Study Finds Small Businesses Waste 25 Percent Of Their PPC Budgets

money-garbage-shutterstock While pay-per-click marketing has become an integral part of many small businesses' marketing plans, most SMBs struggle to find the time and resources to manage their PPC campaigns. A new study finds that, due to managerial and strategic errors, SMBs inadvertently waste a quarter of their paid search budgets. Paid search software firm, WordStream, conducted the study by reviewing the accounts of 500 small and mid-sized business clients who manage their own AdWords accounts. WordStream found that less than half of the businesses have conversion tracking installed on their landing pages. A la [...]

Bing Ads Launches Its Own “Express” Program For Local Small Businesses

bing-ads-express-logo This week, Bing Ads unveiled Bing Ads Express, a pay-per-click program for small local businesses that is clearly modeled on Google's AdWords Express program. Businesses can launch a single ad campaign tied to their Bing business listing and geo-target the ad to show in their locality. There is a monthly minimum spend requirement of $50. Beyond that, advertisers can control their spend. Whereas AdWords Express customers have the option to use Google+ pages in lieu of a website, Bing Ads Express customers can use their Facebook page or another web page that is associated with your busi [...]

Hot Tactics For Geo-Targeted Ads On Google & Bing

Geographic Segmentation Map for PPC Ads At SMX East this morning, I sat in on the Improving Your Geographic Targeting Tactics On Google & Bing session, in large part because I'm far more familiar with SEO than with paid search, so I like to stretch myself and learn more about the advertising side of the local search equation. The session was moderated by Matt Van Wagner (President of Find Me Faster), and featured speakers Kevin Lee (CEO of, Sam Owen (PPC & CRO Account Manager of Hanapin Marketing), and Paul Corkery (Senior Operations Program Manager at Microsoft). I actually have quite a lot of familiari [...]

Google Launches ‘Estimated Cross-Device Conversions’ In AdWords, First Stage Of New ‘Estimated Total Conversions’

google-adwords-numbers-featured Today, Google launched estimated cross-device conversions in AdWords. It's the company's first step in providing advertisers with conversion insights that reflect the real-world impact of their campaigns. The new conversion type is the first to roll-out as part of the new Estimated Total Conversions, which will eventually include phone calls and in-store visits. Estimated cross-device conversions is rolling out globally over the next few weeks. "Consumers just want information, they don't care how they get it. Today's announcement is about measurement and catching up to the consumer [...]

WordStream Launches PPC Landing Page Creator, Lead Management Tool For SMBs

Successful PPC lead generation campaigns demand good landing pages. Yet many small business marketers are left without the resources to create solid landing pages that will convert visitors into leads. WordStream, a PPC platform designed specifically for small and mid-sized businesses and their agencies, sees this problem up close every day. In response, the company launched Landing Pages & Leads as part of the platform's PPC Advisor software. Advertisers and agencies using WordStream now have access to a simple tool to build custom landing pages. Users can select the color scheme, a [...]

Google AdWords Debuts Ready Image Ads: Enter A URL, Get IAB-Sized HTML5-Ready Display Ads

google-adwords-square-logo The latest roll-out from Google AdWords could dramatically change the number of advertisers running display campaigns - and whether anyone gets paid to make display ads anymore. While that might sound far fetched, the launch of Ready Image Ads introduces a slick new option for advertisers that want to get optimized display ads up quickly and painlessly. The company introduced two new tools at IAM MIXX: Ready Image Ads and Ready Ad Gallery to make it as easy as entering a URL to create IAB standard, HTML5 compatible ads on the fly. All you have to do is add a URL and display ads are automati [...]

Google Expands AdWords Conversion Window Settings

google-adwords-square-logo In a small but significant change, Google is doing away with the 30-day conversion window in AdWords. Now advertisers can customize the conversion window from 7 to 90 days. Extending the window up to 90 days is good news for marketers whose sales cycles typically take longer than 30 days after an ad click or for those advertisers focused on luring repeat buyers back to the site and want to track performance on that metric. Advertisers with shorter sales cycles that don't want lagging conversions to cloud their attribution data, can opt to shorten the window. Some may wish for an even sho [...]

Trust In Search Ads Rises, Along With All Other Ads Except Newspaper [Nielsen]

nielsen-logo A new Nielsen study on consumer trust in advertising shows trust in search ads has risen since 2007. Nearly half (48 percent) of consumer respondents now say they trust search ads, that's up 14 percent since 2007. This is certainly good news for search advertisers. In more good news, with the exception of ads in newspapers, which saw a slight slip, consumers displayed an increased level of trust across all ad formats. Search along with other online ads still lag behind traditional ad mediums -- including newspaper ads -- in consumer trust, however. To find out how other digital ad [...]

New Bing Ads Location Extension Features Roll Out To All US Advertisers

bing-ads-square The added features Bing Ads introduced to Location Extensions in June are now available to all advertisers in the US. If you're running mobile or local paid search campaigns, you'll want to be sure your location extension data is comprehensive to take advantage of these features. Here's a look at the latest location extensions in Bing Ads: Click For Directions: When enhancing an ad with location details, a "Directions" link automatically appears next to the business address. Clicks on the Directions link (shown below) are charged on CPC basis just like clicks on ad headlines. Clicks on the [...]

Bing Ads Introduces Performance Comparison Graphs

bing-ads-square The Bing Ads UI has long been plagued by obfuscation. Yes, there have been improvements such as the addition of performance trends and change history visualization, but there hasn't be a way to compare performance data without downloading, formatting  and analyzing reports on your own. Finally, Bing Ads is working on a solution. Today the company announced it's working on new performance comparison feature to: Compare your current performance to that of a previous period. Compare your performance with the MOVING AVERAGE, a reliable performance baseline to measure the success of your [...]

