AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 4

This is the fourth 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 2AdWords Experts Share the Secrets of Their PPC Success, Part 3This week’s interview is with David Semprun.

David is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Priority Pass, the world’s largest airport VIP lounge access program. Follow him on Twitter at @semprund or visit his website, davidsemprun.com.Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been using AdWords? Are you an Agen... > Read more

October 25, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

AdWords Ad Extensions Guide Bonus: Google AdWords Communication Extensions

Recently we did a series of posts on AdWords Ad Extensions, complete with a quick follow-up on how Google decides to display ad extensions and a closer look at the following extensions:Google AdWords Location ExtensionsGoogle AdWords Product ExtensionsGoogle AdWords Sitelink ExtensionsGoogle AdWords Call ExtensionsBut after concluding the series we quickly realized that we left an ad extension off the list (the downside to pompously titling something “The Ultimate Guide to X” is that you can easily be guilted into pretty much never-ending updates, so be careful with your hyperbolic in-title-adjectives).

One ad extension we missed was Google AdWords communication extensions. This isn’t available for everyone, but it’s a very interesting extension that could have some serious implicat... > Read more

October 24, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 7

SSL Encrypted Search: Google Deals Low Blow to SEOs

Google made a pretty big announcement this week that is pissing a lot of people off – a lot of SEOs, that is. Namely, Google announced it will no longer reveal organic keyword referrals (search queries) for searches conducted while users are logged in. According to the Google Webmaster Blog:What is the impact of this change for webmasters? Today, a web site accessed through organic search results on http://www.

google.com (non-SSL) can see both that the user came from google.com and their search query. (Technically speaking, the user’s browser passes this information via the HTTP referrer field.) However, for organic search results on SSL search, a web site will only know that the user came from google.com.“For sites which have been added and verified in Webmaster Tools,” the post s... > Read more

October 21, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 7

Google AdWords Conversion Reporting: The AdWords Dimensions Tab Conversion Report

This is the second in a series of posts on the Google AdWords Dimensions Tab Reporting Options. In the first post in the series, we covered AdWords Dayparting with the Google AdWords Time Report, and in today’s post we’ll walk through the conversions reporting options in the dimensions tab. This report offers you a couple of different views of your conversion data that can be helpful in reporting.

What AdWords Reports Live Within the “Conversions” Report?As you can see the conversions report drop-down offers you two reports:Conversion Tracking Purpose – This is the purpose, or “category” of your conversion. AdWords offers you a few different options here:Purchase/SaleSignupLeadView of a Key PageOtherConversion Action Name – This is obviously what you’ve actually named your... > Read more

October 20, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

10 Tips for Creating Content on Facebook That Gets the Thumbs Up

 With the recent release of our brand new infographic documenting Facebook's failures, I thought I'd write about how you can make sure that you yourself don't have any Facebook face-plants. Here are 10 tips for creating awesome Facebook content that will keep visitors interested and engaged. Post Content that Interests Your Customers The key to developing a winning fan page that builds fans and pushes your business forward is to post content that genuinely interests your customers or clients.

Don't focus solely on you or your business. By providing valuable information to the reader you will build a stronger relationship with current and prospective customers.Red Bull knows that their energy drink customers are likely to be interested in extreme activities, so they post videos th... > Read more

October 19, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 6

Google AdWords Dayparting: The AdWords Dimension Tab Time Report

This post is the first in our series on Google AdWords reporting via the AdWords dimension tab. Today we’ll cover the AdWords time report. This report is pretty flexible and allows you to slice date-based data in a variety of different ways, so understanding how it works can be valuable for anyone managing a pay-per-click campaign.

What AdWords Reports Live within the “Time” Drop-Down?There are seven reports you’ll find within the AdWords time drop-down. Obviously the labels themselves give you a pretty good idea of what unit of time each of these items is focused on, but we’ll walk through what you might use each of these reports for:Day of the Week – This is breaking down a period of time (e.g., the last six months) by day of the week. Your business might (or might not) perfor... > Read more

October 18, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

How To Track Internet Video Marketing Campaigns

Internet video has begun to form a large part of the online marketing strategies of brands, businesses and bloggers worldwide. The potential for video content to go viral, its power to engage with universal audiences and its distribution simplicity has made it a necessity for any online marketing campaign.

So how do you know your video has actually become successful? How can you be sure using it as a marketing strategy is working for you? How can you track that it is achieving your marketing goals? The following article assesses how you can track your video marketing campaigns, and how you can do so for absolutely free.Why Should You Track Your Video Campaigns?Tracking the success of your video marketing campaigns not only helps to determine whether or not your video is achieving the goals ... > Read more

October 18, 2011     |   Posted In: Analytics   |   Comments: 0

Facebook Wall of Shame: Facebook's Failures, Criticisms and Missteps [Infographic]

A while back, we released The Google Graveyard, an infographic detailing Google's various flops and failures in the product department, including Google Wave and Google X.Now, following up on the release of Facebook's iPad app last week (which most people have been less than impressed with), we've created a new infographic walking through some of Facebook's criticisms, missteps and failures since its inception in 2004.

