Archive for the ‘Search Engine Marketing’ Category

PubCon New Orleans 2013

January 12, 2013 2 comments

PubCon New Orleans April 23 - 25th 2013l Earlier this week my coworkers probably thought I was going a bit kooky. In the middle of the day I let out a mild “Wohoo!”  and started jumping up and down, giddy with glee. Why you might ask? Because my speaker proposal for PubCon New Orleans was accepted. It’s one of the first larger conference series I’ve submitted my application for and I I got the notice saying “Congratulations you’re session was approved and you’ll be speaking on 1-2 panels.”

In years past I always wanted to go and speak at different conferences, but I’ve missed the speaker sessions proposal deadlines or didn’t have budget approval to go and speak. This year I made the decision to apply to a handful of conferences and if my employee won’t cover the cost I will. I love network and sharing what I know with others and this is one of the best ways to do so!

Are you looking for a Digital Marketing conference this spring to help you hone in your skills?

The consider attending PubCon. It covers Paid and Organic Search, Social Media, and Affiliate Marketing. Hopefully I’ll see you there. I’ll be speaking about the 2012 Holiday Season and what strategies Harry & David took to have a successful holiday season despite a drop in online shopping between Cyber Monday and Free Shipping Day. I’ll also be speaking about Google Product Listing Ads and the best practices for implementation to help you in the transition from Google Shopping to the Google PLAs.




Paid Search Campaign Structure: An Introduction

January 8, 2013 Leave a comment

Managing paid search campaigns is part art and part science. In this blog post I’m going to delve a little deeper into the art and science of SEM account Hierarchy and Account Structure. There is no absolute right way or wrong way to structure an account, but there are a few key things you can do to make your accounts more efficient and easier to manage.

So what do I mean by PPC or SEM campaign hierarchy? I mean how you structure your keywords within your Google Adwords or Bing Ads account.

The over simplistic way to explain campaign hierarchy is as follows:
Keywords are grouped together by like terms/phrases into Ad Groups. All keywords within an ad group share ads that have been created for that set of keywords. Ad Groups are grouped together into Campaigns. Campaigns are just a aggregation of Ad Groups, but within a campaign you can set your specific targeting settings.

The benefits of having a solid strategy for keyword categorization and campaign heirarchy are:

  1. More relevant ad copy & landing pages
  2. Increased Click Through Rates
  3. Increased Conversion Rates
  4. Ability to improve and maintain quality score
  5. Silo keywords based on User Intent and Purchase Funnel
  6. Increased Targeting via Negative keyword implementation
  7. Keyword research & Discovery via match-type segmentation
  8. Ability to set-up Campaign Targeting by Network, Device Type, Geography, Day Parting, etc

Sit down, and think through your paid search strategy. Determining what your end goals are will help you determine how to set-up your campaign hierarchy.
I have different goals and bid optimization strategies based on types of keywords and device types. I treat branded and trademark keywords differently than keywords at other stages across the purchase funnel.

Some of my best practices for campaign structure:

  1. Break apart Trademark & Company Branded Terms into separate campaigns.
  2. Break apart the remaining campaigns into Silo’s based on user intent
    • Product
    • Brand
    • Category
    • Examples of Campaign Classification for gourmet gift basket company Harry & David:
      • Branded & Trademark Terms
      • Sales and Promotions
      • Gift Baskets
      • Gift Towers and Boxes
      • Fruit Baskets
      • Fruit
      • Fruit of the Month Clubs
      • Bakery Gifts
      • Chocolates
      • Confectionery Gifts
      • Flowers & Plants
      • Home Decor & Kitchen Gifts
      • Special Occasions
      • Gourmet Foods
      • Examples of Campaign Classifications for a online Motorcycle retailer:
        • Helmuts
        • Riding Gear
        • Parts
        • Accessories
        • Tires
        • Motorcycles (Manufacturer / Make / Model / Year)
  3. Segment keywords into like ad groups based on theme.
    • Example from Harry & David Gift Baskets:
      • Gift Baskets – Organic
      • Gift Baskets – Kosher
      • Gift Baskets – Same Day Delivery
      • Gift Baskets – Under $50
      • Gift Baskets – Cheap
      • Gift Baskets – On Sale
      • Gift Baskets – Wine
      • Gift Baskets – Champagne
      • Gift Baskets – H&D Product Names
        • Roxy Anne Gift Basket
        • Applegate Gift Basket
        • Tablerock Gift Basket
        • etc
      • etc
  4. Don’t over segment… If you find yourself having a single keyword to an ad group on a regular basis, then you’re most likely going to deep. Each ad group can and should have ad copy written to it that is relevant to the keywords within the ad group. If you complete a super in-depth keyword segmentation will you have the resources to write relevant ad copy for each ad group, or will you just create a generic copy and use it for all ad groups and keywords.
  5. Segment keyword match-types and search distribution at the Campaign level:
    • Duplicate campaigns and assign keywords within a campaign a single match type.
      • This will allow you to have specific ad groups for query research.
      • As you start to see queries from your broad, broad modified or phrase match campaigns that are performing well then you add those keywords in either or both phrase and exact match. If you see queries that aren’t related to your products then add them as negatives to the appropriate campaigns.
    • Duplicate campaigns for content network — Most companies do not need every single long tail keyword in their content keyword mix.


