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Posted by admin on 1st November 2011

PPC Mobile Campaigns

Google and MSN support mobile marketing through the inclusion of sponsored search advertising viewed on smartphones and tablets.  They also allow web marketers to review the impact of mobile marketing by providing site traffic statistics that identify the source of clicks by device.  From this data, you can see the percentage of traffic coming from mobile devices.

Knowing that mobile users are likely to see your search ads, what can be done to optimize for mobile performance?

Ad copy will display differently based on the size of screen of the viewing device. Think screen size of your desktop vs. your smartphone.  What may display well on a desktop may look too busy on a smartphone screen.  In many cases, smartphone users will use ‘click to call’ without even visiting the site.

Additionally, industry data suggests that people may not mind reading 5 lines of text on their desktop but will see it as a challenge from their smartphone.  Most important, the typical 10 sponsored search ads per SERP (search engine results page) does not carry over to ads per SERP viewed on a smartphone.  In reality, ads with a ranking below 3 have almost no chance of being seen by smartphone users.

Thus, if you are like many advertisers and see mobile traffic becoming a significant percentage of your overall site traffic, you’ll want to customize the campaign based on the type of device it will be viewed on.  This approach will allow you to optimize ad copy, identify a dedicated landing page and assign a different bid price and bidding strategy for each campaign.  If you use PPC management software, you can also assign specific bid management goals for each campaign.

To learn more about optimizing your campaign spending by bidding strategy, visit us at ClickSweeper!

Posted by admin on 7th October 2011

Initial Keyword Bid Range of MSN using Google AdWords

In the world of paid search advertising, Google leads and MSN follows.  As a result, MSN campaign development typically follows Google’s campaign structure.   If an MSN campaign is created by copying and pasting from a Google campaign, the standard copy operation would also copy Google’s keyword maximum CPC to MSN’s keyword maximum CPC.

If you are an experienced SEM consultant, you know this is not an optimal approach. If you are running campaigns in Google and MSN, the following tips should help you set MSN bid prices for optimal performance.

First of all, it is important to understand that there is a difference of minimum bid price between Google and MSN.  Google’s minimum bid is $0.01 while MSN’s minimum bid is $0.05.

Of course, the most important factor in determining bid price is keyword competitiveness of the sponsored search.  Imagine a scenario that is not all that uncommon, in which more than 10 advertisers are competing for the same keyword. This level of keyword competition will result in an escalation of the bid price quickly in only a few days.

Another important factor to consider when setting the MSN bid price is whether the campaign is Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C). Google search has a lot more advertisers than that of MSN in the B2B market.   MSN has a good search volume and quality audience, as well as Google’s, in the B2C market.  In this case, MSN’s bid price is often as high as and sometimes higher than Google’s.

Considering these differences between Google and MSN, my recommendation is to set the MSN initial bid price range from 100% to 25% of Google’s.  You can determine the optimal percentage by checking on the number of advertisers between search engine pay per click ads.

If you are managing multiple campaigns on both MSN and Google, a PPC management software tool such as ClickSweeper that allows you to copy campaigns from Google to MSN and set MSN bid price as a ratio, may also be helpful.

Posted by admin on 26th September 2011

ClickSweeper 3.0 Release

Santa Clara, California September 1, 2011 – Varazo, Inc., an innovator in pay per click management software, announced the release of ClickSweeper 3.0   enhanced with campaign management features and report generation.

ClickSweeper’s new campaign management features allow users to easily create new campaigns for both Google and MSN simultaneously.  Once a campaign is created, users can edit campaigns directly from the ClickSweeper edit screen.

ClickSweeper 3.0 also provides users the ability to easily copy campaigns within and between accounts, providing significant time savings.  With this feature, advertisers can copy Google campaign to MSN in a few minutes along with bid price adjustment.  Since MSN’s bid price range is lower than that of Google in B2B market, you can copy Google keyword bid price to a ratio of 1:0.75 or 1:0.5 to MSN’s.

Another use of Copy campaign is copying Google campaign to another Google account.  This feature is useful for agencies that manage many accounts in the same market.

If the reason for using the tool is to save time in managing multiple vendors, then this release adds a reason to use ClickSweeper.   We offer a product training and demo for new features.  Call us or email us to sign up for training.

Posted by Chris on 30th August 2011

Tools and Tips for Managing your Google Product Ads

Google has recently rolled out its Product Listing Ads to all US advertisers. This is good news to advertisers as, according to Google, people are twice as likely to click on a Product Listing Ad as a standard text ad in the same location. Product Listing Ads makes it easy to show the most relevant products from your Google Merchant Center account to potential customers searching on Google.com. Below is an example of how Product Listing Ads are displayed.

ad_sample

If you are an e-merchant who utilizes AdWords but don’t yet have Google Merchant Center account, we think it is it is worth serious consideration. A Google Merchant Center account is essentially a shopping comparison site, with the important advantage that it can be a great resource for generating quality traffic for free. You can create a Google Merchant Center account at http://www.google.com/merchants/.

