Darrell Freeman’s Internet Marketing Blog

Thoughts on SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing & the rest

Archive for July, 2009

TrainLine – High checkout abandonment?

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Today I needed to buy a train ticket for next week so I went to the Trainline website and after picking the correct route, finding suitable times and fares I was ready to checkout.  I was at the last screen and got presented with the following screen:


You see the problem, I can either pick up the train tickets from the nearest station or pay for next day delivery (£7.50).  Ok, my journey starts from Capenhurst which is 1/2 mile from my house but nearest train station I can pick up the tickets is Chester, which is 16 miles roundtrip – not really suitable.  Also I’m not in a rush for my tickets (as I’m travelling next week) so therefore don’t require next day delivery at £7.50 (over 50% the costs of my actual train tickets).  So where is the 1st class post option for a £1??

Done a bit of digging around QJump is exactly the same.  Also Trainline charge a booking fee and credit card fees as well so they always make a few quid on every booking.  If like me you want 1st class post (free!) for your tickets, no credit card fees and no booking fee then use the service by First Great Western, they also don’t select travel insurance for you by default.

The marketing/usability guys at Trainline need shooting, for people in the same situation as me the cart abandonment will be really high and as they have deleted the option to have your tickets sent by 1st class post I can see their conversion on a big downturn – good work guys!

Written by Darrell Freeman

July 28th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Match Type – Broad (Session-Based) – Let me turn it off!

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Ok every week or two I log into Google Adwords and download a search query report – normally do this to find new negative keywords and find new keywords for new ads and landing pages.

Whilst looking through a report for the last month I noticed that a match type which appears is ‘Broad (session-Based)’.  Maybe I haven’t been paying attention but I’ve only just noticed this.  Anyway it is quite alarming to find that the search phrases users are using for ‘Broad (session based)’ are nothing to do with the keywords I am targeting.  Whereas nearly all the search phrases for ‘Broad’ match are relevant they are not relevant for ‘Broad (session based)’.

A solution would be for Adwords to give advertisers the option to disable ‘Broad (session-based)’ however to do this I would need to disable ‘Broad’ match type and I do not want to do this.  The problem with ‘Broad (session-based)’ is that it shows adverts from a users previous search, for example if I type ‘holidays’ into Google and my next search is for ‘car rentals’ there is a good chance that due to ‘Broad (session based)’ match type a few ads for the 1st search term (holidays) will still appear in the results for the 2nd search term.

It is a good idea in theory from Google as many users may enter a generic phrase to start with (e.g. tv) before drilling down into more detail so the 2nd phrase maybe ‘lcd tv’ and then maybe a model number ’32lg2000′ as the user moves along the buying cycle – but Google needs to recognise when search phrases are related and when they are not.  Then they can effectively implement ‘Broad (session-based)’ match type.

In the algo for organic results, LSI (Latent semantic indexing) is where Google recognises keywords which are related (e.g. Google knows that both keywords ‘mobile phone’ and ‘nokia’ are be related) and a strict version of this needs to be implemented into the algo for Adwords to stop ads appearing for totally unrelated search terms on ‘Broad (session-based) match types.

A solution for me is to maybe stop ‘broad match’ and go back and see what search phrases generate ‘broad’ match ads and start to move these into ‘phrase’ and ‘exact’ match.  Here is some info nearer the bottom of this article from Google on Broad (session-based).

Written by Darrell Freeman

July 28th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Posted in Google

Rejected by merchants in Affiliate Window (AWIN)

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Ok I’ve applied for a programme, the merchant or their agency who deal with Aff marketing for them as had a look at my profile in AWIN and rejected me.  No complaints as the primary site url listed in ‘Account details’ in the Awin interface has nothing to do with the programme I was applying for.  But why do Awin just allow you to enter 1 url, obviously they know many affiliates have various sites in different niches therefore you should be able to enter as many urls as possible.

So first suggestion is that Awin changes the ‘promotional tab’ in ‘Account Detail’ to allow affiliates to enter more than 1 site.


Secondly when you have been rejected by a merchant why isn’t there a way to ‘appeal’ in the interface, could send the merchant a simple explanation of why I am applying for their programme and also the url I am using to promote the site.  These changes are quite simple and would benefit the affiliate, the merchant and also the network.


Written by Darrell Freeman

July 13th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized