It’s funny and you can laugh. But no, really think about this. Windows Vista launched in 2005. If they would have launched Bing at that time, stuck with it, and pushed on that for the last 9 years we would be in a much more competitive search engine situation right now. Oh, hindsight…you are so awesome!
- Clix Blog – Is The AdWords Interface Too Complicated? – While PPC professionals are plenty used to it, the AdWords interface can be a real nightmare for small business owners.
- PPC Hero – 4 Examples to Refresh Your Ad Copy – As important as ad testing is, sometimes we put it on the back burner. Here are 4 ways to improve ad copy in your accounts.
- The WordStream Blog – The Beginner’s Guide to Building a Negative Keyword List – Amidst our hurry to optimize keywords in an account, we too often neglect building effective negative keyword lists. WordStream’s research shows that almost half of all advertisers do not add a single negative keyword to their accounts over the course of an entire month.
- Search Engine Journal – Google Has Added OneBox Restaurant Menus To Search Results Pages – Google’s latest addition to search results could end up being a double-edged sword. Displaying menu items and prices on the SERP could drive business by providing an immediate answer to a user’s question, but it could also drive traffic away from the restaurant’s webpage.
- Inside AdWords – Reach more customers across Search and Display with Search Network with Display Select – Google shares the early results of the Search Network with Display Select campaign setting. The average advertiser can see a 35% higher click-through-rate and a 35% lower cost-per-customer purchase on the display portion of those campaigns.
- Bing Ads Blog – Bing Ads Reporting Series: Understanding the Share of Voice Report in Bing Ads – The Bing Ads Share of Voice (SOV) report helps you see cases where there are more impressions your keywords could be triggering and how to capture them.
- Search Engine Watch – Optimize Your PPC With a Segmented Performance Analysis – Segment an account by category and campaign type in order to prioritize areas that need optimization.
- Search Engine People – The Beginner’s Guide to Mobile Web Design – Mobile search will soon surpass desktop search. Mobile site speed is paramount.
Plenty for now. See you next week!
Imagine the end of your current PPC gig.
No really, take a minute to think how that might happen.
If you’re in-house, imagine you’re leaving for another position. If you’re managing client accounts, imagine the day you hand over the account to another manager or the client takes over PPC. How would the client describe you? Your co-workers? Your boss? Here are what I hope would be said of me:
- He really cared about the success of our program
- He went above and beyond expectations
- He understood how PPC fit in our larger marketing efforts
- He was reliable and did what he said he would do
- He communicated well
Habit 2 – Begin with the End in Mind
As human beings we have the gift of imagination. This enables us to visualize a reality that has yet to take place. You can envision your PPC accounts with larger budgets, more conversions, better ROI, and any number of improved metrics and then “see” what you did to achieve those metrics. This is the first creation.
Everything has two creations. The first, as described above, is a mental creation. Many people would liken this to planning. You plan the structure of your PPC accounts, your budgets, your conversions, etc. The second creation is the actual execution of that planning & vision. The first creation is leadership (doing the right things) while the second creation involves management (doing things right). We’ll focus on the second creation in Habit 3.
To borrow a farming example, weeding, watering and harvesting are all management tasks. The second creation. Choosing what seeds to plant is leadership. The first creation. If you don’t choose your crop correctly, you might end up with watermelon at Christmas-time or pumpkins for Easter.
What Is Your Center?
In Habit 1: Be Proactive we discussed the the Circle of Influence. At the center of your circle of influence are the values and principles that guide your PPC work. What lies at the center of your circle of influence impacts how you view your accounts & campaigns. It guides how you react to every situation. So what happens when you place one factor at the center of your circle of influence that isn’t one of your core principles or values? Here are some potential examples:
- CTR Centered – You diligently monitor your CTR. Improved CTR means that you’re making progress and you believe you’ll be rewarded with improved QS, lower CPC, and improved CPA. You pause or delete keywords with chronically low CTR and are constantly testing ads; always keeping the one with the best CTR. Dropping CTRs cause you anxiety and you quickly make optimization to bring CTR back up. However, you may be pausing early funnel keywords that get you included in the consideration set. You may be pausing ads that increased conversion rates by qualifying clicks better.
- Volume Centered – For the brand advertiser this can manifest as a desire to get the maximum number of impressions on a limited budget. For the startup it can manifest itself as a desire to increase conversions (new customer acquisitions, leads, sales, etc.) In both situations the PPC manager is looking for more, more, more. Keyword expansion is paramount because it unlocks new areas of potential volume. Getting on more platforms, targeting more audiences, and retargeting all help to drive more volume and bring feelings of success. However, budgets may become exhausted prematurely. Unqualified leads drive your sales team crazy. Cancelled orders and returned items may start to pile up when customers don’t get what they expected. In your quest for volume you may kill the program under a deluge of “success”.
- Budget Centered – Smaller advertisers are more prone to this center. You have a limited budget and can’t go over. You want to do all the things you know the “big boys” are doing, but can only commit small amounts toward the effort. You feel success as you cover all your bases, but some of your programs may flounder for months before you feel strongly enough to give them more budget or turn them off (often without a fair chance.) Worse still, these expansionary efforts are pulling budget away from your core terms that you know are driving success.
