Archive for March, 2011
Google announced the launch of a new ad format for AdWords today – the Media Ad format. These ads allow advertisers to place emphasis on video from the search results page. The new format works a little differently than the traditional AdWords concept, however.
“To start, Media Ads isn’t targeted like typical AdWords ads on Google.com,” explains Google’s Dan Friedman. “With Media Ads, you don’t pick any keywords — the targeting is completely automated. When someone enters a search on Google.com that our algorithms determine is directly related to your movie title (most commonly the title and variations on it), we automatically display your Media Ad at the top of the search results page. Our research shows that when someone searches for a movie title on Google.com, they’re most commonly looking for a trailer. With Media Ads, we’re able to help you ensure that those users find exactly what they’re looking for.”
That’s funny. I’m usually looking for a showtime or an IMDB listing (yes, I could go directly to IMDB, but you gotta love that Chrome omnibox, particularly with Google Instant enabled).
“The second thing that’s unique about Media Ads is the way you pay,” says Friedman. “Unlike typical AdWords ads on Google.com, you don’t enter any bids for Media Ads.
Instead, clicks on Media Ads are charged at a flat rate. This simplified pricing model makes it easier to budget for your Media Ads campaign and to know exactly how much an interaction is going to cost.”
As of 24th Feb 2011, a major update by Google on how it ranks sites has affected 12% of search results and halved many sites’ visitor numbers. Named the Farmer or Panda Update it’s only affecting US Google results as I write but if you’re outside the US it is coming to you soon. Here’s how to find out if you have already been hit, are going to be and what to do about it.
Can your business handle a 50% drop in organic (non-paid) visits from Google? That’s what might be coming your way courtesy of Google’s Panda algorithm update.
Before we get into the whys and wherefores, find out if you’ve been hit by Panda …
Has your site been Panda slapped?
At the time of writing, Panda is only hitting US results. Here’s how to use Google Analytics (GA) to find out if your site is affected.
If your site gets most of its search engine traffic from the US then you probably already know if you’ve been affected by Panda or not. With this guide you can see the details of the damage and learn how to analyze where problems might be.
If your site is not US-centric then follow the steps below to see if you will be affected when Panda rolls out across the world.
First go to your GA dashboard.
If your site is not US-centered then you might see something like the graph below and think all is well:
But dig deeper. Go to the Search Engines report in the Traffic Sources menu (and choose ‘non-paid’):
Then click ‘Google’ to see Google-only traffic (see below):
Click the ‘Keyword’ column heading above the list of keywords (See this highlighted in green in the image below). This reveals a large sub menu (again see below) on which you click ‘Country/Territory’.
Earlier this week, Microsoft shared some numbers from the Microsoft-Yahoo Search Alliance (search and advertising deal), which saw Bing powering the back-end of Yahoo Search, and the merger of Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter.
“The data showed that from August 2010 to December 2010 Search Market Query Share for Bing rose 7.25%,” wrote Microsoft’s Paul Greenwood. “During this same period Google gained .61%. Impressions for adCenter advertisers was up 4%, clicks up 2%, and costs roughly flat. CPC was consistently below Google.”
Microsoft has now posted the following bullet points from a Search Engine Strategies NY session led by Dr. Niraj Shah on the Microsoft Advertising Blog:
Stats of Paid Search Performance Relative to Google
– CTR was roughly equivalent to Google but declined from November
– CPC was consistency below Google; trending downward trend post-transition
Stats Search Conversion Rate and CPA
– Conversion rates dipped during transition but ended 2010 13% higher
– Cost per action (CPA) increased during transition but finished 17% lower
How do we wrap this up? Where do advertisers go with this information?
– Early movers can gain an edge.
– Instead of now having to manage across three engines you can narrow down. – Saving time and becoming more efficient.
– Favorable CPC’s and cheaper clicks and conversions.
– Improved reach and volume drivers greater consistency and manageability
– Favorable CPC and conversion environment (for now)
– Strong performance characteristics imply a higher ROAS than before
Best practices for search alliance success
– Identify coverage gaps between Microsoft Advertising adCenter and Adwords
– Pay attention to geo-targeting and match type settings when transitioning campaigns
– Bid adCenter keywords at the Match-type Level
– Adjust budgets to account for increased volumes
– Set alerts to identify and expand high performing terms
Bing Director Stefan Weitz said, “Because we’re actually powering Yahoo, and not necessarily being Yahoo, Yahoo has the ability (and are doing a great job) innovating on the front-end user experience. So they take our great core results, and on top they can apply their secret sauce…For consumers, what it gives them, is two really different experiences, and depending on which one you like for a particular query, you get to have those experiences. It’s great for consumers.”
It’s common to hear veteran search marketers at conferences and in social media talking a lot about PPC conversion rate — so much so that those new to PPC may think that conversion rate is the end all.
Conversion rate is important, to be sure. I’d even say it’s very, very important. But before a PPC ad can generate a conversion, it needs to generate a click. PPC ads are no good if no one clicks on them.
If you’re new to PPC, or if you want to improve your click-through rate (CTR), here’s a 12-step program to help you.
Step 1: Bid on Relevant Keywords
PPC beginners are often tempted to bid on high-volume keyphrases that are only marginally related to their business. Take, for example, a hotel/casino that wants to bid on “Texas hold-em.” While people indeed play this game at a casino, it isn’t relevant if the goal is to sell hotel room nights.
Don’t fall into this trap. Searchers have gotten sophisticated. If your ad isn’t relevant to the search phrase, they just won’t click on it and your CTR will suffer.
