Category Archives for "Ad Management"

Jan 28

Mastering AdWords PPC with Campaigns That Turn Clicks INTO Customers

By Laura Kimball | Ad Management , Ad Strategy , Google AdWords Performance , Internet Marketing

Introducing a new series, ‘Mastering AdWords PPC’ that we have put together to help those struggling with the challenges of managing their Google AdWords accounts.  Get everything you need to know about creating and optimizing your campaigns leveraging the latest available features delivered in 4 weekly parts. This series is organized to get you up to speed as quickly as possible.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL GET

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WEEK 1 – Creating a solid foundation with the right campaign structure

WEEK 2 – Improving your ‘Quality Scores’ & Optimizing your Budgets

WEEK 3 – Landing Page & Ad Optimization with A/B Testing

WEEK 4 – Create a scheduled optimization plan for future growth

In this guide you will find detailed instructions on how to improve your  Google AdWords Campaigns and save money on your paid search advertising  by lowering your average cost per click.

The 30 Day Plan includes strategic topics that are prioritized to get your campaigns delivering the best ROI possible. We answer the most popular questions and show you what to look for while managing your campaigns.

Topics Include:

  • Establishing KPI’s That Make Sense – setting the right campaign goals that align with you business objectives.
  • Understanding Your Audience – how to create buyers persona’s and answer the most pertinent questions. Who are they? What do they want? How do they find their information? What is their key motivator?
  • Creating a Solid Campaign Structure with AdWords ‘Best Practices’ in mind.
  • Search VS Display Campaigns – an outline of how to create the right type of campaign for your network.
  • Using the Right Ad Types For the type of content you are promoting and the type of audience you wish to reach.
  • Making the Most of ‘AdWords’ Features with Advanced Tactics for Remarketing, Targeting, Sitelinks, and Bid Modifiers.
  • Setting Up Your Analytics with the Right Campaign Tracking
  • Recovering from a Troubled Account – a detailed look at the corrective options available for an account that has been historically underperforming. A step by step guide on how to decide if you should start over or implement changes.

We are dedicated to helping you get the most out of your advertising dollar. Get started today with the 30 day plan!

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Nov 13

How to Use Google AdWords Ad Extensions to Improve Your Ad Rank

By Laura Kimball | Ad Management , Ad Strategy , Google AdWords Performance , Internet Marketing , Paid Search Campaign Performance , PPC Advertising , Search Engine Marketing

Why should you use Ad Extensions? You have probably heard several weeks ago that Google added Ad Extensions and Formats as part of their ad rank which now makes it essential for you to implement extensions as part of your campaigns. Winning an ad placement went from Quality Score + Bid = WIN to Quality Score + Bid + Impact of Extensions = WIN.

Google AdWords Ad Ranking

So where do you start? You need to create a variety of extensions in your campaigns and Google will pick which ones to use depending on what they believe will have the most impact. Keep in mind not all positions will include an extension, typically only above search results which tend to have a higher CPC to begin with.

First here is a breakdown of Ad Extensions:

Locations: You can link a Google Places address or create an address manually.

Call: Add a phone number for your campaign or ad group. You can also select all devices, Desktop and tablets, or Mobile devices only. If you want to use call reporting you must use a Google Forwarding Number(Google Voice).

This feature is currently only available in U.S., U.K., France, and Germany.

Sitelinks: You can create up to 20 custom links by defining the link text and destination.

Example:  Home, Stores, On Sale, Support, Products, About Us

Social: Add a Google + page.

Dynamic Search: This extension uses your website content to target your ads.

Apps: Target either Google Play or Apple App Store to promote your application.

Review: Promote third party review links.

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What does Google like to see? You can create any combination of the above extensions and simply add them to a campaign or ad group. Google will decide which extension to display based on what they feel is relevant and will produce the highest click-through-rate.

Oct 29

Your Complete Google AdWords Audit

By Laura Kimball | Ad Management , Ad Strategy , Google AdWords Performance , Internet Marketing , PPC Advertising , Search Engine Marketing

Complete your Google AdWords Audit to see where you can improve your campaign performance. Anyone looking to promote a website understands that Google AdWords can be an excellent way to drive traffic and increase your sales if done the right way. It can also be a very expensive way to fail if you don’t manage your campaigns.

