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Web Search & Marketing Newsletter - July 2010

Welcome to the latest issue of our monthly newsletter, which looks at the latest news and developments in the field of web search and online marketing.

This month we start by looking at Google's recent launch of new AdWords reports in Google Analytics and how it allows users to measure what happens after people click on sponsored listings within the search results.

We also review how Microsoft's Bing search engine has made some progress in its first year in terms of search market share and what effect this has had upon Google's dominance. Finally we consider the new report formats in Google AdWords and, in particular, how the Impression Share data can be used to develop a pay-per-click advertising campaign.

You can read more below, or you can also browse through previous editions of the newsletter, either by month or by subject . We are also reporting the main news stories during each month in our regular web marketing blog or you can get the latest updates by following our Twitter account.

On to this month's edition...

Google launches new AdWords reports in Google Analytics

Google recently introduced some new AdWords reports within the Google Analytics interface, which help to measure what happens after people click on the sponsored listings within the search results. Whilst the information within a Google AdWords account focuses more on the click data received on keywords and adverts, the new Google Analytics reports allow advertisers to see how visitors from an AdWords advertising campaign interact and engage with their website.

One aspect of these reports allows advertisers to determine how a person using a particular match type of keyword (i.e. broad, phrase, or exact) to find a site behaves on it, compared to one that uses a different kind of match type. This information can be applied to individual keywords, or expanded to adgroups and whole campaigns, so it can be used to see how much time these visitors spend on the site, or how many pages they view.

This is very powerful data that enables underlying trends to be detected and AdWords campaign components to be edited accordingly. In particular, this data can be used in conjunction with the existing funnel reports that depict where visitors exit the site before converting to a sale or enquiry.

These new reports are a welcome inclusion for Google Analytics users and will provide the ability to measure the success of AdWords campaigns in more detail, especially with the addition of 3 new reports at the beginning of June. These are in the form of a day parting report, a destination URLs report, and a placements report. This ability to dig deeper into AdWords performance was further enhanced at the same time, with the inclusion of 10 more dimensions that provide even more segmented data.

If you'd like more information on how these new Google Analytics reports can improve the performance of your AdWords campaign, contact us now.


Bing gains market share over first year

Recent research shows that Microsoft's Bing search engine has made some progress in its first year in terms of search market share, as well as its share of marketers' paid search spend in the US. However, the majority of this gain has not come from the market leader Google, but at Yahoo's expense, who are joining forces with Microsoft in a combined search marketing venture dubbed ‘MicroHoo' to be launched towards the end of this year.

The latest market share figures for the US published by comScore show that Microsoft's sites (Bing, Windows Live and MSN) accounted for 11.8% of searches in April 2010, up from 8% in May 2009. Additional research by Nielsen shows the figures as slightly higher, with Microsoft's search products reaching a 12.9% share of searches compared to 9.4% during the same period the previous year.

Data from Hitwise, which specifically tracks activity through the Bing website estimates that the search engine accounted for 9.4% of US searches in April 2010, compared with a 5.7% share of searches for Microsoft's MSN and Live properties in April 2009. Therefore all three data providers do show a growth from Microsoft / Bing but this does come at the expense of Yahoo's search product, instead of Google.

Additional data on search advertising spend in the US, published by Efficient Frontier, shows that Bing's share of paid search spend rose from 3.8% in Q2 2009, to 7% in the second quarter of 2010, whereas Yahoo saw a decline from 21.3% to 17.8% in the same period, whilst Google saw its own share remain consistent at around 75%.

There is some question as to whether Bing has actually prevented Google gaining more share over the past year, but it must also be disappointing not to have made more of a dent into the market leader's position. Microsoft and Yahoo's combined effort will thus need to work harder to combat the apparently unassailable position being held by Google in the overall search market, but are making some progress as smaller businesses have reported increased ROI from both Bing and Yahoo.

According to online advertising firm WebVisible, click-throughs on small business ads rose significantly between Q4 2008 and Q4 2009 across the two engines, so Bing's higher CTR shows how the soon-to-be implemented Microsoft-Yahoo! search deal will benefit small business advertisers.

If you'd like to know how Bing's increase in market share could affect the marketing of your business, contact us now for more information.


Using Impression Share data in Google AdWords

Google is currently making many changes to the way in which the reports within AdWords are accessible. Previously, the majority of these were only available within the Reports Centre in AdWords, but many of them are now being moved to the same pages where campaigns are managed, making finding key performance drivers (and acting upon discoveries) faster and easier. One such tool is the Impression Share report that can be enabled on the Campaign level of an AdWords account to view data within the user interface.

Impression Share is a useful, if sometimes confusing, metric which can be used by advertisers to monitor and evaluate account performance. The figure shows the percentage of impressions where an advertiser's adverts were shown, out of the total available impressions in the search market being targeted. This overall figure can also be broken down into a Lost Impression Share, either due to Budget or Rank.

It is often unlikely for an AdWords campaign to achieve 100% Impression Share, so any loss of the total available impressions can be explained by a number of reasons, such as:

Since the Impression Share metric can now be more easily monitored within the campaign level interface, if the figure is too low then advertisers can try to increase this by enabling adverts to appear either more often or in more places than they currently do so. This can be done in a number of ways, such as by increasing the campaign budget, improving advert quality, increasing the bid levels, adjusting keyword match types, or by adjusting regional or placement targeting parameters.

If you'd like to know more about how Google's changes to reporting in AdWords or Impression Share reporting in particular can improve your PPC marketing activity, contact us now.


Web Marketing Workshop achieves Google AdWords Certified Partner status

Finally this month, we at the Web Marketing Workshop are proud to announce that we've recently passed the newly updated exams that are required to become a Google AdWords Certified Partner.

We have previously been an AdWords Qualified Company, but Google has recently introduced a more stringent qualification process with additional exams and a higher minimum pass level of 85%. During June we successfully passed these exams, with specialisation in Search Advertising and Reporting & Analysis, and we are now amongst a small number of Australian search marketing agencies that have achieved this status.

Google AdWords Qualified CompanyCombined with our broad experience of managing many AdWords campaigns for clients, this Partner status gives us the depth of experience and knowledge to provide an expert service to our clients.

You can find more information about our certification status by clicking the logo to the left and, as a professional online marketing company, we look forward to providing you with our knowledge and expertise into the future.


Recent articles from The Marketing Workbench

The Marketing Workbench is our regular web marketing blog covering news and comment on Internet marketing events and trends. If you want to keep track of current stories you can visit this section of our website on a regular basis, or set up an RSS feed. These are just some of the items posted over the past month:


We hope you've found this month's issue 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.