New Year, new start with search engine marketing (SEM)


Guest post by Saara Pietilä, Marketing Manager Search & SMB, Microsoft Advertising

The New Year is a great opportunity for an advertiser to benefit from popular New Year’s resolutions. For many, the New Year equals a fresh start to a better health and prosperity and for some, perhaps even positive changes in love life! This blog post is focused on search marketing, providing tips and resources to tap into for advertisers in the topical verticals this time of the year.  Adjusting your search strategy and keyword portfolio with terms relating to resolutions people are making and searching, can extend your holiday search success well into the 2011. 

Health, money and love.

This is the time of the year when promises to self are made of better health. This could include starting a diet, exercise regime or finding nutrition and wellness related products and services to help along the way. If your business operates in any of these verticals, it’s worth taking advantage of the increased traffic volumes. The basic steps include refreshing your ad copy to make it relevant for this time of the year, expanding your keyword lists and adding negative keywords and checking your search budget to make sure you are maximising the share of visits to your site. Microsoft search marketing expert, Michael Moster, shares more tips and weight loss, vitamins, body care, fitness, and New Year-related keywords list in his blog article.

Another popular topic at the first few months of the year is money – be it carrying out that insurance quote comparison exercise, reviewing a mortgage deal or checking out the competitiveness of an ISA. Now is the time to optimise your search advertising for financial, insurance or property services and products. Robin Jackson gives top tips for financial sector advertisers in his blog post.

The beginning of the year is a peak time for queries related to dating and singles. Make sure your ad copy and bids are optimised, Philip Ryan shows you how. In the run up to Valentine’s Day, advertisers in greeting cards, flowers and restaurant businesses among others are already seeing an increase in search traffic. Tina Kelleher gives advice of how to set up your campaigns for success for the 14th February.

Decisions, decisions.

You may have seen the recent advertising campaign  about how Bing helps people make decisions. For anyone on a personal health kick, or planning a holiday to escape the gloomy weather, Bing has some features worth checking out.  Try calorie search queries – simply type in a food item and ‘calories’ to bring up the Wolfram Alpha-powered result. Or search for BMI to find out your body mass index. Bing Instant Answers provide quick information right on the search results page. For example, look for stock quotes and the FTSE, or try currency conversion. Travel E-cards are another new feature which provide fast, visual information about cities and countries to inspire and inform travelers. Features like this are constantly added on Bing to bring more traffic to see your ads.

Here’s to a successful year in your search marketing!

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