Back to Pay Per Click Basics

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Back to PPC Basics.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What are the core settings that you believe should be in every campaign? Why?

  • The ability to target devices. – Francis Shovlin (@fmshovlin)
  • Can’t answer. A new campaign is nothing like a stabilized campaign. – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • Geo target and language – I work in a bilingual environment a lot of the time. – Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
  • Ads set to rotate indefintely! – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Conversion tracking. It’s important to know the campaign goals and what the max cost to acquire a customer is. – Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
  • Budget and geo. – Peter Thistle (@PeterThistle)
  • A separate campaign for search and display display. – Joe Castro (@PPCJoeC)
  • Device Targeting. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • Auto-tagging – Yes. – Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
  • Accelerated spending. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Ads Rotate Indefinitely, Accelerated Pace, Geo and Language set proper, Search on Display Only. – Joseph Drury (@drurytheelder)
  • Everything’s all good now that we’re ENHANCED. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Geographic targeting and bidding preferences. – John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
  • I hate leaving anything to Google’s discretion. Feels like fox in charge of hen house. – Robert Brady
  • I go with all by default with stacked bids in new accounts. However I pull back on less restrictives if volumes are high. – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
  • Ad Rotation and Targeting type, be it search or display. – Brian Gaspar (@BGaspar)
  • Google will never do it, but a framework for ad scheduling. Wonder how much money they rake in at 3AM from their ad base. – Michael Wiegand (@mwiegand)

Q2 What is your strategy for determining which match type(s) keywords should be placed?

  • Mine past SQ (if avail) for guidance. Otherwise, I start restrictive & expand carefully. – Theresa Zook
  • If high volume / competitive, I start w/phrase and exact only. If longer tail, I use MBM to cast a wider net. – Melissa Mackey
  • Whatever is needed to balance control w/ coverage. – Robert Brady
  • Start as focused as possible with exact, then open up to BMM as needed. – Stuart Draper (@Stu_Draper)
  • Depends on account history, geotargeting, business/account size. But usually no broad match, only modified +phrase/exact. – Christina Hall (@Chrissie_Hall85)
    • I’ve just found that phrase shows higher cost per conversions and I have to add more negatives. Also depends on your bids, but I tend to bid much higher on exact and be conservative with my MBM keywords. – Matt Umbro
  • Depends a lot on target audience, client budget, how clearly goal is defined, what type of goal (sale vs. lead gen). – Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
    • I generally start out with an extensive negative keyword list so I find my MBM terms are much more controlled. – Matt Umbro
      • Google’s algo is a lot fuzzier with MBM & I end up spending more time over time adding negatives than with Phrase. – Julie Bacchini
        • Fair point, at the end of the day I feel I’m more effective utilizing MBM over phrase. – Matt Umbro
          • We do use MBM, but judiciously. I agree about it showing you terms you might otherwise miss. All about balance! – Julie Bacchini
  • Separate ad groups for the 3 major match types. Try all three and cut out the ones that aren’t working. – Kayla Hiller (@Kayla_Hiller)
  • I generally just use exact and modified broad match – I tend to stay away from phrase. – Matt Umbro
  • Logic / common sense / experience & SQRs. – Niki Grant (@TheNikiGrant)
  • I always start with a unique bid on exact, phrase and bmm. Very rare that this is not the case. – Joseph Drury
  • Start [exact] with minimal “phrase”, successes move to “phrase”, brand KWs can be broad. Expand from there. – Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
  • Phrase/Exact, generally speaking. – Eric Bryant (@GnosisArts)
  • Sometimes exact just can’t get you the volume you need. That is when you carefully open up. For our big budget clients we open up right out of the gate. – Stuart Draper
    • BMM is always valuable to build toward adding exact I would not have thought of initially. – Timothy Jensen
  • My strategy now is mod broad and pare down to exact once you have data. – Michael Wiegand
    • That approach works well for big budget and you can learn and improve, but if $ is tight, I would reverse that approach. – Stuart Draper
  • I generally use broad match modified and phrase for my terms and exact for competitor brand names. – Jonathan Levy (@jlevey)
  • Might have been said already, but campaigns just by match type. – Brian Gaspar
  • Start exact, go phrase, then MBM, then (if you have to) broad. – Stuart Draper
  • Seed acct w/ no-brainer exact kws to get history/CTRs, then add in MBM & phrase for volume. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
  • Additionally, MBM allows your to explore for new keywords and not have to add 20 different phrase variations. – Matt Umbro
    • Good for trends/changing linguistics for certain products. – Lisa Sanner
  • I’d rather work w/20 Phrase variations than try to psychically infer 18,000 undisplayed, unclicked variations. – Theresa Zook
    • I rarely find that this happens though. I put modifiers on all words and proactively add negatives. – Matt Umbro
  • As long as you have a targeted BMM, it shouldnt be too bad. Negatives are a must though! – Christina Hall
  • I find broad match modifier works well compared to broad on its own. – Rojer Sugget (@roj_suggs)
  • For me BMM is an alternative for phrase rather than an alternative for broad – I rarely use broad. – Steve Cameron
  • I hadn’t realized the MBM vs. Phrase match opinions were so varied and well argued. – Kirk Williams

