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How To Use The AdWords Search Term View To Optimize Keywords & Negatives

Optimizing Keywords and Negatives is a task I recommend to my clients that they do regularly. In this How To, I will include some real-world experience along with the basics of how to use the AdWords Search Term View to optimize keywords and negatives. What Is Search Terms View? The AdWords Search Terms View shows us the performance metrics on the Search Terms that matched against our Keywords (more detail on the difference between Search Terms and Keywords is coming up later in this post). Advertisers can use this data to optimize the Keywords and Negatives in their account. Optimization [...]

How To Turn Challenger Brands Into Market Leaders Using Efficiencies In Large Scale SEM

As digital marketing professionals, we work with a wide range of clients. Some are Fortune 500’s and some are mid-tier businesses trying to compete in tough markets. The latter of these can be considered ‘challenger brands’ for two reasons – contending with the industrial strength heavy hitters can be daunting for them and positioning these brands to stand head to head with the top players can be hard for marketers. So what is the solution to effectively grow the market share of these challenger brands while improving their online positioning? Turning a challenger brand into a ma [...]

8 Steps To Overcome The Most Hated B2B Phrase Using Mirrored Campaigns

This past Christmas, the phrase "doing more with less" achieved new meaning as I watched my nephew gleefully resuscitate his stubby, short crayons with Crayola’s Crayon Maker into fresh, new, color-packed crayons. Kids with crayons to employees with goals, the "doing more with less" saying has certainly achieved epidemic proportions. No department has able to hide from its grips and CMOs ensure every last penny is squeezed from each marketing initiative. Yet, savvy marketers still search for additional opportunities. Check out the insights of how mirrored exact and broadmatch PPC campa [...]

3 Google Tools That Can Help Boost AdWords Campaign Performance

Fact: Google spoils us when it comes to free tools to optimize our search campaigns. Over the past few years, they’ve released a ton of really useful products that allow us to mine for keywords, auto-bid our campaigns, test ad copy and more. It’s true that Google doesn’t strike gold every time it releases something new into the wild (Google Radio Ads, anyone?) but when it comes to tools for optimizing your AdWords campaigns, they normally get things pretty dead-on. Here are three of my favorite AdWords tools for retailers, along with some hints and tips on how to leverage them for [...]

How To Build Multi-Purpose Landing Pages For Small Budget Advertising

For a long time, I thought utilizing a strong Landing Page Optimization program was only available to large companies with large budgets. The software to create landing pages on the fly by keyword is pricey, and the learning curve is significant. If you have the time, budget and manpower to utilize a design team and software that builds a landing page for every paid, organic, social and email marketing keyword or blast you send -- Awesome! The reality is, most of us do have time and budget limitations. Getting permission to spend thousands on software isn't likely, but that doesn't mean [...]

The Unexpected Consequences Of Higher Quality Scores

Quality score can drive the success or failure of your paid search keywords, and the two best known impacts of quality score are the effect it has on text ad position and cost-per-click: Ad position is determined by Ad Rank which is calculated as bid x quality score. CPC is calculated by dividing the Ad Rank of the next highest advertiser by your quality score (and rounding up to the nearest $.01). But before fighting for position or even worrying about CPC, each keyword must earn eligibility into the real-time auction that takes place when someone enters a search query that Google de [...]

Why Google AdWords Quality Score Is Your Friend

Quality score is a system AdWords uses to pass judgment on each of your keywords. They score every one, reflecting how well that keyword has done in the past and how well it's expected to do in the future. This score has impact. It determines how often your ads are shown, where they appear, and how much you pay for every click they generate. The process by which these scores are determined is not clear - all we have is a vague set of explanations we're asked to accept, and loose set of clues as to the behavior that they suggest in order to earn good or even great scores. The power [...]

How To Use 3 Competitive Intelligence PPC Tools

Want to feel like a super-spy while learning valuable secrets that can help grow your client’s business? Here’s how you do it:  invest your time and money in PPC competitive intelligence and please shhh ... don’t tell anyone. As the auction grows more expensive and more complex, it’s critical to have a view into your client’s competitors paid search program, otherwise you’re fighting blind. The simple truth is, PPC is a competition. You’re competing for the world’s most valuable inventory and for the top positions in an auction that you can’t just win with a wallet, bu [...]

How To Use Automated Rules In Google AdWords

When I first started down this 6-lane highway called Online Marketing over six years ago, we used an absolutely archaic bid management software whose name escapes me. I want to say it was a Yahoo! (or precursor to Yahoo!) product, and basically it automated our bids so they would go up and down based on search volume. It worked about 10% of the time and was always down or broken….we quit using it pretty quickly. Fast forward to today – and remember the leaps and bounds PPC advertising has taken in just the last 12 months - take a look at Google  AdWord’s "Automated Rules" and prepare [...]

An Easy-To Follow Method For Ad Optimization & Testing

Most of us in the PPC world know that testing ads is a great idea - almost necessary optimization work. There are plenty of articles around the web expounding the benefits: increase QS, lower costs, boost conversion rate ... all good stuff. In this article, let's tackle the basic block and tackling necessary to get ad testing up and working for you. What Ad Is Better? With ads, as with keywords, this is not always black-and-white. There are many metrics we can measure, but which should we focus on? What is better -- Higher CTR or higher conversion rate? More Revenue or more margin [...]

