Whether you have kids or not, it's time to think like a parent. If you were a parent, and you were looking for online games for your preschool-aged child to play, what would you be looking for? And which of the two ads below would you have clicked on? Make your decision, then scroll down to discover which ad won.
PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 Take your time. I'll wait. Okay, made your decision? The winning ad is ad number one. It was written by "WordWizard," and it increased CTR by 63%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 1.63 clicks.Why did the new ad win? Let's take a look...1. Many parents are financially stretched, so the winning ad emphasizes that the games are FREE. In fact, the winning ad says "free" in the title, the body copy, and the URL -- three times... > Read more
We recently concluded our series on AdWords ad extensions, and thought we’d take a similar approach to a series of reports that live under the Google AdWords Dimensions Tab. Many people rely on the main AdWords tabs for their standard reports – at the campaign, ad group, keyword, and ad level – but there are a series of reports that offer a ton of great data all rolled up under the dimensions tab.
In this guide to using the AdWords dimensions tab, we’ll be breaking out each of these reports and showing you:How to pull the report and manipulate the dataWhy this report is (or in some cases isn’t) importantWhen the data will be helpful and actionable (and in some cases: when it won’t be)Available Reports in the AdWords Dimensions TabBelow is a brief explanation of each of the repor... > Read more
Last week we concluded our blog series on AdWords Ad Extensions with a post on Google AdWords Call Extensions, and got an excellent question in the comments of that initial post:Thanks for the information! I have always received conflicting information from the Google AdWords reps regarding running multiple ad extensions at a time.
How does Google decide what to display if you have sitelink ads, product extensions, and call extensions all running on the same campaign? It doesn't appear that more than one extension can be displayed at one time. Is there a disadvantage to running multiple extensions in a single campaign?Thanks,AshleyThis is a great question and may explain why certain campaigns that have one ad extension set up wouldn’t see another that they’ve al... > Read more
The official Google blog published a post earlier this week with the title “Ads Are Just Answers” – and I couldn’t help mentally inserting the addendum, “…that make us billions, suckers!” Let’s not forget that Google makes upwards of 97% of its revenue from advertising – that’s over $32 billion in advertising revenues annually.
Sponsored placement in the search results may be a billion-dollar idea, but it wasn’t actually Google’s idea. The credit goes to Bill Gross of Idealab, who got the idea from the Yellow Pages. Supposedly, Google tried and failed to buy the idea, so they copied it, launching AdWords in 2000 (Gross took legal action).People turn to search engines because they want answers. And according to Google, AdWords ads are just another way for people to ge... > Read more
I’d like to take a moment to mourn the loss of Steve Jobs, who passed away Wednesday evening. The immediate and overwhelming response to this news stands as testimony to the momentous impact Steve Jobs has had on so many people.Steve has been heralded as a true visionary who worked to make technology accessible for the not-so-techy masses.
But Steve was more than a creator of beautiful and revolutionary products. He also has inspired many to think creatively and break from the norm. Not just a great inventor, he was a great man.In response to this sad news, Apple honors Steve’s memory with a full-page tribute on the Apple.com homepage:When Steve Jobs stepped down from his position as the CEO for Apple in August, he wrote in his resignation letter:"I believe Apple’s brightest and most... > Read more
This is the final post in our series on Google AdWords Ad Extensions. Previously we’ve covered:Google AdWords Location ExtensionsGoogle AdWords Product ExtensionsGoogle AdWords Sitelinks ExtensionsAnd today we’ll be rounding out the series by covering how to use Google AdWords call extensions.What Are Call Extensions & Why Are They Important?Google’s help section describes Call Extensions as follows:Call extensions make it easy for customers to call you directly from your ad and for you to better understand the value of your campaigns by measuring the phone calls that your ads generate.
Call extensions are a type of ad extension, an ad feature that allows advertisers to include additional information about their businesses and offering to their text ads. In the case of call extens... > Read more
Imagine for a moment that you are a business owner who is hiring a new secretary. You want to make sure you've got a good secretary before you hire him (or her).What kind of information would you like to know? Which ad would get your attention and earn your click? Make your decision, then scroll down to discover the answer.
PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 In this case, ad number two is the winner. It was written by "jeffbaum71," and it increased CTR by 162%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.62 clicks.I find this week's contest interesting because it highlights a key principle of good ad writing. Here are a few reasons why the new ad won...1. The title of the winning ad is more descriptive. A "Secretary Skills Test" is much more precise and descriptive than a ... > Read more
Google Testing New Circular-Style AdsGoogle is testing new ad units called “Circulars” in hopes of mimicking the full-page inserts found in Sunday newspapers. These new ads will reportedly act as custom landing pages with attractive ad copy and large pictures. The circulars will appear when users click on search or display ads.
