Start advertising on search engines a.s.a.p.! Or not?

Tue 10 March 2009 08:45, Jeffrey Bleijendaal

Start advertising on search engines a.s.a.p.! Or not?

Advertising on search engines like Google, Yahoo! and MSN is still one of the most powerful advertising methods at this moment and therefore the number of advertisers is still growing. This means that new advertisers, who are noobs concerning SEA, are going to compete with advertisers who are SEA dinosaurs, know all the tricks and have optimized their websites and landing pages to get the highest ROI from their SEA-campaigns.

Do these new advertisers actually stand a change?

SEA has changed quite a lot since it started concerning which variables or factors actually determine the success of a campaign (nowadays the quality score). For example the account history of a campaign is still important, but not as important as it used to be. This is a big advantage for new advertisers and looking at the current important variables and factors I think new advertisers actually do stand a change against the SEA dinosaurs, because of all this.
So starting with SEA today should not be a problem as long as you’ve kept a keen eye on the factors (only the important ones) that determine your quality score. 

So which factors do determine your quality score?
The quality score is assigned on a keyword level and the score is being determined mostly by its click-through-rate (CTR) and the relevancy of the landing page.

I can hear you think: ”New advertisers can’t have a click-through-rate, because they don’t even have had impressions yet”. That’s right, but this is where the base score kicks in. When you put a new campaign online Google gives every keyword a base quality score determined by the historical performance of other advertisers that use that same keyword. This means that new advertisers actually benefit from the SEA dinosaurs! Most of the time of course, because you can also get a low base score because of the historical performance.
So new advertisers actually have to make sure their landing pages are as good as possible to eventually compete with the older advertisers.

Of course there is still one factor that actually determines how well you can compete with other advertisers and that’s the factor; budget and bidding.

A small budget means the advertiser can’t bid too high and can’t be visible on top of a search engine result page 24/7. Luckily the budget is not cohesive to how long you advertise already! :-)

So to conclude this: make sure your landing pages are optimal and start advertising on search engines now benefiting from the current advertisers!


This article can also be found on Jeffrey Bleijendaal's website:

  • Comments (5)
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Comments (5)


  • I wrote a short three-part guide on search engine advertising, especially for novices:

    SEA isn't that complicated, you just need to get into it with the right mindset and expectations.

    Di 10 mrt 2009, 10:30

  • It's not that hard. Keep it S.M.A.R.T. and you'll be able to participate well and make some profit from SEA campaigns.

    Determine KPI's and your strategy: think before you even touch Google or Yahoo. Research your competition. Be different.

    Keep an eye on your stats and adapt your campaigns to niches that suit your product or service instead of focusing only on top (expensive) keywords. You are not going to win that battle.

    My favorite "keywords" are measurement and optimization. You should make them your favorites too.

    Di 10 mrt 2009, 12:34

  • A nice way to improve the ROI is to use Conative words and calls to action in your adds.

    Di 10 mrt 2009, 14:58

  • @Jasper Meerman: that completely depends on what audience you're aiming at. for instance, some audiences prefer static, boring ads and others prefer call to action and/or conative words. I suggest to test a couple of different ad styles for at least 1000 clicks and rewrite your ads based on the results.

    Di 10 mrt 2009, 15:20

  • @Ben, the conative words are meant for the campaign not for the adds. However I was referring to campaigns with a low budget; you'd want the clicks from people with the intention to buy.

    Besides that I completely agree to what you're saying.

    Di 10 mrt 2009, 15:33


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