Posts about paid search, display and other online ads.

Coding Series: Part 4 – Remarketing

Once your primary coding is properly installed and you are finally tracking conversions, analyzing website performance, and gauging return on advertising spend, it’s time to launch a Remarketing campaign. Remarketing is a unique advertising technique that allows you to reach people who have previously visited your website but didn’t purchase your product or convert into a lead.  This advertising feature also allows you to cross sell, up sell, and promote other relevant products to your customers.

Benefits: Remarketing

Remarketing campaigns allow you to stay in front of your audience as they continue to shop around on the Internet.  Instead of advertising through the search network, remarketing advertisers will integrate the Google Display Network into their online marketing strategy through the use of image and text ads that are delivered through Google’s partner sites.

How It Works: Remarketing

To launch a remarketing campaign in Google AdWords, you will need to add an additional piece of code to those pages of your website that are associated with certain categories or goals. This code is called a remarketing tag. Once the remarketing tag is embedded on relevant pages, the code directs AdWords to save visitors who reach these pages to the audience list you’ve built within your remarketing campaign.  AdWords then attaches a cookie ID to the visitor.  This cookie will allow AdWords to identify your audience members even after they leave your site.  As these users browse other sites in the Google Display network they will be targeted by AdSense, which will read your remarketing cookie ID and determine which ad to show. Depending on the remarketing lists you want to create, you may need to embed different tags on different pages.

Code Implementation: Remarketing

To get started, you need to determine who you would like to show your remarketing ads to. As a default, it’s a good idea to target any visitors to your website who do not complete a conversion action. From there, you can create more targeted lists or even include visitors who completed a purchase and target them differently with relevant promotions or up sell / cross-sell opportunities.

* Disclaimer: Before the remarketing advertising campaign can begin, you must accrue a minimum of 500 cookie IDs. Due to this limitation, be sure the webpage on which you are creating an audience list receives enough traffic for you to meet this requirement.

To set up the remarketing list:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab in your Google AdWords account. In the sub-navigation menu, click the Audiences tab to add a new audience group.
  2. To create the remarketing list, click the “create and manage lists” link toward the bottom of the page.
  3. Complete the new remarketing list form by entering a list name and membership duration.
    * Google recommends starting with a 30-day period.
  4. To add the new tag to your website, select “create new remarketing tag” in the tags section. You can even create a custom combination tag to exclude visitors from     your remarketing campaign who have already completed a purchase by using the current conversion tag that was created when you installed conversion tracking.
  5. Finally, click [tag] under “Tags/Rules.” In the Page security drop-down menu, select HTTP or HTTPS depending on the security level of your webpage. Then, copy the code and paste it into the relevant pages within your site between the <body> tags, closer to the </body> tag.
  6. To target ads to your newly created audience list, you will want to add the list to a current campaign or create a new AdWords campaign dedicated to your remarketing efforts.

Whether you are running a branding or direct response ad campaign, remarketing is a great tool for increasing your return on investment by driving traffic back to your website for a sale or website registration. You can create a remarketing campaign to target all visitors, those viewing a specific product category, non-converting visitors, abandoned shopping cart visitors, converting visitors for up sell or cross-sell promotions, and users who converted in the past. There are a lot of variations for your remarketing list, which means a lot of opportunity to target your end consumer and stay relevant in their minds.

To find out more visit: http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=27765.

If you have any other questions about Remarketing campaigns or how to install the code, Leverage Marketing’s Google certified team is here to help!

Google Displays URL in Title (Along With First Line of Ad Text)

Maybe you saw this interesting new Google feature last week?  Google is starting to show the display URL within the headline for select ads on Google.com.  I think it is pretty neat and I am excited to see how this affects click-through rates.  This change comes a few months after Google increased the headline length for select Google ads.
Straight from Google:
When shown in the headline, the display URL will be separated from the rest of the text by a vertical bar and will include only the domain, not the “www.” prefix or any subdirectories. Your display URL will also continue to appear as normal below the description line. Of course, if the headline already contains your domain, we won’t display it again.
My favorite go to search term for new adwords tweaks (and tasty loose leaf teas)- Teavana does not have the URL insertion when a user searches for brand name teavana
But alas, after a few more searches my favorite Teavana did not let me down!  But pay close attention to the new ad below – it doesn’t make much sense.  Google has taken what used to be the headline and first line of ad text and squished them into one line and now with the addition of the brand URL – the ‘sentence’ (that was supposed to be the second and third lines of text) no longer flows or makes much sense.
With this latest Google tweak (and really always) I think we should be careful when working on our clients accounts to ensure this type of issue doesn’t happen. While Teavana is not a client of my agency – I’m sure this was just a minor oversight that their team will soon fix.
I’ll be interested in the overall outcome of Google inserting the Display URL within the title.  In addition, I will be paying close attention to our clients metrics. Also, in case you were wondering -after some dutiful counting I believe the reason teavana.com did not appear in the headline for the first example is because of the fact that the headline would have come out to 69 characters with the addition of the URL and the second query allows the headline to come in well under the Google requirement of 68 characters or less.

