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Google Amputates The Long Tail

Posted on by Mike Poserina in Google AdWords

Just got back from the DMA Conference in Las Vegas and have a few observations. First, the number of online companies exhibiting appeared to be somewhat less than in prior years. I especially remember the conference in San Francisco in 2006 – that show seemed to have a much larger participation from the online industry.

Second, the online companies seemed to be congregated towards the back of the exhibit hall.  Seems odd to me. Even though this is a direct marketing conference, there are several sessions devoted to online marketing. Industry studies are showing that in 2008, marketing departments are shifting their spend away from traditional print to online.

My expectation was that this DMA show would feature the online opportunities and bring the online exhibitors to the front of the floor. Apparently there’s still a stronger tangible divide between direct marketing and online marketing.

Apparently, if you test 5 different comparative searches and choose the best Results Page, Bing states that their results beat Google in a 2 to 1 blind comparison test.

Also, as new change made by Google recently, if you haven’t checked lately, you may want to look into the display status of your long-tail keywords in your AdWords accounts. Seems like Google has decided that they would prefer not to bother with your keyword phrases that have a “low search volume”.

What does “low search volume” mean? Google doesn’t specify on their site, but we’ve heard less than 1 or 2 impressions per month. We haven’t confirmed this though.
Here’s the message you’ll see for those keywords that won’t trigger your ad:

So in this example, our ad will show, but only for a more popular and expensive broad match keyword phrase “bronze candle holders”.

By amputating the long-tail keywords, in most cases marketers will be facing larger average cost per click charges for what used to be low cost bargains.

In my personal opinion the change is good even if it may increase the competition and make it harder to rank for a certain niche.

Please post your opinions in the Comments!

Since 1999 Search Engine Strategies has been the premier speaking venue for search marketing experts.  These conventions originally came from a need for greater transparency into the inner workings of the search engines from e-retailers, early internet marketers and web designers.

The people creating and refining search were speakers but also attended to bounce ideas off of one other.  The original moderators included Google CEO Larry Page, who’s last name lives on in the “Page Rank” system, as well as Danny Sullivan, editor of search engine watch, a staple at every SES event over the past nine plus years.

There has been dynamic change to the culture of the event.  This is in part due to the level of expertise of the audience, the expansion of the marketing field and the increasing importance of having a complete and visible online presence.

Engine Ready CEO Jamie Smith and Vice President Brian Lewis were invited to speak at the event about Pay Per Click studies and marketing strategies.  In 2005 prior to the first SES speaking engagement Engine Ready was asked to present at the Irvine Chamber of Commerce.  Since then they have spoke at about 12 events a year and host a webmaster radio series which totals close to 20 speaking events each year.

SES is the largest event of its kind and one of the broadest fields of internet marketing intelligence.  Originally it was a great way to share knowledge and incubate ideas to continue innovating in the field of search marketing software and service.  It turned out to be a great cultivator of business as well.

This is The Residential Energy-Efficient Property also equals 30% of qualifying improvement costs, with no dollar limit except for fuel cells. especially true in the case of the 2007 PPC summit in Boston where Engine Ready presented a PPC tactic called Operation Camouflage. This was a competitive marketing strategy to keep your top competitors in the dark as to your PPC initiatives with geotargeting tools.  In competitive industries where timing and rollouts are a big factor this tactic allowed clients to extend the youth of their product. By placing client PPC ads in all areas outside of their competitors visibility it lengthened the amount of time that it took for them to react to an effective marketing campaign lengthening the amount of time that the campaign would remain optimally profitable.  This was immediately beneficial to users and easy to implement.

Other Engine Ready strategies are available in our SEM resources.

In the upcoming month Engine Ready will be represented at SES in San Jose.  Brian Lewis will be speaking on his experience using anecdotal experience to spark interest and create relationships to the value of a product or service.  Jamie Smith will be presenting on meaningful SEO metrics a method to get a pulse on the effect of your SEO efforts.

They hope that the audience takes away useable knowledge to immediately implement into their PPC management strategy through hands-on interaction as well as a new bag of tricks including emerging industry tools and tactics and product positioning strategies.

The trend has been that the audience is not there to gain general SEM information but is focused on finding a specific solution or better exploiting a niche of SEM.  This year will keep the trend in drawing an audience that has a laser focus on solving a specific search marketing issue. San Diego based SEO & PPC Management Agency will have two speakers at the SES San Jose conference. Engine Ready is glad to be a part of SES San Jose 2009 as a leading provider of search marketing solutions and proud member of the SES community.

Beyond the basic tenets of landing page development, there isn’t any exact formula for increasing conversion rate.

Recently we tested a new version of a lead generation landing page. The only difference was an image substitution.

This image of a couple-

Landing page test image

Was substituted for this image of a family.

Image of a family was substituted for a landing page test

As this page wasn’t particularly geared towards family services, we weren’t expecting much of a deviation.

Can you guess the result?

The family resulted in a 30% increase in conversions!

If you’re not split testing your landing pages, you’re probably leaving money on the table. If you need help, why not give Engine Ready a call?

Woody Allen is known for coining the phrase, “80 percent of success is just showing up”. With a little insight into landing page conversions, he could have amended the phrase to say “100 percent of conversion success is based on getting your visitor to show up”.

Since marketers have full control over their PPC destination URLs, there really shouldn’t be any issue with getting those visitors to the desired landing page.

But it’s not that easy.

Depending on your type of business, the analytics you use and the way your tracking is configured, you may have only a couple landing page URLs, or you may have tens of thousands of destination landing page URLs. If you’re lucky enough to fit into the former category, then it’s relatively easy for you to confirm that you’ve not accidentally introduced any typos into your destination URLs in your PPC campaigns.

However, even with only 35 different landing pages, advertising in Google, Yahoo and Bing, still could give you over 100 (35 x 3) separate landing page destination URLs.

Are you absolutely certain that you’re not crash landing a PPC visitor on a non-existent page due to a typo in any one of your destination URLs?

And, are you absolutely certain that a landing page you drive PPC visitors to hasn’t been removed from your site?

And, are you absolutely certain that a landing page you drive PPC visitors to hasn’t been renamed?

Ongoing and frequent destination URL verification should be a routine checklist item, and now there’s a free and quick way to be sure you aren’t driving visitors to bad URLs.