AdWords Tips

How to Pass the AdWords Advanced Display Exam & Earn Google Partner Status

We’ve already delved into surviving the AdWords Advanced Search exam, thanks to Margot da Cunha’s post last December, so now let’s take a look at the other advanced exam, Advanced Display. Display seems to be a bit of a great unknown, the dividing line between the hardcore search geeks and the creative, right-brained people who cringe at all the spreadsheets and analysis that accompany search.

It bears mentioning here that 95 percent of people’s online time is spent consuming content, so learning about display (and video) can be a nice upsell to your clients, or it could be a career path you carve for yourself. Here’s an interesting fact: YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine – and it’s a major component of the Advanced Display exam.Let’s assume you’v... > Read more

February 10, 2014     |   Written by: Brad McMillen   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 16

AdWords Metrics: How to Make Sense of Your PPC Data

When it comes to the paid search environment I think it’s safe to say that most people are very results-driven. After all, would you really go through all of the effort to build out, optimize, and monitor your AdWords account on a frequent basis if all you got in return was a blank sheet of paper? Of course not – we put the effort into our search campaigns because we expect results, we want to see an outcome, and we need AdWords performance metrics to alert us of our success or failure.

That being said, looking through all of the data that Google provides can sometimes feel like searching for your child in a giant ball pit. In other words, it can be tough to find something meaningful in the chaos.Let’s take a look at some of the AdWords metrics that are going to help you really home i... > Read more

February 06, 2014     |   Written by: Katie Lyons   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Search Network with Display Select: Should You Use AdWords' New Campaign Type?

You may remember that in early November 2013 Google rolled out a new AdWords campaign type called “Search Network with Display Select.”For advertisers, we now have a serious option to consider when debating the merit of running a combination search and display network campaign. In the past, we were able to simply combine both the entire search and display networks into one “hyper” campaign.

This presented a unique opportunity to seriously expand your reach and generate potentially valuable impressions, clicks and conversions across a broad range of web assets.The results, however, usually were not that great. I can corroborate this. Rarely do I see accounts that actually use this combination campaign type, and when I do, I recommend splitting up campaigns based on their network tar... > Read more

February 05, 2014     |   Written by: Jeff Stevens   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

Hacking AdWords: Winning at AdWords the Weird Way

As search marketers, we spend a lot of time analyzing crazy SEO algorithms (hello, Panda and Penguin) and constantly trying to reverse-engineer ranking factors in an attempt to increase our organic rankings.Yet when it comes to paid search, there's not nearly as much research, despite the fact that PPC, like SEO, is largely driven by an algorithm (Quality Score) which determines ad position, cost per click and many other factors.

By understanding how Quality Score works, AdWords can be cracked.In my article today, I'll quantify the impact of Quality Score on your cost per click and cost per conversion. I'll also explain to you (mathematically!) how Google calculates your Quality Score. Finally, I'll share my three best tips on how to raise your Quality Scores, all in an effort to help you h... > Read more

January 29, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 29

How Your AdWords Daily Budget Works With Ad Scheduling

AKA, How to Keep Google from Turning Your $500 Budget into $600 in SpendTake a look around any Google help forum and you’ll likely see questions about how AdWords budgeting works. They usually come from advertisers who’ve run over their monthly ad budgets for lack of understanding of this topic. I have to admit, I was one of those advertisers.

I would have felt a lot of embarrassment about my past mistakes if not for the fact the Google help experts had to do some double-checking of their own on it—that’s how (intentionally?) confusing this topic is.Most, if not all, advertisers use monthly budgets. Of course, AdWords runs on daily budgets. The way you work within this environment depends on whether or not your campaign runs every day of the month.With full confidence intact, let’... > Read more

January 20, 2014     |   Written by: Brad McMillen   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 10

How to Get New Clients: Top 6 Tips from Successful PPC Agencies

For up-and-coming digital marketing agencies, finding new customers can be a challenge. In fact, this seems to be an ongoing struggle for many of the smaller agencies that I work with. These businesses walk a fine line when it comes to prospecting clients; not only do they need to find advertisers who want to work with them, they also need to verify that these accounts are a good fit for their PPC managers—not an easy feat!I have a soft spot for up-and-coming agencies, so I made it my mission to find the top ways that successful PPC agencies get new clients.

