In The Trenches is a weekly spotlight of tips, tricks, and news about the tools search engine marketing professionals use to give them a leg up on the competition. Today: news from the search engines, today’s in-depth look: search stats you need to know (September 2008), Google’s new, free display ad builder, and this week’s free tips and tools.
News from the search engines
Google AdWords: Separate metrics for Google and search partners are now available
As reported on the Inside AdWords blog, and in the spirit of transparency, Google is finally breaking out stats between Google Search and the Google Search Network. I’ve actually run mirrored campaigns with each option just to be able to see the difference between the two search vehicles. I’m glad Google has now opened this up to us. According to the Google blog:
We’re happy to let you know that we’ve changed the way your Campaign Summary and Ad Group Summary pages present statistics in order to give you additional level of detail into your campaign performance. Previously, these pages divided statistics into two categories: search, which included Google and search partners, and the content network.
Now, we show one set of statistics for Google and another set aggregating search partner performance. Search partners include AOL, Ask.com, and many other search sites around the web. You can view ad group or campaign performance at a summary level, or broken down by different combination of Google, our search partners, and our content network. Additionally, separate Google and aggregate search partner statistics will soon be available in the Report Center.
Yahoo Search Marketing: Now you can geo-target users at country, city or ZIP code level
Finally! Yahoo has opened up geotargeting options for us. Great to see this as it always seemed to cause issues when trying to mirror campaigns from Google to Yahoo and the same options weren’t available. Google’s AdWord’s geotargeting (with it’s latitude/longitude and polygon mapping options) is still superior than any other search platform, but at least now we can target to the city and zip code level with Yahoo.
Here’s Yahoo’s official comments on the new feature from the Yahoo Search Marketing Blog:
Up until recently, the geo-targeting functionality was built around Designated Marketing Area (DMA), regions determined by Nielson Media Research, Inc. (yes, the Nielson group who conducts the TV ratings surveys). However, some advertisers need even more focus, especially in more populous regions. Yahoo! now lets you zoom in on targeted cities and, in a beta feature, ZIP codes as well.
You will find geo-targeting when you sign up for your account online, but you may go back in and change your scope at any time. To do this, select “Geo-Targeting” under your Campaigns tab in your account.:
- Click the “Campaigns” tab. - Choose a campaign. - Click the “Campaign Settings” drop-down located in the upper right-hand corner (above the graph). - Select “Geo-Targeting.”
From there you can use the pulldown to select your target area by Entire Market, Country, State/Province, DMA , City or ZIP code. A map will provide a visual of the areas you are selecting.
Microsoft: Upgrades to the Desktop tool
Although I didn’t find this news online, I did receive an email from Microsoft as I am a user of the adCenter Desktop (Beta) tool regarding an upgrade.
So, for other users of the tool, you should know that this new upgrade offers you several key benefits, including:
- Visually-enhanced features such as the Dashboard, which displays performance data and trends
- Customization of display and other default campaign values
- Advanced search and filtering capabilities
- Removal of the Save button, so that changes are automatically saved when you switch to a different tab
- Ability to pause and resume keywords and text ads
- Ability to submit ad groups as active when you upload them to adCenter online
This upgrade will be available next week and you will get an automatic prompt to begin the upgrade upon opening the tool.
In depth: Search stats you need to know – September 2008
This column, In The Trenches, is for the search engine marketing pro. Yes, I do cover the basics on occasion, but even hardened veterans have admitted to finding some good nuggets here so I’m hoping new and intermediate level search marketers find it helpful. To further this goal, in this post, I wanted to highlight what I consider to be some of the most important data for our industry that all SEM pros should know. You may not know today’s gas prices at your local station, but you know that it would be high if I told you they were five dollars a gallon, and you also know if I said three dollars that it would be a bargain. I’m hoping to raise the familiarity of these search statistics in the same way.
These stats are right from some of the top sources in the industry such as Hitwise, comScore, eMarketer, etc so please click their links and check out everything they have to offer.
September Search Market Share: Query Volume Leaps on Back-to-School and Economic Concerns, Google Leads Growth From the Compete.com blog
Search market share includes web search only for the Adult US Online Population and is calculated based on unique queries within each session during September 2008.
