CAT | Yahoo Search Marketing

There has been some chatter about upgrades to Google Analytics planned for 2013.  There are a few opportunities that may present themselves and a few issues that could arise from the possible changes.

People ask us all the time, How can I track the value of a lead generated online when they are buying in the store.  This was something that we solved using Yahoo web analytics.  When the lead was generated it received a customer id number, the information of that customer is stored with their permission and if a sale occurred the revenue was attributed to the marketing channel or channels in a multi channel attribution model.  The ability to upload revenue tracked from a CRM like salesforce allowed our clients to make informed budgetary and strategic decisions. This is the case with many brick an mortar stores, businesses that require quotes, or any business that you cannot assign a given value to each lead.

Googles new regarding Universal analytics can be seen here.  The basic news reveals google’s plan to allow the ability to track across multiple devices as long as the user is signed in from that device, the ability to sync online and offline data, and an increased ability to track Mobile Application analytics.  It will allow users to create custom dimensions as well, such as store visits and so on.

The opportunities to pair mobile app metrics, location information, crm data and attribute revenue to each impression or visit will open up another niche of mobile and brick and mortar marketing and could mean big changes in analytics for showroomer’s and lead generation marketing alike.  The insight into quality of lead generated will allow users to make excellent decisions on budgets, impression frequency, channels used and collect ROI data that is unavailable without being hindered by technology costs.

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Microsoft”s Ad Center, the management system for paid search across the Bing and Yahoo search network, has undergone major changes over the past few years.  Now another round of revisions make it easier to import, control and analyze your and your clients” accounts.  This all comes on the heels of Ad Centers” best month to date scoring 15.9% of all internet searches according to comScore.

Though many of the changes have occurred and been implemented over the past 6 months, they are now being brought to the forefront with the new”s of the re-branding.

Bing Ads is doing their best to make their offering both competitive and transparent while also looking to increase the ease of account creation or transition from Adwords.  Here are the factors that David Pann has mentioned with our own analysis on how this affects the user.

Account import directly from google Adwords:  This tool is currently in Beta and will allow advertisers to upload their entire adwords account into Bing Ads.  This is a great way to break down any barriers to the transition that may exist regarding campaign build out costs.  It is coupled with another tool that is called “Editorial Exceptions”.  This allows users to easily detect and resolve any editorial disapproval”s that Bing Ads may return. This is important since there are separate rules for trademarks, and bidding on competitor”s brand names for adwords and Bing ads.

Quality Score Analytics: A huge complaint with adwords is the veil of secrecy that surrounds the quality score of a keyword, campaign and account.  With a historical look into your Bing Ads quality score analytics, you can view the dates when the quality score changed, associate that with the changes made in the account or the landing page and determine the cause of improvement.  This will also help to pinpoint the issues that may be hindering a keyword from improving on its” quality score.

Negative Keyword list conflicts: This tool allows the advertisers to determine if any of their keywords are not showing due to negative keywords overlapping into targeted keywords.  This will help you to narrow your impressions to the most relevant search queries without mistakenly blocking intended impressions from occurring.

Share of voice: This is the same idea of impression share.  The metric will give you data regarding the percentage of impressions that your ad shows for in comparison to the total number of possible impressions for that keyword.  As your quality score and bid raises so will your share of voice.  This will allow you to consider any missed opportunities and the potential size of any particular niche.

Ad preview tool: This is a simple concept.  See what your ads will look like without out searching for them and incurring an impression.

Bing ads editor:  This is an external tool that will allow advertisers to edit campaigns while offline and upload bulk changes all at once.  This is a useful desktop tool that allows work to be done even in the rare event that the account manager is away from an internet connection.  It is also a more efficient way to make large account changes than through the online interface.

Bing Ads intelligence tool: This is a robust keyword research tool that offers great insight into the competitiveness, search volume, cpc, ctr and other marketing data for your niche.  It is a Microsoft excel plugin and gives much more insight than what is available in other free tools.  There is a quick Bing Ads intelligence tool video available on their website as well

David Pann also outlined a few reason”s to build out your campaigns into Bing Ads that we will elaborate on.

Increase your audience: Advertisers are missing 20% of the market if they are only in Google adwords. Expanding your impressions by 20% is no small amount and  the ability to increase sales by 1/5 of your current sales is significant.  If you don”t believe us, ask your client how they would like that!

Lower CPC:  Some sources say that the cost per click in Bing Ads can be as much as 20%-40 Lower CPC allows for higher ROI.  The actual amount is going to change depending on the industry and level of competition for the keyword, however there is a consensus that there is lower overall competition resulting in a lower cost per click.

Demographic differences of Bing and Yahoo Users: Without diving to deeply into the reason”s why, evidence suggests that the Yahoo and Bing network has an higher median user age and is somewhat skewed with more female searchers than the Google audience.  This allows advertisers who”s products line up with those demographics to gain impressions in a market that is made up of a higher percentage of their audience.

Increased rate of spending by users:  Bing Ads boasts a 5% higher rate of spending than google searchers.  When this is paired with a lower CPC and an increased audience, you can see that this alternative can be added to cast a broader net and also to improve the overall ROI on your campaign.

