Next Level PPC Strategies

This week James Svoboda (@Realicity) fills in for Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) with a great question set titled “Next Level PPC Strategies.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What is your, or your company’s, value add that distinguishes you from the competition? Why?

  • We make complex buying decisions easy. I can do your PPC & your Direct Mail Campaigns! – Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
  • Weaving multiple campaign mediums (SEO & PPC for instance) into one package and wrapping it in a CRO bow. – James Svoboda
    • On the flip side, I’m sure one could argue that focusing on one medium (paid vs. SEO) distinguishes them. – Jonathan Maltz (@MaltzPPC)
      • True, but I’ve seen one or the other mess with a website because they didn’t know what to communicate. CRO is key for us. – James Svoboda
        • Fair, but I would say that CRO should be key for everyone here (where conversion is well-defined to meet client goals). – Jonathan Maltz
  • Level of attention & detail of reporting for each client, vs. just throwing everyone into a generic template solution. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • We specialize in B2B and are full service so we do more than just digital. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • That I’m a direct marketer with experience that goes back to the 1990s. – Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
  • Full service agency, run accounts for some of the largest companies, one of the oldest & most established SEM houses. – Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
  • We emphasize total marketing efforts. Not just segmenting PPC, SEO, etc. Best bang for the buck. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • Slightly better at maths, slight better at analytics, slightly better at programming than others. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • Offer site builds from scratch and marketing for those sites. No need for other vendors. – John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
  • Try to pitch not that we do remarketing, display, FB, etc. but that our approach to doing it is different. Most agency websites just list out the types of services they have, EVERYONE says the same thing… we pitch it different. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
    • At the same time, doesn’t everyone say “we do it differently”? – Jonathan Maltz
  • My company FindWAtt focuses on product data. Aligning the data with customer intent to maximize relevancy in ads. – Dan Barbata (@danbarbata)
  • that answer changes with companies. Now, PPC is just part of the media plan and the lion’s share of budget. – Nate Knox (@nateknox)
  • Strategies that prove we do more than just execute PPC, but integrate search/social/display/full CRM. – EJ Garcia (@EjGarcia)

Q2: How do you use technology or software to improve your PPC campaigns?

  • Automation, automation, automation, then making reports look nicer. – Nate Knox
  • Have a custom built DSL for AdWords changes that I use for some accounts. Pretty experimental at the moment. – Richard Fergie
  • Ensuring tagging is correct, using Excel for data analysis, not being afraid to wireframe or dig on the tech side. – Jonathan Maltz
  • Keeping updated, some software also allow for further depth in campaigns and trends. Such us maintaing a avg. CPA. – Juan Restrepo (@JUANRRESTREPO)
  • I use Unbounce for client landing pages. Absolutely love controlling LP parameters & testing. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • Beyond AEditor & Excel, I don’t use a lot of outside tools. – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • Any tool that helps see what our clients’ competitors are doing has been beneficial for us. Even with the grains of salt. – Joe Martinez
  • Call tracking is also a really awesome tool that WordStream now provides (much easier then AdWords ct!). – Margot da Cunha (@ChappyMargot)
  • Software has to fill the hole that Adwords/Bing leaves… i.e. call tracking, certain automation, competitive research, etc. – Luke Alley
  • I use Google Docs with Supermetrics to pull in tons of data quickly then export to Excel to manipulate. – Jon Stroz (@StrozKnows)
  • Automation .. to reduce unnecessary work load. – Sameer Hakim (@hakim_sameer)
  • Also reporting. Google/Bing doesn’t do a great job there so people come in and fill that void. – Luke Alley
  • We’ve developed technology to automatically chop up titles/descriptions into attributes and optimally reassemble. – Dan Barbata
  • As SEM expands beyond keyword to device, geo, time, and audience like display RTB, tech helps avoid stale or ignored modifiers. – Chris Haleu (@chrishaleua)
  • My own Q2.1: How much difference can software make? – Richard Fergie
    • In the grand scheme, a company not using external soft. to some extent is missing out big IMO. – Jonathan Maltz
    • Huge difference if you know how to use it correctly. – James Svoboda
    • A lot, i.e. only if you have a good in-house developer. – Sameer Hakim

Q3: Do you make use of scripts? If so, which ones and why?

  • Yes, I use them, but less an I should. Learning to write scripts is still on my To Do list. At the moment, I mostly use them to call out performance outliers. Not really to make changes. – Theresa Zook
  • The countdown script is still one of my favorites… i.e “7 days 4 hours for guaranteed Christmas Delivery”. – Bryant Garvin
    • I like it also. Really great for sales. – James Svoboda
  • Yes, I use the script that tells me the date I made an ad, extremely helpful in knowing when to gauge effectiveness. – Ron Mahoney (@ronzmahoney)
  • Use some scripts. Not the best solution imo, but useful as a simple option. – Richard Fergie
  • Yes. Auto-generated forecasts & reporting, price-editing in SKU ads, mass labeling, etc. – Leo Sussan
  • Big YES! Countdown Script always for my ecom clients. Even on B2B sometimes to promote certain deals. – Joe Martinez
  • If properly integrated with Google Appscript, it could work wonders. – Ashwin Chandra (@ashwin_chandra)
  • Non-converting keywords scripts can also be extremely helpful if you run massive accounts. – Joe Martinez
  • MCC-level scripts are great for monitoring Dest. URL problems and budget management. – Andrew Miller (@AndrewCMiller)
  • I have used adwords scripts mostly for URL validation to find 404 errors and text on page for out of stock products. – Chris Haleua
  • Mostly URL validation and budgets for me. – Stephanie Cockerl (@StephCockerl)
  • Our first use of scripts was to verify UPCs. – Dan Barbata

Q4: For those running Shopping campaigns, how are you running more profitable strategies for your clients?

