AdWords Tips

Google AdWords Topic Targeting: What Is AdWords Topic Targeting & When Should You Use It?

Last week we pointed out that Google Display Ads have been the subject of a lot of Google marketing and advertising attention recently, and of course there is a lot of opportunity on the content network in many verticals.So when Google rolls out a new display network control like topic targeting as they did in March, it’s worth taking some time to better understand how the feature works and when it makes sense to utilize it.

What is AdWords Topic Targeting?Google describes topic targeting by explaining that:Using topics to contextually target your ads offers broad targeting and reach and is a good way to connect with a large audience quickly and easily to generate awareness or drive sales. When using topic targeting, our system looks at all the terms on a page to determine the t... > Read more

August 22, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Google AdWords Display Ads – Google’s Paying Close Attention to Display, Does that Mean You Should Too?

 You can learn a lot about marketing from Google, and if you’re in search marketing paying close attention to what Google says and what types of things they place emphasis on are vital to your lively-hood. This is why Matt Cuttsgets 350 comments on a post announcing a change in the algorithm that affects around 2% of queries, and it’s why search marketers have a much keener interest in Google Plus and its integration in SERPs, Webmaster Tools, et al than your average social network.

So when Google starts to push something and you’re a pay-per click practitioner you pay attention. Recently I’ve been aggressively retargeted by Google’s “Watch This Space” campaign:I’ve also seen it on LinkedIn where I’m sure from a job title, skills, groups, and probably even demographic... > Read more

August 18, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Learn Google AdWords – Learning AdWords Best Practices from Great Sources

When I outlined four definitive sources for learning about Quality Score recently on the blog I made the point that:When talking to people who are new to SEO and PPC, one thing I often caution them about is not to get bogged down by information overload. There is a remarkable amount of content to consume pertaining to search marketing, but much of it is:Good but redundantUnique but not really applicable for many peopleHigh-quality, but too advanced for beginnersMisinformationAs a result I really like to introduce people to a very short list of two to four authoritative resources on a subject so that they can get a few different perspectives and a complete picture on the topic, avoid information overload, and ensure that they’re reading quality information.

And the same is true of learning... > Read more

August 15, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Google AdWords Express Review: Is Google Express (AWExpress) Right for Your Small Business?

Table of Contents:ProsConsSmall Business ReviewI’ve been somewhat wary of new AdWords features in the past here on the blog, and have warned that sometimes what Google labels as a panacea answer to a longstanding pain point is either more of an opportunity for Google than for you or not as complete of an answer as it seems at first blush.

It probably shouldn’t be any surprise that – like most people who make their living optimizing paid search accounts, among other things – I have a healthy amount of skepticism when Google offers to just make everything super easy! So we thought we’d do a deep dive into the product formerly known as Boost: Google AdWords Express.What is Google AdWords Express?Google Express is the next step in a natural progression by Google to try to simplify Ad... > Read more

August 11, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 27

Announcing the AdWords Performance Grader: Find Out How You’re Doing on AdWords and How to Improve for Free

Today we're announcing the release of our new AdWords Performance Grader, a free tool that grades your AdWords account performance by analyzing several key performance indicators (including Quality Score, Account Activity, Click-Through Rate, and Impression Share) and comparing your results against those of other AdWords advertisers with similar monthly budgets.

It's like a free, instant PPC audit.The AdWords Performance Grader:Shows you how well your campaigns are really doingGives you a sense of how you fit into the competitive landscapeProvides tips for improving your score and your resultsThe best way to learn about the AdWords Performance Grader is to grade your AdWords account for free, but if you don't have an AdWords account, take a look at the sample AdWords report below (click on... > Read more

August 08, 2011     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Quality Score 101: Learn About Google AdWords Quality Score from Four Definitive Sources

When talking to people who are new to SEO and PPC, one thing I often caution them about is not to get bogged down by information overload. There is a remarkable amount of content to consume pertaining to search marketing, but much of it is:Good but redundantUnique but not really applicable for many peopleHigh-quality, but too advanced for beginnersMisinformationAs a result I really like to introduce people to a very short list of two to four authoritative resources on a subject so that they can get a few different perspectives and a complete picture on the topic, avoid information overload, and ensure that they’re reading quality information.