To develop this list, I turned to a seasoned group of experts, many of whom work for, own, or consult to SEM agencies. Participants included Aaron Levy, Andrew Lolk, Andy Groller, Anisha Dattani, Bethany Bey, David Szetela, Ginny Marv... > Read more

January 16, 2014     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 26

Live Webinar: Totally Insane Techniques Guaranteed to 3X Your CTR

This might hurt a little – apologies, but I promise it will feel better in the long run. Coming to terms with this important realization is the first step in your PPC recovery. Are you ready for it?You’re doing PPC wrong.I know that’s frustrating to hear; if you’re like most SMB marketers, you think you’re already doing everything you can to better manage your paid search campaigns.

I hate to break it to you, but if you’re following conventional wisdom and managing your account in the same way you and every one of your competitors has been for the last several years, you’re throwing money out the door.In an upcoming webinar, I’m going to show you how to break free of the mold the vast majority of PPC marketers have trapped themselves into.You’re throwing out your 1% CTR a... > Read more

January 15, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 9

YouTube Remarketing: Why & How to Try Remarketing with YouTube Videos

Why just market … when you can remarket?!We recently shared The Complete Guide to AdWords Remarketing Best Practices – but it wasn’t 100% complete because it didn’t cover remarketing with YouTube videos.Using YouTube videos is the next step in the evolution of remarketing. As Google continues to try and make searching (and advertising) a more visual and interactive experience, video ads are primed to fill this void.

Remarketing with YouTube videos will allow you to:Grab your potential customer’s attention and explain to them why your product is beneficial.Step outside of the 70-character limit of conventional text ads and push beyond the dull, static nature of image ads.Connect more directly with customers by explaining and demonstrating your product or service in a 30-second cli... > Read more

January 15, 2014     |   Written by: Chris Panetta   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

Bid Optimization: Getting Started with Bid Optimization in AdWords

Bid optimization can require quite a bit of time and attention, but it is a critical process for any successful AdWords account. In terms of how to start monitoring performance and analyzing data to manage your bids, it’s tough to know where to begin. In this post, I’ll break down the essentials of PPC bid optimization into digestible little pieces for you.

We’re here to help you start taking the baby steps that are key to managing your bids easily and effectively!Getting Started: PPC Budgeting and First-Time BidsBreaking it Down: Identifying Budget and ScaleBefore you even think about bidding, you’ll want to figure out how much money you’d like to spend. Your daily/monthly/annual budget is a critical part of your PPC strategy so take the time to start on the right foot.When you... > Read more

January 08, 2014     |   Written by: Zina Kayyali   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Need a PPC Audit? Get a Fast, Free PPC Audit with AdWords Grader Plus

January is the traditional time to take stock of your life, assess what’s missing, and set new goals. Chances are, your PPC account could use the January treatment. The holidays are over, you’re back from vacation, and your AdWords account is probably as messy as your kitchen, or as bloated as … never mind.

The point is, it’s time for a PPC audit – you need to benchmark where you’re at so you know where to focus your efforts in the new year.Two years ago, we created the AdWords Performance Grader to help advertisers audit and analyze their Google AdWords accounts. It’s basically the fastest, easiest, and by far the cheapest (you can’t get cheaper than free) way to audit your PPC account. You link the tool up to your AdWords account through a 100% secure OAuth connection (on... > Read more

January 07, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Guide: How to Use Google AdWords for Apartment Marketing

As the marketing director for Rentping Media, a marketing agency that focuses exclusively on the apartment industry, I have had the unique opportunity to optimize our PPC strategy across hundreds of apartment communities in over 20 states for the last couple of years. Through a lot of trial and a lot of error, our agency has honed a very precise strategy for apartment marketing that takes into account the unique challenges of apartment marketing.

In this article, I wanted to provide background insight into why marketing for apartments on AdWords has its own set of idiosyncrasies, as well as the top five performance tweaks to make your apartment campaigns extremely effective.The Unique Challenges of Apartment MarketingWhen your product is an apartment, you inherently have different challenge... > Read more

January 06, 2014     |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

Gmail Advertising Showdown: Gmail Sponsored Promotions vs. Managed Placements

The Gmail platform has been evolving, and Gmail advertising options are no exception. The ongoing Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP) beta was rolled out in early 2013, introducing new targeting and display options for advertisers. Previously, search marketers could target an audience on Gmail through managed placements.

With GSP, Gmail advertising targeting became much more advanced. Aside from your normal display targeting options via the AdWords interface (age, demographic, keywords), you can now target by more options including email address, subject line, job title and product category. The catch? A very high spend requirement, without guaranteed results.The promos are also managed through an interface separate from Google AdWords, which can only be opened in the Chrome browser. Here’s... > Read more

January 03, 2014     |   Written by: Jaclyn Jordan   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

Google Engagement Ads – Should Small Businesses Use Them?

