Erin Sagin's blog

Dynamic Keyword Insertion: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Have you ever done a super-specific search for an obscure item on Google and been shocked to see an ad that is offering—to a tee—exactly what you are looking for? If so, there’s a good chance that the advertiser was using a strategy known as Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI). DKI allows you to customize your ad to match the user’s search query, thus creating a more specific, highly targeted ad that perfectly matches the searcher’s intent.

To do this, the advertiser can create a generic ad that contains the dynamic keyword insertion formula. When Google serves this ad, it will substitute the keyword that triggered the auction for the formula in the ad.For example, if an advertiser implemented the ad text above and their ad was triggered by the search term “german chocolate cupcake... > Read more

April 17, 2014     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

3 Ways Google AdWords Is Adapting for Small Business Advertising

There’s no denying that AdWords has been extremely successful in building an enterprise-level customer base. How else would it have achieved the status of the world’s most popular search marketing platform? Given that it is, by far, the most prominent player in the space at this time, I think it’s fair to speculate that the majority of its enterprise-level clients are highly committed to the advertising platform.

Based on what we’ve seen here at WordStream, these big spenders tend to be actively engaged with their accounts, and their AdWords spend levels remain fairly consistent.These small businesses could use some helpNow that Google has full confidence in its enterprise clients’ stability, I suspect that it is shifting its focus to small business advertising. From my own exper... > Read more

March 24, 2014     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

All About AdChoices: What Is AdChoices? How Does it Affect Advertisers & Consumers?

A few years ago, during Thanksgiving supper, one of my relatives asked me to explain what my job entails. Before I could launch into my SEM elevator pitch, one of my aunts jumped in and said something to the effect of “She taps into people’s privacy and harasses them with ads online.” Sure, she made the comment in jest, but I think many people share this misconception.

If you work in the search marketing industry, you’ve probably had a similar experience at one point or another. So it’s probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with the privacy issues in online advertising. This post will provide a deep dive into AdChoices, a program designed to protect internet users’ privacy and give them control over their internet usage data.Use this table of contents to skip ahead:How to... > Read more

January 22, 2014     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: Search Engine Marketing   |   Comments: 0

How to Get New Clients: Top 6 Tips from Successful PPC Agencies

For up-and-coming digital marketing agencies, finding new customers can be a challenge. In fact, this seems to be an ongoing struggle for many of the smaller agencies that I work with. These businesses walk a fine line when it comes to prospecting clients; not only do they need to find advertisers who want to work with them, they also need to verify that these accounts are a good fit for their PPC managers—not an easy feat!I have a soft spot for up-and-coming agencies, so I made it my mission to find the top ways that successful PPC agencies get new clients.

To develop this list, I turned to a seasoned group of experts, many of whom work for, own, or consult to SEM agencies. Participants included Aaron Levy, Andrew Lolk, Andy Groller, Anisha Dattani, Bethany Bey, David Szetela, Ginny Marv... > Read more

January 16, 2014     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 25

Deduping Keywords: How to Identify & Remove Duplicate Keywords from Your PPC Account

Around this time last year, I had a pretty ambitious list of New Year’s resolutions cued up for 2013. I’m ashamed to report that I did not successfully complete a single item during the course of the year. In retrospect, my problem was that I set the bar far too high—I mean really, who loses 20 pounds and masters the Spanish language in only 365 days?—and as a result, I gave up pretty quickly.

When it comes to managing PPC accounts, I face a similar problem. I tend to bite off more than I can chew and then get too discouraged to complete it.This year, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m setting more manageable goals and am determined to complete them. The first item on my checklist is to identify and remove duplicate keywords, so I can start the New Year with a nice, clean account.Why ... > Read more

December 31, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 18

Twitter Introduces Broad Match Keyword Option

This past week, Twitter took a page out of Google’s book and introduced broad match keyword targeting. For AdWords veterans, this concept is nothing new. Twitter’s new match type will extend the reach of promoted tweets to capture an audience that uses terms similar or related to the target keyword.

