It’s no exaggeration that the holiday season is “make or break” for many companies. As such, it’s critical that retailers and catalog houses maximize the impact of their paid search campaigns as the year draws to a close and competition for consumers heats up.
Thirty-five percent of retailers’ full year spend on paid search in 2011 was concentrated in the fourth quarter, with the top 50 largest retailers spending closer to 45 percent of their annual budget for search in those last three months, according to AdGooroo research (full disclosure: I work there).
To gain an edge this holiday season and better compete for consumers’ hard-earned dollars, search engine marketers (SEMs) need to leverage competitive intelligence. For the uninitiated, this means monitoring your competitor’s keywords, paid search spend, and ad copy with the goal of identifying and exploiting weaknesses in their pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns while enhancing the impact of your own.
The following are some specific methods for utilizing competitive intelligence to get a leg up during the holiday season.
Skype has rebuilt, an ad-friendly platform for Windows 8. Its three components will be rolled out in phases beginning in the first quarter of 2013.
“We’re making a huge bet on mobile,” said Sandhya Venkatachalam, GM of advertising and monetization for Skype. “That’s definitely the future of Skype.”
The first component is the ability to build on the current Conversation Ads offering by letting people in a Skype conversation share and collaborate on content. For example, two car shoppers in different locations might be able to configure and customize a car together.
The second component is sponsored content that would encourage interlocutors to share it. “An airline, instead of doing traditional display advertising, could share info with the Skype audience about vacation spots for the holiday season. The airline could develop within Skype a branded trip planning tool,” Venkatachalam said.
Market surveys can be a rich source of unique, original content. What follows will be real examples of the content that can be created and a summary of 18 different types of content that can be generated from survey results.
To recap last month’s article, 6 Reasons You Should Use Market Surveys in Link Building Campaigns, there six benefits to conducting surveys:
You gain a better understanding of your client’s customer base – and that understanding allows you to create better content.
The data you generate is unique and therefore more attractive to journalists and bloggers.
You gather a huge amount of material for blog posts and articles both internally and on external sites.
You collect quotes and testimonials from real people.
You recruit case study volunteers where you can look in-depth at their experiences of using your client’s products or services.
You stimulate sales and identifies gaps where the marketing message isn’t getting through.
Facebook began rolling out a conversion measurement tool on Friday to help marketers bridge the data gap between social ads and online sales.
David Baser, Facebook’s ads product manager, told Reuters the tool has been a highly requested feature for some time. “Measuring ad effectiveness and outcomes is absolutely crucial to all types of businesses and marketers,” he said.
“You would see the number of people who bought shoes,” he said, using the example of an online shoe retailer. However, marketers couldn’t get information that could identify the people, he added.
Third parties such as social shopping app maker Glimpse have been offering solutions to specific aspects of the social commerce “problem” for some time, particularly the disparate data sets available to online retailers.
Bing Webmaster Guidelines are live and tucked away in the Content Guidelines section of Webmaster Help & How-to. The guidelines are designed to “help most business owners understand the broad strokes of search marketing” and will not contain deep, exhaustive answers, according to a blog post by Bing Webmaster Program senior product manager Duane Forrester.
This is Bing’s first crack at a set of official guidelines around most major topics affecting webmasters looking to optimize their sites for Bing. The broad categories covered in their guidelines are:
Marketing professionals, brand advertisers, agencies, and business leaders converged in the Windy City last week for SES Chicago 2012, and were treated to a feast of the latest cutting edge knowledge and tools needed to traverse the dynamic digital landscape.
Whether you were looking to generate more leads using LinkedIn, learn the latest SEO tools and techniques, win with PPC advertising, get up to speed on ecommerce, dig into analytics, or master social media, SES Chicago had attendees covered – and then some.
As the following blog coverage proves, attendees went home loaded with new ideas and takeaways to implement. Here’s a roundup of coverage from SES Chicago 2012:
Google is nearly ready to release Google Maps for iOS.
Google has distributed a test version of its new Google Maps for iOS app, and is “putting the finishing touches” on it before submitting it to the iTunes App Store, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
The report says that the reworked Google Maps app will come with turn-by-turn navigation, which didn’t feature in the app before it was booted from iOS. However, there’s also talk that the app will be more advertising heavy, with Google looking to make more cash out of the release.