Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Section 2: Around the Net in Search Marketing

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A Duel Of Google's Site Targeting Tools: Ad Planner Vs. AdWords Placement
PPC Hero
Joe Kerschbaum compares Google's Ad Planner and the AdWords Placement Tool to see how they stack up when it comes to choosing which sites to target for PPC. The client used for the experiment sells personalized wedding gifts, favors and accessories, making the target audience of females on the hunt for wedding favors (for themselves or friends) pretty clear.

With Ad Planner, you enter demographic criteria like gender, age brackets and household income, and the tool spits out sites in new horizontal and vertical markets where your core audience also shops/browses. In this case, Kerschbaum's first set of results directed him to sites like pregnancy-info.net, mothering.com and babyzone.com. "While I do believe that my audience probably visits these sites, I am afraid the intent of these sites is too far removed from the products my client has to offer," he says.

Ad Planner does allow you to enter your target site as well as the URL of a competitor, and once Kerschbaum tried that, he got the list of wedding-oriented sites he was after. And while the baby/parenting sites may represent an untapped source of traffic and conversions, he'd have to test them first.

As for the AdWords Placement Tool, you can target by demographic or topic. As with Ad Planner, the demographic search yielded a host of random sites--though these were much less focused--like indiafm.com, collegerecruiter.com and clipartheaven.com. Once Kerschbaum tried topic-based search (for keywords like "wedding gifts") he got a roster of wedding-related sites. - Read the whole story...

Are Site Indexing Times The New Benchmark For Page (And Link-Building) Authority?
Seer Interactive
Wil Reynolds piggybacks on a recent post by SEO Book's Aaron Wall, delving into the idea that a page or site's average indexing time might be a better benchmark for determining its authority than PageRank. After all, if Google is indexing new content from a PR 2 site within hours, and taking a day or more to index content from a PR 6 site, then the former site is seemingly the more authoritative one--and likely the one you should be targeting for link-building.

"By running a test on how quickly a page gets in the index from hundreds of article sites, you should be equipped to ensure that you get the articles in on sites that are seen as most credible (and authoritative) by the search engines," Reynolds says. He suggests looking at the sites that mention your competitors (and how quickly their content gets indexed) as a way to prioritize your targets for competitive link building as well. - Read the whole story...

Tips For Successful PPC Day-parting
Search Engine Land
"Taking advantage of intraday fluctuations in traffic value can be important to maximizing the efficiency of your pay-per-click (PPC) ad spend," says George Michie. "We see statistically significant variances in traffic value on the order of 5% to 25% for many retailers, and much more than that for some."

So Michie offers insight into developing a thoughtful day-parting strategy, starting with analyzing the right traffic. This means focusing on the parts of the day with the most high quality traffic (not just the highest volume) as well as the non-brand PPC traffic. "Direct load and brand traffic behave very differently than competitive PPC traffic, and since the latter is all your PPC program controls that's what you need to study," he says.

Meanwhile, make sure you exclude data from insane sale days like "Black Friday," or other seasonal holidays, and stay on top of whether your bid changes are actually executed at the right times. "For most systems there is latency between calculation of bids and implementation of them," Michie says. "Make sure you understand that latency and factor it into your process." - Read the whole story...

The Benefits Of Combining Paid Search And Paid Inclusion
YSM Blog
Roger Park posts a quick case study on the benefits of combining PPC and paid inclusion, starring the Lending Tree. "Yahoo! and LendingTree wanted to quantify how using sponsored search ads and paid inclusion listings together increases traffic," he says. So Lending Tree used paid search and Yahoo's Search Submit Pro--which gives site owners more control over the page title and description that shows up in the organic search results-- and tapped comScore to measure traffic, consumer engagement and conversions. The tests ran over the course of three months, with the paid inclusion ads turned off at metered intervals.

The results found that PPC ads and paid inclusion performed best together, driving a 61% in site visits (as opposed to just PPC ads alone), 135% lift in organic clicks and a 21% net lift in paid clicks. - Read the whole story...

Fluff, Filler And Other Extras Your Site Doesn't Need
Conversation Marketing
"The worst mistake in internet marketing? Making things too complicated. It pumps up costs, slows site launches and keeps you offline when you could be online, selling stuff," says Ian Lurie. And he serves up a list of more than a dozen features your site doesn't need.

First up is a complex content management system (CMS). "A full-featured, enterprise CMS is a great tool when you need it," he says. "But do you need it? If you have a staff of two, you don't. Use Wordpress or Movable Type, instead." The same goes for an inventory management system. If you're not moving huge volumes of product online, Lurie says that there's no need to invest the time and money required to synchronize your offline inventory automatically.

As for the best Web 2.0 tools, avoid a Webcam, skip the avatar- or video-based sales rep, and don't go overboard with finding community content. "Before you spend the time and shell out the cash to add community content, ask yourself: Do you need to build the community yourself?" Lurie says. "Couldn't you use Facebook? Or MySpace? Or something else? Don't reinvent the wheel if you don't need to." - Read the whole story...

First Shots Of New AdWords Quality Scores In The Wild
PPC Book
- Read the whole story...

Search Insider - Around the Net for Tuesday, September 2, 2008


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