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The most recent campaign I’ve set up to run here at WXPN has been another very interesting project. This campaign was directed to increase traffic towards The Key (WXPN’s local music blog) and more specifically, the concert review section of the blog. From the start, I knew it would be intriguing as a PPC campaign because it is such a specific destination on the web.

However, I was in luck since I would consider myself as part of this blog’s target market. I’m certainly a big fan of the eclectic and lively local music scene this city has to offer, and definitely trust The Key as a solid source for info on that. This fact made the planning and build out of the campaign much more interesting. I basically looked at it this way, “If I wanted to read up on the local scene, but didn’t know about The Key, what would I type into Google?” This led to me doing just that. I punched in mindlessly to Google all my questions and thoughts and inquiries on local bands, scenes, shows, genres, venues, and events. After this exercise I spoke to the DJ who runs the blog about the keywords he believed would be helpful in directing searchers to this content. These brainstorming exercises concluded with me creating ad groups that focused on around the following keywords: bands, events, concerts, scene, shows, indie, punk, folk, reviews, venues, TLA, union transfer, johnny brenda’s, electric factory, and boot and saddle.

Reviewing this campaign (it’s currently still running) hopefully will bring some insight into how best to market music media to local fans. It’s only just begun but I’ve managed to notice a few trends. The “concerts” ad group of keywords has been the most successful in acquiring impressions and clicks so far, followed closely by “bands,” then “venues,” and then “shows.” This tells me that music fans go to Google when they want info on shows, possibly looking for tickets to upcoming shows. What I found interesting was the huge difference in clicks and impression from “concerts” to “shows” to “events.” This could be due to the increased specificity of “concert” as a musically-specific related word, while a show or event could be various forms of live entertainment. So the more specific to the destination site while advertising on Google, the better.

However, the bottom five performing ad groups in the campaign were the five specific venues The Key covers often that I included (TLA, Union Transfer, Johnny Brenda’s, Electric Factory, and Boot and Saddle). After googling the keywords used in those ad groups, I chalked up the low performance to probably the SEO of the venue sites themselves. Most searches about specific venues will direct right to their own site and concert calendar specific to their venue.

So effective keywords have to be specific, but also unique to the destination site is what I’m getting at. What’s specific to The Key’s concert reviews in comparison to these venues’ own sites is the variety of content on The Key. The Key covers concerts all over Philadelphia, without any obviously specific biases towards venues or bands. Where that meets the curiosity of the local music fan’s googling patterns seems to be somewhere around “live concerts” and “local concerts.” These terms aren’t unique enough to warrant their own specific site, but rather call for someone else’s reporting on the local live music scene. That’s essentially the mission of The Key, so that’s where it works out.

I’ll hopefully have the opportunity to continue working with PPC in the future, because I find it pretty fascinating at times. It’s a powerful tool, and I know it’s making me a smarter student of advertising the more I use it.