Archives for "weekly roundup"

Posted by James Lee on 11th March 2011

PPC Management Weekly Round-up 3/11

Good morning, and welcome to this week’s round-up of interesting, informative, or just plain good to know information about the PPC world. There’s a little news about MSN AdCenter, a common Adwords mistake to avoid, legal news on trademarks in PPC ads, and the latest eyetracking report. Go get ’em!

First off, a nice little piece from Dan Greenbaum over at Search Engine Journal on a common Adwords mistake: not making sure the offer in your ad is in sync with the offer on your site. Does your ad appeal to browsers, yet take them to a landing page for buyers? It could be affecting your conversion rate. Good thing it doesn’t take much effort to sync up your offers.

Next, Pamela Parker of Search Engine Land reports that MSN AdCenter will soon be rolling out its own version of Google’s quality score for keywords. Unlike Google, Microsoft claims that scores will not directly influence how ads are ranked, but we think they might be kind of kidding about that. Start tightening up things now.

And some news from the legal front: trademarks have always been a dicey issue in PPC ads. Advertisers should be happy to know that a California federal appeals court ruled that buying ads based on a competitor’s trademarked name does not violate trademark law. So while your quality scores for competitor’s keywords are still going to be low, at least you’re in the legal clear now. Good to know!

And finally, the newest eyetracking study confirms what we already knew: most users are focused on organic rather than paid search results. Many ignore the ads or spend very little time looking at them. (Don’t let that discourage you too much: Google still makes a major chunk of its income from clicks on ads.) What does this mean for advertisers? Well, to start with, you have even less time and opportunity to attract a user’s attention than you thought. Get back to work on that ad copy! And if you’re not doing SEO to bring up your website in the organic results, that should be your next priority.

Hope you found this week’s articles handy. Don’t forget to visit us for a free trial of our popular PPC management software!

Posted by James Lee on 4th March 2011

PPC Weekly Roundup 3/4

Welcome to this week’s PPC management roundup. Was it us, or were there a lot of PPC management articles this week? Maybe spring puts people in the mood to clean up their advertising. Whatever it is, we like it.  Here are some of the gems we’ve come across this week.

First of all, two really useful articles from the Vertical Leap blog. Paul Broomfield offers a tidy little tutorial in calculating PPC ROI for beginners. Pay per click advertising is one of those things in which the bottom line matters a lot — and can be calculated with relative ease. Yet many business owners don’t understand how to go about it. If you need a refresher in ROI, start with the basic formula Paul provides. Next, Mackenzie Cockram considers if and how PPC can work for local businesses with small budgets. Yes — with planning and judicious use of geo-targeting tools. It can be done!

Next, breaking news on how Google’s new content-farm-axing algorithm affects PPC advertising, courtesy of the ever brilliant Search Engine Land. Pamela Parker looks at the ‘Farmer’ update and the biggest winners and losers. Overall, the news looks pretty good for advertisers.

And a quick tutorial from a PPC blog we’re new to, PPC Buyers, on how to see which keywords are converting for which ads. There is so much data you could look at to determine ad performance, from CTR to time on site. Here’s another piece of the puzzle that can help you figure out how your ad is doing and fix it (if necessary).

Finally, Amy Hoffman at PPC Hero introduces us to Google’s new ad optimizing feature and asks, “To optimize, or not to optimize?” The new setting optimizes for conversions rather than CTR, as the longstanding ad rotation feature did. Why the hesitation? For one thing, better conversion rates don’t necessarily equal more conversions. For more on why you should pause before jumping on this new tool, check out Amy’s full article.

That’s it for this week, folks. Don’t forget to check our our main page for award-winning PPC software and score a free two week trial.

Posted by James Lee on 25th February 2011

PPC Management Weekly Roundup 2/25

Brr! It’s cold in the Bay Area this Friday (rumors of sea level snow have been circulating this whole week), but the world of PPC marches gamely onward. We have a juicy PPC management round-up for you this week with articles about mobile PPC, testing, landing pages, and more. Read on and take action!

First, an article from Siddharth Shah on Search Engine Land on how market volatility can lead to inconclusive test results. We’ve all been in this boat. Did the changes we made really have any impact? What did we learn, if anything?  Before you spend your time and money testing, you need to calculate the minimum impact your test would need to have to be measurable.

If that’s a little heavy for you, how about some good tips on getting started with mobile marketing? Marketing Insider Daily offers the neophyte mobile advertiser sound advice for finding mobile friendly keywords, choosing the right settings, and optimizing ads and landing pages for mobile devices. It’s never too early to test the waters of an interface that shows every sign of being the next big thing for advertising.