Reasons agencies have avoided Bing Ads:

1. Limited budget: Many clients will have their budgets set and limit their own reach due to a predetermined cost of marketing. When they are starting off in Adwords, the limited budget doesn”t leave any room to test out smaller search audiences.  It is normally advised to select the most profitable keywords by testing them in the system that gains data the fastest.  At that point we can make the recommendation to move forward and expand the budget into Bing Ads.  Unfortunately without a higher budget or a proven and successful Adwords account, agencies rarely make the recommendation.  It may be worth it to consider starting out in Bing Ads for some clients to give them a better chance at success regardless of the length of time it can take to optimize the account.  This is highly dependent on their industry and the keywords that they are targeting.

2. Increased cost of management:  In the case of a smaller budget for bing, increasing the time to manage a second account does not always correlate with the added management fee.  However, the increased opportunity to lower CPC should allow an agency to increase the management fee on a flat rate for the second account while still driving increased value.

3. Increased time of reporting: Another cost associated with managing a second account is pulling data from a separate system to combine in a excel spreadsheet for client reporting.  This can be avoided by utilizing a service like Acquisio or a like Strategy Analyzer. There are costs associated with both of these solutions, however it does allow for increased efficiency, budget and higher client sales volume.

4. Trust: There have been so many changes in Bing and Yahoo”s paid search solution that they sometimes get hard to keep up with.  We are hoping that this rebranding marks a new era.  Will the major changes be settled and will the system will be stable enough for agencies to be able to recommend it?  If so then many advertisers will take advantage and improve overall campaign performance with by adding it to their marketing mix.

5. Cost of Migration: This issue has been mitigated with the Google adwords import tool.  We see this as the first step to lower transition costs and getting new users onto the platform.

TL;DR:  Microsoft ad center re-branding itself to Bing Ads is not a major change by itself, however it does mark a new era that calls attention to the changes that have been made over the past year.  The ability to transition accounts from Adwords has lowered to cost to get started and the robust new tools offer some advantages to Adwords as well.  While solutions are available to make management and reporting on multiple accounts more efficient more work will be involved and the increased market share will need to continue to grow for smaller clients to find value in the platform.  However with the changes trending towards a more stable PPC solution, the lower click costs, their best month to date for search volume, Bing Ads has a bright future with advertisers that are looking to expand their reach, increase their budgets and lower their CPA.


by: Kevin Fleming

The main questions we hear with any social media campaign reporting are,”What is the value?” and “Was it profitable?”.  Since attribution analytics are still evolving and the number of visits prior to a conversion is increasing, providing a concrete value for any social media campaign becomes more important.

The PPC advantage to Social Media Marketing:

In the CPC model we can see exactly what the cost of a visit is and the end value of the cumulative visits are.  We can definitively say that there is a minimum ROI of x percent and this is (or in some cases is not) profitable.  There are a few visitors who’s conversions may not be tracked accurately due to a few factors:

1. Call in sales (if call tracking isn’t utilized)

2. Purchase from a separate IP address

3.  Return customers that experienced a sales cycle which is longer than the duration of the PPC cookie.

4. Wrongful attribution.  Attributing a conversion that started with a sponsored click, to a different “last click” referrer.

Aside from these, there are not many questions in regards to where a PPC conversion came from.  Call Tracking is a solution for this first issue and some analytics software such as Yahoo web analytics (was Index tools) can show the behavior of past visits leading up to the final click and can answer many questions about keyword and referrer attribution.

However, in the case of social media a different set of questions go unanswered.  The main issues that exist in tracking social media efforts are:

1. What is the value of a visit driven by any social media source? This does not mean visitors or mentions.  It means actual value.

2. How do my visitor’s interact with my site, movie’s, apps or events?  Does this interaction correlate to conversions and sales?

3. Is my social media marketing driving direct sales or is it even assisting future sales?

4. What social media channel’s drive’s sales?

5. Are the behaviors of visitors from different channels unique?

6. What content works and what content fails?  How do we determine success and failure?

7. How are visitors reacting to this content away from the site?

Google Analytics is taking a shot to assist marketers in answering these questions by rolling out a Social Reporting platform.  With this platform you will be able to compare social behavior and it’s correlation to conversions to make inferences on the effect on the bottom line.  You will also be able to use a referrer string to find whether there are direct sales and assisted sales coming from your social media efforts.  The key to this reporting is the social report referral code from a particular social media channel, event tracking and the value of the conversion which is associated with the given goal.

While this report will not be available to everyone for another few weeks in Google’s estimation, you can get a head start by making sure all of your event tracking codes, social interaction analytics codes, goals and goal values are set up. It’s also important to recognize that this will not provide a complete detailed view of profit generated but should bring Social Media one step closer to having detailed profit and analytic reporting.  It’s no wonder that this was rolled out after Google+ has had a chance to grow a bit and we expect it to increase the ability for marketers to place a value on Social efforts.

Have you been placing a value on your social media efforts and results?  If so how did you determine success and failure of a given campaign?

Please let us know with your comments and give us a like, +1, RT or follow to help us test the new reports!

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Does it ever seem like the tricks to increasing conversions never work? Tune in this week to Best Search Strategies as we discuss the secrets to increase your conversion leads.

Join in to learn the EXACT formula for calculating how much data size you need to be confident with the correct landing page. Vertster CEO Scott Miller will be our guest host this week as he discusses:

  • How to determine statistically significant data sample
  • What to test?
  • How long to run A/B tests?
  • How to track Lead Generation with Phone Calls?
  • The top 5 Mistakes and how to avoid them

Be sure to bring your calculator and tune into Webmaster at 2:00PM (PST)

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