SEM Blog Articles (Coming Soon!)

Online Marketing Basics

A brief overview of the elements of Search Marketing including: Search Engine Optimization, paid Search Engine Marketing,  Social Media Marketing & Affiliate Marketing.

Basics of Search Engine Marketing

  • The bare bones basics of SEM. This is intended for individuals who are either just getting started or are looking for a refresher course.
  • SEM Landscape
  • Allocating budget across Search Engines
  • Campaign Hierarchy
  • Keyword Selection & Research
  • Ad Copy Basics

Advanced Search Engine Marketing

  • The meat and potatoes of SEM– where SEM gets fun & interesting!
  • Keyword Taxonomy & Advanced Campaign Hierarchy
  • Keyword Match Types
  • Negative Keywords
  • Ad Copy Messaging Framework
  • Ad Copy Optimization (A/B & Multivariant Tests)
  • Dynamic Insertion Elements
  • Creating & Utilizing Unique Tracking Codes

Basics of Search Engine Optimization

The bare bones basics of SEO. SEO is an essential part of any and all Online Marketing strategies, learn the basic elements of SEO and tips you can implement right away to make an impact on your sites rankings.

  • SEO Strategy
  • Keyword Selection & Research for SEO
  • SEO Copywriting
  • SEO Coding & Meta Tags
  • Content is King. Long Live Content.

Data Driven Decision Marketing

Data, data everywhere but how in the world do you use it? An introduction to Web Analytics, Key Performance Indicators, and how to marry back end data to search engine performance data in order to make sound data driven marketing decisions.

Online Marketing Dictionary

Searchable dictionary of Acronyms & commonly used online marketing terms. Refinable by SEO terms, SEM terms, and acronyms.

Search Engine Marketing Acronyms

There are more than enough acronyms in SEM to make a person’s head spin. The combination of working at Microsoft, which I swear has a language all of it’s own that is solely based on acronyms, plus working in search engine marketing has me living in acronyms day in and day out. Whenever I have a new individual reporting into me I have to tell them to stop me and ask for clarification when I start using acronyms that they don’t understand because they’ve become so much a part of my everyday vocabulary that I forget everyone else doesn’t speak acronym as well.  This article is devoted to my love of SEM acronyms!

