• Ronnie’s Mustache

    Good article, David!

    1. The default advanced location option can be a real waste of $$. And the fact that you have to click “[+]Advanced…” is pretty shady- IMO.

    2. As far as opting out of “near match”; I think this needs to be addressed after testing it for a bit. I often leave it on for a trial period. If nothing else, you get to see what sort of MSQ’s it’s generating.

    3. I totally understand why Adwords decided to “unselect” the options in your “Extensions: PLAs MIA” section-

    -PLA’s require quite a bit of setup.

    -DSA’s are usually not great performers (usually quite useless).

    -Apps and Reviews don’t apply to the majority of users.
    _The reviews extension is tough to qualify for. And you’re potentially sending people away to the reviewing site. (no thanks!)

    4. BTW- Isn’t an 85% conversion rate pretty standard? ;)

  • http://www.thesofaandchair.co.uk/ Tom Goodwin

    Don’t agree with opting out of close variants. It’s not possible or desirable to list all relevant misspells in an Adwords account then duplicate for plurals. What appeals to the perfectionist is not always pragmatic.

  • Pat Grady

    When you try to simplify something complex, often you just make it more complex.

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com/ George Michie

    Great post, David. Your closing line is priceless! I’d also be wary of veterans. Too often people who’ve been doing search for years have been doing it badly for years. Expertise isn’t a linear function of time; it comes from rigorous training, exposure to a range of scenarios, and being judged by real results.

  • Sam Owen

    There’s a quick way to see if close variants is good or bad for your account. I normally start by including them and then a couple of months down the line download my search terms report data. A simple pivot table will let you pivot by exact – close variant and phrase – close variant. If your CPA for those terms is good, leave it. If horrible, turn it off.

  • Larry Kim


  • Tom

    LOL thats funny, I just was in the middle of writing up an internal process list for existing and non existing accounts and highlighted all of these setting and how they should be set if they are not depending on the type and location/s of the business

  • David Rodnitzky

    If an 85% conversion rate is standard for you, please send me your resume!

    Agreed that PLAs are hard to set up, but given their increasing prominence in the SERPs, this is a pretty vital step.

  • David Rodnitzky

    Valid point Tom, though I don’t agree. I think it is possible to control for all variations. We do this through our Alpha Beta process – there’s a white paper on our Web site that explains how.

  • David Rodnitzky

    Thanks George! This is a great point – I call it “caveman SEM” – where someone is working in a company cut off from the rest of the world of best practices and has no idea that they have been doing stuff wrong for years!

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