Deadly Sins Tag

31 Mar 13 Deadly Sins of AdWords – Conclusion

The 13 Deadly Sins of AdWords affect users of all skill levels and experience. While some may be overcome with a one-time effort, most require constant diligence to truly overcome. Though I have not committed each sin personally, I have seen the effects of each sin when taking over management. Reading these posts you may find yourself guilty of one or more sins. Don’t despair. Regardless of the damage caused, you can still repent and save your AdWords account.

The 13 Deadly Sins

1 Free Robert Hour

If you recall from the Sin of Inexperience, I will give you 1 hour of my time to help you get started on the right path/back on the right path with your AdWords account. Simply email me, to get started. You’ll need to let me look in your account (I won’t make any changes, promise!) and then I’ll spend 1 hour analyzing your account and making recommendations based on the 13 Deadly Sins. I’ll send you my recommendations in an email and you implement as many or few as you deem valuable. I am confident they’ll save you hundreds of dollars and I do accept “donations” from grateful recipients.

Google AdWords is a powerful tool. Used properly it has the ability to deliver qualified traffic 24 hours/day, helping you make money even while you’re sleeping. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Don’t fall victim to the 13 Deadly Sins of AdWords.

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26 Mar 13 Deadly Sins of AdWords – #13 Greed

Of all the Deadly Sins, the Sin of Greed is the most fatal. Greed is manifest by out of control bids and runaway content network advertising. AdWords can be a fatal siren beckoning companies toward budgetary destruction.

Relying on PPC

PPC evangelists preach how AdWords can deliver thousands of visitors to your site 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. Greed tempts you to simply spend more and more money to get more and more sales. This philosophy has two major shortcomings:

  1. Eventually you’ll run out of traffic to buy (yes Google does have its limits) or run into a competitor with deeper pockets.
  2. Money spent on PPC clicks is immediately lost after the click. You get no residual value for your money, which means that you have to spend continuously to stay in business.

A Balanced Approach

Imagine in your mind a seesaw. On one end you have your PPC traffic and on the other end you have SEO traffic. At first, your PPC traffic will be really high and your SEO traffic really low. However, the goal is to tip the seesaw so that your SEO traffic becomes very high in relation to your PPC traffic. How much this will affect your PPC budget is up to you, but for an online business to reach a long-term, sustainable trajectory this shift needs to happen.

In summary, the Sin of Greed is derived from the attitude that AdWords can fix everything; a silver bullet. While AdWords can make you very profitable right now, is you succumb to Greed you will be sorry. Repent now or perish!

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24 Mar 13 Deadly Sins of AdWords – #12 Misdirection

25, 35, 35, 35. For many these numbers define the PPC world. 25 characters for your title. 35 characters each for your two lines of ad copy. 35 characters for your display URL. These 130 characters, if used, are powerful. The wise PPC practitioner, however, recognizes the virtually invisible 1024 characters known as the destination URL.

The Sin of Misdirection

The sin of Misdirection is committed when you send clicks to the homepage. The beauty of PPC is that you know (basically) what the user wants. They type it right into the search box and tell you. You have ad copy written specifically for the ad group. Where do they want to go?

Put yourself in the user’s shoes and send them to the specific page that will match the search term and ad copy. It really is that easy, yet so often PPC marketers forget to take this intuitive step. Think of what the visitor’s goal is and then land them on the page closest to that goal.

Why Not The Homepage?

The better question is why would you send them to the homepage? The homepage is designed to fit everyone and therefore is custom-tailored to no one. With the occasional exception of a brand term, most keywords represent an intention. The user is looking for something/want to do something. Homepages are like maps telling people where to go, but you already know where they want to go. Remove that one step. Make it easy.

Perhaps you find that in certain situations you don’t have a good page? Make one. If it’s worth spending money to buy clicks, it’s worth money to produce an optimized sub-page. Don’t commit the Sin of Misdirection by sending your clicks to the homepage.

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18 Mar 13 Deadly Sins of AdWords – #11 Naivety

The sin of Naivety is committed when you place unreserved trust in Google, believing that they will “Do No Evil.” Believing that a multi-billion dollar company has your back is an attractive concept on the surface, but as we learn from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.” Don’t forget where Google got those billions.

First Page Bid Lies

Regular readers of my blog know that I have been suspicious of Google’s First Page Bid Estimator since its inception. I ran the keyword tool and would play around with different bids all the time. What I began to notice was that if you used $5.00 as the bid you would see numbers like $4.67 for position 1-3. Okay, I can live with high bids if justified, but then I would put in $2.50 and get an estimate of $2.33 for position 1-3. Ummm… That seems odd.

I figured it was a glitch and let Google slide. However, I began checking it more frequently and noticed that it was more a trend than an anomaly. Basically I just learned not to trust the keyword tool’s bid estimates. No bid deal.

The Deal Killer

The straw that broke the camel’s back (IMO) was when Google did away with the Inactive status on keywords and implemented the Suggested First Page Bid directly into the AdWords interface. Now the suspicious info from Google was sitting right next to my keywords telling me that my bids were too low. But what Google was saying didn’t match the performance statistics Google was displaying.

In short, remember that Google is a publicly-traded company that has stock-holders to please. In this economy they’re looking for revenue and it’s easier to get more revenue from existing customers than getting new customers. Armed with this wisdom you will be able to overcome the sin of Naivety.

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12 Mar 13 Deadly Sins of AdWords – #10 Ignorance

“When performance is measured performance improves and when performance is measured and reported the rate of performance accelerates.”

PPC advertising is the one element of your online marketing mix that should be 100% transparent. You can see exactly how many clicks each keyword receives, the average cost of those clicks, and AdWords even has conversion tracking that tells you when your clicks turn into conversions (ie sales, leads, signups, etc.) That’s great, but did you know that you can also see which sites on the content network are most effective, which geographic area produces the best clicks, and the exact search term that triggered your ads?

The Sin of Ignorance

If you don’t know where to find the above-mentioned information, you have likely committed the Sin of Ignorance, which is to ignore the Reports tab and its functionality. Google became the search engine of choice because it crunched a bigger index in less time and produced better results than its predecessors. You’d better believe that Google has provided some bitchin’ reporting.

What Reports Are Available?

The AdWords Help explains every report in minute detail. I’ll just highlight a couple of my favorites. First off, let’s see what is available:

Placement Performance

Use this report to assist with the Sin of Foolishness and really take advantage of the Google content network. You’ll see which sites get the most impressions, which sites get the most clicks, which sites get you a healthy CTR, and most importantly, which sites are getting you conversions. When you find poorly performing sites, add them to your list of excluded sites. If you find some good sites, consider creating a placement-targeted campaign that targets only your best performers and pump up the volume with increased bids.

Search Query Performance

Without a doubt this is the most helpful report for keywords. Sure the keyword report will show you how each keyword is doing, but this report will show you which phrases, as entered by the user, are most effective. This report is a treasure trove of hidden gems. Keywords and phrases that you may never have even considered. Some are pure gold and you should add them to your keyword lists. Some are cancerous and you should add them as negative keywords. Either way, as you run this report, mine it for useful data, and make changes according to your observations you will improve your overall performance by leaps and bounds.

Three nuances that will be helpful during your penance. First, the Report Center only holds 15 reports at any one time, so make sure to save reports on your computer if you want them later. Second, when you have constructed a good report, save it as a template so you can run it with a single click. Lastly, you can set a report to run daily or weekly and have it emailed to your inbox. A great way to keep an eye on things without having to login, run a report and wait for it to finish.

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