Google AdWords ChecklistManaging a PPC campaign can be rather exciting and very rewarding when it all goes well. It can also become very costly if it is not done properly.

Here is a great way to start by finding out if your campaigns are set up for success. Simply follow the checklist below.

General Campaign Strategy

  • Do you organize your campaigns with logical/descriptive names that are easy to follow?
  • Are you making the most of targeting settings? You should leverage devices, location and time of day.
  • Do you have remarketing specific campaigns?
  • Do you include ad extensions? This is now part of Google’s new algorithm for its ad rank calculation.
  • Do you have campaigns specifically for branded terms? If you are not bidding on your own brand odds are your competitors will.
  • Do you use negative keywords to eliminate unnecessary clicks?
  • Do you have your campaigns separated by Search and Display? These are two very different types of campaigns and should never be combined. Besides being able to control your bids effectively you must also consider the difference in your visitor. A click coming from search is already looking for what you have to offer. A visitor coming from a display network may have never heard of you before seeing your ad and therefore requires a different type of landing page/offer entirely.
  • Do your display ads include a variety of banner sizes?

Must Haves for Ad Groups

  • Do you organize your ad groups with logical/descriptive names that are easy to follow?
  • Are you taking advantage of ad group settings?
  • Do you limit your keywords to 20 or less to promote themes with ad copy?
  • Do you use negative keywords to eliminate unnecessary overlap between ad groups?

Ad Essentials

  • Do all your ads align with your keywords for relevance? Does the ad clearly promote the keyword?
  • Have you checked all of your destination URL’s for landing page relevance? Does the landing page follow the theme?
  • Do you include proper analytic tracking for your destination URL’s ?
  • Do you include at least two ads in each group for A/B testing?
  • If you are using a display ad have you included ads for all available sizes?
  • Do you monitor for ad position and CTR’s?

Keywords Mechanics

  • Do you use keyword research tools to discover competition, # of searches and costs before you implement them?
  • Are you leveraging the right match types to achieve the desired results?
  • Do you monitor your Quality Score for each keyword? QS includes Landing Page Relevance, Click Through Rates, Ad to Keyword Relevance and several other miscellaneous factors.
  • Is your landing page to keyword relevance where it should be?
  • Do you use query reports or negative keywords tools to discover possible negative keywords that should be added?

Landing Pages Fundamentals

  • Do your landing pages follow industry best practices?
  • Do you have multiple landing pages for A/B testing?
  • Does your offer and call to action do the job?
  • Does your landing page pass the blink test? If you can’t clearly identify the intent by the time you blink you should consider improving your landing page.
  • Do you have separate landing pages for each type of offer?
  • Do you have separate landing pages for each type of device?

Analyze and Understand Your Metrics

  • Do you have a regular schedule to analyze your reports?
  • Does your average cost per click align with your company goals?
  • Do you understand your conversions?
  • Do you measure clicks vs. conversions?
  • Do you look for changes in key areas such as cost per click, position, click-through-rates?
  • Do you analyze your landing page activity to look for improvements?

We understand that managing PPC campaigns can be a complicated and challenging endeavor. If you start with a good foundation you greatly increase the odds that your ads will perform well. Having a well organized campaign will also reduce the amount of time required to maintain your campaigns which will make everyone happy!

You may also download the PDF version, here.

Sep 10

Paid Search Traffic – Quantity vs. Quality

By Laura Kimball | Ad Management , PPC Advertising

Many people only focus on driving the highest volume of traffic when buying PPC paid search advertising as search engines are all about volume and most people only hone in on impressions, clicks and cost. However, remember not all traffic is worth paying for. Make sure you are paying attention to what your newly purchased traffic is doing once they get to your website. If you can’t answer the question, “What keywords are really converting?” you’re in trouble. This may take a little time to truly discover the trends but you should be able to identify keywords that cost you clicks but don’t amount to any business action.

That doesn’t mean you have to abandon those keywords all together. Perhaps a change in landing page content that provides the right information is in order. Make sure that your ad and destination URLs are relevant to the keyword you’re bidding on. Ensure that you have a plan for each stage in the buying process of your newly acquired user. If your paid click leaves your website without a take away never to come back there is simply no benefit to either party. You should never pay for traffic that doesn’t help your business.

