Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Studying Historical PPC Ad Trends to Optimize Your Seasonal Ad Campaigns

Nowadays, a lot of online businesses rely heavily on certain seasons for increased sales volume. As of this writing, the month of September for most industries indicate a significant time for sales --- it’s back-to-school in the US; it’s the early start of Halloween and Christmas preparation for Christian nations; it’s the beginning of vacation booking for some travel enthusiasts. If you are an online marketer that could benefit from such events, then you might just want to invest on the trend when the demand is in full bloom, because if you’re not prepared as a seasonal marketer, you will not reap the fruits of a demanding market during this buying season.

Research and well-tested ad campaign techniques are keys to handling seasonal activities in the online market. So when seasonal advertising time is approaching, you should be equipped with the knowledge of knowing the profitable keywords from related websites around a month before the season.

For example, you are planning to sell gift items this coming Christmas such as jewelry, clothes, perfume and toys. You should do a research of shopping sites, such as buy.com, Amazon and ebay.com, and determine their high-paying keywords. Competitive intelligence tools such as KeywordSpy.com can be a big help in this marketing pursuit. It can gather keywords of marketers in all types of industries and allow you to get good ideas on keyword advertising. You can also check its Time Machine feature, this KeywordSpy thing lets you look at keywords other advertisers have used in the past.

So based on our first example, you may look for Christmas-oriented sites in KeywordSpy Time Machine and check their November and December 2007 keywords and ad copies, then see for yourself the keyword advertising strategies which will be helpful in your own site campaign on December 2008.

In short, if your business has various high points throughout the year, try to review the past promotional and marketing campaigns of your industry so you can improve your next target season. I really suggest that you give the Time Machine a shot. This is the only keyword tool feature that I have seen giving months’ worth of advertising information. Would you believe, I found out through KeywordSpy Time Machine that divorce sites such as Divorcesyourself.com boost their advertising during months of February and March? Perhaps this can be credited to the fact that the Valentines madness is in the air during these months, and divorce sites are targeting the emotional spots of “attached people”, by subtly suggesting that they should prioritize their need for divorce to be with their “true love.” So, how is that for an advertising gold mine if you are in the “divorce industry”? You can simply copy the keywords and improve the ad copies of well-performing divorce sites in certain periods and months.

Whoever said that “moving forward” is the best thing to do in this world” is simply not always right especially in this case. Cause in the world of seasonal advertising, it is good to “look backwards” and review the good and bad in the past season, for you to cherry-pick and carry the good ones in the next.

The theory is the same when choosing your keyword and ad copies for your targeted seasons, learn from the sites that did well in the past and enhance what they’ve got. With this, we might just believe in the saying: “It’s always good to learn from the experts.”

Happy selling and have a fruitful season!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Web-based Keyword Tool, Better than Installed Keyword Software

Just as there are “tails and heads” in coins; we have two major kinds of software for the keyword tools we are using in SEO: the web-based and the installed software.

The web-based (also known as the “hosted” server) usually resides externally on ASP networks (Application Service Provider), while installed software (a.k.a. “in-house”) is being downloaded on one’s computer network.

It is obvious in my title up there that I prefer to use web-based keyword tool, and let me clarify that I am writing in SEO perspective and not in a general IT concept.

Allow me to justify my point by enumerating some advantages that I’ve found in using web-based keyword tools such as KeywordSpy.com. Here are important factors I have considered:

No Additional Expenses

When you purchase a traditional keyword software, you then need to host and install the software on a server. The set-up may have certain system requirements to integrate with your application, and most of the time, these involve the latest system updates, causing you or your company to shell out more money.

Keyword Research Anytime, Anywhere

Web-based system can be accessed anytime, anywhere, with any browser as long as you have the Internet connection, your username and your password.

On the other hand, installed keyword software usually requires a local office network for you to access their data, and it’s very limited to a few computers. Unless you or your company invested in remote access application, which usually costs more, you cannot do your research to beat the deadly deadline set by your boss.

Data Back-up

Data loss is bad for any business. With installed keyword software in your PC, you have to think about backing up data because if some man-made or natural calamity ruins your office, where your computer is pretty sitting, there is no way for you to retrieve the advertising research you have previously done.

A web-based keyword research tool takes that burden off your back. Data is properly backed-up and they are very accessible. If you are an SEO and you have a client-presentation in a few minutes, all you’ll need is a computer to proceed with your keyword research and advertising solution presentation without the frustrating information-loss hassle.

Keeps a Productive Workforce

A completely web-based program offers a solution that is not available on installed software. Your staff, remote employees, and overseas business partners have access to your competition’s ad campaign information account 24/7.

Since there is nothing to install on your laptop or workstation, this means that authorized users can access the keyword tool system even when they are away from their working desks.
SEO staff and ad campaign managers can log-on to their keyword research accounts while sipping hot coffee in Starbucks, while chatting with clients in a hotel computer, or while pressing the keys of their internet-enabled mobile phones to view the latest progress in online advertising, check on next steps and discover your competitors’ marketing strategies.

When companies unveil a new advertising niche in another time zone or country, information is updated and reported while you sleep. When you are ready for work, information you need to know is waiting for you in the web-based keyword tool system.

To wrap it up, web-based keyword tools offer many advantages to companies and individuals in terms of increased productivity, round-the-clock access, and reduced installation and maintenance cost, as compared to installed keyword software.

While other factors will also come into play, I hope that the aforementioned advantages, through an SEO perspective, have increased your awareness in choosing the right keyword tool. It’s always an educated decision to go web-based.