Step 2: Bid on Specific, Not General, Keywords
This is related to Step 1, yet is slightly different. Taking the hotel/casino example, you might be tempted to bid on “hotels.” While this term has significant search volume, it’s too general and is unlikely to drive many, if any, clicks.
Step 3: Use 2, 3, or 4 Word Keyphrases
Years ago, one-word searches like “hotels” were common. Nowadays, searchers have become more specific in what they search for, and it’s common to see search queries with four or more words.
Jason Tabeling wrote an informative article with research showing that CTR was highest on keywords containing two, three, or four words. Our experience has been similar: one word is not specific enough, but more than five shows diminishing returns.
Step 4: Create Small, Tightly-Themed Ad Groups
Tightly-themed ad groups make it easy to write relevant ad copy that will generate clicks. A common rule of thumb is 10-15 keyword phrases per ad group.
This ensures that your ads will be relevant to the search phrase, and increases the chance of a click. This in turn will help drive a good quality score.
Step 5: Include the Keyphrase in Ad Copy Whenever Possible
If you’ve set up your ad groups as described in Step 4, this should be relatively easy to do. Search engines bold the search phrase in both organic and paid results, so including the keyphrase or keyphrases in the ad copy ensures they will be bolded, which helps your ad stand out. Ads that stand out get better CTR.
Step 6: Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion
Dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) is a feature that automatically inserts your bidded keyphrase into your ad text. It’s a great way to make sure Step 5 above happens.
That said, use DKI with caution: make sure you’re not inserting misspellings or other awkward phrases into your ad copy!
Step 7: Include a Price in Your Ad Copy
An old adage in classified advertising says that if you don’t include a price in your ad, people will assume you’re selling something expensive.
Calm those fears by including the price in your ad upfront. Even better, include the price in the ad headline — it’ll attract attention and clicks.
Step 8: Include Action Words in Your Ad Copy
Including action words (e.g., exclusive, limited time, online only, 1-day sale, etc.) adds a sense of urgency to your offering. Adding urgency encourages click-throughs.
Step 9: Include Symbols in Your Ad Copy
If applicable, include symbols such as ©, ™, ®, and even the plus sign (+) or ellipses (…) can make a significant difference in CTR. Symbols make your ad stand out on the page.
Step 10: Use Ad Extensions
Google offers several different types of ad extensions: Location, Phone, Products, and Sitelinks. Take advantage of them. While these don’t display on every search, you’ll take up valuable screen real estate when they do show up.
Here are some tips that help you recognize methods for analyzing information about your users. It’s nice to see that the efforts of our SEO are investment fruits by a number of visits up from a period to a period. The question is if that the real situation?? Is the number of visits for a particular phrase really mean that click on my results the same number of times? You can find the answer in Google Analytics. Pairing model say that when a visitor comes to our site through a traffic source and then comes to our site as a direct source.
Google Analytics will give credit to the source of the original movement that led the visitor and not the direct source. For example, if a visitor came from a particular phrase in organic promoting, like the site and keeps it at his Favorite folder, or every time he starts to type the website address in the browser and browser remember and complete the address – so every time the visitor return to our site (even he’s not really looking in Google) Google Analytics gives credit to the last traffic source that brought him.
Therefore, if the guy came from an expression search we promote, every time he appears at our site this phrase getting one plus and this way the visits for that expression are increasing. Incidentally,in all other traffic sources such as search engines (paid and organic), referrals from other sites and campaigns destroy all the source of previous traffic. A technical solution – creating a profile that contains only the first visits at your site.
How to do it?
1. Get in to Google Analytics with admin access, click on ‘Add new profile’.
2. Choose an existing profile domain. If you have few domains under Analytics account, select the domain you want and let a name like ‘New Visitors’ and click continue.
3. Now return to the main screen, click on the edit button of the new profile that you created. At this screen has 4 areas that can be edited: site info, targets, filters and access users.
We of course want to create a new filter that enters to the visitor’s profile that this is their first visit on your site. Choose a name who describes the filter, click on ‘Custom filter’, select Filter include, from Drop Down Select Visitor Type field and type in a new template field. Save and within a few hours it will begin to see visitors in their first visit. Such a profile also helps us to easily see what’s going on in our site at first visits, which landing pages of the leading, preferred content, a temporary stay and in fact, all the existing indexes software.
Content is one of the most prominent aspects that must be considered, while you plan about improving the search result visibility of your website.
Indeed, SEO work, layout and few other points are crucial, but content is something, which is above all. Even massive search engines like Google and Yahoo, give high priority to content (quality and quantity), which in short, means that content decides the fate of any website. So, appropriate knowledge about it, is a must!
Here are few points are discussed, which essentially need to be considered while writing content for a website.
• Freshness- Sophisticate you website with fresh content (latest), instead of rephrasing same old themed write ups.
• Promotional balance- If you’re selling some product/services, it is somewhat obvious that the writing approach will be promotional. But your writer must be smart enough to balance it, not making it over-promotional. Explain your products/services, but don’t keep boasting about it. Don’t say that your product is the best one. Let users decide themselves.
• Be short and snappy- Never beat around the bushes! It’s always better to be concise. Lengthy write-ups with indirect approach don’t work anymore!
• Grammar- There should be zero grammatical errors in content. Even a single error can notably harm your website’s authenticity.
• Keyword insertion- Since, we’re talking about visibility in search engine results, it quite important to insert the targeted keywords in content. But simultaneously, it’s extremely essential not to over-stuff keywords. Over-stuffing never works!