The New Overture Best Practices, Part 2

Matching Options

In part one, I explained Overture’s new matching options. Now, the question on all of your minds is, “Do I need to bid the same CPC for phrase or broad matching as I did for standard matching?” The answer is no. If you believe, or have data to support, the hypothesis that broader matched terms do not convert as well for you (are lower quality on average), then certainly you may want to pay less for broad match or phrase match clicks. Overture’s DirecTraffic Center (DTC) will allow you to set each match type with a different CPC bid.

Here is how it works in practice. When a search occurs on Overture or on an Overture partner site, Overture’s system first checks the standard match listings to see if anyone has bid on those listings. For any search term with reasonable popularity, chances are good there will be a few bidders. Remember, many marketers already submit listings and bid on terms that get as few as 25 searches a month (Overture’s minimum). Those marketers have probably expanded their keyword lists to go broad.

If the system finds no bids among the standard match listings or insufficient listings to populate the results page, it looks to find phrase match listings that fit the search. If there are still unfilled results needed, it then looks for broad match listings. Each listings set is exhausted before the system looks to the next tier.

This means most marketers should continue the best practice of going broad on standard matches, putting standard listings in Overture for many search terms (even less popular ones). For some, that means going down to the 25-searches-per-month key phrases. Doing so assures your listings get rank precedence over phrase or broad match listings.

In addition, the ability to optimize creative, match landing pages to the unique exact searches, and track specific conversions by exact match can be quite powerful. Then, to tap into the true tail of search distribution, take selected words or phrases and set them to phrase or broad match. Your standard listings will get called up first if they fit. If not, you’ll tap into a whole new segment of the search marketplace.

Excluded Words

Along with new matching options, there is an Excluded Words feature. This is great if you want to tap a broader audience but need to eliminate specific keywords to rule out searchers who don’t fit your profile. For example, you sell high-priced new jewelry to consumers. Excluding the words “used,” “discount,” “wholesale,” and “bargain” will result in a better-targeted searcher when using a broad match or phrase match option.

Listings On/Off Button

Another great feature implemented in the most recent DTC release is the Listings On/Off button. The pause feature can be really handy for seasonal campaigns. If you swap out seasonal merchandise or only want to target searchers during specific times of the year, but will need the listings again, pause is perfect.

Some business-to-business (B2B) marketers might use a campaign management system to pause listings on the weekends. They want to eliminate the higher percentage of consumers searching on a term that applies to both consumers and businesses. Another alternative would be to use campaigns management software to reduce bids over the weekend to reflect the lower percentage of highly targeted clicks that happen during that time.

Conversion Counter

Want to have Overture track your campaigns through to conversion? Try the newly released Conversion Counter tool. This tool will add query string data to your inbound clicks, allowing the Overture system to do some of your return on investment (ROI) tracking. For some marketers, this is a good fit. Others will prefer to see ROI data in a third-party application or internal tool/spreadsheet, where ROI metrics can be compared across search vendors and types of search (e.g., paid inclusion, shopping search, and featured sites).

This marketplace does not stand still for long. Marketers make their needs known to publishers, and publishers (including search engines) understand how to make money on their inventory, keep the readers/searchers happy, and meet marketers’ needs. When everything works, everyone is happy. Do your part to make things work right, and understand the new, powerful ways to tap into paid search results.

Related reading

Screenshot shows a Google search for outdoor grills, the shopping ads shows images with “in store” showing the product is available nearby.