The ROI Revolution Blog
Make the most of your Google AdWords reports
March 10, 2010
One "mistake" that we consistently see when conducting one of our AdWords account audit and strategy sessions or when beginning work with a new client is that the AdWords report center is not used effectively, or maybe even not at all. In order to know what is working, what is not working and how to make your account better you need to make use of this feature.
You can access the report center by clicking the "Reporting" tab found at the top of the AdWords user interface and selecting reports.
Once the next screen loads you will find reports ranging from individual keyword performance to ad performance - even discovering the exact search queries that are being made on Google.com that then show your ad and delivered a visitor to your site.
There are 11 reports in all.
At the very least, we recommend running an Account Performance report for the past few months at a week-by-week basis to spot major trends.
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Stand Out From Your Competitors with Competitive Research!
March 4, 2010
Stay abreast of what your competitors are up to on a weekly basis through regular research. This research should include searching on key terms, checking out your competitor's ad text, and visiting competitor sites regularly.
Questions you should ask yourself:
Are their ads more compelling? Do they have a sale going on or a new product that is a better version of yours? Does their headline standout more? If you want your company to be able to compete online, regular competitive research is essential.
Benefits of regular competitive research:
- You'll be happily surprised when you see your traffic and sales increasing, if you regularly pay attention to these details to set yourself apart.
- You may also be surprised how little most of your competitors update their own ad text---this will give you the advantage.
- Plus, you will immediately notice when new competitors enter your market---something a company should always know.
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Want more traffic? Check your delivery setting.
January 13, 2010
Often times our clients want to get as much traffic as possible, yet their campaign settings are not set up appropriately to accomplish their goal and that's where we come in.
There are two different types of budget delivery standard and accelerated.
Standard Delivery: Selecting this option can potentially limit the number of times your ads show throughout the course of the day. This option designates the campaign to spend the daily budget allocated steadily throughout each day.
Accelerated Delivery: Selecting this option guarantees that your ad will show as much as possible throughout the course of each day except in the event that the budget you allocated for that campaign is depleted before day's end.
As an AdWords advertiser you must decide which of the two settings is a better fit for you and your overall account budget.
To switch between Standard Delivery and Accelerated Delivery, follow these steps:
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The Positives of Keyword Negatives
December 8, 2009
A "mistake" that we consistently see when conducting our AdWords account audit and strategy sessions, or when beginning work with a new client is that there are no negative keywords throughout the entire account. The use of negative keywords can save you hundreds of dollars every month by preventing your ads from displaying for irrelevant Google.com searches.
The addition of negative keywords to your account should be made in order to have your ads show only when it is relevant to your product offering or service. The easiest (and quickest) way to find negative keywords is to use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.
This tool can be found by clicking on "Opportunities" at the top of the new AdWords user interface...
...and selecting "Keyword tool" found on the left hand side of the following page.
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Geotargeting: Do your ads accurately reflect your service area?
November 11, 2009
Determining where you want to have your ads show is, surprisingly, often neglected. We often times see when conducting our AdWords account audit and strategy sessions, or when beginning work with a new client that geographic targeting is set up incorrectly. This is primarily due to new Google AdWords campaigns automatically adding Canada as a target country.
If your product or service is not available in Canada, be sure to remove it from your geo-targeting list once your campaign is uploaded.
Now, moving beyond this quick tip, there are a number of slightly more advanced geographic targeting features that are very helpful for advertisers.
In order to focus on specific cities, states, regions, etc you must select which campaign you would like to work on.
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Use ALL 3 Google AdWords Keyword Match Types for Google Search
October 29, 2009
One pattern we often see when conducting an AdWords account audit and strategy session for an advertiser, or when beginning work with a new client is that there are only broad match keywords throughout the AdWords account.
Ideally, you should bid on all three match types of every keyword you decide to include in your account for Google Search. To see why, read on....
To quickly review:
- Using broad match keywords allows your ad to show on similar phrases and relevant variations. If you are bidding on the keyword: buy flowers, your ad may show on searches such as: flowers, purchase flowers, buy daisy flowers.
- Using phrase match keywords allows your ad to show for searches that match the exact phrase. You are bidding on the keyword: "buy flowers", your ad may show for: I need to buy flowers, buy flowers online, buy flowers for my wife.
- Using exact match allows your ad to show for searches that match the exact phrase exclusively. You are bidding on the keyword: [buy flowers], your ad will only show when someone searches for: buy flowers.
