Finding Keywords for Beginners

An important first step in establishing successful pay-per-click advertising campaigns is picking the keywords that will drive traffic to your site. Easy, right? Not necessarily. In this post I’ll touch briefly on some good starting points for beginners when finding and bidding on keywords. We’ll review match types, search estimates, and other best practices when starting new PPC campaigns that translate well to Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, and MSN adCenter. Continue reading Finding Keywords for Beginners

You down with MCC, Yeah You Know Me!

Sick of all the incestuous search marketing acronyms yet?  Well too bad, it just keeps getting worse.  Now each search engine is actually making their own acronyms.  My theory behind this is that they are trying to find out which account managers are really up on their reading, and penalize your quality score if you’re not.  All jokes aside, an important tool in my everyday use is the “My Client Center” screen.  Even if you don’t have multiple accounts within your organization, I’m going to tell you why you should. Continue reading You down with MCC, Yeah You Know Me!

Caution: Content Network Ahead (Part 2)

Seems that I wasn’t far off when I wrote just yesterday on the dangers of the content network.  Robert Andrews of Forbes.com recently published an article called “Web Ad Nets Scrutinized As Brands Bail from Dodgy Sites.”  Pretty soon you won’t be able to blame the advertising network responsible for bad placements because the advertiser does have a lot of power to dictate where ads should and should not go. Continue reading Caution: Content Network Ahead (Part 2)

Local Ads that Pop

Geo-targeting is not a new feature in sponsored search, but just selecting certain regions or countries does not mean that your default “write once” ad will translate well and result in higher click through rate.  Advertisers need to take advantage of knowing that their ads will be shown to a select audience, and gear their ads towards relevant regional sensitivities. Continue reading Local Ads that Pop

Caution: Content Network Ahead

For those of you that may not know, all of the major search engines have partner sites that offer paid advertising space as a means to monetize their pages.  These advertising campaigns aim to match keywords you specify in an ad group or campaign with content on the publisher’s site. If your keywords and ads are relevant to articles on big name sites such as CNN, it could mean a lot of high quality links. However, if you don’t target your content network ads carefully, you’ll fall prey to low quality placements, which can quickly amount to unwanted click fraud. So, how do you target your content network ads successfully? Continue reading Caution: Content Network Ahead

Sexy Yahoo Search Marketing Features

Yahoo is certainly a giant in the search industry, however over the years Google’s David certainly has whopped Yahoo’s Goliath. However, they still remain the number one directory on the web, and have a loyal following. They’ve made great strides by partnering with local ISP’s such as Rogers Cable in Canada, Verizon in the United States, and British Telecom in the UK. And some of the features they offer to online marketers are just plain cool. Continue reading Sexy Yahoo Search Marketing Features

Sexy adCenter Features

Microsoft’s adCenter pay per click program is the newest kid on the block, at least this time around. You’ll still be hard pressed to find traffic estimates living up to their claims, but they do have some cool features that no other PPC program can match thus far. Demographics-based ad targeting is possibly the latest and greatest feature adCenter has to offer. You can now pay CPC premiums for clicks from your choice of user gender and age, on top of the old pillars of search including geographical location, time of day, etc. Continue reading Sexy adCenter Features

Best of what’s free: Google Analytics

Perhaps the most important rule of online marketing is to ensure that everything you do to drive visitors to your site ends up being tracked. Even if you do not run any online marketing campaigns, you still need to track traffic on your web site to find out whether your goals for visitors are being met.

If I were to have a top-3 list of free analytics tools that are available to most website owners, it would probably go something like this: Continue reading Best of what’s free: Google Analytics

Oh Google

I feel that the initial posts on this site should probably include a bit of a background of my past relationships with individual search engines, and will undoubtedly reveal emotions of frustration, angst, fear and loathing (not necessarily in that order). Other authors in the blogosphere will tout Google’s praises, but the relationship I have with Google is more “love/hate” in nature. Continue reading Oh Google

The “ABC’s” of PPC

Pay Per Click advertising goes by many names including paid search, sponsored search, cost per click, sponsored results, etc. I’m sure many readers of this blog have at least a rudimentary knowledge of PPC and how it works, but in the name of etiquette I should at least give some kind of introduction so we’re all clear on the fundamentals – please bear with me. Continue reading The “ABC’s” of PPC