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  • NorCalSEM 8:16 am on July 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adcenter, , bid managment, , display, , , interface, microsoft adcenter, , , , search, , yahoo bing alliance   

    i bing. you bing? 

    Let’s face it, in search, Google is King.  And they have been for a while.  But finally, after Yahoo and Bing struck a deal to work together last year, a Queen has been crowned in search engine land.  Microsoft AdCenter is now a viable play for every serious search marketer and a great way to increase a brand’s share of voice across the web.  But it wasn’t always so.  For years search marketers paid less attention to advertising on (now)Bing and Yahoo than they did on Google’s AdWords.  Usually, marketers who could meet their traffic needs with Google alone would skip Yahoo and Bing.  Clunky UI’s, inept editing tools and small market shares just made the time spent outside of Google AdWords not worth the effort for some. If this is you, it might be time to give things a closer look.  You might just find that Bing is better than ever.

    i bing. you bing?

    Here are some of the reasons why:

    • Larger Market Share

    AdCenter now reaches nearly 30% of all web searchers.  With numbers like that it’s important for marketers to have a strong presence for their brands on Bing and Yahoo.  And remember marketers, not everybody is using Chrome and Firefox like you are.  Yahoo and Bing especially, benefit from being default search engines in web browsers, tool bars, and mobile devices all bundled on the latest laptops through Office and Windows.

    • Greater Control

    The alliance between Bing and Yahoo gives marketers a chance to manage both networks now through one UI, Microsoft AdCenter.  This helps marketers by reducing resources previously used across three separate networks.  With AdCenter, the functionality has been updated to make working in the UI easier than ever before.  Microsoft does offer an offline editing tool, AdCenter Desktop, but larger campaign managers may find this tool’s power, or lack thereof, a bit frustrating.  I’d love to see this upgraded to the quality of Google’s AdWords Editor.  I think this is the Achilles heel at the moment for this network.

    • Quality

    Like Google, AdCenter has implemented a quality score rating.  Where Google uses a scale of 1-10, AdCenter uses a 1-3 rating system.  The basic premise is the same, provide the user with a quality experience, including ad copy and landing page relevancy, load times, and various other factors.  It’s now more important than ever to start campaigns off right and watch them closely while new keywords and ads establish themselves in the network.

    • Mobile

    Device usage is huge and, according to most blogs out there, web searches on mobile devices should be eclipsing web searches on computers any day now.  It’s important to maximize the growing market share AdCenter offers on mobile devices. Bing offers the ability to target smartphones, as well as feature phones.  Tablets and other devices are part of the regular search option for now.  Smart marketers should segment their campaigns for even greater control and flexibility.  Here’s an example from an online retailer advertising on AdCenter’s mobile networks:

     

    • Display

    While both networks have aligned on search, which runs through AdCenter, Yahoo and Bing still compete for business in display.  Yahoo display is more robust than Bing, but both offer you a chance to target the entire network or select specific categories or domains.  Good marketers understand the value display can add to the overall marketing mix.  Display ads help increase brand awareness and drive users to search for your brand.  If users don’t click on your display you don’t pay.  If you look at it as really cheap impressions, it’s essentially free marketing.  Why wouldn’t you do it?

    • Good Service

    I think for the most part, the service is pretty good at YaBing, especially the Yahoo rep I’ve worked with for the last several years.  Because of the clunky UI and unpopular editing tools, I rely on the network reps to handle large tasks for me.  Save your own resources for things that are more important to your brand, like your overall strategy and subsequent micro-strategies.  Push those large uploads and bulk edit tasks to your reps, that’s what they’re there for.

    If you’re not extending and maximizing your brand’s digital footprint, then what are you doing?  If you’re not using AdCenter, now is a great time to start doing so.  Take advantage of the increased market share and traffic quality that AdCenter offers now, segment your campaigns by devices for greater clarity and control, and branch out beyond just search into mobile and display.  Your reps will be happy for the business and your brand will thank you for the exposure.

     

     
  • NorCalSEM 5:13 pm on June 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adcenter, Marchex, marchex adhere, marchex enhance, pageviews, panama, qualified traffic, search engine land   

    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!

     
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