Archives for "PPC Articles"

Posted by James Lee on 25th March 2011

Weekly PPC Management Roundup 3/25

Welcome back to another round of our cream-of-the-crop PPC management article round-up. This week brings some especially juicy articles to the table on new location targeting options, broad match modifier, sitelinks, and the much dreaded Google slap. (Not to be confused with the even deadlier Google ban.)  Read on for pro tips and tricks!

Search Engine Land’s Mona Elesseily (@webmona) kicks things off with 5 PPC myths explained in simple terms. Drawing on her extensive search background, Mona gives us the scoop — nothing highly technical or obscure — on negative keywords, trademarked terms, pausing keywords, bidding on your own brand, and the display network. If you read up on PPC, odds are that you’ll have encountered some of these myths. Don’t worry; Mona will set you straight.

Next, Chad Summerhill (@chadsummerhill) guestblogging at Certified Knowledge looks at Adwords sitelinks and their impact on performance. Sitelink extensions make your ad look more like organic search results, so the jump in CTR (almost 40% in Chad’s case) isn’t surprising. But Chad digs a little deeper to look at their effect on his organic traffic, and the results are definitely interesting. Go take a look!

It’s not often that we get ‘PPC’ in the same sentence as ‘marshmallow shooter gun,’ and Crosby Grant’s article on Search Engine Land would be worth reading for that alone. However, it’s a very handy, well-illustrated guide to using broad match modifier — you know, kind of the way broad match was supposed to work before Google was showing your ads for remarkably irrelevant things. The little + symbol is very useful in making sure the best ad matches up with a query and for tightening up your adgroups. Read the article for more examples and how to do it. 

Next, from the horse’s mouth official Adwords blog: new options for location targeting. Remember how you used to set a target location only to find that your geographic keywords also attracted queries from way outside the area? This approach made sense if you were a hotel whose prospects would likely be from out of the area, but not for most local businesses. Now, when you set a target location, you can choose the ‘physical location only’ option — which means that only people within the area you targeted will be shown your ad. That’s probably what you wanted in the first place. Thanks for listening, Google!

And finally, the dish on the ‘Google slap’ from PPC Blog (@theppcblog): a.k.a. when your quality scores suddenly all plummet to 1. It’s always a bad couple of days when Google does this, and believe it or not, sometimes they really just do make mistakes. Here’s a great summary of what’s happening, why, and what you can do about it. Hint: don’t try to game the system. Just find out what’s wrong and fix it as soon as you can. Groveling may not be necessary.

That wraps it up for this week. If you’re looking for PPC management software that will take the sting out of daily management, don’t forget to check out ClickSweeper for a free trial. We’ve just updated our trend graphs and have some more surprises coming soon.

Posted by James Lee on 18th March 2011

PPC Roundup for 3/18

Welcome to this week’s best-of-the-crop PPC management articles! Here’s the latest of what’s new in the pay per click world regarding ads, landing pages, and enterprise PPC.

Mike Fleming over at Search Engine Guide shows us how to look at our ad copy tests by time segment to get the real scoop on how our ads are performing. Did one ad have a slow start and then pick up? You’ll never be able to tell if you look just at weekly numbers. Make smarter and more informed choices about your ads by comparing them within the same time period.

Over at Adweek, Mike Shields reports that Facebook ad performance is, well, abysmal. The average clickthrough rate for 2010 was just .051%, which by comparison makes search engine PPC look pretty enticing. Interest based ads also begin to burn out quickly, within three to five days, making it more that much more time intensive to run an optimally updated campaign. However, the article doesn’t touch on the real metric of profitability, cost per conversion. We recommend you try it out for yourself to see if Facebook advertising is a good venue for your business. 

What is it about infographics that makes all types of information seem more appealing? We found this one from The Wall on how marketers can use PPC to boost business and liked the way it broke up components of good and bad landing pages in an easy graphic format. Its primary suggestion of targeted, specific landing pages for a specific offer is an oldie but goodie.

Finally, an article on something we don’t see as often: in-house PPC for big companies.  David Roth over at Search Engine Land covers some of his session at SMX, in case you weren’t able to attend in person. Using his own experience, he looks at four major facets: planning, monthly forecasting, budget mobility, and optimization. Some great advice here!

That’s it for this round-up. Don’t forget, ClickSweeper offers free trials of award winning PPC management software. Won’t you give us a try this week?

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 9th March 2011

6 Ways to Measure PPC Ad Performance

Never forget that your ads are the most visible part of your PPC campaign. They are often overlooked in favor of keyword lists and bid management, but they shouldn’t be. Part of the problem is that the available tools to measure and manage your ads are not located in one convenient location. However, don’t let that stop you from making the best possible decisions about your ads, whether editing, adding, or pausing. Here are six basic but essential metrics to evaluate your ads with. Continue Reading

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 2nd March 2011

PPC Management Tools: Contextual Targeting

Well, Google, we have to give it to you: sometimes you come up with really awesome tools. Our newest favorite is the contextual targeting tool, located under the Reporting and Tools tab. We like it because it provides keyword suggestions that are already grouped together in proto-adgroups. For example, type in ‘composting’ and the tool will come up with possible adgroups and keywords that have to do with composting. Ostensibly the tool is designed for the display network, but there’s no reason why its suggestions couldn’t work equally well for search. Take a look! Continue Reading

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 9th February 2011

6 Tough Questions to Ask PPC Software Vendors

Go ahead, make them cringe a little. You have the right to know exactly what you’re getting before signing up with a PPC management software provider. It’s a matter of figuring out what you need in software — and then asking the right questions to get beyond the hype and the pretty website.

1. Which does your software do better, reduce management time or improve ROI/CPV performance? Although a lot of PPC management software will claim to do both, most were designed around one or the other. Before you ask, though, start by figuring out which is your priority. It will make a huge difference in what kind of software will work for you: fully loaded with management features and pricey, or just the tools you need for a price that doesn’t bite into your profit margin. Continue Reading

Posted by James Lee on 4th February 2011

PPC Management Round-up 2/4

Happy Friday! This week’s PPC article round-up includes some interesting new studies on Google and Bing, a great collection of videos for the PPC neophyte, and some major news on the ever-changing Google ad format front. All good stuff to stay ahead of. Have at it.

First, a study from Danny Goodwin from Search Engine Watch that shows that  top ad spots on Google are more valuable than on Bing. Surprising new eye-tracking studies show that user behavior between platforms is not equal.  Find out why the top ad positions on Google are worth spending a little more for. Continue Reading

if; ?>