April 20, 2014

PPC Posts of the Week

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  1. Inside AdWords – Next Tuesday is your chance to step inside AdWords – Don’t miss the Inside AdWords global livestream next Tuesday, April 22nd at 9am PT and 12pm ET. Google will announce 10+ new AdWords products, features, and research studies.
  2. Certified Knowledge Blog – Advanced Google AdWords 3rd Edition is About to Ship – The 3rd edition of Advanced Google AdWords will be between 625 and 650 pages. 40% of the content will be brand new compared to previous editions.
  3. Beyond the Paid – PPC In A Not-Provided World – Google becomes less transparent, and Bing takes advantage. Privacy concerns aside, what does “not provided” mean for you?
  4. Avalaunch Media Blog – AdWords (Not Provided) Resource – A compilation of posts on the (not provided) issue put together by Luke Alley. Get the full range of perspectives here.
  5. Bing Ads Blog – Bing Ads Is Off To a Great Start in 2014 – Yahoo Bing Network clicks increased by 30% compared to last year. Bing is developing cross-channel features.
  6. PPCHero – Crush Your Geo Bid Adjustments in Just 3 Clicks. – PPCHero rolls out its new Geo Bid Adjuster tool. With it you can grow conversions, increase CTR, and optimize bids for each targeted location, all much quicker than in the interface.
  7. The WordStream Blog – Do AdWords Shopping Campaigns Work? Yes, they do. See metrics and set bids at the individual product level with Shopping campaigns. All PLA campaign-ers must make the transition to Shopping campaigns in August.
  8. Acquisio Blog – Changes Afoot for Google’s Video Advertising – Placements will now apply to either the YouTube Videos Network or Google Display Network. Content and search keywords will be combined.

PPC Posts of the Week

This week in paid search:ppc-icon-300

  1. Beyond the Paid – Preparing For The Adwords Certification Exams – The Adwords certification exams have changed – they are now open book, for example. Experienced PPC managers may pass without studying at all.
  2. Bing Ads Blog – Bing Ads Reporting Series: Understanding the Product Ad Reports – New product ad reports work just like keyword and ad performance reports. Segment by product target or product offer ID.
  3. Inside AdWords – Upgrade to Search Network With Display Select for Better Performance – Search Network with Display Select has yielded a 35% higher CTR on average, and a 35% lower cost-per-customer purchase on the display portion of Search Network with Display Select campaigns.
  4. PPC Hero – Which Facebook Objective Is Best For Me? – Facebook asks you for an objective before you even create an ad. Facebook automatically optimizes your ad for the people who are most likely to fulfill that objective.
  5. The WordStream Blog – AdWords Dynamic Parameters: A Sneaky Way to Double Your CTR – Use dynamic parameters to update ad copy quickly. Click-through rates have doubled with the use of dynamic parameters.
  6. aimClear Blog – Bing (Ads) it On! aimClear Interviews Evangelist John Gagnon at #CZLNY – Video interview with John Gagnon by aimClear at ClickZ Live New York. For certain search terms such as “travel”, 80% of the audience can’t be reached through Google.
  7. Clix Blog – Call for Freelance Help! Looking for freelance PPC work of any variety imaginable? Look no further. Email your resume to hr@clixmarketing.com by April 15th.
  8. Certified Knowledge Blog – The Complete AdWords Audit Part 8: Keywords and Match Types – Broad match keywords are generally not restrictive enough to do you any good, but are great keyword research tools. Convert all broad match keywords in an account quickly to modified broad match using “Append text to selected items” in the AdWords editor.

That’s all, folks. See you next week!

Google testing new PLA position?

While doing some competitor research for one of our clients, I noticed that the product listing ads that usually appear on the right side of the SERP for the query [muscle rollers] had moved:

PLAs moved

Normally these ads would appear on the right side above ad position 4. I wondered if this was a random test or if it was triggered by something I did. Eventually I discovered that typing [muscle roller] singular put the PLAs back on the right side above position 4. Now I thought perhaps it was the plural variant that triggered this new PLA position. Maybe data supports the fact that people typing in plural forms of products are more likely to compare shop or otherwise respond desirably to PLAs.

What’s even weirder though, is that a few days later the PLAs started appearing above ad position 1 in the center for both [muscle roller] and [muscle rollers].

I started typing in random queries hoping to find another instance of this. [potato peelers] landed me in the same quandry:

Potato PeelersAnd here’s [potato peeler]:

Potato Peeler

Once again the plural variant made a difference. But hold on – the outcome is reversed for [muscle roller] and [potato peeler]. In one case the plural variant triggered the centered PLAs and in the other it triggered the right-side PLAs.

I clicked on the little information button in the top right corner in both instances (plural and singular) of [potato peeler] to see if Google would give me any insight. In both cases the message was the same -

Potato Peeler (i)

No help there. Even as I was gathering screenshots for this post, the SERP for [potato peeler] and [potato peelers] fluctuated – sometimes it showed PLAs on the right side for both.

