What is the Optimal Placement for Search Terms?

August 2, 2009

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Should my Paid Search Keywords be in position #1 or a lower position?

Bid to keep paid keywords in top position?

Bid to keep paid keywords in top position?

Actually, the better question to ask is – Is there a way to identify areas to reduce investment in paid search without sacrificing too much return?

Unless your brand is in a market all by itself, you will have competitors bidding on search keywords similar to yours which means you will have to spend more in order to show up on top of search engine results. Bidding the highest amount of money will allow your keywords to be in the top position usually resulting in a higher CTR, higher CPC and more web site activity as more people select to click on keywords in higher positions. However, is it worth it?

A Search Position Placement Test will help you to analyze core keyword performance in position 1 versus lower positions 2-5 based on total click volume and CPC efficiency. Keeping your core keywords in the top #1 spot is expensive and you want to determine if you can save money by keeping some of these keywords in lower positions 2 through 5 without losing too much activity.

Search position placement test set-up

Search position placement test set-up

search position placement test video

search position placement test video

The Search Position Placement tutorial shows you how to set up a search position test properly and evaluate results so a strategic decision can be made whether or not to keep core keywords in the lower positions. The tutorial comes with step-by-step written, audio and video instructions (so easy to follow a caveman can do it) on how to properly set-up this test. In addition, an Excel file with sample data is also included that allows you to see how formulas were calculated and results analyzed.

If you are running a paid search campaign, I highly recommend performing such a test as you will likely see which search terms drive only marginally more volume in position 1 (top position) as compared to positions 2-5 (lower positions). This is important because you will learn how to maximize efficiency (reduce search spend) without sacrificing significant volume.

If you have any comments or thoughts, please share. Thanks.

Eric Melchor

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Forecast Search Conversions

August 2, 2009

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How to forecast online conversions

Diminishing Returns Analysis - Smart Digital Spending

Diminishing Returns Analysis - Smart Digital Spending

Forecasting online conversions is quite easy if there is historical data available. If all of sudden you were given extra budget for your search or online display campaign, performing a diminishing returns model will help predict the amount of conversions you can expect to generate with this increased budget. Likewise, if you have to cut online spend, a diminishing returns model will show you the expected conversion volume loss as a result.

Let’s suppose we want to predict the increase in search conversions (dependent variable) based on an increase in paid search spend (independent variable). Would we use a linear or logarithmic-scale to determine our forecast equation?

Diminishing Returns written example

Diminishing Returns written example

Diminishing Returns written example 2

Diminishing Returns written example 2

The Optimal Spend tutorial explains step-by-step how to forecast online conversions. Written, audio and video instructions so easy to follow a caveman can do it! Also included is an Excel file with sample data based on a real-world case. 7 pages of written instructions and 11 minutes of video will take you from start to finish on how to construct a diminishing returns model. Helpful for when your client wants to know what is the maximum spend you can spend in order to maintain a cost-per-acquisition goal or forecast online conversions.

diminishing returns video

diminishing returns video

Smart Digital Spending is the FIRST company to provide agencies and online marketing professionals with written, audio and video tutorials on how to use data analysis to enhance campaign performance.

If you have any comments or thoughts, please share. Thanks.

Eric melchor

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Focus on PPC or SEO?

July 30, 2009

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Should a company focus their search marketing efforts on Paid Search (PPC) or Organic Search (SEO)?

This question was posted on LinkedIn a few days ago and it sparked some good responses. In my experience working on different client accounts, I’ve noticed that visitor referrals arriving from organic search tend to stay on a site longer and view more pages than referrals coming in from paid search. In essence, organic visitors are more qualified traffic.

PPC vs SEO

PPC vs SEO

Jon Baer writes: PPC will give you “quick hits”. You can set up a PPC quickly and start seeing results in 48 hours. PPC is a good way to test keywords that you want to be organically optimized for.

SEO is better in the long term. It is cheaper and if you continuously update your site, you will reap the benefits for a long time.

Mary Jo Caruso writes: PPC is instant gratification (depending on your budget) you will appear on the first page of search engines immediately.

SEO is a long term strategy. It will take time to increase your rankings and there are no guarantees of search engine placement. Most people do not want to hear that they have to spend time and money on something that is not guaranteed, however, if you look at SEO over time, it usually yields a better ROI than PPC.

Bobby Duebelbeis writes: By using paid placement within search engine results, you are only starting with a 11 – 15% impression rate. Take your average 4% click-thru-rate from that, and then weed out another 4-5%  of people who actually convert from that number. Congratulations! You’ve whittled down your audience to 5 people after spending $10,000/month on PPC (This is an exaggeration but I am sure you get the point).

These are some great comments from very knowledgable people in the industry. Now if your site already ranks high in organic listings, should you still do PPC? Or, lets say you had the budget, should you pay to keep search terms in the top position versus lower positions? Feel free to read more of my blog posts for these answers.

To learn more about how I thought of the idea to offer agencies and online marketers step-by-step data analysis tutorials designed to enhance online campaign performance, email me at [email protected]

Have any thoughts or opinions? Please share. Thanks.

Eric Melchor

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