Google Sites – 70.4% Yahoo! Sites – 19.4% Microsoft Sites – 6.0% Ask network – 2.7% AOL – 1.1%
Search Query Volume From the Compete.com blog
Query Volume in Millions
Google Sites – 6,990 Yahoo! Sites – 1,923 Microsoft Sites – 599 Ask network – 268 AOL – 111
Top 10 Industry Search Terms – September, 2008 By Hitwise US
The terms listed below are ranked by volume of searches that successfully drove traffic to websites in the Hitwise All Categories category for the 4 weeks ending September 27, 2008, based on US Internet usage.
1. myspace – .78% 2. craigslist – .47% 3. ebay – .34% 4. youtube – .26% 5. myspace.com – .26% 6. facebook – .20% 7. yahoo – .19% 8. mapquest – .16% 9. www.myspace.com – .10% 10. craigs list – .09%
Top 10 Fast Moving Search Terms – September, 2008 by Hitwise
This list features the search terms for the industry All Categories, ranked by largest relative increase for the week ending September 27, 2008, compared with the week ending September 20, 2008.
1. dancing with the stars 2. paul newman 3. david blaine 4. clay aiken 5. britney spears 6. 2009 ford mustang concept car 7. hooters 8. criss angel 9. heroes 10. presidential debate
Some of the terms that are off the top ten list from August: sarah palin, hurricane gustav, how to get a tax refund, palin, democratic convention
Average Search CPC Data by Category for September 2008 Reported by ClickZ based on an Efficient Frontier study
A look at the average CPC (define) in search by vertical in the U.S. for September 2008, compared to the prior month. Data and research are provided by Efficient Frontier. “Total finance” includes auto finance, banking, credit, financial information, insurance, lending, and mortgage. Each vertical contains data from multiple advertisers.
The percentage of change from the previous month is indicated in parenthesis.
Total Finance – $2.06 (-22.6%) Mortgage – $2.89 (7.8%) Insurance – $12.65 (4.3%) Travel – $0.69 (-4.2%) Automotive – $0.54 (-5.3%) Retail – $0.50 (13.6%) Dating – $0.44 (2.3%)
The biggest change came in the Finance category which dropped from $2.66 in August to $2.06 in September.
Paid Search Spending Pops: Very few cuts planned, most plan to splurge From eMarketer
The near future of online ad spending in the US—or at least the largest portion of it—continues to look good despite turmoil in some other ad media and the economy at large.
More than eight out of 10 marketers who spent at least $50,000 per month on paid search said they planned to maintain or increase their spending during the next 12 months, according to a Marin Software-sponsored study conducted by JupiterResearch.
More than 90% of the big spenders also said they would spend as much as 22% more if they had better campaign management tools.
Change in Paid Search Spending in next 12 Months according to US Search Marketers, 2008.
55% Plan to Increase spending 28% Plan to Maintain spending 17% Plan to decrease spending
Number of Keywords Managed by US Search Marketers, 2008 (% of respondents) from eMarketer Data is from the October 2008 JupiterResearch survey “Large-scale Paid Search: Challenges and Opportunities” commissioned by Marin Software. 103 agencies and advertisers spending at least $50,000 per month on paid search were surveyed.
Number of Keywords Managed by US Search Marketers, 2008
44% say they manage up to 50K keywords 45% say they manage from 50K to 500K keywords 12$ say they manage 500K or more keywords.
Free tool of the week: Build banner ads in minutes in AdWords
Called the Display Ad Builder, AdWords now offers a wizard type interface which walks you through the process of building a banner ad.
As reported on their blog last week:
Today we released the AdWords display ad builder, which lets you create professional-looking display ads in AdWords without needing to hire a designer or start from scratch. If you’ve wanted to expand beyond your text ad campaigns, or if you’ve been looking for an easier way to build display ads, this tool can help.
This new tool lets you create customized display ads with your own text, images, and logo. You can also change colors and backgrounds. The tool can create ads to fit all possible placements across the Google content network, including video and game placements. The display ad builder is available now to all advertisers in the U.S. and Canada.
The interface is very easy to use. Check out the sample ad I designed for this column: Okay, so I’m not going to win a Cleo award for this, but it is a good way to make a quick ad and I’m sure Google will expand the features in the near future.
Josh Dreller is the Director of Media Technology for Fuor Digital, an agency concentrated in the research, planning, buying and stewardship of digital media marketing campaigns. Josh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The In The Trenches column appears Fridays at Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.