What Are Google Engagement Ads?Earlier this year Google released an exciting new feature that they call engagement ads. These engagement ads run on the Google Display Network (GDN) and use the same flexible targeting options as normal display campaigns. Google has also announced additional self-service ad formats, including Cross Device ads, a YouTube Masthead Lightbox to aid in consistent branding across ad formats, and a Shopping Catalog Lightbox, which allows users to display multiple products from a merchant center account.

These campaigns are only available on a cost-per-engagement basis, which allows advertisers to bid and pay only if a user has engaged with their ads. Google defines “engagement” as a user mousing over the ad for more than two seconds. This delay eliminates accide... > Read more

January 02, 2014     |   Written by: Ben Cohen   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Deduping Keywords: How to Identify & Remove Duplicate Keywords from Your PPC Account

Around this time last year, I had a pretty ambitious list of New Year’s resolutions cued up for 2013. I’m ashamed to report that I did not successfully complete a single item during the course of the year. In retrospect, my problem was that I set the bar far too high—I mean really, who loses 20 pounds and masters the Spanish language in only 365 days?—and as a result, I gave up pretty quickly.

When it comes to managing PPC accounts, I face a similar problem. I tend to bite off more than I can chew and then get too discouraged to complete it.This year, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m setting more manageable goals and am determined to complete them. The first item on my checklist is to identify and remove duplicate keywords, so I can start the New Year with a nice, clean account.Why ... > Read more

December 31, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 19

Quick Guide to Google Grants: Google AdWords for Nonprofits

In this guide you’ll find everything you need to know about the Google Grant Program, Google’s AdWords program for nonprofit organizations, from how to qualify to ad guidelines.What Is Google Ad Grants?The Google Ad Grants Program gives nonprofits the chance to advertise on Google AdWords at no cost to the nonprofit.

This program gives qualified organizations $10,000 per month in AdWords spend to be used to promote their missions and initiatives on Google.com. To qualify, companies must go through the application process, and to keep the grant they must follow the program details.If you work at a non-profit, you like the sound of this. Before you apply, check to ensure your nonprofile is eligible. Here are the qualifications: To be eligible for Google Grants an organization must:Hold c... > Read more

December 18, 2013     |   Written by: Kelsey Halloran   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

How to Compete in AdWords: Improve Results Without Just Raising Bids

Google AdWords takes the word “competitive” to new heights. This fluid auction, fired off whenever someone performs a Google search, provides a platform for advertisers to compete for attention, clicks, traffic, and conversions – in short, for customers.  Too often, however, PPC managers see the need to be competitive as a kneejerk cue to raise bids.

Though a top rank can be helpful, and you might have to raise your bids to get there, it doesn’t guarantee clicks, let alone that those clicks will convert – and conversions are what matter most.This guide will show you how to stand out in this competitive space without reverting solely to bid-pumping tactics. We’ll examine the digital real estate you’re competing for, what prompts your ads to show there, and specific steps ... > Read more

December 11, 2013     |   Written by: Brad McMillen   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 31

How to Survive the Google AdWords Advanced Search Exam

So you just passed the Google AdWords Fundamentals Exam with flying colors, and all you want to do is pop some champagne and break into an embarrassing celebratory dance …NOT SO FAST! You are only half way to becoming fully Google AdWords certified.If you’re reading this article you likely already know the value of becoming Google AdWords certified, but, as a quick refresher, this certification is truly valuable for those in the PPC consulting industry to help legitimize their skills when working with clients, find new PPC gigs, and gain a high level of knowledge on one of the most powerful platforms in online marketing today.

As someone who recently went through the certification process, I was a bit intimidated when searching through the wide scope of preparation material provided by ... > Read more

December 06, 2013     |   Written by: Margot daCunha   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 15

The Complete Guide to AdWords Remarketing Best Practices

Since AdWords remarketing launched back in 2010, it has gone from strength to strength with new features and functionalities, from building lists with Google Analytics to Dynamic Remarketing. These ever-improving functionalities have made it even more important for advertisers to be creating and optimizing remarketing campaigns with best practices in mind.

