Baidu recently launched a PPC editor, Baidu Editor 1.0 which is a tool that allows Phoenix Nest advertisers to create/edit campaigns, ad groups, ads and keywords offline. Baidu PPC advertisers can then post their new campaigns or changes to the Phoenix Nest system.
Baidu Editor is a tool that should be installed and run locally on your computer, and is similar to Google’s Adwords Editor. The interfaces of Baidu Editor and Google’s Adwords Editor are almost identical.
Download your Baidu Phoenix Nest PPC account onto your local computer through Baidu Editor before making changes. Baidu Editor allows you to:
- Create a new campaign
- Create an ad group or create/edit multiple ad groups
- Create a single ad or create/edit multiple ads
- Add a single keyword or add/edit multiple keywords
- Set campaign budgets
- Set ad delivery methods
- Edit keyword match types (exact/phrase/broad)
- Update keyword CPC or ad group CPC
- Update keyword destination URLs or ad destination URLs
- Pause / deactivate campaigns / ad groups / ads / keywords
Use Baidu Editor to look up duplicate keywords in your Baidu PPC account, and then pause/remove those unnecessary duplicate keywords from triggering search queries on Baidu.
Baidu Editor can check the changes you have made in your Phoenix Nest account but have not been synchronized to your account copy in Baidu Editor. This ensures you always have the “freshest” account copy before making any changes to your Baidu PPC account.
Google currently offers a full set of tools for search engine marketers in which they can plan/create, place/target, and measure/track their Google search engine marketing activities. Search engine marketing on Google consists of 3 major scopes:
- Paid Search / PPC (Google Search Network)
- Paid Search / PPC (Google Content Network)
- Organic Search / SEO (Google Search Engine Optimization)
Plan/Create Google SEO & Adwords PPC
Use Insights for Search, Keyword Tool, Search-based Keyword Tool, Traffic Estimator, Ad Planner, Display Ad Builder, Related Searches, Wonder Wheel, and Adwords Editor to create your search engine marketing plan.
Place/Target Google SEO & Adwords PPC
Measure/Track Google SEO & Adwords PPC
Use Conversion Tracking and Google Analytics to track your ROI, Website Optimizer to improve conversion rate of your website, and Google Webmaster Tools to find and troubleshoot issues of your website.
Google listed most of the above mentioned tools under the Agency Toolkit page in which you can find the brief introductions of the tools.
Baidu officially retired the old PPC auction system, Classic Edition, as of 1 December 2009. All PPC keyword bidding are to run through the new system, Phoenix Nest.
The integration of the Classic Edition and Phoenix Nest happened on 30 November. During this system upgrade, Baidu shut down advertisers’ access to both the new system and the old system. Today, Baidu resumed the access to Phoenix Nest system.
Baidu has been allowing advertisers to concurrently run both systems (Classic Edition and Phoenix Nest) ever since the launch of Baidu’s Phoenix Nest. However, this Baidu PPC ad auction arrangement was not the ideal way for advertisers to manage their accounts that may have hundreds of thousands of keywords in each system. After the upgrade, you will have to only manage the campaigns in your Phoenix Nest account.
Regarding the display of PPC ads and organic search results, you will not find any significant difference on Baidu’s search results pages. However, based on search queries you will see 3 major different combinations of PPC sponsored ads and organic search results showing up on Baidu’s search engine result pages:
- Search queries on high traffic keywords: 10 PPC ads followed by 10 organic search results on the left side and 8 PPC ads on the right side
- Search queries on long tail keywords: 3 PPC ads followed by 10 organic search results on the left side and 8 PPC ads on the right side
- Search queries on keywords that are below the quality threshold: 10 organic search results and 8 PPC ads on the right side
Classic Edition’s old account data is still available through the report section after this upgrade.
I believe this integration will bring new opportunities to marketers who are focusing on search engine marketing through Baidu. Phoenix Nest is an auction system that you are required to consider your Baidu PPC account’s quality which mainly consists of keyword quality. You should optimize by improving your Baidu PPC’s keywords quality. The old way of keyword bidding by focusing mainly on keyword CPC will be forced to change.
Google Adwords campaign Optimization is a full time job for PPC professionals as Google regularly improves Adwords PPC ad auction system with new features and Quality Scores updates.
Google offers official Adwords guides for beginners:
Before optimizing your Google Adwords campaigns, go through the check list below:
- Quality Score
- Account Structure
- Ad Copy Optimization
- Keyword Research
- Keyword Bidding
- Location and Language Targeting
- Conversion Tracking
- Landing Page Optimization
Google Adwords Quality Score is one of the most important ranking factors for Adwords campaign optimization. Optimize your Adwords campaigns by improving the Quality Score of your accounts, campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords and landing pages.