Google is introducing these new ads in response to retailers’ desire to drive online visitors into physical stores.The new ad format is scheduled to be unveiled later this week.Napster Acquired By RhapsodyRhapsody will soon be acquiring the once infamous online music subscription service Napster.Napster experienced tremendous popularity during its bad-boy days of P2P music sharing. Although Napster has never regained its former glory since shutting down after ... > Read more
As is the case with many AdWords features, Google’s impression share report is a powerful, useful, but incomplete and potentially misleading tool for AdWords advertisers. There are two major issues with taking impression share reports at face value:You don’t always want all the impressionsA small percentage of a large campaign can be much more impactful than a large percentage of a small campaignIn any PPC campaign there is a concept of diminishing returns – just because you can get x conversions at y price per conversion doesn’t mean that if you get 2x the conversions your cost per conversion will hold – in fact in a vast majority of cases it won’t.
For this reason there are many instances where even if your campaign is profitable and you’re only capturing 40% of the possibl... > Read more
As is the case with pretty much anything Google does or pays attention to, if you’re a search marketer or someone for whom search traffic (paid or natural) is an important part of how you market your business, it’s helpful to pay attention to the things Google does, and to think about why they’re likely to do those things.
In the past week Google has made two big announcements surrounding their analytics offering:They unveiled Google Analytics Premium, an enterprise analytics package.They announced real-time Google Analytics, which allows you to see how people are interacting with your site in real time rather than waiting hours for the data to refresh.When looked at in a vacuum, these seem like pretty standard iterations for the folks at Google. When you layer on some context, though... > Read more
As you read this, I’m probably on my way to the DC area, leaving the virtually perfect Denver weather for the East Coast blahs. Ah well, maybe I'll spy some foliage. (I still think it's weird that New Englanders call it "leaf peeping!" It makes it sound so dirty.)Before you get your weekend started, check out the top 10 most popular blog posts we published this month.
Ultimate Guide to PPC Metrics: 17 Experts on the Top 3 Must-Check PPC Metrics – This group interview is packed with awesome insights into what metrics actually matter when it comes to analyzing PPC results – and which ones are pretty much worthless. Even if you don’t want to read the whole thing, be sure to skip to the bottom and see the three most popular answers.3 Ways to Scale Linkbuilding with Google Docs –... > Read more
One of my favorite types of blog post is the marketing case study – a personalized story of success or failure (or otherwise interesting or unexpected results). As blog posts go, it’s not as easy to churn out as a “top 5” post (ahem), but you can learn so much more from them. It’s often easier to take something actionable away from specific examples and real stories than vague abstractions, so a well-written case study is a great way to get attention and links.
As an added benefit, a case study is always unique, whereas standard tip posts are often just reproducing information you can find elsewhere on the web.If you haven’t considered writing this type of content before, I encourage you to give it a shot! Think about a specific strategy you implemented recently that reall... > Read more
Last week, 17 PPC experts (and a few more who chimed in via the comments) told us the metrics they pay the most attention to when analyzing their campaign performance in AdWords. The #1 most common answer was click-through rate (CTR). Cost per conversion was another big one.There are many ways to improve your click-through rates, including refining your keyword research and writing more compelling ads.
We're also big advocates of using negative keywords to improve CTR by reducing impressions and clicks from search queries that are irrelevant to your products or just unlikely to convert. By eliminating those non-converting clicks, advertisers can save an enormous amount of wasted budget (often up to 30%!). So using negative keywords effectively doesn't just raise CTR, it lowers costs and im... > Read more
Which of the two ads below do you think got a higher click-through rate (CTR)? Make your decision, then scroll down to discover the answer. PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 To help make your decision, suppose for a moment that you are a business owner who wants to promote your business at a major convention.
And suppose you're looking for a place to print up some promotional banners for your booth. Which ad would earn your click -- and potentially your business?In this case, ad number two is the winner. It was written by "SuperchargeYourAds," and it increased CTR by 156%. Where the original ad was getting 1 click, the new ad is getting 2.56 clicks.I find this week's contest interesting because it validates many ad writing principles I've covered in my Win of the Week column. Here are a few rea... > Read more
Content marketing, along with social media and SEO, is an incredibly important component of any inbound marketing campaign – efforts designed to bring your target audience to you, instead of you trying to force your brand on them.You’ve probably heard the phrase “Content is king” before, and that’s because it’s true! The search engines read your webpage content to determine if it matches a search query, your target audience reads content you produce (blogs, articles, whitepapers, etc.
