Dynamic Remarketing Ads: The Future of Google Remarketing

Google’s new dynamic remarketing feature – currently in beta – is hands down the best release from Google I’ve seen in a long time. As far as I’m concerned, this will be a MUST DO for all e-commerce websites that are advertising with Google.I’ve recently had the opportunity to try out the new dynamic remarketing ads, and in this post, I’ll explain how they work, why they’re better than traditional remarketing, and why you should care.

Google Remarketing: The Old WayFor any e-commerce website, it is becoming more and more important to have a Google Merchant Account set up. Merchant accounts are becoming extremely valuable within AdWords, as they feed your PLAs (Product Listing Ads, soon to be replaced with Google Shopping Campaigns), Product Extensions, and now your remarketi... > Read more

April 01, 2013     |   Written by: Tony Testaverde   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 33

As March Goes Out Like a Lamb, Let's Review WordStream’s Best of the Month

So, I’ve had a stressful couple of weeks, and we’ve entered the eye twitching stage of stress. It feels kind of like this:But it probably doesn't look like I'm trying to wink badly ... right? Guys?Anyway. Today marks the last weekday in March, which means it’s time to review our top 10 blog posts of the month.

ICYMT (In case you missed them), check out the awesome:Dear eBay, Your Ads Don't Work Because They Suck – Far and away our most popular post this month – this year, actually! – in which Larry takes eBay to task for saying paid search doesn’t work, when eBay has always been the laughing stock of the PPC community.How Google Makes Money from Mobile – This infographic illustrates Google’s mobile play in terms of apps, advertising, devices and content – and we’re ju... > Read more

March 29, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 4

The Mystery of Quality Score

Quality score can be confusing, there’s no doubt about it. Many different factors can affect it, and it can be difficult to determine how to influence it. It’s also in a state of constant evolution, so every time you think you have it down pat, think again. There’s no need to pull your hair out though – I am going to show you what you need to focus on to start seeing more 10’s in your account!(More: Revisiting the Economics of Quality Score: Why QS Is Up to 200% More Valuable in 2013)Google defines its Quality Score using the following components:Past click-through rate (CTR) of a keywordPast CTR of a display URLAccount history (overall CTR for ads and keywords)Landing page qualityRelevance of keywords to adsRelevance of keywords to search queriesGeographic performancePerformance... > Read more

March 29, 2013     |   Written by: Billy McCaffrey   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Revisiting the Economics of Google Quality Score: Why QS Is Up to 200% More Valuable in 2013

Just over 4 years ago, Craig Danuloff at Click Equations wrote an article called “The Economics of Quality Score” that provided a simple model to determine the value of Google Quality Score in your AdWords account.We all know the value of Google's Quality Score in a high-level sense – Quality Score plays an important role in determining your Ad Rank, which is how Google determines the position in which your ad appears, which in turn determines the amount of exposure and clicks your ads will receive.

We also know that Quality Score plays a very important role in determining how much you’re charged per click. A now famous video by Hal Varian, Google’s Chief Economist, helped clarify this point – that your cost per click is calculated using the formula: Ad Rank of the ad below your... > Read more

March 26, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 9

The PPC Toolbox, Part 2: Competitive Research, Landing Page Creation, & Other Helpful Tools

Yesterday, I shared a number of different PPC tools that will help with building and tracking performance in your account. This time around, I have a few new tools and sites that will help you check some performance statistics of your competition and see how you compare to them. I am also sharing a few tools that I have found myself needing quite a bit when managing my accounts and working with various clients.

PPC Competitor AnalysisSpyFu: SpyFu allows you to do in-depth research on competitors and see what keywords they are bidding on, as well as ad history, average position, and potential daily spend ranges. Whether you want to do in-depth research on a specific competitor or to see everyone that’s bidding on your top keywords, SpyFu lets you do it all. It offers a free version which a... > Read more

March 26, 2013     |   Written by: Randi Lucius   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 4

The PPC Toolbox, Part 1: Tracking, Bulk Editing, and Keyword Expansion

Like any good carpenter, as a PPC manager you need to have a number of tools available to you in order to get the job done and done right. Through the years, I have come to find a number of different PPC tools to help in a variety of different areas, from competitor analysis to setting up conversion and analytics tracking.

Here are some of my favorites!PPC Tools for Setting Up Analytfics and Conversion TrackingGoogle Analytics URL Builder: One of the most time exhausting tasks is setting up Bing in order to properly track it in Analytics – you have to go in and add the special coding to the ad (or even keyword) destination URLs. Google offers a simple tool that allows you to fill in a few fields and then spits out a full URL with Analytics codes added! Just change the destination URL to ... > Read more

March 25, 2013     |   Written by: Randi Lucius   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

AdWords' Trick to Click Policy: Can You Use the Words 'Click Here' in Display Ads?