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Posted by Chris on 22nd August 2011

Entrepreneur Magazine highlights the benefits of ClickSweeper pay-per-click (PPC) tool in recent review article.

Deciding if you need a pay-per-click (PPC) management tool and then determining which tool is best for your business can be time consuming and frustrating. Luckily there are groups, experts and organizations to help you through the process. Entrepreneur Magazine is one great source of information for businesses on a wide variety of topics. They recently published an article on the challenge of selecting a pay-per-click (PPC) management tool, including a detailed review of three of the most popular tools; ClickSweeper, WordStream, and Clickable. As is true with most products, no one PPC management tool is right for every business. According to the reviewer, ClickSweeper offers flexibility, affordability and a comprehensive bid management tool. Following are the advantages that Entrepreneur Magazine sees with the ClickSweeper tool.

  • Supports Google, Yahoo and Microsoft
  • Four automated bidding strategies (prioritize keyword bids on cost, ad ranking, number of conversions, or return on investment)
  • Analytics (manage bids, ad copy and create performance alerts)
  • Reporting functionality (easily track keyword performance)

The author closes by saying ClickSweeper is a logical next step if you are outgrowing Google’s Adwords tools.

In addition to what the Entrepreneur Magazine article had to say, the team at ClickSweeper is constantly listening to their market and customers and responding with new features. Their latest release is due out next month and will include advanced campaign management features giving users the ability to easily set-up, manage and monitor multiple campaigns. To find out if ClickSweeper is right for your business, visit ClickSweeper.com

Posted by Chris on 15th June 2011

Google Ad Network Display Ads. When Do I Jump In?

We’ve all been there. You start a search campaign. After a few days of seeing conversions, you get excited, really excited. You start seeing money jumping out of your PPC management software, and your heart rate goes up. In all of this excitement, a question pops into your mind. What about the display pay per click? Can I jump in?

Well, yes and no. Here are some questions to lead you to the right answer:

Is your search cost/conversion where you want it?

Oftentimes, when first starting a campaign, search cost/conversion is not in its target range. That’s okay and in many cases normal. However, believing that the display network is going to bring down the cost/conversion is a common mistake. Although oftentimes having lower CPCs and more clicks, display advertising (yes, even managed display) usually has much lower quality traffic who are not ready to convert. That means higher cost/conversion and sometimes a very fearful shriek from first time PPC managers.

Do you have a defined goal for the display network?

It is okay if you are a first time user trying out PPC bid management, but display is a different creature than search, which means the way you treat the bidding and the management may be somewhat different. Often times the best bet is to allocate a small budget at first to a campaign with automatic placements. See what happens and then react with optimization.

Are your ad copies ready?

Display means that people aren’t searching for you, so be ready to give away more. The perfect way to do that is with smart ad copy management. Whether that is bigger promotions or more intriguing copy, you have to be ready to lasso in the traffic.

Display shouldn’t be scary, but beware of the greed shark. It can bite the best of us. So, hang out in search so you are ready to dive in to display when you do.

Posted by Chris on 31st May 2011

3 Reasons Why Paid Search is Essential

Performance, performance, performance.

Unless a large rock has been fallen on your router (don’t try that at home), most of you have noticed that there has been an increasing buzz surrounding social media and mobile marketing over that past year or two. Needless to say, we in the PPC world haven’t been deaf to it either. With cool and useful social media dashboards and a wealth of mobile apps, there is definitely reason to wonder devoting budgets or people to these new forms of media. However, when we took a hard look, we found three things PPC has that so far social media and mobile are still playing catch up on.

1. Clear Cost/Lead or Cost/Sale

Although things truly depend on industry and whether or not you have shopping cart of eCRM integration, PPC still has the most accurate cost/lead estimations available against social media and mobile. Why? Because each ad has a cost per click and clear call to action. However, social media and mobile can have multiple layers of goals irrespective of end sale. Additionally, when there is a concise call to action on these platforms, oftentimes manpower cost versus sale is harder to measure.

2. Engagement

Things are changing rapidly, but as of today, search PPC still has the highest rates of engagement (if you can pay the price to get yourself to the first page). The nature of a search engine is for users to find things they are looking for. Therefore, placing yourself in this stream is automatically more useful than streams where users are more likely to be acting in an arbitrary or unfocused manner.

3. Strategy Testing

I know being able to do something a million ways is cool (see eating a Reese’s), but oftentimes with social media and mobile marketing the bridge between creativity and performance can be vague at best. There are a million ways to engage with customers. Do you ask them for sales, peddle coupons, or just put on a good face and talk to them? The questions are endless, and this can lead to missteps and loss of direction. However, paid search is pretty clear when things aren’t going the right way. This makes it easier to fix and easier to save.

That being said, do you want to remove all of your money from social media or mobile marketing? Absolutely not. Online marketing has changed and is constantly changing. However, if you are considering cutting your pay per click budget, reconsider, it may be easier to make money there than anywhere else.

