New Google Adwords Ad Formats: Ad SiteLinks

Monday, 18 January 2010

Back in August 2009, we wrote a post on the new Google Adwords ad formats Google were trialling and it seems that it is available now in Google Adwords for Ausralian customers.

The Ad SiteLink format was launched in November 2009, with the main goals of increasing search engine user choice, ads relevancy and leads quality.

What is the Ad SiteLink?

Rather than offering only one link to a specific landing page, the Ad SiteLink offer up to 4 additional destination URLs to deep pages of your site that might be more relevant the user search.

Ad SiteLinks - Example of Priceline

What are the benefits and applications of Ad SiteLink?

The Ad sitelink offer the opportunities to funnel your Google Adword traffic in more targeted landing pages and therefore improve the conversion rate of your text ads. While this makes perfect sense in theory, I have not tested it and therefore would not assume that this is the case.
One of the best application for the Ad SiteLink ad format is for brand campaigns. While running brand campaign, search engine user might click to your brand ad with different goals especially if you brand offer different products, so a text ad directing to a unique landing page might not be the most relevant.

Let's take the example of Telstra, Australia's largest phone company.
Telstra offer a large range of services including mobile phones, internet connections, business phones and home phones.
If a Person A types "Telstra" in the Google search box looking for internet products and a Person B types "Telstra" looking for Home phones, both persons will see the exact same ads (see below)

Telstra Adwords Ads - Example

Considering Person B is looking for Home phones, he or she is likely to click on the Ad, however Person A won't fine much relevancy in this ad and might not click.

If Telstra offered a Ad SiteLinks with a specific links for each product line it is likely to improve the performance of its Adwords campaign, especially the click-through-rates.

The Ad SiteLinks feature should also be really effective for ponctual promotion and special offers.

How to get a Ad SiteLink?

Ad SiteLinks are available in Australia. When Google launched the new feature, it only made it available to a selected number of advertisers, who meet certain criteria, so you might not be able to set it up directly in your Google Adwords interface. In your campaign settings tab, if you can see "Show additional links to my site" under the "Ad extensions" section, you are eligible to use Ad SiteLinks.
If you do not see this, contact Google Adwords support and be patient. They will eventually release the feature to a wider advertiser's audience.

SEO Recruitment Guide

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

We are glad to welcome one of our first guest blogger: Or Hillel. Or runs SEO Jobs Finder, a worldwide SEO job board (definetely worth checking if you are looking for a SEO job or candidate).
In this post, Or provides some really interesting insights and tips on how to effectively recruit SEO professionals.


The world of Search Engine Optimization is a large complex one, with only a few professionals knowing the ins and outs of its structure and how to reach its boundaries, so by hiring a highly regarded SEO professional, you can really help your website bloom instead of wilt. Once you’ve got them on board, you’re sorted, but the hard part is the hunting and hiring.

Discovering an SEO professional can be challenging for anyone, especially a first-timer, a virgin of the recruitment stage. The following article helps you understand the full workings of recruiting an SEO guy, from the preparations you need to make to getting the word out and how to be 100% certain that you have the top guy for the job.

Writing the Advertisment

Advertising is the way you will get the word out about your interest in hiring an SEO professional for your website. The first part of advertising for a new job is writing the job description (sometimes known as a job specification), which you will find an easy task, IT may take some time, but not many brain cells need to be used. It simply describes the job: The tasks involved such as making URLs SE friendly, how many hours you will expect your new recruit to work, how they should contact you or update you on their progress with your site.

Along with the job description, a person specification, should also be included. In the person spec, you will describe your dream candidate, not what they look like, but their character traits. You need to ensure that you will get along with the person you hire, it is vital. Additionally, within the person spec, you will ask for experience that the SEO professional has had in the past, along with examples of where you could look online so you can see some of their work in the flesh. Finally, but certainly not the lest important, you need to ask for specific knowledge that they must possess to complete the task. For example, if you work with a certain blogging system, then you will need to ensure that the recruit will have extensive knowledge of your blogging system so that they can work efficiently.