Facebook boasts approximately 800 million active users worldwide and an estimated $4.27 billion in estimated annual revenue – but you don’t approach the 1-billion-users mark without making a few mistakes along the way, right? Facebook’s errors in judgment have included:A slew of privacy snafus: Facebook repeatedly faces criticism for its user-unfriendly privacy policy a... > Read more

October 17, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 8

Google Doesn't Get Platforms. What Doesn't Your Company Get?

 In an all-too-keen instance of corporate irony, a Google employee this week sent what was meant to be an internal “memo” to his coworkers – right on up to Larry and Sergey – through Google+, and made the post 100% public by mistake. Whoops! At least when you accidentally “reply all,” your message is confined to the people in the original email list, right?The engineer, Steve Yegge, has since deleted the post, but Danny Sullivan reproduces most if not all of the memo in a post on Search Engine Land.

(The whole thing is interesting and I encourage you to read it.) The message, framed as a “family intervention,” is intended as a wake-up call for the powers that be at Google, alerting them that they’re missing something big: namely, they don’t get platforms:That one l... > Read more

October 14, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 1

When Should You Pause Google AdWords Keywords?

Sadly, not every keyword you attempt to target in your AdWords accounts will work. The good news is, because PPC offers a fountain of immediate feedback in the way of data points, it’s possible to identify poor choices in your initial targeting and take swift action.In this post, we’ll walk through the two major examples of keywords you’d be better off pausing, as well as some potential pitfalls to consider in thinking about actually shutting down these keywords.

Keywords that Spend Money but Don’t ConvertThis is probably the most immediately obvious and intuitive example of a keyword that should be paused: keywords that are costing you money but not converting into a lead or a sale. But even within this classification of keyword, there’s a bit more nuance than meets the eye.Let... > Read more

October 13, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Online Marketing News for October 9-12, 2011

Apple’s iOS5 Is On Its Way!People are getting geared up for Apple’s iOS5, expected to launch later today! In anticipation of iOS5, Apple released iTunes 10.5 and its new iCloud service earlier this week in case you couldn’t possibly wait another second to download some Apple updates.Facebook Gets Friend.

lyFacebook recently acquired the social Q&A company Friend.ly, not to be confused with Friendly’s, my New England childhood eatery that is sadly going out of business.Cone head sundaes and waffle fries aside, Friend.ly describes their app as a way to meet new people and foster friendships by answering questions. The app offers you a list of questions which you can choose to answer, or simply compliment other people’s answers by letting them know that you find their answer oh-s... > Read more

October 12, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 1

Win of the Week: Thinking Like a Parent Boosts CTR by 63%

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

October 12, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

Google AdWords Reporting Guide: AdWords Dimensions Tab Tips & Tutorials

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 AdWords 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 t... > Read more

October 11, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

How Does Google Decide Which Ad Extensions to Display?

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

October 11, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Are Ads Really Just Answers? Google's Billion-Dollar Idea

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

October 07, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 7

Steve Jobs 1955 - 2011: A Visionary Remembered

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

October 06, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 1

Google AdWords Call Extensions: How & When to Use Call Extensions

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

October 06, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Win of the Week: Focus on What Searchers Really Want

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

October 05, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 2

Search Marketing & Technology News Roundup, Oct. 4, 2011

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

October 04, 2011     |   Written by: Megan Marrs   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 1

The Problem with the Google AdWords Impression Share Report

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

October 04, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Analytics   |   Comments: 0

Google Analytics Premium, Real-Time Google Analytics, & What it All Means for You

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

October 03, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: Analytics   |   Comments: 0

Best of the Month: WordStream's September Highlights

 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

September 29, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

5 Great Marketing Case Studies from Around the Web

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

September 29, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 2

New! An Expert's Guide to Controlling PPC Costs with Negative Keywords

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

September 28, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 1

Win of the Week: 156% Increase in CTR from Following the Rules

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

September 28, 2011     |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 2

What You're Doing Wrong with Your Content Marketing: 5 Common Mistakes

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

September 27, 2011     |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 1

5 Best Ways To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for SEO

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

September 27, 2011     |   Posted In: Social Media   |   Comments: 18

Google AdWords Sitelinks: How to Use AdWords Ad Sitelinks Extensions

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

September 26, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 10

Netflix Spins Off Qwikster, Flips Off Customers

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

September 23, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 0

A Common Sense Approach to PPC

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

September 22, 2011     |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 4
 
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