Erin Sagin Posts from the Internet Marketing Blog

Meet the WordStream Team at PubCon Las Vegas (and Save 20%)!

When you think of Vegas, images of smoky casinos, glitzed-up showgirls and wild pool parties probably come to mind, not necessarily paid search. However, come October, the Las Vegas Convention Center will actually be the home base for one of the biggest, most popular digital marketing conferences in the world, PubCon.

Larry Kim and I will both be presenting at this year’s conference and we would love for you to join us!If the prospect of a “The Hangover”-style business trip with Larry Kim hasn’t won you over already, let me entice you with the lustrous PubCon line-up. The event kicks off on October 6 with the exclusive, Masters Group Training program, where participants can focus on one of three tracks (SEO, Social Media Marketing or Google and Facebook Advertising) and get to do i... > Read more

September 04, 2014     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

When to Say No to a New Client: 10 Red Flags for Agencies

They say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But when it comes to bad clients, are you in better shape if you avoid the lemons altogether?We consult for a number of small AdWords agencies. One emerging trend that we have noticed among newer agencies is that they jump at the prospect of bringing on new accounts, regardless of whether or not these clients are a good fit for them.

These relationships quickly take a turn for the worse and the agencies find themselves in hot water. In many cases, the time and energy spent obtaining and onboarding these clients’ accounts outweighs the actual price they’ve paid to the agency.Here at WordStream, our agency team does an in-depth account assessment for every prospect who is interested in our paid search services. Not only do we consider ... > Read more

July 24, 2014     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 13

So You Want a Job in Paid Search? How to Break into PPC

As summer begins, the market is flooded with hordes of recent college graduates eager to join the workforce. Searching for a new job in an increasingly competitive market can be a daunting task, especially for those with limited work experience. I remember back when I was first applying to jobs, this felt like an infuriating Catch 22—how was I supposed to gain experience if no one would give me an opportunity?Welp, the good news for aspiring PPC marketers is, you don’t necessarily need to have a lengthy CV to make an impression on hiring managers.

If you play your cards right, you can get your foot through the door with little to no professional experience.If you’re looking to get your first big break in the PPC industry, here are a few tips:Apply for the right position.Be realistic ... > Read more

June 25, 2014     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 8

Google Merchant Promotions Guide: Get More Sales with Special Offers

This post was co-written with Randi Lucius. Google Shopping Campaigns are a favorite of e-commerce advertisers—they give online retailers the opportunity to present a product image along with relevant purchasing information, like price, directly on the Google results pages. You all know the old saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words.

” So it’s no surprise that these ads are highly effective, often outperforming standard text ads and even organic results.At this point, many advertisers have been jaded by great performance in their shopping campaigns. Most saw huge spikes in sales upon implementing their feeds, but chances are, your results have flat-lined over time. If you’re frustrated with stagnant trends in your account, Google Merchant Promotions might be exactly what you... > Read more

June 11, 2014     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

Search vs. Display: Which AdWords Network Should You Use?

Here at WordStream, our team of consultants analyzes thousands of PPC accounts. While our customers’ pain points tend to vary, many of their issues can be tracked back to one major misstep—their campaigns are set to run on both the Search and Display Networks simultaneously.99% of the time, this practice will wreak havoc on a PPC account.

The main problem is, these networks target users in two completely different scenarios. Not to mention, since metrics across each network are combined, it is challenging to assess how each is performing, and it eliminates the option to segment one’s budget by network.Quite frankly, applying the same strategy to both networks is like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole…it just doesn’t work. If you have any campaigns opted into both network... > Read more

May 20, 2014     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

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: 5

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: 7

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: 6

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: 26

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: 19

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: 17

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
 
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