If you have been working with PPC for a while you’ve probably already reached the conclusion that your text ads play a large part in determining the overall success of your PPC account. While bidding on the right keywords ensures that your ads are appearing in front of qualified searchers, if your ad copy isn’t enticing, there is a good chance that searchers won’t reach your site.
Worse still, they may end up at your competitor’s site. It doesn’t matter that your competitor charges more for a lower quality product while providing less service than you do. Why not? Because they wrote a better text ad. My old soccer coach used to say that you missed every shot that you didn’t take. In PPC, you miss out on every potential customer who doesn’t click.Need more proof that text ads ... > Read more
Hello World!Just a quick announcement that I'll be participating in the Boston Product Management Association (BPMA) June meeting, this Thursday, June 21, 2012, at the Constant Contact offices in Waltham, at 6:15PM. It's not a free event, but anyway, here are all the details!Session TopicPanel Discussion on "Sophomoric Software: Going from Prototype to Production" hosted by the Boston Product Management Association (BPMA).
BPMA Session AbstractYou've received some seed funding and signed with a customer or two. Now you need to grow your base to bring in some real revenue and build a production-quality product. It's very exciting times but you may not realize that the light at the end of the tunnel may be the train. Attend this session to learn more from an experienced group of executives ho... > Read more
Twitter, God love them, tends to be a little slow on the uptake as far as social networks go. It’s been around for about six years, but Twitter has been notoriously slow about adding new features and improving the functionality of its website. For example, it took years for the company to build in a “retweet” button (and the way they built it initially was not well received); it acquired TweetDeck in May 2011, but has kept TweetDeck as a separate application with its own brand rather than integrating those awesome features into Twitter itself.
About a month ago, Twitter sent out an email to users announcing some updates and policy changes. First among those changes: “A new weekly email that delivers the most interesting news and items you might have missed from the people ... > Read more
Breaking News!Adwords Releases New Live Chat Ad Extensions! Take a look at this incredible screenshot!What is the New AdWords Live Chat Ad ExtensionThis new Ad Extension appears to enable a live chat session by clicking on the "Live Chat" icon within the Google AdWords ad! The chat extension has not been announced by Google yet in any official capacity.
This exciting new ad extension builds on many other interesting ad extensions released by Google in the last year including:AdWords Communication/Email ExtensionsAdWords Social Ad ExtensionsAdWords Product Ad ExtensionsAdWords Call Ad ExtensionsAdWords Sitelink ExtensionsPersonally, I am very excited by Live Chat Ad Extensions in AdWords because it greatly reduces the the time it takes to speak to your leads, which should lead to higher conv... > Read more
In case you missed it, Syncapse yesterday announced that it had acquired Clickable, Inc.!! (Go to clickable.com for additional details!)Clickable had been at one point been a direct competitor of WordStream, but much less so in the last year because:Clickable changed their product direction away from PPC /AdWords/Search Engine Marketing and instead focused more on Social Media and Facebook Advertising.
Clickable changed their target market away from small and medium-sized businesses towards larger, up-market companies.I don't know much about the Clickable acquisition -- I'm just as surprised as everyone else! But here’s what I do know:We've seen a growing flow of customers who were ex-Clickable users in the last 6 months. SMBs need help with paid search / AdWords and we are laser-focused ... > Read more
5 years ago, I quit my day job and I started WordStream. The idea for my start-up was pretty simple: That paid search is potentially an incredibly effective way to grow your business, but unfortunately, you need to be a math wizard to make it actually work. Since most small businesses don’t have these kinds of skills (or the money to hire someone with those skills) our mission would be to develop software that would make it possible for millions of small businesses to be succesful.
In the last 5 years we’ve accomplished quite a lot! Today, we’re the industry leader in our market segment, we've developed innovative products and features like PPC Advisor and the 20 Minute PPC Work Week, we have many customers, and we’re growing remarkably fast! But it wasn’t always like this an... > Read more
There are a lot of key differences between Google and Bing match types, but people seem to be particularly confused about adCenter’s negative keyword match type. Most people are familiar with negative keywords in Google AdWords and understand the mechanics of using negative keyword tools and selecting the best negatives for a campaign in Google AdWords, but many people struggle with some of the nuances of leveraging negative keywords within Microsoft adCenter.
In this post we’ll walk through how negative keywords work in adCenter and how, specifically, that functionality is different from Google AdWords.Using Negative Keyword Match Types in Microsoft adCenterIn the post I linked to above, Bethany Bey created this great chart comparing the way negative keyword match types function on dif... > Read more
The New York Times just published an Associated Press snippet under the extremely misleading headline "ComScore Study Says Facebook Ads Effective."Larry passed me the link, and we both wondered briefly if Facebook had commissioned a study to "prove" that their ads are in fact effective (since our recent research suggests that Facebook ads are not effective compared to other online display ad networks).
