ACE—Split testing is not just for landing pages anymore

Imagine if you could apply split testing experiments to your paid search campaigns in the same way you use them for landing pages. Last week Google made this dream a reality with the announcement of ACE—Adwords Campaign Experiment. This tool is still in Beta form, but if you’re like me you can’t wait to try what Google has come out with next. And with the information that this tool provides, ACE is worth trying while in Beta.

Before this tool was announced, the only way to measure the success of a paid search campaign was by sorting through and comparing metrics like traffic, average CPC, and spend. If you wanted to make changes to an ad, you had to add or remove words in the ad, change keyword match type or change your campaign structure without any hard data to backup your motivation for the changes. Anyone who has done any kind of split testing before knows that changes made in succession are almost like flying blind since there are too many unknown variables that can change the effectiveness of a campaign.

ACE now offers the ability to make your changes concurrently, through experiments, which will provide much more accurate results regarding the effectiveness of the paid search campaign. Like other Google split testing you will have your control (existing campaign) and your experiment (new campaign). Although the most accurate data will come from a 1:1 experiment (50 percent of traffic goes to the old campaign and 50 percent goes to the new campaign), ACE gives you the ability to dictate what percent of traffic goes to which ad campaign.

Since a significant change in one ad’s performance is unlikely to happen by chance when two versions of the ad are run simultaneously, you can make much more accurate updates to your campaign with confidence in a way that was not possible before.

If you would like to learn more about this new feature from Google, check out the video tutorial series or sign up for the public Beta (US only).

Google Introduces Caffeine, What This Means For Advertising and SEO

Search giant Google has officially launched it’s new search index called Caffeine. Which is perhaps a very appropriate name considering it updates Google’s search index 50% faster than previous efforts. When we use Google to search for anything on the internet, we are not actually presented with the most recent information, instead we are presented with a history of the web that is stored in Google’s index. Previously this index was updated about twice a month which was, for all intents and purposes, fast enough. However, as the web continues to expand exponentially and content is updated more and more frequently, this time frame does not match the immediacy necessary for finding information.

In steps Caffeine. Promising to deliver fresher results by continuously feeding new pages and updates to existing ones into the company’s database, this new upgrade will yield some unexpected results. One such result is online advertising.

With fresher online information as a result of the new caffeinated algorithm, advertisers will be able to place their ads and information next to much more relevant and timely results. This is a major advantage to advertising with Google and will certainly send more business their way.

By improving the indexing system, this will undoubtedly raise the bar for search engine optimization as well. With the new system, it is possible that a site that had previously held the top 10 positions for years could slip considerably, requiring a revamping of it’s SEO efforts. By contrast, a website that has been toiling away creating unique content consistently using SEO best practices should start to see significant increases in the range and volume of monthly referrers from Google.

It will be interesting to see how the landscape of the web changes as Google continues to shape the way we receive information.

Online Branding With Social Media

twitter_iconfacebook_iconPersonal branding and online reputation management are important aspects to helping build your company and its internet presence. Having many social media profiles for your company, whether it be Facebook or Twitter, and having them all linked together for increased automation will also help build customer relationships.  Utilizing these social profiles to create an online personality for your company that people can connect with will give you that extra advantage over your competitors and help build trust.

Trust is a very hard entity to develop in the online world. Despite this difficulty, trust is much more valuable to a business than being able to sell a consumer quick by not earning their trust. If a company can provide valuable information to consumers through social networks and blogs, they will want to repeatedly buy from them again and again instead of just a one-time sell. When a person is genuinely helped by this relevant information, and that rapport is built, it gives them more of an incentive to hit that buy now button or pick up the phone and order something.

Utilizing all of these widely available social tools will help you to build your brand, build trust with potential customers, and create awareness in the community that automatically makes your company an expert in its field. Being able to harness all of these online tools and social media hotspots to help build your reputation can be very beneficial to your business, but it can also backfire on you as well. Bad news always travels faster than good news, and the same is even more prevalent on the internet today. If you come off as a scam artist or your company is on, you are instantly recognized as someone who is just trying to steal people’s money. This negativity always spreads faster than the good things you have done for people’s businesses online. This is also why Leverage Marketing offers online reputation management (ORM as we call it) as a service to our clients. We realize not every business online is s scam, and the ones that aren’t, we help them to build their brand back and channel away some of that negative press they might be receiving.

When it comes down to it, branding yourself or your company online is such a powerful, modern tool, that you would almost be losing money if you didn’t do it. Businesses many years ago did not have the marketing power that we have today, and we can use this to our advantage by using the power of the internet to accomplish new goals.