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Clean ShirtsHome Delivery Dry Cleaning Case Study: How Performance... Many of my readers are marketing professionals so stick with me on this post until the end. Although it looks like a post reviewing local dry cleaners it was actually inspired out of seeing first hand...

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AdWords Local PlusBox A Great Addition

Category : paid search, search engine marketing

12

The announcement of the new Local PlusBox by Google Adwords which places geographical information in the top paid search location changes the PPC strategy for those using more local targeting. The new expandable feature allows advertisers to bid to the top spot in an effort to have the opportunity to display such valuable information as a map, address, driving instructions, and phone number, in addition to the location name that appears beneath the last line of the paid search ad.

You can read the rest of my thoughts on this new feature in my article – AdWords Local PlusBox A Great Addition – over at Search Engine Guide.


Using Paid Search For Branding

Category : paid search

8

Admittedly, I never looked at paid search as a tool to give your brand more exposure. I simply looked at it like many others – clicks and conversions. But, over the last few years, I’ve come to realize that PPC can be about branding. Here is an actual conversation with a trade show attendee at a recent show…

You can read the rest of my Using Paid Search For Branding on Search Engine Guide!


Bonding With Your Paid Search Prospect?

Category : paid search

0

It took me awhile to realize that paid search was not a game! Really. Paid search is big business and potentially a large amount of a small business marketing budget. But like many people, I jumped in headfirst and was enamored with tweaking ads, trying new keywords and spending my company’s money. My early ways were more PPC Gunslinger than responsible Marketing Manager. Then, slowly over time, you realize that PPC is actually very similar to a sales process and you need to treat it as such.

Catch my full post – Bonding With Your Paid Search Prospect? – over on Search Engine Guide!


Important Steps In 2008 Paid Search Planning

Category : paid search, search engine marketing, strategy

6

I know what you’re thinking. It’s Halloween. Christmas lights aren’t even up yet and I’m suggesting you start thinking about your 2008 paid search campaign. Well, paid search is more than just ad copy tweaks and keyword research. Paid search is a component of your overall small business marketing plan. Now is the time to learn from your 2007 results and make sure that your 2008 paid search strategy is in line with your overall product marketing goals!

Head on over to Search Engine Guide and read my full post – Important Steps In 2008 Paid Search Planning.

Let me know your thoughts! How do you make sure your strategies are aligned?


Beginner’s Guide to Google Adwords Settings

Category : paid search

1

Small Business BriefI’m happy and excited to announce that along with the Lonely Marketer, I’ll also now be writing articles over at the Search Engine Guide. I can’t think of a better place to do a little more writing on a topic I very much enjoy – small business marketing!

But, no worries – articles and commentary will still be frequent as usual on the Lonely Marketer!

My first article went up today and is focused on a Beginner’s Guide to Google Adwords Settings. A quick excerpt:

Have you ever wondered what all those setting are in your Google AdWords campaign? Well, don’t feel bad if you don’t. I’ve come across more than a few people who have campaigns up and running that haven’t gone through and made sure they understood the nitty-gritty details of their paid search campaign. I can’t think of a better way for small business marketers to throw away advertising dollars. Let’s take a look at a few of those settings that play a large role in your campaigns success.

Check out the full post on Search Engine Guide.


Google Adwords Launches Gadget Ads

Category : paid search, search engine marketing

7

Google Adwords LogoIt was only a matter of time before the Google team found a way to get in on the rapidly growing trend of interactive advertising. They recently announced the launch of Google Gadget Ads and I’m betting this is going to be big. Running on the Google content network, the ads will utilize the cost-per-click (CPC) and the cost-per-impression (CPM) pricing models.

This launches a whole new set of options for Adwords advertisers! These new ad types will incorporate data feeds, maps, images, audio, video, Flash, HTML or JavaScript in a single creative. Basically, the possibilities are endless. Before you run out and buy a book on Flash, know this is a limited release so you might not be able to try it out just yet.

Check out the gallery of examples. I’ll admit, I spent the last 10 minutes playing the Intel MobileTasker game – and I bet I’m not the only one today saying that. This shows you the power of this medium. Yes, we’ve talked on this site about banner blindness and ignoring video ads, but there are always going to be exceptions. For those advertisers that find those exceptions, the sky is the limit.

Here are some features describing the new service from the Google Gadget Ad site that I liked:

  • Target by site, category, demographic, geographic location, and much more.
  • Extend your campaign on iGoogle with free inclusion of your gadget in the directory
  • Serve your gadget ad on thousands of sites with absolutely no serving or hosting fees.
  • Dedicated engineering and customer support are available to answer your questions free of charge on our Google Group.
  • Detailed reporting of interactions are available in the Reports Center.

Creativity and quality will really be the key with this medium. Poorly developed and poorly planned out campaigns will get ignored easily. But, a well-done, quality development could mean very high CPC and ROI.

I’d keep an eye on this. Your thoughts?


Google Mobile Search Sneaks Into Adwords

Category : paid search

3

I was greeted by some fine text in Adwords outlining the fact that Google will soon be charging for clicks on their Google Mobile Search network. What!? I’m not running ads on mobile search!

Google Mobile Search Opt-In Screen Shot

Okay, deep breath. I’ve never had a problem with Google opting me into paid campaigns without my knowledge and this is no different. They’re just giving us plenty of time to opt out of Google Mobile Search – or try it out free of charge for a little while. While I think mobile search will have increasing importance in media plans down the road, my target market will most certainly not be buying our products from their mobile device.