The AdWords system calculates a ‘Quality Score’ for each of your keywords. It looks at a variety of factors to measure how relevant your keyword is to your ad text and to a user’s search query. A keyword’s Quality Score updates frequently and is closely related to its performance. In general, a high Quality Score means that your keyword will trigger ads in a higher position and at a lower cost-per-click (CPC).
Google’s Quality Score is a “live” ranking algorithm which is re-calculated at the time of each search query. Quality Score also differs for search network campaigns and content network campaigns.
A Google Adwords account consists of campaigns and ad groups. Campaign level settings allow you to select locations (e.g. countries, cities), languages, networks, budgets, bidding methods, ad scheduling and ad delivery methods. A Google Adwords account typically has the following structure:
Ad groups serve as “keyword holders”. All the keywords in an adgroup are associated with only ads in that ad group. Create closely related keywords within a single ad group allows your keywords to be categorized in a single “theme”.
Google’s traffic partners within Adwords content network are different to those in Adwords search network, so one of the best practices is to always separate your search campaigns from content campaigns. Adwords content targeting optimization differs from search targeting optimization.
Ad Copy Optimization
Keep the size of your ad groups small so that each ad group contains only closely related keywords. It is easier to write targeted ads for an ad group of 10 keywords than for an ad group of 100 keywords.
Test two ads per ad group. Rotate the ads evenly and allow each ad to display for a minimum of 100 impressions. After each A/B ad test, keep the ad that produces higher conversion rate and replace the ad that results in lower conversion rate. Repeat the A/B ad test until you are satisfied with your ad groups’ conversion rates.
Inside Adwords Blog also offers some ad text optimization tips.
When targeting some countries such as the US, you can include whatever trademark within your ad text.
Create your core keyword list using the SEM keyword research tools. When building your keyword list, you should always include:
- Singular and plural keywords – phone vs. phones
- Synonyms – mobile phones vs. cell phones
- Common misspelled keywords – entrepreneur vs. entreprenuer
- Geographically related keywords – Illinois search marketing workshop
- Your brand or trademark keywords – Amazon
Adwords offers 3 major keyword match types (i.e. broad, phrase, and exact). Adwords broad match keywords are great for the discovery of new keyword variations that may or may not be related to your website. Search Query Performance Report allows you to pick out two lists of keywords: the irrelevant keywords and the relevant keywords.
- Add the irrelevant keywords as negative keywords to your existing campaigns or ad groups (where appropriate) to filter out clicks that would have cost you but would not have converted
- Add the relevant keywords as exact match keywords to new ad groups to capture additional clicks that you would not have previously captured with targeted ad text
However, mis-use of broad match keywords can also cost you to spend large amount of unnecessary marketing budget.
Keyword bidding on Google Adwords is an ongoing process, as you do have to adjust your keywords’ bids according to your bottom line (aka PPC business model). When using multiple keyword match types within your Adwords account, set your keywords’ cost-per-click (CPC) as below:
- Exact keyword: Highest CPC
- Phrase keyword: Medium CPC
- Broad keyword: Lowest CPC
Before setting your keywords’ bids manually, use Google Adwords Bid Simulator to find out your keywords’ estimated clicks, impressions and cost.
If you aren’t able to keep up with manual bidding, Google offers Adwords Conversion Optimizer to automatically optimize your campaigns based on your campaigns’ past conversion data.
Location and Language Targeting
Google Adwords offers geo location targeting on the campaign level. For example, show your ads to only China’s users if your products are only available for sales in China.
Language targeting is also available on Adwords campaign level. For example, set your campaign language to English and Spanish, if your products’ users are only (or mostly) English or Spanish speaking people in the United States.
Ad scheduling allows you to display ads only during your selected period of time.
Google Adwords Reports
Adwords offers many built-in reports which offer you insights to your Google Adwords account.
- Place / Keyword Performance Report gives you keyword or placement data depending on the type of your campaign’s network
- Ad Performance Report shows you the performance data of your ads
- Account Performance Report is the top level report for your Google Adwords account
- Search Query Performance Report is a great source for discovering new keywords and negative keywords
- Geographic Performance Report breaks down the geographical locations of your traffic sources
- Placement Performance Report tells you where your ads have been shown within Google’s content network sites
Adwords reports can be scheduled to run automatically and saved as templates for future use.
