AdWords Tips

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

Google’s New Ad Rank Formula: Is the Change to Ad Rank Good or Bad for Small Businesses?

Yesterday, Google announced that it was releasing a major change to its Ad Rank algorithm, which determines the order of the paid search ads on each SERP as well as how much advertisers pay in the ad auction.  In a nutshell, Google is now using the presence and performance of ad extensions in determining Ad Rank.

Previously, Ad Rank had just two components: your Max CPC Bid (the most you were willing to pay per click) and your Quality Score (Google’s assessment of the quality of your keywords, ads, and landing pages). Now, the formula has three components: your Max CPC Bid, your Quality Score, and, as Google puts it, “the expected impact from your ad extensions and formats.”I was chatting with our founder, Larry Kim, about the change, and he noted that this change is bad for sma... > Read more

October 23, 2013     |   Written by: Adam Shain   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Top 5 Ways You're Leaking Money in AdWords

The typical small business wastes 25% or more of their total paid search spend. It’s obviously a big problem, but tackling wasted spend in Google AdWords can be challenging for account managers. Instead of focusing on the latest PPC fads or shiny new tools, I encourage advertisers to head back to the basics and focus on the core components of their campaigns.

Oftentimes, just by tweaking your settings or adjusting your structure, you can patch up your biggest account leakages.Here are the top five culprits that I recommend taking a second look at when assessing your wasted AdWords spend.Overuse of Broad Match TypeSetting all of your keywords to broad match can have a devastating impact on your PPC account. Remember, by setting a keyword to a broad match type, you are opening the doo... > Read more

October 23, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

Google Shared Endorsements: Who Are the Real Winners and Losers?

Shared Endorsements are the latest in a line of updates that bring user reviews and ratings into the Google results. Announced earlier this week and coming to the SERPs in November, the newly expanded shared endorsements will allow reviews and +1’s from Google+ profiles to appear in the paid search results (not just organic).

For example, if someone searches for “hot springs in Colorado” and you reviewed a hot springs resort that has an ad on the first page for that keyword, your review (along with your name and Google profile image) might show up as part of the ad. Shared endorsements look like this (the one on the far right is an example of a shared endorsement appearing in a Google ad):Shared Endorsements: The Latest in a String of Ratings-Related FeaturesAs I mentioned, this isn... > Read more

October 16, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

Want a Free AdWords Budget for 2014? Grade and Get Paid!

Are you a small business using Google AdWords to market your offerings? That’s great!The bad news is, you’re probably wasting about a fourth of your budget.We recently did a survey of 500 small business AdWords accounts, and found that the average account owner is wasting over 25% of his or her AdWords budget.

Since the typical small business spends $1200 per month on PPC, that means $300 is going in the trash every month – adding up to $3600 a year. And that’s just the average – many companies are wasting closer to half their total spend.That’s not all we found. There is plenty of room for improvement in the typical SMB AdWords account.We identified the top five areas where small business marketers need to renovate their accounts. Learn about the opportunities you’... > Read more

October 09, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

Case Study: The Anatomy of a Killer Quality Score

I’ve told you over and over that Quality Score is super important. It lowers your cost per click. It lowers your CPA. It improves your ad rankings. In short, high Quality Scores correlate really well with overall account success.OK, OK, you’re saying, I get it! But how do I actually get these high Quality Scores? Rather than spout the usual list of advice, let’s take a close look at a real account that has exceptionally high Quality Scores and see how they’re getting it done.

The account we’re going to be looking at belongs to a WordStream client, a small business in the insurance industry. Despite this being one of the most competitive verticals in AdWords, this advertiser is killing it with his AdWords campaigns. In fact, he has an average impression-weighted Quality Score of 8.... > Read more

October 01, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

Targeting Bilingual & Spanish-Speaking Audiences in AdWords: The Why & How

As digital marketers, we are always under the gun to drive more qualified searchers to our website. This can be a challenging job, especially once a PPC account is well-optimized.So what do you do when your performance starts to plateau? Look for missed opportunities. Hands down, the most common area of missed opportunity I see in US-based accounts is not advertising to the bilingual, Hispanic community.