My guess is that Google is either randomly testing PLA position (plural variants don’t matter), or they are trying to show PLAs in the center above position 1 when data shows that a user is more likely to respond desirably to PLAs.

What do you think?

PPC Posts of the Week

RLSA campaigns and remarketing basics. This week’s recap: ???????????????????????????????????????????

  1. SEER Interactive Blog – Fuel Your Content Marketing With PPC Placements – PPC remarketing placement reports are a content strategy gold mine.
  2. Search Engine Journal – Bad Ads, Worse Ads, and Very, Very Bad Ads: The Worst of PPC – As expected, Amazon.com is the biggest DKI blunderer. Bidding on keywords related to items you don’t actually sell – not recommended.
  3. Search Engine Land – Getting More From Your RLSA Campaigns – Change up your ad copy in RLSA campaigns. Don’t just target visitors for the full 180 days – test different lengths of time.
  4. Search Engine People Blog – Introduction To The World Of Remarketing – A basic rundown of how remarketing works. Remarketing works especially well for long-funnel purchases where a user has many opportunities to get distracted.
  5. Bing Ads Blog – Product Ads: More Details, Instructions from the Bing Ads Engineering Team – As of March 26th, Product Ads are now available for all U.S. Bing Ads advertisers. Move PLA campaigns and Merchant Center feeds over to Bing Ads with little or no changes.
  6. PPCHero – Understanding Your Keyword Performance Better with Google’s Search Funnel Reports – Underperforming keywords could be indirectly driving conversion volume. Assisted impression statistics can help you more accurately evaluate a keyword’s performance.
  7. Beyond the Paid – The History of PPC – The evolution of PPC has included the death of platforms and the steady rise of CPCs.
  8. The WordStream Blog – Why Google AdWords Certification Doesn’t Matter – In Caleb Hutchings’ opinion, the AdWords certification only teaches a basic operational understanding of AdWords, not high-level skills.

That’s it! See you next week.

15 Account Expansion Tips

Building out a new PPC account is always exciting. There is a new product or service to research, a new market to learn, and possibly new strategies and techniques to use and master. What is not exciting is when the new account you have built underspends.

Expanding an account can be challenging. Doing it profitably even more so. Here are some tips to get you going:

  1. First, try bidding higher. Your Google rep beat me to this one. Higher bids will improve your ad position, leading to higher click-through rates and click volume.
  2. Audit campaign settings. Are there any location targets you could add? Are any of your campaign budgets capping? Is the standard ad delivery setting causing you to miss out on peak hours of traffic during the day?accelerated delivery
  3. Build out from your highest volume ad groups. The volume and healthy CTR of these ad groups will likely translate over to related themes. Watch out for cannibalization.
  4. Comb through SQRs of broadly themed high-volume campaigns and ad groups where there may be more area you can cover. You will always find something in a search query report that you couldn’t have thought of on your own.
  5. Revisit keyword lists – Continuously revisit keyword lists and add variations and synonyms. Use a site like Thesaurus.com to help you think of ideas.
  6. Use the Keyword Tool – Look for relevant high-traffic keywords and phrases with low suggested bids. Type the name of an existing ad group into the keyword tool and see what related queries come out.
  7. Build around content found commonly on many company webpages. Does your client offer sponsorships and/or partnership opportunities? Do they have a careers or employment page? An event calendar?
  8. Get access to a sitemap if possible. Clicking around a client’s website will help you discover new areas of potential traffic, but seeing it all at once in a sitemap can be very helpful.
  9. Add broad match keywords where you haven’t already. This will get your ad in front of more people and will give you more SQR data to mine.
  10. Google Analytics reports will help you see which keywords and landing pages are already generating significant traffic. Build on or around these.
  11. Conduct competitive research with tools like SpyFu and iSpionage. Why not let your competition do some of the thinking for you?iSpionage screenshot
  12. Segment existing ad groups further. A high-traffic ad group can be broken down into component ad groups with more specific ad copy and keywords. This will increase click-through rates and the total number of keywords you are bidding on.
  13. More specific ad copy in existing ad groups. While generic ad copy used across many ad groups helps accrue solid data on ad variations, more specific ad copy will increase quality score, CTR and volume.
  14. Reread landing pages for phrasing you haven’t used or thought of. Read the whole site like a novel. Create new ad groups around these phrases or add keywords to existing ad groups.
  15. Test new ad copy in areas where impression volume is high and CTR is low. Lots of impressions and a low click-through rate usually signals that you are bidding on terms with low relevance to your client’s account, but it can also mean that your ad copy is not compelling enough.

While each of these tips has the potential to increase volume as well as profitability, ROI can suffer in some cases as volume increases. Make sure that your client understands the balance between a high return and higher volume.


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