SEM Blog

Paid Search Marketing / 09.09.2011

Paid search conditions have improved in recent years, but do your old habits still linger? A summer of home renovations gave me a whole new routine to enjoy. Up at the crack of dawn to slap on a baseball cap and pretend to be busy with something, lest the men doing the "real" work think ill of me and my kind. And then there were the weeks without a laundry tub in the basement. In my former...

Paid Search Marketing / 15.07.2011

Google+ is not another Facebook, yet poses a threat to the social network for non-social reasons. In terms of sheer user adoption, Google+ may be the most successful online service launch. Some estimates - such as one by Paul Allen - peg it at 10 million users. Some analysts - such as Bill Gross - say it's rapidly on its way to 100 million. Any other company would have struggled mightily with capacity issues by now....

Paid Search Marketing / 17.06.2011

Too often, display advertising has been coddled, while paid search ads will do anything to make the paying customers happy. While search marketing has often been lauded for its killer ROI and – especially on the paid search side – its incredible capacity for fine-tuning and testing, its cousin on the display side hasn't always attained the same standard. Perhaps because of past miserable failures, some advocates for the display side simply issued it a different...

Paid Search Marketing / 20.05.2011

It's important to think about long-term strategies and compromises that minimize the damage caused to paid search ROI with needless rebuilds. In golf, there's a phenomenon known as a "member's bounce." Member of posh club strides up to the tee, whacks a ball out of bounds left, yet it kicks right off a bank into the fairway, into perfect position. Guest hits a beautiful drive down the middle, but it catches a hump, kicks forward, and...

Paid Search Marketing / 22.04.2011

A look at some categories of meta messages that might be relevant to your ad strategy. Last time, I explained that ad formats and copy can send meta messages beyond what is literally conveyed in the text. You aren't just trying to "convince" a pre-digested subset of willing buyers, but rather, you're engaged in a sorting exercise whereby users measure you for "fit" as their eyes flit across a number of listings on a SERP page...

Paid Search Marketing / 08.04.2011

Make sure you don't just focus on what your ads literally say, but, more importantly, on what they convey. When Google first made qualifying advertisers eligible to display a distinctive blue "Google Checkout" icon with their AdWords ads, it led many to a significant discovery. This notation, not technically part of the ad's message, often led to a small but tangible increase in both CTR and conversion rate. In the tight battle for better quality scores...

Paid Search Marketing / 25.03.2011

Five reasons we change the channel to turn away from our core focus on overall rates of customer acquisition, aggregate revenue growth, and total profit. In the last column, I showed examples of shiny objects that distract us from our core missions as marketers, taking up far more of our discourse, brain cells, and time than may be justified by their impact on our bottom lines – often minutiae that (even when combined with other minutiae)...