Getting Over the PPC Hurdles

This PPCChat took place on February 3rd, 2011. Streamcap by Matthew Umbro

Over the years I’ve spoken with several companies interested in running PPC campaigns, but are too gun-shy to pull the trigger. They see great potential in the program but whether it is lack of funds or an unwillingness to break from the current mode(s) of advertising, PPC campaigns are put on hold. Let’s look at both of these problems and discuss potential solutions.

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PPC and So Much More

This PPCChat took place on October 20th, 2010. Streamcap by Matthew Umbro

Industry-renowned pay-per-click (PPC) specialist Melissa Mackey recently wrote a great 2 part series about the pros and cons of running PPC campaigns in-house or through an agency (part 1 and part 2). She makes valid points on both sides and gives those interested in hiring a PPC specialist much to consider about PPC management. I’d like to add to Melissa’s sentiments, by suggesting that whether PPC managers work for themselves or an agency, they need to excel at more than just paid search.

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Are You Calculating Total PPC Campaign Revenue?

This PPCChat took place on October 11th, 2010. Streamcap by Matthew Umbro

The success of most e-commerce pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns is determined by the amount of revenue made and the height of the return on investment (ROI).  Sounds like a no brainer, huh?  Ultimately money talks and if you aren’t seeing your desired results the PPC budget will be cut.  Too often companies only calculate PPC revenue as purchases made from the site.  I’m here to tell you that PPC revenue can be made through other channels, but oftentimes these earnings are not attributed to the PPC campaign, which is a huge mistake!

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New Google AdWords Extension?

This PPCChat took place on September 22nd, 2010. Streamcap by Matthew Umbro

I was doing a search today and noticed this ad:

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How Accurate is Your Call to Action?

This PPCChat took place on August 31st, 2010. Streamcap by Matthew Umbro

Every pay-per-click (PPC) ad needs a call to action so the person viewing the ad knows what to do when they land on the page, especially because you are paying for this traffic.  If the call to action is not clear, visitors will leave your site without converting.  Depending on your goals, the call to action can be anything from purchase online to learn more about a particular product.  However, there is a certain degree to how descriptive the call to action can be and thus how effective an ad will convert.

Let’s say you are a B2B company selling computer software and your desired conversion is for visitors to download a whitepaper.  Your landing page contains a short description of the whitepaper, an image, and a form.  The headline above the form reads Download this Whitepaper, while the button to submit your information says Submit.  Upon filling out the form, visitors are taken to a thank you page with a link to the whitepaper.   Overall, this conversion process is straightforward, but how will you write your PPC text ads to entice visitors to download this whitepaper?  Take a look at these 3 ads, all pointing to the same landing page, but each using a different call to action.

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Utilizing Google AdWords Sitelinks My Way

This PPCChat took place on August 17th, 2010. Streamcap by Matthew Umbro

I’ve previously written about my affinity for Google AdWords Sitelinks.  By offering users up to 4 potential landing pages grouped below the ad, you are allowing them to click the most relevant link and make the conversion process easier.  This extension is especially great for branded searches because they can be vague.  For example, if I type in “Nike shoes,” Google doesn’t know whether I am looking for men’s shoes or women’s shoes and will serve the generic branded ad.  Sitelinks gives the user the choice to visit the most appropriate page.

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Competing in a Quality Score World

This PPCChat took place on August 10th, 2010. Streamcap by Matthew Umbro

Improving your keywords’ quality scores in any Google AdWords campaign is always a must.  Your ad groups must be tightly themed and your text ads must contain the targeted keywords.  Furthermore, your landing pages should include these same keywords.  By taking these steps you should see your click-thru-rates (CTRs) increase and thus, your quality scores improve.

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New Google AdWords Format Clarified

This PPCChat took place on August 2nd, 2010. Streamcap by Matthew Umbro

The other day I posted a screen shot of a new Google AdWords format I had seen.  Here is that screen shot again:

I emailed my Google rep about the new format and this is the response I received:

“Just heard back from our Product team, and this is part of an experimental beta! It’s so new that you can’t even sign up for it. Google is continuously experimenting with new ad visualizations and features, so this time your client* is lucky to participate so early on!”

*Dick’s Sporting Goods isn’t my client.  I used this screen shot as an example.

So there you have it.  A new AdWords format is being tested.  I like the concept of showing products with their prices (like the products extension), however, the format looks disorganized.

What do you think?

New AdWords Format?

This PPCChat took place on July 30th, 2010. Streamcap by Matthew Umbro

Anyone ever seen this AdWords format before?

Fifteen Minutes Could Save You Budget in Your PPC Campaign

This PPCChat took place on June 21st, 2010. Streamcap by Matthew Umbro

It’s not quite the GEICO tagline, but the message of saving money is the same.  By taking fifteen minutes to research pay-per-click (PPC) campaign negative keywords you will save money in the long run.

Usually you add negative keywords to a PPC account as a reactive measure.  In other words, viewing a search query report or data from your analytics is causing you to add the negative keywords.   The damage is already done since you have already paid for the irrelevant clicks.  What if you could add negative keywords to your campaign as a proactive measure?

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