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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Google Print Ads Test, Update

Following up to my previous post on testing Google newspaper ads, I indicated in my initial response to Google that I would like to use a graphic based ad - here was the response I received last night;

"Thank you for agreeing to participate in our Google Newspaper Advertising test.

Previously you've indicated you'd like to build a graphic ad for the test. Your graphic ad may be selected to run in corresponding sections of major daily newspapers in one or more US markets.

Please reply to this email with your Target Demographic Removed graphic
ad(s) as compressed attachments. You may choose to submit your ads in any of the sizes listed below. Submitting both formats increases the chances you'll gain free exposure for your business.

All ads must conform to the following requirements and specifications:

SIZES
Ad Unit #1: 2.0"W x 2.25"H
Ad Unit #2: 4.0"W x 1.0"H

Note: your ad may be reduced by up to 15% in order to accommodate varying newspaper column sizes. Please keep this is mind if you are using small font sizes.

SPECIFICATIONS
Resolution: 300 DPI
Color mode: Grayscale
File formats: PDF or EPS
PDF: embed all fonts
EPS: convert fonts to outlines

DEADLINES
Materials due: Wednesday, November 8th. Due to limited inventory for the test, ads are considered on a first come, first served basis.

POLICIES
As you create your ad(s), please read our editorial guidelines and content policy. Google will review all submissions for compliance.

You are responsible for compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations that govern trademarks and copyrights in the United States.
Before uploading your content please be sure that you have all the necessary legal rights to distribute it, including the rights to any images and logos being used.

Editorial Guidelines:
http://services.google.com/marketing/links/aw-print-pub-ads/guidelines

Content Policy: https://adwords.google.com/select/contentpolicy.html

CONFUSED?
If you're new to print advertising and want help building your ad, our production specialists can guide you through the remainder of the process. During this test, there is no charge associated with these services. To get started, please reply to this email with answers to the following questions:

1. Have you ever run a newspaper ad before? What help do you need from us in creating your ad? (Examples: reformatting layout, preparing files for print)

2. What specific product or service do you want to promote? (Please include a link to the page on your site where you advertise this product or service.)

3. Do you have any specific images (such as a logo) or language that you'd like to use? If so, do your images have high enough resolution for printing? If not, we may suggest an appropriate image to you; you'd be responsible for the cost of purchasing the image.

4. Is there a specific call to action for your ad? (Examples: visit a specific URL, call a telephone number, or redeem a discount or coupon
code)

We're excited about your participation in this test. We look forward to seeing your ad appear in print, and encourage you to contact us at emailremoved if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

The Google Print Ads Team"


Should be an interesting test. I worked in print advertising for a number of years so I'm pretty familiar with the print market in general. This is newspaper though and most of my work was in direct mail and publications. Regardless, the principles are the same - define your goals, make sure the ad has a call to action then measure the response in relation to your goal(s). When set up properly you can tell pretty quick if the ad is a winner or a loser.

More to follow as I get further into the process.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Google Newspaper Ad Test

I received an e-mail yesterday inviting me to participate in a newspaper ad test with Google AdWords. Here's the low down from G:

"We'd like to invite you to participate in a free test that Google is
performing with a limited group of our current advertisers. As part of
this test, we'll convert your existing (Market Segment Removed) related online ad
to a print ad and place it in a newspaper. By participating, you'll be
helping us test an extension of our AdWords program while gaining free
exposure for your business.

Let us know if you'd like to participate by filling out the form on our
website at URL REMOVED by
Wednesday, November 1.

Your ads may appear in daily newspapers in one or more U.S. cities over
the next few months. Google will select the newspapers and corresponding
sections for ad placement but cannot guarantee that your ad will run.

Should you sign up to participate in the test and wish to submit your
own ad, logo, or graphics, we'll provide you with additional
instructions by email.

We're excited about the prospect of your participation in this test and
welcome any feedback or questions you may have.

Sincerely,

The Google AdWords Team"


Looks interesting, I'm off to fill out the form now. Wonder how this will be tracked assuming it moves past the free test phase?

Edit/Update:

The form was only 6 very basic questions so it only took a minute to fill out. I indicated I would like to run a graphical ad...here's the confirmation message I got after completing the form:

"Thank you for your interest in this test. If you are selected to participate, here's what will happen next:

If you selected "I prefer to run a text ad," we'll work together to select one of your existing online text ads from your AdWords account for this test.

If you selected "I prefer to run a graphic ad," we'll email you additional instructions.

Once your ad has been published, we'll send you an email letting you know when and where."


