So, one thing I’ve been grappling with here is how to keep on top of all the PPC campaigns we run. Even though we only really use Google and we don’t have a vast inventory, I’m still left looking at a whole bunch of stats trying to figure out what’s working and what isn’t.
Drifting slightly off their web analytics remit, the Clicktracks newsletter this month features some interesting advice for how to stay on top of PPC campaigns.Core to the recommended strategy is to spot which campaigns are performing well – and those that aren’t. Then tweak the ones that aren’t performing and reanalyze again. if they still don’t improve then they should probably be dropped.
I would go a step further and climb into what exactly it means to ‘tweak’ a campaign. I’d break it down into the following stages:
- Make sure that the keywords are in order
- Check the text ads – see what words are working well (ie. driving high clickthrough rate)
- Check the landing pages – are there more relevant ones available or can new ones be added. Also make sure that you are actively promoting your most valuable resources
- Reanalyze and see what affect your changes have had
When it comes to metrics, we’re B-to-B and so don’t sell on the site, so revenue is not applicable. What we consider as key metrics are average time on site, single-page visits and conversions for any marketing materials and demos we have.
Here’s the start of an interesting conversation by Ted Shelton into business blogging:
The core thread: Blogging is a peer-based communication. However companies do not have this peer relationship with their audience so they have to build authenticity. How? Through access and accountability. So? That means that those within the organization with power to change things need to be speaking. And they need to speak to everyone – even the main detractors.
Press releases can really help generate online buzz around your products and services. Aside from getting picked up by journalists, these days you can also have your press releases appear on many news aggregation services around the web, the links helping those all-important Google rankings.
If you happen to be new to writing press releases, this article published a while back does a good job of covering all the basics:
The rise in blogging over the past few years has done wonders to further the cause of online PR. While the concept of submitting a press release for inclusion in the online news services hasn’t drastically changed over the last few years, there has been a growth in the number of sites offering this service and a change to some of the older players.
Here we list some of the top sites that are ideal for small businesses trying to make big waves online:
One of the most established sites for free press release distribution, PRWeb started charging for all submissions as of October 2006. For two reasons this site is still an attractive proposition: the length of time this site has been around means that it is well established (read: well regarded by Google), and the different payment structures allow you to choose your level of visibility.
This service, like PRWeb, has been around for some time. Probably one of the most professional-looking news sites, PR Newswire offers a suite of services including news monitoring and social media tools.
Now we’re getting into the domain of the free services. PR Leap has a blog-like format that means you can be king for a day – well, make that an hour or so. On any given day there are generally over 100 releases posted. All I can say is get in there early.
The I-Newswire service is aimed squarely at the crowd that want to drive up Google rankings with a strong tilt towards showing how press release distribution can aid SEO efforts. The releases are ranked using a similar star rating system to PR Web meaning the more you pay, the better your distribution.
So, these are some of the big players at the moment, but what’s going to happen in the future? The grading and display of news stories has to improve. There has to be more visibilty for the more tantalizing releases. How to figure out which those are? The algorithmic approach would be to develop something along the lines of the service offered by Digg. Develop a popular, efficient ratings system to help keep the quality up.
A great post from those guys at Search Engine Guide on how to find the authority sites in your area. Use tools offered by Technorati, The Google Directory and Wikipedia to find the places where links will provide the most benefit.
News out on Friday that Google has acquired Doubleclick for $3.2 billion. Probably pocket change for the big G but enough to make the other contenders round the table drop their cards. Why does Google value Doubleclick so highly?
This probably has as much to do with the value Google adds to the Doubleclick service, as opposed to the more usual counter theory. Let me give an example. We advertise on Google because we want visibility in search. We hardly use the content network because relevance in the B-to-B space is poor. We know that display ads and audio ads are available but haven’t really scratched the surface with these. There are other parts of our field marketing organization that run banners from time to time, primarily on Java forums and lately we’ve been trying to educate them on how we can measure the efficiency of these.
Google hooking up with Doubleclick essentially merges my work with that of field marketing. There are many advantages to this. A couple that come to mind immediately are more detailed stats (a la Google Adword reports) on their banner ad campaigns (possibly tracking right through to conversion using Google Analytics) and a single advertising console to learn. Think the Microsoft Office Suite for the advertising world.
Eric Schmidt talked to John Battelle about this recently at the Web 2.0 Expo.Â
Other topics included the new presentation service to be added to Google Docs, mobile services, net neutrality and the issue of copyright in a collaborative content environment.
As news feeds become a more accepted way of accessing information on the net, services such as Google News have moved to the fore.
Google News in particular has become a popular trusted source of up-to-date information.
Where does Google get its information from?
Key sources are major online news sites (which include the online sites of major print newspapers) – with one caveat: the site needs to have its content readily accessible and not hidden behind a subscription wall. Interestingly, partly because of the success of the advertising model used for content by the likes of Google (ie. all content given for free to increase market share and distribution, costs recouped through on-page advertising) many online news sources are public.Â
Can I get my news source into Google?
If you monitor Google News closely, you’ll notice that information can actually come from a multitude of sources. In one instance, I’ve seen the newsy blog of an SEM company listed in Google News. How is it done?Â
The article ‘Getting into Google News Revisted‘ on the SEO Roundtable sums it up pretty well. Check it out if you see yourself as the next Murdoch (Rupert – not the guy from the A-Team).