Late last week, I was speaking with a client about their campaign performance by using Google Analytics. Since this client only services one specific part of the country, I was able to show them a state view which indicated how many visitors arrived from each city in the area. It occurred to me that many advertisers are not getting as deep of a level of information as they could be.
Not only does Google Analytics allow advertisers to track both paid and non-paid search engine marketing efforts, but it also allows insight into user patterns and trends. For example, by comparing goal conversions to amount of visitors, an advertiser can see which days result in higher conversions. From this information, it is even possible to then determine which days may require a larger budget than others.
Google Analytics data is also helpful in assessing which countries, states or cities result in goal conversions and sales. For example, an advertiser who sees that specific states have significantly lower conversions and higher bounce rates compared to other performing states may use this information to exclude the non-performing states or cities.
I always recommend to my clients to use their Google Analytics or at least play around with it. The level of detailed information available with Google Analytics plays an important role in shaping your online efforts. There is more to look at than only the Google Analytics dashboard; try clicking around and see what types of campaign information you discover. Remember, you are not going to break it, so explore the wonderful world of Google Analytics for yourself.
Many search engine marketing professionals, have viewed Yahoo as a secondary search engine to Google; with fewer audience targeting options and no dayparting available, it has not been easy to synchronize online advertising efforts as with Google campaigns. However, this may change very soon. Later this week, Yahoo will unveil its enhanced targeting features for their Search Marketing program.
Yahoo’s new enhanced options will finally allow advertisers to schedule their ads with day parting. There will also be an option to select multiple states, cities, DMAs, zip-codes, and mix and match for each campaign. The option to combine zip codes with specific states, cities or DMAs is not available on Google, or any other search engine for that matter.
Yahoo goes one step further with its targeting functions by allowing advertisers to target audiences demographically on a search campaign. Audiences can be targeted by gender or age. While Google also has a demographic targeting option, it is only available for content campaigns; Yahoo’s option allows for demographic targeting for both search, as well as content campaigns.
These new Yahoo features only allow for advertisers to reach a more specific audience. According to Michael Walrath, Senior Vice President, Advertising Marketplaces Group at Yahoo, ‘As the economy continues to put pressure on advertising budgets, marketers are looking for increased accountability for every dollar they spend. Yahoo!’s new targeting products significantly improve the ability for search and display advertisers to reach their target audience, providing increased efficiency and accountability.’
This is a new era for Yahoo Search Marketing; the enhanced functions and features are only the beginning. It’s not clear whether Yahoo will become the next Google, but one thing is for sure, they are moving in the right direction.
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.