Yahoo search advertisers be warned. The Yahoo TOS states that Yahoo can create ads, add, edit or delete keywords, and “optimize” your account as they see fit at any time, without your consent. Um, we would hope they would only do this in the advertisers best interest, but WOW. Don’t expect the Yahoo bashing to stop anytime soon…
Google has recently made some big claims about how Google Checkout impacts clickthrough rates on Adwords ads and overall conversion rates. Google claims that conversion rates can increase by 40% (!) and click through rates on Adwords ads can increase by 10% for merchants who offers Google Checkout. For those who haven’t noticed, merchants who offer Google checkout get enhanced Google Checkout ads when they advertise with Google.
Of course, there is a catch to those claims. Those amazing CTR and conversion numbers are for “Google Checkout users” not for every person who sees your ad. Still, those numbera are impressive, and merchants who are looking for new ways to increase conversion rates may want to give Google Checkout some consideration.
Microsoft revealed a study today that offered some insight into SMB paid search marketing behavior, and more importantly, their thoughts on the topic. The study showed that most SMBs still struggle to understand paid search engine marketing, and many had fears about price, ROI and time commitment. Some key findings:
- Nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) feared keywords may become too expensive.
- Eighty-one percent questioned if paid search marketing is the best use of their marketing budgets.
- One quarter of respondents believe paid search marketing is too complex.
- Twenty-one percent thought it would be too time-consuming.
- Thirty-five percent felt they would need an agency to help set up a search marketing campaign.
But despite their fears, most small business owners felt they were missing an opportunity:
- Nearly 9 in 10 (86 percent) of small business owners surveyed felt that they could be missing opportunities to grow their business
- 3 in 4 believed prospective customers could be searching online for the type of service their business offers
And most importantly, the vast majority of SMBs who do use paid search marketing as part of thier overall marketing strategy were…..HAPPY:
- Small-business owners who use paid search marketing are very satisfied, as 72 percent reported an increase in sales inquiries and 68 percent consider their paid search marketing efforts successful.
Clearly, when it comes to small businesses and SEM, the word to remember is “EDUCATE.” All of these fears can be overcome by educating SMBs on the paid search marketing process and defining metrics for success.
So in more “Google is getting greedy with ads” news, Google appears to be testing running ads in Google Search Suggest. Only select users will see this update while they test it out, but here is a screen grab from Search Engine Land:
From an advertiser and a user perspective, I’m not happy with this change. Usually Google strives to make changes that benefit users and contribute to thier financial success. However, this just looks like pure greed to me. It’s way too easy for a user to accidentally click on an ad that hovers right below the search box, creating not only user frustration, but a potential wasted click for the advertiser.