The ROI Revolution Blog

Pinterest: “Pin It” for More Sales

May 31, 2012

pinterestClients of ours have recently found success with Pinterest – an online pinboard that allows users to organize and share products that they find online.

The site allows users to “pin” a picture onto their Pinterest “board.” From there, users that are following their boards can view the items and “re-pin” it onto their board. When a user pins a product picture, it has the potential to go viral and the exposure can increase exponentially.

Using Google Insights for Search for Seasonality Trends

February 10, 2010

Use the Google Insights for Search tool to check the seasonality of your major keywords. This tool also shows you countries, states, and metro areas that search highly for your terms.

According to Google, Insights for Search is a tool where users “can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames, and properties.”

To use this tool, you need to visit

Insights for Search will show you when a search phrase is most popular during the year. If you are an advertiser with a seasonal product, it is very beneficial to be able to see when the peaks in your search traffic usually start and when you should turn your seasonal campaigns on.

Using Google Analytics to Your PPC Advantage: Geo Targeting

September 15, 2009

large_cartoon16 GA geographic targeting.gifStrategy: Using Google Analytics, you can see which cities and states are performing well, and you can create separate PPC campaigns for those areas with higher bids. Conversely, you can see which cities and states underperform, and you can isolate and bid them down or eliminate them altogether.

Google Analytics can reveal so much invaluable information about your online (and offline) marketing efforts, and uncovering where the majority of your traffic and customers come from is just one of the many important pieces of the marketing pie. Using different reports and segmentations in Google Analytics can shed light on where you should be focusing your marketing.

AdWords Display URL Policy: Are All Of Your Ads Still Running?

July 24, 2009

Back in February of this year, Google announced a change to their AdWords policy regarding multiple display URL domains per ad group. The change basically prohibits advertisers from running ads in the same ad group that send users to multiple domains.

When I learned of the update, I (mistakenly) assumed that the policy referred to active ads only. Lately, I have started finding out that my initial assumption was very wrong.

I’m in the process of working with a client who has dozens of different domains in their AdWords account to migrate those domains down to one central domain. To implement the migration, I started pausing their ads to preserve the history, duplicating those ads, and changing the display and destination URLs before taking them active.

I posted phase one of our domain migration yesterday, and all of my new ads were immediately disapproved.

Let me reiterate that all of the active ads in each ad group were sending traffic to one domain. However, there were multiple paused ads in the same ad group sending traffic to old, outdated URLs.

All active ads in all of the affected ad groups were disapproved, because essentially, the ad group was violating the updated URL policy for containing ads, active or paused, that sent traffic to multiple domains.

Tie It All Together: Linking Google Analytics Goals With AdWords

June 19, 2009

Isn’t it annoying when you have to click back and forth between your Google AdWords account and your Google Analytics account to see which campaigns, ad groups, and keywords are bringing the most profit bearing conversions for you? Well I have good news… You don’t have put up with that headache any longer!

We’ve seen it in our client accounts for some time now, but Google has just announced that it is now possible to import your goals and transactions from Google Analytics into your AdWords account.

To be able to do this, you must first have your Google AdWords account linked with your Google Analytics account. Once that is set up, you just have to make a few clicks, and you’re done.

In the new user interface, you can find conversion tracking under the tools tab.

ga goals new ui.JPG

Introduction to Google’s Ad Auction, Part 2: AdRank and CPC

March 25, 2009

Yesterday, I introduced you to a video released by Google starring their Chief Economist, Hal Varian that explains the Google Ad Auction and Quality Score. In part one of this two part blog series, I reiterated how Google quantifies their formally elusive, Quality Score.

In today’s article, I will use the same video and guidance from our Google rep to explain how Google determines your Ad Rank as well as each advertiser’s click cost. Some of this post may make you feel like you’re back in high school math class, but bear with me. These formulas really do reveal Quality Score’s crucial role in the AdWords system and how you can spend less to get more.


AdRank = Max CPC x Quality Score

AdRank is the formula Google uses to assign the position of a keyword targeted ad. It is determined by multiplying the maximum cpc bid that the advertiser is willing to pay by the Quality Score of that advertiser. An ad’s position is then determined by the advertiser’s AdRank, awarding the highest position to the advertiser with the highest ad rank.


Our example above shows how Quality Score can prohibit advertisers from simply bidding high enough to show in the top position. Even though advertiser Cameron is bidding well above all of his competitors, he will show in the fourth position due to his low Quality Score.

Determining Click Cost:

Actual CPC = (AdRank to beat/Quality Score of Advertiser) + $.01

Each advertiser only pays the minimum amount required to maintain his position.

Introduction to Google’s Ad Auction, Part 1: Quality Score

March 24, 2009

ctrpie.JPGLast Wednesday our agency’s Google rep sent over a video put together by Google’s Chief Economist, Hal Varian that very clearly explains Google’s Ad Auction and Quality Score. The 9 minute video is definitely worth viewing at least once to get a better understanding of two large parts of the AdWords system that were, until now, pretty hard to quantify.