However, if you read the story, it doesn't even appear to be about ads (emphases mine):The report released Tuesday found that people who were fans of Starbucks and Target, or friends of those fans, were more likely to make a purchase than a control group that were not fans.The comScore study comes a day after the research firm said that the number of unique visitors to Facebook's websit... > Read more
This is another post in a series aimed at helping advertisers to better understand how to leverage all of the various tools in the AdWords interface to help get the most out of their campaigns. Previously we’ve offered guides to using:AdWords Ad ExtensionsAdWords Reporting via the Dimensions TabAdWords Campaign SettingsCreating & Analyzing AdWords AdsThe Google AdWords Audience TabGoogle AdWords Auto TargetsGoogle AdWords’ Left NavigationGoogle AdWords Tools & Analysis TabGoogle recently reconfigured how advertisers can manage their display campaigns, and in this post we’ll walk through the new Google AdWords display network tab.
Using the Google AdWords Display Network TabAs with most of the main tabs within AdWords (keywords, ad text, etc.) you access the display network tab... > Read more
Every year at SMX Advanced, Matt Cutts does a “You & A” question-and-answer session with Danny Sullivan. Matt McGee’s write-up of this year’s interview is full of juicy tidbits and interesting insight into Google’s inner workings – but it’s worth reminding ourselves that part of Cutts’ job is PR.
When a company goes around saying “We value transparency, we value transparency!” all the time, you have to wonder how transparent they’re being – and Google’s algorithms for organic search rankings and Quality Score are still very cryptic.But let’s see what we can take away from his comments anyway, shall we?Links Still Matter – But Not Site-Wide Links, SuckersDanny asked, “Do links still work, or are social signals gonna replace them?” Cutts responded:Dougla... > Read more
I was frustrated and disappointed when the news broke that Google retired Google Places services and replaced it with a new Google+ Local. I already spend a lot of time adding and verifying businesses on Google Places and didn’t want to go through the same process again.However, when I logged in to the new service at https://plus.
google.com/local, I found that nothing fundamental has really changed – Google just transferred data, adding more information and additional features like business score and recommended local places. Those businesses which are not verified by their owners still require verification by phone or mail, the same way it was on Google Places. Meanwhile, the new local pages look fresh, engaging, and have more features for business owners and visitors.Here's what it l... > Read more
Do SEO Footer Links work? Are SEO-optimized footer links at the bottom of your web pages any good for SEO or are they bad? (does it hurt SEO?). The official answer as of now is No - that SEO footer links don't work.Matt Cutts today announced at the SMX conference that: “We’ve done a good job of ignoring boilerplate, site wide links.
In the last few months, we’ve been trying to make the point that not only is link buying like that not doing any good, we’re turning the dial up to let people know that certain link spam techniques are a waste of money.”What have your experiences been with SEO Footer Links? Are you finding that they no longer work? Is your SEO footer hurting your traffic? Let me know what you're seeing! Hit me up on Twitter: Follow @larrykim... > Read more
This is pretty funny – do a search for “keyword” in Bing and here’s an example of the ads that get served:In other words, a seemingly random assortment of merchants – Bloomingdales, BMW of Sudbury, ankylosing spondylitis treatments, whip cream chargers?? Only one of the sponsored results has anything to do with keywords, the one on the bottom for an “SEO Site Analyzer” (notice, though, that the term “keyword” doesn’t even appear in the ad).
What’s going on here? My coworker Sergey figured it out – marketers or business owners are either uploading a spreadsheet or cutting and pasting from a document that uses “Keyword” as a heading. For example, Bloomingdales might have a keyword list that looks something like this:KeywordKate SpadeDKNYMichael KorsAnd the heading ... > Read more
October 23, 2000, will be a date forever remembered by internet marketers around the globe, as this was the birth of the first ever self-serve online advertising platform – Google AdWords. Google has gone on since then to become a multi-billion-dollar advertising system and the most frequented self-serve advertising platform that exists today.
This article is a brief overview of AdWords’ journey to arrive where it is today.2000-2003After initial testing proved successful in 1999, Google AdWords initially launched in October of the following year, on a pay-per-impression basis and only on the right-hand side of the search results.Users would sign up on a completely self-serve basis and set how much they were willing to pay per thousand impressions (or times the ad showed); whoever was b... > Read more
We recently ran a joint webinar with landing page specialists Unbounce called “How to Use Killer Landing Pages to Get Better PPC Results” (you can view the slides from that webinar here). We didn’t have time to answer all the great follow-up questions from attendees, so we’re answering them here on the blog.