This post a complete list of best practices and tips to help you get the most out of your AdWords remarketing campaigns.Before you get started with remarketing…Consider these tips before you actually start creating your remarketing lists and campaigns.Manage client expectations by setting clear remarketing objectivesAs with all digital marketing projects, you must be sure of your objectives before you dive into remarketing. This will h... > Read more

December 04, 2013     |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 11

Pros & Cons of the New AdWords Opportunities Tab

Last month, Google launched a long overdue revamp of the AdWords’ Opportunities Tab. Not only did it upgrade the display to a simpler, cleaner format, but it also made major improvements to the content provided.The original Opportunities Tab helped advertisers recognize when to expand their keyword lists, raise their max CPC bids, and increase their budgets.

Now, Google has incorporated new best practices related to AdWords’ most famous brain child, Enhanced Campaigns, as well as the recent changes to the Ad Rank algorithm. Advertisers can expect to find recommendations encouraging them to:Implement ad extensionsSplit ad groups into smaller, more relevant groupingsAdjust bids based on impression share dataBefore you head over to AdWords and give it a spin, let’s review the pros and c... > Read more

December 03, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 7

The Top 10 Google AdWords Updates of 2013

The folks at Google AdWords have been busy elves over the last year – so much so that just keeping up with all of the changes is practically a full-time job. By my estimation Google has rolled out over a thousand new AdWords features and changes in the last year alone. That’s almost 20 new features or changes every week! The challenge for marketers is that we often just discover the new stuff as we make our way through our accounts; Google doesn’t even announce the vast majority of their AdWords updates.

Don’t worry – we’ve got your back! We’ve kept on top of the notable changes this year and identified the ten most impactful updates for paid search marketers. Some were great and necessary improvements and others… not so much. However, they’re all changes you should know a... > Read more

December 02, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 17

Uh-Oh, A Third of Your Display Ad Impressions Are Worthless! Here’s What to Do About It

Google Rolls Out Active View Metrics & Viewable Bidding to Counter Worthless Display Ad ImpressionsGoogle seems to be in the process of (finally) launching Active View features average CPM, viewable CTR and viewable impressions. I say “seems to be” as they have not yet made an official announcement, and no supporting material (i.

e., help documentation) is yet available.This is an important change because traditional impression-based bidding charges advertisers based on served  display ad impressions – a misleading figure, since, according to comScore, 31% of display ads are never actually seen by users. These features go some way toward correcting that shortcoming on the Display Network.Viewable CPM bidding allows advertisers to optimize their bids so ads appear in slots mor... > Read more

November 26, 2013     |   Written by: Miranda Miller   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Holiday PPC Planning: Three Advanced Strategies for AdWords

I’ll be the first to admit it—it’s hard to buckle down and focus on PPC strategy during the holidays. Unfortunately, given that this is the biggest shopping season of the year, us PPC folks have to keep our heads down and power through. In the past few days, my teammates have shared tips on holiday planning, bidding and budget preparations, and ad text adjustments.

For those of you that have mastered the basics and are ahead of the curve, let’s explore some advanced strategies you can apply to your account before you head out to enjoy the holiday cheer.Ad ExtensionsFirst things first, let’s talk Ad Extensions. Extensions have always been a great way to boost your performance and, due to a controversial update to the Ad Rank algorithm, they are now a critical component in all PPC ... > Read more

November 26, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

5 Tips for Managing AdWords Promotions, Budget & Bids for the Holidays

If your “To Do” List during the holidays looks anything like mine, it probably includes things such as: buy presents, clean and decorate the house, plan a menu, plan for all the relatives, and still manage all of my normal day-to-day duties. Do you really want to have to add “manage my holiday promotions for my PPC campaigns” to that already long, stressful list right in the middle of a holiday season? I certainly wouldn’t think so.

That’s why I am here to give you some easy ways to plan all promotions in advance as well as manage your budgets and bidding strategy for any holiday season. There are numerous steps that can be done days, weeks, even months ahead of time (OK, it’s probably a little too late for that last one) in order to alleviate any added stress, disorganization... > Read more

November 26, 2013     |   Written by: Katie Lyons   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

The Ultimate Holiday Text Ad: How to Optimize Your PPC Ads for the Holidays

As the holiday season approaches (very quickly), paid search advertisers should be well aware of the fact that their search and display campaigns are going to need some extra love to take advantage of the pure insanity of the holiday rush.The holiday season is a time when quick, impulse-driven purchases are at their peak, and it is absolutely imperative that advertisers take time to optimize their PPC campaigns to accommodate holiday shoppers and ensure that their ads are being triggered, drawing attention and driving clicks.

