All posts by Ronen Barak

Introduction to Paid Search

We know that most of our customers are well versed in paid search, but there are many who don’t live in the space and have limited knowledge.  I was asked to write an introductory article to Search and I discovered that there are so many different aspects that go into search advertising: from bidding on keywords to the multiple search engines, it seems almost impossible to know every little thing about the channel.

Every day, billions of people encounter advertisements when they use a search engine.  These ads tend to differ depending on which keywords the user types into the search bar.  These paid search advertisements are getting increasingly important in the marketing and advertising world.

Paid search works on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis.  Companies bid for the most efficient advertising spot on a search engine based on keywords the user types in.  For example, a travel insurance company would want to bid for the top spot for the keywords “best travel insurance companies”.  The company is bidding for how much they will pay for each click their advertisement receives.  CPC prices can be as low as $.01 to as high as $54.91 (for the keyword “insurance”).  Is paying the high price for a top advertising spot worth it?  The top advertisements average 12.2% more clicks than the next advertisement. So in short, yes.

Every time a user searches on Google an auction is triggered based on a formula known as Ad Rank.  Ad Rank is calculated by multiplying the CPC of each keyword by the components that go into  the corresponding ad’s Quality Score, including the expected click-through rate (CTR), relevance and landing page.  Ergo, ads with a higher Ad Rank can pay less on engines for their ads to appear against the same keywords as someone else.

There are many benefits to using paid search.  Your ads receive increased visibility, you get instant results, and there is typically an increase in conversions.  Customers who purchase online are 30% more likely to perform a search and 17% more likely to have clicked on a PPC ad.

Paid search usage is growing at an exponential rate.  Every year more and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon.  Just last year, search ad revenue totaled $18.4 billion, breaking the record.

There are a few search engines where the majority of paid search goes on, the most common being Google.  According to Search Engine Watch, 67.6% of all paid searches happen on Google .  Other major search engines are Yahoo!, Bing, and Baidu.  Google gets an estimated 1,100,000,000 unique visitors a month.  Bing gets an estimated 350,000,000 unique visitors a month.  Yahoo! gets an estimated 300,000,000 unique visitors a month.

I had a conversation with Dave Ragals, Global Managing Director of Search at IgnitionOne, where we talked about how search engines have been adding more advanced products like Google Shopping (formerly known as PLAs) and Ad Extensions.  He explained that with Google Shopping, retailers can now manage their products and inventory with AdWords.  Google Shopping now offers Benchmark Click Thru Rate, Impression Share, Products Tab, and Exclusions.  Imagine Google Shopping ad creation currently as your social circle. You can be part of multiple social circles concurrently, and have different attributes when in each.  But this could change, as, “Google tends to be the leader and Yahoo!/ Bing always ends up following suit,” he told me.  Ad extensions occur when there are numerous links associated with one ad.  For example, say you are looking at a CPO Commerce ad (client). With ad extensions, there can be a link to various pages that are not directly related to your search but may be of interest to you based on your query (see below).

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IgnitionOne’s technology is able to figure out where a company should advertise and what the CPC should be, all within a millisecond.  In addition, they can determine which keywords are most effective to bid on. They are able to determine the marginal cost to marginal return ratio for each keyword/position.

The future of marketing is in search.  Every day, more and more companies turn to search to fulfill their advertising needs.  Those who don’t adapt to search will most definitely get left behind.

Weekly News Roundup

Facebook explains its decreased organic reach

 Facebook has received a backlash of complaints on their recent decrease in organic search. According to the article, there was an “internal tweak” that caused much anger for brands because now they have to pay to reach their audience.  Originally telling their agencies that getting enough likes was sufficient enough to generate an audience, but now that organic reach has decreased, brands have to pay to reach their audience. This will cause Facebook’s ad revenue to increase, but decrease brands trust in them. Facebook has been working to improve their communication for future changes.

Google Penalizing Brands When Smartphone Clicks Don’t Deliver The Goods

There has been a recurring problem with searches on mobile devices.  Smartphone users have been getting directed to a company’s mobile site rather than the webpage they were actually looking for.  Google is urging brands to fix this problem so that it is easier for users to get the information they are looking for.  The problem that comes along with fixing this issue is that it requires a good deal of money and time for the companies to expend.

Customers First, Company Needs Next, Individual Agendas Last

There has been a recent trend in companies to put their needs in front of their members.  Many companies make decisions that are best for the company, but not the members.  The author explains that this habit must be discontinued.  Companies must stop worrying about what technology is the best, but worry about what will make the members happy.

Search Apps Stealing Mobile Search Ad Revenues from Google   

 In the realm of paid search, it is no doubt that Google tops the chart. However, the article explains recent trends with users on mobile apps, pushing Google behind first place. These mobile apps use alternate sources of revenue generated outside of Google ads.  According to the article, 85.9 percent of digital ad search projected for 2018 is through mobile advertising alone. Sure, Google will lose the top spot in the mobile advertising world, but that’s not to say they won’t be too close behind.

Six Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Stay On

Social media has made the world of marketing into a much larger platform of attention. Marketing is now all about satisfying the customers individual needs. No longer are brands targeting just an audience, but also, individuals within that audience. According to the article, there are six trends in social media that are bound to continue to hold a large promotion for marketers in their business. These six are content, social listening, Google+, visual social media, paid social advertising, and smartphones.

All Facebook mobile app ads will include Page links and social context from August 6

Starting August 6th, mobile devices will begin to include Facebook links. This is particularly targeting mobile app ads in order to have the same appeal those ads would have when accessing Facebook through a desktop. This change shows just how important mobile ads on Facebook are becoming.. According to the article, most of Facebook’s social revenue network comes from mobile, and this new version will only reach more users and continue to grow their total advertising income.

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Source: Silanis eSignLive