Archive for the ‘Advertisers’ Category

comScore’s Top 25 Online Advertising Networks

May 20, 2009

comScore has released their list of the top 25 Online Advertising Networks based on their reach among U.S. Internet users in April 2009.

The top five online ad networks are AOL’s Platform-A , Yahoo! Network , Google Ad Network, ValueClick Networks and Specific Media.

The sixth largest network is the new Fox Ad Network.

Top 25 Online Advertising Networks

Top 25 Online Advertising Networks

Jack Flanagan comments in the comScore Top 25 Online Advertising Networks press release “…that new ad networks are emerging every day, each aimed at helping advertisers achieve their campaign objectives, whether it’s to deliver reach and frequency or to target a specific audience segment.”

With the exception of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Yahoo Ad Network’s joint venture with publishers. it appears the newspaper industry as a whole has missed possibly the only opportunity left remaining to extend its reach and audience targeting potential through ownership in or control of an online advertising network.

I guess that’s why Rupert Murdoch is Rupert Murdoch.

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The Future of Newspapers

May 4, 2009

From today’s Wall Street Journal, Warren Buffet owner of the Buffalo News and an investor in the Washington Post shared his outlook for the newspaper industry:

“For most newspapers in the United States, we would not buy them at any price They have the possibility of going to just unending losses.”

According to Buffet, as long as newspapers were essential to readers, they were essential to advertisers.

Indeed without a targeted audience, what media can hope to attract advertisers let alone monetize and profit from their content?

The newspaper industry has three strikes against it – a print cost structure, a shrinking audience and a contracting, transitory advertiser base.

Unfortunately, the future of newspapers no longer appears essential to either readers or advertisers.

Google Business Channel on YouTube

October 27, 2008

For videos, presentations and webinars about Google’s business products and advertising solutions visit the Google Business Channel on YouTube.

Google Business Channel

Google Business Channel

There are presently 55 videos posted on the Google Business Channel.

Each video was created to address common questions marketers and advertisers have about Google’s marketing and advertising products.

Ask.com Sponsored Listings Conversion Tracking Now Available

October 20, 2008

Ask.com and their search advertising product – Sponsored Listings – is now offering conversion tracking to their advertisers.

Ask Conversion Tracking

Ask Conversion Tracking

More about Ask.com conversion tracking offer:

“When you activate ASL conversion tracking and track at least one valid conversion by October 31st, you’ll receive a $25 credit! We’ll automatically credit your account after your conversion tracking has been verified.*”

Ask.com’s reasoning for deploying Conversion Tracking within their Sponsored Listings product:

* Increase your ROI: Measure and optimize your cost per acquisition (CPA) and improve your overall Return on Advertising Investment

* Gain deeper insight into your campaigns: Remove under performing traffic sources

* Get comprehensive reporting: View your Ask.com advertising by account, campaign, ad, keyword, conversion type, and date

Ask.com’s conversion tracking offer’s boiler plate:

“*Offer Terms and Conditions: in order to qualify for the $25 account credit, you must place the ASL conversion tracking tag on your web page and record at least 1 conversion by October 31st, 2008. ASL will verify your conversion and credit your account within 15 days of your conversion. Only one credit will be given for each individual account, web domain, and/or company.”

Its been a long time coming but all four major search engine advertising providers – Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask.com now provide conversion tracking within their search advertising platforms.

If not for all search advertisers now – soon – precise measurement of search advertising return on investment will be the rule not the exception.

Targeting iPhone Users with Google Adwords

October 9, 2008

Adweek reports Google has had discussions with ad agencies regarding advertisers targeting their ads to iPhone users specifically via Google Adwords.

While in Utah yesterday, my fly fishing guide Justin Harding and I noticed when using Google search from his iPhone Google Adwords advertising was sparse.

Initially, I thought it was because of the type of search we had ran.

However, after further investigative searches under highly competitive and advertised keywords, we weren’t ever able to see Adwords sponsored links on the right rail – only above the first search result.

Can a iPhone Google search display more than two Adwords advertisers ads as is now?

We weren’t able to generate any.

How is Google parsing iPhone search ads results for display? If they are, is Google distributing advertising to the iPhone with the same formula they use for displaying search results elsewhere?

Are iPhone screen real estate limitations the reason why we could only get two ads?

Even when we rotated the search results screen for horizontal viewing – under a Google search term that would typically have had up to ten sponsored links ( both above the search results and running down the right rail ) we were only able to generate two Adwords advertisers ads.

Will Google Adwords advertisers soon be able to select “iPhone” as a search distribution option along with “Google Search” and “Search Partners” within their campaigns Networks and bidding settings?

With 10 million iPhones in use and Apple’s iPhone supplying Google with its largest source of mobile search traffic, adding iPhone distribution to Google advertising campaigns will give Google Adwords advertisers another way to target and reach an increasingly mobile search audience.

