Hearing The Rhythms Of Human Search Behavior: What We’ve Learned

(Click to enlarge.) Watching people search is great entertainment. It's not a one-note performance. It's an all-day, around-the-clock jazz show, with the performers constantly changing their themes, rhythms, even their instruments. Along the way, one gains some great insight into human behavior and how people go about their connected lives. Search marketers that pay attention to this tune will come away with some big advantages. Why do I make the analogy to jazz? Because consumer search behavior is extremely varied, but also tends to follow patterns that we can discern, like the way a drummer can anchor a j [...]


Bing Ads Puts Insertion Order Management Online

bing-ads-600 Agencies or advertisers that have invoice billing enabled and use Bing Ads Insertion Orders can now create and approve IOs online rather than having to rely on email or fax. This has been a top request among agencies, in particular. Insertion orders can be created either by the customer or a Bing Ads account manager. Once an IO is approved via the API or the web interface, campaigns will begin to run. It's possible to create overlapping IOs so that there is never an advertising lapse between orders. Here's what the process looks like depending on who originates the insertion order: [...]


Bing Ads Puts Estimated Keyword Bid Suggestions In Columns, Adds Keyword Delivery Status Alerts

bing-ads-600 Bing Ads launched a couple of relatively small but helpful features today. Both bring keyword status and bid insights into closer parity with Google AdWords. To get a better understanding of where keyword bids stand in relation to the competition, Bing Ads has added estimated bid suggestions for first page bid, mainline bid and best position bid in the web user interface. This data was available before, but in a more cumbersome format. With the addition of estimated bid suggestions along with the bid landscape tool, Bing Ads has retired the old Estimation workflow -- the dropdown from th [...]


The New Data Currency In A Digital World

How first-, second-, third-party data is collected The list of options on the performance marketing menu has been growing steadily. Whereas search had historically been the primary channel for direct marketers to drive leads and revenue, the array of opportunities has been increasing within the social and display channels, particularly given the rising popularity of retargeting. First-, Second- & Third-Party Data In A Data Currency World Accordingly, there's been a shift in the essential data currency for marketers. Within the search world, that currency has mainly been keyword data. But within the world of display and social, that curre [...]


The 10 Most Important Paid Search Developments So Far In 2014

money-mouse-ppc-600 It's been a big year so far for product listing ads on both Google and Bing. Google started putting more ads in the Knowledge Graph. Bing followed Google's lead on combining tablet and desktop traffic. And Google said it would begin stripping paid search queries from referrer strings. Now that we're halfway through the year, let's step back and look at what's happened so far in paid search. These were the 10 biggest announcements and changes to come from Bing Ads and Google AdWords in the first half of 2014. Bing Ads There were three announcements made by Bing Ads in the first hal [...]


Mobile Calls Are The New Conversions: 7 Tips For SEMs

mobile-conversions-money-shutterstock Are you seeing depressing plateaus, or even declines, in your year-over-year conversion numbers? The fact is that a huge portion of search activity is moving to mobile. Soon, mobile activity will account for over 50% of searches. The problem is that the mobile conversions don't follow the mobile searches. For many SEM accounts, this means that year-over-year conversion volumes may be stagnating, or even look like they are declining. They probably aren't; it's just less trackable as people jump devices in their journey. People grab the device at hand and execute conversions in non-linear [...]


How Hard Should You Press The Gas Pedal In Paid Search?

1 to 2 The following post contains a number of metaphors strained to the breaking point; viewer discretion is advised. An enduring truth in the paid search business is that paid search managers and marketing teams spend far more time thinking about tactical minutia than they do thinking about what are far and away the most important questions to the business: "What is the ultimate objective of paid search for our company? And how do we measure success against that goal?" If the goals and measurement have been thoroughly fleshed out, considered and analyzed, then it makes sense that attention be [...]


Now You Can Apply AdWords Conversion Settings To Goals Imported From Analytics

new-google-adwords-logo The ability to import goals from Google Analytics into AdWords just got even more useful. Now you can tailor them to your paid search objectives by adjusting the conversion settings on each imported Analytics goal and transaction within AdWords. Flexible conversion counting, customized conversion window and editable conversion values can now be applied to any goals and transactions imported from Analytics. Conversion windows can be set between 7 to 90 days. Flexible conversion counting gives advertisers the option to count unique conversions only or every conversion action that occurs [...]


Google Updates Its AdWords Auction And Ad Rank Video For The First Time Since Revising The Key Formula

ad-rank-video-screenshot Along with a overview on Quality Score factors, this week, Google released an updated video on the AdWords auction and Ad Rank, the scoring system used in each auction that determines the order in which ads appear. Chief Economist at Google, Hal Varian, who has been starring in these videos since at least 2009, is back. This is the first new video on the AdWords auction since Google changed up the Ad Rank formula to factor in the use of ad extensions and formats. Varian's Ad Rank formula visual now includes "Format Impact". Varian walks through the factors that go into Ad Rank, how it is [...]


Bing Ads Expands Bid Landscape Estimator Tool To Ad Groups, Non-U.S. Markets

Bing Ads Bid Lanldscape Ad Group Leve In March, Bing Ads launched its Bid Landscape tool in the U.S. -- essentially equivalent to the Bid Simulator in Google AdWords. Now, Bing Ads is rolling out Bid Landscape at the ad group level. Non-U.S. advertisers also now have access to bid landscape at the keyword level. Bid Landscape shows the estimated cost, click, impression and top impression impact of a bid adjustment based on recent history.  Estimations reflect how performance would have changed with a different bid in the past 7 days, so, like AdWords Bid Simulator estimates, they aren't guarantees for future performance. Two [...]