Q3: What is your policy on dynamic keyword insertion (DKI)?

  • I like it but I work hard to avoid headlines that make me look stupid- don’t always succeed. – Steve Cameron
  • Proceed with caution! – Kayla Hiller
  • I don’t currently use it. The word “dynamic” often scares me. – Kirk Williams
  • Works very well when used carefully, but think long and hard about how every kw in the ad group will appear in the title! – Timothy Jensen
  • Shouldn’t need it if your account is structured well…however can be good for really long tail KWs…or product numbers. – Rojer Suggett
    • Agreed…a well structured campaign shouldn’t need this feature. – Matt Umbro
  • DKI will be tested. I have seen it perform better but also worse than no DKI. – Christina Hall
  • I use Concatenate to check all my potential headlines to make sure they don’t sound/look stupid. – Melissa Mackey
  • Content of ad has to been consistent and make sense with a variety of KW’s. If it does I use it, otherwise I don’t. – Brian Gaspar
  • I very rarely use DKI…I only use it to get the extra characters. – Matt Umbro
  • I rarely use it. Could be useful for ad groups with many low volume KWs that you don’t want to break out into own. – Francis Shovlin
  • For those who do use DKI, ad text or headline? – Francis Shovlin
    • For me it’s headline only – too hard to control otherwise. – Steve Cameron
  • Use DKI sparingly. – Theresa Zook
  • I only use DKI once in an ad..either in the title or the ad copy. – Jonathan Levey
  • Rarely find an application for the feature. – Peter Thistle
  • If you use it carefully, DKI in title + description can really boost CTR. It’s case by case though. – Melissa Mackey
  • I formerly used DKI but only with broad match groups. Now reliance on broad is low, so I stick to static ads & solid structure. – Chris Haleua (@chrishaleua)
  • I prefer to use DKI only with sensible keywords that aren’t short, ie “Nike” or “sneakers cheap” would make poor headlines. – Chris Gutknecht (@ChrisGutknecht)

Q4: Do you believe entry level PPCers should immediately have access to Google and Bing Editors? Why?