Recently I had a heated argument with one of our clients about using the word “click” in Google AdWords display banner ads. There are many questions about inappropriate language on Google AdWords, especially for banner or flash ads. Most advertisers take unnecessary precautions because they are worried that the design will be disapproved by the Google Policy Team.

Google prohibits advertisers from using the word “click” or “click here” as a call to action in text ads, which is clearly stated on the Google Policy Page under “Inappropriate language”:The words “click” or “click here” could be easily replaced in these text ads by the words follow, see, check, find etc.However, as a Paid Search Strategist at WordStream, I receive a lot of questions when it comes to a ban... > Read more

March 20, 2013     |   Written by: Sergey Rusak   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

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

Content Marketing vs. PR: What's the Difference?

 I recently spoke with an analyst who had asked me how content marketing is different from traditional PR (public relations). I think this is a question that all marketers and SEOs are having to grapple with as SEO evolves. On the one hand, it’s getting harder and harder to rank in the SERPs with low-quality content and spammy links, making real content marketing much more important; on the other hand, the value of the link as we know it is slowly being devalued relative to social currency and co-citation, which owe a lot to word of mouth and good PR.

So what’s the difference between PR and content marketing? Is there any? The short answer is yes. Here are some thoughts on how these marketing strategies differ.Content Marketing & PR Evolved from Different TacticsI see content m... > Read more

March 18, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 24

Dear eBay, Your Ads Don't Work Because They Suck

 Does Google AdWords work? There’s a story making the news this week about how eBay supposedly wasn’t able to make paid search work for them so they stopped using Google AdWords. Ray Fisman, who wrote up the study for Harvard Business Review, said “Their findings suggest that many paid ads generate virtually no increase in sales, and even for ones that do, the sales benefits are far eclipsed by the cost of the ads themselves.

”I couldn’t help but laugh when I read this, and I’m sure many of you did as well, because it’s pretty well-known within the search engine marketing community that eBay is the butt of many jokes when it comes to adopting advertising best practices.eBay is probably the world’s biggest abuser of an ad writing tactic in AdWords known as Dynamic Keywor... > Read more

March 13, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 67

Why Your Click-Through Rates Suck

“Awesome! I have 300,000 impressions …. why is my CTR so low?”OK, the title of this post is a little harsh, but the importance of click-through rates to CPC campaigns has been well documented. So take a second and look at your account. Do you see that you have thousands of impressions and a few clicks with great conversion rates? I can assure you that you are not alone.

There are a few things you can do that can help you turn that frown upside down. :DSeparate Search vs. DisplayThe first thing I always look for when diagnosing why a campaign has a low CTR is network targeting. It is always a best practice to separate your campaigns by network. That means having one campaign set to search (and search partners) while having another set to target only display. I won’t go into detail o... > Read more

March 13, 2013     |   Written by: Ben Cohen   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 3

Five Big Ongoing/Upcoming Shifts in Paid Search for 2013

 As a paid search account manager, you try to stay as ahead of the curve as much as possible. For full-time account managers, the fast-paced environment of paid search can be exciting, but for many people it can be exhausting trying to keep up. That being said, I wanted to share with you what I believe are five big upcoming changes in paid search in the upcoming year.

Shopping FeedsGoogle Shopping, originally known as Froogle, has taken on many updates since its inception in 2002, when Google began allowing e-commerce advertisers to link their database of inventory in an online marketplace alongside other advertisers. Froogle’s rise was swift as it was the first major comparison shopping network to offer placement for free. Froogle’s growth continued alongside Google AdWords until ... > Read more

March 12, 2013     |   Written by: Nick Weidman   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 5

Keep it Simple, Stupid Part 2: Simplifying PPC Management for Multiple Accounts

Recently Randi talked about the importance of keeping your landing pages clean and simple. She opened with a quote from her geometry teacher.I guess everyone had a high school teacher whose favorite motto was KISS, because one day in sophomore biology Mr. Burton stopped the class after not getting the answer he wanted from five consecutive students and decided to lecture us on keeping it simple.

Now, I don’t really remember what we spoke about that day—or much biology for that matter—but after he repeatedly drilled “Keep it simple (stupid)” into our heads, it has remained a staple in all aspects of everything I do—especially paid search.Simplifying Day-to-Day PPC Task ManagementThe first thing I do every day is prioritize my task list. Whether you’re managing multiple account... > Read more

March 11, 2013     |   Written by: Rich Griffin   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 8

#Bashtag: Avoiding User Outcry in Social Media

It wasn’t the first corporate blunder in social media, but it was one of the scariest (or funniest, depending on how you look at it). In January of 2012, McDonalds created the Twitter hashtag #McDStories, inviting followers to “meet some of the hard-working people dedicated to providing McDs with quality food every day.