Special thanks to Tom Demers of Measured SEM for his help with answering these questions.What would you consider to be the weighting of Ad CTR vs. Landing Page relevancy as it relates to Quality Score? If you have a KW with low quality score should the first area of focus be Ad Copy testing or landing page development?The relevance of your ad is more important on balance than your landing page. It’s the first thing a Google user sees, assuming your ad qualifies to display in ... > Read more
Sayonara May, Hola June! Here’s a quick roundup of what you might have missed this week, in case you’ve been stuck in Memorial-Day-beach-mode. Say Hello to Google+ LocalGoogle is shelving Google Places in exchange for new Google+ Local pages. The new Google+ Local pages are integrated with Zagat reviews (now that Zagat acquisition finally makes sense), and will allow businesses to connect better with customers.
SEL has a great comprehensive guide about what to expect when you’re expecting Google+ Local.Haters Gonna HateIn lieu of the new Google+ Local business pages, Socialnomics published a great blog post about how to deal with negative reviews. Here’s a hint: Don’t flip out! I will say though, I’ve seen some businesses use those “People Hate Us On Yelp” stickers and... > Read more
It’s three weeks or so till the summer solstice, but everyone knows Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer. It’s time to put on your white jeans and accidentally squirt ketchup on them when preparing to eat a hot dog.It’s also time to check out our blog’s greatest hits from May, just in case you missed them the first time.
Your social calendar is filling up with barbecues and outdoor concerts, and it was a big month for social media in the news too. For once, the conversation revolved around Facebook, its IPO and subsequent fluctuating (dropping, mostly) stock price, and to a lesser degree Pinterest, rather than Google’s assorted machinations – not that Google didn’t put up a good fight.Here are the 10 posts that got the most eye-time this month:How Much Is ... > Read more
Branded PPC and SEO strategies pay tremendous dividends, but few companies cash in. On the PPC side, marketers often think it’s a waste of money to bid on branded keywords, to essentially pay for what they already own. On the SEO side, firms may not even realize branded strategies exist – let alone why they matter.
But branded PPC and SEO offer three benefits every company in the world loves: control, credibility and conversions. Let’s take a quick look at why branded strategies make these things happen.Gain Control with Branded PPCBy ceding the PPC turf to distributors, affiliates, generic merchandisers and competitors, brand owners suffer on two fronts:First, they don’t even compete for clicks they could probably win.Second, they open the door for a poor brand experience on ... > Read more
This is the sixth post in a series that focuses on using the various tools located within the Google AdWords tools and analysis tab. Previous posts have focused on:The Google AdWords change history toolThe AdWords conversion tabGoogle Analytics Reporting within the AdWords InterfaceGoogle Website OptimizerThe Google AdWords Keyword ToolThe Google AdWords Traffic EstimatorThe Google AdWords Placement ToolThe Google AdWords Contextual Targeting ToolIn this post we’ll walk through how to get the most out of the Google AdWords ad preview and diagnostics tool.
What is the AdWords Ad Preview & Diagnostics Tool?The AdWords ad preview and diagnostics tool is a tool designed by Google to allow you to check the status of your ad and the way it’s being displayed to different searchers in ... > Read more
Last week, when we released data revealing Facebook’s shortcomings as an advertising platform, we didn’t know how timely it would be. Then GM announced it was pulling its $10 million Facebook campaign, claiming the ads weren’t working. Coming right before the IPO, the news was a shock – but we were able to step in with an explanation for GM’s move.
For example, despite its incredible reach, Facebook delivers lackluster results – the average Facebook ad has a click-through rate (CTR) of about 0.05%, which is half the average CTR for banner ads across the Internet, and just 1/10 as high as the average ad on the Google Display Network.Because our research provided some answers, it led to some great opportunities to speak about the findings in the media. In the course of a fe... > Read more
This is the sixth post in a series that focuses on using the various tools located within the Google AdWords tools and analysis tab. Previous posts have focused on:The Google AdWords change history toolThe AdWords conversion tabGoogle Analytics Reporting within the AdWords InterfaceGoogle Website OptimizerThe Google AdWords Keyword ToolThe Google AdWords Traffic EstimatorThe Google AdWords Placement ToolIn this post we’ll walk through how to get the most out of the Google AdWords Contextual Targeting Tool.
What Is the Contextual Targeting Tool?In much the same way that the placement tool allows you to find websites that would be good targeting candidates for your display campaigns, the contextual targeting tool allows you to identify good groups of keywords to target within your disp... > Read more
We recently had an interesting question from a reader:Can I run an AdWords campaign for my products listed on eBay? If yes can I link it directly to eBay?The answer to this is a little bit tricky: eBay sellers are no longer able to submit products via their own merchant feed to Google product listings.
eBay sellers have to rely on the eBay product feed to have their products pushed to the Google merchant feed. The same goes for Etsy and similar marketplaces. Assuming your products are showing within the marketplace in question’s merchant account, you can submit those products via AdWords product listing ads (PLA).The way this works is that each marketplace is required by Google to have a multi-client account and create sub-accounts for sellers (more information on Google’s polici... > Read more
This is the sixth post in a series that focuses on using the various tools located within the Google AdWords tools and analysis tab. Previous posts have focused on:The Google AdWords change history toolThe AdWords conversion tabGoogle Analytics Reporting within the AdWords InterfaceGoogle Website OptimizerThe Google AdWords Keyword ToolThe Google AdWords Traffic EstimatorIn this post we’ll walk through how to get the most out of the Google AdWords Placement Tool.
