Posts Tagged ‘Paid search’


Ebay, Skyscanner, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Slots by Jackpotjoy, Tesco, Linked In, Sky Sports, BBC News, Google Maps, Gmail, Candy Crush Saga and Capital FM are only a small selection of high quality mobile apps which consumers access on a daily basis or when they need to research.

Before mobile apps existed consumers would typically search for flights, games, radio stations, gifts, news, groceries and sports results via Google generic search, but mobile apps have removed that step and now by simply touching your screen you can access exactly what you want without having to go to Google search.

What does this mean for paid search generic ad spend? It would take a lot to dent the epic proportions of digital spend attributed to paid search, but it’s interesting how consumers are changing the way they search for products and services which in turn makes it harder / more expensive for marketers to acquire customers if they’re behind on product development.

This is a stark warning to many brands that covering key areas of platform development is essential for business success. A prime example of this is with Skyscanner where over 5 million Android users have the native app on their phone, whereas Cheapflights who have predominantly owned the search space for flights still do not have an Android app out yet. When searching for a flight consumers only need one app and most have Skyscanner installed, so unless their CRM / product dev strategy falls apart then it’ll be incredibly hard to convince people to uninstall Skyscanner and then install another flight app and it’s clear that paid search will not help acquisition growth if flight generic search volumes on Google are decreasing.

Although platform development is crucial, it’s not just a case of releasing an app, it’s a case of building a high quality app in line with customer demand.

This could explain the below trends for Google brand searches as a result of virality / WOM. Data is worldwide:










Neil’s Recruitment have recently posted a fantastic Paid Search resource guide for grads, 1st / 2nd jobbers and those who are keen to know more about the ins and outs of paid search advertising.

The Paid Search guide which can be accessed here includes:

  • The conversion funnel
  • What is paid search aka PPC & where does it fit in
  • Basics
  • Free training webinar
  • Blogs & trade press
  • Things to research / understand
  • Glossary

It’s good to see recruitment companies like this going the extra mile to educate those who are new to digital advertising, which also clearly shows they themselves have a deep understanding on the subject.


Excitement hit the ad industry when Google announced that they will provide advertisers with the ability to retarget their paid search ads through display advertising via DBM.

The exitement was short lived for a couple of reasons 1. DoubleClick didn’t understand what you could actually do resulting in mis-selling to clients and 2. You can only retarget from the search ad click and not from search ad view.

Remarketing search traffic by keyword has been around for years so there is really nothing new here.

If you haven’t got the ability to already do this internally through referral data, then it should be added to the display bid managers agenda on a low priority. Low priority, as data suggests that the ‘extra’ retargeting media cost on top of the already high paid search CPCs, doesn’t yield a positive ROI for the majority of keywords.

Currently the likes of Facebook are coming out with new ad formats which are in demand by the bucket load that work. In order for Google to compete, then they really need to bring out more thoughtful product initiatives which clients demand, such as remarketing paid search ads on the view, now that would be something special!

With the official release of DoubleClick Digital Marketing along with recruiting some high profile candidates from agency land to sell DDM, this hopefully means that future product updates will bring greater value to clients.


Acquiring customers through brand paid search is in most cases not only the most cost efficient way of acquiring customers, but it’s also where most brands find where their most valuable customers originate from.

As Facebook and Twitter release more ad opportunities by the week which are meeting advertiser demands and paid search CPCs increase especially across mobile, SEM specialists are finding it increasingly difficult to add value or are just simply missing the limelight and therefore to combat this in some cases when presenting paid search performance, they are mixing in brand search data with generics without splitting them out to make ‘search’ look better.

This is just plain wrong. No matter how much the CEO or CMO likes the look of positive data especially through internal campaign tracked activity, as a media specialist they should be advising key stakeholders of the difference between both, letting them know that there’s no need to obsess around brand search performance because knowing what drives brand search is outside the SEM specialist remit and is a wider and bigger question / concern.

A CEO or CMO asking an SEM specialist to increase brand search volume and constantly saying that “paid search drives the most conversions” than any other channel and that paid search should be given more budget (when brand and generics isn’t split out) is bad for business.

I know that a lot of consultants and CMO’s are under pressure but there needs to be more effort from the SEM specialist and senior management team to understand what is driving search performance, splitting out generic and brand keywords clearly and focusing on driving incremental generic conversions leaving brand search volumes for another day.

I’ve heard a lot of moaning and read a lot of articles (example here) about display specialists adding remarketing data into prospecting results and the fact that it needs to crack down, but not splitting out brand and generic search results is far worse and equally shambolic.

There is an argument to have brand search data held in a completely different system to be used purely for online and offline brand attribution / to view halo effect, but what is clear is that brand and generic search data should never be mixed up on the same line and should always be kept separate.

SEM specialists and consultants should be obsessing about how to improve generic paid search performance whether it’s ad copy performance or building long term strategies on building up their QS to achieve lower CPCs in the future and higher rankings which will in turn increase volume incrementally.

There’s a time and a place to discuss brand search performance and it shouldn’t be when comparing overall digital channel by channel performance.