We have 3 eligible search engines in our offices, and they all want to date your business. Before you choose which one you will take out, I will introduce them to you, explain a little a bit about their backgrounds and what they bring to the relationship allowing you to make the best decisions. So, without further delays, lets meet the engines…
Engine #1 is a Silicon Valley veteran. At one point, it was the only place to be. Recently it has been in cahoots with Engine #2 to knock down Engine #3 but we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Next is Engine #2, a young flashy site that is quickly gaining popularity, especially with Engine #1’s fans. A funny fact about Engine #2, not too long ago it was considered pretty dorky, and spend most of its time getting picked on. But, to its credit, it got a makeover, a quick name change, and so far its new identity is really taking off.
Last, and certainly not least, we have Engine #3. Everyone knows this one, and most of us cannot get through our day without stopping in and saying hi. It really seems to be a nice site, but a lot of people are leery if it ever decides to change its mind. Regardless of whether its evil or not, it is still really popular and doesn’t look to lose that high ground anytime soon.
Let’s give all three of our engines a big round of applause.
Now, most regular views of Exclusive Concept’s Daily Concept video series can probably guess which is which, but for the sake of those who don’t, lets take a closer look at what each mystery engine will offer you if you choose to go on a PPC date with it. Kind of like dating people, an engines popularity is everything. If other people accept it, why shouldn’t you? It’s not just volume of popularity, but also quality – who likes the engines and why?
Engine #1 takes an old-school, simple approach to search. It crawls the web and fits everything it finds into predefined categories. I would call it a traditional approach. On the up side, there is a defined hierarchy the products & services you are advertising fit in. On the downside, it is tough to advertise niche audiences. Beyond search, Engine #1 has a lot going for itself and despite its age, cannot shake its love of sports, music and entertainment. This makes it attractive to younger audiences.
Engine #1 still has a core group of users that still make it a viable option. It has a number of one-off qualities that still makes it a valuable site to the users. Therefore, as a network , its not something you want to completely leave off the table, but it needs to be watched closely.
Engine #2 can do no wrong lately. It has attacked the overall favorite Engine #3, and seems to be making some gains. Now this engine feels that it can tell you exactly what you want to know, and is less inclined to let you search for the sake of discovering. It may sound a bit overbearing, but its mission is to make the decisions for you. This aggressiveness is the result of its make over, and is actually more attractive then its nerdy, passive former self.
What does this mean to advertisers? It’s growing popularity is making it attractive to young users looking for what’s fresh. It also still has a large chunk of users that befriended the engine before its makeover, and enjoys the benefits of being connected to most default browsers, and therefore the default home page. This audience is more likely to shop than Engine #1. Also, Engine #2s over-bearingness may be obnoxious for searchers, but for advertisers, its working. Also, as it tries to grow in popularity, it is keeping its costs down, which is another plus for advertisers.
Overall, the volume of traffic coming from Engnine #2 is still the smallest, but it is out performing the other two in terms of percentage of sales, and usually the cost for those conversions.
Engine #3 is search advertising. It’s name is synonymous with the act of searching and has done everything it can to become a part of our everyday lives, enabling it to advertise to more of our activities, beyond just visiting its iconic search page. It came from humble beginnings, pretty much built up in someone’s garage. It’s fundamental approach to search is also very strong. By looking at how a site is favored and viewed by other sites, it offers a flexible, scalable solution that deals with the internet on its own terms. Though it has recently tried to offer some “answers” to searches, similar to Engine #2’s decision making, it is still focused on finding what is relevant to the search, based upon external factors. Its not trying to group everything in categories, or deciding what is or isn’t relevant before serving results.
Engine #3 is by far the most popular, and is friends with nearly everybody who is online. Engine #3 also offers the most tools for advertisers. It allows you to target searches very specifically and gives a full range of options to hone that targeting.
Now lets unmask these prospective engines and see who you would like to take out on your PPC First date.
Engine #1 is Yahoo!
If that’s who you chose, I would hurry up before the year’s over and they are merged with…
Engine #2, which is Bing by Microsoft. This new engine would be a great choice for your PPC activities. Especially if volume and scale is not as much of a concern as costs may be.
And that leaves Engine #3 as Google.
You would not be alone if you chose this engine to drive your entire business, and most likely, if your margins are appropriate and your site is functioning, your business will be successful. But it will cost you more than the other 2 engines, and there is a lot of activity to sift through to truly optimize the ROI. We typically recommend new clients to begin in Google and then expand to Bing and Yahoo. The volume and opportunity with Google cannot be ignored, especially for online merchants.
Who did you choose for your first date?
I hope this has been helpful.
To Learn More about Exclusive Concepts Profitable PPC product, or any of our excellent services in our suite of online marketing offerings including our Managed Conversion Testing Service, SEO Foundation or Precision Email Marketing, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Also, if you have specific questions about how your PPC Account is structured – including what search engine is the best fit for your business, sign up for one of our Profitable PPC Audits, they are quick, free, and offer some great insight in how to optimize your campaign.
Thank you, this has been Chris for Exclusive Concepts Daily Concept: PPC Tuesday. I look forward to talking to you next time.