Coding Series: Part 2 – AdWords Conversion Tracking

This is the second post in Leverage Marketing’s five-part instructional series on coding. AdWords Conversion Tracking is a tool that helps advertisers measure how effective their ads and keywords are by accruing data on monthly conversions, cost per conversion, and conversion rate. It also provides a snapshot of what visitors do after clicking on an ad.

By implementing the conversion tracking code on your website, you will be able to better evaluate the account’s performance. Conversion Tracking will also help the Leverage Marketing team spot further ad opportunities within AdWords. This combined with Google Analytics’ extensive reporting will allow Leverage Marketing to calculate return on investment and understand what weaknesses there are in the conversion process.

Benefits: Conversion Tracking

Conversion Tracking provides advertisers with information on which keywords are helping to meet their campaign goals by connecting keywords with conversions. This performance data assists advertisers in determining what keywords are serving them best, which allows them to invest in those keywords that are bringing in business and avoid those that aren’t.

Much like goals in Google Analytics, Conversion Tracking allows advertisers to define up to 100 actions per account. An action is one that advertisers hope visitors will complete upon visiting the website, such as a purchase, email newsletter signup, or contact form submission. By setting up actions, advertisers can track many separate goals by placing the associated conversion tracking code snippet on their website for each of these actions.

How it Works: Conversion Tracking

Once goals have been defined, Google provides a JavaScript snippet to install on pages where tracking is warranted. The code passes the specified parameters back to Google. These parameters include the following data, which is implemented into the JavaScript code snippet:

google_conversion_id: a unique value associated with the advertiser

google_conversion_value: a numeric value associated with the value of the conversion

google_conversion_label: the type of conversion

google_conversion_language: the language of the text that appears on the website

Technical Details: Conversion Tracking

The conversion Tracking tool works by placing a code on users’ computers or mobile devices once the code has been installed on the website. Then, when the user reaches a conversion page, the cookie connects to the web page and Google records a conversion. With this, a small conversion tracking image is displayed on the advertiser’s site. After 30 days, the cookie expires. Statistics will be collected and can be viewed in reports.

Google Site Stats text is a text block that appears after the transaction is completed if the code snippet is properly placed on the confirmation page. Such text may read, “Thank you for your purchase / subscription / visit page, etc.” Advertisers have the option to opt out of Site Stats but it could undermine users’ trust and privacy.

Leverage Marketing will pull the Conversion Tracking code from the AdWords account and provide our clients with the code and instructions on how to correctly implement it on all conversion pages.

Conversion code sample:

<!– Google Code for Purchase Conversion Page –>
<script language=”JavaScript” type=”text/javascript”>
<!–
var google_conversion_id = 1234567890;
var google_conversion_language = “en_US”;
var google_conversion_format = “1”;
var google_conversion_color = “666666”;
var google_conversion_label = “Purchase”;
//–>
</script>
<script language=”JavaScript” src=”http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion.js”>
</script>
<noscript>
<img height=1 width=1 border=0
src=”http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion/1234567890/?value=1&label=Purchas
e&script=0″>
</noscript>

Code Implementation: Conversion Tracking

Code installation will not effect the website unless a conversion is completed. The code snippet should be placed between the <body> tags, closer to the </body> tag, so that the image appears further down the page. Do not place the code in the page header or footer because it can overstate the conversion statistics.

