Tag Archives: PPC

Google Loses Market Share, Small Biz PPC Spend Up

24 Nov

According to WebVisible, the current break down of search share is:

Google: 60.4 %

Yahoo 26.2%

Bing 10.5%

Ask 2.4%

Continuing from the WebVisible report:

“Small Businesses Increase Spend by 91 Percent Generally, small businesses are buying more keywords and dramatically increasing their paid search budgets when compared to last year, according to WebVisible. First off, the average small business purchased 55 keyword phrases in Q3, which is up 30 percent from Q3 2008’s median number of 43. That statistic represents the high-water mark for the four quarters that WebVisible has been tracking small businesses keyword buys. Meanwhile, businesses dedicated an average of $1,658 to search ads, 91 percent more than Q3 2008. And business-to-consumer professional services appear to be the busiest in terms of collecting local sales leads via SEM. Attorneys and dentists made up the top two advertiser categories, with 7.7 percent and 5 percent of total small advertisers, respectively. Each of the two categories invested far more than average, spending $2,560 and $2,005 respectively in Q3. Air conditioning services and physicians/surgeons were the only other categories that accounted for more than 2 percent of search advertisers. Overall, the research suggests that the small business search advertisers are a varied bunch. The top 20 categories accounted for only 36 percent of total dollars spent. Thirty-two percent of search clicks resulted in a “lead conversion,” meaning the viewer either clicked through to a landing page on the advertiser’s Web site, printed a landing page, watched a video, printed out directions, entered an e-mail address, inquired via e-mail, or completed an online form. Clicks to the Web site were far and away the biggest lead conversion type, coming in almost twice as high as the next three categories: printed landing pages, submitted e-mail inquiries, and printed driving directions. For small businesses utilizing a call tracking number, 4.5 percent of the clicks resulted in a call, a 3.6 percent lift from 2008. No material differences occurred among advertisers in terms of CTR or proportion of lead conversions. However, WebVisible said that cost-per-clicks and keyword counts tended to increase with rising spend levels.”

 

Quite a shift!  From a merchant’s perpsective this is a double edged sword. When Google had 75-80% of the marketshare, an arguement could be made to neglect MSN and Yahoo and focus on having the best possible Google ppc campaign. Now that is no longer true. That may put a lot of strain on merchant’s paid search team to manage additional campaigns.

But, with the growing market share of Bing and to a lesser extent Yahoo, merchants who can act quickly and more nimbly then larger orginizations may be able to take advantage and grab a disproportionate share of these other engines at reduced costs.

Interesting Ecomm Data

8 Apr

Blatantly stolen from my boss’ blog and edited for my own nefarious purposes.  Just so much good data that is so hard to find normally…WARNING: some ChannelAdvisor horn tooting to follow.

“We spend a lot of time at ChannelAdvisor following the various datapoints and thoughts around e-commerce and today Forrester research (Sucharita Mulpuru is the analyst) came out with a joint report/survey with the great folks at Shop.org (I/we are an active member FYI).

The headlines of the report are good news for internet retailers:

  • Forrester sees e-commerce growing at 17% y/y in the US (This is good because comscore is starting to talk about 14% and maybe lower).  I’m an optimist and think that in early 09 the pundits will update the data to be more like 20%
  • This puts e-commerce at $208B for 2008, up from $174 in 07
  • e-commerce represents 7% of retail.
  • search engine marketing (what I call paid-search) drove 35% of sales and is still the top channel for retailers
  • 65% of retailers are experimenting with social networks
  • Forrester is predicting that growth will be driven by the computer, CE, auto and apparel categories.
  • Retailers spend $.50/click on average for paid-search and see $8.47 in incremental revenue (that’s a weird metric)

I downloaded the report and what’s neat is that shop.org/Forrester are finally seeing and reporting on the multi e-commerce channel trends we’ve been talking about for years.  For example, they have this figure from the survey section that covers the top channels for retailers (note these would be larger retailers, primarily with brick-and-mortar operations as well I would assume):

Shop_org2

Another interesting datapoint they have from the survey is they asked retailers for a variety of e-commerce channels what the cost per order for the channel is and the average selling price.  I’ve found that most retailers like to look at channel costs either as a ROAS (return on ad spend) or an ‘Effective Take Rate’ (ETR), which is more of a cost of sales kind of model which helps for margin-planning/forecasting.  So I took the Forrester data and splatted it into a spreadsheet to calculate the ETR.  I also added eBay and Amazon as marketplaces with their ETR’s and ordered the channels from lowest ETR to highest and this is the result: (Amazon/eBay are highlighted to indicate I added them)

Shop_org

The only datapoint on here that looks unusual to me is the CSE data, usually we would see this more in-line with paid-search so I’m going to go look at our data and see if there’s anything noteworthy there. ( editor’s note: while that percent does seem high to me, I would expect it to be in the 20-22% range)  Not to toot our own horn here, but my guess is the retailers surveyed aren’t watching their CSE programs very closely or using ShoppingAdvisor to optimize their CSE channel.

If you’d like to learn more, there are several news items out today covering the report:

Takeaways from Catalyst Conference: by Citi Group

7 Apr

Last week was our annual conference at Pinehurst, NC.  If you are a golfer, you know all about Pinehurst and its infamous turtleback greens…well I didn’t play #2 this year, but I did play the newly renovated #1 and maybe the best course, #4. Just don’t ask me how I shot (the answer is often and poorly).

