We’ve been running guest posts by Ryan Healy, a copywriter for BoostCTR, for quite a while now. Each post focuses on a single A/B test and analyzes the strengths of the winning ad (that is, the ad with the higher click-through rate). There’s so much good ad writing insight in these posts, I thought it was time to dig back through them and pull out some takeaways.
Here are five ad writing lessons gleaned from Ryan’s A/B tests that you can use to improve your AdWords CTR and Quality Score.Lesson #1: Leave Out the LingoDon’t use insider jargon that your audience might not know or understand in the context of your ad. For example, look at the below ads: PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 The second version increased CTR by 70%. The first version uses some confusing terminology: “No XP reqd.... > Read more
This is the fourth and final post in a series on getting the most out of the Google AdWords left nav. The first post in this series focused on the Google AdWords shared library, the second post walked through the Google AdWords reports within the AdWords left navigation, the third post centered around how to make use of the Automated Rules section of the AdWords left nav, and this final post will be about custom alerts.
Google AdWords Custom Alert ManagementNot unlike the reporting and automated rules functionality within AdWords, the custom alert section within the left nav isn’t designed to create custom alerts, but rather to manage the custom alerts you have already set up.First off, to create new custom alerts you want to work within the Campaigns tab. Select “Create a cus... > Read more
For a while now, there’s been chatter about whether “inbound marketing” should replace the term “SEO.” The conversation came to a head this week (if heads are something that conversations can come to) when Rand Fishkin blogged about it at SEOmoz in “The Brand of SEO and the Trend of Inbound Marketing.
”Rand starts by noting the SEO industry’s bad reputation:Last night, a startup friend of mine was over, reviewing a slide deck I'm building for another round of fundraising pain, when he received a spam email trying to buy some links on his site."Ha. You SEO guys never quit do you?"Then today, in an interview with a candidate, I asked her about her background in SEO and she replied, "I told my husband about SEOmoz and he said 'SEO company? Watch out, those guys are spammy... > Read more
WordStream has had a big year, posting record-breaking results month over month. It's an exciting time, we're growing fast and we need to add some new manpower (and womanpower) to the team! We're looking to hire smart, dedicated individuals to fill a several open positions in our Boston office (we will be adding more than one team member for each role):Paid Search StrategistsWe are looking for dynamic and passionate individuals to drive the success of our clients through successful PPC campaigns and hyper-focus on communication.
Ideal candidates will have at least 2-3 years of experience managing the paid-search and other search marketing initiatives for companies with demonstrated success. You will become part of a kick-ass team of experts who truly love their job, the company and lead th... > Read more
PPC bid management is one of the more complicated areas of PPC marketing, so many advertisers choose to automate using either the automated bidding option in Google AdWords or a third-party bid management solution. Both approaches have their upsides and downsides – Google’s automated bidding feature is free, but requires you to give up complete control, and it’s less than transparent.
Third-party bid management software is generally more robust, but (obviously) it comes with a price tag, so it may not be feasible for smaller, budget-strapped advertisers.I was curious how most AdWords advertisers handle the PPC bid management process, so I asked 18 practicing PPC experts three questions:Do you use automated AdWords bidding in Google AdWords? Why or why not?If not, when do you raise an... > Read more
Today I’m thrilled to announce the availability of what I believe to be the world’s most powerful and easy-to-use bid management software.Keyword bid management isn’t a new issue for search marketers, but, sadly, most of the PPC bid management solutions available are still lacking. For example, you can choose from:Letting Google manage your bids for youTrying to manage keyword bids manually, by yourselfWriting your own bid management rules (either in AdWords or an expensive third-party PPC platform)The aforementioned options suffer from either a lack of transparency and loss of control, in the case of Google’s automated bidding, or are costly and complicated to implement.
In this post, I’d like to talk a little about the new bid management software now available in WordStream PPC ... > Read more
WordStream is partnering with renowned Google advertising expert and author of The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, Perry Marshall, to bring you a new webinar, Three Invisible Opportunities in Your Google AdWords Campaign!Join us Wednesday, March 14th at 3 p.m. EDT for a free online webinar event and learn:A simple, four-part formula for writing better AdWords ads.