In this two part blog series, I will explain what Quality Score actually is, how the ad auction works, and how Quality Score determines your ads’ positioning and costs per click using the video as my guide. Today’s article will cover the ever elusive concept of what Google’s Quality Score really is.

Google’s reasoning for creating Quality Score is to make sure that the best interests of all parties included in the search experience (the advertiser, the user, and Google themselves) are taken into account when a search is performed on Below, I’ve explained the motivation to appeal to each party’s interest:

  • Advertisers want to show relevant ads so that users will click on their ads and land on their site, hopefully intending to purchase something.
  • Users want to see relevant ads so they can easily find what they’re looking for in the shortest amount of time.
  • Google wants the best experience for both advertisers and users so that advertisers continue to use the AdWords program and so users continue to use and Google’s other host of products.

Until recently, Google’s “Quality Score” was an abstract concept with little to no definition. Advertisers wanted to get the highest Quality Score possible, but didn’t really know what they were striving for.

Google’s Recommendation to Optimize Ads, and Why It’s (Potentially) Not a Great Idea

January 19, 2009

Occasionally, Google will show alerts in our AdWords accounts introducing new products or tools, or notifying us of maxed out budgets or disapproved ads. These are usually very helpful to us. Lately, many account managers in our PPC management agency have noticed the following message in their clients’ Google AdWords accounts suggesting that the Ad Serving setting be changed from “Rotate Ad Serving” to “Optimize Ad Serving” in order to ‘increase traffic by showing your best ad most often’.


Click to View The Image Larger

At ROI Revolution, we recommend always setting our campaigns’ ads to “Rotate” as part of what we call “AdWords 101” or the most basic and well-known practices for an AdWords account. There are two main reasons why we do this:

More Clicks Does Not Equal More Conversions

Google optimizes your ad serving based on Click-Through-Rate. This works out great for Google, because showing the ad that gets the most clicks more often means more Google revenue. However, optimizing ads based on Click-Through-Rate is not always the best practice for advertisers, because conversion rate is never factored in to the equation. While increasing clicks is a wonderful way to get more visits to your site, conversion rate is equally as important, if not more important, to most advertisers. With the exception of brand awareness, there is not much of a payoff in getting someone to click on your ad and then leave your site without buying anything or submitting any of their information.

Test, Test, Test

It is best practice to run at least two ads in a paid search ad group. If you’re not continually testing ad text, headlines, landing pages, basically everything, then you’re missing out on new opportunities that could bring in more money for you. If those ads are not rotated evenly, there is no way to tell which one generates the most profitable traffic for your business. Rotating ads evenly will ensure that the data you’re seeing in your reports is a fair representation of how they actually perform when given an equal chance.

The moral of this story is DON’T choose this setting if you want to maximize your results through testing and conversions. Leaving your ads set to “Optimize” is a common mistake, but one that you can and should avoid. In order to make the best decision for your AdWords account, it is essential to outline goals, prioritize them, and optimize your ads based on those goals.

For more insider tricks and tips that we use to help our clients in multiple industries, you can register for our 3-part Google AdWords Beginner Online Training course taking place later this month.

Tagging with Google Analytics: Creating Transparency For Relevance Match

October 20, 2008

If you have a account, you probably know that they do not offer a conversion tracking feature within their UI. If you’re reading this blog and you have a account, you probably (hopefully!) have your keywords tagged with Google Analytics tagging.

We have recently taken over PPC account management for a client’s account that was already created but not tagged. We have come up with a way to not only tag the account to find which keywords are worthwhile and which keywords are wasting money, but we can also create some transparency for’s Relevance Match using Google Analytics. describes relevance match as keywords that are similar and relevant to the keywords that you are already buying in a particular category, but are not those exact keywords. I would say it’s similar to the way that Google uses their broad match feature. Within the listings or categories in your account, you will see the list of keywords you are buying and the phrase “relevance match” at the bottom of the list. Clicks and spend will be assigned to “relevance match,” but there is no way to tell in the interface what the search terms were that deemed relevant enough to show your ad and cost you a click.

New and Improved: Google AdWords Conversion Tracking by Type

June 4, 2008

Are you sure that the conversions you see tracked in the Google AdWords Campaign Summary page are really the conversions you’re hoping for? How do you know what types of conversions your AdWords campaigns are generating if you have the AdWords Conversion Tracking script on many of your site’s success pages?

It’s best practice to send a searcher to a landing page that has one clearly defined action that you would like them to take, say filling out a Contact Us form. But what happens when that Contact Us page links to another page on your site with a completely different desired action, say a newsletter sign up? If the searcher clicks on an ad that takes them to the Contact Us landing page but somehow moves over to the newsletter page and signs up there, you’ve still got a conversion reported for your Contact Us campaign. The problem is that it’s the wrong type!

Now, when you look in your Contact Us campaign, you think you’re only generating leads for people raising their hands to be contacted, but you’ve actually got people who are just interested in reading your newsletter lumped in there as well. It can be very misleading.

Google AdWords has created a way to track your conversions by type.

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