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WebTrends Paid Search Advertising Survey Finds Marketers Need More Sophisticated Measurement and Campaign Management
[May 08, 2007]

WebTrends Paid Search Advertising Survey Finds Marketers Need More Sophisticated Measurement and Campaign Management

SAN FRANCISCO & PORTLAND, Ore. --(Business Wire)-- WebTrends Inc., a market leader for web analytics and Marketing Performance Management solutions, today at Emetrics Summit announced results of a paid search survey it conducted at last month's Search Engine Strategies conference in New York City. Of the 132 survey respondents, 81 percent indicated that they have paid search campaigns running on Google, followed by Yahoo! at 64 percent, MSN at 49 percent, at 18 percent and other search engines at 12 percent. Initial findings regarding the scope, evaluation and management of these campaigns indicate that marketers are currently relying on simple activity-based metrics as well as multiple, manually intensive solutions to optimize performance. This approach is limiting the ability to profitably scale marketing efforts across greater numbers of keywords and search engines.

According to JupiterResearch, the vast majority of marketers will increase paid search spending in 2007, yet more than 60 percent of advertisers said rising keyword prices are a problem. In addition, 45 percent of advertisers said they had trouble tracking the effectiveness of search marketing, and 43 percent indicated problems managing search across multiple engines and discovering new effective keywords. "As keyword prices rise, smart advertisers must find relatively cheaper keywords. ...developing a long list of keywords for testing will become necessary" (JupiterResearch, US SEM Executive Survey, 2007).

The majority of respondents to the WebTrends survey are running 10,000 or fewer keywords in their paid search campaign, including 22 percent saying they run 1,000 to 10,000 keywords and 31 percent stating they use 1-1,000 keywords. Of all respondents, however, 21 percent indicated they are running over 10,000 to more than 200,000 keywords.

"Marketers have clearly found search marketing to be a winning strategy. However, the lack of best practices adoption and the wide range of survey responses makes it even clearer why many are experiencing frustration in profitably scaling their efforts," said John Rodkin, vice president and general manager of WebTrends digital advertising solutions. "Marketers need to adopt performance management methods that offer automation and optimization of search marketing campaigns using well-defined business goals."

In terms of measuring the success of these campaigns, most respondents indicated that they use multiple metrics with "traffic" being the top choice at 44 percent, followed by "conversion" at 34 percent, and both "revenue" and "cost per action" coming in at 22 percent. Only 14 percent of marketers indicated that they use "profit" to evaluate the success of their paid search campaigns, highlighting a serious shortfall considering increased search spending, competition and rising keyword prices. In addition, survey respondents said they are using multiple solutions concurrently to analyze search marketing performance, with web analytics (30.8 percent), Microsoft Excel (19.7 percent) and bid management solutions (17.6 percent) being the top choices -- all of which require manual effort to analyze results and make changes with the individual search engines.

Launched in December 2006, WebTrends Dynamic Search is an automated search marketing optimization solution that continuously analyzes performance and automatically performs multi-variate testing to identify the best performing network-keyword-position-creative-landing page combinations based on goals that marketers establish. The solution automatically adjusts the variables and re-allocates online spending across the major networks including Google, Yahoo!, MSN and

Early adopters of WebTrends Dynamic Search such as ShopNBC and Clear Ink have experienced tremendous performance improvements within a short timeframe. ShopNBC increased paid search revenue from non-branded terms by 25 times and more than doubled its paid search profit margin. Clear Ink, an interactive agency, leveraged WebTrends Dynamic Search to launch a campaign for a worldwide health club client including 90,000 keyword iterations and testing for ad copy, landing pages and geo-targeting. Paid search is now beating the health club's next best acquisition channel by more than 800 percent.

About WebTrends Inc.

WebTrends is the leading provider of web analytics software and on-demand solutions for web-smart customers including General Mills, IKEA, Microsoft, Reuters and Ticketmaster. With WebTrends Marketing Lab, the company has expanded its comprehensive analytics platform to offer on-the-fly data exploration, dynamic advertising optimization and customer targeting solutions fueling relationship marketing. Thousands of enterprises have chosen WebTrends solutions and consulting services to accurately prove and improve their business and marketing results. For more information, visit

WebTrends is a registered trademark of WebTrends Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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