Google Retail Blog - Another great Google Blog which is a great source of information tailored to the needs of retail advertisers. If you sell anything online keep in mind the holidays are quickly approaching and you want to make sure your website is up to par to take advantage of those shopper dollars. You'll pick up some awesome tips that will help your little retail shop be the best it can be. Long live Google!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Anyone who advertises on the Internet knows about pay-per-click search engines like Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing. But did you know that if you sell products online there's a tool out there specifically for you?
A different form of pay-per-click that uses "comparison search engines". These are actually search engines just for products. Searchers use this type of search engine when searching to purchase a specific product. With the information this type of engine provides, shoppers can locate the cheapest price by comparing prices for a variety of stores all in one place. It's an easy way of doing research before making a purchase and helps the buyer to make more informed shopping decisions. One example of this type of site is Shopping.com
Search results generally include a small picture and sometimes customer comments, or ratings. If you're searching for something online these search engines really are a must to ensure you're not paying too much for your intended purchase.
So, now you know what a shopping search engine is and why they're good for onsumersc. Let's talk about why they're also a good thing for merchants, and why you'll want to include them in your online advertising campaigns.
The first major factor is "less competition". If you've been advertising with Google or Yahoo, which most online advertisers use, you will notice that since comparison search engines are only for products, there are less players in the game. Thus you'll stand a better chance of standing out in the crowd and obtaining a good ranking.
All vendors do appear in the search results, but ranking for each shopping search engine is usually based on multiple factors: bid relevancy, popularity, bid amount. Each uses different criteria when deciding who's going to appear at the top.
So how do these search engines get paid, and what's in it for them? I thought you'd never ask. Most engines allow you to submit your products for free and only charge merchants for actual click-throughs. Some make money on any actual sales that are made using their sites.
The traffic you'll receive from this type of specialty search engine is considered to be more "qualified". As these browsers are actively searching for a product to purchase they are in "shopping mode" and are “spend ready”. More qualified traffic means higher conversions for you.
Every comparison search engine has different rules for submitting your products, but the majority are all the same. They ask for merchants to upload their products in the form of a "data feed" which is usually in TXT, CSV, or XML format. This is essentially a list of all the products the merchant wants included in the search results. It consists of pictures and short descriptions.
Now that I've got your interest, let's take a look at some of these shopping search engines and where you can go to submit your products.
1) Yahoo: "Product Submit" http://Shopping.Yahoo.com
This is Yahoo's product submission page. Minimum bids
vary depending on which category you select. The amount you
bid per click will determine your ranking.
2) Froogle: http://google.com/base/help/sellongoogle.html
My personal favorite when I'm in "shopping mode". Froogle
is Google's shopping engine. No fees to list your products
and no fees for click-throughs to your website. If
submitting more than ten items, Google suggests you upload
a data feed.
3) MySimon- http://www.MySimon.com
Their non-tech listings are powered by Shopping.com.
Their tech listings are powered by CNET. To list your
tech products go to
4) Shopping.com- http://www.Shopping.com
An Ebay company which lists thousands of products from
online stores. Twenty million unique visitors per month.
Merchants can list products for free and only pay for
clicks. The cost per click amount depends on the
category chosen. To be listed in the top three search
results is called "featured store placement" and is
based on the top three bids.
5) PriceGrabber.com- http://www.PriceGrabber.com
With over 26 million unique monthly visitors, PriceGrabber
is a strong contender in the shopping search engine
arena. You only pay for clicks to your store. Merchants
can choose to enhance their presence through logos
and what they call "Featured Merchant Product Listings".
There are additional charges for these services.
6) Shopzilla: http://www.ShopZilla.com
No set up fees to list your products and you only
pay for clicks. When opening your account you'll
need to fund it with 50.00 which gets applied to
click-throughs as needed. Your product listings
will also appear in Shopzilla's other sites such
as Bizrate, AOL's Instore.com, etc.