Set up Adwords Conversion Tracking in your Google Adwords account. Adwords Conversion Tracking allows you to track key metrics including cost per sales, cost per leads, and cost per sign-up on the keyword level. Once Adwords Conversion Tracking is installed, the conversion data will be shown under the conversion columns within all your Adwords built-in reports.
Install Google Analytics and view your website’s traffic by traffic sources, visitors and pages viewed. To complement your Adwords account’s data, link your Google Analytics account to your Adwords account and import your site’s Google Analytics goals into your Adwords account.
Landing Page Optimization
The conversion rate of your website is highly related to your site’s landing pages.
Each keyword or set of keywords should be targeting a product which should have a unique landing page. The keyword of your product should be displayed at a prominent position (or within one of the most important tags, e.g. H1) on your landing page.
- For specific keywords such as “Nokia phone ABC3801″, the content of the landing page should only be about the product “Nokia phone ABC3801″.
- For generic keywords such as “mobile phones”, your landing page can be a list of all the mobile phones available on your site.
The next step is to test different versions of your landing pages with Google Website Optimizer or other web page A/B testing tools.
Google also offers landing page and site quality guidelines.
Other PPC Optimization Resources
How other blogs talked about optimizing PPC campaigns:
- 17 Most Common PPC Mistakes Web Marketers Make – SEOmoz
- Avoiding Search Hobgoblins – RKG Blog
- Five Common Paid Search Mistakes that Can Sink Your Campaign – Search Engine Guide
- 10 Ways To Increase Your Adwords Quality Score – Red Fly Marketing
Search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search marketing (aka pay per click or PPC) require search engine marketers regularly updates their knowledge and news on search engine marketing (SEM). I have compiled 12 lists of top search engine marketing (SEM) blogs from different SEM bloggers/sites.
1. Top Rank Blog’s Big List
Over 400 internet marketing blogs with topics from SEO and PPC to blog marketing, marketing with social media and online public relations.
- View Top Rank Blog’s Big List
2. Search Engine Land’s Blogroll
Includes blogs in categories: search news, search commentary, search marketing advice, official Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, seo, paid search, web analytics and more.
- View Search Engine Land’s Blogroll
3. Alltop’s List of Paid Search Blogs
Live updates of the top paid search (PPC) blogs’ blog posts selected by Guy Kawasaki.
- View Alltop’s List of Paid Search Blogs
4. SEOmoz’s 50 Top Search Blogs
The top 50 search blogs that SEOmoz’s Randfish recommends reading.
- View SEOmoz’s 50 Top Search Blogs
5. Daily Blog Tip’s Top 25 SEO Blogs
Daily Blog Tips ranks the blogs according to Google Pagerank, Alexa rank, number of Bloglines subscribers and Technorati authority.
- View Daily Blog Tip’s Top 25 SEO Blogs
6. eBizMBA’s Top 15 SEO Websites
The 15 search engine optimization websites were ranked by inbound links, Google Page Rank, Alexa Rank, and US traffic data from Compete and Quantcast.
- View eBizMBA’s Top 15 SEO Websites
7. Larry Chase’s Best Search Engine Marketing Blogs
The list contains 14 search engine marketing blogs with brief introductions to each blogger.
- View Larry Chase’s Best Search Engine Marketing Blogs
8. Daily SEO Blog’s Top 20 SEO Blogs
The list was selected based on authority, regular updates and quality of articles.
- View Daily SEO Blog’s Top 20 SEO Blogs
9. Top 50 SEO & SEM Bloggers
Performing Blog ranked the top 50 SEO and SEM bloggers that you should follow.
- View Top 50 SEO & SEM Bloggers
10. Blogs.com’s 10 Best Search Engine Optimization Blogs
Danny Sullivan put up the list of 10 Best SEO Blogs on Blogs.com.
- View Blogs.com’s 10 Best Search Engine Optimization Blogs
11. Boost CTR’s List of Best PPC Blogs
The list of best pay-per-click blogs on Boost CTR blog:
- View Boost CTR’s List of Best PPC Blogs
12. PPC Blog’s Blogroll
Gordon Choi listed over 70 blogs with topics related to search engine marketing (pay-per-click), search engine optimization (SEO), web analytics, social media marketing and web usability.
- Gordon Choi Blog’s list of SEM Blogs
Search engine optimization for Bing requires understand of Bing’s search algorithm which differs from Google’s and Yahoo’s algorithms. This Bing SEO check list was compiled from Microsoft Bing’s official community and help sections:
- Search engine optimization (SEO) for Bing – Bing offers official interpretations about Bing’s SEO principles.