This week our friends at PPC Hero re-released their Ultimate Guide to Quality Score, which is an outstanding resource on the topic, so I thought it ... > Read more

July 28, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Time to Reorganize Your AdWords Campaigns? Don't Forget Your Roadmap

Are your PPC campaigns delivering the results you want? Are you struggling with any of the below problems?:Click volume too lowCost per click too highCost per conversion too highLow Quality ScoresLow click-through ratesLow ROIIf you said yes, it might be time to reorganize your AdWords account.The below roadmap will guide you through the process of revamping a campaign to improve performance and lower costs.

Click the image to enlarge the roadmap. You'll find links to helpful resources at each road sign, so if you need more help in a given area of PPC, click on the green sign for more tips and information.If you're looking to get a free assessment of your AdWords account, try our AdWords Performance Grader. It grades your AdWords accounts on key criteria, showing you where and how to make ... > Read more

July 27, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Google Analytics & AdWords Tracking Issues: Multiple AdWords Accounts for One Google Analytics Account

Google does a lot of things really well, and there is a ton of utility to be had in many of their free programs, but their account permissions and cross-product integration for things like Google AdWords, Webmaster Tools, and Google Analytics can be maddening sometimes.One common issue AdWords advertisers struggle with is linking multiple AdWords accounts to a single Google Analytics account.

In this post we’ll walk through some possible solutions here. (If you're looking to link an Adwords account to Google Analytics, we have that covered too.)Why Would I Want to Have Multiple AdWords Accounts and a Single Analytics Account?Before we address how to link multiple AdWords accounts to a single Google Analytics account, let’s walk through a few different reasons you might want to create s... > Read more

July 21, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

What to Do When Your AdWords CPCs Are Too High

An issue that is becoming more common as PPC gets increasingly competitive is escalating costs per click (CPCs) in niches that had previously been relatively uncompetitive. The problem here is that PPC campaigns that had once been profitable or that may have been viable become untenable for advertisers.

If a conversion becomes profitable for you at $75 and you’re paying $15 a click, it’s very difficult to run a profitable campaign.In this post, we’ll look at five things you can do to try to push down those AdWords costs per click.1. Focus on Improving Quality ScoresWe usually like to start here, as a focus on Quality Score affords you an opportunity to compete in the auctions you want to be in for a reduced rate without shifting your keyword or network targeting. Many times if you’... > Read more

July 18, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

AdWords Top vs. Side Ad Performance: How to Use the Latest AdWords Report Segment

The Inside AdWords blog announced yesterday that there will be a new report segment available in AdWords accounts: top versus side. Basically the idea here is that you can see how your ads perform when they’re placed above search results versus when they’re placed below search results – the focus here being on physical position on the page rather than the numeric order in which the ads appear.

The report looks like this:As with any new AdWords feature, the key question to ask as you’re shown more data by the folks at Google is: What can I actually do with this information? In this case the top versus side segment data can be useful in a few different ways.What to Do with AdWords Top Versus Side DataLooking at the new top vs. side reports, I see three interesting potential applicati... > Read more

July 14, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Google AdWords Editor 101: AdWords Editor Tutorials, Tips & Resources

If you’re managing pay-per-click campaigns, the Google AdWords Editor is a really handy (but fundamentally limited) free tool provided by Google to help you with certain PPC tasks. It’s a free, desktop-based application, currently in the 10th version of the tool (check out the changelog here and get the application itself here).

To help you get the most out of Google's AdWord Editor, it’s important to understand what the tool is and what it isn’t.AdWords Editor is a free resource provided by Google that can help you with several bulk editing tasks within your AdWords campaigns, such as:Raising or lowering bids on a number of different keywordsCopying large sections of your campaigns and then tweaking certain areas (moving a list of keywords, a set of ad text, etc.)Changing keyword m... > Read more

July 11, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Google AdWords Remarketing Strategy: Three AdWords Remarketing Tips

Google AdWords remarketing (and really remarketing in general) is a hot trend in the world of pay-per-click marketing. Remarketing is basically a way of getting your message in front of people who have visited your site in the recent past – you’ve no doubt seen a site you recently visited “following you around” via advertisements.

And if you’re a paid search manager, you’ve likely set up a slew of remarketing campaigns in the last few months, many times at the specific request of the client, but there are still PPC advertisers who are either just getting their remarketing campaigns started or are still considering how much value there would be in a remarketing campaign.In this post we’ll cover three important things to consider as you get your first remarketing campaigns up an... > Read more

July 07, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

AdWords Display Network Banners: 5 Tips for Using Crowdsourced Ad Banner Design

In a few recent posts on how to get more volume on the content network and on getting more leads from PPC, we talked about leveraging the content network to expand AdWords campaigns and attract more prospects via PPC.Most advertisers know how to get started with Google’s search network, and even with creating specific content network campaigns, but an area that often trips up advertisers – particularly new advertisers or those who are looking to expand beyond their initial structures – is building out “display” campaigns using Google AdWords, or creating banner ads for display on the content network.

