Enterprise SEM is written by search marketers running massive search advertising campaigns. Running large budget campaigns with millions of keywords can be an entirely different animal than running less complex ad campaigns. Additional details, such as more complex ROI metrics, optimizing efficiently, managing creatives and automation become the focus of such campaigns. Experts share real-life experience and perspective to running search campaigns of such scale.

A 3 Step Model For High Seasonality Forecasting

In many verticals, much of the year’s business gets done during a short period. For instance, tax software is mostly sold at the end of January in the US when the W2 forms are mailed and right before the last day of submission in mid April. This is seen clearly in the Google Trends chart for the query: Impression Trends for "tax software". Note the sharp peaks at the end of January when W2 forms arrive and the day before tax day (mid April For a SEM campaign manager, this situation is a mixed blessing. On the positive side, one knows which times of the year are important [...]

What You Need To Know For Competitive Keyword Analysis

Competitive keyword analysis should play in integral part in your paid and organic search optimization strategy. As paid search activity continues to grow, so will the number of businesses you compete against within the search battlefield. Understanding who your competitors are and the keywords they’re optimizing for is critical to staying relevant, competitive and profitable in your pursuit to acquire more revenue. In this article, I’ll be walking through several advanced tips for conducting competitive keyword analysis and how to apply your findings to your own optimization strategies [...]

3 Ways Time Can Warp Your View

The time delay between marketing exposure and marketing success creates tremendous opportunity for consternation for all paid search managers, but particularly for enterprise programs. Let's look at three ways that time can distort one's perspective, and consider a solution that can be helpful. In most paid search reporting platforms, the default setting (often the only setting) creates a disconnect between conversion events and the marketing touches that drove them. Impressions, clicks, costs are tied to the day on which they occurred. Conversion events are tied to the day on which they [...]

Creative Testing For The Advanced Search Marketer, Part 3

For paid search programs, big and small, creative optimization remains one of the single most impactful strategies for increasing traffic, lowering costs and acquiring more revenue. Continuously generating, analyzing and iterating on new creative delivers incremental improvements in keyword-to-creative relevancy. Increasing relevancy results in higher click-through-rates (CTR) and Quality Score, and as a result, lower costs. Furthermore, testing helps marketers discover more compelling creative messaging to increase visitor engagement with the conversion funnel after the click, promoting hi [...]

A Beyond Average Look At Search Ad Position

Among the scores of data points search marketers have at their disposal, perhaps no other metric is as shrouded by mythology and misconception as ad position. Despite careful studies showing, including one by RKG in 2006, and confirmation by Google in 2009 that conversion performance doesn't vary much by position, you will still hear pronouncements, even among enterprise level practitioners, that some specific position on the page generates exceptional performance. This piece is not meant to rehash that argument, per se. Instead, we'll examine how attributes of the current ad auction in [...]

Singular vs. Plural: What Search Queries Can Tell You About Your Customers

"Remember: Y'all is singular. All y'all is plural. All y'all's is plural possessive." – Kinky Friedman In display or social advertising, the marketer can reach customers with different offers  based on demographics or behavioral signals. This is not so in search where one only has the query searched as the fundamental mode of segmentation. This is rather limited as many different types of customers often search with a similar query. For instance: someone searching with the term "shoes" might be a bargain hunter or a high value customer. Hence, for the most part we can only create [...]

Creative Testing For The Advanced Search Marketer – Part 2

In a search landscape where millions of keywords define intent, generating the most compelling creative can prove to be a daunting task. Understanding your audience and formulating a message might be easy, but packaging up that message within the narrow limits of a 130 character creative can be a challenge. For paid search programs, for enterprise (as well as smaller) accounts, creative optimization remains one of the single most impactful strategies for increasing traffic, lowering costs and acquiring more revenue. To optimize creative, search marketers rely on testing. Continuously ge [...]

Why You’re Paying More For Your Brand Terms On Yahoo

Yahoo has suffered through its fair share of turmoil over the last few years: a revolving door of CEOs, significant layoffs, investor revolts, and a declining share of the search space, both paid and organic. One recent bright spot for Yahoo was their first year over year growth in search revenues after traffic acquisition costs (ex-TAC)  since their alliance with Microsoft in the fourth quarter of 2010. In fact, before last quarter, Yahoo hadn't shown Y/Y growth in search revenue ex-TAC since they began reporting it in 2009. Not too shabby then, and Yahoo's results were generally well [...]

Sometimes You Just Need To Go With Your Gut In Data Analysis

It is difficult to understand why statisticians commonly limit their inquiries to Averages, and do not revel in more comprehensive views. Their souls seem as dull to the charm of variety as that of the native of one of our flat English counties, whose retrospect of Switzerland was that, if its mountains could be thrown into its lakes, two nuisances would be got rid of at once. An Average is but a solitary fact, whereas if a single other fact be added to it, an entire Normal Scheme, which nearly corresponds to the observed one, starts potentially into existence. Some people hate the very na [...]