Example of correctly implemented code on HTML document:

<html>

<head>
<title>Sample HTML File</title>
</head>
<body> This is the body of your web page.
<!– Google Code for Purchase Conversion Page –>
<script language=”JavaScript” type=”text/javascript”>
<!–
var google_conversion_id = 1234567890;
var google_conversion_language = “en_US”;
var google_conversion_format = “1”;
var google_conversion_color = “666666”;
var google_conversion_label = “Purchase”;
//–>
if (1) {
var google_conversion_value = 1
}
</script>
<script language=”JavaScript” src=”http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion.js”>
</script>
<noscript>
<img height=1 width=1 border=0
src=”http://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion/1234567890/?value=1.0&label=Pur
chase&script=0″>
</noscript>
</body>
</html>

AdWords Conversion Tracking with Google Analytics

By linking AdWords to Google Analytics, advertisers will be able to obtain detailed tracking information and create customized statistics to help in calculating return on investment. It will also enable advertisers to spot further ad opportunities by viewing AdWords conversions alongside Analytics goals/transactions.

Once linked, the Analytics data will automatically be imported into AdWords’ Conversion Optimizer, which streamlines bidding for conversions at a lower cost. This tool optimizes advertiser’s placement in the ad auction to ensure they get cheap, low-converting clicks while still getting as many high-converting clicks as is profitable.

Technical Details: Google AdWords with Google Analytics

In order for Conversion Tracking to work with Google Analytics, advertisers must link their AdWords account and opt into Data Sharing to import Analytics data into AdWords Conversion Tracking. Please refer to Part I of the coding series for instructions on how to link Google Analytics to your AdWords account.

To import AdWords cost data:

  1. Select the Reporting tab in the AdWords account and click ‘Google Analytics.’
  2. Click ‘Edit’ next to the profile you wish to edit.
  3. Click the ‘Edit’ link in the upper-right hand corner of the ‘Main Website Profile Information’ box.
  4. Check the ‘Apply Cost Data’ checkbox.
  5. Click ‘Save Change.’

To import Analytics goals and transactions into AdWords Conversion Tracking:

  1. Click ‘Edit Account and Data Sharing Settings’ in Google Analytics account.
  2. Select the ‘With other Google products only’ option under ‘Share my Google Analytics data…’
  3. Click ‘Save Changes.’
  4. Navigate to the Conversion Tracking page from within AdWords. The Conversion Tracking page will show a message alerting you that goals and transactions are ready to be linked. *Please note that it may take up to two weeks for your Analytics data to be imported into AdWords.
  5. Click ‘Import from Google Analytics’ from the Conversion Tracking table.
  6. Select the goals or transactions you want from the list. Edit the action name and tracking purpose here so that you can identify the goals once they show up in your AdWords conversion reports.
  7. Select ‘Import’ from the bottom of the table.

With a linked AdWords and Analytics account, you can set up new reports that track the progression from an ad click / impression to a final conversion and all of the behaviors in between that a visitor takes before making their conversion decision. This “upper-funnel” keyword data that assists the final conversion before the last ad click will help determine which keywords are most valuable.

AdWords Conversion Tracking is another one of Google’s free tools that allows you to easily determine which keywords are meeting your goals and which keywords perform best so that you can better allocate your budget to high-performing keywords. To find out more visit: http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=16344. If you have any other questions about AdWords Conversion Tracking or how to install the code, please feel free to follow up with your Leverage Marketing account manager.

Coding Series: Part I – How To Install Google Analytics

This is the first post in what will likely be a five-part instructional series on valuable codes that can easily be installed, and if done so correctly, Google Analytics will provide substantial insight into your website traffic and your return on advertising dollars.

Google Analytics is one of Google’s free tools that allows advertisers to customize over 80 reports to track all activity on their website. Advertisers can gain key insights into what visitors do and how those actions contribute to the success of their business through these customizable reports focused on visitors, traffic sources, content, goals, and ecommerce.

Code Implementation: Google Analytics

Signing up for Google Analytics is simple and free, with four easy steps to complete before accessing a world of analytics. Go to https://www.google.com/analytics/provision/signup to get started. Once the account is set up, you can find your personal code snippet within the Profile Settings of your Google Analytics account.

To access your tracking code from Google Analytics:

  1. Log in at http://www.google.com/analytics.
  2. Select the profile from the accounts Overview page.
  3. From that profile’s Actions column, click ‘Edit.’
  4. At the top right of the ‘Main Website Profile Information’ box, click ‘Check Status.’
  5. The tracking code can be copied and pasted from the text box in the Instructions for Adding Tracking section.

Code snippet sample:

<script>
var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl/.” : “http://www.”);
document.write(unescape(“”));
</script>
<script>
try{
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-xxxxxx-x”);
pageTracker._trackPageview();
} catch(err) {}
</script>

For basic installation, copy and paste the code segment into the bottom of your content, immediately before the </body> tag of each page you are planning to track. You will need to update the “xxxx-x” in the sample above with your own Google Analytics account number.

