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IProspect Unviels New Search Engine Bid Tool

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-08-02

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Search Engine Marketing Firm iProspect unveiled iSEBA at the Search Engine Strategies Conference today.

The iSEBA tool manages the keyword bidding process for pay per click advertising campaigns on both Google and Overture's paid search programs. A patent was filed for iSEBA with the U.S Patent Office on July 22, 2004.

Unlike other keyword bidding platforms: Maestro from Did-it.com, BidManager from Atlas OnePoint (formerly GO TOAST), and Overture's new Search Optimizer; iSEBA optimizes the spending of a clients' budget across an entire set of keywords -- a methodology known as "global campaign optimization" -- which produces results superior to those produced by firms using methodologies which optimize on a keyword-by-keyword level. iSEBA is an objective-based tool which enables iProspect clients to select to have campaigns optimized by their choice of results: traffic, conversions, ROI, revenue or profit. According to iProspect, most other bid management software is "rules-based" where each keyword has its own rules that do not apply to an overall campaign objective.

"Suppose you were bidding on 5,000 keywords," said iProspect's Vice President of Client Services and Technology, John Tawadros, "and of those 5,000 keywords, only 2,000 of them were producing positive ROI. And of those 2000 keywords that were producing positive ROI, there were 100 of them that were producing far superior ROI compared to the other 1,900. A rules-based tool would continue to bid on any of the 5,000 keywords that had not exceeded the maximum bid you set for it to spend, to achieve your desired position within the paid search results -- as long as you still had daily or monthly budget in your PPC account. And it would continue to bid on these keywords, regardless of whether any of them were producing positive ROI, until you manually changed the rules under which the keywords were operating."

iSEBA will test every keyword in a client's keyword set by bid price and position, by hour of the day and by day of the week, using neural net modeling to predict bid prices every hour. It also runs 'what-if' scenarios every hour to predict what effect changes to bidding will have on the bidding outcome and the rate at which a client's budget will be spent. From what it "learns" and then predicts, it makes bidding adjustments every hour, selecting the set of keywords, the prices, and the search result positions that will generate the best results for the client that hour. It does this every hour of the day 24/7/365.

"So once iSEBA recognizes that 3,000 of the keywords are not producing positive ROI, it automatically stops bidding on them -- where other tools would require human intervention. And when it recognizes that 100 keywords are producing even greater ROI than the other 1,900, it predicts outcomes, and then calculates whether it is more profitable to channel the client's budget to some of those 100 keywords -- and stop bidding on some, or all, of the other 1,900 - in order to "globally optimize" and maximize the ROI of the pay per click campaign as a whole," Tawadros continued.

In addition to its global campaign optimization capabilities, iSEBA has a unique linguistic component that recognizes when new keywords are added to the campaign's keyword set that are linguistically similar to already-optimized keywords. Once the newcomers are recognized, iSEBA immediately starts testing them to verify if the new keywords behave like the established keywords. When some of them do, the time that it takes for these new keywords to become ROI-positive is significantly shortened.

iSEBA is also unique in being able to accept imports of historic data from all the other major bid management platforms, simple in-house results clients may have maintained in Excel, and even a client's website log file data. It analyzes this data prior to starting its testing of a client's keyword set to help determine initial keywords, prices, times and positions. This means that the minute iSEBA starts managing a client's campaign it will immediately be as smart as the client ever was utilizing their previous methodology, and will only increase the effectiveness of their campaign from there. Once again, this saves considerable time in making the client's set of keywords ROI-positive.

"Unlike a number of other firms in this space, iProspect provides complete pay per click campaign management services as part of its keyword bidding solution," said Tawadros. "From keyword research, selection, and refinement; reporting support; campaign assessment and recommendations; help developing and testing the creative of our clients' pay per click ads as well as their landing pages -- all these value-add services are included in a client's campaign along with the actual set-up and running of the agent. This is not a do-it-yourself or a "set-it and forget it" solution. We actively work with our clients to manage their campaigns and ensure that they surpass their marketing goals," Tawadros added.

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