Many times the stumbling block here is more around designing the creative (banner ads) than around the mechanics of creating a structure for your content network campaigns.For that r... > Read more

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

AdWords Quality Score FAQ Continued: 5 More Questions About Quality Score

We received the following questions during our recent webinar, "Improving Quality Score." For more help with understanding and improving AdWords Quality Score, check out these resources:Quality Score Toolkit (this free kit includes a Quality Score worksheet, cheat sheet, white paper, and video)Quality Score FAQImproving Quality Score (webinar recording)Ultimate Guide to Quality Score (15 experts on Quality Score)Do site links improve CTR and Quality Score? According to data from Bigmouth Media, "ads that run with Ad Sitelinks typically result in an average click through rate increase of 30%.

" RKG reported similar results: "To take seasonal shifts out of the picture, I looked at the brand performance since the links were launched, and compared this data to the same time period last year. We... > Read more

June 01, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Re-Creating AdWords Campaign Performance Charts in Excel, Part 5: Dynamic Controls

This is the final post in my series on Re-Creating the AdWords Dashboard in Excel. For the rest of the series, see below:Re-Creating AdWords Campaign Performance Charts in Excel, Part 1: The DataRe-Creating AdWords Campaign Performance Charts in Excel, Part 2: The TransformationRe-Creating AdWords Campaign Performance Charts in Excel, Part 3: Making the ScorecardRe-Creating AdWords Campaign Performance Charts in Excel, Part 4: Making the ChartsIn part four of this series, you learned how to build the charts for the AdWords dashboard.

In this article, I will show you how to make the dashboard dynamic by teaching you how to:Add a dynamic campaign filter.Add a dynamic date-range picker using a Data Validation list.Building the Campaign FilterAs you may recall we are using the DTP framework as... > Read more

May 19, 2011     |   Written by: Chad Summerhill   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

Re-Creating AdWords Campaign Performance Charts in Excel, Part 4: Making the Charts

In part three of this series, you learned how to build our dashboard’s scorecard. In this article, I will show you:How to build the charts.How to copy and reuse your charts to save time when building multiple charts.Building the Charts The AdWords Campaign Performance report only has two charts and they allow you to choose from many different available metrics for comparison.

Our dashboard isn’t really limited by space, so we will be creating a chart for each of our KPI’s.ImpressionsClicksCostConversionsCTRCRCPACPCThe best way to do this is to create and format one chart for one KPI, and then we will copy the chart several times for each of the other KPI’s. This technique will save you lots of time, because you will only have to format your chart once.Follow these steps:1. Ins... > Read more

May 11, 2011     |   Written by: Chad Summerhill   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Re-Creating AdWords Campaign Performance Charts in Excel, Part 3: Making the Scorecard

In part two of this series, you learned how to transform the data we will be using to create our dashboard. In this article, I will show you:How to build the scorecard.How to use conditional formatting.How to use the camera tool.Presentation (the “P” in “DTP”)Again, we are using the DTP framework created by the smart folks at Juice Analytics.

The presentation layer for our exercise consists of all the pieces of our dashboard:Dynamic charts and scorecardsDynamic controls for date ranges and campaign filteringBuilding dynamic dashboards in Excel can be a challenge, but if you’ve already completed the steps from the first two posts in this series you’ve done the hard part. Now we are ready for the fun stuff.The Dashboard TabFirst, we need to create a new worksheet and rename it ... > Read more

May 03, 2011     |   Written by: Chad Summerhill   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Re-Creating AdWords Campaign Performance Charts in Excel, Part 2: The Transformation

In Part 1 of this series, you learned how to prepare the data we will be using to create our dashboard. In this article, I will show you:How to set up an Excel pivot table.How to use calculated metrics in a pivot table.How to use Named Ranges in Excel.How to use the OFFSET formula in Excel.Transformation (The “T” in “DTP”)We are going to use an Excel pivot table for our "transformation" layer in our DTP framework (worksheet).

