For any advertiser who has participated in search engine marketing, part of the difficultly is saying what you want to say within the allotted characters. The major search engines; Google, Yahoo and MSN (Bing) each allow 70 characters for the description lines (including punctuation and spacing). What makes Yahoo’s situation unique from Google and MSN is that Yahoo automatically places a period at the end of the ad description; which technically allows 69 characters. As many search engine marketers know, one character can make a big difference and as a result you will need to completely rewrite ads.
Only recently, Yahoo broke the mold of limiting the amount of characters from 70 to 71. This one extra character makes a big difference. In the past many advertisers have had the last letter cut off the end of the ads, which caused the ads to not make sense. In the case of advertisers who used automated platforms to push campaigns to various search engines, many did not even know that the last letter had been removed and replaced with a period.
One character may not seem like a lot, however in the world of search engine marketing, a little goes a long way. This may be the perfect opportunity to revamp your Yahoo ads or to start running on Yahoo, if you are not already doing so.
It should come as no surprise that MSN’s new search engine, Bing has created a rivalry with Google. On July 29, 2009, MSN declared that they will be merging with Yahoo; this merger will give Bing a much larger share of the search engine market.
Since MSN’s rebranding as Bing, it has reportedly spent $100 million in advertising across multiple platforms including, television networks promotions, television commercials, online entertainment mediums and many more. According to eWeek.com, this additional exposure helped Bing boost its search engine share to 9.6 percent in August; however September’s search engine volume share fell sharply to 8.5 percent.
Bing continues to brand itself as a ‘decision engine,’ not just another search provider; its goal is to prevent searchers from ‘search overload’ as with other engines. Bing’s new interface is equipped with tools and a new layout to differentiate itself from the old MSN Live interface. Whether these new features alone are enough to give Google a run for its money remains to be seen. However, with the merger, Yahoo will give Bing a larger portion of the search market; making it second only to Google.
According to PC World, the battle between Bing and Google is starting to heat up on Facebook and Twitter. Google recently announced it plans to launch its social search platform as well as the ability for searchers to stream live music within their search engine. Google’s new music feature will allow users to eventually purchase songs from large music moguls such as Apple’s iTunes with just a few clicks. Only a short while later, Bing fired back saying that they will be working with Facebook to incorporate profile status updates within Bing search results. Although, Facebook claims that ‘no money has changed hands’ concerning the deal.
Even though the Yahoo/Bing merger has not yet been completed, it is apparent that Bing is making strides to capture and retain internet searchers. The battle is on. Who will win? Only time will tell.
Any advertiser who has experimented with image ads within Google AdWords has probably asked themselves ‘how do I know my ads are being seen by the right audience?’ Recently, I had the opportunity to answer this question for a client.
Image ads are also often referred to as display ads. Image ads are a vital component for any cost per click (cpc) campaign since these types of advertisements rely on a visual aspect, versus text ads. Implementing image ads can attract visitors to your site who may not have visited through traditional text ads. Since image ads are only available through the Google content network, many advertisers become concerned whether or not their ads will appear on relevant websites for their brand, brand or service.
Google’s placement targeting feature gives marketers the opportunity to pick and choose which sites they wish their ads to be featured on. Although each site is different, each site only allows image ads of specific dimensions. It is best to use the Google placement tool to see which image sizes are most common and create image ads based on these specifications. By selecting the sites or genre of sites you want your ads to appear within, advertisers can rest assured knowing that the image ads are being seen by the ideal demographic.
Once your image ad campaigns build momentum and begin to generate impressions, advertisers can run paid placement reports. Paid placement reports are helpful when optimizing the image ad campaigns as they allow advertisers to see which sites are generating impressions, what cpcs should be increased, which sites are leading to conversions and much more. When selecting a placement site genre, advertisers can transparently see which sites are producing, or not producing traffic within the new Google AdWords interface. Placement targeting also allows the opportunity to remove or block certain cites from receiving clicks and impressions.
Google’s placement targeting feature can not only ensure that your ads are featured on relevant pages, but can also help you improve brand recognition and most importantly, conversions.