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Author: Ed Stevenson

Ed Stevenson

Marin Software provides an enterprise-class paid search management application addressing the workflow, analysis, and optimization needs of advertisers and agencies. Marin has over 150 clients, including Razorfish & ZipRealty.

How to get your online presence sorted for the Christmas rush

The Christmas season undoubtedly gives online marketers more nights of restless sleep than any other time of year.

The number of clicks rapidly fluctuate as more consumers each year take to the internet to get their Christmas shopping done and marketers need to make sure the right products are being represented at the right time, as well as correctly reflecting availability.

To help ease what is a very stressful time, we’ve been analysing data from the same time last year to help marketers prepare their campaigns to cope with key dates and fluctuations.

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Creative testing for PPC marketers continued

From selecting creative elements for testing to reaching statistical significance, this four part blog series reviews basic and advanced tips for conducting a successful creative test.

Last time, we discussed how to prioritise and test keyword tokens and use dynamic keyword insertion to increase creative relevancy. Today, in part three of this four part series, we’ll walk through how to prioritise tests based on return and the importance of limiting test elements.

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More creative testing tips for PPC marketers

From selecting creative elements for testing to reaching statistical significance, this four part blog series reviews basic and advanced tips for conducting a successful creative test.

Previously, we discussed how to select an appropriate test, maintain keyword relevance and limit opportunity costs.

Today I'm going to talk about prioritising and testing keyword tokens to use dynamic keyword insertion and increase creative relevancy.

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Getting to grips with creative testing for PPC

In the search industry, keywords are thought to be the crux of any campaign, defining the intent of the ad to the searcher, so the challenge of pulling together a compelling creative can be a daunting one.

It comes naturally to marketers to understand their audience and formulate a message, but getting that message across within the narrow limits of a 130 character creative can be a challenge.

For all sizes of paid search programs, creative optimisation is still one of the single most important strategies for increasing traffic, lowering costs and acquiring more revenue. 

To make the most out of creative, search marketers have to rely on testing. This involves constantly generating, analysing and repeating new creative in order to deliver a noticeable improvement in keyword-to-creative relevancy.

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Five online advertising trends to expect in 2012

As marketers put the finishing touches on 2012 budgets and plans, it’s important to make sure they have been developed with an adequate point of view of the future.

While it’s impossible to predict exactly what will happen over the next twelve months, running through a few what-if scenarios will help to prepare for inevitable changes as they happen.

In this post, I wanted to highlight what I see as being some of the biggest trends and possibilities for 2012.

So here are five things marketers should look out for over the coming year...

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How did Google AdWords algorithm changes impact campaigns?

Just over a month ago, Google announced the global roll-out of an update to the AdWords algorithm, which increased the value of landing page relevancy and worth when determining Quality Score.

Google predicted that the changes would alter keyword Quality Scores and ad positions for some campaigns. However, the company claimed that most brands would not see a significant change in overall performance.

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How to increase traffic volume without adding new keywords

Many marketers still find themselves spending hours of time having to review raw query reports with the slight hope that keyword expansion tools might be able to help them identify those key terms that their campaigns are missing.

Adding new keywords and refining match types might be important for optimisation, but it’s not necessarily the fastest way to increase volume. Often, advertisers focused on growing their paid search programs pay too much attention to keyword expansion activities. 

This isn’t surprising, especially given the multitude of keyword tools out there such as Wordstream, Trellian, or Adgooroo, each promoting their own version of keyword data. 

However, once marketers have built out their core search programs, the process of adding long-tail terms can require a massive expansion and yet only return a slight impact on traffic volumes.

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Mobile search: five best practice tips

More and more consumers are accessing the internet on their mobile devices each day. There are over 5bn mobile phones worldwide and by June 2012, smartphones will account for more than half of the UK’s mobile users.

The majority of these mobile users are performing Google searches, providing a growing marketing opportunity for paid search advertisers. In addition, rising smartphone use means consumers are expecting more from their mobile experience.  

So how can advertisers make sure they’re making the most from mobile search? 

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Attribution: Why search marketers should care about customer loyalty and lifetime value

It’s common for consumers to click on an online ad, view a product and then postpone purchase until a couple of days later when they’ll go directly to the site and the conversion is made.

Furthermore, once an order is complete, that same customer could keep coming back to the site to make other purchases. And yet, measuring these instances of customer loyalty to optimise bids has often proven to be a problem for marketers.

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PPC best practice demystified

Most of the search marketing advice currently available has a tendency to focus on those best practices that are easy to apply at a campaign or ad group level. This is because deploying best practice techniques, such as targeted ad-groups with relevant, keyword-specific ad copy, have proven they can generate great results.

However, while this may be the case, those search marketers who are tasked with running more complex, large-scale campaigns will know too well that being au fait with the best practices is merely a small part of their job.

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Four best practice tips for Facebook Advertising

In my last post, I argued that the growth of Facebook is such that marketers can no longer ignore it as a platform. However, I also mentioned that it is much less mature than search marketing, and as such best practice techniques aren’t as well developed.

So in this post I'm sharing my thoughts on how best to use this fast emerging channel most effectively, based on how we see agencies and advertisers using our platform to manage Facebook campaigns.

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Facebook vs Google: does size matter?

Facebook recently announced it has hit the major milestone of 500m users, following hot on the heels of the news that, in the US, the site has overtaken Google for the first time. This is truly remarkable growth for a site that only launched in 2004.

However, can we judge the effectiveness of Google vs Facebook based simply on the size of their respective user bases? Should we be diverting more budget towards Facebook at the expense of search?

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