  • The first thing I make sure to redo titles and descriptions – then custom images if you can make it happen. – Bryant Garvin
    • Yeah, custom images make your client pop in SERPs when all others are same boring stock image. – Kirk Williams
  • Custom labels to segment products by profit margins. Helps make bidding and cracking conversion rates easier in UI. – James Svoboda
  • Feed optimizations is extremely crucial. You need to get the title and the description right. – Ashwin Chandra
    • Agree 100%. Our biggest gains where on unique, optimized titles and descriptions. – Joe Martinez
  • Segment along actionable dimensions and look for differences. – Richard Fergie
  • Just getting the feed right is a major step. Interested in the answers here. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Clean up feeds, test different shopping campaign strategies, still use text to supplement, experiment with Dynamic remarketing. – Kirk Williams
  • Custom labels & exact product categorization. – Sameer Hakim
  • In terms of campaign strategy, I would like my custom labels to point out the best selling categories and target them. – Ashwin Chandra
  • Dynamic remarketing is open to all verticals now. Everybody will need a feed eventually. – Robert Brady
  • 1) Titles/Descriptions 2) Deep/Accurate Google Categorization at SKU level 3) Specific & well thought out Product Types. – Dan Barbata
  • Avoiding overlap in product targets by multiple groups then using campaign priorities to highlight promotion exceptions. – Chris Haleua

Q5: For those running lead gen campaigns, how do you bridge the gap between lead and sale?

  • You’ve got to get access to their backend systems (or regular reports) & make sure they’re tagging leads. – Robert Brady
  • You need to find out as much as possible about how the client bridges that gap, and use their system to their advantage. – Jonathan Maltz
  • We try to close the loop from lead to sale by either getting access to Salesforce etc or by getting reports from clients. Also make sure you’re using call tracking if they get phone leads. – Melissa Mackey
    • We’ve got a client recently implemented Salesforce… has been enlightening. Their Sales staff needs to follow-up more. – James Svoboda
  • Have integrated w/ CRM or even just used basic setup of lead form sending source (PPC) & tracking who converts. – Timothy Jensen
  • Call tracking, setting up “interim goals” in Analytics, feedback from client, etc. – Theresa Zook
  • Call tracking is a must. Then then we encourage connecting everything to their CRM system to tie everything together. – Joe Martinez
  • Include more intent based keywords in your campaign. Get the sales data from the client, map it to the campaign data, optimize. – Ashwin Chandra
  • Agreed, we use Salesforce and it’s awesome. Once the leads are in having strong sales team to follow-up is key. – Margot da Cunha
  • For SMB clients who don’t always have a system, personally communicating regularly to see how they’re doing with follow-up. – Kirk Williams
  • Create a client feedback loop. – Sameer Hakim
  • How do you reconcile the branding effect of not displaying the company phone number? Always been a dicotomy. – Jonathan Maltz
    • ifbyphone let’s you segment out certain keywords. You could do that or use an identifier on branded campaign URL’s. – Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
    • Only display tracking number to select sources. Never use it for follow-up. – James Svoboda
      • Indeed, but therein lies the dichotomy. The user’s first point of contact isn’t used for followup. – Jonathan Maltz
    • Call tracking with WordStream gives you the ability to track and record calls from the campaign, ad group, and even keyword level. – Margot da Cunha

Q6: Talk about your approach to social PPC channels? Why do you believe it is the right strategy?

  • Use paid social to amplify what you’re already doing there organically. – Melissa Mackey
  • Goal is to reach right people, at right time with right offer. Social networks have great targeting for “right” people. – Robert Brady
  • Doing what we should all be doing! Testing, plain and simple. You will only uncover new opportunities by trying new things. – Jonathan Maltz
  • Social PPC is great for content promotion, and depending on the site/product could be good for Sales. LinkedIn PPC has been great for one lead gen client, but would be tough to pay $2.00+ for content promotion. – James Svoboda
  • Incredibly granular demographic targeting, great for expanding reach to the right people. – Timothy Jensen
  • Paid Social. Probably one of the larger growth points for the agency. Adv. Targetting + Rich Media Ads + Social Proof. – Leo Sussan
  • Custom audiences/remarketing on FB and Twitter have increased value of advertising there as well. – Timothy Jensen
  • It’s all about audiences & targeting capabilities. – Christi Olson (@ChristiJOlson)
  • Each network needs to be treating differently! People on Facebook are in a different mindset then when on LinkedIn. – Margot da Cunha


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)
• Andrew Miller (@AndrewCMiller)
• Ashwin Chandra (@ashwin_chandra)
• Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
• Chris Haleu (@chrishaleua)
• Christi Olson (@ChristiJOlson)
• Dan Barbata (@danbarbata)
• EJ Garcia (@EjGarcia)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
• Jon Stroz (@StrozKnows)
• Jonathan Maltz (@MaltzPPC)
• Juan Restrepo (@JUANRRESTREPO)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
• Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
• Margot da Cunha (@ChappyMargot)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Nate Knox (@nateknox)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Ron Mahoney (@ronzmahoney)
• Sameer Hakim (@hakim_sameer)
• Stephanie Cockerl (@StephCockerl)
• Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)

Next Level PPCChat Streamcaps….except they’re still the same level

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

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