Why You Can’t Afford to Neglect the Spanish Language MarketThe numbers speak for themselves. According to the 2010 census, there are 53 million Hispanics living in the United States, which comes to 17% of our total population. Not only that, but this group is projected to continue growing at a rapid rate. As you devise your digital marketing strategy, this is an important factor to keep i... > Read more

September 26, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 7

Bid Stacking in AdWords: How to Pay Less When Using Multiple Match Types

A little while back, my fellow CS specialist Lisa wrote a great post to guide advertisers towards picking the right match types. In her post, Lisa pointed to the benefits of testing the same keyword with different match types to help determine which match type is the right fit for an advertiser’s account.

Now let’s explore a situation where you might want to actually keep running different match types simultaneously. In the below example, we have set a sample keyword (literally titled Keyword) to Broad Match and Phrase Match. Why would you want to want to keep these two particular keywords running simultaneously?Well, let’s say after testing your keyword at different match types you have decided you really like Broad Match. There could be a whole host of reasons why you’ve decided t... > Read more

August 27, 2013     |   Written by: Zina Kayyali   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 21

The Change in Quality Score Reporting: What Really Happened?

A few weeks ago, Google announced that it was changing the way Quality Scores would be reported. Not how they are calculated, they pointed out, just how the scores are reported. This seems like clear confirmation from Google that the 1-10 Quality Score you see in AdWords is just a “front” for whatever your “real” score is.

If nothing changed about your “real” Quality Score, and this is truly just a glossy reporting change, then there should be no effect on your other metrics. BUT, there’s another way to interpret Google’s announcement. Google might be saying that they haven’t changed the factors that go into Quality Score, but they have changed how they normalize the results (which is how they can compare disparate advertisers). If that’s true, then there could be substa... > Read more

August 26, 2013     |   Written by: Andy Stefano   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 25

Quality Score Hacks: 3 Sneaky Ways to Increase Your Quality Score

Don’t you just love how we can call almost anything a “hack” these days?Most of the “hacks” I see on the Internet are just tips, but calling them hacks makes it feel like you’re getting away with something. And whatever makes work more fun, I’m all for it.So let’s talk Quality Score. We’ve harped on and on about the importance of Quality Score.

It can save you up to 50% on cost per click (CPC), and those savings at the level of the click translate into savings of up to 80% on CPA, or cost per conversion. In other words, optimizing for Quality Score is basically a way to optimize for costs.So how do you actually increase your Quality Scores? Google’s exact formula for calculating Quality Score is famously mysterious, like the recipe for Coke. But we do know that click-th... > Read more

August 20, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 37

Google Conversion Tracking: Complete Guide to Conversion Tracking in AdWords

So you've got your AdWords campaign up and running, and your ads and keywords are starting to generate an impressive number of clicks. Great! But unless you've got conversion tracking installed, you won't be able to see how many of those clicks are actually resulting in sales.Conversion tracking is a powerful tool in AdWords that lets you identify how well your ad campaign is generating leads, sales, downloads, email sign-ups, and other key actions for your business.

The data recorded by conversion tracking allows you to identify which areas of your campaign are working and not working, so you can optimize your bids, ad text, and keywords accordingly.Depending on your business, a conversion could be counted when a customer makes a purchase through your website, signs up for a newsletter, f... > Read more

August 13, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Bell   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 22

How to Set Up an AdWords Account

 Think you’re ready to take the plunge and start a Google AdWords account? If the next three statements describe you, than you have my blessing!You have a website that is relevant, easy to navigate, and fairly well built out.Your AdWords account will help you to bring qualified searchers to your landing pages.

Once they’ve made it to your site, it’s your job to convince them to convert. To achieve this, you must create landing pages that will compel visitors to take action. If your landing pages are cluttered, lack relevant information or do not facilitate a conversion, you’re throwing money into a black hole and your paid search efforts will be in vain. If you know that your landing pages need a little TLC, check out these tips. (Bonus points if you have mobile optimized land... > Read more

August 07, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

Linking AdWords to Analytics: A Guide to Using Google AdWords & Analytics Together

Starting your own AdWords account is like having your first child. It’s pretty darn exciting, but scary at the same time. (“Will it bring joy to my life? Or drain all the money in my bank account?”)After creating an AdWords account, you’ll be sleepless for two reasons:1)  You’re brain starts getting super creative right around bed time, and you spend the next 4 hours emailing yourself ideas on what to test out in the morning.