A special technique for finding "holes in the sidewalk," your customers' biggest pain points.One of the greatest secrets of advertising masters, a blind spot for most advertisers that you can take advantage of!Join WordStream and Perry Marshall for this exclusive session on beating your competitors at the AdWords game. Space is limited so register now!About Perry MarshallPerry Marshall is the most-quoted authority and worl... > Read more
This is the third post in a series on getting the most out of the Google AdWords left nav. We’ve done several similar posts in recent months designed to help advertisers better understand all of the features and functionality available to them within the AdWords interface. The first post in this series focused on the Google AdWords shared library, the second post walked through the Google AdWords reports within the AdWords left navigation, and this post will center around how to make use of the Automated Rules section of the AdWords left nav.
Google AdWords Automated Rules ManagementSimilarly to the AdWords reporting suite within the left navigation, the primary function of the automated rules section of the left navigation isn’t creating rules. Creating a new rule is easiest ... > Read more
Yesterday was International Women’s Day. Yay women! And before you get all uppity about why there isn’t an international men’s day, there is:That’s not what I want to focus on today. I want to focus on why yesterday’s Google Doodle was so, so terrible:Let’s just do a quick run-down:The capital G is the gender symbol for woman, AKA the Venus symbol.
Fair enough.The second “o” is a flower. That seems pretty weak. It’s not International Flower Day, and women aren’t really that into flowers.The next thing that pops out to me is the little “g.” It styled so it looks a little like a gender symbol. But what it primarily looks like is a bra. Maybe even a coconut bra. Really, Google? This is how you represent women across the world? Flowers and bras? (Andrew Hanelly suggeste... > Read more
Recently we’ve been running a number of posts focused on helping new and overworked advertisers get more out of Google AdWords, such as:The Overworked Advertiser’s Guide to Bid ManagementBid Management for the Overworked Advertiser, Part 2: CPA Bidding with Conversion OptimizerGoogle AdWords Quick Wins: Two Reports that Could Save You ThousandsAdWords Quick Wins, Volume 2: More Reports that Could Save You ThousandsAnd towards that end, we want to share some quick, simple answers to frequently asked questions from new advertisers.
These issues can burn your AdWords budget in various unintended ways if you’re not aware of the potential pitfalls.What is Adsenseformobileapps.com?Adsenseformobileapps.com is a domain owned by Google that redirects to a help page on Google.com entitled “S... > Read more
It’s baaaaaack! And by “it,” I don’t mean Poltergeist, I mean Pimp Your PPC Ad, a regular irregular feature in which I scan the SERPs for lousy text ads and give them the Pimp My Ride treatment. (For those of you who were born, I don’t know, last year, Pimp My Ride was an MTV show that ran between 2004 and 2007.
)For previous editions, see:Pimp Your PPC Ad: 5 Lessons from Lackluster Text AdsThe Return of Pimp Your PPC Ad: Lessons from Bad PPC AdsLet’s get starting, shall we?Lesson #1: Use Capital Letters (Properly)I’m pretty sure Google automatically applies initial caps (i.e., title case) to your headline, because I’ve never seen an ad that looked like this in Google (yes, these look just like Google ads, but I assure you, they’re from Bing):These ads were served in... > Read more
This is the second post in a series on getting the most out of the Google AdWords left nav. We’ve done several similar posts in recent months designed to help advertisers better understand all of the features and functionality available to them within the AdWords interface. The first post in this series focused on the Google AdWords shared library, and this post will walk through Google AdWords reports within the AdWords left navigation.
Pre-Set AdWords ReportsNot unlike the reporting capabilities you’d find in the AdWords dimensions tab, within the reporting section in the left navigation you’re offered a series of standard reports:Keyword reportCampaign reportGeographic reportDemographic reportThese are actually just links to reports that live in other areas, though – the geograph... > Read more
Pinterest continues to be the social media hot topic, astounding us with its colossal breakthrough in popularity. Now I’m a pretty big fan of Pinterest, but a recent NPR article discussing the ever-growing social bulletin board site got me thinking about the lack of “social” interaction within the social media sphere.