”Rather than embracing the positive personal stories the restaurant was trying to promote, Twitter users came up with their own stories—and they weren’t so nice.While social media gives your company the chance to promote itself, as well as an outlet to give customers extra information, the downside is that users can easily turn against you like the situation with this McDonalds “bashtag.”With some self-awareness and a willingness to care about your followers ra... > Read more

March 08, 2013     |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 3

Google for Mobile: How Google Makes Money from Mobile

The mobile search market is experiencing out-of-control growth. Mobile searches have increased 200% year over year in 2012, and it’s predicted that within the next year, mobile will become the primary way people access Google’s services. But despite early reports, Google isn’t doomed from a sudden shift to mobile.

Far from it – the opposite in fact! Google has managed to transform itself into a “mobile first” company. Currently, the majority of Google’s $8B run-rate mobile revenue derives from advertising (excluding Motorola). That’s why the company is totally restructuring the way its pay-per-click advertising platform, AdWords, works – Google wants more businesses advertising on mobile, so it’s making mobile PPC radically simpler with the introduction of enhanced campa... > Read more

March 06, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Infographics   |   Comments: 17

3 Reasons Your Keyword Has a Low Quality Score

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin first launched the Google search engine in January of 1996, no one, including the creators, realized the gold mine that they had just designed. By May 2011, Google had surpassed 1 billion unique visitors per month and had expanded to much more than just a search engine.

Now with Google+, Gmail, Maps, Drive, Chrome, Shopping, News, YouTube and perhaps a self-operating automobile in the near future, Google has revolutionized the internet and, whether we like it or not, our lives as well.Despite of the impact that Google has had on both our professional and personal lives, operating and understanding their advertising system can be a frustrating and tiresome process. As a Customer Success Specialist here at WordStream I get all sorts of questions; however the m... > Read more

March 05, 2013     |   Written by: Drew Roy   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 12

Be Certifiably Awesome at Paid Search – Tips on Getting AdWords Certified

 I swore I’d never study for anything ever again once I graduated college. That was until I started a career working in paid search. Until I got into the field, I had no idea what paid search even was. And I certainly didn’t think it was anything I’d ever understand. What is PPC? What is AdWords? I refuse to learn!However, being in a particular field requires expertise, of which I had none.

My only option was to shake off the cobwebs and put my studying hat back on. But where to start? Sure, I could do some research on my own, maybe pick up a pointer here or there. That didn’t seem sufficient enough, especially if I was planning to make a career in this field. I thought that I would need a source of substantial information, and where better to turn to than Google AdWords itsel... > Read more

March 04, 2013     |   Written by: Billy McCaffrey   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

AdWords Targets Mobile App Market with New Mobile App Promotion Ad Format

Google has rolled out a new ad App Promotion Ad that allows users to download your app from iTunes or the Google Play Store, adding to their already impressive line-up of mobile innovations.They've also rolled out a new mobile app promotion ad template for advertisers to easily create the new App Promotion ads.

The New App promotion ads are like the next version of click-to-download ads which have existed for several years now.The new App Promotion Ads are only available if you’ve upgraded to enhanced campaigns. Google recommends that advertisers create new new app promotion ads to replace the older, existing click-to-download ads, in order to take advantage of new built-in, smarter ad-targeting capabilities of the App Promotion Ad.Both the new ad-creation template and upgraded click-to-d... > Read more

March 01, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 9

February's Greatest Hits: WordStream's Best of the Month

 It’s that time again! Meaning, the rent is due. Also, February is over, Daylight Saving Time and Spring at large approacheth. As we bid Feb adieu, do take a look at our very best blog posts of the month:AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: Google Announces Big Changes to Mobile Ad Campaign Management – Learn all about the AdWords’ new Enhanced Campaigns, probably the single biggest change to AdWords in the past five years.

This shift will completely change the way you do mobile advertising – making it much easier for smaller advertisers.New Google AdWords Offer Extensions Integrate Discount Offers with Search – Google has also launched a new ad extension type that allows you to place special offers in your text ads. This post explains how they make ROI more measurable and why they... > Read more

March 01, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

Stop Unsubscribers in their Tracks: A Lesson from Fab

Recently I came across a creative and smart marketing strategy that I thought I'd share with you, the wonderful WordStream community. Preventing newsletter followers from unsubscribing is a goal of many marketers. The Fab marketing team has taken an innovative approach to combating unsubscribers, and today we'll be taking a look at their unique technique.

Fab is a company that specializes in design-oriented retail. The Fab website exists as a marketplace for finding unique art, jewelry, cookware, furniture, etc. They sell some pretty awesome items, and their descriptions are fun as well. Take the product below as an example: "Being human is way overrated. We’re all soft and squishy, we don’t have enough feathers or horns, and we definitely don’t roar as loud as we should. But all... > Read more

February 28, 2013     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 2

How the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks Did I Get Google Slapped?