- Guidelines for successful indexing – The first thing is to get your website crawled by Bing’s MSNBot and included in Bing’s search engine index. This guideline offers technical and content recommendations for your website.
- Submit your website to Bing – If your web site is not yet in Bing’s index, submit your site to Bing.
- About the Bing Webmaster Center Tools – Use Bing’s Webmaster Tools to discover technical issues of your site.
- Prevent a bot from getting lost in space – Learn how to use Robots.txt, Sitemap and META tag’s Robots attribute to make it easy for Bing’s MSNBot to find your web pages.
- Crawl delay and the Bing crawler MSNBot – Bing offers webmasters the ability to slow down MSNBot’s crawl rate so that large websites (with hundreds of thousands of pages) can be relieved from web server load issues.
- Common errors that can tank a site – Your website must be free of invalid mark-up codes, bad links, and other major coding errors.
- Download Bing’s Whitepaper for Webmasters.
Bing’s search engine optimization tips from other SEO experts:
- Microsoft Bing implications for search engine optimization – iCrossing’s Collin Cornwell listed the technical details of Bing’s search algorithm.
- SEO differences between Google and Bing – Search Engine Journal’s Ann Smarty believes Bing’s algorithm prefers web pages from large sites and gives more weight to keywords in URLs and capitalized terms.
- Optimizing for Bing – SEO Book reckons on-page SEO, quality inbound linking and domain age are the 3 major factors to rank well on Bing
- Bing SEO, how does it differ to Google and A further Bing SEO update – SEOwizz.net ran some tests to show how Bing’s algorithm differs from Google’s algorithm.
- Bing Optimization – Webconfs summarized the important factors for Bing search engine optimization.
Revise Google, Yahoo and Bing search algorithms to leverage the maximum search engine traffic from the top 3 search engines.
Google PPC sitelinks are now included in Adwords ads in China through Google Adwords Brand Zone Beta.
Adwords Brand Zone Ads
Google offers two slightly different versions of Brand Zone ads during the Beta test period. Each Chinese Adwords advertiser has to submit both versions of ads in which they will be rotated to display during the Beta test.
The first version of Brand Zone ad displays a single company logo (90×90 image) on the left and 8 PPC site links beneath the ad headline, description, and display URL, all within the sponsor link area.
The second version of Brand Zone ad shows a company logo (90×90 image) on the left and a 220×210 image on the far right. Below the ad title, logo, description and display URL, the ad shows 4 PPC sitelinks with further descriptions next to each of the 4 site links.
Eligibility to Adwords Brand Zone and Google Adwords PPC Sitelinks
Adwords Brand Zone is eligible only to the brand owners. Only trademark (or brand) keywords that are above the minimum search volume threshold are eligible to participate.
Google Adwords PPC sitelinks will only show up when your ad is in the first position above the search results. Adwords Brand Zone ads can only appear on Google.cn and are restricted to appear in every 1 out of 10 searches that may trigger your brand (trademark) keywords.
Brand Zone ads follow Google Adwords search ad auction algorithm when ranking within Google’s sponsored links. Chinese advertisers participated are billed on cost-per-click (CPC).
With PPC sitelinks appearing under your Adwords brand zone ads when your trademark keywords are searched, you ads’ click through rates (CTR) are expected to increase. Higher CTR is one of the major factors for improving your Adwords Quality Score. Once your ads’ and keywords’ Quality Score are improved, your keywords’ actual cost-per-click (CPC) will decrease.
Google Adwords PPC Sitelinks in Other Countries
Search Engine Land received Google’s confirmation about PPC sitelinks:
As part of our ongoing commitment to help users find the information they’re looking for online, we are testing a feature in which links to various pages of an advertiser’s website may appear within the text ads on Google.com. Presenting multiple landing page options is intended to make specific website information such as gift registries, special deals, store locators and the like more easily accessible to users. It also offers brand marketers a new way to quickly engage potential customers. This feature is currently in a limited beta with a small number of advertisers.
Google’s Policies on Adwords Trademark Keywords
Google Adwords Ad Sitelinks Out of Beta
Inside Adwords Blog announced the official launch of Ad Sitelinks:
Ad Sitelinks is a new AdWords feature that allows you to extend the value of your existing AdWords ads by providing additional links to content deep within your sites.
Currently, the option to set up Ad Sitelinks will only appear for advertisers whose ads meet a certain high quality threshold.