One of the core strategies that will support these goals is optimizing your text ads for the holiday season.This post will discuss three key factors to focus on while editing ad text, with tips on how you can model your own text ads after some of the most effective (a... > Read more

November 25, 2013     |   Written by: Jeff Stevens   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Gearing Up for the Holidays: Top 6 PPC Areas to Focus On

Happy holidays, everyone! As a follow-up to the recent webinar we hosted on 11/14, “Gearing Up For The Holidays,” we wanted to present you with the material so that you can have it all right at your fingertips. Your faithful holiday webinar presenters, Erin Sagin, Jeff Stevens, Katie Lyons, and I, will each be providing you with a blog post based on the content we shared with you.

Think of it as a mini-series!For my part, I’ll be discussing which elements of your AdWords account you should be thinking about to best prepare for the upcoming season.The beauty of the holidays is that they fall on (roughly) the same days every year, making it very easy for you to plan ahead! It’s good practice to review holiday performance from previous years, so that you can better prepare for this ye... > Read more

November 25, 2013     |   Written by: Billy McCaffrey   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Complete Guide to AdWords Geotargeting & Local PPC

Unless you have plans for world domination, your pay-per-click ads don't need to be seen by everyone on the planet. It's much more likely that the products and services you’re advertising will be limited to a handful of countries, cities, or even city blocks. This is where geotargeting comes in.Geotargeting, or local PPC, is an AdWords feature that lets you target your ads to only appear to customers in a certain location, or set of locations, that you specify.

For businesses that rely on foot traffic (like restaurants), proximity (like used car dealerships by city), and deliveries (like an e-store that ships to certain countries but not others), geotargeting is an absolute no-brainer.With geotargeting, you won’t squander your ad budget on wasted clicks from people who are outside your... > Read more

November 13, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Bell   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 13

AdWords Holiday Planning: How to Use the Automate Feature

As the holidays come barreling in, the last thing you need to worry about is pushing yourself away from turkey and stuffing to turn off your clients’ campaigns. Fortunately, there’s a quick and easy way to schedule your campaigns automatically: the AdWords automated rules feature.I used to eschew this feature, opting instead to set reminders in my calendar, but a recent client request for specific days and hours during the holidays prompted me to learn how Google’s campaign automation works.

You can use Automate for lots of things, such as turning a campaign off when your budget hits a certain amount, or to receive an email when events occur on your website. For our purposes here, though, we’re going to focus on one thing: how to pause and enable campaigns on particular days and at ... > Read more

November 11, 2013     |   Written by: Brad McMillen   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Clearing Up Negative Broad Match in AdWords

If there’s one topic in AdWords that seems to confuse all sorts of folks, it’s negative keyword match types, especially negative keywords on broad match.Since regular keywords on broad match can cast a fairly wide net, people are worried about using that match type on their negative keywords. People are scared to use broad match on their negative keywords because they’re worried about potentially filtering out traffic they’d want.

The main thing to remember is that negative keywords set to broad match behave much more like modified broad keywords. Every word that you have in the negative keyword will need to appear in the query for the negative keyword to filter it out.For example, if we used the negative keyword –nike basketball shoes, our keywords could still trigger o... > Read more

November 04, 2013     |   Written by: Phil Kowalski   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

AdWords Impression Share: Understanding and Improving Your Impression Share

Many times I have seen instances where clients pause keywords because they aren’t generating click or impression volume. While pausing is certainly one method for acting on low-performing keywords, I typically recommend pausing only as a last resort. There is plenty to consider when it comes to diagnosing why a keyword isn’t generating volume, and one often overlooked, yet informative metric is impression share.

Impression share is the number of impressions you've received divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive. Eligibility is based on your current ads' targeting settings, approval statuses, bids, and Quality Scores. You can view impression share data at the campaign, ad group and keyword levels.Types of Impression Share in AdWordsThere is more to im... > Read more

October 28, 2013     |   Written by: Billy McCaffrey   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 9

What the New AdWords Ad Rank Algorithm Really Means

The PPC world is abuzz with this week’s announcement that AdWords is introducing a new component to its Ad Rank formula. In the past, an ad’s position was dictated by a combination of two factors, the keyword’s Quality Score and its max CPC bid.Google has now thrown Ad Extensions into the mix to serve as a tie-breaker of sorts.

As Google describes it, “if two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then the ad with the more positive expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher position than the other.” This is, by far, the biggest change to Google’s ad rank algorithm since AdWords’ inception over a decade ago. So let's take a look at what it means.Why did Google adjust the ad rank algorithm?For all intents and purposes, the old ad rank formula seemed... > Read more

October 24, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 29
 
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