Tom Demers over at Search Engine Journal offers us another fine article on a common PPC problem: a PPC campaign that just isn’t driving any traffic. He first helps us to diagnose the issue — whether your bids are too low, your keywords are too restrictive, or your quality score is in the gutter — and gives us practical next step solutions. Great if you’re relatively new to PPC and are scratching your head as to why the traffic isn’t pouring in already.

Next, we really like Heather Schwartz’s collection of 4 critical PPC maintenance tasks and how to streamline them. Not only do we highly recommend these tasks (going through search queries to add negatives and new keywords, updating your opportunities tab, using contextual targeting tool), but we also like the way Heather shows how quick it can be to do all of them, regularly.

Finally, Ryan Woolley at Search Engine Watch shows us why landing page testing is so important for our bottom line. Even a half-percentage increase can have a major effect over several months. He walks us through setting up A/B landing page tests using Google’s website optimizer with plenty of screen shots and clear instructions. Thanks, Ryan!

And that’s it for this week! As always, if you’re looking for PPC management software to automate a good chunk of your daily tasks, swing by to get a free two week trial of ClickSweeper. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for more PPC news.

Posted by James Lee on 18th February 2011

PPC Management Weekly Round-up 2/18

Welcome to this week’s PPC round-up of fresh new articles on pay per click advertising. You’ll find interesting opinion pieces on the SEO/PPC relationship, advice for using dynamic keyword insertion on Bing, and more. Keep reading for pro tips and opinions.

First, two eye-opening articles from Search Engine Watch. The first, by Alex Cohen, proposes that paid search is your organic competitor. Is your PPC campaign actually sapping away your organic traffic? Take a look at his findings. In a related vein, Gareth Owen examines the love-hate relationship between PPC and SEO and looks at how SEO can benefit from tactics that used to belong to the paid search world.

Next, a new article from PPC Hero shows us how to use dynamic keyword insertion specifically on Bing. Learn about placeholders and other Bing ad features. Useful stuff, especially if you’ve been too busy focusing on Google to see what Bing has to offer.

Curious about how the search engine vs. social media PPC competition is shaping up? Rachel Cassidy from Vertical Leap shares her experiences and thoughts on Facebook advertising, its changing interface, and bugs to be aware of. Are you ready to take the social media plunge?

Finally, we have a new guest post by Chad Summerhill on the Wordstream blog. Have you heard about how symbols in your PPC ads can improve performance? Just a little ® can make a big difference. How does a 12% increase in conversions sound to you? Get the full scoop with a case study and statistics.

Chad ends his post with an important reminder: “Don’t just read and tweet; take action.” Good advice for all of this week’s PPC posts. Now get out there and make some changes!

Posted by James Lee on 28th January 2011

PPC Management Round-up 1/28

This week’s PPC round-up includes a mixture of news items and advice. The world of PPC management changes so quickly — miss one week, and you’ll miss a lot. (Case in point: as of this week, all PPC domain URLs are now shown in lowercase.)

Let’s start with an overview of terrible Google PPC ads and how to avoid making the same mistakes by Mona Elesseily over at Search Engine Land. She looks at the irrelevant, confusing, misspelled, and passive. Some of these errors are extremely easy to make. If you’re using dynamic keyword insertion, pay attention! Even Amazon has fallen prey to some of these doozies before.

Next, some surprising results from actual PPC tests done over at Search Advisory. Stacy Williams looks at custom landing pages vs. custom microsites, Facebook vs. search engine PPC, online vs. phone leads and concludes: testing is really essential to finding out if something will work for your business. Best practices don’t necessarily translate into the highest profits for everyone, so get out there and start testing.

And a quick news brief from the ever-reliable Search Engine Land: Pamela Parker reports that PPC on LinkedIn has finally become a reality. Take a look to see what the new self-service advertising platform is all about.

Finally, an article that gets into something that the PPC community doesn’t spend enough time on: pre-campaign research. The amount you do before ever running a PPC ad determines a lot about your resulting performance. Here, John Hossack from VKI Studios looks at how to use Google Analytics to identify strong landing pages, fix product or service pages with high bounce rates, and analyze visitor behavior.  In short, this post, one of a series, shows you how to design your PPC campaign around your existing strengths. Sounds like a good idea to me.

And as always, if you’re ready to take some of the pain out of PPC advertising, check out a free trial of ClickSweeper PPC management software.