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3-Session "AdWords Academy" Bootcamp for Beginners ONLY
October 15, 2009
ROI Revolution is now offering a 3-session training series for PPC beginners ONLY.
Our goal with this course is to really take you step-by-step through the process of creating and managing campaigns in Google AdWords.
Each session goes for 90 minutes including 20 minutes of Q&A.
The course will teach beginners how to use the AdWords interface to build your Google campaigns from the ground up. You'll learn the essential structures, terminology and all of the many handy facets that can help you better manage, understand and utilize your account's data.
You will learn and gain an understanding of:
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing
- The Google Networks
- Features & Benefits of AdWords
- Key Terminology
- A Proper Account Structure
- The new AdWords Interface
- How to Create a Campaign
- Language & Location Targeting
- Writing Ad Creatives
- Building a Keyword List
- Match Types
- How to Edit Campaign Settings
- How to Optimize Your Campaigns
- How to Create Reports & Understand Them
- How to Use the Many Tools in AdWords
- Other Advertising Options on Google
If you have just started using Google AdWords or would like to grow your business online, but have yet to try, this is just the course for you to get you started.
I manage pay-per-click campaigns on AdWords all day long, every day-of-the-week, so I made sure to cover all of the essentials and give you insider tips to build a well-structured campaign and manage it smoothly.
Please come and join the AdWords Academy boot camp, and get the help you need to make your business soar online or learn more about each training session in detail.
Leverage Your Brand in your AdWords Account
October 12, 2009
Be sure to have a "branded" campaign filled with variations of your company name and website.
Not only do you want to ensure ad dominance for your own keywords, but it will help separate these highly performing keywords from everything else, so as not to skew your overall account statistics.
Creating a branded campaign is key to online advertising success as you will want your company to come up when users are specifically searching for your company.
You would want to bid on all versions of your company's name including:
- the correct spelling
- common misspellings
- your company name followed by.com
- your company web address
- your company name with the www. before it
For example, say your company was called Cheesemonger. You would want to bid on the following keywords:
- www cheesemonger
- cheesemonger com
- www cheesemonger com
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Calling Out All AdWords Newbies---Read AdWords Step by Step: A Guide to Building Successful AdWords Campaigns.
June 24, 2009
If you are new to advertising with Google AdWords and want some additional help setting up your campaigns, but cannot yet afford agency services, read Step by Step---a help guide to getting started with AdWords .
This workbook is a simple, easy-to-understand, 35-page guide that maps out the process of setting up your very own AdWords campaign from start to finish.
The book lays out in 3 fast chapters the processes of organizing your account, picking the right keywords, and writing targeted ads---all essential components to a successful AdWords campaign.
Each chapter is then broken down into simple steps that any beginner would be able to understand, along with a section of key terms and a helpful worksheet at the end to guide you through the setup process of your account.
First, let's start with the section on Organizing Your Account. This section really focuses on helping you, the advertiser, organize your campaign around your personal business goals, concentrating on one goal per campaign. After all, how could you hone in on a specific cost per conversion or certain ROI level for a campaign, if it had more than one goal?
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Google AdWords Updates Editor to Version 7.5.1
June 4, 2009
On Monday, Inside AdWords, Google's official blog for everything AdWords related, announced the release of a new version of AdWords Editor.
With this new version there are a couple of very helpful updates that increase efficiency when working on your account.
Additionally, the desktop-based keyword tool within Editor has been enhanced by creating a more robust capability in order to increase your presence on both Google's search and content networks.
There are three main upgrades that come with updating Editor to version 7.5.1:
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Google's New Interface Will Make Your Advertising Life Easier
February 24, 2009
If you advertise on Google AdWords and have not yet become a part of the new AdWords interface beta, you will soon get a chance to use this because eventually it will be available to everyone!
The new interface is laid out much like AdWords Editor with a side panel that appears on the left of the screen where you can expand a campaign name, and it lists all of the ad groups. This makes it much easier for those of you constantly having to click into campaigns to find top ad groups---you can see your entire account's top ad groups, keywords, or placements without having to dig into multiple campaigns, making management much more efficient.
Another great feature of the beta is that there is a graph on the campaigns tab graphing various metrics such as cost, cost/conversion, click-through-rate, clicks----well, you get my point, but it makes it easier to spot account trends like in the account snapshot. With the graph being above all of the campaigns and ad groups and changing with the date range, you can now easily spot positive or negative trends at a glance.
