Larry Kim's blog
The announcement of Google’s new Enhanced Campaigns – coming to an AdWords account near you very soon – made a pretty big splash in the PPC community last week. We think the new campaigns present an exciting opportunity for marketers, especially when it comes to mobile advertising, because the previous system was too time-consuming and complicated.
Enhanced Campaigns should make mobile advertising much easier – but a lot of advertisers voiced concern that the shift will reduce control.Recently, I had the chance to chat with Surojit Chatterjee, the head of global mobile search ads product at Google. Surojit was one of the key product leaders behind the recently released Enhanced Campaigns. In this interview, we discuss the upcoming changes in detail, including what trends and behavi... > Read more
Google Offer Extensions are the latest and greatest AdWords advertising extension, enabling advertisers to make some powerful adjustments to their standard-issue Google ads. Offer Extensions integrate offers with search, allowing you to attach a clickable coupon, rebate, or discount offer to any standard Google Search ad.
Previously, Google Offer Extensions were available in a private beta for select AdWords advertisers. The feature is now on track to be rolled out to all advertisers along with a ton other changes by the end of February. We're excited to introduce to you how Google Offers for mobile could look like.Here’s what an AdWords Offer Extension looks like in the wild:How Do AdWords Offer Extensions Work?Advertisers can attach a redeemable offer to their regular Google search ad. ... > Read more
Hey WordStream fans!As you may know, the discount for signing up for the Hero Conference ended in January. If you didn’t get a chance to sign up yet, you’re actually in luck – for a limited time there’s a special offer going on for friends of WordStream!What is the Hero Conference? It’s a conference hosted by the knowledgeable folks at PPC Hero, and will be packed with 45 in-depth PPC management presentations and speakers.
The conference takes place in Austin, TX on April 8-10.Sign up now for the Super Early Bird Extension – Days 1 & 2 for just $1,100! The lowest price EVER!This special WordStream pricing ends on February 15. Just use the code “wordstream_hc” at checkout.To learn more about Hero Conf, check out:Interview with HeroConf Founder Pat EastWhy I’m Excited t... > Read more
What’s better than learning the latest search marketing strategies and insider tips on WordStream’s online blog? Hearing it all live, in person! If you’re getting goose bumps at the thought, it’s time to book your plane ticket.I’ll be speaking at the Search Marketing Expo West in San Jose, CA.
The event runs from March 11-13, 2013, and will be packed with over 50 panels and discussions detailing everything you ever wanted to know about search marketing.My session will be in a debate about pay-per-click marketing, entitled: “Forget What You Know About PPC – Best Practices Debate.” Speakers will engage in lively discourse over the value of Quality Score, the legitimacy of narrowly targeted landing pages, and much more. The truth is out there. At SMX West.I’ll also be the Q&... > Read more
Google today announced a bold and sweeping set of changes to their AdWords PPC management platform in a bid to greatly simplify mobile ad campaign management – at stake is the future of Google’s advertising business itself. All of the new AdWords Enhanced Campaign features – which I believe will greatly increase both mobile advertising adoption and Google’s revenues from mobile search – will become available to customers by the end of the month.
In this article, I’ll walk through AdWords Enhanced Campaigns in detail. If you’re interested in the growing mobile search space (and you all should be!), pay close attention. These changes will affect all advertisers before the end of the year and fundamentally change the online ad landscape as we know it.Table of Contents:Enhanced C... > Read more
New keyword research from WordStream suggests that buffalo chicken dip – apparently a dip designed to taste like buffalo chicken wings – owes virtually its entire existence to Super Bowl Sunday and the NFL season.WordStream conducted extensive research into the seasonality and trends of keyword searches on Google corresponding to chicken wings and hundreds of other popular Super Bowl snacks including:GuacamoleChiliNachosPulled PorkPigs in a blanketDoritosSeven Layer DipThe astonishing results revealed a near perfect correlation between the demand for chicken wings and buffalo chicken dip with the NFL season.
The results are illustrated in graphical form, here:Note that for the last 9 consecutive years, search volume for Buffalo Chicken Dip followed a similar pattern, increasing signifi... > Read more
Join us for our next free webinar: The Top 10 Ways to Outsmart Your Competition in 2013. This webinar will take place next Wednesday, January 23 at 1 pm EST.I'll be presenting along with Amanda West-Bookwalter, Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing and writer for PPC Hero, to show you the top 10 tips, tools, and tricks to help you gain and maintain PPC success throughout the year, and stay ahead of your competition!You’ll learn how to:Improve your Quality ScoresGet through to potential customers at the end of the funnelSpend less per lead, and more!After registering you’ll receive a confirmation email with instructions to join the webinar.