2)  Every 20 clicks without a conversion is like your child screaming at night. You get no sleep because you really have no idea what you’re doing.And when your child grows up, you hope they’re either very creative and can do whatever makes them happy, or they’ll be so sharp and analytical that they can get into any school they want.Pay-per-cl... > Read more

August 06, 2013     |   Written by: Johnathan Dane   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 20

Enhanced Campaigns: What Geographical Targeting With Bid Modifiers Can Do For You

Now that July 22 has come and gone, let’s take a moment to look at one of the more promising new Enhanced Campaign features: geographical (location) targeting with bid modifiers.You’re probably thinking, “But we’ve always been able to target a specific location or state, even before Enhanced Campaigns.

” And you are right, location-based targeting did exist before Enhanced Campaigns. But now there is a new function called Bid Modifiers to better enable geographic-based targeting. Before Enhanced Campaigns, if you wanted to target a specific state/city/zip code/region, you would have to create an entirely new campaign unique to that targeted area. This often turned into a lengthy and time-consuming task, especially if more than one location needed to be targeted. Now, with Bid Modi... > Read more

August 05, 2013     |   Written by: Chris Panetta   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

Complete Guide to Enhanced Sitelinks

As advertisers in the pay-per-click industry, we’ve recently been exposed to a lot of new changes. Everyone is aware by now that Google began transitioning all accounts over to Enhanced Campaigns last week, whether you wanted to or not. Despite the overall mixed feelings on Enhanced Campaigns so far, there are a few features we can all be excited about.

One of the features that excited me the most was the changes to Ad Extensions, specifically Sitelinks. This post looks to explore some of the recent changes to Sitelinks, and how you can better understand your sitelinks’ performance.I performed a couple of case studies to identify if the sitelinks themselves were responsible for improving performance, or if simply taking up more SERP space is all that matters.Topics covered:Recap of chan... > Read more

July 31, 2013     |   Written by: Jason Gannon   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 10

AdWords Review Extensions: Add Positive Reviews & Testimonials to Your AdWords Ads

If you’ve had an eye on the AdWords Blog lately, you may have noticed that Google is on a roll when it comes to new features, particularly in the form of ad extensions—for example, see the new image extensions and enhanced, extra-large Google sitelinks.In the past, these “bells and whistles” were often utilized by only the savviest PPC experts.

Nowadays, ad extensions are a fundamental aspect of paid search accounts. If you’re not using them, hop on the bandwagon before you’re left in its dust. Not only do ad extensions require minimal setup time, they are also displayed at no additional cost—a win-win for most advertisers.Google’s latest brainchild is Review Extensions. As you can see in the example below, these extensions give you the opportunity to share positive reviews... > Read more

July 24, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 6

Enhanced Campaigns D-Day Is Less Than a Week Away – Are You Prepared?

Many advertisers we work with at WordStream have already upgraded to Enhanced Campaigns. I’ve been bullish on the changes since they were announced in February – though Enhanced Campaigns do come with some loss of control, I believe the benefits greatly outweigh the costs for most advertisers. Namely, those benefits include:Easier management of mobile campaigns and better measurement of mobile ROIMore powerful bidding tools for local ads and display banner adsFewer campaigns to manage overall – a big timesaverIf you’ve been happily chugging along with your legacy campaigns, I’ve got bad news for you.

On July 22, this coming Monday, upgrading to Enhanced Campaigns will no longer be an option. Basically, in about five days it’s sink or swim. Any campaigns that you have not alread... > Read more

July 17, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

How to Reduce Your Cost Per Conversion by 16-80% (Sorry, Haters, Quality Score Still Matters)

Quality Score: Is it the be-all-end-all of AdWords metrics, or no big deal? You’ll get a different answer depending on who you ask. Proponents believe Quality Score is a good measure of the health of your account – high scores tend to correlate with lower costs and better results across the board.

Detractors will say QS is a distraction and all that really matters is your cost per conversion, because that’s how you determine your ROI.So who’s right? What should you focus on in your PPC reporting?What Is Quality Score?As a quick refresher, Quality Score is a metric Google uses to determine where advertisers rank on the SERP and how much they pay. Although AdWords functions as a kind of auction, if the system was purely determined by bids, spammy companies with lousy, irrelevant ads ... > Read more

July 16, 2013     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 24

The Small Business Strategy Guide to Google AdWords

Promoting products and services while trying to compete with mega-giants like Amazon and Walmart is often a daunting task for small business owners. The good news is that Google AdWords has created a way for advertisers to do just that. Bigger brands may have an advantage when it comes to PPC, but they don’t hold all the cards.