If I'm selected to participate I'll keep you updated. If I'm not I'm sure someone somewhere will post about it:-)


Friday, October 27, 2006

Yahoo Search Marketing Gets a Brand New Blog

Received today via e-mail;

"Thus, it gives us great pleasure to announce the launch of the Yahoo! Search Marketing blog at http://ysmblog.com/. This blog is intended to be a holistic marketing resource for online businesses, in which you'll find the latest information on the upgrade, tools and tips--but also, in-depth how-to's, advertiser interviews, industry trends, links to articles, and other news and information you can use."

That's just a snippet from the e-mail...check out the blog for the full scoop. Will be interesting to see if the blog takes shape in the way that they hope. With the holiday season approaching (and the new account features) I'll firing up the ol' Yahoo account again next week.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Correction Applied to your adCenter Account

I received an e-mail this morning from adCenter letting me know...

"We recently discovered an erroneous charge totaling $0.83 to your account. This discovery came to light during a regular internal audit we run to ensure quality service. The error occurred on July 8, 9 and 13, and we have taken steps to minimize the risk of this happening in the future.

We're writing to make sure you know about the situation, and to tell you that an automatic credit has been issued to your account. The credit should be reflected on your billing statement available online. "


The good - I like getting e-mail notifications from my PPC providers about things relating to my account. Yea, I know I could log in and see it for myself but this type of communication is great when you're managing multiple accounts across multiple platforms. Over communicate - I'll filter out what I don't need.

The bad - It's only $0.83 and it happened in July. Do you realize with interest that could be almost $0.84 today!

Props to adCenter for keeping the lines of communication open.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Google AdWords Website Optimizer

http://services.google.com/websiteoptimizer/index.html

According that page the website optimizer will:

"Take the guesswork out of landing page testing. Website Optimizer makes it easier to determine which version of your landing page users like best. Graphical reports show which page resulted in the highest conversion rate."

I signed up. When/if I get to take it for a spin I'll post my review/comments here.

My first reaction is it has the potential to be a great service when used in conjunction with your brain. Great marketers make automation work but automation won't make a great marketer.

Anyone have access to the service yet?


Monday, October 09, 2006

More on adCenter Content Ads

Here's the official FAQ for adCenter Content Ads. The topics covered include:

What is Microsoft adCenter Content Ads?

How can I participate in the U.S. Content Ads pilot?

What are the benefits of contextual advertising?

How does Microsoft adCenter Content Ads Work?

How do I bid on Content Ads?

Where will my ad be displayed?

What targeting options are available?

According to the e-mail I received my account is being updated later today and I'll have access to the Content Ads after that upgrade is complete.

More to follow as I get started.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

adCenter Content Ads - Early Feedback

I received some more communication today regarding the upcoming pilot of adCenter Content Ads. I'm pumped to try it out - the returns are usually great when you can get into a space/market before the competition builds.

Anyways...my early feedback is: Let users specify a different bid for adCenter Content Ads than they have in place for adCenter search ads.

Here's the fine print text from the e-mail I'm referring to:

"you understand that you'll need to pay the same click rate for the Content Ads advertising placements that you agreed to pay for the adCenter advertising placements in your Microsoft adCenter Agreement."

Ads on content sites (Microsoft owned or otherwise) will convert differently than ads on search results. Not allowing users to specify separate bids will hinder the growth of the content channel over the long term.

There's my feedback on a product I've yet to even use, more to follow;-)


Monday, October 02, 2006

Microsoft adCenter Help Videos

Just wanted to highlight a post over at the adCenter blog that talks about some adCenter help videos the adCenter team has put together.

Tom B., a tech writer working for adCenter had this to say regarding the videos:

"Being a fairly new product makes life interesting for a user assistance team like ours. Essentially everyone's a brand-new user, so we need to get out the gate quickly with good documentation that explains how to make the thing work. But the product's always changing, which makes us perpetually slightly out of date. We bit the bullet this summer and created 11 short videos that walk you through the process of getting ads up and running."

The videos are well done and answer common questions and provide guidance on topics such as:

How do I create a new campaign and order?

How can I target my ads?

How do I create an ad?

How do I import ads?

How do I import keywords?

How do I choose keywords?

What is dynamic text?

How can I create a self-customizing ad?

How do I track the status of my ad?

Why was my ad rejected?

How can I write an effective ad?

I'm not sure how long these have been around but today is the first time I had noticed them. I'm in the middle of "Why was my ad rejected?" now:-) I've Been trying to figure out what gets an ad rejected in adCenter for quite awhile...


Estimating Search Activity by Geographic Location

Welcome to Monday. Today's question is from Adam who has an AdWords question;

"Is there a way to see the search count for a specific country? For instance, I would like to see how many searches per month for digital camera software are performed in denmark."

Adam,

Check out the External AdWords Keyword Tool. Look for the text:

"Results are tailored to English, United States Edit"

You can change the options to get *estimates for certain geographic locations and languages.

*Remember that estimates are just that, estimates.

Good luck!


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