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BizReport : Search Marketing : December 05, 2011

Top 3 reasons PPC ads can be more effective

With the holiday season in full swing it may be too late to change video ads or some display ads, but paid search? Simple tweaks and changes can be launched within minutes and may improve how consumers find and buy merchant's products. Here are three tips from Marin Software which may improve holiday ROI.

by Kristina Knight

marinsoftware.jpgKristina: Both Black Friday/Cyber Monday saw some strong traffic increases and once firm reports 'coupon' was one of the top search terms for the shopping weekend. What can online merchants do to capitalize on the increased traffic of the holiday season?

Matt Lawson, Vice President of Marketing, Marin Software: One trend that continues to grow is that consumers are getting more savvy about using search to find products. Consumers are more regularly searching on very specific product terms, SKUs, etc, and also are very adept at finding coupons and deals before making purchases. Retailers that want to capture more of these searches to bring customers in the door should strategize about using more exact "match types" in their keyword marketing campaigns. That may mean creating paid search ads on millions of very specific search terms, but the results can be impressive - lots more clickthrough without a corresponding increase in price-per-click.

Kristina: What trends are you seeing in search this year?

Matt: Our own research across 1,100 large-scale search advertisers shows that click-through rates on paid search ads rose 68% this Black Friday, compared to 2010, but impressions rose only 30%, and cost-per-click decreased 34%. Because ads more closely match what people are looking for, they click on them earlier in the purchase process. This increase in PPC ad effectiveness is happening for three main reasons.

First, marketers are getting better at managing and optimizing their paid search programs, using sophisticated automation and tools to wring more value out of every keyword buy.

Second, the search engines continue to improve their algorithms to serve more accurate ads based on organic searches.

Third, consumers are getting savvier about how to use search - looking for more specific terms and coupons, instead of just randomly surfing - so they find what they need faster.

Kristina: What are you expecting from 2012?

Matt: In the paid search world, we expect the trend of higher volume of clicks at lower costs for advertisers - as well as more savvy consumers and more technological advances at the search engines - to continue into 2012. Consumers will get more utility out of search, advertisers will get more bang for their buck, and search engines will continue to improve ad matching through advanced algorithms.

Tags: Marin Software, paid search, paid search trends, search marketing

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