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.

July 2 2007

Don’t get stuck in a traffic jam!

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So, you’re running Paid Placement Campaigns (PPC) in Google, Yahoo, and MSN. You have set them up and you’re finally getting visitors to your site. That’s all you need to do, right? Wrong! It is absolutely imperative to ensure that your paid campaigns are running properly, and that you are using the most effective keywords and ad copy, bidding appropriately, etc. One of the biggest mistakes often made is to sit back and let the campaigns run on “auto pilot”. I can pretty much guarantee that your competition is not doing that and therefore, you should not be either.

That being said, how do you improve the effectiveness of your campaigns? Sometimes it is just a matter of tweaking your ad copy or changing your keywords. Other times, it could be revising your match type or increasing your bids. Match type refers to the way an engine matches your keywords to the actual terms people are searching for. For example: Broad Match would be the widest range possible, which means you will get coverage for any variation of your keywords. This happens to be the default setting. Exact Match, on the other hand, would require the searcher to enter your keywords exactly how you have them in your campaign. This will obviously limit your exposure significantly. It might take some testing to determine which match type is best for you based on your particular keywords.

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April 4 2007

Fantasy Football = Web Analytics

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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:

-Click-through Rate
-Conversions
-Conversion Rate
-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?

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