As NPR interviewer Teresa Tomassoni notes, “… online interaction with people you don't know is an emerging trend in social media.” While this is absolutely true, something about that statement seems counter-intuitive. Susan Etlinger, an Altimtere Group analyst, observes that while people look to connect with others who share a similar style or interest, "It doesn't mean that we're best friends or connected on Facebook, but it means these are people that I lear... > Read more
In recent weeks we’ve been creating a series of guides to various components of the Google AdWords interface to help advertisers understand all of the features and functionality available to them within AdWords. This is the first installment in our series on how to make the most of the Google AdWords left navigation, and we’ll be focusing on the AdWords Shared Library.
What Lives in the Shared Library, and What Purpose Does it Serve? Within the AdWords Shared Library are three core elements:Audiences – These are specific segmentations based on interest and the way people have interacted with your site (for more information on audiences check out our AdWords audience tab guide) that you can leverage within your display campaigns.Campaign Negative Keywords – These are negative ke... > Read more
Happy Leap Day, earthlings! Does anyone else find this day kind of creepy? I’m actually getting on a plane to Chicago later, and I’m a little worried that maybe we’ll fly into a wormhole and I’ll end up on the other side of a black hole. I don’t know, my physics is a little fuzzy. I just know Leap Years are weird.
(And did you know there are leap seconds too? The next one is coming in June 2012. Watch out! No pun intended.)Since the universe has given us a whole extra day this year, why not use it to catch up on your reading, hm? Here are our greatest can’t-miss hits from the past month:5 Blog Redesign Mistakes That Kill SEO – This guest post from our friends at Boxcar Marketing reveals some common gotchas that can make a site redesign more painful that it needs t... > Read more
At WordStream, I take great pride in belonging to a team that strives to develop innovative new solutions for search engine marketing. Innovation and growth is helped immensely by having people with deep experience around - and so today, I'm honored to announce that we've added some very strategic talent to our WordStream advisory board.
The new team members include folks with tremendous leadership experience in the B2B marketing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industries, including industry giants: Constant Contact, LogMeIn, and VistaPrint and will help WordStream grow our success. Please welcome to the WordStream team:Carol Meyers, Chief Marketing Officer, Rapid7 - Meyers, the former CMO at LogMeIn and Unica, recently joined Rapid7 as CMO, leading the marketing team to drive Rapid7 into ... > Read more
Recently we’ve been sharing several specific tips designed to help novice to intermediate AdWords advertisers with more on their plate than just managing pay-per-click campaigns to get greater efficiencies out of PPC marketing. We published a two-part series on some simple reports that can unearth thousands of dollars in PPC savings:AdWords Quick Wins: Two Reports that Could Save You ThousandsAdWords Quick Wins Volume 2: More Reports that Could Save You ThousandsWe also shared a basic methodology for managing bids for advertisers with minimal time and resources.
In this post we’ll walk through an alternative to that approach for the same overworked AdWords advertisers: CPA bidding in AdWords.What Is CPA Bidding and Who Should Use It?CPA bidding, or cost-per-action/acquisition bidding, ... > Read more
This evening I was doing some SEO research, digging through some web server log files and came across a bunch of weird HTTP referrer fields like this one:http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CF4QFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wordstream.com%2Fblog%2Fws%2F2011%2F07%2F18%2Fmost-expensive-google-adwords-keywords&ei=WjhFT_yFGqW0iQKJ_u3aDg&usg=AFQjCNH6jAtufiEV9QQ4URJCPcqKj60iuA&sig2=R881GkyXe-xIhCnCm6pxaQI couldn't figure out what the q=&esrc=s string was because:The q= parameter was emptyI had never seen this esrc=s parameter.
