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March 16 2009

Yahoo Search Marketing Enhances Its Targeting Features


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.

March 3 2009

Should I Decrease My Online Advertising Budget?


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. 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.

February 24 2009

Are Your Clients Bouncing Off Of Your Site?


I have been asked by many clients ‘how can I be sure my search engine marketing campaign is performing?’  While there are a number of ways to determine the success of an internet campaign; one important metric to pay attention to is the bounce rate.  The bounce rate refers to visitors who get to your page, but quickly leave with little to no interaction.

There are many factors that can contribute to bounce rate.  Some visitors may click on the ads accidently; we are all guilty of this.  These accidental clicks do not necessarily reflect on the effectiveness of the ads, due to the fact that it is attributed to human error.  However, confusing or misleading ads can lead to many visitors clicking on ads, but a large abandonment rate.  Another cause of a high bounce rate can be searchers who do not find what they are seeking.  According to FutureNow, it is necessary for a website to have relevant content in order for a user to ‘move forward until found’ and visit additional site pages.  For example, if you are an advertiser selling T-shirts, you may not want to use slang keywords such as ‘tees.’  By utilizing this keyword, you run a great of risk of having your ads associated with golf-related search results.  The Google content network can be a valuable resource when used correctly; however, when general keywords are used and targeted across all relevant search pages, you may see your bounce rate rise exponentially.

So, how can the bounce rate be lowered?  Here are some suggestions to not only decrease the campaign bounce rate, but also improve the quality of your visitors.

– Review your ad copy to ensure that your ads are not misleading or confusing to potential searchers
– Utilize Google Analytics to determine trends in which the bounce rate has increased or decreased
– Identify individual keywords that have an exceptionally high bounce rate.  According to Blogsessive, a bounce rate between 20% and 50% is acceptable.
– Consider adding negative keywords to your cost per click campaign to reduce the amount superfluous clicks and irrelevant searches
– If using the Google Content Network, select specific topics and sites of interest pertinent to your product or services

By paying attention to your bounce rate, you can not only improve the quality of visitors to your site, but also the amount of conversions generated.

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