2013 has seen plenty of changes to paid search, mainly driven by Google. For a brand in a competitive market like insurance, little tweaks here and there matter.
Changes include the addition of Google's own comparison products to the SERPs, meaning less visibility for organic results, enhanced campaigns, and changes to the style of PPC ads.
I've been asking Heledd Jones, head of search marketing at Confused.com (and an Econsultancy guest blogger), about the challenges presented by these changes, and her thoughts on how PPC will evolve in the next year.
For the forth year running, we’ve been asking search marketers in North America to give us their views of the state of the industry.
Previously we’ve covered a broad area of concerns, from how search marketers set objectives and metrics, right through to budgets, resourcing and the integration of social media.
This year while covering similar areas to the previous, there are a few differences. Below are some of the things we are looking for, but better yet, take our survey before the start of next week and you’ll get a complimentary copy of the report worth $695 before anyone else gets a look!
And do feel free to share the link: http://ecly.co/SEMPO-2013
Back in my early days of running websites and trying to forge a living online, I stumbled across PPC in the form of Google AdWords.
I liked the idea of driving traffic to a website nigh on instantly. That was until I ran a few of my keywords through the old Keyword Tool and saw exactly how much the estimated CPCs were: upwards of £5 per click!
I broke into a cold sweat because I knew all of my biggest competitors were using PPC, I just didn’t see how it could be profitable and I knew right there and then that my sites were going to fail.
I just couldn’t afford to pay £5+ per click.
Are you an advertiser running a PPC campaign? Is there something not quite right with your paid search costs? Does your performance data contain unexplained anomalies?
Have you heard the term ‘click fraud’ bandied around the internet and think that you could be its next victim?
I realise that while writing this introduction I was beginning to sound like a fear-mongering, consumer-based TV show that makes even the most rational people think twice about leaving the house after dark, so I'll stop here.
Is click fraud something you should be aware of, and if so, to what extent does it affect your PPC campaign?
Following on from my last article exploring ‘percentage of spend’, I now turn my attention to ‘performance based’ agency models.
In essence, any paid search program should be performance based i.e. the agency and client should agree the strategy, objectives and KPIs, of which the agency will then be measured against.
The distinction in this instance is when the remuneration of the agency is directly linked to the financial performance of the paid search campaign.
Marketers in the US are continuing to invest heavily in mobile paid search across Google and Bing/Yahoo, with the total spend on tablets and smartphones up 65.9% year-on-year to 28.7% of search budgets.
Taken individually, spend on tablets increased 87.6% compared to Q3 2012, while the increase on smartphone was 118.1% in the same period.
The increased investment is unsurprising considering the consumer shift towards mobile search and the recent roll out of Google’s Enhanced Campaigns.
Data included in our own Mobile Commerce Compendium shows that search is one of the top three most popular smartphone activities behind email and making calls, so it’s inevitable that marketers will begin ramping up their investment in this channel.
With Christmas make or break for retailers how can they make the most of their paid search budget in the run up to the big day?
In these ultra-competitive times the peak Christmas period can be make or break for retailers. With up to 40% of sales happening around this time, under performance doesn’t just harm your company, it could be fatal to your business.
Paid search is a proven way of delivering buyers to your website, but how do you maximise its impact, while minimising costs?
Based on Kour experience there are six steps to optimising your search engine marketing for Christmas success:
Only a third of businesses (32%) manage their display advertising exclusively in-house, compared to 44% for paid search and 52% for social.
The data comes from a new Econsultancy and Adobe report that focuses on the use of paid-for digital channels, namely paid search, display advertising and social.
For many companies, the buying of these media is been owned and managed by different parts of the business with responsibility for different channels also split across in-house and agency teams.
The report found that display is the most likely to be managed exclusively by an agency with social the least likely to be outsourced.
With so much attention now being given to 'owned' and 'earned' media, it's easy to forget that it is still paid media which command the biggest chunk of marketing budgets and where the stakes are highest.
However, despite the large sums of money being invested, new research by Econsultancy and Adobe shows that few companies are taking an integrated and cross-channel approach to paid-for digital media.
Travel aggregator sites dominate airline brands for both natural and paid Google rankings, according to a new report looking at search visibility.
The analysis by Searchmetrics also found that brands achieving high natural search rankings are taking the opportunity to limit their investment in PPC.
The study is based on analysis of how airline brands performed on Google for the 1,439 most popular search terms relating to flights. It examines results for the US, France and Germany, but for this post I’ll focus on the UK results.
And for more information on this topic, check out the Econsultancy Paid Search Marketing Best Practice Guide or our UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report.