Lyris Rounds Out HQ Dashboard With PPC Management Tool
With the addition of Bid Hero, Emeryville, Calif.-based Lyris has assembled search, Web analytics, content management, landing page optimization, and email marketing solutions in one hosted application.
Bid Hero helps advertisers manage their bids and create, test and buy keywords. With a color-coded data theme, users can see which campaigns are delivering high click-through rates (CTRs) at a glance, and which ads need to be tuned up in terms of keywords, cost controls or other performance factors. A feature called the Problem Campaign Report alerts campaign managers to seven factors that might be causing them to overspend, flags the keywords or creative, and then provides the tools to improve them.
"PPC is much more complicated than when it was purely auction-based," says Joy Brazelle, product manager for Bid Hero at Lyris. "In addition to keeping tabs on the costs they're willing to pay, advertisers have to think about their competitors, multiple keywords and the fact that the engines take factors like CTR history and Quality Score into account."
For help with choosing and purchasing keywords, Lyris has incorporated Australia-based Trellian's KeywordDiscovery and competitive analysis tools into BidHero. "They can type in domain of competitor and get info on what keywords they're buying, the position they're in and how long they've been running specific ads," Brazelle says.
The tool currently supports PPC campaigns running on Google and Yahoo, but Brazelle says that Bid Hero should have MSN adCenter functionality within the next few weeks. Meanwhile, the business development team is in talks with auxiliary PPC engines like ABCSearch that serve more niche markets, as well as ad networks like Advertising.com and Quigo.
"Once people start really optimizing their paid search campaigns, they often realize that they can reduce the amount of spend and get the same results," Brazelle says. "Then they have this extra bucket of money and think: 'Do I want to buy more search? Or maybe get some targeted inventory from ad networks?' So our goal for Lyris HQ is not just to offer PPC support, but to help companies manage their whole suite of self-serve advertising."
Built entirely on the Adobe Flex platform, Lyris HQ also provides access to a shared campaign production calendar and a message board that allows team members to post notes about upcoming projects.
Lyris (formerly J.L. Halsey Corp) began as an e-mail marketing firm in 2004, then expanded to offer services like analytics and content management through the acquisition of Email Labs in 2005 and Hot Banana and Click Tracks in 2006. In 2007, the company officially changed its name to Lyris, as well as its stock symbol to LYRI.OB.