Search Engine Marketing Blog

Cutting edge interactive advertising.

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.

February 12 2007

Are You Playing Nintendo With An Atari Joystick?

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Rules of the game have changed in Search Engine Marketing the same way video games have evolved.

For us, the Generation X’ers, Atari was a hot item and we found it difficult at the time to manage a joystick that had five options: up, down, right, left and eat Pac-man.

This hit me when I saw some kids playing with a Nintendo at a store recently. The new joysticks have about 7 different buttons and the kids don’t even look at the joystick! They only view the screen and they know exactly how to get ahead in the game. By the way, the videos are three-dimensional now.

When Yahoo! released their news about developing an auction environment similar to Google’s, I received worrisome calls from companies asking how they should manage their campaigns now.

Search Engine Marketing has become the “must have” Nintendo Wii phenomenon with the same sweet and sour taste of gaming. Many variables are at stake and scoring depends on how well you play.

Yes, it is no longer just about the bid. Throw that Atari joystick away and let’s take a look at other factors that need to be considered:

1- Landing Pages: “Hold the Wii Remote firmly and do not let go.” Where am I taking a prospect? Does it have a call to action? Or, am I losing my audience?
2- Click-Through-Rate: “Wii introduces a more active, more engaging, and more inviting game.” Am I making my message clear enough? Am I calling my targeted audience’s attention through the ad copy that shows up on the search result?
3- Optimization: “Give yourself plenty of room. You will probably move around while using the Wii Remote, so be careful that all areas that you might move into are clear.” Am I optimizing my campaign or changing it proactively?

Have a great time and please be sure to play safely.

February 9 2007

Score Goals with Google Analytics

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You know you have a quality website. You have a great Google AdWords campaign running. You sell great products or services at competitive prices. You even offer Free Shipping, or 20% off! So why is it that you can’t ultimately get enough potential customers to buy your products, or use your services?

With Google Analytics, you can determine exactly what is happening in the purchasing or checkout process, and see the exact page(s) where your potential customers are leaving your website. You can then begin to figure out what you need to change on your website. For example, let’s say you have a very large order form that spans multiple pages. Or, let’s say you only take one or two different credit cards. You will be able to see when your potential customers are leaving your website, and determine the reasons.

Google Analytics doesn’t stop there. Not only does it easily integrate with your current Google AdWords account, you can view over 100 different reports. Want to see which country most of your customers are coming from? Which keywords are being clicked on the most? What time of day you’re receiving the most traffic? Not a problem at all.

The days of taking blind stabs in the dark are officially over. With Google Analytics, you can make accurate determinations as to what you need to do to ultimately increase your revenue and the success of your online advertising efforts.

February 8 2007

An Analytics Program Pays For Itself

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“What do you mean, you don’t have analytics? How are you measuring the success of your campaigns?”

I find myself asking that question over and over to both new and prospective clients. It seems like analytics would be the logical companion… especially when you may be spending thousands of dollars per month with online marketing initiatives. You would think, right? Well… that’s not always the case.

Maybe it’s that people don’t recognize the importance of an analytics program… After all, the major engines offer a free conversion tool. Shouldn’t that be enough? What do I need with analytics, if I already know how many people are converting?

If you have all the money in the world and don’t care about how much you spend on your traffic, then it might be okay to focus only on conversions… But, if you’re like most companies, the ROI is a big deal. In fact, ROI is at the center of most campaign strategies.

That being said, consider this. The “free conversion tool” tells you A, B, and Z
– A — Your ad got impressions
– B — Someone clicked on your ad
– Z — someone converted

It’s easy to forget about what happens in-between B and Z… Like, “how many people landed on your site, and clicked off without looking around?” or “how many people put a product into your shopping cart, but didn’t complete a transaction?”… Take it one step further, and ask yourself what it was that people typed in organically when your ad came up. If you sell CDs, do you want your ad to come up when someone searches for “free music”?

An analytics program will give you vital information to help identify issues with keyword choice, ad copy, and your shopping cart. It gives you tangible, raw data in it’s purest form… You can expand on keywords you didn’t realize people were searching on. You can see what your website is being associated with, and include negative keywords to prevent your paid ad from coming up among the undesirables. This will inevitably result in lower drop-off rates, and a higher ROI.

In a nutshell, It pays for itself.

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