Gauging Performance: Google AdWords with Google Analytics

In Adwords, a user’s action is labeled a “conversion,” whereas the same activity in Analytics is listed as a “goal.” In order for Google Analytics to calculate goal conversion metrics, you must create one or more goals.

Before setting up a goal, make sure you have the following requirements.

  • Name the goal: Specify a name that you will recognize when viewing the goals within your reports. Examples of names you might use include ’email sign-up’ or ‘article ABC download.’
  • Define the funnel: While funnels are optional, defining one can help you map where visitors drop off during the path to completing a goal.
  • The value of the goal: Google Analytics uses an assigned goal value to calculate ROI, Average Score, and other metrics.

Setting up goals:

  1. Select the account that you’ll be creating goals for from the Overview page of Google Analytics.
  2. Find the profile for which you will be creating goals, and click ‘Edit’ under the ‘Actions’ column.
  3. Under the ‘Goals’ section, select one of the four sets to create the goal (each set contains up to five goals) and click ‘Add goal.’
  4. Enter the goal’s name so that you can quickly recognize it when viewing reports.
  5. Turn the goal ‘On’ or ‘Off.’
  6. Select the goal’s position. The pull-down menu allows you to select a goal’s position in a set so that you can control the order in which it appears from the ‘Goals’ tab in your reports.
  7. Decide which one of the three types of goals you want. This can be URL Destination, Time on Site, or Pages/Visit.
  8. Once you select the radio button for the goal type, a field for ‘Goal Details’ should appear.

Here’s a great example from Google on how to set the value of a goal:

“The value of the goal: Google Analytics uses an assigned goal value to calculate ROI, Average Score, and other metrics. A good way to value a goal is to evaluate how often the visitors who reach the goal become customers. If, for example, your sales team can close 10% of people who request to be contacted, and your average transaction is $500, you might assign $50 (i.e. 10% of $500) to your “Contact Me” goal. In contrast, if only 1% of mailing list signups result in a sale, you might only assign $5 to your “email sign-up” goal.”

Defining funnels:

After entering goal information, define a funnel if you’ve selected a ‘URL Destination’ goal type:

  1. Click ‘Yes, create a funnel for this goal.’
  2. Enter the ‘URL’ of the first page of your conversion funnel. This page should be one that is common to all users working their way towards your goal.
  3. Enter a ‘Name’ for this step.
  4. If this step is a ‘Required step’ in the conversion process, select the checkbox to the right of the step. If this checkbox is selected, users reaching your goal page without traveling through this funnel page will not be counted as conversions.
  5. Continue entering goal steps until your funnel has been completely defined. You may enter up to 10 funnel steps or as few as a single step.
  6. Click ‘Save Changes’ to create this goal and funnel.

Linking your AdWords account to Google Analytics will allow you to take advantage of extensive reporting options. It will also enable you to spot further ad opportunities by viewing AdWords conversions alongside Analytics goal/transactions. You can obtain detailed tracking information by creating customized statistics that will allow you to calculate return on investment.

To link:

  1. Add your AdWords username to your Analytics account as an Account Admin.
  2. In AdWords, select Reporting tab and choose ‘Google Analytics.’
  3. Select ‘I already have a Google Analytics account.’
  4. From the Existing Google Analytics Account drop-down menu, select the name of the Analytics account.
  5. Then, select ‘Link Accounts.’

Google Analytics is a smart web analytics solution that enables you to analyze website performance, gauge the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, and create better-performing advertisements. To find out more visit: http://www.google.com/analytics/. If you have any other questions about the functionality of Google Analytics or how to install the code, please feel free to contact us or follow up with your Leverage Marketing account manager.

Royal Wedding – Too much hype or missed opportunity?

So if you follow the search marketing world, you’ve likely seen this neat video about a branding technique inspired by a Converse campaign.  The idea is simple, the execution is fairly complex.  Essentially, the campaign targets high volume, low competition searches that fit a specific demographic.  In the case of the Conversion campaign, the target was teenagers.  It’s a really cool idea , but it still hasn’t taken off if you really follow Google Trends.

What’s hot right now that people are missing out on?  Oh just a couple of rich folks over in the UK getting hitched.   Search for things like “Royal Wedding” or “Kate Middleton” and the ads are sparse, or even non-existent.  There’s a handful of people selling memorabilia for the wedding, but they are only advertising on a handful of keywords in the US.