So, just a heads up to you – make sure you log into your Adwords account and decide whether to opt in or opt out of the new service.

If you’re interested to learn more about Google Mobile Search, here are a few articles I found recently:


Should Media Planners Love Or Hate Google?

Category : campaigns, paid search, strategy

1

I logged into my Google Adwords account yesterday and noticed something for the first time. On my campaign summary page there was a tab setup for my online campaigns and a new tab setup lower on the page for Other Campaign Types which strongly suggested I look into Print or Pay-Per-Action campaigns. This could have been there for awhile, but it’s really the first time I took notice.

Screen Shot of Google’s Other Campaign Types

So, I can go to Google for paid search, pay-per-action campaigns, site-targeted display ads, and print advertisements. As with anything Google does, they get bigger and better. What will these services look like in 5 years?

So, what does this all mean for the small business marketing media planner? Can we hand over time-consuming media planning to Google? Will bigger company media planners be out of jobs?

Absolutely NOT! While Google is doing a nice job of expanding their portfolio of opportunities for advertisers, they are by no means replacing the traditional media planner – or even today’s Search Marketer. iMedia Connection made the case that traditional media planners and search marketers will need to do more collaboration in the near future, but their roles are still very important. From the article:

“Nowadays, search marketers are being asked to take on projects that have traditionally fallen to online media planners: buying advertising on targeted sites. Search marketers understand and know the Google system well, but perhaps its time for traditional online media planners and paid search marketers to work more closely together. The opportunities to do so are only just beginning to surface.”

Media planning is a big job that shouldn’t be underestimated. From selecting mediums, defining budget, negotiating contracts and placements, planning messaging and creative, delivering a schedule of placements, and monitoring results, the media planner’s role is by no means in jeopardy. In fact, the case could be made that the role is getting bigger as the options and mediums increase.

The fact of the matter is that Google’s reach on publisher’s websites is not far enough that full industry campaigns can be turned over to their mediums. There are a handful of sites on which I may put display ads through Google, but it won’t certainly include some of the highly targeted industry sites on which I currently advertise. And, since I’m not a newspaper advertiser, that medium is not even on my radar. How many years until Google covers every trade mag in every industry niche? Not sure – but it may be sooner than you think.

Breathe easy media planners! Google has opportunities for you but is no where near replacing your role.


Google Documents Now in Google Adwords Reports

Category : paid search

6

I just wanted to toss out a quick heads up about a great new feature added to Google Adwords recently. Advertisers now have the option to open up and save Adwords reports they run in Google Documents. Here’s what it looks like:

Google Documents Now In Google Adwords

As I start to use Google Documents more and more, I can see why this options makes so much sense. The ability to save my PPC reports in a place from which I can access anywhere with ease is a nice option. If you’re an Adwords user, be sure to check this out.


Why PPC Ad Testing is Increasingly Important

Category : paid search

5

Continuing my theme of interesting and informative topics from SES San Jose, I wanted to touch on a session I attended about paid search ad testing and research findings. With search engine SERPs undergoing a makeover, I think PPC ad testing will become increasingly important. A search results page may now include blog, images, video and news results via the new universal and blended search trend. What is this going to mean for the scanning eyes of searchers?

Gord Hotchkiss, CEO of Enquiro, made the point that more rich ads are needed because the new image, video, and news results are building fences on the SERP. Gord used a great example in his presentation, but I went out and did a search on “iPhone” to try and build a similar SERP. Here are my results:

iPhone Googe Search Results

Many tests have been done in the past that show the eyes of searchers stall out around the top organic and top paid results in the top left corner of the SERP. I’m wondering if that is going to change. My eyes scanned right down to the image and then to the right. This is what Gord is talking about when he said that Universal search is going to be building fences on the SERP – scanning patterns are changing. The eyes are given boundaries to stay within.

Gord as well as other presenters also made the point that the SERPs are becoming individual portal results based on the search. Ask.com uncovered Ask3D at the conference which builds a portal page for every search you run. Plus, you’ll see on Ask.com that paid results and organic results blend together very nicely (very good for advertisers).

So, what does this all mean for advertisers? We’re going to need to test our ads in different locations on the SERP. I think the top spot will see a slight decrease in CTR while locations in the 3-6 spot might get more eye scans. I think it really depends on your keywords and what kind of organic results they’re going to draw.

The rest of the panel included:

Anton Konikoff, Founder and CEO, Acronym Media
Jonathan Mendez, Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, OTTO Digital
Nico Brooks, Director of Search Technology, Atlas

Other PPC ad testing topics that were discussed by the panel include:

  • Separate out Branded and Non-Branded keywords into different ad groups or even different campaigns.
  • Consider seasonality when testing.
  • Test ads by match type (broad, matching, exact).
  • Don’t forget to test description line #1. Many focus too much on headlines. Try keeping the headline the same and testing two different ad copies in the first description line.
  • 3-4 ads running at the same time in one ad group for testing purposes is not a bad thing.
  • Let the test run for 100 to 1000 clicks.
  • Always remember that more data = more confidence.
  • After test period, make sure that you look at what interactions with your ad led to conversions.

Needless to say, the days of throwing some keywords together, popping up some ads, and letting the campaign sail are over. Clicks will be harder to come by and testing will become increasingly important!