There were literally thousands of HTTP referrer strings from Google containing the string: q=&esrc=s parameter set.I did some digging and figured out that "esrc=s" has to do with the Keyword "... > Read more
Sorry for the terrible awesome pun, but I’ve just been reading this Quora thread, “Death by Puns,” and it almost killed me.Anywayz, I saw two great posts this week on link building, and I know how much you guys love link building, so let’s take a look at some of these great tips.At Search Engine Journal, Sujan Patel writes about 13 unconventional link-building strategies, including:Set up a guest speaking gig: Patel writes, “suppose you reserved a room at your local university and offered to give a free presentation on a topic in your niche.
Assuming you advertised your speaking gig correctly, you could see a surge of backlinks from local news sources or other local publications covering your event (not to mention the participants who share word about your presentation on various... > Read more
In recent weeks we’ve been working through a series of posts on various components of the AdWords interface that are designed to help advertisers better understand all of the different options and features available to them within Google AdWords. To date we’ve covered:AdWords Ad ExtensionsAdWords Reporting via the Dimensions TabAdWords Campaign SettingsCreating & Analyzing AdWords AdsThe Google AdWords Audience TabGoogle AdWords Auto TargetsIn the next series of posts, we’ll focus on a somewhat overlooked component of the AdWords interface: the items contained in the AdWords left navigation within the campaign tab.
What’s in the Left Nav within the Campaigns Tab?Within the left navigation in the campaigns tab you’ll find a series of interesting tools that allow you to report o... > Read more
You’re a marketer, you’ve been there – the end of the month approacheth and you haven’t met your lead goals. If you’ve got limited resources and it’s too late to embark on a brand-new initiative to generate leads, don’t give up – chances are you can squeeze a few more leads out of the content you’ve already created.
Here are three ways to generate leads by re-utilizing your existing marketing collateral.Send an Old Offer to a New ListLook back over your most successful lead-gen offers from the past couple of years, such as white papers, guides, or marketing kits. Hopefully, that content is evergreen or, if it’s out of date, can be updated pretty easily (certainly, bringing an older guide up-to-date is faster than starting from scratch to create a new one).Let’s say you... > Read more
If you read many PPC blogs, you know that there are a ton of interesting and clever tips and tricks that you can leverage to squeeze more efficiency out of your online marketing campaigns. The trouble is, if you’re running an AdWords account there's a fair chance that you’re:Running your own business as wellResponsible for several other components of your company’s marketingSpending real money on AdWords, but not enough to hire an agency or full-time employee to manage itThis forces you to rule out a lot of those tips and tricks, simply because they won’t have a big enough impact for the time they take to implement – naturally, you have to weigh any optimization efforts you might make against other areas of your business you could be improving.
While understanding that specific tw... > Read more
As someone who has recently been subjected to several “brainstorming” sessions (OK, I initiated at least one of them), my interest was piqued by a recent New Yorker article title-tagged “Brainstorming Doesn’t Really Work.” Oh really!According to Jonah Lehrer, the whole brainstorming craze started in 1948, when Alex Osborn published a book called Your Creative Power.
“An amalgam of pop science and business anecdote," the book became a surprise best-seller. It was full of little tips and tricks to help people boost their creative output, and one of those tips was “How to Organize a Squad to Create Ideas”:When a group works together, he wrote, the members should engage in a “brainstorm,” which means “using the brain to storm a creative problem—and doing so in comm... > Read more
Recently we’ve created a series of guides on various parts of the AdWords interface designed to help advertisers better understand all of the features and functionality available to them within AdWords, including:AdWords Ad ExtensionsAdWords Reporting via the Dimensions TabAdWords Campaign SettingsCreating & Analyzing AdWords AdsAdWords Audiences & the Audience TabIn this post, we’ll focus on another area within the AdWords interface: the Auto Targets tab.