According to Twitter, a broad keyword “matches on tweets containing keywords in any order, including other words in between … related terms, stem variations, synonyms, misspellings and slang.” For example, if the keyword is “love cats,” promoted tweets could appear for people who are tweeting or interacting with tweets that contain “adore cats” or “luv my kittens” etc.Image via TwitterThis broad match format may sound familiar to AdWords advertisers, but there is one key di... > Read more

December 18, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: Twitter   |   Comments: 9

Pros & Cons of the New AdWords Opportunities Tab

Last month, Google launched a long overdue revamp of the AdWords’ Opportunities Tab. Not only did it upgrade the display to a simpler, cleaner format, but it also made major improvements to the content provided.The original Opportunities Tab helped advertisers recognize when to expand their keyword lists, raise their max CPC bids, and increase their budgets.

Now, Google has incorporated new best practices related to AdWords’ most famous brain child, Enhanced Campaigns, as well as the recent changes to the Ad Rank algorithm. Advertisers can expect to find recommendations encouraging them to:Implement ad extensionsSplit ad groups into smaller, more relevant groupingsAdjust bids based on impression share dataBefore you head over to AdWords and give it a spin, let’s review the pros and c... > Read more

December 03, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 7

Holiday PPC Planning: Three Advanced Strategies for AdWords

I’ll be the first to admit it—it’s hard to buckle down and focus on PPC strategy during the holidays. Unfortunately, given that this is the biggest shopping season of the year, us PPC folks have to keep our heads down and power through. In the past few days, my teammates have shared tips on holiday planning, bidding and budget preparations, and ad text adjustments.

For those of you that have mastered the basics and are ahead of the curve, let’s explore some advanced strategies you can apply to your account before you head out to enjoy the holiday cheer.Ad ExtensionsFirst things first, let’s talk Ad Extensions. Extensions have always been a great way to boost your performance and, due to a controversial update to the Ad Rank algorithm, they are now a critical component in all PPC ... > Read more

November 26, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

The Positives of Removing Negatives

 In politics, the term “going negative” tends to have a, well, negative connotation—typically from the candidate who just placed a negative ad and dares his or her opponent not to do the same.In our case, however, most of the companies we help to optimize their PPC campaigns don’t even realize that going negative—that is, eliminating the useless keywords that bring the wrong people to your site—is even a possibility.

We’ve been preaching the concept for while—including a handful of blog posts and even an e-book – but now is as good a time as any for a quick refresher on the topic.To recap: a negative keyword is, according to Google, “A type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. It tells Google not to show your ad to anyon... > Read more

November 08, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 3

What the New AdWords Ad Rank Algorithm Really Means

The PPC world is abuzz with this week’s announcement that AdWords is introducing a new component to its Ad Rank formula. In the past, an ad’s position was dictated by a combination of two factors, the keyword’s Quality Score and its max CPC bid.Google has now thrown Ad Extensions into the mix to serve as a tie-breaker of sorts.

As Google describes it, “if two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then the ad with the more positive expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher position than the other.” This is, by far, the biggest change to Google’s ad rank algorithm since AdWords’ inception over a decade ago. So let's take a look at what it means.Why did Google adjust the ad rank algorithm?For all intents and purposes, the old ad rank formula seemed... > Read more

October 24, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 29

Top 5 Ways You're Leaking Money in AdWords

The typical small business wastes 25% or more of their total paid search spend. It’s obviously a big problem, but tackling wasted spend in Google AdWords can be challenging for account managers. Instead of focusing on the latest PPC fads or shiny new tools, I encourage advertisers to head back to the basics and focus on the core components of their campaigns.

