08 Sep 10 Google Instant Search, Your Adwords CTR, and SEO Traffic

It’s rumored that Google will be launching their instant search or streaming search functionality today. Late last night I saw it in action, for a few minutes. I assume they are randomly testing it out with their users. I would have played around with it more if I had known for sure it wasn’t live for everyone. Here are my initial thoughts and questions based on my quick experience.

Inflated Adwords Impressions and Hijacked Clicks Unless…

As I was typing out me query the entire results page kept updating, including the ads. What this means is that by the time you are done typing you’ve probable seen 5-10+ ads. Any of them will flash by for a second or less. I expecting Google will not count these as impressions on your account, but how will they get reported? Drive-By Impressions? Or will advertisers not get this data. I believe that as users get used to this new feature, people will start to type queries slower in order to glance at the results AND ads. The benefit is that advertisers with ads being triggered by lower key phrase terms will now have first dibs at the traffic.

Let’s say a surfer wanted to search for “Dog Training For Beginners” , and you happen to be bidding on this phrase because you did your homework and only bid on highly targeted keyword phrases. With the new Google, an ad will show for “Dog”, this will probably not be targeted enough for the ad to match the surfers requirement. But the next set of ads and results will be for the phrase “Dog Training”. Depending on how well written the ad is, the surfer may never complete their initial query before they click away.

It will be interesting to see how web search behavior changes and how advertisers will have to modify their keyword selection process and ad copy writing to stay competitive. The same applies to anyone doing SEO.

#1 Position Could Be Worth a Lot More traffic!

I may be mistaken, but I think there is some keystroke or action that automatically or easily navigates you to the first result in the SERP. During my first encounter with instant search I somehow ended up on a website but I know for sure I didn’t click the listing to get there. All I know is that my fingers slipped and hit something that took me to the top results on the page. Whether this is an actual feature or even the results of my mistake, this could be huge for the SEO industry and everyone enjoying first position ranking for any keyword.

All this is going to become more clear at 9:30am PST today and I’ll update my post with thoughts


Here’s more info on how impressions are counted on adwords, from The Adwords Advertisers FAQ
“When someone searches using Google Instant, ad impressions are counted in these situations:

  • The user begins to type a query on Google and clicks anywhere on the page (a search result, an ad, a spell correction, a related search).
  • The user chooses a particular query by clicking the Search button, pressing Enter, or selecting one of the predicted queries.
  • The user stops typing, and the results are displayed for a minimum of three seconds.

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25 Aug 10 Remarketing with Google Adwords

Ever notice certain ads that seem to follow you around wherever you go? Just recently, I’ve been seeing aweber ads on the Google Display Network (formerly known as the Content Network) Network sites I visit, and it’s been frequent enough that I stopped to pay attention. Good job to whoever manages SEM and media buys at aweber.

How are companies like Aweber doing this?

It’s called remarketing or retargeting and it allows you to tag and cookie people who hit a particular page or site. Later on, you can identify these people as they surf around the web and message them with precision.

Time For A Picture

Use Remarketing To Reach People Who Didn't Convert

In the diagram to the left, the blue+green equals everyone who visited your landing page, let’s call it LP X.

To tag these people you just need to put your tagging script on your landing page and  everyone who hits it will get the “Everyone Who Saw LP X” Cookie.

The people in the green made you money or converted for you, they get tagged with the “Thank You Please Come Again” Cookie, and you would put this on your thank-you/conversion page.

Now without remarketing the vast majority of the people who landed on your page would be gone forever, but now you can virtually follow them around the web with reminders and special offer to get them to come back. The messaging is totally up to you. I’ve seen a few aggressive ads that basically say, “Hey we know who you are come back”. It definitely grabbed my attention because it was one of the first times I’d seen remarketing in action. Of course this is not the only way you can use remarketing, there are many other creative ways to tag your visitors.

Here are more ideas for you to consider

  • Facebook advertising gives you access to traffic based on some pretty precise demographic options. One thing that Facebook banned a while ago was calling out people based on certain aspects of their demographic. This tactic worked very well for conversions and CTR. Now with remarketing and a little scripting you can create ads on facebook and tag these people into very specific demographic buckets. There more you can do with this idea that will basically let you target the masses more precisely but that’s not the kind of conversation I’d like to have on a blog 😉
  • Easy Up-sells. You know that people who buy X are more likely to buy Y. Just create a “Buyers of X” group and use remarketing to pitch Product Y to them.

How do you get started?

Google Adwords Audiences Tab

To Start Experimenting with Remarketing on Google Adwords, Just Click The Audiences Tab.

I hope I’ve got you excited enough to think about ways you can use remarketing in your business. There are lots of companies out there that will allow you to run remarketing campaigns, but I recommend you start with Google Adwords and the Google Display Network because most of you reading this already have an adwords account, and can get started right away without having to apply for a new account with 3rd parties etc etc.

I Would Have Made You a Quick  Getting Started Video, but Google Already Beat Me To It

If you can see this, then you might need a Flash Player upgrade or you need to install Flash Player if it's missing. Get Flash Player from Adobe.

Finally, to read more in-depth information on how remarketing works on Adwords check out this resource page on Interest-Based Advertising.

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