Search engine marketing (SEM) is a rapidly changing field rife with opportunities, but it takes expertise and experience to run optimal interactive advertising campaigns. When engaging in digital advertising, such as paid search, display media, social media advertising and remarketing, it's extremely important that your efforts are backed by knowledge and strategy. Here, our SEM experts provide the tips and information you can use to improve your campaigns, and your ROI. To stay up to date on our search engine marketing blog, subscribe to our feed.
As search engine marketing evolves and grows, the rules of the game are made, changed and re-thought. In a recent court decision, Google’s right to filter and disallow ads they feel are objectionable was upheld. The ruling declared that first amendment rights do not extend to paid advertising on search engines and that Google could prevent the site in question from appearing in the sponsored listings. However, the defendant’s site is not prevented from being active, crawled and advertised elsewhere on the web.
This may seem like a bold move for Google and the government, but it reminds us that Google and the internet are not synonymous; Google is part of the web, it is not the web itself. Also it is an advertising venue that has the right to categorize and monitor content like traditional venues. One is not surprised that racy ads are not played during children’s programs or displayed in schools — the same applies on Google. That being said, as advertisers we must better understand how we can utilize the online outlets available to reach the target audience by evaluating where, how, and when we want to appear.
The other half of this recent controversial advertising story is how pushing the limit, offending someone, has become an advertising tactic due to the viral spread of the offense across social networks. The user generated content demands that articles be written and coverage be done in every outlet possible! We’ve seen this in Boston and all over the super bowl ads. One has to wonder, when will pushing the limit get old and become too much of the norm??
What is an internet advertiser to do — offend the media & fight with the engines to get attention? This is not the best course of action. It may produce quick results, but they are not lasting – just like spamming. Instead, practice and encourage responsible advertising in line with the regulations and best practices of each engine and outlet. Working this way produces results and longevity — not to mention protecting an organization’s image as being responsible and reliable rather than trendy and tricky.
It has been my experience that most organizations want nothing more than to see their ad displayed in Google, the “Big Fish” in the Sea of Search Engines, but is there more to Search Engine Marketing (SEM) than using such industry giants? Could your money be spent effectively in other engines as well?
Recently I have submitted clients into smaller search engines such as Quigo. While some are not as well known, I am sure you have heard of ESPN, USA Today, and Fox News. Using networks such as Quigo, your companies’ ads will appear within the context of these well-known and reputable sites. The advantage here is that you are targeting highly motivated and interested users in an environment in which they enjoy and trust. I am also able to pick the sites that best fit my clients’ target audiences or even define whether a specific ad should be displayed in a local market or at a national level.
Of course, it is always important to analyze these engines before making any decisions and determine your expected ROI, but I can say that my clients are now enjoying the advantages of utilizing an additional, cost-effective channel for increasing their exposure.
Keeping up-to-date with the latest technological developments is important in the Information Technology industry. When it comes to Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Google always seems to be at the forefront of productivity and innovation. Yahoo’s new platform, however, seems to have a leg up on Google Adwords this time around.
Yahoo unleashed its new platform, code name Panama, on February 5th of this year. Advertisers have been eagerly anticipating a new interface to enhance a campaign’s effectiveness. Yahoo has done away with its archaic bidding system and has created a new ranking system that is easier to understand. The creation of this system will force advertisers to use solid copywriting and direct marketing principles in setting up ad campaigns.
Individuals who have upgraded to the new system can now gauge the quality of their ads by viewing the prominently displayed quality index within the new Yahoo Search Marketing interface.
The use of quality score grading measurements in each of the search engines can affect an ad campaign’s effectiveness. Utilizing quality score for optimizing campaigns and determining ad positions for sponsored ads has become a common practice in SEM.
Similar to Yahoo, Google Adwords uses a quality score for its ranking and is based on landing page quality, bid amounts and ad performance. Until recently however, the quality score data had not been visible to advertisers. The launch of Yahoo’s new interface prompted Google to allow access and the ability to its users to view an individual keyword’s quality score. The fact that Google is following Yahoo’s lead for a change is interesting because Google is usually at the forefront of new innovations. Within the Adwords program, Google’s quality score rating can now be displayed as an optional data metric. To read more on Google’s new quality score rating, click here.