Yet the searches keep on coming.  Thousands of opportunities for a gossip site to get cheap exposure in an insanely crowded space, lost.  Plenty of chances for a clothing boutique or jewelry retailer to drive traffic to a page with styles similar to the royal couple, missed.  Maybe a creative bookstore could be trying to persuade people to stimulate their minds with something more challenging, but they’re not.

The people are out there and they’re eager to click. What’s your excuse for not capitalizing on this traffic?

What’s in a Report – Continued.

Earlier this week we discussed what you should expect from reports that you receive from your online marketing partner.  We wanted to provide you with a few more updates and urge you to work closely with your agency to get the exact type of report that meets your needs.

Cost Per Click (CPC) – It can be important for some advertisers to receive this information, but for other advertisers just knowing the total cost and number of conversions is all that is needed. Before requesting this metric, I would suggest that you think about your overall goals that you are interested in – because many profitable campaigns have CPA goals that step outside the boundaries of what some may consider an acceptable CPC.

Example: You have a target cost/click of no more than $4.00 and a target CPA of less than $80.

·         Keyword A – Costs $3.50 for each click

·         Keyword B – Costs $6.75 for each click

·         The conversion rate for keyword A is 3%

·         The conversion rate for keyword B is 9%

·         The CPA for Keyword A is $116, while the CPA for Keyword B is $75.

Tell me again why you would not want to bid on Keyword B? Setting CPC goals without taking the full picture into account can produce undesirable results, so tread lightly if you want to view this metric.

Click Thru-Rate (CTR) on various keywords – Some advertisers find this information useful, but this information must be taken in stride. For example, a CTR of .02% in some cases could be considered good, while a CTR of 2.1% in other cases could be in need of improvement. Although, CTR can be used to help find areas of improvement in ad copy or keyword relevance.

Average Position of Keywords – Average position is a great metric for many advertisers and can be a metric that must be reported in other cases. For example, if you have ads that must appear below the manufacturers ad within pay per click search results – you will want to make sure this metric is included within the reports you receive by your search team.

Bounce Rate – Bounce Rate is is a metric that your search team can provide information on – if your website is configured with the correct tracking codes. Bounce rate is often not shared with advertisers, because very few advertisers are willing to make changes to lower the bounce rate on pages, as this metric can help pin-point landing pages that may need to be updated.

Placements that are working – If your agency is targeting the content network you should receive updates if certain placements are working out extremely well. At times it may be advantageous for you as an advertiser to go directly to these sites and negotiate advertising with them directly. Your search team will lose some revenue by making this suggestion – so be sure to reward them with referrals or an extended contract. This is certainly a partner that you will want to work with for some time to come.

Transparency

Some agencies give you 100% access to your search account, while others have limitations to the amount of access you have to your paid search account. Whether you have access or not to your account – your search provider should happily and quickly provide you with a download of any information you request.

Example requests could include

List of all keywords within your account – Beware this list could be in the thousands!

Ad Text – This is a great way to find out which slogans are working for offline advertising initiatives.

Performance of your account by time of day – This report can be very useful if you have a need to know when additional staff would be needed at your business. Maybe you will find that half of your staff can come in early to help staff for an influx of calls from the East Coast.

Performance of your account by Geo Location – This is another great metric to view if you have the ability to provide support in particular geographic areas that many of your potential clients are located within.

Anything you want – A good agency should speak with you about your overall goals and objectives and provide suggestions or solutions to help you meet your needs.

How Google’s Real-Time Web and Personalized Search is Re-Shaping the Search Landscape

The internet is abuzz with news of Google’s real-time Web and personalized search queries and the potential implications for users and search marketers vary across the board. With live updates from Facebook, Twitter and Myspace appearing in the search results, marketers may need to add a stronger emphasis on social media to their rosters in the coming months.

In the initial rollout, the feeds show in a real-time scroll box above and below the fold. While these live updates don’t currently use a large amount of retail space, the ubiquitous nature of social media and the influence these feeds posses may urge retailers, especially business to consumer, to implement overarching and in-depth social media pushes. As the updates appear on the first page, this change could also push weaker sites to the second and third pages of search results indicating businesses may make a heavier push to PPC marketing to boost first-page present.

