Friday, July 25, 2008

Section 2: Around the Net in Search Marketing

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Still More Underused Search Metrics
The "go beyond the click-through" trend continues, as the MarketingSherpa team has crafted another article (based on survey responses from the research firm's Search Marketing Benchmark Guide) detailing oft-neglected search metrics that could be hindering your firm's (or client's) campaign success.

"Measuring the success of a search marketing campaign starts with a fundamental metric: the click. But clicks alone don't tell you the real story," the team said. "Similarly, measuring conversion rate--the percentage of search-generated visitors who make a purchase or answer a call to action, such as registering for a white paper--doesn't give you enough insight to optimize your campaign performance."

The team suggests adding stats like "ad spend ratio," "bounce rate," "click path analysis," "lifetime value of search customer/visitor" and "profit per keyword" to your analysis to better gauge the health, success and efficacy of various campaigns. Bounce rate, for example, can yield insight into landing pages that need optimization and internal pages that could benefit from better navigation cues or content. - Read the whole story...

Researching Negative Keywords
Get Elastic
Excluding irrelevant or low-performing keywords (i.e., negative keywords) from your campaigns can greatly increase relevance (and efficacy), particularly when using broad and phrase matching. Linda Bustos offers some tips for negative keyword research using a trio of Google tools--the Keyword Tool, Google Suggest and Google Product Search.

With Product Search, for example, you can find shopping-related terms, particularly brand names of products that you don't carry, that should be excluded from your campaigns. "When a search query involves a brand name, it's a strong signal that someone is looking to research or purchase a specific item, not check out other brands," Bustos says. "So your general ad will have lower click through, which lowers the click through rate of your entire AdGroup, hurting all your keywords' ad positions and possibly raising your cost-per-click." - Read the whole story...

Say Au Revoir To Yahoo's Ambassador Program
Search Engine Land
In a move that Barry Schwartz calls "one more step away from competing in paid search," Yahoo has announced that it is shutting down its Ambassador Program. The program offered search marketing training and certification, along with a Yahoo-endorsed logo that providers could display on their Web site.

"This would give businesses the confidence they need to sign up with a SEM company to manage their Yahoo campaigns," Schwartz says. "Ambassadors also received extra support from Yahoo in terms of sales and education material."

The company's official stance is that the Ambassador team tried to enhance the program--which also included commissions for referring new advertisers to YSM--but deemed it unworthy after months of evaluation. Schwartz questions whether the termination, slated to occur on Sept. 30, is also indicative of Yahoo prepping for an even more extensive search deal with Google. - Read the whole story...

Facebook And Microsoft Hook Up For Search
Marketing Pilgrim
Microsoft seems ready to really cash in on its $240 million Facebook investment, as the software giant announced a renewed, deeper partnership with the social network. Microsoft has been running paid search and contextual ads across Facebook for some time now, but the new deal will integrate Live Search as the network's official search engine (and pull in paid and organic results from around the Web--not just member profiles and apps).

The news broke during an Analyst Day presentation, and Satya Nadella, head of Microsoft's search unit, said that the company was "excited about using [the deal] as an opportunity to further expand the Live Search reach." Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Nadella said that the partnership will go live in the fall. - Read the whole story...

Google Knol: Already Ranking Well, And Behaviorally Targeting To Boot
Seer Interactive
Wil Reynolds was on the hunt for backpacking tips, so he ran a Google search for "how to backpack." In addition to being surprised that a Google Knol article showed up within the first three results--the pages have only been released to the public since Wednesday--Reynolds was also slightly alarmed to find a completely unrelated ad vying for his attention on the knol's lower quadrant.

"This sounds like behavioral targeting to me in some way, shape, or form," he says. "Why else would a Google Knol page show an unrelated ad (I was on a backpacking page) for something I searched for and a site I visited almost 22 days ago?" - Read the whole story...

Search Insider - Around the Net for Friday, July 25, 2008


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