Click to enlarge image
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Google's new 'First Page Bid' - strategies to stay on page one without bidding higher
September 13, 2008
A couple of weeks ago Google announced a number of changes to the user interface. One of the changes that is slowly rolling out across all AdWords accounts is the change from 'Minimum Bid' to 'First Page Bid.'
This particular change certainly has its benefits, primarily greater transparency on what you must bid to acquire the maximum number of impressions and clicks available based on your daily budget. Ideally you want to drive as much traffic to your website as possible while remaining profitable. There is no question that if your advertising is not showing on the first page of search results, you are passing up the majority of available traffic for your product or service.
With this increased transparency, advertisers will now be able to determine very easily what they must bid to display their ads on page one and acquire those much desired impressions and clicks. Inevitably, this will produce more competition to display your ad in one of the top 8 positions simply because it is easier for advertisers to manage their AdWords accounts.
Now, of course, one way to continue serving your ads on page one would be to increase your keyword and ad group default bid amounts if you see an increase in competition. However, there are many other ways to remain on page one without increasing your bid amounts and also to maximize customer value.
- Ad Creative: The more relevant you can draft your ad headlines, body copy, and display URLs to that of the user's search query, the greater your quality score will increase, which will reward you by driving down your average CPC. By constantly conducting A/B split testing with your ad creative, you become more and more relevant, allowing you to display on page one for less than your competitors who may not be testing ads and are holding onto one of the top 8 spots by constantly increasing their bid amounts
- Landing Pages: Again, just like your ad creative, the more relevant your landing page is to what the user has searched for, the greater your Quality Score will increase and therefore lower your average CPC. Relevancy reigns supreme in paid search and this does not just span your AdWords account. From your keyword lists to your ad creative and ultimately where you send your traffic all plays an integral part in the overall performance of your PPC campaigns. Constantly test new landing page formats and content to match as closely as possible what the initial search query was on Google.com in order to maximize relevancy and to keep your ads displaying in those most coveted spots.
- Up-Sells and Back-End Offers: For practically all products and services there is potential to drive traffic for not only the immediate desired action, but also for subsequent signups and purchases, sometimes at the exact moment your customer is making their first conversion. Once you have your customer in your sales funnel and they are checking out, offer them another product or service that relates to this initial purchase.
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How To Prevent Successful Phishing Attempts with Your Google AdWords Account
August 12, 2008
A couple months ago, there was an increase in attempts to collect personal account information within AdWords by 3rd parties. The most common term for this is phishing, whereby 3rd parties fraudulently try to acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy source.
At the time, Google had written that many phishing attempts came from firstname.lastname@example.org. The emails sent by this address asked users to update their billing information, take action on a disapproved ad, edit their account, or accept new AdWords terms and conditions.
In some cases, the links that were included in the email led to websites that install malware (software that attempts to steal sensitive information from your computer, send spam, or commit fraud) onto your computer. While the number of these attempts has decreased, they are still prevalent (we just received another email attempting this today), so you need to keep your eyes open for fraudulent behavior and contact Google of any possible phishing attempts.
During the influx of hacking attempts, one of our clients was affected. Overnight, someone was able to gain access to their account using their login name and password. They created a new campaign with one ad group and allocated a $9000/day budget in order to sell ringtones.
Fortunately, Google caught this suspicious behavior and temporarily suspended the account to investigate. While this phishing attempt was spotted and stopped before it could do some real harm, you may not be so lucky.
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Yahoo Smart Start - A Handy Guide For Yahoo Advertisers
June 24, 2008
If you have ever wanted to pull your hair out over Yahoo's Search Marketing interface--I definitely have--than you know that the interface is not nearly as user-friendly as Google's. For those of you looking for a quick, go-to guide, I have just the one for you: Yahoo Smart Start.
Although Yahoo's blog claims that Yahoo Smart Start is a guide for beginners, I would say that the guide is definitely geared more to those who have some experience with pay-per-click advertising but are not experts. However, the guide would be extremely helpful to show to clients who were curious about the yahoo interface and wanted to understand what they were really getting into with advertising on Yahoo.
The book walks you through the ten helpful chapters below.
- Building a Foundation with Strong Keywords
- Organizing Ad Groups for Success
- Writing Effective Ads
- Making Sure Your Ads are High Quality
- Matching Your Keywords to Your Customer's Searches
- Determining Effective Bids
- Targeting Your Ads Geographically
- Advertising on Content Sites
- Tracking Your Results
Each chapter begins with an opening question from Sharon Goodsense, a character PPC advertiser, such as, "I'm lost on the match type thing. I see there are two options, but I don't understand why I would ever want to use the Standard match type, when the Advanced match type shows my ad for more searches on my keywords. Shouldn't I just always use that option (Yahoo Smart Start 41)?"