Even with a small budget, you can get impressions and clicks on Google with a smart account  structure and the right targeting options.Having consulted hundreds of small and medium-sized business (SMBs) owners and marketing managers, my eyes have been opened to the struggles they face every day.The ProblemLet me take a second to set the stage. Anyone who tells you that AdWords is easy or that they can guarantee you numbers is lying to you. AdWords is complica... > Read more

July 15, 2013     |   Written by: Ben Cohen   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 20

Enhanced Campaigns FAQ: Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions on Enhanced Campaigns

As the deadline to migrate to Enhanced Campaigns looms ahead (it's in 12 days!), advertisers are becoming increasingly anxious about how these new features will impact their paid search accounts. Here are the answers to some of my clients’ top five most frequently asked questions about Enhanced Campaigns:Q: How do I determine my bid modifier for mobile?A: If you’ve advertised on mobile devices in the past, take some time to segment your performance by device and assess your mobile success.

Consider how you are performing at your current CPCs and set your bid modifiers accordingly. If you are new to the mobile space, Google recommends using this formula to calculate an appropriate bid adjustment: 100% x ((value per mobile click/value per desktop click) – 1)). Regardless of which metho... > Read more

July 10, 2013     |   Written by: Erin Sagin   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

Local Mobile Marketing Case Study: Colombo Hurd Slashes CPA with Mobile Marketing

Note: A version of this mobile marketing case study appears on the AdWords blog (PDF version).The rundown WordStream client Colombo Hurd upgraded its largest AdWords campaign to Enhanced Campaigns in April. Because mobile traffic has tended to be more valuable to the law firm, they decided to ramp up their local mobile marketing investment and increased mobile bids by +25%.

As of early May, Colombo Hurd had increased customer conversion rate on mobile ads by a factor of three and reduced the cost of a new customer acquisition by 149% with the new mobile marketing campaign.The Goals Increase conversionsGenerate phone calls to schedule in-person consultationsImprove sophistication of mobile-targeted advertisingThe Approach Upgraded largest campaign to EC and monitored resultsAdjusted CPC bid... > Read more

July 03, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

AdWords Account Audit Checklist

Here at WordStream, I am not only a Customer Success Specialist, but I am also a Premier Consultant. As a Premier Consultant I meet with clients every two to four weeks to discuss the state of their account and what they should be doing to improve it. On these calls we can really dig into what our advertisers need to be doing to improve their account, whether that’s setting up brand new remarketing campaigns, digging into how to improve quality score, or helping to analyze advanced metrics in Google Analytics.

Part of my usual process when I get a brand new Premier Consulting client is to first run through a checklist of items to determine what shape the account is in and what areas we can target to work on first together. I focus on the basic structural aspects in an account first, and t... > Read more

July 02, 2013     |   Written by: Phil Kowalski   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 13

8 Simple Things You Might Be Overlooking In Your AdWords Account [New Guide]

Our latest white paper is now available for download. Below is an excerpt from the guide. Click here to download the full text of this new, free guide (PDF).8 Simple Things You Might Be Overlooking In Your AdWords AccountAdWords makes it incredibly easy to set up and run a pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaign, but some advertisers assume that after they've written an ad, typed in some keywords, set the budget, and switched on the campaign, there's nothing more to do except sit back and watch the clicks and conversions roll in.

In reality, any account – large or small – can benefit from a few quick, simple tweaks designed to optimize the advertiser's reach, click-through rate, and return on investment (ROI). These updates don't cost anything extra, and they're simple enough that even someone ... > Read more

June 25, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

AdWords Performance Grader Now Even More Secure & Easier to Use with OAuth2

We’ve teamed up with Google to make our award-winning AdWords Performance Grader even easier to use and the login process more secure than ever.The new authentication process, based on OAuth2, enables you to run the free AdWords Performance Grader by signing in with your Google profile – just be sure you use the profile associated with an active Google AdWords account.

(The process is similar to using your Facebook account to comment on a blog.) WordStream will then do a one-time read of the data in your AdWords account, while Google controls a secure interaction. The new process is fast, easy and helps ensure the highest level of privacy and security.Watch this video to see how it works!To try out the new Grader for yourself, go to www.wordstream.com/google-adwords and follow these st... > Read more

June 24, 2013     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5
 
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