Paid Search Drives Store Revenue… But How Much?

Category Test Set Up RKG has long been interested in the question of online to offline spillover. We've also long been critical of the sloppy, ill-conceived tests that have misled many advertisers on this spillover in the past. We've recently participated with a few of our retail-chain clients on more carefully designed studies to get a more responsible answer to this question. The Conventional Wisdom You hear numbers thrown around all the time about the online to offline spillover factor. I've heard that for every order tracked online there are 4, 6, 7 -- I even heard 10 once -- offline orders driven. All of th [...]

Google Adds Conversion Estimates To AdWords Bid Simulator

google-adwords-square-logo Bid Simulator, the AdWords tool that shows click, impression and cost estimates, now includes conversion predictions. The Bid Simulator displays estimates for both 1-per-click and many-per-click conversions you might have received with different bids. As with the other estimated data, the conversion estimates are based on clicks from a recent seven day period. So far, conversion estimates appear to be very limited to high volume keywords. Many accounts may see conversion estimates in the Bid Simulator only for brand keywords. Sparse conversion data clearly makes it hard to make any w [...]

Bing Ads Expands To 5 Southeast Asia Countries

bing-ads-featured As of today, advertisers in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam have access to Bing Ads. The roll out of Bing Ads means marketers in these countries can use one platform to advertise on both Yahoo and Bing. It also expands the geographic targeting capabilities for existing customers to reach users in Southeast Asia. Microsoft claims a reach of nearly 13 million users in Southeast Asia, and 489 million users worldwide every month through the Yahoo! Bing Network. The addition brings the total number of countries served by Bing Ads to 32. In July, the company added Aus [...]

Bing Ads Releases New API, Version 9

bing-ads-square Microsoft rolled out version 9 of the Bing Ads API for developers to start using immediately. The API will include the following additions to functionality: Bulk upload and download methods for campaign management which utilize comma separated values (CSV) and tab separated values (TSV) as the data interchange formats. These data formats are identical to the formats that will be used for importing and exporting of campaigns by the next version of the Bing Ads Editor. Support for new features related to compatibility with AdWords enhanced campaigns. Streamlining of campaign ma [...]

4 New Reports To Optimize AdWords For Better Results

First page filter for keywords in AdWords There have been quite a few new tools and features launched in Google AdWords (my former employer) over the past couple of months that may not have gotten the attention they deserve amidst the much more hotly debated launch of Enhanced Campaigns. Now that we've all transitioned and Enhanced Campaigns can just be called "campaigns," let me do a roundup of some of the new reports in AdWords that can help guide your optimization efforts. Who knows, perhaps a few of these techniques will even save you enough ad spend to take the team out for dinner, so you can celebrate having survived the stre [...]

Unstructured Data In Display: Cut Through The Fog To Provide Insight

In my last article, I talked about the importance of unstructured data for optimal performance in display advertising. This time, I’d like to bring that conversation full circle and explore another aspect of what unstructured data provides in spades: insight. While performance is typically the primary way of measuring advertising efforts, insight about your specific buyer is undeniably the best way to kick-start that performance. So, while advertisers find themselves in a foggy haze of excess information, clear and accurate insight becomes invaluable. Here’s a look at how unstructure [...]

How to Automate AdWords Ad Creation & Landing Page Checks

Automating AdWords as much as possible is every advertiser’s dream, especially when dealing with the massive accounts we see in enterprise-level SEM. This article provides a few examples of how we at Top Tier Marketing have automated some of the more laborious tasks of running AdWords. Hopefully, these examples will give you some ideas for your own accounts. There’s even a full script that should work by simply copying it into your own account toward the end of this post.  Automate AdWords Ad Creation From Your Catalog [caption id="attachment_158965" align="alignright" width="212"] F [...]

Last Year’s Top 3 U.S. Search Marketing Agencies Continue To Lead In 2013 Report

top3-awards-featured Every year, Ad Age ranks the top performing U.S. search marketing agencies based on the previous year's U.S. and worldwide revenue. This year, the top three agencies held their 2012 report rankings, with iCrossing, 360i and iProspect coming in at No. 1, 2, and 3 on the list of largest U.S. search marketing agencies. 360i was responsible for the fast-thinking Oreo tweet during the blackout at this year's Superbowl. The agency also received a Facebook Studio Award for an Oreo social media marketing campaign. iCrossing recently received a Shorty Award for their Maker's Mark #CocktailParty2012 [...]

Bing Ads Redesigns Hub For Ad Manager Resources

bing-ads-resource-site Bing Ads has launched a redesign of its search advertising site. The site is designed to provide a single access point for content and resources about Bing Ads and search advertising on the Yahoo! Bing Network. It consolidates materials from the Bing Ads Community site, the Bing Ads search advertising support center and the help files found within the Bing Ads platform itself.  The Bing Ads blog, forum and training materials  as well as vertical insights (which covers the finance, health & fitness, home & garden and travel industries) and tool downloads like Bing Ads Editor are [...]

CPC Decline Ends: Rising 7% In Q1 Due To Mobile & PLAs [Covario]

paid-search-ppc-featured We may have seen the end of CPC stagnation. Covario's Global Paid Search Spend Analysis for Q1, released today, suggests that the cost-per-click trends of the last six quarters have reversed with CPC prices rising 7% from the previous quarter and 23% year-over-year. Overall paid search spend grew 9% quarter-over-quarter and 33% year-over-year. The following chart shows global paid search activity for Q1 ‘13:                   Google CPCs Rise 39% Year-Over-Year The study suggests that rising CPCs on Google a [...]

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