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Old 08-03-2004   #1
rustybrick
 
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Creating Compelling Ads & Landing Pages - Live from SES San Jose

Andrew Goodman moderated this session. He introduced Jessie Stricchiola from AlchemistMedia. The room is pretty pretty much filled up, I think I attended this session in NY and it was not as filled (maybe it was the clinic). CPC Ads are Not All Alike she said. If one thing is for sure, everyone is talking about how search ads are very different then contextual ads. You can not control/select/analyze contextual ad distribution, cost, etc. You can do certain things to optimize your campaigns by testing ad copy with contextual only (like Andrew discusses in yesterday's morning session). Moving forward we should tell the CPC companies to provide more separation between search and contextual, ability to view this data, and we need more data on the users and patterns.

Jessie tells us about the "bracket trick", which she told the audience in NY. (1) {KeyWord:Long Beach} = All words with initial caps (2) {Keyword:Long beach} = First word capitalized (3) {keyword:long beach} = All words in lower case. This allows you to dynamically put the keyword the searcher used in the engine in the title of your ad with these brackets "{keyword}'.

To keep your CTR high, turn off ads at times where the CTRs are low. Day parts tracking help with this. She says "test, test test..." your elements (call to actions, text, graphics, forms, links, navigation), characteristics (positioning, color scheme, form usability, and word content). Test and fine tune. She mentioned this tool named optimost.com which is a 3rd part dynamic landing page optimization service (sounds very interesting).

Misty Locke from Range Online Media is up now. How does the ad meet the conversion? She talks about her 6 key reminders. (1) Who are you targeting? Know your audience. (2) Conversions can vary depending on keyword and landing pages AND on CPC engine. (3) Landing pages should directly correlate to keyword and placement. (4) Remember the convenience of the online shopper. (5) Take a deep breath - use the 2 to 3 click rule, don't make the user to click too much. (6) Think conversion not traffic when selecting search terms for interior or product pages.

Determine most relevant search terms, consider the product inventory (how much you have in stock), which products have the highest profit margin? Then identify your biggest competitors, what are they ranking for? are they buying on those words? Where are those landing pages? And what sets you apart from them. She then goes over some basics which you all know, since your reading this.

Pier 1 Case Study:
High CTR but low conversion rates, which was not great. They wanted to increase conversions, and ROI. They improved user experience (landing pages), detailed more keywords and targeted only the pier 1 shopper. She wrote creative that was targeting the Pier 1 customer only. The CTR was about 20%, which was excellent. They then added more 'feeling' to the ad, the CTR increased about 10% (to 30%), but where they buying? Problem was that the customer didn't know how to navigate from the home page to the product. So they took them directly to the product or category pages. Site conversions increased 4 - 6 %. Keyword conversions increased from .37% to 1.79%

Lee Mills from BeyondClicks is up next. He said include keyword in ad creative always. You also want to include the keyword in the ad landing page and a strong call to action (offer free stuff if you have to). One of his clients is anonymizer. The landing page must have multiple call to actions, multiple ways to buy (top and bottom of the page). He said its also good to put price in your ads (if you are a low cost provider). They are more likely to buy if they know the cost. He stresses, like the other speakers, test continuously!

They did some A/B testing on landing pages. B2B example: Page A had a 3% conversion rate. So they made Page B which was simplified, and its conversion rate was 18%. That is huge! B2C example: Page A had a 3.2% conversion, they made a longer page with multiple offers on Page B and the conversion rate was 9.6%. He said if you have scrolling pages, then put an additional offer (call to action) at the bottom of the page. Do not use pages that do not allow for navigation to your other pages, I see this often with landing pages - he says it doesn't work (causes lack of credibility).

Q & A:

Q: With the "bracket trick", now people are using 3 to 4 keyword searches, how much longer will this trick work?
A: Jessie said it works well in some cases and not in all cases. Ideally, any CPC source that allows this, you can bet they will expand it. With Google, they only allow 6 keywords - so its a product fault. But sometimes you should break them down into static ads.

Q: How do you work with companies to change their navigation?
A: Start slowly and show how it works.

The same guy made a comment about how nice it was to see a female panelists. The panelists liked that, thought it was funny.

Q: My clients are dumb, they want to my "town real estate" keywords but he said they don't convert.
A: Test different styles of ads; personal ads versus corporate like ads. "Meet Mrs. Real Estate Agent" versus "Meet Company Real Estate". The individual, personal ads seem to do better, because its like a word of mouth referral. Do what you can to capture that lead, maybe a white paper, maybe something else. Then after you get the lead, have your sales people jump on them.
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