Oftentimes, just by tweaking your settings or adjusting your structure, you can patch up your biggest account leakages.Here are the top five culprits that I recommend taking a second look at when assessing your wasted AdWords spend.Overuse of Broad Match TypeSetting all of your keywords to broad match can have a devastating impact on your PPC account. Remember, by setting a keyword to a broad match type, you are opening the doo... > Read more

October 23, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

Targeting Bilingual & Spanish-Speaking Audiences in AdWords: The Why & How

As digital marketers, we are always under the gun to drive more qualified searchers to our website. This can be a challenging job, especially once a PPC account is well-optimized.So what do you do when your performance starts to plateau? Look for missed opportunities. Hands down, the most common area of missed opportunity I see in US-based accounts is not advertising to the bilingual, Hispanic community.

Why You Can’t Afford to Neglect the Spanish Language MarketThe numbers speak for themselves. According to the 2010 census, there are 53 million Hispanics living in the United States, which comes to 17% of our total population. Not only that, but this group is projected to continue growing at a rapid rate. As you devise your digital marketing strategy, this is an important factor to keep i... > Read more

September 26, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 7

How to Write Ad Copy for PPC: 5 Tips for Better Ad Writing

Writing ad copy for PPC can be a tough feat. The good news is, you don’t have to be a super-creative copywriter to whip up competitive ad text. In fact, following a pragmatic approach can be advantageous.Here are a few simple steps that will help you to assess the competitive landscape and write ad copy that will stand out against your competitors’, regardless of your ad rank.

Do Some Competitive ResearchDo some research to hunt down your real competitors. With paid search, it’s easy to put up your blinders and forget who you’re really up against. Don’t take the easy route and assume that your competitors are parallel companies within your space. With PPC, you may actually be facing a whole new crew of competitors.Take a high-end shoe designer like Christian Louboutin. The typical... > Read more

August 15, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 16

How to Set Up an AdWords Account

 Think you’re ready to take the plunge and start a Google AdWords account? If the next three statements describe you, than you have my blessing!You have a website that is relevant, easy to navigate, and fairly well built out.Your AdWords account will help you to bring qualified searchers to your landing pages.

Once they’ve made it to your site, it’s your job to convince them to convert. To achieve this, you must create landing pages that will compel visitors to take action. If your landing pages are cluttered, lack relevant information or do not facilitate a conversion, you’re throwing money into a black hole and your paid search efforts will be in vain. If you know that your landing pages need a little TLC, check out these tips. (Bonus points if you have mobile optimized land... > Read more

August 07, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

AdWords Review Extensions: Add Positive Reviews & Testimonials to Your AdWords Ads

If you’ve had an eye on the AdWords Blog lately, you may have noticed that Google is on a roll when it comes to new features, particularly in the form of ad extensions—for example, see the new image extensions and enhanced, extra-large Google sitelinks.In the past, these “bells and whistles” were often utilized by only the savviest PPC experts.

Nowadays, ad extensions are a fundamental aspect of paid search accounts. If you’re not using them, hop on the bandwagon before you’re left in its dust. Not only do ad extensions require minimal setup time, they are also displayed at no additional cost—a win-win for most advertisers.Google’s latest brainchild is Review Extensions. As you can see in the example below, these extensions give you the opportunity to share positive reviews... > Read more

July 24, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 6

Enhanced Campaigns FAQ: Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions on Enhanced Campaigns

As the deadline to migrate to Enhanced Campaigns looms ahead (it's in 12 days!), advertisers are becoming increasingly anxious about how these new features will impact their paid search accounts. Here are the answers to some of my clients’ top five most frequently asked questions about Enhanced Campaigns:Q: How do I determine my bid modifier for mobile?A: If you’ve advertised on mobile devices in the past, take some time to segment your performance by device and assess your mobile success.

Consider how you are performing at your current CPCs and set your bid modifiers accordingly. If you are new to the mobile space, Google recommends using this formula to calculate an appropriate bid adjustment: 100% x ((value per mobile click/value per desktop click) – 1)). Regardless of which metho... > Read more

July 10, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

Top 4 Google AdWords Features I'll Be Exploring This Summer

Last month, our team had the opportunity to visit Google’s NYC office for the Google Engage Catalyst conference.The event was directed toward agencies and, to be perfectly honest, I expected to get an earful of Google’s typical agenda pushing. Pleasantly to my surprise, Google delivered on their promise to show us “what’s new and exciting in online marketing.

