We all make mistakes, that’s a given. And I’ve probably done at least a few of these on these least by accident in the early days of PPC management. Now that I have gained some sensei wisdom, I can say with some finality that there are just some mistakes that should never, ever happen. Go forth and learn.
1. Targeting display and search together – the gif sums it up pretty nicely. When you target these two networks together, Display will probably eat the lion-share of the budget, leaving little opportunity for Search to perform. You will see low CTR and low conversions. You’d have more fun throwing that cash-money out the window. (more…)
Peanut butter and jelly. Chocolate and marshmallows. Tequila and lime. Google Analytics and Google Adwords. In the colorful and delicious world of food (and data) pairings, some just stick out above the rest. And so it goes with GA and AdWords. In my time here at LunaMetrics, I’ve been lucky enough to learn a bunch of new tricks in GA for helping me to better analyze and understand how AdWords campaigns perform after the click. So on today’s show, I’d like to talk about a few of Sarah’s Favorite Things, namely, the go-to advanced segments and custom reports that I use to quickly parse and separate data for easier digestion. (more…)
Are you a manager of a Google AdWords Grant account? If so, then you might be intimately aware (and perhaps even frustrated) at the many different rules that govern the use of Google AdWords for nonprofits. Maximizing spend can sometimes be the #1 issue that nonprofit AdWords managers face. With the $2 Max CPC rule, your ability to compete for some of the more popular keywords can be severely limited. While this $2 bid is some good news (previously it was only $1), the same announcement was tempered with the news that paying advertisers will have first dibs on top ad spots. Basically people who are paying out-of-pocket will have their ads shown over the nonprofit ads. Don’t get disheartened though – Google AdWords Grant is still an excellent program that grants nonprofits a $10,000/month budget in free advertising. FREE ads. And you can still capitalize on every dollar spent by taking the time to follow and implement these simple tips.
1. Have a cornucopia of keywords.
Long-tail keywords should be your best friend. Think of not just the WHAT of your service, but the HOW.
- HOW do people find you?
- HOW do people benefit?
- HOW do you solve an issue?
Thinking of your service in this context can give you some more ideas for keyword research and expand your current roster of keywords that might not be getting a lot of clicks due to low ad position. (more…)
As you journey on into the great adventure that is Google AdWords you might get overwhelmed with the simple fact that there are so many ways to look at data. Take it from me. AdWords can be full of nifty little tricks that you don’t pick up on right away,or might not be immediately intuitive, and as the seasoned PPC-er knows, as soon as you get used to something, Google might decide to take it away. One of the best tools within AdWords that can quickly and easily simplify your life is the Filter tool.
You can find the Filter tool at any level of management – Campaign, Ad group, Ads, Keywords, Audiences, Ad Extensions and Dimensions. It’s an innocuous little button nestled right next to the Columns button.
While we speak to it in AdWords trainings, a lot of attendees ask for our favorite saved filters, so I thought I’d share the knowledge here. It was hard to pick only 5, but these 5 are the ones that I think every PPC manager should have in their back pocket. I usually apply these filters at the Keyword level.
High Cost, No Conversions – “Slash and burn”
Any keyword that has a high spend and no conversions is a keyword that I don’t need to hang on to for the time being. I don’t want one, or more than one keyword driving my Cost per Lead/Sale up or taking valuable funds away from other keywords in the ad group. As with any and all decisions in Paid Search, however, be careful when you blindly apply changes to keywords. Before pausing, carefully examine the effect that this keyword may have had on later conversions. Was this keyword an “opener” or “influencer” in some conversions?
One question we get frequently in trainings is, “but how do you know when X cost is too high?” Our usual response is, “Well. It depends.” It depends on what cost is sustainable to you, how important brand presence is to you and if you can reasonably maintain a keyword that might get good clicks, but no conversions. (more…)
Google Analytics announced something pretty cool today – actually something AMAZINGLY cool. We can now get Display Network Impression Reporting in Analytics, including some nifty new features in the Multi-Channel Funnel Reports that allow advertisers to see the true effects of different ad types on users and their eventual conversions. If you’ve ever wondered about how display ads (and different ad types to boot) have concretely played a role in a conversion at the impression level, you’ll now know. Attribution never gets old.
I recently completed an AdWords Training in NYC and one topic that required some extra explanation and walk-through was actually linking AdWords and Analytics accounts. When first starting an AdWords account, this is a step that I highly encourage from the start. It only takes 5 minutes and is super easy. If you have an account already (maybe it’s been running for a while and you’ve just been given management), then checking to see that everything is linked correctly is an important step. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have AdWords and Analytics properly connected and “talking”. Your future optimizations absolutely depend on it!
Before we go any further, though, make sure that you have Administrative access to BOTH the AdWords account and the Google Analytics account with the same email log in. This is important since you can’t do squat with Admin access to only one or the other. (more…)
Yesterday, I was really taking a deep look at a client’s account – I was trying to find out why branded searches and conversions have decreased this year compared to last year. And while there were a number of conclusions that we drew from the data, what interested me most was the difference in display strategy (and placement) comparing the two time periods.
I might be making some generalizations, but hey, this was a big difference. It looks like 2011-2012 saw a big display push in the months leading up to their “opening day” (early March), while 2012-2013 saw a drastic reduction in that strategy for the same period of time. This really got me thinking about display ads in general – strategies, banner creative and what you can do right now to assess display performance. I’ve summed up the top five things that I think are priorities when it comes to a wholesome display “check”, though there are certainly more that can be added to the list.
1. Strategy – As I said above, investigating year over year comparisons revealed to me the big difference in Display strategy and the potential ramifications it could have had on Search campaigns (especially Branded). Your Display strategy (or strategies) should have a clear purpose. Are you campaigns helping raise brand awareness? Are they focused on a certain goal completion? For the most part, Display campaigns support the goals of a Search campaign. If they do, then align your messaging so that there is a clear connection between the ads, leading to a higher click through rate as people recognize the offer you are advertising. (more…)
This past week I was in Austin, TX for HeroConf 2013, the PPC Hero conference, and as I may have tweeted out during it (See Exhibit A below), it was a PPC haven for all of us PPC nerds out there.
There was definitely a lot of information to take in, absorb and sort through during and after the conference. Trust me when I say that there was a lot of great ideas presented by some awesome speakers. If you’re new in PPC, or have been in it for a few years, a conference is a great way to brush up on skills, learn about new ones, and network with a bunch of people that like the same things that you do. There were likely a lot of takeaways for each person who attended. For me, these are my 5 top takeaways. If you attended, feel free to add in the comments!
Automation, and the various tools (both hacked and bought) to achieve it, dominated a lot of the panels and some keynote speeches. At first, I thought it was a way to sell the products that vendors were pushing. And in some ways, yes, that’s exactly what happened. Duh. BUT, what was more important was the fact that automation takes on all forms and you can apply it in different ways to make your job as a PPC manager more efficient. We’ve all fallen victim to the blackhole that can be reporting – pretty sure there are parts of my soul still lingering in that dark, dark world. Automation using AdWords Scripts, Excel macros and the AdWords API are there to actually make your job easier to manage. They don’t make you look lazy – in fact they make you look pretty freakin’ awesome. And as for the actual tools that were being highlighted, my sense was that they are still there to make your job more manageable, and it’s about figuring out what works for you and your clients. There is no one-size-fits-all for automation tools. (more…)
Google AdWords gives advertisers a myriad of options to target and refine when, where and how their ads are shown on the Search network. And as Jonathan Weber talks about in his most recent blog post about the location report in Google Analytics, you can easily compare and contrast location data from different advertising channels. (more…)