Posted by: Reggie James On Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 - General
| Search Engines
The announcement this morning that Yahoo! & Microsoft have finally tied the knot and will provide advertisers with a combined search offering has been a long time coming. The dominant partner in the relationship – Microsoft, has been trying to drag Yahoo! kicking & screaming down the isle for the best part of a year and the on going saga has claimed many an exec along the way, not least founder and former CEO, Jerry Yang.
In essence, the fait accompli was almost inevitable given Google’s dominance in the search space. Alongside the worsening search ad revenues of the respective number 2 and 3 in the market, the Seattle giant really had to push this deal to appease shareholders. With both companies announcing poor results last week, the deal will also help boost moral and regain some bravado with disgruntled Microsoft staff probably sick an tired of playing 2nd (& 3rd) fiddle to the incumbent leader.
So what does the future hold?
Well, if the recent uptake of Bing and the ongoing rebrand of Yahoo!, with it user generated facility is anything to go by; the folks at Mountain View may want to re examine where their focus lies. Mass investment in Android, Chrome OS, Maps/Street View etc, may be reviewed if the momentum in the tie-up gathers pace. Augmented to all the hoo-ha is the recent news that after 3 years, a $1billion investment made by Google for 5% of AOL was finally bought back by AOL’s parent, Time Warner for a mere $283 million. Do the math.
If I could be anywhere tonight– a fly on the wall with newly weds, Bartz and Balmer would be my first choice….watch this space.
Posted by: Tom Collinson On Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 - Case Studies
Since 1965, Bonusprint has been offering customers the best possible quality and value. One of the world’s largest photo processing companies, they operate out of a modern laboratory in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire.
Not only offering digital photo and film developing, Bonusprint produce a vast range of personalised photo-related products from calendars to canvas prints. For digital photo printing Bonusprint use the latest digital printing technology to produce the best digital prints possible. They aim to delight their customers with quality, service and value.
As with all photo developing companies, the advent of the digital camera meant Bonusprint had to change their business model to embrace the new digital economy.
The number of people using traditional film processing methods was falling rapidly and it was clear that Bonusprint would need to change their offering in order to continue being a leading player in their field.
Digital Clarity worked with Bonusprint to take a 3-dimensional view of the business as a whole. We looked to see where potential value was for digital print photos.
Digital Clarity works to several goals with its paid search campaigns: to directly generate both quality traffic and sales; to execute tactical campaigns to support new products and promotions; and to lower the cost of acquiring or converting customers.
The campaign commenced initially with Google and now Yahoo and MSN have been added. A Google Ireland campaign has also been launched as a further platform to extend their search distribution. PPC is now an integral part of their online marketing and a core area of Bonusprint building their business.
By optimising the campaign and implementing best search practices, approximately 4,000 keywords are now utilised. Using Tracking and reporting tools Digital Clarity review performance and check patterns daily. In the 6 months up to July 2008 Digital Clarity have helped to generate almost 8,500 transactions.
Posted by: Tom Collinson On Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 - Case Studies
As Mobile marketing grows, so do the services and solutions available. TextAnywhere has been a provider of SMS services since 2002, and by focusing in this core area it has allowed TextAnywhere to offer a superior and extremely cost effective set of text-messaging services to clients looking to send and receive SMS messages.
In addition to outbound services, TextAnywhere also offers inbound services for message replies, short code services for marketing and premium uses, and SMS alerting services.
Digital Clarity approached TextAnywhere who has used the Google Adwords platform for many years in order to add a clearer and more proactive approach to driving customer acquisition.
As TextAnywhere has had a presence on Google Adwords in the past, the challenge was not to gain exposure, but to put together an intelligent strategy that increased the volume of online account registrations, whilst staying within the given budget.
Due to the poor quality of leads being generated, many registrations were going unqualified, further damaging the Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) figures. Digital Clarity needed to ensure that lead quality was greatly improved to ensure the established Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) were matched.
Tasked with reducing CPA’s and bringing a fresh approach to the account, Digital Clarity was excited at the opportunity to drive the account forward.
The key factors to enhance were:
- To increase visitors whilst maintaining quality
- To reduce CPA’s across all products
- To generate higher volumes of applicants as well as maintaining the relevance of registrations.
To better understand the challenges of doing business in the Mobile Marketing sector, Digital Clarity began by working closely with TextAnywhere to gain an in depth knowledge of the industry and to fully understand the products on offer. This included understanding the most popular products as well as those that generated the greatest return. Having this knowledge allowed us to take a streamlined approach to tackling the problems and achieving the required goals.
Improving Current Performance
The first stage to improving the current performance was to carry out a full account review. This allowed us to identify both the areas that were performing strongly and the areas which were not effectively utilising the budget. Cost per Click (CPC) bids were fully reviewed and budgets were managed to target those areas of the account that were providing the greatest returns.
Heightening Relevancy of Traffic
A strong indication of relevancy can be seen in the Click-thru Rate (CTR) and Digital Clarity set about attempting to increase this. Keyword quality score, match types & negative keywords were fully reviewed whilst ad copy was altered to provide the most relevance to the website and the user’s search term.