Posted by James Lee on 21st January 2011

Weekly Round-up of PPC Management Articles 1/21

Let’s dig straight into it. Useful, interesting, or just plain awesome PPC management articles this week:

Tom Demers at Search Engine People breaks down the arcane art of writing ad copy into four concrete and useful templates you can modify to your liking:  the keyword focused ad copy, the dynamic keyword insertion ad copy, the Q&A ad copy, and the wild card. If your ad copy is stale, boring, or just not converting, take a minute to check out Tom’s ideas.

Next, in case you still weren’t convinced negative keywords were a good use of your time, Matt Lawson at Search Engine Land pulls together an impressively solid case study on how negative keywords pump up PPC performance. If you geek out at charts and before & after numbers, you’ll find lots to love here. (Don’t miss our earlier article on how to build your negative keyword campaign.) Bottom line: negatives are a necessary part of a successful Adwords campaign.

For something a little different, check out Christian Arno’s article on Search Engine Journal on how to conduct foreign language PPC. The world is your marketplace, but how do you expect to sell if you can’t speak the language? Given that Chinese use of the internet grew 755% between 2000 and 2008, learning how to market yourself in a different language seems pretty smart to us.

Finally, if you were intrigued by our recent blog entry on how to incorporate PPC into your brand, we think you’ll get a lot out of Austin McCraw’s post on Marketing Experiments Blog on how to test your value proposition through PPC. He provides a detailed three-stage process to try out different value propositions and identify the most successful. Don’t be fooled by appearances: PPC is actually a great marketing research tool.

P.S. ClickSweeper is now on Facebook. We would love it if you would, well, ‘like’ us on FB.

Posted by James Lee on 14th January 2011

1/14 Weekly Round-up of PPC management articles

Here it is, the round-up of useful and interesting articles on PPC published this week. No  self-promotion in these articles, just solid info and advice we thought you could use. Check out these goodies and get out there and apply them!

E-commerce over the holidays offers us some valuable lessons for PPC in the new year. Leisa Hall from Search Marketing Insider reflects on the value of customer reviews, timing site updates, and testing new tools. You might not want to hear this, but it’s truly never too early to start preparing for the next holiday season.

Have you heard of remarketing without really knowing what it was? It’s essentially a second chance to catch some of the fish that slipped your initial net, and Google has a tool for it. Zach Olsen from By Data Be Driven provides a useful tutorial on how to use the Adwords remarketing tool.

Jen Doyle at Marketing Sherpa rounds up the most commonly used PPC tactics and looks at their effectiveness against the effort involved with each. (Geek alert: cool chart!) Is bid adjustment or ad copy testing more effective? You’ll have to check out the study to find out. The answer might surprise you.

Broad match can spend your budget in unusual ways, as one dentist found out when his broad match keywords triggered impressions and clicks for male enhancement queries. Chris Crum over at WebProNews looks at Google’s session-based broad match feature and concludes that irrelevant keywords can be costly. If you didn’t know about session-based broad match, well, it’s just one more reason to keep monitoring your search query terms and add negatives or switch to phrase match.

That’s it for this week. If you’ve written something useful, enlightening, or amazing about PPC, leave us a comment with the link and we’ll consider it for next week’s round-up.

P.S. ClickSweeper made the top 10 list at Visibility Magazine for best PPC bid management software this week. Woo!

Posted by James Lee on 7th January 2011

Weekly Round-up of Best PPC Articles

Don’t have time to sort through every article written on PPC management in the last few days? We’ve done it for you. Here are some highlights from the ever changing PPC world this week.

From the official Google Adwords blog: 10 of our favorite Adwords innovations from 2010. If you haven’t heard of Adwords Campaign Experiments or Click-to-Call Phone Extensions, hop over and educate yourself on ways to make Adwords work smarter.

From Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling: Obamacare Adwords: Partisan Outrage or Public Education? The keyword ‘Obamacare’ triggers ads sponsored by the government that link to the Obama administration”s official healthcare page. Is this use of taxpayer dollars public education or unfair partisan influence?

From Search Engine Journal’s Kate Morris: Top 5 Things to Test in your PPC Campaign for the New Year. A nice round-up of tests to run on your PPC campaigns this year, some basic, some not.  (Hint: Google Campaign Experiments has now shown up twice in this list. Better get on it.)

From Certified Knowledge, guest post by Chris Thunder: Understanding the Adwords Disco Dance. Understanding the process your customers go through is key to improving your PPC conversion rate. In this article, Chris Thunder puts his own spin on the process with an acronym: DISCO. (Discovery, Interest, Study, Comparison, Order.) No mirror balls, just good, solid info for PPC marketers.

Enjoy! And if you haven’t already, why not sign up for a free trial of our award-winning PPC management software?

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