Have you received multiple disapprovals of ads from Google and only done exactly what is said in the email? If so, you could be in jeopardy of getting completely suspended from advertising on Google. Or, as some put it, “Google Slapped!”It’s horrible. You are forever suspended from advertising on Google and when the Google Policy Team makes this determination, it is rarely ever revoked.

Why you ask? It’s not because Google is mean or bad. It’s because Google is trying to protect the consumer from false, misleading or potentially harmful products or services. However, given the magnitude of advertisers worldwide, algorithms and bots are used to uphold policy and flag suspicious advertisers. Each ad disapproval, trademark issue, website issue or policy violation results in a strike... > Read more

February 27, 2013     |   Written by: kyerardi   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 8

Google's Mobile Ad Strategy: An Interview with Surojit Chatterjee, Head of Global Mobile Search Ads

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

February 26, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 7

Guide to Using LinkedIn Company Pages: Get Followers, Share Stories, Post Products

LinkedIn is the leading social networking site for professionals, so most business-to-business (B2B) companies should be putting serious energy into their Company Pages on LinkedIn.With recent renovations to the LinkedIn Company Pages, there’s more room for creativity and innovation when it comes to connecting both with other businesses and with consumers.

Here’s what your business needs to know.Why LinkedIn Is Worth Your TimeLinkedIn sometimes feels like the nerdy, awkward cousin of the cooler social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn spends a lot of its time organizing its pen protectors by color and enjoys making Excel charts in its spare time. Although social media socialites might feel inclined to give LinkedIn the cold shoulder, the business professional networking s... > Read more

February 25, 2013     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 13

When Is 2% Not a Good CTR? The Relationship of Click-Through Rate & Ad Position

Everyone always asks me, “What’s a good click-through rate?” The standard answer I always hear is 2%. My answer is always, it depends.If you don’t want your Quality Scores to suffer, you need to think twice about always targeting a 2% CTR. Quality Scores are very dependent on your CTR by Average Position, so it’s worth getting a good understanding of what this means.

So, what does it mean? People will usually click on the top ad of a SERP (search engine results page), because, well, it’s the first thing that they see. Position 1 will always have a high CTR, and CTR will continue to descend naturally in positions 2, 3, 4 and so on. This being the case, Google knows that position 1 and position 4 are not created equal, and therefore does not treat them equally.Google does not want... > Read more

February 22, 2013     |   Written by: Tony Testaverde   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 22

New Google AdWords Offer Extensions Integrate Discount Offers with Search

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

February 21, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 6

4 Ways to Use Filters to Focus Your Search Query Analysis

Sifting through your search queries to optimize your AdWords campaigns is kind of like looking for gold in a river – you can find some valuable nuggets, but you’ll be a lot more efficient if you’re using the proper tools.One of my favorite tools to use within WordStream PPC Advisor is the QueryStream tool.

(If you’re not using WordStream, it’s analogous to the Search Terms Report on the Keywords tab in AdWords.) Using different filters in QueryStream to help you find useful insights is like using a good pan in a real-life stream when you’re looking for gold.While QueryStream is powerful, it can be a beast to examine if you have a lot of data. Here are four ways that I tackle QueryStream using filters to get the most out of my search query information:1. Filter out already exist... > Read more

February 20, 2013     |   Written by: Phil Kowalski   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

50 Things Every Content Marketer Should Know

Fancy yourself a content marketer, or want to become one? Here’s a big fat content marketing skills list and tactics you should know before you apply for that content marketer job or update the title on your business cards. Help yourself by highlighting the right marketing skills needed for your resume.

Good grammar and proper use of punctuation – Hopefully you learned this in school. If you weren’t paying any attention, it’s not too late. You can pick up a lot just from reading voraciously – like how the mermaid in Splash learned English from watching TV. I also recommend picking up a basic writing manual, because it would be very difficult to intuit all the finer points of grammar and punctuation through intuition. You’ll feel nice and superior once you know the difference bet... > Read more

February 19, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 33

Hero Conf: Special Offer for WordStream Readers

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

February 15, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0

AdWords Budgeting: Not All Campaigns Are Created Equal!

A half score and three years ago Google brought forth on this continent, AdWords, conceived in search, and dedicated to the proposition that not all campaigns are created equal.Your campaigns are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that campaign, or any campaign you conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

We are met on a great battle-field of that bidding war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that campaign, as a final resting place for those keywords who gave their max CPC so that that campaign might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – this auction. The brave campaigns, active and paused, who struggled here, have a budget, far above our marketing goa... > Read more

February 15, 2013     |   Written by: Lisa Wilkinson   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

I’m Speaking at SMX West!

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

February 14, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 0
 
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