If your account qualifies to run this feature, you’ll find the option to set up Ad Sitelinks in your Campaign Settings tab — it will appear as “Show additional links to my site” under the “Ad extensions” section.
Issues on Ad Sitelinks
The major downside is that Google Adwords Ad Sitelinks can only be set up on the campaign level. As long as your keyword meets the quality threshold, it will be triggered by some search queries and 4 additional links will be displayed beneath your triggered ad. However, the same 4 additional links each time will be displayed even though the keywords triggered are different, as long as they are within the same campaign. This prevents you from tracking conversions that came off a specific keyword and one of the specific ad sitelinks.
Google Adwords Ad Sitelinks are not suitable for campaigns that:
- Have extremely large amount of keywords
- Use more than one destination URLs (or landing pages)
Google Blogoscoped’s blog post shows you where to find Google’s Wonder Wheel. The Wonder Wheel appears on Google.cn within the side bar that expands to the left.
For example, my core keyword is “English” (in Chinese) which I have entered into Google’s web search. Google’s Wonder Wheel shows a clickable flash-based image with your core keyword in the center and related keywords around the core keyword.
When I click on one of the related keywords “English Learning” (in Chinese), this keyword gets moved to the center and becomes the new core keyword. It creates a newly connected circle for “English Learning” with new related keywords around this new core keyword.
You can build up your Chinese keyword lists by exploring all the related keywords surrounding the core keywords.
PPC Hero shows you exactly how to use Google’s Wonder Wheel and Related Searches for keyword research.
Eligibility to Baidu’s Brand Link Ads
Baidu’s Brandlink ads are eligible to advertisers who have the ownerships of their their brands (or trademarks).
How Baidu’s Brand Link Ads work?
Baidu allows each advertiser to select up to five brand keywords. When search queries match one of their five brand keywords, the brandlink ads will appear.
Advantages of Baidu’s Brand Link Ads
Through Baidu PPC Phoenix Nest, any advertisers are allowed to buy competitors’ trademark keywords. However, Baidu’s Brand Link ad area is extremely large, and is relatively larger than the ad area of Google Adwords Brand Zone. When Baidu’s Brand Link ads are shown, you will have to scroll down before you can find any competitors’ PPC ads.
Fees to Participate in Baidu’s Brand Link
Advertisers have to pay a fixed sponsorship fee in which the minimum period for participation is a month. Baidu determines the fixed fee according to the 5 keywords’ search volume.
If you are already a Baidu PPC advertiser, you should work out whether it is most cost effective to continue your trademark keywords through Baidu PPC or participate in Baidu’s Brand Link.
Yahoo search engine optimization can be easy when you set up your site on Yahoo Site Explorer, a webmaster tool for Yahoo SEO, which is equivalent to Google’s Webmaster Tools and Bing’s Webmaster Tools.
You can either use your existing Yahoo ID or create a new Yahoo ID to sign-in to Yahoo Site Explorer account.
Website Ownership Authentication
Before using Yahoo Site Explorer, you have to go through the authentication step. Verify the ownership of your web site either by:
- Uploading a verification file to your site’s hosting space, or
- Adding code to your site’s META tag
To notify Yahoo’s index (Slurp) about your site’s pages, submit your website’s sitemap file once to Yahoo Site Explorer.
Your website’s statistics are available for review on Yahoo Site Explorer:
- Crawled Pages
- All Known Pages
- Known Hosts on This Site
- Hosts linking to Site
- Domains linking to Site
- Hosts Outlinked from Site
- Domains Outlinked from Site
Web Site’s Crawl Errors
Yahoo Site Explorer shows you the crawl errors to your site, including 404 errors. You can determine the web pages that need to have 301 redirects set up, according the crawl error information.
Top Search Queries and URLs
Yahoo Site Explorer shows:
- The top search queries that users searched on Yahoo before arriving at your site
- The top URLs that Yahoo’s users visited
When your site have dynamic URLs with parameters and session IDs, it always causes issues for Yahoo’s search algorithm. You can specify up to 10 dynamic parameters in Yahoo Site Explorer so that Yahoo’s search algorithm can figure it out. Yahoo Site Explorer will treat each dynamic parameter with one of the methods:
- Remove parameters from your site’s URLs
- Set default values for parameters
Show Inbound Links
Through Yahoo Site Explorer, You can review the inbound links (aka inlinks or backlinks) from other websites pointing to your site. With this backlink data, you can export up to 1000 lines of data in spreadsheet format.
You can even include a Yahoo Search Badge on your site in which a “counter” of the number of backlinks to your site will be shown.
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