Article Archive by Author

May 11 2009

Is Your Campaign Too Crowded?


When looking at your search engine marketing campaign, are there too many keywords in your ad groups?  Recently, I have conducted several SEM audits for clients who run their own in-house pay per click efforts.  I was asked to provide suggestions on what could be done to improve the performance of their current campaigns.   

Quite often, the main factor which causes poor performance is the amount of keywords placed within an ad group.  Having too many keywords in an ad group can have many repercussions.  If the keywords do not have a common theme and are placed within the same ad group, it may start to affect the quality score for the campaign as a whole.  It can also make the campaign difficult to manage.

When creating a search engine marketing campaign, it is best to concentrate on smaller ad groups.  While ad groups consist of tightly themed keywords, try breaking the keywords out into more specific ad groups.  For example, an advertiser selling pet products may develop an ad group for leashes; which may contain many various types of leashes.  It is suggested to take that group and divide the keywords into even more tightly categorized keywords such as dog leashes, puppy leashes, retractable leashes and so on. 

Another suggestion is to create separate campaigns when choosing to participate in the content network.  By simply opting into the content network you are unable to control which part of the budget will be spent on searches and which part will be distributed to the content network.  When ad groups are of a substantial size, the budget can be used up quite quickly.  To avoid this problem and manage your budgets effectively, keep the search and content campaigns apart from each other.

It may only take one or two bad keywords to completely drag down the quality score of the entire campaign.  Try grouping your keywords in small, tightly themed ad groups to get the most of out your search engine marketing campaign.

April 22 2009

Benefit From A Recession With Your Online Marketing Efforts


Over the past few weeks, even during this economic crunch, many of my clients have chosen not to cut back on their online advertising spending.  The result of not reducing their ad spend has been nothing short of amazing.

In a previous blog I discussed the importance of not reducing advertising spends, especially during a recession.  As a concerned Campaign Manager, I advise my clients to take advantage of this situation.  With companies making budget cuts, more often than not advertising and marketing budgets are the first to get trimmed or even slashed.  That being said, this leaves much room to scoop up customers, as there is less competition. 

This result of limited competition has not caused my clients to reduce the budgets, but instead increase their advertising spends by 50 to 100%.  Cory Treffiletti of MediaPost says that during economic uncertainty “the first response is to spend, spend, spend. When brands spend during a recession, they do so to take advantage of the lack of spending by their competitors, attempting to increase market share by hammering home product benefits and values. This is an aggressive strategy that can result in a stronger recovery once the rest of the economy catches up.”

Not only are the visitors continuing to buy products, but they are spending significantly more time on the site and viewing more pages per visit than before.

So before you start putting your advertising budget on the chopping block, think of the big picture; this may be your organization’s opportunity to outperform your competition and stay on top.

March 31 2009

Getting Granular With Google Analytics


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.

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