All PPC Search Engines Not Created Equal ~ Search Marketing and Internet Marketing Blog Online

All PPC Search Engines Not Created Equal

There was an interesting post in the Microsoft adCenter blog recently regarding the varying tactics needed to run successful paid search campaigns in differing search engines. After reading through the article I quickly realized something! I've been approaching adCenter all wrong! Here is what I read when it hit me:
Some advertisers optimize their pay per click campaigns for other engines and then export them with little change to adCenter. This may save time, but it doesn’t always optimize for the distinctly different character of Microsoft’s traffic. In other words, you may be leaving a pile of money on the table.
Lets face it! Google and Yahoo capture 85-90% of all search traffic while MSN gathers up the remaining 10-15%. In like manner, I had been dividing my campaign's ad spend in like manner - 85-90% between Google and Yahoo and throwing 10-15% at adCenter.

Where the problem lies in this is that despite the varying differences in traffic percentages, there is always room for improvement. Not to mention that in a few cases, adCenter carries with it a significantly higher conversion rate. This blog post in particular focused on bidding strategies in relation to the long tail of keywords which is typical for an Adwords or YSM paid search campaign. To counter-act the lower traffic level in MSN's adCenter, concentrate on a select few keywords that are closer to the head.

Here are a few additional reasons to NOT copy and past your Adwords campaign to other paid search vendors:
  • Character Limits: This directly applies to Yahoo!, where your headline is allowed 40 characters. AdWords and adCenter only allow 25. You should do your best to maximize the space given to you in Yahoo!. Just think of the extra keywords you can fit in that space!
  • Keyword Bids: Beyond merely making bid decisions based on the long tail of keywords, you should make those decisions based on the search engine you’re working in. The bid you have set in AdWords is based on Google’s traffic and competitive landscape. Those factors are altogether different when dealing with Microsoft and Yahoo!. All three of these search engines offer their own unique bid forecasting tools for a reason. In a perfectly optimized world, a single keyword will have a different bid in each account.
  • DKI, Keyword Insertion, Dynamic Text: Each of the search engines takes a slightly different approach to DKI. While Google and Yahoo!’s systems are nearly identical, there are vast differences when Microsoft is thrown into the mix. In adCenter, you can dynamically insert the keyword, but also have the ability to set multiple parameters per keyword which can be inserted into your ad texts automatically. Taking the time to learn the ins and outs of these tools is important and can directly benefit your CTR!
  • Match Types and Negative Keywords: When you copy and paste your campaigns from one search engine to another, you will likely erase your negative keyword lists. And your match types will be eradicated when copying into Yahoo! (no exact, phrase or broad matching!). Negative keywords and match types are such a vital part of the PPC arsenal and should not be forgotten. Take the time to research the right negative keywords and match types for each search engine and implement them accordingly.

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