Tagged: PPC

BING it RIGHT

BING it RIGHTBING is a popular web search engine introduced by Microsoft. It is also advertised as the “decision engine” due to its unique search technology. BING was previously known as Live Search, then the Windows Live Search, and later as MSN Search.

This search engine was first introduced by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on May 28, 2009, at the All Things Digital conference in San Diego, California, USA. The distinctive feature is the listing of search suggestions while queries are entered and a list of related searches (called “Explore pane”) that worked based on a semantic technology that Microsoft purchased from Powerset. As of August 2011, BING has been using a new index-serving technology called “Tiger” that delivers faster and more relevant results for users.

BING as a search engine offers the following additional features to its users:

• Integration with Hotmail
• Integration with Facebook
• Integration with Apple
• Integration with Windows 8
• Media features
• Instant answers
• Local info

The other exclusive feature about the search engine is that it is available in many languages and is localized for many countries. BING also offers many search products for its users, such as Bing Ads, Bing Visual Search, Bing Wolfram Alpha, Bing xRank and more. It also offers a program called Bing Rewards that allows users to earn points for searching with Bing. These points can be redeemed for various products and services on the search engine.

The BING Ads Express is a famous service offered for small businesses that are interested in promoting their business to local customers searching online across the Yahoo Bing Network. According to recent data released by Pricing Engine – a small business marketing platform – the trend is changing in the PPC (pay per click) market. Bing ads are a “more efficient” buy than Google AdWords. The analysis of the data shows that big brands may favor the higher query volume on Google, but small businesses don’t need the same kind of scale. Indeed, in some cases, significant scale can create fulfillment problems for small businesses. BING is gradually becoming a more preferred advertisement platform among small businesses.

So what’s the difference between a regular search engine and a decision engine like BING? Well, perhaps it’s rational. According to Microsoft, Bing is designed to minimize the amount of junk results we get when you perform a search and to help simplify tasks so that a user could make the most informed decision. For example, once you begin your search, Bing has an Autosuggest feature that recommends words based on the first few letters you type, and then lists them for you to choose if one should meet your match. The objective is to organize searches in ways that are easy for users to navigate. BING also has an Explore Pane – located on the left side of the home and results pages, this is intended to help users efficiently browse through their search results.

Could Bing Ever Overtake Google in Search?

That is a tough argument and the reasons are pretty logical i.e., search technology is the bread and butter for Google so they will always remain ahead of the GAME. However, mobile adoption is the future of search and Microsoft has been very instrumental in integrating the BING search engine with its vast network of assets.

Moreover, competition is a major motivator for innovation, and the search engine market has also become unpredictable. If we compare the kind of search results we get from Google versus BING, we can clearly see that it is almost the same. So, though GOOGLE has been around for quite a while and it dominates the search market, we could never be sure about the future if compared with BING.

Its all about Geo-targeting

GeotargetingAn average day-to-day internet user is now pretty much aware how online advertisements work. With terms such as SEO and SEM popping everywhere on the web, we all know that keywords play an important role in how we search and browse the internet. With the coming of social network sites the world has now become a more close knit platform where information is shared and accessed on a whole new level.

Online content is increasing every second ! People are creating, uploading and sharing information on the internet all the time. In the last couple of years, online search platforms have realized the importance of this increasing data and have tried to come up with solutions that provide customized information to its users.

The trend is now shifting from being “global” to being more “local”. The need of the hour is to provide information to internet users based on their geographical location, hence Geo-targeting.

Geo-targeting is the method of determining the geolocation of a website visitor and delivering different content to that visitor based on their location, such as country, region/state, city, metro code/zip code, organization, IP address, and/or ISP. This phenomena has helped online advertisers and publishers in a big way, as they can now customize their add display based on geographic locations of the users and display relevant content.

The fundamental methodology of geo targeting are quiet simple: The technology associate with a user’s IP address to a database containing information matching IP address to zip code. When a website is accessed from the Internet, the available advertising space containing a geo-specified IP address is sent to the Real-Time Bidding (RTB) Exchange. This is where, advertisers who have specified certain zip codes in their inventory orders bid for ad placement on the page, and therefore you see those adds popup based on where you are located and what keywords you searched.

The biggest players of the Internet such as Google and Yahoo have been extensively offering geo targeted tools for their advertisers. PPC (pay per click) campaigns are now been customized based on the rules of Geo targeting. For example, Google will determine which ad to serve based on several location cues, such as search terms, physical location of the searcher, and the domain being viewed. This is bringing great ROI to advertisers and publishers.

Geo targeting has helped businesses plan their online marketing initiatives more effectively. It is helping them spend on a strategic geographical area around their business location. Such concentration or targeting raises accuracy of a campaign because ads are seen by the right people based on what they would like to see. In the coming years, we would be seeing more features and enhancements to this new technology as it benefits the viewer and the advertiser.