Digital Clarity prides itself on being able to work as an extension of a client’s company, which is often as a necessity to maximising the success of a campaign and TextAnywhere was fantastic in allowing this to be possible. Areas of further development were discussed and new campaigns created in an attempt to increase and strengthen the number of conversions being achieved.
Digital Clarity applied a number of optimisation techniques to improve the CTR and relevance of traffic to the site and in turn this has helped increase the number of Conversions generated during the beginning months of 2009.
From taking over the account management in February 2009 Digital Clarity made an instant impact on established KPI’s and have planned a strategy to develop these further over the following months.
Clicks and Conversions have continually increased over the year; compared to the same time last year, and conversions have increased by 46% in June.
The CPA has remained steady as conversions have increased resulting in ongoing improvement in ROI.
Digital Clarity’s reduction in CPC and dramatic increase in CTR on the TextAnywhere account has also resulted in increased relevance of prospective clients.
In Summary, overall new client volumes have increased whilst the CPA has remained consistent, resulting in improved lead quality and an increase in ROI.
“As a provider of SMS services that are delivered over the internet, our online presence and positioning is very important in promoting our services and broadening our client and partner community. TextAnywhere first had a search engine presence in mid-2003, when the company first offered its services commercially. However, since we partnered with Digital Clarity we have seen a significant improvement in our paid-listings metrics. Our online position has improved, our paid-listings spend has been made more efficient, and the most important measure of success for us, the number of clients joining us, has increased. Digital Clarity has completely overhauled our online presence, and, through their attention to detail and knowledgeable team, Digital Clarity has made TextAnywhere’s paid-listings campaign more focused and effective.”
Nick Payne – Managing Director – TextAnywhere
In 2002, TextAnywhere Ltd was formed with a mission to deliver high quality, trusted text messaging solutions to UK-based businesses and public sector organisations.
Solutions offered by TextAnywhere range from web-based and email-to-SMS end-user applications that you can send and receive messages from, to Web Services and HTTP-based development tools for integrators wishing to interface their applications to the text-messaging world.
Headquarted in Berkshire, TextAnywhere provides text-messaging services across the world. TextAnywhere works closely with over 11,400 UK organisations including; AXA, Debenhams, HBOS, Liverpool FC, National Express, the NHS, Park Lane College, Starbucks and Virgin Active.
Posted by: Reggie James On Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 - General
Browsing through the excellent Google Maps Blog yesterday, I was surprised to see a few new features that are looking to be rolled out. Surprised, not by the fact that they are new and exciting but more that they’re such simple but great and intuitive additions.
So, lets try and explain this feature in as simple terms as possible. You are looking to obtain directions to a desired destination. You type in the start point and end destination. Press go. As the directional results are listed you are presented with a variety of useful amenities along your journey. The route is dotted with Supermarkets, Petrol Stations etc.
Another great feature is the ability to search for amenities along your route, So for example if you search ‘pharmacy’ in the search box, the map will display all the pharmacies along route etc.
The feature highlights the growing use of search within various applications that traditionally used data capture field tick boxes, drop downs, or didn’t exit at all.
Posted by: Reggie James On Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 - Marketing
Google has posted an excellent article on landing page design on its AdWord Blog.
As the landing page is the first page a visitor or potential customer sees – it is the potent point of engagement and will determine what happens next
As the blog point out, a bad landing page will drive visitors away, while a good one will turn AdWords clicks into customers. There is an excellent webinar video that takes you through the more pertinent points of the topic presented by one of Google’s Website Optimizer Authorized Consultants. Tim Ash.
Posted by: Tom Collinson On Monday, July 13th, 2009 - Case Studies
FindsYou is an innovative and unique service that reverses the usual ‘seller finds buyer’ scenario and allows those searching for a product to post a ‘want’. The consumer sets the parameters and the suppliers are delivered with qualified leads based on the relevance metrics that they have set.
Once a lead has been passed to the relevant supplier, the consumer is contacted based on stock and availability.
As a relatively new service, Findsyou required high volumes of consumers to be driven to the website, with a focus on those looking for cars or properties either to purchase or for rental. Equally as important was to position the Findsyou brand within the market and educate both suppliers and consumers of the benefits in using the service.
Along with the requirement that traffic be relevant and of a high quality was the need to work to a set CPA.
Digital Clarity addressed the importance of specific product searches as well as branding and education within the market on behalf of Findsyou and identified that Pay Per Click would be the most immediate and effective source of traffic when dealing with cars and properties.
By establishing the suppliers onboard, products and geographical locations they target, Digital Clarity focussed on creating a concise keyword strategy that would generate the best results while keeping below the CPA threshold.
Our extensive experience allowed us to adapt and evolve the campaign as the market fluctuated and search trends changed, which resulted in improvements across the board.
Over a 6 month period and on guidance from Digital Clarity, the Findsyou website was altered to help ensure traffic driven through PPC was converting. Through a combination of on-site modifications and a continually optimised PPC campaign, Digital Clarity generated a return of 629% over the original marketing budget.