PPC: Nothing earth-shattering in the PPC world this week, but a couple good reads:
- Is It Time for Facebook to Launch a PPC Syndication Network? – There’s a number of good reasons why Facebook is in a great position to launch a successful challenge to Google’s AdSense: strong a wide-reaching relationships with publishers, a large enough advertiser base, robust targeting technology, and built-in mechanisms to identify click fraud. A an aside, I highly recommend Wired’s story from last fall examining why Facebook might have Google quaking in its boots — the short of it is that, from the start, Google promised its users to maintain a (thin) line between user search data and advertiser targeting, whereas but Facebook never made that promise.
- Google AdWords Automated Simplicity – Seemingly confirming long-standing rumors that AdWords planned to get into the bid management game, last week they quietly unveiled Automated Rules (here at Anvil we’ve been loving the Automate tool for the last few months as a beta for ad scheduling around timed promotions). Lacking robust reporting or display network integration, it’s not yet a replacement for 3rd party bid management tools, but it does provide for easy rule-based control of status, bid and budget from the campaign down to keyword level.
- The Farmer/Panda Update: New Information from Google – The latest on how sites are being impacted, who is being hit and what to do about it.
- Case Study: Impact of Code Cleanup on Site Traffic – Find out how one site saw a 40% lift in traffic by cleaning up broken links and improving page load times (in case you were looking for a good excuse to bug your dev & IT teams about one more thing!)
Analytics: In the Analytics world, Omniture earned an important feather in its cap, and HootSuite unveiled their latest & greatest.
- Adobe achieves MRC Accreditation for select Site Catalyst Metrics (Omniture) – The following Adobe SiteCatalyst metrics are now accredited: Page Views, Visits, Daily Unique Cookies and Time Spent on Site. The MRC was formed at the request of the U.S. Congress and audits and accredits audience measurement services on a voluntary basis, helping to ensure that the advertising industry has valid, reliable and effective advertising metrics.
- New Hootsuite Analytics released – The new HootSuite social media analytics tool feature adds new metrics including measuring your Twitter growth and tracking mentions on Twitter. You can now also create custom reports that can be scheduled and emailed directly to your HootSuite team (need a pro membership – $5.99/mo).
- Also of note is the release of Webtrends 10, announced at Engage San Francisco this week.
Link Development: Infographics have become all the rage in the link-building world, but just like there’s good and bad infographics, there’s good and bad tactics for building links around them.
- How To Build Links with Infographics – Get a quick and important lesson on how to effectively use infographics to build links. Learn what it takes from the initial development process, through working with the designer, to the ultimate end goal of link acquisition.
- Social Media Link Building – Social media sites do provide SEO value. Find out how to get the most value out of your social media links by networking on the most relevant sites and creating high-quality content for linkbait.
Social Media: This week we found some great reads on the relationship between search & social in the online purchase process, why fans and followers sometimes disappear, and a big step forward for Foursquare.
- Search + Social Media Increases CTR By 94 Percent: Report – Search and social media have become intertwined in the purchase path that consumers take across the Web. But search still dominates with 60% of cases that end in a purchase start with search.
- Why Fans Stop Liking & Following You on Facebook & Twitter – Top reasons from the report include posting too frequently, feed becoming too cluttered, content repetitive or boring.
- Foursquare’s Google Moment: Personalized Recommendations – Late last night, Foursquare 3.0 launched, bringing recommendations to the local social check-in arena.
- Google Places: Metrics Data Missing & New Landing Page – Data is missing from February 18th on – no fix yet, but Google is working on it
- Tweet Your Hotpot Ratings on Android – Google introduces the ability to tweet your reviews in an effort to make things more social
- 5 Tips for Responding (or Not) to “Fake” Reviews – Think about your options before just responding.
Landing Page Testing: Your resident wizard of post-click optimization and landing page testing here, with one of the easiest Which Test Won entries in a long time!
- Vegas.com Tests Mobile Landing Pages – Which Test Won’s Gold Ribbon Homepage Landing Test Award Winner! If you’re looking for a good illustration to your colleagues of why your company needs a mobile-optimized site, look no further. (Ben commented: “the homepage is so bad, they should just use the mobile version as their main homepage.”)
B2C: In B2C news this week, it looks like more tax refunds could get put to use online this season. So, make sure you’re reaching Mom before she spends it elsewhere!
- Tax Refunds: To Spend or Not To Spend? – 62% of Americans are expecting a return this year, up 66% compared to last year. The majority plan to save the refund or pay off debt, but 13% plan on making big purchases, while 12% are planning a spring/summer vacation.
- 10 Ways Brands can Target Moms… – Fuse online advertising and social media by: offering discounts, being a resource, building a community, incorporating social testimonials into advertising, delivering cause-worthy message, getting on mobile, making it easy for moms to communicate (be open to multiple channels), being entertaining (multimedia), making it personal and having strong calls to action.
Retail/Storefront: You’ve probably seen those vaguely bar-code-ish square QR codes starting to show up everywhere in the last couple months as retailers and marketers start to get smarter about connecting the dots between online, offline and mobile devices.
- Who’s Scanning All Those QR Codes – QR startup company JumpScan has released an interesting infographic about the current use of QR codes.
As an aside, we also talked about “hidden” QR codes. It’s now possible to embed QR codes in print such that they’re not even visible to the user, yet fully functional. Not mucking up your ads with black-and-white squares is great and all, but it remains to be seen how to get people to scan a QR code if they don’t know it’s there!
- Want to make money with an App? Apple Still Dominates – Android may be surging recently, but Apple still commands more than 80% of the revenue generated in App store market.
- TV Commercials coming to a Mobile Phone Near you – Analytics firm Flurry recently announced a new video advertising network called AppCircle Clips which aims to bring a “TV commercial”-like experience to mobile applications and games.
We also had a lively debate on “what is the iPad?” When it comes to PPC campaigns and other search marketing, is it closer to a mobile phone or a desktop? AdWords has started allowing advertisers to target the two individually, and obviously tablets represent a new, 3rd device category. But, the general consensus here at Anvil seemed to be that they are closer to computers than phones…thoughts?