) to learn more about your given industry, and producing great content is what earns your company a reputation as a valuable and trusted source of information. In short, a great content marketing campaign can accomplish a lot!But running a great content marketing campaign is more complicated than c... > Read more
Out of the box, LinkedIn is a pretty fantastic tool for anyone looking to promote their business or especially for anyone looking for a new job in these turbulent economic times. To really get the most from LinkedIn, you need to attract search engine traffic, and there are some minor tweaks you can make to your profile that will make all the difference in the level of search engine success you enjoy.
Here are my top 5 LinkedIn SEO tips:1. Vanity URLSWhen you first create your LinkedIn profile, you get a numeric profile name, which is fine for LinkedIn itself in terms of keeping track of you. For real human visitors and search engine spiders, this means absolutely nothing, and from a human point of view, a string of numbers can be very difficult to remember. You have the option of creating w... > Read more
In the first two installments of our series on AdWords ad extensions we covered AdWords location extensions and Google’s product extensions. Today we’ll walk through AdWords sitelinks, namely:What are AdWords sitelinks and why are they important?How do I use AdWords ad sitelinks in my account?When should I use sitelinks in my AdWords account?We’ll also provide information on why sitelinks may not be showing in your account and how best to leverage sitelinks in your campaigns.
What Are AdWords Sitelinks and Why Are They Important?Ad sitelinks are a feature in AdWords that offers you additional links to pages beyond the destination landing page in your ad. In the above image, “Free Shipping,” “Free Personal Engraving,” “3G or Wi-Fi models,” and “10-hour battery” are all ... > Read more
There are two kinds of news: the kind of news that everyone gets excited about and the kind of news that everyone complains about. (Well, I guess there’s a third kind, the kind that nobody care about, but leaving that aside...) The webby world got some news of the former type this week, and that was the news that Netflix is splitting into two separate brands: one for the snail-mail DVD rentals that put the company on the map, and one for streaming services, the direction that movie rentals are going in.
The streaming-only service will continue to operate under the “Netflix” name, while the old-school DVD business will be branded as “Qwikster.”This news came straight from the horse’s mouth (that horse being Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO), framed as an apology for not... > Read more
To become a rocket scientist you have to spend approximately half of your life going to school and earning PhD’s so that maybe, possibly, you could do what you really wanted to do as a boy. If you’re not scientifically inclined, but artistically inclined, things don’t get any easier. To be recognized as a master painter you have to put in a lot of work.
You might have to draw the scene ten times, but slightly different each time to get the right effect. You may have to cut off an ear, or maybe even die to be recognized for what you do well! Yeah, it’s a lot of effort, and that shouldn’t be surprising.The reason I bring this up is because lately I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about search engine marketing and pay-per-click marketing along with many, many theories about ho... > Read more
This is the second installment in our multi-part series on Google AdWords Ad Extensions. Last time we covered Google AdWords location extensions, and today’s focus will be on product extensions.Product extensions is a feature that allows you to link your Google Merchant account with your AdWords account to have enhanced listings for your products shown in search results on Google properties:In this post we’ll walk through why product extensions are important, how you can use them in your account, and when to use the extensions as well as how best to apply them.
Why Are AdWords Product Extensions Important?Product extensions are important for much the same reason the other ad extensions are important: they offer increased visibility in search results. This means more clicks – in many v... > Read more
Today, I'm featuring what may be the biggest win in BoostCTR's brief history. It's certainly the biggest win that's been featured in a Win of the Week column.Since the difference between the two ads is so big, it should be easy to pick the winner, right? Well, maybe. Looks -- and gut-level responses -- can often be deceiving.
Nevertheless, take a look at the two google ppc ads below and see if you can pick the winner. PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 To help make your decision, suppose for a moment that you were a college student looking to rent some college textbooks. Which ad would you be more likely to click on? Which one reaches into the mind of the college student and gets her to click?In this case, ad number one is the winner. It was written by "ctrmaven," and it increased CTR by an asto... > Read more
Paul May is the CEO and co-founder of BuzzStream, a provider of link building management software. Paul has spent most of the last fifteen years either starting or working on early-stage startups. BuzzStream also offers a variety of free link building tools for small businesses, SEOs and Internet marketers.