  • 100% YES! I train new PPC’ers using both Editors first. WAY easier than the UIs and as long as they don’t post, mistake-free! – Melissa Mackey
  • I think it’s overload if they don’t first get taught basics from AW/Bing dash. Also a LOT more that can be screwed up with AWE. – Kirk Williams
  • Hell yes! Just give them smaller tasks to begin with, and go over it with them…learning = better ppc for all! – Rojer Suggett
    • It can be, but as a manger you need to have faith in your people that they will make the updates withour error. – Matt Umbro
  • Not immediatelly, they need to run through the processes manually and master them before having the priviledge of the editors. – Matt Umbro
  • Yes, I had access too when I first started & it helped me quite a bit. Just teach them right & tell them to always make a copy. – Christina Hall
  • Yes – everyone should be given the very best tools. – Steve Cameron
  • We train our interns on it early in the game. They need to think about how to scale small strategies to large accounts. – Michael Wiegand
  • And yes, the editors are a privilege. I’ve seen way too many mistakes using editors right away. – Matt Umbro
  • Absolutely. Less confusing than the UI. Can help them see & focus on what matters. – Theresa Zook
  • There are some tasks the engine UI is just damn cumbersome to tackle. Not training on Editors early is unnecessarily crippling. – Michael Wiegand
  • All you have to do is tell them never to post anything before you check it. Make them fear the “post changes” button. – Melissa Mackey
  • No point in dragging out a task. Editor when it makes sense for sure. – Robert Brady
  • Yes, because it’s easier to prevent irreparable damage. – Jonathan Levey
  • Editor allows to double-check changes before posting, big advantage. – Chris Gutknecht
  • It is so much easier to see/understand PPC campaign structure, settings, etc. in Editors than in UIs. – Melissa Mackey
  • YES! Like anything else, you can only learn by doing and practicing–make changes w/o posting for practice exercise. – Rebecca Heithoff (@OverpricedPopcn)
  • I always give trainees full access to all tools. How else will they learn? Just teach risks of posting and review work. – Joseph Drury
  • I agree, but I think entry level people need to first learn the AdWords UI before automating the tasks in Editor. – Matt Umbro
  • Yes, after basic AW training and heavy emphasis on the order of operations: Back up, “Get” and “Post”! – Vertical Rail (@verticalrail)
  • We literally hired an intern to make ad copy (price) changes BE (before Editor). Minor mistakes pale in comparison to that. – Melissa Mackey
  • I understand the need to learn & use the UI, there comes the possibility of making a mistake in real time. Editor prevents that. – Brian Gaspar
  • Perhaps the bigger issue is timing. I’m all about getting a newb onto AWE asap, but not before initial familiarity with ppc. Question for all the “yesses”, how soon do you start a newb onto AWE when they start? Are we talking hours, days, weeks? – Kirk Williams (@KECreate)
    • Exactly…I also feel that introducing to Editor right away subconsciously gives a sense of “taking the shortcut” IMHO. – Matt Umbro
    • For me, it depends on the task. For SQR review the editor doesn’t help. – Robert Brady
    • Minutes. Literally, it’s the first thing I show newbies. – Melissa Mackey
  • If they don’t know what they are doing neither is of any use – but they can learn on either the Editor or the UI. Combination best. – Steve Cameron
  • Yes, new PPC’ers should get their hands dirty and plus, it’s a good time to take advantage of their creativity. – Nefer Lopez

Q5: How have Enhanced Campaigns changed the dynamics of how to setup new campaigns?

  • Setting up new campaigns much more complicated now. – Theresa Zook
  • WAY more margin for error now. – Melissa Mackey
  • Make sure you’re up to speed on remedial math & percentages for bid modifiers! – Julie Bacchini
  • Funny, but defaults favour Google in terms of spending more before you realise something else should also have been configured. – Steve Cameron
  • All ad groups I create get at least 2 desktop and 2 mobile ads – mobile ads tend to be 60 characters or less to avoid truncation. – Matt Umbro
  • The segments are different. Legacy campaigns grouped by device type & locations, now we can group by bid adjustments types,etc. – Nefer Lopez


More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Brian Gaspar (@BGaspar)
• Chris Gutknecht (@ChrisGutknecht)
• Chris Haleua (@chrishaleua)
• Christina Hall (@Chrissie_Hall85)
• Eric Bryant (@GnosisArts)
• Francis Shovlin (@fmshovlin)
• Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
• Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
• Joe Castro (@PPCJoeC)
• John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
• Jonathan Levy (@jlevey)
• Joseph Drury (@drurytheelder)
• Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
• Kayla Hiller (@Kayla_Hiller)
• Kirk Williams (@KECreate)
• Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Michael Wiegand (@mwiegand)
• Niki Grant (@TheNikiGrant)
• Peter Thistle (@PeterThistle)
• Rebecca Heithoff (@OverpricedPopcn)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Rojer Sugget (@roj_suggs)
• Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
• Stuart Draper (@Stu_Draper)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
• Vertical Rail (@verticalrail)

Back to Streamcap Basics

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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