$250 Google Adwords Discount

Coupon, Search Engine Marketing, Specials 25 Comments »

Huge deal – today only get a $250 credit on all new Google Adwords accounts. This is the largest incentive ever offered by Adwords, and I highly recommend you take them up on it.

AdWords lets you reach people at the moment they’re searching for what you offer. Your $250 coupon is a great way to try this accountable advertising medium free of charge. Coupon expires January 31, 2009.

Get your $250 Google Adwords Credit

It looks like this adwords coupon only applies to customers who have received a promotional mailer, so check your mailbox for a Google postcard.

PPC Firms Making 45x More than SEO Campaigns

Conversion Rate Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Specials 3 Comments »

In a great piece of research from the Search Insider Summit in Park City, UT showing the disparity of spending between pay per click and natural search engine optimization campaigns.

Even though SEO is more cost effective, drives more traffic and is sustainable for the long term, it receives less of the marketing budget than paid search.

  • For every 1 click on a paid search result, the organic results generate 8.5 clicks (this is on a keyword parity basis, not counting those search results that have no paid ads)
  • Based on action/conversion tracking, paid search clicks convert, on average, at 1.5X the rate of organic clicks (no surprise, since that ad text and landing page is custom optimized by the advertiser)
  • From the numbers above, we can see that the opportunity from organic search is 5.66X that of paid search

Across the board ad spending (via SEMPO):

  • 2004 was 85% PPC vs. 12% Organic
  • 2005 was 87% PPC vs. 11% Organic
  • 2006 was 87% PPC vs. 12% Organic
  • 2007 was 88% PPC vs. 10% Organic

Pay per click marketing budgets are increasing while natural search budgets are slowly declining.

  • Spend on SEO is 1/8th of PPC
  • Paid Search Agencies earn, on average 10% of their clients’ PPC spend (this number may actually be low)
  • By this logic, SEO Agencies earn 1/45th {1 / 5.66 x 8} as much as paid search agencies (from a direct keyword-to-conversion path perspective)

PPC is easier for clients to value and agencies to measure. As a result, online marketing agencies are devoting the lions share of their budget to Adwords, Adcenter and YSM and businesses are spending more dollars to get that traffic.

This should help convince SEO firms that they bring true value to the internet marketing world and easily prove it is a good long term investment.
other studies with traffic studies

See the full report from SEOmoz here.

Finer Points of Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Search Engine Marketing 1 Comment »

Pay per click management and PPC bidding is most effective when the process is automated. The goal is to have the most relevant ad appear for each keyword search. It is impractical to create a unique ad for each keyword phrase variation, so we use a technique called Dynamic Keyword Insertion. DKI allows us to insert the exact keyword phrase used in the search query into our ad.

Keywords targeted and that triggered the ad were in BOLD in the ad. You can see that not only is the keyphrase in the title of the ad is bold, as well as the keyword in the ad copy and the display URL is also bold. This increases your ads CTR and will improve your Quality Score in Google, resulting in a lower CPC.

The standard format for dynamically inserting your keyword: {keyword:yourdefaulttext}

Additional variations allow the use of capitalization to dynamically inserted keywords:

    keyword – No capitalization, all word(s) are in lower case

  • Keyword – The first word is capitalized
  • KeyWord – Every word is capitalized
  • KEYword – Every letter in first word is capitalized
  • KEYWord -Every letter in the first word AND the first letter of the second
  • KEYWORD – Every letter is capitalized

Read more about PPC tricks and maximizing pay per click advertising at Redfly.

6 Percent Of Surfers Generate 50 Percent of the Clicks

Search Engine Marketing 2 Comments »

Bad news for the pay per click industry – all those clicks you’re getting may be worthess.

Heavy Clickers Distort Reality of Display Advertising Click-Through Metrics – Starcom, Tacoda and comScore’s “Natural Born Clickers” findings suggest “the click is dead” as go-to measurement of effectiveness for brand-building display advertising campaigns

Approximately 6% of Web users generate 50% of the click-throughs based on the comScore search engine marketing study. Hold on advertisers, it gets even worse: these clickers are not representative of the general population, most have incomes under $40K, and their clicks are not related to any offline buying. The number of clicks on an ad campaign is also not strongly correlated with brand awareness for the ads’ subject, according to the study. Advertising-supported websites such as online newspapers and video sharing sites need to carefully consider their revenue models.

More about the “heavy clickers”

heavy clickers skew towards Internet users between the ages of 25-44 and households with an income under $40,000. Heavy clickers behave very differently online than the typical Internet user, and while they spend four times more time online than non-clickers, their spending does not proportionately reflect this very heavy Internet usage. Heavy clickers are also relatively more likely to visit auctions, gambling, and career services sites – a markedly different surfing pattern than non-clickers.

What is missing from this marketing press release is a clear definition the content of the ads. The article does not specify if the ads are banners, flash/rich media ads, interstitials, or videos. The article only mentions generic display ads. This ambiguity is one reason to keep a healthy dose of skepticism for statistics.

The good news about the Comscore-Tacoda research project is they have likely coined a new phrase: Heavy Clickers.

#note: hardcore search engine optimization fans will notice that this is a dead end article, with no links back to the original site. This is a fantastic piece of linkbait that is drawing a lot of mentions, including from TC & slashdot, and the page is a link sink. Unless Starcom creates links back to their core website, much of this viral traffic spike will be lost.

This is a huge missed SEO opportunity for Starcom. Maybe a savvy SEO will pitch them on their optimization services.