Even if you can't make the live webinar at this time, sign up anyway. We'll send you the slides and recording of the webinar after the... > Read more
Tonight (January 11, 2013) at midnight is the deadline for early registration of Hanapin Marketing’s Hero Conference, a 3-day, all-PPC conference in Austin, TX, April 8-10.Three great reasons to sign up for Hero Conf todayI’ll be speaking! And I’d love to meet you. Check out the full list of speakers to see all the PPC heroes you’ll be able to learn from – including my friends and colleagues: Bryan Eisenberg, Chad Summerhill, George Michie, Elizabeth Marsten, Jeff Allen, Joe Kerschbaum, Shawn Livengood, Noran El-Shinnawy, Matt Van Wagner, and many more.
And me! :)Bang for the buck. Hero Conf has a low speaker to attendee ratio for more one-on-one time, and is less expensive than similar industry conferences. (And you get the best price if you sign up today.)Total PPC focus. A lot... > Read more
As the founder of a search marketing startup, I’ve had the opportunity to interview, hire and work with some of the most amazing SEOs on the planet. I am so proud to have worked with people like Tom Demers and Ken Lyons, who not only helped me turn wordstream.com into a website that holds its own against domains like google.
com for SERP rankings, they went on to found a successful internet marketing consultancy of their own!Because WordStream’s business is in the internet marketing industry, the competition for SEO keywords in this vertical is incredibly fierce. We’re always competing against other search agencies, or search marketing product companies who obviously know a thing or two about SEO. If you think your insurance or travel industry has fierce competition, try competi... > Read more
Struggling with PPC advertising? Do you want to take your AdWords account performance to the next level? I can help!I’ll do a complete PPC audit of your AdWords paid search account – for free. Seriously!Next week – on Wednesday, December 12 at 1:00PM EST, I’ll be doing a live webinar with my colleague, Sean Quadlin from Hanapin Marketing (the folks who run the PPC Hero blog!).
Click here to register for the Webinar.During the presentation, I’ll be holding a live PPC optimization clinic – Sean and I will review 2 AdWords accounts and point out areas of strengths, and uncover opportunities to improve your PPC account performance.A few years ago, I used to charge over $1000 for doing a custom PPC audit like this! But we’ll do it live, in-person and at no cost to you (excep... > Read more
Hello! I'll be speaking on a panel on “Search in the Social Era” at Search Insider Summit 2012. I'll be partnering with other search industry experts to give a presentation on “Driving Social Further down the Conversion Funnel” at the Search Insider Summit on Saturday December 15, 2012, at 10:15 am.
The presentation is one of several that will be hosted during the four-day Search Industry Summit conference hosted at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, UT. For my “Driving Social Further Down the Conversion Funnel” talk, I will be joined by panelists including Chris Baggott, Chariman at Compendium; Dhiren D’Souza, President and Co-Founder of SearchForce; and Chris Zaharias, Chief Revenue Officer at Triggit. Together we'll examine wh... > Read more
YouTube’s growing prominence in popular culture has shown that it can serve as much more than just a way to share adorable kitten videos – it has become a highly effective venue for accessing massive audiences through online advertising.YouTube has become the venue by which budding musicians and performers get their first big break.
Justin Bieber first got discovered on YouTube, and more recently YouTube has made Psy’s hit “Gangnam Style” the most viral video of all time. And that’s not just an empty title – “Gangnam Style” has reached nearly 1 billion views, and those views can be equated to serious YouTube advertising revenue.(Source: WordStream, Inc. provider of PPC and AdWords tools.)To put things in perspective: YouTube gets over 1 billion views per day, which means ... > Read more
Congratulations to Psy and his legendary k-pop sensation, “Gangnam Style,” which as of today, November 24, 2012, is the most viewed video of all time on YouTube, beating out the former reigning champ, Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”“Gangnam Style” has become the most viral YouTube video of all time, obtaining unprecedented worldwide attention and breaking social and viral records left and right.
