You’ve read our picks for the best articles, guides, and case studies on PPC from around the web in 2013. But what about WordStream? We wrote plenty about pay-per-click marketing, Google AdWords in particular, this year, but some of our most popular posts were about Twitter, Facebook, and social media management. Could it be that small businesses find social media marketing less intimidating than SEO and PPC?
In any case, both Twitter and Facebook are coming into their own in terms of their advertising offerings. They have a long way to go before they catch up with Google, but it should be very interesting to see how the big two in social media step up their ad options in 2014.
Other hot topics this year: Enhanced Campaigns (by far the biggest change Google has made to AdWords in years) and the ever-growing mobile space; ad extensions (now part of the Ad Rank formula!); and of course Quality Score (just how important is it?).
Here are the best of the best, the 25 articles that got the most attention on the WordStream blog in 2013:
- Buying Twitter Followers: The (Cheap) Price of Friendship – Was 2013 the year of Twitter? Note that two of our top three posts were Twitter-centric. In this uber-popular post, Meg Marrs debates the pros and cons of buying followers to up your count. Is it worth it?
- 7 Ways to Use Facebook for Marketing – Social media again! Here are seven creative ways to market your business through your Facebook presence.
- Find Your Old Tweets: How to See Your First (Worst?) Tweet – It’s a little tricky to find your oldest tweets using the Twitter interface, though it is possible. I recommend skipping right to the second, much faster and easier method, using Topsy.
- Dear eBay, Your Ads Don't Work Because They Suck – In what was probably our funniest (and meanest) post of the year, Larry eviscerates eBay’s ad managers for blaming AdWords for their bad PPC performance – when eBay has always been the laughing stock of the SEM community.
- The Best Keyword Research Tools (For Experienced Fishermen & Fisherwomen Only) – Johnathan Dane was our most popular guest poster of the year, and his picks for the eight most useful keyword tools got a lot of attention.
- When Is 2% Not a Good CTR? The Relationship of Click-Through Rate & Ad Position – Tony Testaverde, one of our in-house paid search strategists, made some bold claims about what your CTR should be depending on your ad ranking – but not everyone agreed with Tony’s benchmarks. Check out the comments for dissenting opinions.
- AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: Google Announces Big Changes to Mobile Ad Campaign Management – We were among the first to cover this big announcement in depth. Larry was also among the few who felt the changes were a good thing for marketers.
- Follow Links Vs. No Follow Links: Should You Care? – What’s the difference and why does it matter for SEO? Meg is on the case.
- 12 Tests to Increase Your Landing Page Conversion Rate, Starting Today – Another epic post from Johnathan Dane. This one is packed with ideas for improving your landing page performance.
- Google AdWords Ad Extensions Cheat Sheet – I loved this clever post by Erin Sagin to help you figure out which extensions you should be using. And you loved it too!
- Social Media Management Tools: What’s the Right Tool for Your Business? – Things can get messy when you’re managing multiple social profiles. Meg compares some of the more popular social media management tools, including HootSuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social, to see how they measure up.
- Meet AdWords Keyword Planner – The New Google Keyword Tool and AdWords Traffic Estimator Mash-up! – Another big change in AdWords this year: Google retired the old keyword tool and replaced it with Keyword Planner. Here Larry explains the differences and how to use it.
- News Flash: PPC Is Inbound Marketing – Remember when Moz was SEOMoz? We do! The name change, and Rand Fishkin’s explanation of the reasoning, inspired this post on inbound marketing and why PPC is more inbound than outbound.
- How to Create the Best Landing Pages for Your Google AdWords Account – Landing pages are always a popular topic – probably because they’re so hard to get right! With a PPC ad, there’s only so much you can do, so they can only go so wrong. With landing pages, however, there are infinite ways to screw them up! Here are some tips from Ben Cohen to help you create simple, effective landing pages for PPC.
- How To Get Even More Google Sitelinks – Sitelinks are nice; mega-huge sitelinks are nicer! Larry offers some tips on getting the super-sized sitelinks to appear for your site.
- The Complete Guide to Yelp Reviews: Power to the People! – How do you get Yelp reviews for your business? How do you deal with negative reviews? This guide is packed with tips for small businesses on Yelp.
- Complete Guide to Conversion Tracking in AdWords – I’m happy to see that this post was popular, because conversion tracking is one of the most common areas where advertisers fall down. If you mess up this step, you can’t measure what really matters.
- Dynamic Remarketing Ads: The Future of Google Remarketing – Another from Tony – this one is a primer on a cool new kind of remarketing ad that Google introduced earlier this year.
- Revisiting the Economics of Google Quality Score: Why QS Is Up to 200% More Valuable in 2013 – As the average Quality Score has fallen, the relative value of having an above-average QS has increased. Read the full post to see how the math works out.
- The Top 10 Best AdWords Features You're Not Using – These underused AdWords features should be at the top of your list if you’re planning to make improvements to your PPC campaigns in 2014.
- 25 PPC Tips & Tricks to Try in 2013 – This one is from way back last January! And the vast majority of these tips are still every bit as valid a year later.
- How to Get Phrase & Broad Match Traffic Data Back from Google Keyword Planner – Victor Pan, our former SEO (Are you out there VP? Hello!) wrote this post on three ways to estimate your broad and phrase match keyword volume using the new Keyword Planner.
- Are You PPC Curious? An FAQ for PPC Beginners and Hopefuls – I answer ten frequently asked questions about getting started with PPC.
- Don’t Read the Comments: 10 Logical Fallacies in the Comment Stream – My personal favorite post of the year. How many are you guilty of committing?
- Google for Mobile: How Google Makes Money from Mobile – Last but not least, our infographic on Google’s menagerie of mobile offerings.
Happy New Year!