Monday, September 24, 2007

Inside AdWords: ROI: why it matters and how to track it -- part 1 of 3

Inside AdWords: ROI: why it matters and how to track it -- part 1 of 3

Cost Per Click Text Advertising

Cost Per Click Text Advertising - Sponsored Links :: Measuring Performance, Live!

The overall performance of a campaign is just the beginning of evaluation of your ads. True ad performance is reflected with an in-depth analysis.

Sponsored Links on
offers comprehensive reporting. You can track ad performance by:
  1. Individual campaign
  2. Overall ad performance for a selected period
Each of the reports 'drill-down' into the ad campaign metrics, beginning with a summarized bird's eye view and progressing one step at a time.

The period selection offers preset periods including:
  1. Previous day
  2. Current week
  3. Previous week
  4. Current month
  5. Previous month
In addition to the above presets, you can generate custom period reports.

The most striking factor is the live reporting thats unique to Sponsored Links on This is especially useful when you are in a short, event specific shopping periods like Valentine's Day. These are times when you have just a couple of days to reach the traffic and depending on day old reports could be decisive.

The live reports help you tweak ad targeting and bids and advertise as per the 'need of the hour', literally.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Landing Page Optimization

One of the primary reasons for prospects not converting is when they do not find what they expect. So while the ad may have been planned well, and the clicks generated from the right prospects, they would still be a problem with the conversion if the Landing Page didn't have enough focus on item advertised.

I have come across numerous occasions where the product advertised was lost among other products on the page. In some cases there was no more than a mere link to the product advertised. This often happens when the Landing Page is the web site's homepage or a page that has an entire product segment. The garment retailer as an example, maybe a mink coat is advertised, whereas the prospect lands on the entire winter collection page.

When you choose to advertise a specific product, or for that matter range, then you have to devote due attention and focus to the same accordingly. The advertised item(s) should be the sole focus on Landing Page, with links to related items. Discounts, USPs and other highlights should all be available on the Landing Page. This way you make sure that all that you have used as an attention getter in the ad is met by the prospect.

Making available all aspects of the product advertised on the Landing Page results in a positive user experiences that instills confidence on your services in the mind of your prospects and increase the chances of conversions. A positive experience also helps lay the foundations for a loyal customer base.

For more information, please visit my pages on Yahoo.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Deciding on Campaign Duration

Timing your campaign is crucial to success. The duration of a campaign strategy could be one of major factors in deciding the success of the overall marketing strategy.

Campaign duration should be designed taking into consideration the traffic metrics, especially for event / occasion related traffic. The upcoming shopping season is a case in point. The traffic would see an upsurge in a couple of monthsfrom now and would continue well into the initial days of the new year. As an advertiser, yopu need to keep tabs on the rise and fall of the traffic that will include a buildup about 45 days before and continue through the 7-10 days after the year end, with crests and troughs in between. Unless you are visible throughout the period, you have missed out on the most productive period of the year.

It is also necessary to understand the target audiences' internet usage behavior. Search engine traffic during the period shows a downtrend so while you cannot altogether get off Google, Yahoo and alike, you need to concentrate a lot more on the human expression channels like, whose traffic would match the surge in shopping behavior.

Spacing your ads through the traffic crests and troughs will help you get a better ROI. You need to be more visible during the high activity periods, maintaining a consistent presence other than the peaks.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mapping your ads

Looks like the CPC advertising will throw up some interesting thoughts by the end of this shopping season. With services like Mappam, its looking that advertisers and publishers will have a lot in terms of action. But it reamains to be seen how specific the advertisers get with the geo-locations of advertisers and its effects on the ROI, as targeting by coordinates will be a great plus for local services, but it remains to be seen if the larger players take to such pin-point advertising, and if they do then does it justify the cost of managing the campaigns.

I got the feeling after some localized campaigns on Adwords for some regional brands that the returns were not so significant as compared to running audience based ads for the entire region. While it will not be fair to be judgmental, you should take into account the perceived benefits before going local with services with multiple presence.

I'd love to hear some success stories on localized advertising.

Targeting your Ads on

Advertising on Sponsored Links on is quite simple. In addition to a user-friendly interface, finding your audience too is easy. To start with, there are no keywords, and their search volumes to hunt for. Simply go through their ecard sections and determine where your prospective buyer comes in or in other words, your product/ service is relevant in.

With a huge number of reasons to celebrate and wish, as they put it, each ecard section has a unique visitor profile. for instance, the Birthday section would bring in birthday wishers, making it the ideal place to advertise your gift ideas. Similarly, if you have some Halloween items, just advertise on the Halloween section.

Such defined audience is the beauty of, making it one of my favorite ad platforms. I also believe that this advantage of a pre-defined audience is what translated into positive ROI for my clients. Whats more, that as there is no search activity, as is the case with Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, et all, you have a very defined visitor activity on People are here to wish, and possibly compliment it with a gift, in addition to being receptive to various product/ service ideas, relevant to the ecard section.

Yes, you need to set your basics right, something I discussed earlier in Target Your Audience. With the right message for your prospective buyer, you are reaching out to them at the point of purchase.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Target Your Audience

There would be very few advertisers who would find the importance of targeting an alien concept. But it's one thing to know who you want to target and quite different on how to target them.
Ad targeting just does not end at targeting geo-locations and selecting keywords in Adwords or ecard sections on 123greetings Sponsored Links.

A targeted ad really targets the need of the audience in a location. So you need to know
  1. What is likely to be in demand in a specific geography
  2. What regional aspect fuels the demand
  3. How you address the demand
  4. And if you are really looking to survive in the competitive arena for long, you need to create a demand too!
It doesn't matter if you do not have separate products for separate audiences, very few do.
What I mean by the above four points is about positioning your product. You need to understand what would capture your potential buyer's fancy.
Take the example of a garment seller. He will need to know the climate, culture and any specific events and occasions in the geography to position himself. So a pullover with holiday motifs would do good in US in winter while he'll have to think if thats the best approach to reach his Asian markets.
An ad must address the specifics of the audience to offer a positive ROI.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Writing Your Ads

Ad Title & Descriptions

Ad copy plays a crucial role in generating the interest in the minds of potential buyers. Write a copy that addresses the need that your product/ service is about.
The Title should get the attention of your prospect and the description lines should generate interest to take a look.
Effective Title and Description lines have a fairly high potential to generate more relevant traffic and be crucial to advertising ROI.
Ads copies that are not specific in their content result in misleading CTR and wasted advertising dollars, with the visitors' expectation not matching with the products/ services offered.
If you have varied product offerings that target entirely different buyer profiles, then run multiple ads rather than having a 'putting it all in one' ad.
This will also help you understand the audience profile and predict ad campaign results over a period of time.

Advertising to Women

I came across Steve's take on women in advertising (Advertising Evolves, Women Hotter Than Beer)

While the debate can continue whether or not advertising objectifies women, there is no denying the fact that advertising to women can be a winning proposition.
Ask someone who has advertised on Sponsored Links on and you'll know.
The site demographics shows a predominant female visitor count.

With a lot of suggestions for advertisers to target the women audience

What Do Women Want?
Are You Writing to a Female Audience?
Men Shop, Women Buy

looks like its time the model given a try.




Digitalpoint Forums

New World Advertising

Online advertising offers great benefits in terms of audience, targeting, costs, flexibility and more...

As someone who helps businesses get a better return on their advertising resources spent online, I feel that sharing experiences can help avoid mistakes and maximize returns.

Alphabetical list of advertising platforms I use:
Google Adwords
Yahoo Search Marketing