With the recent M.C. Hammer mash-up broadcast at the American Music Awards, the “Gangnam Style” craze is still going strong, but for how long?To commemorate this momentous day in internet pop-culture history, I'm releasing a new infographic, “Psy vs. Bieber: ‘Gangnam Style’ Takes Best in Show for Top YouTube Video of All Time”, which puts Psy’s “Gangnam Style” head-to-head a... > Read more
As a business owner or marketer, you need results FAST during the holidays. More than any other marketing channel, PPC is fast, scalable, and can get you the results you need!WHAT: 5 Ways to Leverage PPC this Holiday SeasonWHEN: Thursday, November 29 at 12:00 PM (Noon) EST (5:00 pm GMT/UTC)WHY: You'll leave this webinar with easy, actionable tips for reaching more potential customers through PPC.
You'll also have the opportunity to ask questions and get expert advice on creating AdWords campaigns for the holiday season. In this webinar, Dan Slagen, head of global marketing relations at HubSpot and I, will show you how to:Implement a successful PPC campaign in time for the holiday rushFind the right keywords to rank in paid searchUse PPC to complement your organ... > Read more
It’s almost here—the holiday shopping season that so many businesses rely on to profitably round out the year. And once again, there’s a movement afoot to ensure that small businesses get their fair share of the action. Nestled in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday (SBS)—which this year falls on Saturday, November 24.
The U.S. Small Business Administration describes it as “a day to celebrate and support small business and all that they do for their communities.” It's particularly meaningful to me as I myself founded a start-up, and we work with so many small and medium sized businesses every day!Small Business Saturday may be less than one week away, but there’s still time to make sure your business is primed for what will hopefully be a bi... > Read more
The AdWords Performance Grader, Now with Industry Benchmark Data! Find Out How You Compare to Industry Peers
New Google SERP Changes Make Ads More Prominent than Ever, Cannibalize Organic Search for Informational Queries
Google has released a refresh of their Search Engine Results Pages (SERP), shifting the search toolbar from the left side to the top of the screen. The top navigation bar (including the new search toolbar) is also approximately 20 pixels less tall compared to the old top navigation bar, so adds appear higher up on the page.
According to Google: "With the new design, there’s a bit more breathing room, and more focus on the answers you’re looking for, whether from web results or from a feature like the Knowledge Graph," the search engine said Tuesday in a blog post.The stated goal was to create a “simpler, cleaner design” which creates a “consistent search experience across the wide variety of devices and screen sizes people use today."How the SERP Change Impacts Organic SearchThe N... > Read more
*If online engagement metrics are any indication!Election Day 2012 is tomorrow – will President Barack Obama get another four years? Or will Republican challenger Mitt Romney take the win?Political wonks may know that statistician Nate Silver has predicted a win for Obama based on election polls and public opinion polls.
I was curious if the Internet presence of the two respective candidates pointed to the same outcome. So I ran some quick numbers to look at Obama and Romney’s spending on paid search advertising (political campaign ads on Google search and the Google Display Network), their website traffic, and their social media presence (including Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and YouTube subscribers).Based on what I found, I predict that Obama will win by a landslide on Nov. 6, ... > Read more
This post originally aggregated data from thousands of real Google AdWords from multiple industries. Due to recent changes in Google’s API policy, the original content of this blog post has been removed. If you are looking for specific conversion rate industry benchmarks for your Google AdWords account, the data can be accessed in report format through an AdWords Performance Grader report.
For more details on why our original research was removed: Important Update on WordStream's Infographic Research and AdWords Performance Grader.All that's left now are the insights we discovered at a high level.Google AdWords Conversion RatesMany businesses often wonder how much mileage their industry competitors are getting with Google AdWords. This is a tough problem because the data isn't publicly av... > Read more
After months of denying/downplaying the impact of Negative SEO, Google today has launched a new and widely anticipated disavow links tool. The tool was announced by Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web spam, at today’s keynote at the Pubcon conference, implicitly proving the existence of Negative SEO.
The new Google disavow links tool is live and can be used now.New Disavow Tool: What Does It All Mean?My take on the new disavow tool:Proves that Negative SEO is a Real Issue: Obviously (duh!). Otherwise why would Google roll out such a tool. Not all webmasters are sophisticated enough to use the disavow tool to disavow links. Unscrupulous SEOs could target unsuspecting, competing websites with devastating effect.Creates Moral Hazard: The disavow links tool is a get-out-of-jail-free card ... > Read more
New AdWords Policy Means Quality & Relevancy Matter Most. PPC audits recommended.Google has updated its AdWords policy to place an even stronger focus on the quality of paid search advertising. This policy goes into effect today. While Google’s Quality Score has always been an important metric for any PPC campaign, this time it appears that Google really means business: marketers that do not heed its new policy updates demanding relevance, clarity and accuracy risk receiving penalties.