Advertisement Placement


Recruitment agencies will have more knowledge than you at hiring professionals, so if you have the money, it is recommended that you use one to find an SEO professional as they are likely to be more efficient at finding the correct candidate for the job you are advertising. However, if you don’t own a money tree and you’re strapped for cash, then get out there and do it yourself. There are job boards where you can place advertisements (for a fraction of the price of the cost at a recruitment agency), yet you still get a great deal of exposure. If you plan on advertising a job in the future, try SEO Jobs Finder
However, if you find after months of trying to advertise by yourself then maybe it is time to give in and hire a recruitment agency to do the work for you. It maybe costly, but for the months where you’ve been doing it yourself, you’ve practically been throwing money down the drain. Simply give them the job spec and person spec and they’ll do the rest of the work. all you have to do is reply to (hundreds) of) emails about the interviews you’ll be holding, which bring us onto the next subheading.

Interview Preparation


Now you may be questioning why this is here, you’re not the one going to the interview so why should you have to prepare? That is where your naivety shines through. The perfect candidate will have prepared every question that they could think of, but you’re the one who needs to prepare those questions. Whether it be a full blown list of things you must ask, or a post it note with some scribbled writing upon that you will base the interview on, it is vital for you to prepare, certainly if you want to make yourself seem professional to the candidate.

Holding the Interview


For the interview, you will need to do a number of things and ask yourself a number of questions:
1.You will need to decide upon a venue for the interviews. Will your house be suitable? Or is your two bedroom flat too small for every person who applied? You need to find yourself asking these questions. The venue will need to be of a suitable size, have space to ‘hold’ waiting candidates and have space for you to ‘hold’ the interviews. It will also need to be in a suitable location, having it in a central location within a large town or city is the most ideal as it is the most likely place to have the best transport links for all candidates. However, the better the location, the higher the price.

2.Now you need to decide the timings. Are you going to give everyone the same time and do it on a first come, first serve basis, or will you give each candidate a separate time. There are advantages (and disadvantages) of both. For example, the latter idea shows greater organization skills, however, if one candidate is running late it can cause everybody else’s interview to become late.

3.You now need to structure the interview. Decide what you want the candidate to do: Do you want to sit them down, ask them some questions and let them leave. Most of this will be decided upon in preparation, but sometimes ideas come to you on the day. Just make sure you have a structured interview. The candidate doesn’t want to here your “umms” and “aahs,” it sounds extremely unprofessional.


Salary

In business, sometimes, the salary for the job is advertised within the job specification, but if you haven’t decided the salary, then don’t put it and if you get asked about it at the interview, find a way to brush the question off: “The salary is being kept private, once the job has been offered to a suitable candidate then we will open those doors.”

In the world of SEO, SEO professionals don’t have a set salary. Unlike doctors or vets who get paid an average salary, the payment for an SEO professional can vary greatly, obviously the lower their experience, the lower their pay.

When dwelling on the salary, you need to consider how much the revenue will be increased for your website/business once they are on board. From this calculation, you can then work out how much you could afford to pay them. If you still find yourself stuck then ask the candidate how much they would expect to get paid. If they say $20,000 don’t just say that’s fine. Check you can afford it then offer them a little less. The candidate is always going to bump the figure up slightly.
For more guidelines, feel free to have a look at the results of SEO Sydney Blog's SEO Salary Survey.

Now you’ve read it get on with putting these words into actions. Everyday, SEO professionals are being grabbed off the market to work for big websites and businesses. You need to get out there and get whoever is best for your business and whoever will have the greatest impact.

Australian Online Search Market 2008-09 and Future Trends

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Despite a slowdown induced by the Global Financial Crisis, Australia's online search advertising market achieved a 30% growth rate during 2008-2009.

According to the Australian Online Search and Directories Advertising Market 2009-2013 report released by consulting company Frost and Sullivan, online search is one of the most active areas of online business.
Phil Harpur, Senior Research Manager at Frost & Sullivan, mentioned that consistent high advertiser satisfaction combined with strong level of search activity make online search a stand out segment in terms of growth in the overall digital advertising.

Google still dominates with almost 90% of total paid search market share in 2008-2009. Bing has shown slow but steady growth worldwide, however it has struggled to dent Google's dominant position in Australia.

In terms of trends and insights for the years to come, Frost & Sullivan notes that

- Boundaries between online search and online directories will fade with search engines trying to invade this segment of the market (For example Google Maps listings)

- Online Directories will rely more and more on online advertising as advertisers will tend to prefer free listings rather than paid ones.

- SEM and SEO are getting more widely adopted simultaneously rather than exclusively. With more skilled individuals combined with the need for integrated strategies, Frost and Sullivan predicts that SEM will be deployed with SEO.