When you think about search, it’s easy to limit your view to Google and Yahoo!/Bing. After all, about 70 percent of all searches take place via those sites. But the other 30 percent is a sizable portion, and advertisers are realizing that pay-per-click ads placed from those traffic sources can deliver solid results.
Syndicated search—the name for the other 30 percent—encompasses a wide range of search options such as type-in domains (where people type search terms directly into their browser’s navigation bars), on-site search boxes and tool bars, search apps and mobile-based Web search.
The challenge for advertisers has been to gain some kind of control over their syndicated search buys. Both Google and Yahoo!/Bing offer syndicated search as an option on their search buying platforms, but they offer it as a “check the box” option, giving advertisers little control over where the ad is being placed.
adMarketplace is an alternative for companies looking to take advantage of syndicated search. The 12-year-old company focuses solely on syndicated search and has created its platform to provide buyers with more flexibility and transparency than they can get from the market leaders.
“We are a platform built for search syndication,” says Jamie Hill, CEO of adMarketplace. “We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach.”
This past summer, Mazda, through its Garage Team Mazda agency, partnered with adMarketplace to extend its online presence, increase user engagement and boost online lead generation for its dealer network. Five metrics were used to gauge the performance of its search campaign: request a quote; locate closest dealer; search inventory; build your Mazda; and compare vehicles.
In addition to the national campaigns, Mazda also tested the adMarketplace network with locally targeted campaigns. But delivering conversions at low costs was only part of the mission for Mazda. The automaker also needed to be sure the campaign delivered a sufficient number of new conversions.
The results were solid. adMarketplace supplemented the Google Search Partner Network across all five metrics, delivering the necessary scale both nationally and locally. According to Mazda, onsite shopping activity increased by more than 38 percent.
“adMarketplace was able to contribute performance at scale to our SEM efforts,” says Steve Gibson, associate search director at Garage Team Mazda, “September was Mazda’s strongest month to date this year and adMarketplace played a very important part.”
To further enhance its search syndication platform, adMarketplace is launching a new interface to its platform to give users greater control over their syndicated search buys. “The 3D interface allows for transparent bidding by keyword, traffic source, geography and device type from a single-page, unified dashboard,” says Hill.
For example, explains Chris Compean, a business analyst for Cogo Labs/AdHarmonics, who was one of the testers of the new interface, SEM bids can now be optimized by both keyword and traffic source, something that wasn’t possible previously. “We’ve been able to be a lot more efficient,” he says. “We can go in and buy what we want at the price we want to pay. Our margins have gone up and our conversion rates are higher.”
By fully redesigning its dashboard, adMarketplace has added a number of features that it believes will help advertisers improve the scale of their syndicated search performance. Being able to bid on keywords by traffic source allows buyers to optimize their SEM buys in a way that wasn’t possible before; both Google and Yahoo!/Bing, says Hill, don’t provide traffic source transparency. “We break it out on a search partner by search partner basis,” he says. “Buyers can now know what they’re getting. They know where their ads are being placed. We solve the problem of being a transparent platform.”
As important, the interface also can provide personalized suggestions based on historical campaign performance, offering optimization options to help buyers meet their performance goals. The interface also uses simple drag-and-drop functionality, so users can produce custom reports with a single mouse click. Because it is all available in a single dashboard, there’s no more need to toggle between data, actions and reporting pages.
“Its a way to provide a granular, transparent pricing platform for search syndication,” says Hill.