”Here are the top four Google and AdWords features I’ll have my eye on this summer:Similar AudiencesCheck out this new twist on Remarketing, one of the most popular Display Network strategies. Similar Audiences allows you to display your ads to users whose browsing behaviors are similar to those of people on your current remarketing lists. I think this is a genius idea, considering that it will give you exposure to a new, q... > Read more

June 17, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

Google AdWords Ad Extensions Cheat Sheet

 If you’re looking to boost your paid search performance without working late in the office all summer or increasing your budget, try utilizing Ad Extensions. Not only do they require minimal set-up time, they are displayed at no additional cost.It can be tough to decide which extensions to focus on, so I’ve created a cheat sheet to help you decide which ones will work best for you:Sitelink ExtensionsWhat are they? As you can see above, Sitelink Extensions allow you to promote additional landing pages below your standard ad text.

Applying a few more lines to your ad gives you more real estate on the SERP, helping your ad to stand out against your competition. Sitelinks also give the searcher an opportunity to go to a more specific page on your site. For example, in the ad above, t... > Read more

June 03, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 31

Five Reasons to Bid on Branded Terms in PPC

 Anyone who manages a PPC account is perpetually on the lookout for a “secret weapon” to boost their performance. As a Customer Success Rep at WordStream, I have consulted for (what feels like) almost every type of account imaginable. Usually, my suggestions differ based on each individual client, but there is one foolproof recommendation that benefits just about everyone: bid on your branded terms.

OK, I know it sounds crazy. You’re probably thinking, why bother spending money on branded terms that are already triggering organic listings? (That’s what eBay recently decided, but we’re not sure their SEM managers are quite up to snuff...) Or you may be worried that paid search ads will cannibalize your organic traffic. However, Google has conducted studies that show this isn... > Read more

March 19, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 10

AdWords Geo Targeting Demystified – Advanced Location Options

I can’t tell you how frequently I receive frustrated emails from clients who encounter surprises in their geo reports. Why is Google showing their ads to people in India if their geo targeting is set to New Jersey? Geo targeting seems like one of the easiest decisions you can make when setting up an AdWords campaign, but it’s not as straightforward as it may seem.

Let’s say I run a website that sells baked goods within Maryland. By default, my geo-targeted ads would be eligible to show to searchers who:Are physically located in Maryland: This one is pretty straightforward. As long as the searcher’s IP address is located within my target region, Google can show my ads.Are located outside of my target area, but are looking for products in my area: This searcher could be in Boston, but... > Read more

February 11, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 17

Help, My Search Query Report Has Bieber Fever! Plus 5 Tips for Setting Negatives

 Imagine you’re managing a campaign for a product that sends videos over optical fiber. Would you think to set “Justin Bieber” as a negative keyword? I know I wouldn’t. As it turns out, this is one of the best moves my client, Rolands, has made.Rolands oversees paid search for AD Net, a Taiwanese manufacturer of Formosa cables.

A few weeks ago, as he was mining his search query data, he noticed that his ads were showing to searchers looking for videos of Justin Bieber—not exactly his target audience!He quickly realized that Google considered “Bieber” to be a misspelling of “fiber,” which is one of the most prominent keywords in his account. There were so many variations of Bieber queries that Rolands found himself “cleaning Biebers for the next few weeks.”If you... > Read more

January 29, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 12
 
Free Keyword Tool

Get thousands of relevent keyword suggestions - more,
faster, free!

Free Keyword Niche Finder

Discover profitable pockets of keywords for your
business.

Free Negative Keyword Suggestion Tool

Identify wasted spend before it happens and increase
your paid search ROI.

Contact Us | Company | Support | Site Map | Trademarks | Privacy Policy © 2007-2014 WordStream, Inc. All rights reserved.