There are numerous alternative centers that can influence your decision making and your performance. PPC Habit #2 involves making a deliberate and conscious choice about what your center will be. By placing principles and values at your center you ensure that your decisions are being made according to the bigger picture goals of your company, department, or brand instead of reactionary decisions based on competitor actions or platform changes.
So what should be at your center?
Understand that principles and values don’t change. That is their nature and that is exactly why you want them placed at your center. Here are questions that can help you choose principles that you could place at your center:
- Are PPC efforts representing the company/brand correctly? If yes, how? If no, how are they falling short?
- How is PPC helping (not hurting) other channels?
Most PPC managers that I have encountered are very good at optimization/execution/management; all Habit 3 actions. However, the best PPC managers also ensure the first creation, Habit 2, is undertaken BEFORE the execution takes place.
- Inside AdWords – A new way to count conversions in AdWords – Google’s latest update to conversion naming conventions. Clicks that lead to conversions are displayed in the first column and total conversions are displayed in the second.
- Search Engine Land – Ray Kurzeil’s Job At Google: Beat IBM’s Watson At Natural Language Search – Google’s Director of Engineering has been tasked with making sure that computers will be able to understand the meaning of documents as opposed to just categorizing them correctly.
- Bing Ads blog – Join the UK Bing Ads Starter Webinar on the 18th of March – Bing Ads will host a free webinar on March 18th at 10 AM GMT for prospective or new Bing Ads customers.
- Search Engine Watch – Google AdWords Search Funnels Attribution Modeling: Think Hard Before You Act – An overview of the latest updates to attribution modeling in AdWords. Be careful when putting more weight on certain steps in the funnel over others.
- PPC Hero – Learn More About The Competition With New Features in Google’s Auction Insights – Use Auction Insights reports in AdWords to measure your performance against competitors. You can now segment this report by device as well as by time period.
- Beyond the Paid – Ways To Spot Bad PPC Advice – PPC articles that tell you to spend more money, geotarget the world, and use broad match are probably not helpful. Promotions are great but don’t become dependent on them.
- Certified Knowledge Blog – Last Chance to Register for AdWords Training in San Jose, CA – Certified Knowledge will hold an AdWords training workshop on March 10th in San Jose. Topics will include comprehensive keyword research, writing compelling ad copy, demystifying quality score, and increasing landing page conversions.
- aimClear Blog – Zenith Agenda 2014 Is Live! Duluth’s Social Media Marketing Conference Returns – This conference hosted in connection with the Duluth Chamber of Commerce will cover cutting-edge social media marketing techniques.
That’s all for now. Tune in next week!
The world of paid search is constantly changing. Just keeping up with interface updates alone is time-intensive enough to fill up a good chunk of your workday. After that, there are blogs to follow and conferences to attend in order to stay sharp. While we would like to be dedicating all of our time to adjusting bids and ad testing, we all know that some time must be dedicated to PPC continuing education.
One of the best ways to stay on top of your PPC game is by following PPCChat on Twitter (#ppcchat), hosted weekly by founder Matt Umbro at 12:00 PM EST every Tuesday. During PPCChat, Matt fields 6-7 questions and asks for responses from professionals in paid search working at all levels all over the country. This one-hour session is always jam-packed with great insights from experienced PPC pros at the cutting-edge of PPC techniques and strategies. You’ll find most of the authors of your favorite PPC blogs responding live to PPCChat questions. If you love reading Beyond the Paid, you’ll surely be interested to hear Melissa Mackey’s answers on PPCChat.
For my first PPCChat a few weeks back, I was pretty intimidated and hesitant to join in. After all, I’ve only been working on PPC campaigns for the last 7 or 8 months. Once I dove in everyone was really welcoming and friendly (Thanks, Theresa Zook). All I really contributed were a couple of retweets of comments that I liked, but I got a lot out of everyone else’s comments.
I noticed right off the bat that everyone was really on the ball. I followed some of the questions pretty well, but some of the questions were beyond my level of experience. Within moments, many PPCers responded quickly and intelligently, and I learned a ton.
Steps to joining PPCChat:
- Get Twitter. As addicted as I was to Facebook, I had hardly used my Twitter account since its creation in 2011. In fact, I hadn’t used it for a full 2 and a half years before joining PPCChat. Realizing that I would need a professional twitter account to follow PPCChat with, I dusted off the old account, quickly realized I could not use the existing handle and created a new one. Set to go.
- Follow #PPCChat and all PPCChat participants. Be careful when attempting to follow all of the list members – I tried to follow everyone all at once which resulted in my account getting suspended briefly. Follow just a few members at a time. And be sure to join the LinkedIn group here: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4280822
A recap of every PPCChat is posted within about an hour by Paul Kragthorpe on PPCChat.co. Recently covered topics include enhanced campaigns and pay-per-click attribution modeling. I found the second part of The Complete Guide to Ad Extensions very helpful. Here Andrew Baker pointed out that you must take into account that the location extension works for off-line conversions as well as on-line when evaluating its effectiveness.
On January 28th PPCChat covered The Ethics of Remarketing. The third question posed by Matt was “How aggressive is your remarketing messaging for sensitive topics (i.e. legal issues, pharmaceuticals, etc)?” Many responders agreed that with sensitive topics and unclear or undecided rules about certain issues, it is better to play it conservative rather than risking getting an account shut down.
So as you can already tell, PPCChat is a must for any serious paid search advertiser looking to be a master of pay-per-click advertising.