7) Become.com- http://www.Become.com
Founded in 2004, you'll find no set up fees to
submit your products. You'll only be charged for
clicks to your site. Each category has a minimum
cost per click. Your ranking is based on three
factors: relevance, bid amount and popularity.
There is no doubt that comparison search engines can send additional traffic to your online store. If you haven't been using them because you didn't know what they were, or how to include them, now you know. You no longer have any excuses for not adding them to your online marketing arsenal.
For additional information on this subject see these
Additional links and resources.
A blog about data feed optimization for the shopping
Offering information and reviews on comparison search
Helps online retailers submit, manage and optimize
product listings on top shopping search engines via
a single data feed.
All things considered, shopping search engines are not only an excellent tool for online shoppers, they're also a dream come true for merchants who are trying to increase their store front traffic. If you haven't used them in the past, now's your chance to get your products in front of millions of online shoppers. And who knows, you might have just what they're looking for!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Google is going to be combining Adsense reports within Google Analytics.
This video shows the detailed AdSense reports that will be soon be available to all publishers within Analytics. They're gradually rolling out this feature over the next few weeks.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Making Money without a Website Jeremy's created a short 10 page guide that shows you how to make money
without a website. Download it for free:
Here's what's in the free report:
- What is Direct Linking
- Benefits of Direct Linking
- Best Practices for Direct Linking
- Direct Linking Examples
- Google's Policy Change - The End of Direct Linking?
- When a Door Closes a Window Opens
- Direct Linking in the Content Network
- Drawbacks of Direct Linking
- Direct Linking Terms
- Make More Profits from your PPC Campaigns
Grab your copy now. Jeremy knows his stuff and who knows, you just might learn something.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
It's no secret that I love everything Google. I even think they should run for President. Hell, I'd vote for em. They do the coolest things. A cool company obviously run by some very cool people. Yea, I said cool a lot. I like that word. Got a problem with it? Anyway, if you use Adwords or Webmaster Tools or any of their other free services you'll love these videos on YouTube. Tons of helpful videos that will get you up to speed on the various Google tools. Bookmark this one. Say it with me "Google for President, We Love Google"....now you're talking.
I just wanted to tell you how excited I am about the Social Networking Directory! It has to be the biggest Web 2.0 resource out there. I mean I'm sitting here going through it and can't believe how many social sites there are!
There are over 3,000 sites in the Social Networking Directory. The best thing though... is that they ALL have a description about what the site actually does! I mean I've seen the books where people just give you links... but the Social Networking Directory not only gives you the description of each site, it has the graphic, tags, and the link!
I would like to recommend that you go and get it right now! It is Free!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Not feeling very cretive? No time to channel your inner artist?
Google announced the release of Adwords Display Ad Builder today which allows anyone to crete professional looking display ads to run across the Adwords network. No need to hire a designer, now it's easy to do it all yourself. You can create customized display ads using your own logo, images and text. Google makes it easy to be your own designer.
For help see these tutorials:
Friday, October 10, 2008
Ping.fm: "Ping.fm is a simple service that makes updating your social networks a snap." If you use AOL Instant Messenger,Google Talk (GTalk),Yahoo! Messenger,Windows Live Messenger, iGoogle Gadget, Facebook Application
iPhone Web App, Mobile App (WAP),Ping through SpinVox, you can post here and all of your networks will get the update. Very cool.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
A conversion is what happens when someone visits your landing page and performs a wanted action. When you test your landing pages and find out what's working, you can use that information to increase your conversions.
The problem with testing is that the software you need is generally very expensive. Well, how would you like a top notch testing solution that won't cost you a dime? Google offers a free service called "Website Optimizer" http://www.google.com/websiteoptimizer It runs from within your own web browser so there's nothing to download or install.
