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 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 existing ... > 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

4 Common Mistakes Advertisers Make When Transferring AdWords Accounts to Bing

Are you the one who transferred an entire Google AdWords account into Bing Ads? But do you actually manage your new Bing account? It’s now easy to copy an account from Google to Bing, but that doesn’t mean that your account will be performing the same in the Bing sponsored results.Bing Ads is a completely different system with its own set of rules, and it is doesn’t matter how thoroughly you work inside your Google AdWords account – that won’t necessarily help you in Bing.

As a Paid Search Specialist at WordStream, I work with many accounts and I hear all the time: “Do your work on AdWords and we’ll move it to Bing when you’re all done.” Yes, that is easy but it is not the right approach to utilize the different networks. When I actually log in to Bing accounts I can see m... > Read more

February 14, 2013     |   Written by: Sergey Rusak   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

Remarketing with Google Analytics

Back in December, Rich Griffin created a Google Remarketing Cheat Sheet which laid out a “how to” on setting up a remarketing campaign. For those of you who are not as familiar, Google remarketing allows advertisers to engage with users who were once on your website, giving you the opportunity to serve them with an ad as they browse the web.

These remarketing campaigns have proven to be effective in capturing those visitors who were once interested, but never completed the desired conversion we hoped they would.Piggybacking off Rich’s post, Google has made setting up Remarketing campaigns easier and smarter by allowing us to use our Google Analytics tracking code and Analytics data to set it up. Here’s how to do it.New Remarketing CodeThe days of creating new remarketing codes for ... > Read more

February 13, 2013     |   Written by: Patricia Caltabiano   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

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

It's Not Too Late. Capture Last-Minute Intent this Valentine's Day!

You might be thinking two things to yourself when you read the title. One, “I don’t sell flowers or hallmark cards - why should I have a Valentine’s Day game plan for my PPC account?” Or two, “It’s definitely too late to create a PPC campaign for the holiday coming up. It’s next week for crying out loud!” Well, think again!According to Google, this year’s projected Valentine’s Day sales are expected to hit $18.

6 billion with about 40% of smartphone owners doing shopping research online and 46% of tablet users joining the party. From my years of independent field research, I have concluded that there are two types of shoppers out there: Slackers (of which are mostly males) and planners.As an advertiser, you have 18.6 billion reasons to put some effort into setting up a f... > Read more

February 08, 2013     |   Written by: Nefer Lopez   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 12

Keep It Simple, Stupid – 6 Tips for Creating Clean & Simple PPC Landing Pages

When I was in high school, my geometry teacher said his favorite saying to live by was “KiSS - Keep It Simple, Stupid.” No matter what topic we were covering, he usually tried it squeeze it into the lesson plan. Although it might not apply to every situation, I find that applying it to landing pages always works wonders for my clients.

All too often I come across landing pages or websites that are overloaded with text, images, forms, animations, and so on and so forth. It becomes overwhelming and often times confusing – “What’s going on here? What am I looking at? Where am I?” Potential customers or leads take off before completing any actions because they don’t know what action they are supposed to take.What?Six Tips for Keeping Your Landing Pages Nice & SimpleWhenever cr... > Read more

February 07, 2013     |   Written by: Randi Lucius   |   Posted In: Conversion Rates   |   Comments: 4

AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: Google Announces Big Changes to Mobile Ad Campaign Management

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

February 06, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 47

You Have 30 Minutes to Work on Your AdWords Account. What Should You Do?

Everyone wants to know the "magic formula" to set up and manage your AdWords account. To put it simply, you're out of luck. There really is no "right way," but there certainly are ways that are "more right" than others.Figuring out how to spend the limited time you have in AdWords can be a daunting task.

Since no two accounts are the same, it is equally difficult to put together a workflow that will encompass every account. Keeping that in mind, below is my guide to optimizing and then maintaining your AdWords account in minimal time.Ensure Your Ad Groups Are GranularGoogle recommends keeping Ad Groups between 20-30 keywords. I find this misleading. The single most important thing I stress to my clients is to keep your ad groups small and defined. That means keeping every keyword in an Ad ... > Read more

February 04, 2013     |   Written by: Ben Cohen   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 8

Larry Page Confirms Google Knowledge Graph Conspiracy Theory

About six months ago, I proposed a conspiracy theory that Google created the Knowledge Graph in order to "train" Google users to pay attention to the right-hand side of the SERP. Google can't easliy monetize informational queries, but the Knowledge Graph could be a way to increase ad revenue across the board, by proactively changing the heat map so searchers start to view the whole page as useful, not just the organic results in the middle.

Remember when Google said "Ads are just answers"? They are subtly reinforcing that viewpoint with Knowledge Graph, by providing rich "answers" right where the ads usually go!What Is Google Knowledge Graph?Knowledge Graph, launched in 2012, is basically Google's version of Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia (ha ha), "The Knowledge Graph is a knowledge bas... > Read more

February 01, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 7

Our Best of the Month: January Highlights from the WordStream Blog

Look how much light these WordStreamers have in their eyes: That’s because January is a time full of promise and hope. So much potential! It’s the bright, shining morning of the year. You could go snowblind from all of the promise. For god’s sake, put some sunglasses on!Seriously though – we had an amazing year in 2012, and we’re betting that this year will be even better.

Here are our greatest hits of 2013 so far.25 PPC Tips & Tricks to Try in 2013 – I enlisted the help of our customer service team – 100% Google certified and 100% PPC badasses – to put together this list of tips for pay-per-click advertisers to try this year. Try one a few or all of them and watch your results go up!3 SEO Tactics We're Easing Up On in 2013 – As Google evolves, our SEO strategies ... > Read more

January 31, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 8

Buffalo Chicken Dip Wins the Search Engine Super Bowl by a Landslide!

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

January 30, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 2

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
 
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