A number of industry analysts attended (as always) so I thought I would share their takeaways about the state of E-Comm in general:

 Another well attended ChannelAdvisor conference – Trends remain surprisingly positive – Last week we attended the ChannelAdvisor (CA) Catalyst Conference 2008 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Per the company, attendance was up over 50% to roughly 500 people, with participation from companies like Amazon, eBay, Google, Overstock, Facebook, Buy.com and many large, medium and small retailer clients.

  • Takeaway #1: ChannelAdvisor clients not yet seeing macro-economic slowdown — Biggest surprise to us was the general consensus among the retailers we spoke with that they were not seeing much impact from macro-economic headwinds (…yet?). Consumer spending remains strong in many categories and sellers were confident that their multi-channel strategies can continue to fuel growth.
  • Takeaway #2: eBay appeared confident that changes are working despite vocal seller pushback — eBay is determined to make the changes necessary to reaccelerate Core Marketplaces. Representatives from the company sounded resolved on eBay’s commitment to improving buyer experience and seller transparency. Per the company, the desired impact from fee changes, “best match”, and detailed seller ratings (DSRs) appears to be working.
  • Takeaway #3: Amazon strengthening its 3rd party offering — Upbeat presentation by AMZN focused on 3rd party seller opportunities was well received. AMZN provided an overview and demonstrations of the company’s services, highlighting how the program is 1) driving increased selection, 2) improving customer experience, 3) increasing traffic and 4) lower prices.
  • Takeaway #4: Strength of Google position continues to widen lead over competition — While we didn’t hear anything incrementally new from the Google presentation, consensus among sellers we spoke with who had added search marketing was very positive on both traffic and ROI trends.
  • Bottom Line – Conference was incrementally more positive on eCommerce/Search trends than expected.
  • Link to our full note:  https://www.citigroupgeo.com/pdf/SNA17593.pdf

Mozilla PPC Campaign Results

27 Dec

From Freakonomics:

One of the ways Mozilla acquires new customers is through pay-per-click ads on search engines. The question Mozilla had is the following: if someone types “firefox” into a search engine, usually the first result they will see is the Mozilla site, so does it really do Mozilla any good to pay search engines to do featured links? Do ads actually generate more traffic, or do they just shift customers around — e.g., instead of getting the customers free, Mozilla ends up paying the search engine because of the pay-per-click ads? Without performing an experiment of some kind, this is a hard question to answer.

So over a two-week period, Mozilla experimented with turning their pay-per-click ads on and off more or less at random.

Looking at the data one way, it appears that two-thirds of the customers who normally come to Mozilla through pay-per-click ads would get there anyway. On the other hand, the absolute number of downloads was substantially higher when the paid ads were running. This suggests either that (1) their treatment and control periods were different for an unknown reason; or (2) that the pay-per-click ads lead people to download more often through other channels.

mozilla ppc 2Mozilla PPC

 http://blog.mozilla.com/metrics/2007/11/26/mozilla-online-advertising-%e2%80%93-an-experiment/

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/21/mozilla-gets-freaky/

Top Ten PPC Management Companies

4 Dec

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You’re The Best 

I always take these lists with a MASSIVE grain of salt but Top SEO’s (http://www.topseos.com/) has released its list of the best pay per click management companies.  I work for one of them and have worked with 2 of them so I can attest to the fine work some of the companies have done.

 Here’s a list of the top 10 Pay Per Click Management firms that have been selected for December 2007:

  1. Ionic Media — California
  2. Intrapromote LLC — Ohio
  3. SEOP Inc. — California
  4. SEO Image, Inc.– New York
  5. SEO Inc. — California
  6. SearchAdNetwork — Colorado
  7. ChannelAdvisor — North Carolina
  8. JumpFly, Inc. — Illinois
  9. Efficient Frontier Inc — California
  10. IMPAQT — Pennsylvania

The top 10 candidates are chosen on the basis of a thorough selection process and the reputation of the list compiled by topseos.com speaks for its quality. The selection of the candidates is based on the following criterions:

  — Competitive advantage
  — Superior services and pricing
  — Customer and technical support
  — Knowledge of business
  — Sound professional analysis of requirements, and competitors
  — Response to client problems
  — Innovations that set it apart from the competition
  — Overall usability, efficiency, and performance

by: Jeff Buechler

MSN To Launch Free Analytics Tool: Gatineau

1 Nov

Microsoft adCenter has rolled out a beta analytics tool, code named Gatuneau. Microsoft in May of 2006 bought Deep Metrics and has been developing the technology.  adCenter hopes to provide marketers with information on whether users came to a Web site via e-mail, paid search, banner campaigns, offline campaigns, or other means. Funnel reports provide insight on how they left and what pages they requested.

The system also ties information to personal profile information gathered through the Live ID system if the visitor has one. Previously known as Microsoft Passport, Live ID stores data on users including sex, age, income and location. The overall goal according to Ian Thomas, director of customer intelligence at Microsoft, is to allow marketers to accurately track which campaigns see the highest conversions.

http://clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3627474

Click Fraud As Much as 16%, For Affiliates 28%

29 Oct

The rate of click fraud for PPC  hit 16.2% in the third quarter, up 17.4% from 13.8% a year earlier. 16.25 is the highest level yet for the year.  Even worse for advertisers aggressively pursuing an affiliate model,  the click fraud rate for affiliate sites was 28.1%, up from 19.4% at year-end 2006, according to the Click Fraud Index.

Combine that with stagnant consumer spending and retailers are facing an interesting Q4.

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