Web Search & Marketing Newsletter - April 2012
Welcome to the latest monthly edition of our newsletter, which covers news, tips and advice on effective website marketing techniques and trends.
This month we look at how Google is rolling out a new platform in AdWords, dedicated to the Display Network. We discuss the significance of this major addition to AdWords and how it will combine the reach of display with the precision of search. We also look at the enhanced targeting options within that network, how each works and how they can be used.
We also review the latest figures released by Google Australia's Head of Local Business. These demonstrate how more small businesses in Australia have recently benefited from the digital economy through the free websites provided by the joint Google and MYOB initiative.
You can read more below, or you can also browse through previous editions of the newsletter, either by month or by subject. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest developments during the month, or follow our Facebook page for updates.
On to this month's edition...
Google launches an enhanced Display Network platform within AdWords
Google has recently begun to rollout the long-awaited overhaul of its Display Network. This is a significant development for all AdWords users, from individuals to professional marketing agencies, as the changes involve an entirely new platform that has been built from the ground up, specifically to run targeted campaigns across the third-party display network.
The Google Display Network (GDN) allows advertisers to display their ads on websites that are relevant to their product. Originally though, Google AdWords was built for search advertising and the display capabilities were built into it after that. Due to this, many marketing professionals felt that their ability to use the display network's capabilities to target adverts on other sites effectively was restricted.
So Google has recently addressed this concern by giving a much-needed overhaul to this Display Network's interface within AdWords and by improving its targeting. This is being done through the introduction of an overhauled contextual engine that's used to match display adverts to website content, which in effect will combine the reach of display with the precision of search.
A new Display Network tab within AdWords is being rolled out to accommodate this. This new interface includes 'Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting' that enables similar features to those only previously available when running advertising campaigns through the search network. That is, the ability to assess and adapt performance at the keyword level, which will make it much easier to successfully manage and precisely target this type of campaign.
This enhancement in the control over the level of keyword targeting will be complemented by allowing marketers to reach more specifically defined target audiences. Please see the following article in this newsletter that defines these in more detail.
The control of the management over these campaigns will be improved with additional tools, such as the Display Campaign Optimiser and it will be possible to copy over search campaigns to use for GDN. Unlike search campaigns however, the keywords will only be broad matched, which may prove to be still slightly too wide a net to cast. It will certainly be an improvement over the previous level of targeting though, that involved having to use themed ad groups and will result in more in-depth performance analysis.
It is the opinion of some online marketing experts that there will be "more clarity into reporting and better data". But further enhancements to the product are already eagerly anticipated, including reports that combine keyword performance and site placements, as well as search query reports, so advertisers can see the queries against which they were contextually matched.
These new management features, combined with the introduction of a visualisation tool (that shows how particular targeting decisions could affect the reach of the campaign), sound very promising. They should be a notable leap in the evolving accuracy and performance levels of the Google Display Network, although even more in-depth reporting features will be required in the future.
If you'd like to know more about how this new GDN platform can enhance the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns, contact us for more information.
Google's Display Network targeting options
The targeting options that are now available in the enhanced GDN platform have been vastly improved through Google's recent overhaul of the interface within AdWords. They improve the way in which the two key marketing objectives are met: branding (through awareness/engagement) and performance improvements (through direct response/conversions).
The way in which the audience for the former objective of branding is reached is through the broad placement/topic categories, as well as the more specific keyword contextual targeting. Interest category (based on interests and behaviour online) and demographic targeting then can further define this audience to a more granular level.
For example, a company that wants its audience to learn more about their particular basketball trainers can use the interest category targeting to show their ad to a wide range of people classified as "basketball enthusiasts". Also, through using keyword contextual targeting to show the ad on web pages with basketball content, using keywords such as "basketball trainers" and "basketball shoes".
The more specific audience for the latter objective of conversion performance through direct response can be found and reached directly through keyword contextual targeting, i.e. by targeting web pages with content that contain keywords that describe the product to be sold, such as "basketball trainers". So this audience is immediately more specifically defined than "enthusiasts", through not using the broader placement/topic categories.
Once this particular audience is found on sites that contain "basketball trainers" keywords, other interest categories or their demographics can further define this audience (and similar users) allowing it to be segmented further. If they decide not to purchase or register (i.e. "convert") on these relevant sites, this particular audience can be tracked and targeted through remarketing. Further relevant ads would then be shown to them, to provide incentives to return to the website and convert.
These methods of targeting, particularly the new capability of more granular Display Network targeting through "Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting" are a significant improvement. According to Google, this will provide publishers with better performing ads and greater engagement with their target audience, while users will see more relevant ads.
If you'd like more information about how these improvements in GDN targeting can enhance the online marketing of your business, contact us now.
Small businesses in Australia benefit from the digital economy
According to figures recently released by Google Australia, the digital economy is now benefiting more than half of small businesses in Australia by giving them online exposure.
In a recent survey conducted by Google, 52% of small business owners had a website, which is year-on-year growth of over 50% in 2012, compared with 2011 when MYOB research stated that figure to be just 35%. That figure has increased since Google and MYOB launched their joint initiative called "Getting Aussie Business Online", a program that stimulated over 30,000 businesses to create free websites.
Tasmania's tourism sites had amongst the largest growth, with those now claiming 9% of all "Getting Aussie Business Online" sites there. This is almost 3 times more than the average for the rest of the country. The retail sites there account for a quarter of all websites, which is 25% more than the average nationally. So these two sectors are expanding well online.
The majority (also at 25%), of the websites created in WA are in the construction and trades category. Nationally, two-thirds of businesses that have created free websites through the program are outside major cities, with SA having the lowest percentage (at 49%) and QLD having the highest at 84%.
If you would like more details about how a business website and online marketing could benefit your small business, contact us now.
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We hope you've found this month's newsletter useful. Please contact us if you need any more information on the items covered, or our advice on any aspect of your website's performance. Also, if there are any issues you would like to see in future editions of this newsletter, please submit your suggestions to us.