You should already have your data prepared in the "current" worksheet, so you will need to:1. If you haven’t already, format your data as a table in Excel by highlighting your entire data set in the "current" worksheet and click on "Format as Table" from the "Home" menu.2. Now select any cell within your table and navigate to the "Insert" menu and insert a "... > Read more

April 26, 2011     |   Written by: Chad Summerhill   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Re-Creating AdWords Campaign Performance Charts in Excel, Part 1: The Data

Interesting things you will learn in this how-to:How to prepare data for year-over-year analysis in ExcelHow to use the Excel INDEX-MATCH formulaHow to use the Excel ISNA formulaA few weeks ago I showed you how to compare date ranges in AdWords, and then a few days later I came across an article on Search Engine Journal about using the new AdWords dashboard located on the "Home" tab.

 In the article the author mentioned how, in the new version of the Home tab, you couldn’t do date range comparison like in the previous version. See the image below:So, I thought it might be interesting to try and recreate this chart and summary in Excel. The finished dashboard will look something like this:For this exercise I will be using a variation of the Juice Analytics DTP Framework.Data (the... > Read more

April 18, 2011     |   Written by: Chad Summerhill   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

AdWords Position Preference Bidding Is Retired: What You Need to Know About AdWords Average Position

Google recently announced that they are retiring position preference bidding. Some smart PPC managers had been talking about how position bidding wastes money for some time, and Google's own chief economist had taken great pains to lay out the argument against bidding to position in your attempts to improve your actual sales and costs per sale.

 If you're hearing this news now for the first time you might be wondering why people ever used bidding to position as a means of managing bids, what you should know about AdWords average position metric, and of course: whether or not there may be some instances where this data is still useful in your campaign.Why Bid to Position?Obviously with Google sharing some of its own data and Google and top PPC minds decrying the value of the metric... > Read more

April 14, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

AdWords Marries Opportunities Tab to Campaign Experiments: What Does it Mean for You?

We've written here about some of the things to be aware of with regard to the AdWords opportunities tab, and we've talked in depth about AdWords Campaign Experiments. AdWords recently announced a new feature that enables advertisers to run campaign experiments against AdWords opportunities. This is a really interesting feature combo -- both from a pure functionality standpoint and in thinking about where AdWords is heading, so let's unpack it.

What Exactly Does Opportunities & Experiments Combining Mean?So how does this play out, exactly? Basically all Google's done (from the end-user perspective anyway) is make the campaign experiments functionality visible and available as you're browsing the opportunities Google is presenting you with:(Funny aside: this is the screenshot from the Goo... > Read more

April 07, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

Comparing Year-Over-Year Search Query Trends

In the past I’ve written extensively about search query mining for negative keywords and new keyword opportunities, and while search query mining is arguably the best use of the search query report, there are other insights worth exploring. Have you ever wondered what search queries were driving your business last year and if they are still contributing this year? Are there new search queries emerging in your market? To answer these questions, you will have to do a year-over-year search query analysis.

 While the AdWords interface does allow for date range comparisons down to the keyword level, it loses this functionality at the search term level. We are left with analyzing date range comparisons for search queries in Excel.Getting the right dataThe goal of this analysis is to c... > Read more

April 06, 2011     |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 5

Reporting on Multiple 1-Per-Click Conversion Types (Conversion Action Names) in AdWords at the Campaign & Ad Group Level

If you're a PPC software company, one of the best opportunities to add value on top of the AdWords interface is by thinking more about advertiser pain points than Google is able to. Google frequently has to balance features that help their advertisers generate more revenue against features that help Google generate more revenue, and frequently since Google isn't an advertiser, even when they build something that seemingly has optimizing for conversions in mind, they don't always get it quite right for the advertiser.

Just as it's important to realize which new AdWords features aren't necessarily worth implementing, it's equally important to identify gaps in AdWords' feature set and reporting so you can find ways to fill it. Today we'll talk about one of these gaps: reporting on multiple 1-p... > Read more

April 04, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

New White Paper: Complete Guide to AdWords Matching Options

Do you know the difference between broad match and modified broad match? Are you confident in your ability to use negative keywords to save money without losing valuable traffic? To maximize the profitability of your pay-per-click campaigns, you need to know how and when to use each of the keyword match types offered by Google AdWords.