Your ads could be disapproved and in some cases your domain could even get suspended. Serious violations risk account suspension.New AdWords Policy on Relevance, Clarity, & AccuracyThe new AdWords policy focuses on enforcing standards of relevance, clarity and accuracy in text ads, ensuring that us... > Read more
How high should I set my initial AdWords budget?The answer is surprisingly complicated to come up with, and it's even more difficult to allocate.Why?A Challenge in Allocating AdWords BudgetsAdWords budgets are generally set per campaign, per day (i.e. you set a daily budget for each of your campaigns).
This usually gets complicated because most advertisers have multiple campaigns.If you're a reader of the WordStream blog or if you've used our AdWords Grader, you’ll know that we recommend that you break up every campaign theme into at least 3 different campaigns for targeting:Mobile searchDisplay network (or Remarketing)Google searchNow imagine having broken up every campaign into three campaigns along these lines, and you can start to see how it might be a challenge to allocate say, a $1... > Read more
In PPC marketing, as in all walks of life, your best intentions can sometimes get you into trouble. Even “best practices” often have unintended side effects!Last week I partnered with Sean Quadlin at Hanapin Marketing to host a webinar called “Good Intentions Gone Wrong: 7 Worst Practices in PPC.
” Here are three of those “good intentions” that can hurt your PPC account and cost you money and leads.Worst Practice #1: Keyword Expansion or Bust!Some marketers have an “expand or die” attitude in PPC. You want every impression possible, so you’re constantly browsing the opportunities tab and adding new keywords that your competitors are bidding on. Growth is a good thing, yes, but if you focus on expansion over organization, your ad groups are probably out of control.Ask yours... > Read more
You may have noticed recently that Google has been showing just 7 organic search listings on the first page for many searches, instead of the usual 10. Take for example, this search for "adwords," which shows just 7 organic search listings.Dr. Pete noticed that too, and yesterday he reported on the SEOmoz blog that Google had reduced the usual 10 search listings to just 7 on over 18% of Google searches! In my article today, I’ll just quickly summarize his rather incredible findings pertaining to the Incredible Shrinking Organic SERPs, and follow that with my own analysis and thoughts.
First, here’s a graph of the percentage of first page search results with fewer than 10 organic listings since April 4, 2012:In just two days, sometime around August 12-14, the number of first page search ... > Read more
Hey Guys,I've been reading trough the comments posted about my article yesterday. Many were angry and upset at me personally, and I feel pretty crummy about this. So, I'd like to apologize to everyone.While people were upset at many things, the two most common complaints were:Failure to more clearly differentiate between "SEO Spam" and "good SEO".
Failure to provide a more balanced view in presenting the arguments.The feedback is duly noted, and I've updated yesterday's article to try to present a more balanced view. You have my word that I will try my best to ensure that this won’t happen again!I sincerely apologize for this!Sincerely,Larry... > Read more
Note: This article, originally titled "Debunking the Myth of the Long-Term Value of SEO," has been edited from its original version. I've taken some of the arguments in the comments into consideration, and upon reflection a lot of my points were unclear or misleading, and I've adjusted my language accordingly.
Thanks to everyone for contributing to the debate. - LarryOne of the most common responses to my recent “War on Free Clicks” study and yesterday’s article, “Why SEO’s Suck at PPC,” was the notion that PPC stops the moment you stop spending, whereas SEO provides benefits forever.It reminds me of the “better to buy than rent a home” advice that was all the rage in the days leading up to the housing meltdown. Millions of homeowners got completely wiped out listenin... > Read more
When it comes to search marketing, SEO’s are from Mars and PPC’s are from Venus.Just over a week following the release of our War on Free Clicks infographic, dozens of whiny SEO’s have come out of the woodwork with ludicrous sob stories about how they purportedly tried and failed to get PPC to work for them and/or their client.
Sure, PPC isn’t easy – I get that, and I’ve even written a few articles about how some small businesses are struggling with PPC.But, seriously – compared to SEO?!! PPC is a total cakewalk. Like rolling off a log. Easy as pie.SEO, on the other hand, has recently become a complete nightmare-circus – I’m talking about the keyword analytics “not provided” brouhaha, Panda, Penguin, unnatural links notifications, the increasingly ridiculous and ... > Read more