Marchex. A new suit and lookin to party! 

marchex logo

Looks like Marchex is doing some big things these days. I noticed this story about them over at Search Engine Land last week. Can’t wait for their launch party on Tuesday. Free booze, free food and networking potential.  My girl, Kyla will not be making the trip down from Seattle for the party, but I’ll catch up with her during the next shindig at Moscone Center.

They have a new name, a new look, and a new traffic partner mix…so fresh and so clean! I like the new blue color of the UI instead of the old orange Enhance look. There are a few new features here as well, but it’s pretty much the same. And your old accounts are still there. Gone is Enhance and in is Marchex’s AdHere. They boast a premium line of content sites in their network. One things for sure, they are definitely planting themselves firmly in the second-tier of search engines/traffic sources. I work with Marchex’s Enhance…err…AdHere advertising platform a lot, and I’m usually pretty satisfied with the traffic that I get from them.

Their UI is easy enough and surprisingly self explanatory.  And while Google it is not, it’s still pretty easy to navigate, start campaigns, change bids, and all that other good stuff.   You know…the basic stuff that SHOULD be easy to do (insert derogatory comment about MSN adcenter or Yahoo Panama here) Plus, your ads are launched right away, and there’s no annoying review process (insert another derogatory comment about Panama). It does take a little time to get your terms popping on the network, so be patient at first.  My advice, is – was – and always will be, if you are spending significant dough then get yourself an account manager to help you optimize.  Track the referring sites that send traffic to your domain and then adjust accordingly based on your conversion metrics.

For the most part, their traffic usually does what I need it to do, which is pageviews per visit. There’s not much need in going granular here, although you can, and I have. But I usually get the results I need by running the same amount of keywords that I would run in a couple of different groups, and running them in the just one group. The key here is to write a good ad that will convert nicely regardless of the slight differences in your keyword bucket.  Your not running multiple ads in an adgroup with Marchex, so this is easier to justify.   Belive me, I’m a big, big fan of granular, but like I said, this isn’t Google.  Plus I just find that you get more traffic, faster, this way.   Also, it saves you time on PPC management; build out time is shorter, ads go up fairly quick, large keyword groups allow more high level mass cpc bid changes, etc.

I’m currently using Enhance/Marchex to drive traffic to a large publisher site where the only conversion is a pageview (PV), with mostly a CPM ad model.  We do a decent amount of CPC as well, with AdSense, and the traffic works good with that as well.  Naturally in the CPM rev model you want as many pageviews as you can get per visit (PVPV).

For the most part these guys will send traffic that turns at least a couple pages with a reasonable bounce rate for a second-tier traffic source, which tells me that these ads are getting at least some amount of  exposure with a fairly qualified audience. Their traffic partners are many and they list Yahoo as one of them.  Well Yahoo certainly has a lot of traffic (relatively, of course), but to be honest I get better results from Marchex than when I buy direct from Yahoo.  (insert derogatory comment about Yahoo’s ability to keep up in search)

Have you used Marchex yet? Check em’ out.  If you have, see you at the party!