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.

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