Posted by Chris on 25th May 2011

5 Ways to Guard Against The Keyword Monster

Over the past few days, here at ClickSweeper, the keyword monster has raised its ugly head. What is the keyword monster, you might ask? Well, it is a large group of 0 impression and/or 0 click keywords that sucks the quality score life out of campaigns.

Back in PPC’s infancy, it was popular for managers to store thousands and even millions of keywords in their Google campaigns. Large retailers still continue this process now because of the obscurity of product id numbers and descriptions that have low search volume but also require their attention. However, for the rest of us, the keyword monster can make management painful and quality score dreadful especially if there are 0 click (but lots of impression) keywords making up segments of your campaign.

Therefore, here are 5 ways to guard against this pesky foe:

1. Regularly clean your keywords.

Haven’t seen a click in over 90 days (conservative)? You should start asking questions about these keywords.

2. Structure AdGroups and Campaigns Strictly

Tight AdGroups and campaigns can make assessing keyword deficiencies simple. Furthermore, any type of strange quality score issue that occurs will be localized rather than widespread.

3. Use Smart Keyword Research

Is your vice buying keyword lists? If so, that’s okay. Just make sure to clean it up before you enact it across all of your adgroups.

4. Limit your long tail keywords to 3 Word Length

Pretty intuitive. You don’t need to write 10 words long for a keyword. At that point, not only have you confused yourself, but maybe Google as well.

5. Pace Yourself

Keyword expansion is a hard game to play. So rather than adding thousands in a day, add a few and make sure that they work for you until moving forward.

Posted by James Lee on 6th May 2011

Weekly PPC Round-up 5/6

Welcome back for this week’s PPC management round-up. We’ve got a good mix of articles for you today, including some in-depth technical ones on using Excel for PPC and lowering CPA, and some more general interest ones on different Google bid strategies, negatives, and more. Read on for the best of this week’s PPC articles!

To start things off, John Lee at Search Engine Watch looks at Google bid strategies (max CPC, enhanced CPC, and conversion optimizer) and how to transition from one to another and why. He walks us through the basics, starting with the default max CPC setting, and shows us what to watch out for when switching to a different strategy.

Next, Chad Summerhill at PPC Summit offers a detailed tutorial on using Excel formulas for PPC. If you haven’t figured out how to turn Google Adwords Editor and Excel into a powerful duo, it’s time to start moving beyond VLOOKUP.

Next, Tom Demers over at Wordstream gives us five ways to lower CPA. No, not your tax person — your cost per action. We love Tom’s straightforward approach and his emphasis on the bottom line, which businesses overlook with surprising frequency.

Do you have a systematic method of adding negative keywords? If not, it’s worth the time to develop one. Geordie Carswell at PPC Blog offers some of his favorite research tools and strategies for adding negatives, along with some basic advice. Negatives are still a great way to improve the quality of your clicks.

Finally, a post about PPC…and bananas. George Michie at Rimm-Kaufman Group offers a great example of how averages lie and why paying more for top positions doesn’t make financial sense.  Read up on the details — great charts and clear explanations — on the blog.

And that wraps it up for this week.  Check out ClickSweeper PPC management software for an easy, affordable management solution. Sign up for a free trial today!

Posted by James Lee on 29th April 2011

PPC weekly roundup 4/29

Welcome to this week’s weekly PPC management round-up. Can you believe it’s almost May? This year has brought a lot of changes to the PPC world already, and we bet Google has some more tricks up its sleeve. No surprises this week, though. Just some good, need-to-know info on quality score, building lifetime customer value in PPC, and more. Read on!

To start us off, a resource for PPC ads that we think you’ll want to bookmark. Like, now. Alex Cohen at ClickEquations has compiled the ultimate list of PPC ad testing resources, with fantastic (and even canonical) articles on the basics, advanced strategies, testing ideas, and more. Whew. Tons of really great stuff here. Whatever your current strategy, these articles will help you develop a better one.

Next, an article from PPC Hero on what your visible quality score isn’t telling you. (You didn’t think Google would really give you the full picture, did you?) Quality score is more complex than it seems, and there’s more than one affecting your account. Learn about the types of quality (including competing ad copies and geographic performance)  you need to monitor for yourself and stay on top of the quality score game.

We love Brad Geddes at Certified Knowledge. His PPC posts at Search Engine Land are consistently thoughtful, well-researched, and extremely useful. This week, Brad takes on bounce rates and when and how they matter to your PPC campaign. (Hint: keep the bottom line in sight.)

Next, a slightly off the beaten track article at PPC Blog on what comes after the sale. Geordie Carswell offers some great suggestions to build lifetime customer value in order to maximize your investment in PPC. It’s common sense that your cost per conversion goes down drastically if a customer keeps coming back. Start courting those customers in all the right ways.

Finally, a neat little case study on how much difference ad copy can make from the Boost CTR blog. A snappy title, an offer that the customer wants to hear, and boom, 115% improvement. Read the details and learn how to tighten up your ad copy.

That wraps it up for this week. Have you tried our award winning PPC management software yet? Get a free two week trial now!