Aug 17

Determine Effective Keywords

By Laura Kimball | Ad Management , Ad Strategy , Keyword Ideas

Selecting a keyword strategy can be a very challenging process. Creating the most effective blend of long-tail keywords versus broad terms depends greatly on your overall business objective. While generic keywords can drive large amounts of traffic, the actual users may not be as qualified as specific combination keyword terms. First, let us look at some examples, more specifically the type of user most likely to click on each type of term.

Consider the term “used cars” for a moment. A person searching for that term may be looking for a used car dealership to purchase a vehicle, a repair shop, or even insurance and may be anywhere in the buying cycle. There is very little information to reveal the intent of the search.

In comparison, a person who searches “2008 Toyota Corolla transmission repair Manhattan Beach CA” tells us that a person owning a specific vehicle is looking for a local mechanic to perform a certain type of service. If you happen to be offering that service, buying keyword terms that apply to your specialty can generate very qualified traffic.

Now we will compare the cost of each type of keyword buy. Generic keywords can come with a hefty price tag but usually have plenty of available inventory to purchase. Long-tail keywords tend to cost less but also have fewer searches associated with the term, which can create a shortage of traffic. This means that coming up with multiple sets of keywords will be required to get the necessary volume.
Once you are able to hone in on terms that work expanding the campaign with variations is a simple task. Considering the cost of specific, multi-word phrases is usually substantially less in comparison with generic terms the effort can be well worth it to both your bottom line in CPC reductions while still demonstrating a much higher conversion rate improving your ROI.

Aug 17

Establishing the Right KPI’s

By Laura Kimball | Ad Analytics , Ad Management , Ad Strategy , Keyword Ideas

People often forget the importance of aligning KPI’s with your actual business objectives. One of the biggest challenges in creating meaningful KPI’s is ensuring your metrics support the overall needs of the business. Let’s face it, you can’t measure everything. Focus on the numbers that tell the story of where you’re going. KPI’s can vary depending on many factors such as your business model, your product maturity, the sophistication of your tracking ability, the volume of actions and resources available to evaluate the data.
Many times KPI’s are established based upon readily available data, Traffic, CTR, Conversions, or Cost. While these data points are quite important they are not necessarily the only pieces you should track. Marketing has increased in complexity which requires adapting to your customers and the way you track them. Consumers received information from many points of contact influencing their buying decisions which needs to be considered in your KPI’s.

If you begin with your business objectives first and then determine the most important elements that measure the success of those goals you will ensure meaningful measurements. For example if one of your business objectives is to build brand awareness by driving consumer demand for your product or service then measuring the volume of traffic is a simple KPI. If Social has been a new part of your marketing arsenal and your business objective is to tap into brand influencers or ambassadors you may want to include a KPI for the number of Facebook “fans” or “likes” as well as the number of wall posts.

KPI’s may change over time but their actual meaning should always relate back to your primary goals as an organization.

Aug 17

Finding Your Audience

By Laura Kimball | Ad Management , Ad Strategy

Your first challenge in finding your audience it to define your typical customer, while this may sound easy at first glance there are several details that are often omitted when profiling your target audience. The most typical approach is to go for the most generic pool, while this provides a higher number of potential customers it may not be the most efficient use of your marketing budget. The more granular you are able to define a users preferences and behaviors the more opportunity you have to convert them to a sale.

Start by evaluating your existing customers, find out who you are really selling to and what makes them unique. Answer how your solution is solving their problems and use that to your benefit. Identify demographics, by answering where they are located, what is their average age, and many other details such as income levels. Then move into the details of attitude and taste preferences that often times dictate buying decisions. Fill in the details of how they usually make their purchases and where they like to buy answering questions like, do they read the newspaper or search online.  Hobbies or interests are a great place to start if it ties into your product. Think of all the details that apply to you specifically.

Once you have an accurate view of your customers it will help determine the best places to attract additional buyers as well as lending to the production of effective messaging. Make sure to incorporate your findings into your strategy and create campaigns that compliment your findings.