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MARKETING JOBS Optimizing Keyword Creative Works Wonders

Simple, relatively low-cost techniques related to search keywords, titles and descriptions can dramatically improve search performance for advertisers, according to a new study of keyword performance for paid search campaigns.

The study by AOL's tested three creative optimization techniques, each with a different goal, and found that "keyword insertion" resulted in a 38 percent increase in click-through rates, on average; "keyword expansion" resulted in a 15 percent in click volume; and "targeted URLs" resulted in a 36 percent increase in conversions.

Keyword insertion refers to the incorporation, into the sponsored link, of the exact keywords that the consumer is searching for. Keyword expansion refers to the expanding of an existing list of keywords by generating additional terms that contain more specific information; the intent is to increase the overall volume of consumers.

And with targeted URLs - an effort to increase conversion - consumers are directed to a specific, subject-relevant page on a website instead of the homepage or a more general page.

The study was conducted in May and June 2006, using advertisers in diverse categories, including CPG, retail, education, financial services and real estate.

"From managing keyword lists to establishing bidding strategies, search management is notoriously complex for marketing professionals," Lauren Weinberg,'s research director, said in a statement. "This study reveals several highly effective yet relatively simple ways to generate more clicks or conversions, enabling marketers to obtain greater ROI from both their search budgets and their management efforts."


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