As the rollout for the real time search was only recently launched, only keywords such as Taylor Swift and Tiger Woods prompt the real time search.  Keywords such as Oprah and Obama SERP still do not contain the scroll box.  This demonstrates that although having the social media presence on the result page, that the real effects will not be seen until the update is fully integrated.  In the future if this real-time scroll bar does take up more real-estate, this will make the top organic listing highly competitive and a SEO campaign almost crucial for all online marketers.  It also seems that a social media marketing campaign is needed for online campaigns as well as top search results will show tweets from Twitter.  It almost seems that the roll out of this product creates the need for a blended online marketing campaign including PPC, SEO, and SMM.

2010 Online Advertising Forecast

Here is an interesting article that I came across.  The article takes a look at the forecast for online advertising for 2010.  You can read the full article and we have also listed some high level insights below:

Video Usage:

  • Senior Analyst David Hallerman suggests that more marketers will embrace online video advertising, and that more sites will support the growth of video.

Ad Targeting and Privacy

  • With the main stream availability of consumer behavior online comes more scrutiny about privacy policies:  What this means to us is users are becoming aware of ad-blocking software or add-ons and more deletion of cookies that makes the availability of what you’re doing, where you’ve been, and where you go online a lot harder to companies to gather.
  • On the government side there is potential for more federal legislation limiting website tracking
  • Again what does that mean: in order for search engines to get ahead of this legislation there needs to be a greater deal of transparency
  • In 2010 we should start seeing websites letting users know what data is being kept about them and give them access to remove themselves
  • Ultimately publishers will need to come up with better trade-offs if they want to garner any information from an individual

Search

  • Social sites and video results is something to change in search.  You will start seeing more of these results as part of general search queries.
  • Advertising is also predicated to continue increasing as we come closer to 2010
  • 2010 spend = $11.4 billion
  • 2011 spend = $12.2 billion
  • 2012 spend = $13.6 billion
  • 2014 spend = $15.8 billion

Internet Users and Usage

  • As we move into the new year internet usage is predicated to increase as the ease of accessing the internet continues to grow with the use of laptops, smartphones, and gaming consoles.
  • It is predicated that we see the most change within the adults ages 55 and older, who are now discovering social networks.
  • Number of internet users will begin to stabilize, as penetration reaches 66% of the US population, or 205.3 million people.

 

Direct From Google – Display URL Policy Change

In an effort to provide more relevant results and a higher quality experience for users, Google has made the decision to no longer allow multiple domains within a single ad group. Going forward, all display URLs within an ad group must be for the same top-level domain.  In an effort to ensure the least amount of down time for our clients, the team here at Leverage Marketing has been busy updating URLs for this coming change to Google’s policy.

It is important to note that this amendment to Google’s policy applies to all advertisers, regardless of previous exceptions or acceptability of any campaigns. While Google understands there are legitimate use-cases for multiple domains within one ad group, they ask that separate ad groups be created for any given domain.

PPC and SEO Work Well Together

When dealing with the complicated world of internet marketing, there are numerous headaches to getting a web site noticed. Whether it is the competition or the clutter, really driving prospective customers to a site can be a hassle. Some seem to think internet ads are the best way to go, while others would rather crawl their way though the ranks of search engines to come out on top. While many internet companies search intently for the solution, the true answer is easier than it may appear. The answer is BOTH: Paid search ads and natural search optimization together work more effectively and efficiently than either by themselves.

*12.6% of conversions credited to natural search were preceded by ad clicks

*Searchers use nearly as many branded searches as non-branded searches

*Branded ads increase new visitor traffic by 12%

Some internet businesses stick to one or the other, but the truth is that they are an effective tag team for many reasons. Most companies aren’t the number one result in an online search results page immediately when they begin their search engine optimization, so while your web site climbs in search rankings internet ads keep you in the customers immediate search results.While your natural rank may not show immediately, your ad will. This supplementation will lead to valuable traffic as your ad can drive interest to your web site. Many companies believe they are done with advertising once their site has a sufficient rank. Sadly, this is not the case. Many times customers’ searches are too long, too specific, or just to general. Paid ads can help insure that your relevant page is still displayed even in these instances. Another benefit with the saturation and supplementation of both elements is it can aid in brand association, so that customers think of your product or service in a particular category due to its dominate presence in a search.

A successful marketing campaign must include both advertisements and a high ranking natural search result. In the highly competitive internet market no company should simply be satisfied with a decent ranking or clever advertisement. Using both strategies ensures that you are receiving the maximum return on your investment. – J

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