Articles in the Search Engine Marketing Category

Search engine marketing is still the “bread and butter” of many digital marketing strategies. Learn about platform features and practices that will make your cost-per-click campaigns successful through their lifecycles – from impression, to click, to conversion. Our experts explore keyword strategy, ad copy, campaign structure & organization, bid strategy and more on our blog.

March 3 2009

Should I Decrease My Online Advertising Budget?

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In these times of economic uncertainty, many advertisers are asking themselves; ‘Should I decrease my online advertising budget?’  This question has been asked from Wall Street to Main Street. 

Simply chopping your ad budget is not the solution.  Remember that by reducing your budget, you also are limiting the amount of visitors to your site.  In addition, as your competition reduces their budget, you also have the opportunity to get a less expensive cost per click, due to a reduction in competition.

An article on B2BAdvertising quoted Charles Brower, former BBDO president, who says, ‘Instead of waiting for business to return to normal, you should be cashing in on the opportunity your overly cautious competitors are creating for you … the fact that your competitors are pulling back can make your advertising dollars look and act even bigger. There are few things as detrimental as a lapse in advertising. It costs much more to get advertising momentum up than it costs to keep it going. Once you let momentum die, you must start almost from scratch again.’

Having an online presence is even more crucial especially during time of a recession; shoppers are trying to locate the best deal to not only save money, but also gasoline.  Sales and reward programs will greatly impact the amount of sales you receive.  GrooveCommerce.com also suggests that advertisers offer free shipping options to increase revenue.

While trimming the fat and reducing your ad budget may seem like a good temporary solution, it will only cause more work in the future.  Remember, fewer eyes to your website, means fewer sales.

February 26 2009

Demystifying Yahoo Match Types

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Yahoo match types differ from Google and MSN, which have exact, phrase and broad.

Exact match allows your ads to appear when a user searches for the specific phrase without any other terms in the query.  With phrase match, your ads will appear when a user searches on that phrase. Searches can contain other terms before or after the query as long as the query includes the exact phrase of your keyword. Broad match allows your ads to appear when a user’s search query contains the keyword, in any order, and possibly along with other terms. Ads could also show for singular/plural forms, synonyms, and other relevant variations.

These are the match types that we are all most familiar with. However, Yahoo’s match types, advanced and standard do not fall in line with the other major engines. Advanced (the default) selects and displays ads for a broad range of searches based on your keywords, ad titles, ad descriptions, and/or web content. Standard shows ads based on exact matches to your keywords. It also takes into account singular or plural variations and common misspellings of your keywords.

Why does match type even matter, you may ask yourself? Match types allow you the control to filter out irrelevant traffic, thus driving more specific queries to you. Each match type will have its advantages and disadvantages. For example, if you used advanced match in Yahoo, you will have an opportunity to generate high levels of traffic. One disadvantage is that your ads will be served on what Yahoo deems as related content. Even though you aren’t bidding on the specific word, your ad could still be displayed. For example, if your website had content related to shoe accessories, your ad might show when someone searches for “shoe repair”. Standard is the other option in Yahoo. It is more similar to exact, except your ads will display for misspellings and plurals of the keyword. One benefit to using this match type is you have more control of when your ads will be shown. Standard will limit the amount of irrelevant clicks. However, using standard will also limit your traffic.

When creating accounts in Yahoo, the default match type is advanced. If you are thinking about using standard, change the match type at the account level, campaign level and ad group level. Determining your advertising goals prior to setting match types will help you capture the amount and type of traffic you are seeking.

February 10 2009

Are You Facebook-Friends With The Guy In The Flowered Thong?

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In my last post, I chronicled my first seven days on Facebook.  Since that post I’ve added my profile photo and reached out to only two people to request their Facebook-friendship.   Both were old colleagues, who were suggested to me, and we also ran in the same social circles.   Even with that level of in-activity, I still acquired 70 friends in a month (And 14 pending.) 

One of the engaging components of Facebook is the ability to connect and stay in touch with most of the people that you’ve met.   This is also one of the worst features.

Remember that guy that wore the flowered thong to the beach party?  Guess what:  He wants to be your Facebook friend.   And your ex-girlfriend from High School: She’s here too and she wants to know how you’ve been.  What about all those nameless faces with whom you’ve crossed paths over the years?  Yep, they’ve “friended” you and can’t wait to re-live old times.

So choosing with whom to be connected can be a challenge and a barrier to making Facebook your friend.  Which invitations do you accept?  Does your landlord make the cut?  And do you want him to know about the “kegger” at your place this weekend? And that old high school girlfriend:  Didn’t you break up for a reason? As I recall, it was a bad breakup and she has a lot of dirt to scatter into your Facebook life.  But, that innocuous request and the “How have you been?” may prove too much for the social animal within you.  As for the rest:  Who are these people and why can’t you remember them?  Does anyone have any Ginkgo biloba?

We are all very inter-connected and Facebook helps prove that point on a global level more so than any other social networking site.   If you’re not yet a true-believer, read what happened this past weekend at London’s Liverpool Street Station.   With a simple post to his friends, a Londoner caused a mass gathering that shut down this critical hub in one of the great cities of the world.  From a marketer’s perspective: therein lies the power of Facebook.  Should you have the creativity to craft a well received campaign; it can quickly spread like wildfire through the parched kindling of Facebook profiles everywhere.

As for the guy in the flowered thong, reach out to me on Facebook and let me know if I should accept or ignore his request.

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