You can choose from two types of tests:
1) A/B Testing- Also known as split testing, and the easiest
type of test to run. In this type of test you set up two
different versions of your landing page and traffic is
then split between the two to find out which one has a
2) MultiVariable Test- A bit more complicated, this type
of test allows you to test different elements all on the
same pages. For example, you could test different headlines,
graphics, blocks of copy, etc.
Your landing page, (aka test page), must include some call to action. In other words, it must ask them to do something -subscribe to your ezine, buy your product or service, or download something.
Google calls each test an "experiment". There are only four steps when it comes to setting up an experiment. You'll be given some code to copy and paste onto your test page, and your conversion pages. A conversion page is where the viewer goes after performing the wanted action on your landing (test) page.
Make sure you set everything up correctly from the get- Go. If not, and you need to make a change to something, you'll have to go back and re-paste the code on all of your pages. Once the code is in place, Google's validation tool will tell you if something was not done correctly in your setup.
You can decide to test all or only a percentage of your website traffic. Keep in mind if you go with only a certain percentage of your visitors, the test will take
longer to complete. Experiments can also be stopped or paused at anytime.
After your experiment starts, you'll be shown the estimated duration and number of impressions and conversions tracked. Google's graphical reports are simple and easy to read and understand. So even if you're not a math guru, you'll understand what you're looking at when viewing the test results.
Some other helpful resources to help you are:
Google's Optimizer Blog
Google Analytics Blog
There is no doubt that testing and tracking your landing pages will increase your conversions. If you've been sitting on the sidelines, here's your chance to become a "landing page detective" - and the best part is, it won't cost you a dime.
Stop throwing money away and know once and for all what's working with your landing pages. Google's Website Optimizer makes it simple and easy for you to start testing. So what are you waiting for? Get out that white lab coat and wipe off those beakers -it's testing time.
CoolChaser MySpace, YourSpace, we all need a little room to breathe. Admit it you have a MySpace page. Not only for today's spoiled teenager, MySpace is huge but the default templates are a little lacking in creativity. If you need some help in creating the coolest page ever CoolChaser can add some "ohhhh, laaa, laah.....to your page. Free to use and stores everything you create.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Thought I would let you know about a new Event that opened the doors to new JV Partners today.
As you may already know, Private Label Right products are extremely popular right now. Terry Anglin has made it possible for you to take advantage of that opportunity right now to start building your own list.
I recommend that you check out this event as soon as possible to get a heads up on the competition.
You will also want to check out the great offer Terry has put together along with Unbelievable cash prizes for his Elite status partners.
Go Now as they close the doors on Oct 17th.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Everytime you turn your head these days someone is hosting a "giveaway". Believe it or not you can find a lot of gems if you take the time to look at some of these products. But how do you find them? This site does all the hard work for you by announcing all new giveaway's that are being promoted at any one time. You can even subscribe to their ezine to be notified by email of new entries.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Microsoft, not to be left out of the pay-per-click race, followed on the heels of Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing with their own program called "Microsoft adCenter". While you may experience higher conversion rates than with Google or Yahoo, you'll also find less traffic. On the plus side, it can be less expensive.
According to ComScore in Feb 2008, MSN sites had only 7.1% share of total Internet searches, compared to Google's 53.5% and Yahoo's 16.4%.
You can choose to just participate in "search ads",(your ads are displayed on MSN and Live Search),or "Content Ads", (your ads placed on variousin rmation based websites in Microsoft's partner network), or both. By default, both are turned on automatically when registering. We'll talk more about Content Ads a bit later.
With Search Ads, your ads will be displayed on MSN's search results pages, reaching a potential audience of 49 million people every month.
The adCenter offers a clean interface that's simple and easy to use. Write your ads, pick your keywords and set your minimum bids. If you already use Adwords or Yahoo's Search Marketing, you can easily import your existing ads and keywords. If you need help getting started, there is a "QuickLaunch Program" available to assist you. See:
When setting up your new account on adCenter it will cost $5.00 charged to a credit card. After that, you only pay per click and your card is charged monthly. Of course, you can set a monthly budget of what you'd like to spend.
