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January 17 2012

Google Made Changes to Their Geo-Target Settings


The world of search engine marketing is constantly changing and it is up to businesses as well as advertisers to keep pace. Google recently modified their campaign geo—target settings, which should gives advertisers a little more leverage.

The new geo-target settings are more informative, in regard to showing how many people can be reached. For example if a business is thinking of targeting Kalamazoo Michigan, they can see how people are in that target area.  Google will also display locations enclosing a particular area and offer related locations that might be of interest. This is a plus because many times people want to target a certain area, but don’t know if they’ll be reaching a decent amount of people with their advertising. This new reach feature solves that problem. 

Google Made Changes to Their Geo-Target Settings

Another adjustment Google made is in the map section of the geo-target settings. Previously, a very plain version of the map would display the targeted location. However, Google has upgraded the map to show a more detailed area of the respective location. The map is almost identical to the map shown when one does a Google map search; streets are shown and even landmark locations in the area are displayed on the map.

Google Made Changes to Their Geo-Target Settings

The geo-target settings seem to be a consistent work in progress because there are features that are available this week that weren’t available a few weeks ago. This should not be a surprise, because Google has a “send feedback” button for people to offer their opinion on the geo-targeting modifications.  When it’s all said and done, these changes should help businesses reach more of their target audience.

January 10 2012

Conversions from Unexpected Devices


When most clients think of paid search conversions, they think of searchers who are using computers and laptops. However, paid search conversions can also come from mobile devices and tablets.  It would behoove businesses to do a device assessment of their campaigns to see the true source of conversions.

Most companies are taught to ask which campaigns and keywords are converting and which ones are converting at the best cost/conversion. Yet many should consider asking which devices are bringing in these conversions. This was not a question that companies needed to ask a few years ago, because mobile devices and tablets weren’t as heavily used as they are now. However, times have changed and the results bare witness.  Let’s say for example that a particular campaign produced 20 conversions in the month of December at a cost/conversion of $5.00. If the keywords and ad copy have good click through rates it may seem as if that particular campaign is well tuned. However, a deeper analysis may show that 15 of those 20 conversions came from mobile devices.  Now what? Break out that one campaign into two separate campaigns. Why? In order to capitalize on the conversions even more.

When a campaign is targeting all media devices, then no one device is truly being tested. However, if you create a version of the campaign that is only targeted to mobile devices and one that is targeted to laptops and computers, it then gives each device an opportunity to show its true potential. One may find that certain campaigns convert better on mobile devices than they do on computers and laptops.

 In the world of paid search, it’s all about testing and making adjustments. Take the time to find out how your campaigns perform on mobile devices. It might be an unexpected surprise to find that mobile devices and tablets are giving your company a better bang for your buck.

December 30 2011

Knowing Your Paid Search Seasons (Part 2)


In Part 1, we discussed defining your paid search season. During the busy season, budgets should be throttled up and during the non-busy season, budgets should be slowed down. It is good to maintain a presence during the slow season, so that your products or services can be found.  It seems easy enough, but for some businesses their seasons are a little more complex due to their products, their geo-targeting, and holidays.

Businesses that offer a variety of products or services can have multiple seasons. Thus, it is important for their paid search campaigns to be built in a way that allows for easy budget adjustments.  For example a clothing store may sell winter coats and swim suits. There paid search campaign spend should be throttled up for swimsuits in spring and summer, and slowed down in winter and fall. On the other hand their winter coats campaign should be throttled up in fall and winter and slowed down in spring and summer. They should still maintain a presence for each product during the slow season, because someone up North may be going to a tropical island for Christmas and may be in need of a swimsuit.

 Another point of complexity that can impact a business’s paid search season is the geographic areas they are targeting. It is important to know your busy season in each region. For example, the clothing store could continue to maintain a throttled spend for swimsuits in South Florida during the fall season because of the temperature. However, it would be unwise to mirror those same efforts in Alaska. The temperature is not the only reason for budget changes in different geographic regions, especially when international targeting is involved.  It may be that a product that has slow sales in the United States is a good seller in England.  If this is the case, then budgets can be throttled up for the England targeted campaigns and slowed down for the United States campaigns.

Last, but not least, the holidays can affect the paid search seasons. For example: Let’s say a jewelry store gets their best sales during the winter months, but the spring months are slow. However, Mother’s day does very well for them.  They would throttle up their spend for winter, slow it down February through mid-April and throttle it back up for the latter part of April through the end of Mother’s day.  This allows them to spend their money wisely and not miss out on a holiday that is important to them.

Products, geo-targeting and holidays are factors that can affect a client’s paid search season, but they are not the only ones. Businesses should determine their busy seasons and which factors could affect them. Once season and factors are determined, adjustments can be made to best utilize the paid search budget. 

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