How Anomalies In Search Trends Could Change Your Product Roadmap

By way of example, let's talk about how search data can have a potential impact on your enterprise, when you share your findings with your product development teams. I recently ran a number of keyword reports for the Adobe SearchCenter product management team and I was shocked by what I found. What jumped out at me immediately was the volume of searches on the keyword "click fraud". That term has recently gained momentum and currently dwarfs all other terms related to search marketing solutions by an order of magnitude. Here is a trend from Google Insights for Search that shows the growth [...]

Creative Testing For the Advanced Search Marketer, Part 1

In a search landscape where millions of keywords define intent, generating the most compelling creative can prove to be a daunting task. Understanding your audience and formulating a message might be easy, but packaging up that message within the narrow limits of a 130 character creative can be a challenge. For paid search programs both big and small, creative optimization remains one of the single most impactful strategies for increasing traffic, lowering costs and acquiring more revenue. To optimize creative, search marketers rely on testing. Continuously generating, analyzing and iter [...]

5 Ways To Capture Brand Equity With SEM & Affiliates

Last week, I read David Rodnitzky’s Enterprise SEM column on brand term bidding, and I loved it! Even better, it got me thinking about search and affiliate marketing again. While I think David made some excellent points, as I consumed his endless wit and wisdom, I kept thinking: All that brand keyword goodness, it’s almost too much for one advertiser! See, I’m a bit unorthodox when it comes to brand terms and their keyword space. I read a lot around here about how search marketers should deal with brand keywords – don’t buy, don’t allow them to be bid on, don’t include brand t [...]

How To ‘Protect’ Brand Keywords For Less

Imagine you own a restaurant and one day, a couple of big guys in nice suits come through your front door. One of the men introduces himself: "Good evening. My name is Gino, and this my colleague, Salvatore. We’re helping local businesses with their marketing and wanted to see if we could help you." "Nice to meet you," you reply. "Of course I’m always interested in getting new customers. Tell me more about what you do and how much it costs." "Gladly," says Gino. "It’s really quite simple. When someone approaches your restaurant, we open the door for them. For every person that comes i [...]

Accelerating Revenue Growth With Keyword Parity

As campaigns mature, keywords evolve from experiments to proven revenue drivers. Remembering to add a keyword to Bing after a successful trial in Google or remembering to expand a new top performing keyword across its other match types is easier said than done. With so much focus these days on the next best thing — generating the most compelling creative or discovering the next diamond-in-the-rough keyword — search marketers often ignore the keyword gaps that slowly accumulate over time. Maintaining publisher and match type keyword parity is one of the most important campaign managem [...]

4 PPC Tactics To Ensure You Meet & Exceed Your Plan

In this column, we routinely write about some fairly advanced topics: Next-level optimization, automated bidding algorithms, hyper-targeted search campaigns, paid vs. organic search, etc. Lost in all this is the underlying discussion around the need to hit your financial goals. The majority of large enterprises engage in annual planning, which means that as SEM managers, we are tied to pretty strict financial goals. While all the advanced topics sound good and do warrant execution, in a world of limited resources sometimes we just need to hunker down and focus on hitting Plan. At one poi [...]

Basic Econometric Modeling: Measuring The Offline-Online Effect Of TV Advertising On Search Spend

Multi-channel advertisers often ask me how to measure the effect of their TV ads on their online marketing channels. The question is important because it is the first step in the answer to the media mix question: What is the right distribution of budget across TV and online channels to maximize return on investment. This is a tricky question to answer for the following reasons: TV campaigns are typically branding campaigns while search is typically DR focused. There is typically a halo effect in TV campaigns, e.g. when you run a TV campaign you typically see its effect last on search [...]

The Complete Guide To Bidding On Competitor Brand Names & Trademarked Terms


It’s been long known in the industry that brand term keywords garner a much higher click-through-rate. As a result, marketers often start by bidding on their own brand terms.

Benefits Of Cross-Channel Analytics For Search Marketers

John Wanamaker once stated, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half." One of the things we love to tout as search marketers is our ability to track our efforts. We pride ourselves on it. But, as much as our tracking capabilities would leave Wanamaker dumbfounded, there are still a lot of clicks which we can’t easily tie out to revenue. For marketers, the question of accurately tracking revenues often comes down to a conversation about attribution. For some, the "last-click wins" model, which remains an industry standard, is insufficie [...]

Three Questions To Ask When Selecting An Enterprise SEM Tool Provider

Having just experienced a round of demos from some of the major enterprise PPC tools, I can’t help but love my job. It’s always fun because I get to peek under the hood of some of the biggest, baddest, most robust search management tools on the market. Within these demos, we talk about thin data, dynamic clustering, Bayesian math and other light topics such as attribution management, profit curves and media mix modeling. The reason I do this, other than the fact that I like to hang out with both sales people and applied mathematics PhDs, is that for certain businesses at Yahoo!, is b [...]

What Is The Real Value Of Branded Search Campaigns?

Enterprise SEM practices apply not just to direct response advertisers, but to brand advertisers as well. We'll dive into that logic after a brief stroll down memory lane. The earliest adopters of sophisticated paid search practices were those companies with deep roots in direct response marketing. [caption id="attachment_116840" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Roots in Direct Response Marketing"][/caption] In e-commerce, it was the traditional catalog companies that figured out search first. The cost of a book (catalogs are called "books" by insiders) in the mail looked a lo [...]

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