As soon as you've finished the registration process,it's time to set up your ads. Here's the format: Ad titles can be up to 25 characters, ad text 70 characters, display URL has a 35 character limit. A minimum of six words is required in the title and description. The destination URL is not shown in the ad and can be up to 1,022 characters. This is the page that people will be sent to when clicking on your display URL.
Here's a brief overview of some of the rules. Your landing pages cannot contain pop-ups or be under construction. Your ad copy and landing pages must be relevant to your keywords. There can be no duplication of your ads, no using trademarks that belong to others, cannot use a "nonspecific" call to action such as "click here". You'll also need to pay attention to grammar and punctuation. You cannot repeat punctuation marks, cannot capitalize entire words, and there is no use of xclamation points in your titles.
Before your campaigns go live, MS conducts what they call an "Editorial Review". This is done to make sure your ads and keywords are relevant. If not, they'll be disapproved. Ads can be active, inactive or disapproved.
Following this, it's time to select your keywords/phrases. There is a "keyword research tool" you can use to help with brainstorming. You can type in a URL and it gives suggestions for the page. Again, two or three keywords will work better than singular.
If you'd like some software help, there's a keyword research and optimization tool that's based in Excel.It helps you to build keyword lists quickly and easily and keep precise metrics. You can download it at:
In addition to choosing your keywords, you'll also want to select the "match types". There are three available.
1)Phrase Match: Any phrase that contains even one part of your keyword will display your ad. For example: your phrase is "new homes", the searcher types in "Chicago new homes" and your ad will be displayed.
2) Exact Match: Your ad only shows up when the searcher types in your keywords exactly. For example: Your phrase is "new home" - they must type in "new home" exactly or your ad will not show up. This is more targeted but you'll get less traffic.
3) Broad Match: Your ad will display if someone types in even one of your keywords in their search request.For example: Your phrase is "new homes" - your ad will display for a search of "new" or "homes".
You can set separate bids for all three match types.Some match types don't apply to "Content Ads". You can also make a list of "negative keywords". These are words or phrases you don't want your ads displayed for.
Now that your ads and keywords are in place, let's talk about the bidding process. There is a five cent minimum bid. In addition to regular bids, you can bid an extra amount above your keyword bid to target customers by demographics. This is optional.
If you're not using "incremental bids", your keyword bid amount is the maximum amount you will pay when your ad is clicked. You pay one penny more than the next highest bidder, all other factors being equal. So, you could potentially pay less than your actual bid amount.
You can also set separate bids for "Content Ads" and "Search Ads". Microsoft does not allow you to see what others are bidding. Your ad ranking can be improved by increasing bids or improving your ad relevance.
So how are ads ranked? Ranking includes: highest bid or incremental bid, greater relevance, and click-through rate.
As mentioned earlier, advertising on the Content Network is optional. Your ads will appear alongside information based pages that contain content that is related to your keywords. Content Ads appear on a select network of high-traffic pages such as MSN Money, MSN Entertainment, Fox Sports, MSN Tech & Gadgets, Windows Marketplace and other participating partners.
Microsoft makes it easy to target your audience with what they call "Intelligent Targeting". With this advanced targeting, you can select the target markets you want to reach by age, gender, location, etc. If you know your target market only goes online during certain times of the day, you can even pick the days of the week and times of day that you want your ads to run.
Conversion tracking is available and with the in-depth reporting function, you can easily keep an eye on how well your campaigns are doing. You can track click-through rates, impressions, and more.
Some excellent resources for further study are:
MS adCenter Labs: http://adlab.microsoft.com/
adCenter Community: http://adcentercommunity.com
If you're already using pay-per-click marketing in your online marketing efforts, you might want to take MS adCenter for a spin. With their advanced targeting, you'll be given the ability to hit your target market with more precision, and expand your reach and on-line exposure.
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