 Our newest white paper, the Complete Guide to AdWords Matching Options, can help you navigate the options. After reading this white paper, you'll have a clear understanding of: The differences between the keyword match types offered in AdWords How, when and why to use each match type to get the best results Using the new modified broad match option for more refined targeting How negative keywords can save you money and raise CTR Best practice... > Read more

March 31, 2011     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Quick Tips for Managing Multiple AdWords Accounts

If you work at a PPC agency – or simply manage PPC at a large or multi-faceted company – you may find yourself managing multiple AdWords accounts. The added complexities can make your job tricky, and your results may suffer in the process. Below are a few tips to make the management of several client accounts smoother and more efficient.

1. Log Into Each AdWords Account at Least Once a Day PPC can sometimes be unpredictable, and it’s important to make sure that the house isn’t burning down. When managing several Google AdWords accounts, a My Client Center (MCC) account can provide a useful dashboard for getting a quick daily overview of all of them simultaneously. On the MCC dashboard, there is a top-level view of key performance indicators including stats for impre... > Read more

March 23, 2011     |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

How to Compare Date Ranges in AdWords (& How AdWords Could Make Them Better)

Early this month I came across a blog post over at Vertical Leap about improving AdWords for the advertisers. There were lots of good suggestions in the post, and as you may know I like to make suggestions for AdWords myself. You never know when one of your suggestions will become a reality. I think it’s important to challenge AdWords and help them see things from the advertiser’s perspective.

One of the suggestions from the Vertical Leap post was to allow for the comparisons of date ranges. I thought this was a little odd since this feature is available today in the AdWords interface (very similar to the Google Analytics date range comparison).It’s very easy to overlook new features at the rate AdWords has been pumping them out lately, and I don’t remember AdWords even announcing d... > Read more

March 16, 2011     |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 0

Is the New AdWords Automated Rules Feature for Bidding?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve come across more than one comment or statement about how powerful the AdWords Automated Rules are for bidding and how this could really put pressure on the third-party software companies, be the death of bid management software, etc. I don’t agree. Over at Ad Innovations, Google gives us the example of using Automated Rules for raising your bid (by 20%) based on a keyword’s position (worse than 4).

They also say, “Modify your Max CPC bids based on CTR or conversion rates,” but offer no real direction for how to do this. Brad Libby talked about shooting your eye out with automated rules, which doesn’t sound too profitable. What I haven’t come across is any examples of how to bid intelligently with this new feature. Where are the rules for the Aut... > Read more

March 09, 2011     |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1

Quick Guide to AdWords Automated Rules

If you manage an AdWords account, you know it’s not an 8 to 5 job. You can probably relate to the experience of checking campaign spend every five minutes to make sure you pause a campaign at just the right moment so you don’t exceed your budget. Well, Google has taken another step to solve all of life’s problems with the release of AdWords automated rules.

Automated rules have been out in limited release since December, but the feature is now available on all accounts. This new tool allows you to schedule automatic changes to your accounts. I’m going to go through the basics of using automated rules, so get ready because you are about to have a lot more free time on your hands. What You Can Automate There are currently three types of changes you can automate: Stat... > Read more

March 07, 2011     |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 3

Newly Released Google AdWords Optimize for Conversions Ad Setting Now LIVE: What Does it Mean for Your AdWords Campaigns?

I'm always a little skeptical about new AdWords features as you never know who is being presented with a great opportunity when Google rolls out a new feature. But every so often Google rolls something out that seems to be a direct answer to advertiser demand, like: Modified Broad Match AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE) AdWords Automated Rules AdWords Call Metrics You get the idea: not everything Google does seems to be aimed at maximizing clicks and revenues.

Today we see (what appears on the surface to be) just such a feature. Google is rolling out a new "optimize for conversions" setting for your Google ads. From the AdWords blog: Show ads that are most likely to receive conversions more often Today we're announcing the launch of a new ad rotation setting in AdWords that allows ... > Read more

February 24, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 9

Three Underused & Hard-to-Find AdWords Features - Impression Share Metrics, Display Ad Builder, Ad Extentions

Another day, another new AdWords feature: today Google introduced Automated Rules. We’ve talked about how to evaluate new AdWords features and whether they’re good for you and your campaign, and the fact that AdWords is cranking out new features at a rapid pace is no secret. Amidst all the noise of new AdWords features it’s important not to get too caught up in trying every single new feature, particularly as there are older features that many advertisers aren’t getting the most out of.

In this post we’ll walk through three such features and how to leverage them in your campaigns. Impression Share Metrics Impression share metrics aren’t a secret to may veteran PPC managers, but they’re an underutilized asset to paid search advertisers. One rea... > Read more

February 17, 2011     |   Written by: Tom Demers   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 1
 
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