Google Network Options

Google Network Options

Pay Per Click Friction

October 4, 2008

There are many tactics search engine advertisers can use by design to either induce searchers to click or not click on their ads until after the ad viewer has self qualified their interest in the advertisers’ message.

Placing an offer’s price in the ad is one tactic often discussed.

Placing a lower price than other visible or known offers can reduce pay per click ad friction with its audience and tends to increase an ads click through rate. However, placing low prices in a pay per click ad doesn’t necessarily translate into more qualified searchers or buyers nor will it translate into high transaction volume.

Another tactic not mentioned as often is placing high price points in the pay per click ad which increases click friction. High price points within pay per click ads purportedly dissuades dis-interested and the budget conscious from clicking through to view the advertiser’s offer.

Today, I came across the most extraordinary example of an advertiser’s use of premium pricing to qualify search traffic I ever recall ever seeing.

Pay Per Click Friction

Pay Per Click Friction

Theoretically, in this example placing their minimum annual fee requirements of $150,000 in the ad would create click friction and cause searchers unwilling to spend $150,000 a year to pass the ad over – thus sparing the advertiser unwanted clicks and costs from disinterested searchers.

However, by placing such a high barrier into their ad this particular advertiser will more than likely experience extremely low click through rates which in turn will create the ultimate form of pay per click advertising friction for instead – the advertiser… lower click through rates, lower ad quality score and ultimately an ad that requires higher bids just to be shown at all.

Will the above example prove to be a successful marketing strategy for the advertiser or will their ad’s premium pricing cause fewer clicks and lower click through rates – ultimately bringing their pay per click advertising campaign to a screeching halt?

Search Advertising Geo Targeting Options

October 3, 2008

If targeting local and mobile search advertising is the future growth drivers for search advertising providers, then Google and its Adwords geo-targeting features are in the driver’s seat when compared to its three closest search advertising rivals Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask.com.

Below I outline each providers’ offerings not according to their search advertising market share but instead according to their level of geotargeted advertising product development.

Google’s advertising product and its geo-targeting capabilities have one distinct yet obvious feature the other’s lack:

An actual map for geo-targeting the location of your ads and where they will be shown!

Google Search Advertising Country Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Country Geotargeting

With Google Adwords, advertisers can target their ads one country at a time through Google’s Country Geotargeting tab, or choose to bundle their ads for display in multiple countries at once with Adwords Bundle Geotargeting feature.

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Bundle Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Metro Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Metro Geotargeting

Google Adwords advertisers who advertise in specific markets nationally or regionally can target their ads by metropolitan area or by city.

Although not referenced, Google’s metropolitan area targeting looks slightly similar to the Designated Market Area system developed by Nielsen Media Research which incorporates Nielsen’s broadcast media markets and distribution scheme.

For its City geotargeting option, Google surrounds the target city with a square.

Google Search Advertising Custom Geotargeting

Google Search Advertising Custom Geotargeting

Google custom geotargeting by far provides the highest level of geotargeting available from any search advertising provider.

Custom geotargeting lets advertisers create their own custom advertising distribution area within any market.

Google search advertisers can simply point and click three or more points on their advertising map and Google does the rest for them – creating a custom advertising distribution area through latitude and longitude coordinates.

How do the other search advertising providers’ geo-targeting features stack up compared with Google’s?

Yahoo and Ask both offer advertising geo-targeting options but both to a lesser degree.

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting

Yahoo offers geotargeting to it advertisers by account market area and specific regions. Account market area is established by the advertising account holder when the open their account. Both account market area and specific region areas are organized by country, state, province or territory.

The Yahoo specific region feature geotargets its advertising through the Designated Market Areas system licensed from Nielsen Media Research.

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Mapview

Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Mapview

Where is the Yahoo Search Advertising Geotargeting Map?

Yahoo offers a Map View tab of specific regions geotargeted by its advertisers yet I haven’t ever been able to view an actual Yahoo map showing where my advertising has been geo-targeted and placed.

I can’t imagine why Yahoo search marketing would place a “Map View” tab in their Campaign settings geo-targeting page yet not actually provide a map view.

Ask Search Advertising Geotargeting

Ask Search Advertising Geotargeting

Ask provides its advertisers with Location targeting which is also based on Nielsen’s Designated Market Area system.

Ask doesn’t provide a map showing advertisers locations of their geo-targeted advertising.

However, and to its credit – Ask does provide a geotargeting feature direct marketers like myself would like to see from other search advertising providers like Google Adwords – Postal Code targeting.

Postal Code Targeting or Zip Code targeting here in the US would allow direct marketers and brands alike another level of advertising targeting, delivery and thus control.
At this point you may be wondering why I chose to cover Microsoft’s adCenter search advertising geotargeting product last even though it has a larger share of the search market than Ask.