PPC Tactics For Large Enterprises: Search Network Targeting

At SMX West last month, I spoke at length about what it means to manage PPC programs at large companies.  One of the topics I covered at some depth was using the various search engines’ targeting options to break keywords down into smaller bits of data to optimize them individually. This type of tactic can turn the ‘head’ of your portfolio into more of a ‘tail’ and makes it work more efficiently for you. But if you’re like us, and you have super-sized SEM programs, how do you tackle this in a manageable way that will drive incremental profit to your group or company, and make y [...]

Optimize For Conversions Using The AdWords Rotation Option

AdWords recently introduced a new feature to their Ad Rotation Settings called "Optimize for Conversions" (February, 2011). AdWords Advanced Settings Ad Rotation - Optimize for Conversions To find this go to: Campaign Tab | Settings | Advanced Settings | Ad Rotation (expand by clicking the "edit" link) Many advertisers may find this to be a marked improvement over the old "Optimize for Clicks" option. However, if you are already pursuing an ad optimization strategy, you might still find some advantages in your solution. This article covers both situations. This article is intend [...]

How To Boost Brand Exposure On A Fixed Budget

It’s easy to increase brand presence in search... if you have the budget. But more often than not, search marketers feel trapped by their fixed budgets, and wonder how they can possibly increase branded reach without spending more money. However, it can be done. Online visibility is directly related to how many times your ads appear in the search results, which is directly related to your budget and bidding strategy. Usually, the more money you spend, the more often you appear. But there’s a way around this dynamic. One way to overcome this problem is through match types. Match types [...]

3 Simple Strategies For Organizing Your Match Types

When you have two or more keywords that can be triggered in your AdWords account from a search query, Google tries to show the most restrictive option. The constraints go beyond just match type to include geography, time of day, etc. However, Google does not always show exact match over phrase match and phrase match over broad match. They also look at ad rank (max CPC x Quality Score). If you have an exact match term bid at $0.25 and the broad match bid at $1, Google will generally show the broad match term. As an advertiser, you will likely find that your exact match converts higher tha [...]

How To & When To Use Product And Sitelink Ad Extensions

A few weeks ago, we went over the pros and cons of using Phone Extensions and Location Extensions in your AdWords campaigns. This week, I’d like to finish up our AdWords Extension feature by running through the best practices for using Site Extensions and Product Extensions. Using Product Extensions In Adwords Being in the travel niche, product extensions are not available to us because vacation rentals or hotel rooms are not allowed in Google Products. I’ve done a few tests with various other non-travel products and think they work very well for a business that sells and ships merchandi [...]

How To Use AdWords Broad Match Modifier: A MallowMayhem Example

So, you think you created a campaign structure that covers all the bases. You added broad, phrase, and exact match keywords with distinct keyword roots defining meaningful AdGroups. You have ad copy that leverages those core words for that important boost in CTR and conversion rate, and targeted landing pages to match. And you have used broad match modifiers… right? Let’s take a look at some practical examples of using broad match modifiers in a how to format with an imaginary company, MallowMayhem. We will build on previous Search Engine Land contributions. If you are a regular S [...]

How To Make A Great First Impression With Ad Copy + Landing Pages

A good referral may still be the best way to find a consumer driven business. However, with more and more decisions being made online, it is increasingly important for marketers to manage their client’s images. Outside of reputation management, there's an opportunity for a first impression to be made in paid search ads; but advertisers must keep a couple of things in mind when delivering a first impression on behalf of their clients. Online businesses don't have the luxury of second chances. Today, ads are often the first impression a consumer may get of a business. It is important to beg [...]

Step-by-Step Instructions For Testing Low Volume Ad Copy

Ad copy testing is essential for anyone running a paid search account. Testing ad copy in accounts in high traffic accounts is fairly easy, as you can add new ad copies to existing ad groups, wait, and then examine the metrics. However, in low volume accounts, testing is not nearly as easy, as it could take years to collect enough data to make statistical significant choices. Therefore, you need to employ specific testing methodologies to understand how aspects of ad copy behave across multiple ad groups at once. In today’s column, I’ll use video to show how to create, test, and meas [...]

How To & When To Use Google Ad Extensions: Phone & Local Extensions

Over the last year or so, Google has been steadily adding features to the AdWords interface that on the surface seem wonderful, unless managing and learning AdWords isn’t your full time job. It seems like just keeping up with what remains and what is gone and how to work the new stuff is a 40+ hour a week endeavor. I answer a lot of questions about Google Ad Extensions – when to use them, when not to use them, and how to use them effectively. I’m sure my clients are not the only ones searching for guidance, so I’m going to share what I’ve learned over the past few months in an eff [...]

5 Easy Landing Page Tests

It’s landing page testing time! In this article, I will outline five ways to test elements on your landing pages. Before getting started with landing page testing, it’s important to ensure the following: Identify testing goals. Are you trying to increase sales? Leads? Identify them. Test variables that have a direct impact on your goals. For example, if you are selling a product, test call to actions, headlines, etc. Testing the look and feel of your landing page may increase conversions but not as much as variables more directly related to your goals. Ensure when it’s [...]

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