What is the Google AdWords Placement Tool?The placement tool is very similar to the search-focused AdWords keyword tool with the major exception that it’s focused on helping you locate placements to target on Google’s Display Network.How to Use the Google AdWords Placement ToolTo leverage the AdWords placement tool, you ... > Read more
In a final, epic victory of reason over complete and utter pandemonium, I dumped my Facebook IPO shares at the open today.This may come as a surprise to some, given that I wrote a pretty bullish case about the future of Facebook just yesterday, which in itself was probably surprising given that on Tuesday we published research that basically said Facebook advertising is awful.
So why did this confused and conflicted internet marketer sell shares of The Social Network?As in PPC management, buy and hold is for suckersWhile I still strongly believe everything I wrote about the long-term future of the company, timing still matters and it’s going to take a couple of quarters (or years even) for FB to figure out how to monetize its audience.Damn it, Jim, I’m a marketer, not a financial ... > Read more
Last week, I shared the story of a guy who convinced the Internet that Abe Lincoln invented Facebook – pretty impressive linkbait, but not exactly heart-warming. But those of you with cold hearts need not fear – I’ve got a doozy for you this week. (As Woody Allen would say, there’s nothing like hot cockles.
)This story starts with poetry. Several years ago I became acquainted with a poet named Patricia Lockwood, affectionately known as Tricia. Tricia had a blog, but she was less likely to post about poetry per se than the strange things her mother says ("There were very bad storms here all week, you know. Later on, maybe tomorrow, I'll take you out and we can go see all the devastation") or the disturbing illustrations on the covers of young adult books (see here and here).What beco... > Read more
In a dramatic triumph of hope over experience, I bought into the Facebook IPO hype today.I just got off the phone with my broker at Morgan Stanley and placed an order for 1000 shares of Facebook. (Morgan Stanley is one of the major underwriters of the Facebook IPO, and if you’re a client of theirs, you can actually place an order to stock at the IPO price before the company goes public tomorrow.
)It’s a pretty big investment for me and might come as a surprise to some, given that I recently published research on Tuesday morning that basically concludes Facebook advertising is awful. The research was picked up early on by Jim Edwards at Business Insider, and John Letzing at the Wall Street Journal, and Laurie Sullivan at MediaPost.As if to validate the research, a mere 6 hour... > Read more
Yesterday the news broke that General Motors (GM) is pulling its Facebook campaign, to the tune of $10 million, claiming the ads don't work. As Pamela Parker at Marketing Land said, "It couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Facebook, which has its initial public offering of stock later this week.
" According to the Guardian, this move, coming "days before stock market sale" is "seen as an embarrassment by analysts."The infographic we launched yesterday comparing the value of Facebook advertising to the Google Display Network goes some way toward explaining GM's move. We found that average click-through rates on Facebook were just half the industry average for banner ads, at 0.051%. Average CTR on the Google Display Network, on the other hand, is 0.4% (almost 10 times higher!). Accord... > Read more
Is Facebook really worth +$100 billion?That was Facebook's market capitalization, based on where the stock is priced for its IPO on Friday, May 18.I’m no investment analyst, but here at WordStream, we are experts on online advertising. Facebook’s valuation of $100 billion puts it at half the worth of Google.
Since both Google and Facebook generate most of their revenue through advertising (advertising accounts for 96% of Google’s revenue vs. 86% of Facebook’s), we can definitely weigh in on the worth question from an advertising perspective.So we decided to do a comparative analysis of the world’s largest online display advertising networks: Facebook vs. the Google Display Network.Facebook Ads vs Google Display Network Breakdown:Google Display Advertising vs. FacebookWill Faceboo... > Read more
On the heels of Google’s sunsetting of ad rotation in AdWords I had some additional questions about how, exactly, the “new ad rotation” would work, so I connected with our Google AdWords rep to get answers to my questions.Here’s what Google had to say about the change:AdWords currently offers three ad rotation settings: optimize for clicks, optimize for conversions, and rotate evenly.
Using the “rotate” setting for ad rotation is helpful for testing new creatives, but when run indefinitely can inhibit advertiser performance and deliver less relevant ads to our users.Starting next week, the “rotate” setting for ad rotation will change. Instead of rotating creatives for an indefinite period of time, this setting will only rotate for a period of 30 days. After that... > Read more