and monitor your results. This flexibility allows you to find the right budget to maximize your ROI. Keep in mind that bidding for first position is not always as profitable as lower priced positions. By using the following tools, you can investigate keywords and bid prices to come up with the right budget for you:
Google Adwords Keyword Tool
Yahoo Bid Tool
I have worked with several companies that found through this testing process, whether increasing their CPC bids or monthly budget, they actually produced a higher return on their investment. Remember there is no perfect solution, and the more flexible you are, the more open you will be to online success.