Friday, 24 December 2010

Season Greetings!

Our office will be closed from midday today until Tuesday 4th January 2011.

We would like to wish all our customers, and readers of this blog, a very Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2011.

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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Online ad value now exceeds newspapers

The Wall Street Journal has published a summary of new research in the US by eConsultancy which estimates that advertisers will have spent more on Internet ads than on print newspaper ads in the past year. Figures for US spending on online ads are expected to hit $25.8 billion, which is higher than the $22.8 billion spent on print ads in newspapers.

This change has been expected for some time as the gap was rapidly closed between the two types of advertising media and as the Internet became more maintstream. As the article says, the online platform provides many more options for news although newspaper publishers can't charge as much for ads online as they can in print. Therefore while the total audience for many newspapers may have grown in recent years, the publishers have been unable to stem revenue declines.

Other research mentioned by the article includes recent findings by Forrester Research which show that US consumers are now spending as much time online as they do watching television. But they aren't necessarily spending less time in front of their TVs, so the media that are seeing a declining share of usage are radio and print newspapers / magazines.

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Thursday, 16 December 2010

Twitter raises $200m funding

The micro-blogging website Twitter is ending the year with a new round of funding, having raised $200m against a valuation of $3.7 billion. According to All Things Digital, the funding included the addition of 2 new board members and is a significant development for Twitter as it continues to upgrade its management and business model.

This new input of funding will help support Twitter's expansion plans and also indicates to bigger companies (such as Google) that it's not for sale!

In another article from Paid Content, which also reports on the Twitter funding, there is a summary of the main venture capital funding for online companies in 2010, including Yelp, LivingSocial and Groupon (which recently rejected a takeover bid from Google).

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Friday, 10 December 2010

New enhancements in Google AdWords

Google continues to develop new features for AdWords and has released a number of new enhancements this week.

Firstly, on Wednesday the AdWords blog announced some new additions to the Keyword Tool, based on feedback from users. The new tool hasn't been that well received since it was first introduced and compared to the previous version, but the new features are helping this to become a more valuable resource for advertisers.

There are some new filters added to the tool, including the option to choose specific terms to include or exclude from a keyword list. There is also a new ‘More like these’ button to search for terms that are similar to the specific keyword ideas that have been selected from the suggested list of terms. Users can also access results that include just the exact words or phrases (and their close synonyms) that have been entered in the search box.

Several other new features include adding 'stars' to keywords that users may want to save while still searching for new keyword ideas. There is also the option to view the selected keywords in text form, so that users can easily edit them and paste them in a spreadsheet or AdWords Editor.

The second announcement this week was for some new options in the Opportunities tab which include:
* First page CPC ideas - to help users adjust bids so that ads have a better chance of appearing on the first page of search results.
* More robust statistics for keyword ideas - the broad estimates for suggested new keywords have now been improved to show estimates for impressions, cost, and clicks whenever these statistics are available.
* Bid ideas for ad groups - bid ideas can now be found at the ad group level in addition to the keyword level.
* Exporting ideas - if there are a lot of ideas being listed, users can now export these to a .csv file to allow review and editing.

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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Automated Rules for Google AdWords

Google has announced the introduction of a new 'automated rules' feature in AdWords, so that advertisers can set up specific requirements to be adjusted depending on campaign performance. This new addition to the available tools for advertisers allows users to create rules to automate bid, budget, and status changes on a specific part of an AdWords account (such as selected keywords, ad groups, campaigns, and ads) that are triggered at a particular time.

For example, Google provides some examples of when automated rules could be set up to perform the following tasks:
* Enable ads promoting a special offer late on a Sunday night when the offer goes live
* Automatically raise the bids to the first page CPC for all keywords in a campaign that contain the word ‘sale’
* Generate more traffic on peak shopping days by automatically increasing the daily budget on Mondays and decreasing it on Wednesdays

This last function has been something that's been required for some time and will enable more flexibility in managing campaigns and adjusting settings to suit the market or business requirements.

As usual with the introduction of significant new features, the automated rules are only available to US advertisers at the moment but are expected to be gradually rolled out over the coming months to other countries.

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Monday, 6 December 2010

Skipping Ads on YouTube

As reported by Information Week, YouTube has launched a new service, called TrueView, which allows users to select an ad-skipping button in the first 5 seconds and then only charges advertisers for viewed ads.

The Google-owned YouTube site added the service last week and aims to reduce the frustration of users who don't want to be disrupted by ads, and to reduce the cost to advertisers to that they only pay for the adverts that are shown. The ad-skipping button has to be pressed within the first 5 seconds to be effective and also the advertiser will choose whether to offer the option. It will also improve the creativity of advertisers to get users to wait beyond the first 5 seconds.

The advertiser will also learn more about who is watching their ads, with access to demographic and other information that YouTube gathers on users. YouTube will charge advertisers only when a viewer has watched the full ad or the first 30 seconds, whichever is shorter. During the beta testing phase, YouTube found view-through rates of 20% to 70% (the measure of how many viewers opt-in to watch an ad, which is a strong indicator of the ads effectiveness).

YouTube is making the TrueView available in the United States and Canada initially but plans to make it available in other countries in the future. For now, advertisers have to contact a YouTube representative to buy the new format. The site plans to eventually offer it as a self-service option.

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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Web marketing newsletter published for December

The latest issue of our monthly Web Search & Marketing newsletter has been published for December.

Following on from last month's issue which looked at 10 common questions about website analytics, this month's issue focuses on Social Media Marketing and how this can be used to improve the marketing of a business website. It lists the 10 most common questions that have been asked about Social Media Marketing, including marketing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you want to sign up for future issues of this newsletter, please do so by using the form at the bottom of this page. To view back issues of this regular newsletter you can see the archive by date or by subject.

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