  • API= Application Programming Interface; A program that advertiser create to interface with the various search engine marketing platforms, such as Google’s Adwords or Live Search’s adCenter, bypassing the user interface.
  • B2B= Business to Business; A business that markets its business to another business
  • B2C= Business to Consumer; A business that markets its business to a consumer
  • SEM= Search engine marketing; also refered to as Paid Search
  • SEA= Search engine acquisition; Search Engine Advertising
    • Search Engine Advertising= The act of advertising on a search engine
    • Search Engine Acquisition= Similar to CPA/CPL
  • SEO= Search engine optimization, also refered to as Organic Search
  • SERP=Search engine results page
  • SRP= Search results page
  • SSP= Yahoos! Search Submit Pro; Yahoo’s paid inclusion product that uses a data feed. Yahoo charges a CPC, which is based on category, each time an ad is clicked.
  • PPC= Pay per click; An online advertising model where users pay per click from an ad to a specified landing page on their website.
  • Mainline= Paid Search Results appearing on the top of the search results page. Depending on the queried term the mainline contains between 1- 3 paid search results.
  • Right Rail= Paid Search Results appearing on the right hand side of the search results page. Typically represents positions 3-10.
  • CTR= Click Through Rate; The fraction of users who click on an ad to those who viewed an ad. Expressed as a percentage.
  • CPC= Cost per click;  Expressed in dollars.
  • CPM= Cost per Thousand; Cost per thousand impressions. CPM is standard monetization model for display ad space and some contextual networks. Expressed in dollars.
  • KPI= Key performance indicator(s); Key performance indicators are metrics linked to the objectives that define and identify success for the business. Paid search engine marketing KPIs are quantitative and should be time sensitive.
    • Examples of KPIs traditionally used in search marketing (based solely on your business goals):
      • Revenue
      • Sales/Transactions
      • Items purchased per Transaction
      • Leads Generated
      • Transfer to Merchant Site (affiliate networking)
      • Page Views
      • Unique Users
  • UU= Unique User; Unique Identifier of computers that hit a website (computers not people.) UUs are usually counted off of either unique IP addresses or cookies that hit a site.
  • PI= Paid Inclusion; Paying a fee to a search engine to be included in the index. Paid Inclusion does not affect the rankings of a web page; it just indicates that a page will be included in the index.
  • Pay per Call; A model similar to PPC, except that user pay per incoming call from a search ad instead of click traffic.
  • CPA= Cost per acquisition/action, also listed as COA=Cost of Acquisition/Action; The total cost of ad spend divided by the total number of conversions. Expressed in dollars.
  • CPL= Cost per lead; The cost associated with leads generated. Expressed in dollars.
  • PVpC=Page Views per Clicks (also represented PV/C); The number of page views generated per click. Expressed in numbers.
  • CpPV= Cost per page view; The cost associated with the number of page views visited either in a session. Traditionally this metric is used for Media based websites like newspapers, search portals
    • Using CpPV to evaluate PPC buys for a media based website:
      • Example: 250,000 PVs generated from 50,000 clicks at the cost of $0.50 per click. You generated $10 CPM. What is would the CpPV need to be to generate positive revenue.PV= Page view; Request to load a page of a web site.
  • Conversion Rate, The fraction of users who convert to those who clicked an ad to get to your site. Expressed as a percentage
  • AOV= Average Order Value; Average value of an order, expressed in dollars.
  • ROR= Rate of Return, also known as return on capital;  Return generated from total investment.
  • ROI= Return on investment; Return generated from total investment. ROI is expressed in percentage and can be any value greater than or equal to -100%. Any positive value represents a yield of positive growth and any negative value represents a yield of loss.
  • ROAS= Return on Ad Spend; Profitably measure for Marketing campaigns measuring the return generated from marketing ad spend. Dollars earned per dollar spent. ROAS is expressed in numbers and can be any value greater than or equal to 0. A value less than 1 represents that less marketing revenue is generated than the cost to advertise.
  • URL= Uniform resource locator; The address that defines the route to a file on an Internet server
  • Long Tail= Low traffic keywords that are often less competitive than higher volume broad terms.
    • Example: 8GB Apple iPod Nano vs. iPod
  • KWD= Keyword(s); a word or phrase that is related to a subject or document.
  • MoM= Month over Month
  • WoW= Week over Week
  • YoY= Year over Year
  • QoQ= Quarter over Quater

Welcome to the wonderful world of Search Engine Marketing!

So at some point in time you’ve either decided that the internet is a pretty big thing and you need to understand how you can use the internet to your advantage in marketing, you’re boss has told you that since you’re the marketing person it’s up to you to make the website function better, or you’re a nerd like me and you’re looking for some tips, hints, and tricks to make your SEM campaigns perform better. Either way, welcome to my website Search Marketing Corner, where I will post articles on the things I’ve learned while managing SEM campaigns as well as tips and advice for people who are just starting out.

               You might be asking yourself, who is this person and what makes her so qualified? Well, I’d like to say that I’m your average Joe-Schmo search marketing professional. I’ve worked at a variety of different companies ranging in Boutique Agencies specializing in Online Marketing, to in-house Marketing for Ma N’ Pa sites, to essentially working for a search engine (without actually technically working for that Search Engine), to being brought onboard to help start and develop the In-House SEM group for a major Fortune 100 corporation. I’ve run successful SEM campaigns for companies with monthly budgets ranging from $250/month to upwards $3M/month and understand the difficulties of marketing in both scenarios. One of the key things I’ve recognized in every role I’ve been in is that there is a lack in resource and knowledge sharing across SEM professionals. When going to hire individuals to work alongside me on the various marketing campaigns I’ve found that I spend a majority of my time developing their knowledge base so that they can market more efficiently and spend less time on the menial mind numbing tasks and more time analyzing and improving their campaigns efficiency. I love sharing knowledge and learning from others, and I’m hoping that you do to and that I have some nuggets of wisdom that can help you in your SEM efforts.

               All of the data within the data sheets will be actual data from my campaigns performance, but with the brand Identity of my clients hidden. I’ll walk you through some “Oh no!!! She didn’t…” marketing examples, some that will make you laugh (anyone want to purchase dead animals or a politican) and some that show a well thought through and executed campaign. Please feel free to reach out and ask questions, request a topic for me to cover via an article or a video, or provide your suggestions and input! It’s not all about me, it’s about all of us coming together on Search Marketing Corner to make ourselves better Search Engine Marketers.