Why have I listed Microsoft’s advertising geotargeting product development last?

Because Microsoft’s search advertising product does not offer its advertisers geotargeting options let alone any other kind of geographic ad targeting.

Microsoft Search Advertising Geotargeting

Microsoft Search Advertising Geotargeting

Will Microsoft ever offer advertising geo-targeting features to its advertisers?

If not, why?

Google Adwords Reports and Quality Score Management

September 25, 2008

With Google having added numeric quality scores ranging from 1 to 10 within all Adwords advertisers accounts, an entirely new level of performance data has become available to paid search managers.

Will Google Adwords Quality Score Management soon follow?

Presently, Adwords provides advertisers with ten different types of account performance reports.

The ten types of Google Adwords reports along with their attributes are:

1. Keyword Performance: Performance data for all keywords or those in selected campaigns.

2. Ad Performance: Performance data for each of your ads

3. URL Performance: Performance data for each of your Destination URLs.

4. Ad Group Performance: Ad group performance data for one or more of your campaigns.

5. Campaign Performance: Performance data for your campaigns.

6. Account Performance: Performance data for your entire account.

7. Demographic Performance: Performance data for sites by demographic.

8. Geographic Performance: Performance data by geographic origin.

9. Search Query Performance: Performance data for search queries which triggered your ad and received clicks.

10. Placement Performance: Performance data for placements where your ad was placed.

Adwords Quality Score Report Type

Adwords Quality Score Report Type

These ten types of Google Adwords reports provide valuable and actionable Adwords account performance data paid search managers require for making informed adverting purchasing decisions.

Reports are available in daily, weekly and monthly intervals.

With the Adwords reports advanced settings option, advertisers can receive an even greater degree of account performance details.

Additional attributes available from the advanced settings reports include performance statistics, conversion types and detailed conversion data.

Adwords Quality Score Advanced Settings

Adwords Quality Score Advanced Settings

With the advent of their Adwords numeric quality score, Google has now denominated the level of advertising performance it requires from advertisers.

Additionally, Google has given their advertisers a new tool for further identifying, managing and improving ad and keyword performance.

In exchange for their new advertising quality measurement tool, Google will ultimately get improved advertising quality.

As far as I know, the numeric quality score is the first metric Google has made public to either its publisher or advertiser community that can be measured against and thus managed to.

The numeric quality score is yet another milestone on Google’s road to further transparency with its advertisers.

At some point, will Google provide Adwords Quality Score reporting options to its advertisers too?

By providing advertisers with Quality Score reporting, advertisers will then have an another set of important data for further managing and improving the performance of their ads and keywords.

By making Quality Scores available in Adwords reports, Google would initialize the Adwords Quality Score Management process.

Ad Scheduling Example

September 23, 2008

Google Adwords lets advertisers adjust their ad display times at the campaign level through its “Edit Campaign Settings” ad scheduling and serving section.

Ad Scheduling Serving

Ad Scheduling Serving

This feature can be beneficial for business-to-business advertisers who primarily generate leads and sales Monday through Friday.

Businesses who have identified unique time periods where search traffic and conversions peak and trough can also benefit.

Most businesses I have been involved with experience search traffic and conversion troughs on weekends.

However, I have some clients who generate more search traffic and book more sales on Saturday and Sunday than they do during any other day of the week.

The first step to determine whether your business can benefit from ad scheduling and the initial savings it can bring is to begin capturing and measuring your online traffic and conversions to identify any traffic and sales patterns.

It’s the odd – albeit – the great business – who produces business every hour of every day.

Does your advertising produce the most results during business hours or after business hours? Or, does your advertising produce leads and sales in some combination thereof?

If any patterns develop within your data, you can use the Google Adwords ad scheduling tool to optimize the performance of your advertising to reach prospects at the times they will most likely be in the market for your products or services.

Ad Scheduling

Ad Scheduling

Ad Scheduling

With Google Adwords, you can edit days and times to see how the schedule updates. When you’re happy with the schedule, click ‘Save Changes’ to activate Ad Scheduling. To adjust your pricing during any time period, use the advanced ad scheduling mode.

The Advanced Ad Scheduling feature can be used to increase bids during times when competition for your product and its demand are the greatest.

Advanced Ad Scheduling

Advanced Ad Scheduling

Click edit to set custom prices for ads on a given day and time. Example: If your default bid is $1.00 CPC, and your custom “% of bid” entry for Tuesdays is 120%, your CPC bid for Tuesdays only would be $1.20.

Both Google Adwords ad scheduling tools give advertisers more control over how advertising dollars are apportioned which is just one requisite for advertisers who want to begin managing their return on advertising investment.