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ROI Revolution's PPC Team Tackles Analytics at the Googleplex
October 15, 2007
From left to right: Shawn Purtell, Meredith Smith (back), Erin Skinner, Mark Curtis, Page Christenbury, Michael Harrison, Timothy Seward, Katherine Anderson
I recently returned from a trip to the famous Googleplex for the GAAC (Google Analytics Authorized Consultants) conference. Besides the conference itself, the best part about Google (other than the food!) was experiencing the sense of community on the Google campus.
As I walked around the campus, I was greeted with smiles from resident Googlers buzzing all around. It was clear that I was a newbie to the campus by my orange name tag and by my obvious look of confusion, and everyone around me noticed me and took the time to welcome me.
I was given a tour by a Googler named Laura, who all the other Googlers called a "Noogler" because she had just started - a recent Princeton graduate.
In the lobby where they gave me my name tag and where we started our tour, there was a screen with live searches that appeared on it from all over the world in different languages. Laura said that they "tried" to filter out some of the searches, but some of them were pretty random and slightly inappropriate. It was actually entertaining to see that some people really haven't yet learned how to best search on the internet.
As Laura led my team on our tour, dozens and dozens of Googlers passed by on beach cruiser style bicycles with kid-like orange flags on poles rising out of them. She told us that you can just pick up a bike and ride it wherever you want on the Google campus and just drop it off wherever. My teammate Mark took her up on this opportunity as you can see in the picture.
Continuing on our tour, we saw that Google basically offered everything you could ever dream of in a work environment. Jars full of candy. Refrigerators full of free drinks. A massage room. An herb garden. A gym. A Laundromat. A swim station. Even a volleyball court. Oh yes, and how could I forget, the endless cafeterias.
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PPC Summit - Upcoming Premier PPC Event!
August 16, 2007
All pay-per-click advertisers listen up. I want to tell you about the one-stop-shop for PPC education. Finally we are getting exactly what we have needed & wanted - an internet marketing conference focused exclusively on PPC---and it does not just cover Google AdWords, but Yahoo Search Marketing, Microsoft adCenter, and all of the other smaller PPC Engines at one event, the PPC Summit in Los Angeles!
It is being held at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at the California Plaza on September 24th & 25th, and I could not be more excited to attend. If you want to be an expert in PPC in all search engines then this is the event for you because it will be the most comprehensive PPC conference to date. Plus, the knowledge you'll gain will help kick your PPC campaigns into overdrive, giving you a serious edge over your competitors.
At this interactive two-day summit, you will get insider tips and strategies from expert speakers---one being Mary O'Brien, the chairman of the PPC Summits. She has optimized high level accounts such as Expedia and Amazon, and was formerly the Senior Director of Sales for Overture Services (Yahoo! Search Marketing). This woman knows everything there is to know about PPC, and I cannot wait to hear her secrets.
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Searching For Experienced PPC Specialist
June 8, 2007
We at ROI Revolution are searching for a talented, creative individual with at least six months experience with pay-per-click advertising to join our team in Raleigh, NC.
Well, I bet you are wondering what it is like to work at ROI. Let me share some of my personal experience with you.
I started working at ROI in September of 2006 and have never looked back. I completely set up pay-per-click campaigns from start-to-finish—from researching industries and keywords, to writing ad text, to campaign strategy, to bidding. It's great because I have the control to do work without someone standing over my shoulder. I can take my own creative liberties, but I have the comfort of working in a team—so if I need input or assistance from a teammate, there is always someone there!
Plus, there is prestige in working here as ROI is 1 of only 11 authorized Google Analytics consulting firms in the nation.
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Yahoo's New Ranking Model
January 25, 2007
Finally the Yahoo! Search Marketing upgrade has brought some well-needed changes to their Sponsored Search program with its new ranking model. This revised model will help advertisers spend much less time on bidding wars, leaving time to create more relevant ads. It is replacing the current method for ad ranking which is based on bid amounts alone.
Beginning February 5, 2007 bid amount and ad quality will determine an ad's rank in the search results. What exactly determines 'ad quality'? Well, there are two factors to this new feature-one being the ad's historical performance which consists of the click-through rate in comparison to that of the competitor's and the normal click-through rate for that position.
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