Buying Search Engine Advertising

May 4, 2005 - 2:13 pm 0 by
Filed Under SES Toronto 2005

Dana Todd from SiteLab, also known as the girl who thinks Google is bad (see CNN article from yesterday). Danny Sullivan introduced her better then I, he said she is the veteran of Search Engine Advertising. She starts off by saying "Why wait for organic rankings?" It offers instant gratification, can be changed quickly, easy to rank. She goes over some of the history, i.e Overture being renamed into Yahoo! Search Marketing. She explains the distribution network of Yahoo/Overture and Google. She explains that Google AdWords is not only based on cost per click, but also click through rate. AOL uses Google's AdWords (right in the middle of the page), more prominently then Google, itself. The little players, tier two, are really no longer that little. There are 400+ PPC Networks like FindWhat and LookSmart. Ask Jeeves has a "branded response" sold on a CPM basis, and she loves it, try a jeeves search for "shop for flowers." Shopping search engines are doing well these days., MySimon, Pricegrabber and so on. B2B and Vertical Search Engines, Tech specific from knowledgestorm, industry brains, etc. She shows Yellow Pages and Local Search, Yahoo! Local, Google Local, etc. PPC Issues; click costs are rising 10 - 25% or more per years. Some keyword marketplaces are overpriced, forcing advertisers out. Expensive and time consuming to manage - bid software helps, but you cant really just set it and forget it. Bid-wars with your affiliates, dealers or channel partners. Trademarks; very little or no protection. Very little control over which sites in the network display your link. Fraud does occur! competitors and network affiliate fraud. Paid links may be ignored by users who do not like to click on ads. Potentials of declining overall ROI in some categories - increasing prices + higher volume of clicks; potential for conversions to decrease or flat-line. How do I get started? (1) Dont start without a keyword strategy. (2) You need a credit card, mostly. (3) 10k per month gets you an assigned account manager on Overture. (4) Min bid between $0.05 - $0.10 per click. For CPM, promotional sponsorship and long term contracts, contact a media rep to negotiate and or design a campaign. She then briefly goes over keyword strategy. Get a competitor reports at and Look at your organic log files. 2 - 3 word phrases may convert to a sale more frequently, and may costs less. Average gross profit x conversion rate is the break even CPC point. She also glances over isolating out keyword groups. Effective campaign tips; Repeat the exact search term within the ad title, pre-qulify clicks, adjust creative, use tracking system that does day parting and then do some A/B testing of landing pages and ads. She then explains 'bid-traps', which is a method for #2 who is bidding $2 to inflate the price per click for the #1 spot, who set a bid of $4. #2 can make their bid $3.99 to force #1 to pay $4.

Kevin Lee from Did-It was next up. Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL are the places you need to concentrate your efforts. At every instant throughout every day each bid can be only too high, too low or just right. There are many PPC budgets; (1) pure direct marketer, search budget is "carte blanche"; (2) fixed budget marketer, (3) cross media or hybrid marketing budget. The first mistake made by marketers when doing SEM is forgetting to think like their prospects. Second mistake is using the wrong success metric; think about immediate orders, lagged orders, and so on. Make sure to do your keyword research, go deep. Make sure to fine tune your creative, do it constantly. Do not send ALL your traffic to your homepage. Then make sure to test your landing pages. There is a major issue with setting daily budget caps, in that it randomly picks keywords not to show up, but in reality you want your best keywords to come up first. You must measure and manage granularly. Do not simply measure on average, break it out and look at specifics to improve your overall average. Do not neglect localized opportunities. Do not only use broad match in Google, be specific. Bidding emotionally is a bad idea, do not outbid out of spite. By avoiding those mistakes, you will realize great success.

Eric Morris from Google was next up. He starts off with the basics of Google AdWords. The Google network reaches over 80% of the US Internet Users, the network includes; Google search, Search partners (Ask, AOL, amazon), Contnet publishers (AdSense). Target a local audience with Google, he showed off some of AdWords targeting by location (by city, state, radius of address, or latitude or longitude). Writing effective ad text is very important (specific + relevant text = effective ads). It is important to then measure your results, he showed the built in reporting system (conversion tracking also). Test our assumptions for brand persona. He discussed the extension of the AdSense, image ads, flash ads, and so on. A beta tester, Chrysler, was able to segment 23 different demographics amongst 927 sites and serve up targeted ads on a CPM basis.

Last up is Erick Vadeboncoeur from NetWorldMedia, a Canadian. He said in Canada there are only 3 networks, and no 2nd tier. NetWorldMedia is one of the three. Share of searches in Canada by major search engine; Google 62%, MSN/Yahoo 27% and All other 12%. Share of searches in Quebec by major search engines; Google 59%, MSN/Yahoo 22%, NetWorldMedia 16% and others 3%. He kept it short, and did not repeat what others said.


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