Follow and connect with Paul on Twitter: @PaulMay.BuzzStream is often thought of as a link building tool, but you actually have products for PR and social media as well. How much overlap are you finding between the three disciplines?It’s funny, because Rae Hoffman-Dolan wrote a post a few years ago where she talked about the skills to look for when hiring a link builder, and I remember thinking when I read it that she might as well have been writing a job spec... > Read more
The first post in our series on Google AdWords Ad Extensions will focus on AdWords location extensions. Location extensions are a feature within Google AdWords that allows you to add location data about your business to your ad:In this post we’ll walk through why these extensions are important, how you can use them in your account, and when to use the extensions as well as how best to apply them.
Why Are Google AdWords Location Extensions Important?Location extensions allow you to get more real estate on the SERP and provide more information to local searchers, including a clickable phone number on mobile devices. Given that AdWords location targeting is probably more aggressive than you think, this is a pretty powerful option. Marissa Mayer noted recently that roughly 20 percent of the s... > Read more
Do you love the scroll wheel on your mouse and the down arrow key on your keyboard and like to exercise them as much as possible? I know I do! What I hate doing is finding the tiny arrow or “2” link at the bottom of a web page with my cursor – if there’s a “View all” link in the vicinity, I almost always click that instead.
Apparently, I’m not the only one – in response to user experience studies, Google is trying to get us all on the same page: Page 1, that is! Here are a couple of the ways this is playing out.Google Say, Pagination Bad!Yesterday, Google’s Webmaster Central Blog featured a post proclaiming that “User testing has taught us that searchers much prefer the view-all, single-page version of content over a component page containing only a portion of the same i... > Read more
One of the most underutilized weapons in a number of AdWords accounts is ad extensions. Ad extensions allow you to take up more real estate on the SERP, providing additional links to your site, product images and other information that can draw people in and increase your click-through rates. In this guide, we’ll be walking through each of the AdWords ad extensions in detail, showing you how they work, when they work, and why you’d want to leverage them.
In this post I will provide a brief overview of each. Click the headings on each section for an in-depth look at each of the AdWords ad extensions. (You might want to go ahead and bookmark this guide now...)Google AdWords Location ExtensionsAdWords location extensions show in response to certain local queries, and the data shown to sear... > Read more
What do customers want? Or, more importantly, what can you sell them? If you aren’t using keyword research as part of the development of new products, then you’re missing out on an untapped resource of new ideas, as well as gaining valuable insight into what customers have already indicated they want.
In this guide we’ll show you some great shortcuts to finding this vital consumer data with keyword research.Let Customers Tell You What They WantNo longer a standalone feature, as you type keywords into Google, the search engine will attempt to complete your thought based on popular queries. This autocomplete feature helps show what customers are already actively seeking, and unfulfilled niches where you can make money.Your results will only be as good as the keyword you put in initiall... > Read more
Studying new winning ads is always fascinating because of the variety of products and services for which we're optimizing ad copy.Every week, there is a new win ... in a new market ... for a new product. And yet, in spite of this variety and "newness," the principles of good ad writing prove themselves over and over again.
With that in mind, which of the two ads below do you think performed better? The headlines and the URLs are the same. Only the body copy is different. Which approach do you think worked best? PPC Ad #1PPC Ad #2 I suppose it's not too difficult to pick the winner. The grammatical errors make it easy to spot the losing ad. Ad number two is the winner. It was written by "SwayamDas," and it increased CTR by 86%.So why did the new ad win? Here are a few reasons why..... > Read more
Meet the Web Metrics Guru in person!Our friend Marshall Sponder of WebMetricsGuru.com (a contributor to the WordStream blog) has written a new book called Social Media Analytics, Effective Tools for Building, Interpreting and Using Metrics.To mark the occasion, Marshall will be at a book-signing event at Aspire Restaurant in Providence, RI this Thursday, September 15, 2011.
Registration is limited but you can RSVP for free here! Hit me up on Twitter: Follow @larrykim... > Read more
This is the third in a series of interviews we're conducting with AdWords advertisers who got unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader. We're reaching out to high scorers to find out what strategies contribute to their strong AdWords performance. For more in this series, see:AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 1AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 2Today’s interview is with Rick Archer.
Rick is the founder of Search Summit, an independent search consultancy based in Iowa. You can reach Rich at email@example.com.Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been using AdWords? Are you an Agency or an Advertiser?I’ve been using AdWords for about 10 years. I also work with adCenter, and I used to play with smaller ne... > Read more