What Is the Google AdWords Auto Targets Tab?Many people new to AdWords wonder what this tab even is – in fact the tab is irrelevant for some AdWords advertisers. The auto targets tab is a component of Google’s product listing ads. If you sell e-commerce products, you likely (and should) have a Google Merchant account. (As ... > Read more
Take a look at the two ads below. If you were looking for a hotel on the beach, which ad do you think you'd click on? Better yet, which ad do you think you'd act on?While many contests conducted on the BoostCTR platform are designed to improve CTR, some are set up to improve conversions. This contest used conversions as the metric, which is why I added that second question: Which ad would you act on? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2The titles are completely different.
This is because this particular advertiser did not permit BoostCTR writers to use DKI in their ads even if the original ad used it. This was an obvious disadvantage, but the writer worked around it.The body copy is also very different. With that in mind, which one do you think outperformed the other?Made your decision?The winning ad i... > Read more
We blog a lot about the ins and outs of Google AdWords here at WordStream, for the obvious reasons – PPC is our specialty (or “speciality,” as Engywook from The Neverending Story would say), and AdWords is still #1 when it comes to PPC.Let me get this out of the way, or Larry will razz me for days – our most popular AdWords post of all time is actually a list of AdWords promotional codes.
But those codes are all good and expired now, so let’s move on to the articles that are still well worth your while, shall we? :D Yes, let’s. Here are our top 10 most popular AdWords blog posts OF ALL TIME!The Most Expensive Keywords in Google AdWords – I used to always wonder what the most expensive PPC keywords were, and couldn’t find a satisfactory answer. So we decided to do the resear... > Read more
In the latest move to make SEO harder and increase Google revenues, Google yesterday introduced a new ad format called Enhanced Ad Sitelinks. This new ad format has some similarities to the existing site links ad format, but instead shows related ads in your AdWords account rather than your site links.
Here's what the new super-sized adwords sitelink looks like now:In testing, Google said that "ads with enhanced sitelinks were more useful and relevant" and "clickthrough rates were significantly higher than the same ad with traditional 2- and 3-line sitelinks." Obviously (duh), this has something to do with the fact that the new ads can occupy up to 3 times as much real estate on a Google SERP. It looks like a highly effective way to dominate above-the-fold search results, and further push o... > Read more
Online businesses know that user engagement is incredibly powerful. Better than chocolates or flowers, getting users to “like” your posts or engage you in conversation through Google+ is a dream come true! But often, it can be difficult to obtain that valuable user interaction.With Valentine’s Day upon us, I thought today we could evaluate Boston Globe’s online Love Letters column, a small niche of a large news site that has managed to obtain some exceptional user engagement.
I heard about Love Letters through my mother, who habitually sends me her favorite posts. Although my mother works as a computer programmer, she is the farthest thing from a techie, virtually inept at anything outside of COBOL. A once-a-month Facebooker, she’ll often call me to ask how to “send a mess... > Read more
Last month we shared two simple reports that could save you thousands in wasted AdWords spend: search partner performance and device performance. These types of reports are great for small and medium-sized businesses because (once you know they exist) they only take a few minutes to pull, and they can give you quick insight into a dimension of your campaign you may be altogether neglecting.
Today we’ll walk through two more easy to pull reports that could uncover thousands in potential savings: the placement report and the audience report.Quick Win #1: The Google AdWords Placement ReportThe AdWords search query report is frequently talked about on PPC blogs like this one (we did a whole series on search query mining, for instance), but placement reports get less coverage, and subsequently... > Read more
WordStream’s founder and CTO, Larry Kim, isn’t just a PPC veteran and secret linkbuilding addict – he’s also a world traveler and accomplished amateur photographer. Last week he traveled to Africa with his frankly gorgeous wife (who is also a surgeon!) and took some drop-dead amazing photos of the local wildlife.
Naturally, I wanted to find a way to post some of his fantastic shots on the blog, so I took a page from PPC Memes’ book and did what I could to make them relevant to search marketing. (Also, I’m back in the Boston office this week, and the combination of after-work drinks and minor jetlag has made forming full sentences more difficult than usual.)So please enjoy (and share!) these search marketing memes – the captions are mine, but the photos are all Larry. &nbs... > Read more