A Step-By-Step Guide To Link Building For Boring Industries Or Products

innocent-drinks Within the current search landscape, most search engine optimisation campaigns have become increasingly content-led. The majority of the campaigns that I work on revolve largely around the production and placement of high quality content on top-tier sites. This approach to search engine optimisation is more akin to a typical PR campaign than a traditional SEO campaign -- and the former, in my opinion, is the way that most digital agencies should be positioning themselves. Yes, I'm gonna say it: content marketing is the way forward. Now that I've got that buzzword out of my system, we [...]


Bing Ads Launches Live Chat Support And Industry Insights Portal With Research, Case Studies

bing-ads-600 Today, the Bing Ads team announced the launch of live chat support and a new industry insights portal. Live Chat will be available at all hours every day of the week for in its English-language markets. Customers can use Live Chat to ask questions about campaign set up, optimization tactics, billing issues and more. The Bing Ads Industry Insights Portal is launching in the United States and will feature case studies, videos and research around events like Mother's Day and the World Cup as well as in several verticals such as home improvement, retail, financial services, automotive, trave [...]


Deliver Transformational SEO Performance With Simple Techniques

SEO-girl

I find huge value in big site analysis, as the subtleties of prioritisation can have multi-million dollar impact for a business. This analysis can be informative about approaching a new SEO strategy for any site, and reveal a few truths about the true value of a number of SEO techniques.


2014 US Search Awards Now Accepting Entries

US Search Awards 2014 The US Search Awards are now accepting entries for this year's awards ceremony scheduled on October 8 in conjunction with Pubcon in Las Vegas. Recognizing US based organizations, agencies and individuals doing search and digital marketing, this is the second annual US Search Awards ceremony. The event will include 20 different award categories, ranging from "Best Use of Search" to "Best Integrated Campaign" and "Search Personality of the Year." US Search Awards claims this year's event will be: The biggest celebration of search, PPC and digital marketing in the USA, attracting hundreds [...]


Paid Search Spend Rises 8 Percent In Q1, Mobile Shows Signs Of Maturing [Report]

US Search Q1 2014 By Vertical IgnitionOne In the first quarter this year, U.S. search advertising spend rose 8 percent when compared both quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) and year-over-year (YoY) according to IgnitionOne's latest report which looks at the campaigns run through its digital marketing platform. In Q1 2014, paid search clicks increased 5 percent and click-through-rates (CTR) were up 23 percent YoY while impressions fell again, by 15 percent. IgnitionOne cautions that the drop in impressions does not imply that search queries are down but that the decrease is due to the rise in mobile searches where there is less real estate [...]


If Online Ad Targeting Works, Does More Targeting Work Better?

target roi A former colleague at Forrester Research recently published a study that described his view of the future of online marketing. The study is available to Forrester clients only, but the crux of the argument is laid out in a blog post: Why Google - Not Facebook - Will Build The Database Of Affinity. The author, Nate Elliot, describes large media companies building a "database of affinity," which he described thusly: Recently we described an idea called the database of affinity: A catalogue of people's tastes and preferences collected by observing their social behaviors on sites like Face [...]


4 Trends Paid Search Marketers Must Address In 2014: Audience, Relevance, Social & Mobile

Mobile Devices Upon revisiting last year's post on this topic, a couple of our bold predictions flopped and a couple turned out to be more reality than fantasy. Though we didn't see Apple monetize the search results served up by Siri, we did see ad formats evolve to increase relevance and user engagement. The inclusion of ad extensions as a factor in ad ranking and the expansion of Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to show on smartphone devices were less a result of explicit user feedback, as we had predicted, but more based on user behavior. Nonetheless, the changes have spawned a richer and more engaging ad ex [...]


Staying Competitive In PPC: Learning From Black Friday’s Most Popular Offers

black-friday-cash-mouse-featured The five-day Black Friday weekend from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday provided an insightful glimpse into how retailers are running their PPC strategies for the holidays. Particularly interesting are the variety of offer types run by retailers, ranging from the expected free shipping to 2-in-1 offers which include two offers in the same ad. Since shoppers were expecting to see a retailer's best deals during that weekend, we wanted to see just how far retailers were willing to go to get the sale. Using search engine results data gathered by Lighthouse (a partnership between The Search Monit [...]


4 Surprising Ways CPG Brands Are Using Paid Search For Brand Marketing [Study]

Retail Shopping Consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers have been spending an average of $6.2 million monthly on Google AdWords in the US over the past three years, according to a new AdGooroo study which looked at ad impressions between August 2012 and July 2013.  All of the CPG companies engaged in brand marketing, but AdGooroo found that several brands took surprising approaches in their targeting to reach their desired audiences in search. Here are four examples of CPG companies using search to broaden their share of voice in surprising ways: In a departure from the standard tactic of promotin [...]


10 Things RTB Rookies Can Learn From SEM Vets

ppc-paid-search-200px If I were to describe to you a digital media channel in which marketers bid on ad inventory in an auction-based model, would you think of paid search? Of course! But this also describes the relatively new online display category of real-time bidding (RTB) in which banner impressions are sold in a similar fashion. eMarketer recently released Programmatic Advertising Forecast and Future Growth Trends, in which it projects that RTB digital display ad spending in the US will reach $9.03 billion by 2017 and will represent 29.0% of total U.S. digital display ad spending. Although RTB has been [...]


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