The art of Email Nurturing

There are times when we are interested in knowing about a service or a product. We get online or go to a store to shop for more information. We eventually get that information or see the product, but are not ready to buy. We think, we take time and then most of the times, forget about it!

Email nurturing is a way to connect with your current and prospective customers. It is like staying in touch with potential leads that are not quite ready to buy. According to a recent survey almost 75 per cent on inbound leads are not ready to make a buying decision. They need time to judge and understand your business or product.

Online marketing is incomplete without appropriate email nurturing campaigns. The reality is that “conversion” is not a quick event. It takes planned and tactical nurturing. No matter how great your service or product is, it is important to recognize the importance of email nurturing.

1. Emails that introduce educate and get you connected: This is one of the most important formats, as you just have one chance to actually catch the attention of your lead. Introducing & educating your prospects is a vital step in closing a sale. It is important to display your value, and tell them about the things they want to know based on their on- and off-site behaviors. Invite them to subscribe to your blog, connect on LinkedIn, follow each other on Twitter etc. The more ways, through which you and your prospect are connected, the better chance you have of closing the sale.

2. Emails that help them improve: Everyone is looking for things that make them better, as a business person, as an employee and also as an individual. It is important to send emails that target these personal choices and goals. Free offers are a great way to promote your brand and help prospects improve. Asserting yourself as someone who can make their lives better makes you their ally and helps establish the trust you need to turn them into a customer.

3. Emails that remind and re-engage: This is by far the most important of them all! It is more like, “out of site, out of mind”. If prospects have fallen off the radar send them something to re-engage them with your company such as a feedback or a survey. Worst case scenario: your prospect either doesn’t respond or opts out of your emails. That way you actually weed out the ones that are actually interested in your offerings.

In the digital marketing world, PPC, SEO and email nurturing go hand in hand. In fact, emails are the most important and effective nurturing mechanism by far. Emails help leads get more information to make better decisions and they need to be nurtured after the initial point of contact to eventually increase the conversion rate.

The BIG question: Organic or Paid?

According to a recent research published by eConsultancy, Organic search results on search engines such as Google and Bing pull far more traffic compared to paid search results such as PPC (Google Adwords & Microsoft adCenter). The percentage is 94% (organic) to 6% (paid). Organic search results are directly proportionate to CTR (Click – through Rates) i.e. the higher you rank on search engines, the more people click on your website and the lower you rank, the less clicks and traffic your site gets. Therefore ranking high on search engine page 1 is of ultimate value to every website.

The other interesting fact is that Women (53%) are more likely to click on paid search ads than men, who click on paid ads 47% of the time. Further, if the age group is also analyzed, younger searches are less likely to click on paid ads – 35 percent of ads are clicked on by searchers age 34 or younger. Thus, as age increases, so does the number of people clicking on those PPC ads, as 65 percent of paid ad clicks come from searchers age 35 and older. Also if we compare Google with Bing, Google is the clear leader on successful search rates, with a 91 percent successful search rate. Bing’s percentage of successful searches: 76 percent.

Online search technology is an ever changing phenomenon and is constantly going through improvements and upgrades. With search results being the starting point for many businesses and brands, there will be a time when organic search results would completely over shadow paid search, so creating quality content and ranking high on search engines should be the ultimate long term goal.

Digital Marketing 101

If you are the kind of person, who is good with the internet, likes to learn new technologies and gets the thrill by being in an ever changing environment, then Digital Marketing is what you need to get into.

Digital marketing is a vast domain and encompasses anything and everything that uses online distribution channels to reach out to potential customers. The three main elements that make Digital marketing different from traditional marketing or advertising are instant feedback, reporting and a “call to action”. Digital Marketing can be categorized under two broad sections i.e. the Pull technology (where the consumer is searching marketing information often through web search and has given permission to receive content) and the Push technology (where the marketer sends a message without the consent of the recipient).

Popular forms of digital marketing include: banner advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, pay per click (PPC), newsletters, text messages, mobile advertisement, website feeds (RSS), blogs and streaming media (audio and video). In the past few months, other mediums have been used to attract customers and manipulate online content such as: Online Reputation Management (ORM), online PR and Q&A.

Average consumers are constantly becoming more webs savvy and knowledgeable, and as a business owner or manager you would soon feel the need to join the digital marketing bandwagon. Starting with the basics is the right choice. Also, having a planned approach to a digital marketing campaign will help you streamline your marketing budget and achieve maximum ROI.

One of the most important things to remember in the digital marketing domain is to upgrade with change i.e. to keep trying and using different mediums to market online and learning with experience. Digital marketing is the way to the future and offers a huge marketing potential to businesses of all sizes and shapes.