Posts Tagged ‘Google Adwords’

Do You Check Your Search Engine Rankings and Ad Positions?

Posted by Hans Riemer

Google Ad Preview ToolFor years, we’ve heard this refrain from business people. “We need to show up at the top of the search engines for [insert keyword].” Even though a lot more goes into online marketing success than simply being ranked at the top of the search results, it’s easy to get focused on this particular issue, sometimes to the exclusion of other matters that could, in fact, impact your business more.

In some cases, focusing too much on your search engine rankings can actually set you back. This is true whether you’re concerned with organic rank, or you just want to make sure your ads are showing up where and when they should. Let’s examine why this is so.

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Professional AdWords Management – Should You Hire an Expert?

Posted by Hans Riemer

IMG_1713We get letters in the mail from Google from time to time. You probably do too.

Typically, it arrives in the form of an envelope that is sized like a greeting card or invitation. There’s a card inside that starts with the headline, “How to get your business to show up on Google.”

As you unfold the card, you discover the pitch in just a few steps:

  • Run an ad. An easy-to-create Google ad that we’ll only show to people who are actively searching your area for exactly what you have to offer.
  • How? Simply pick a business category, write your ad and set a budget.
  • The details. How it works. What it costs.
  • Why? Prospective customers search by topic, and you are missing out.

Each panel contains just one or two dozen words. The take-aways are:

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How to Improve PPC Click Through Rate (CTR) for Better ROI

Posted by Cindy Wilson

If you’re engaging in PPC advertising on Google or Bing, you should already know that your Quality Score affects how much you have to pay per click in relation to your ad position. Improve your Quality Score and your Cost Per Male hand holding computer mouse with copy spaceClick (CPC) will go down, or your ad position will improve, or both.

Quality Scores are assigned to each keyword you sponsor. The biggest factor by far in determining the Quality Score of any of your sponsored keywords is the Click Thru Rate, or CTR, of that keyword. That’s the ratio of ad clicks divided by the number of ad impressions.

Here are some simple things you can do to improve CTR.

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Search Network with Display Select – Should you take Google’s recommendation?

Posted by Hans Riemer

Have you seen popups in your AdWords Search account that recommend enabling a campaign setting called “Search Network with Display Select”? Clicking on “Learn More” provides a compelling business case as to why this switch will be profitable for you.

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Should you take Google’s advice and make the switch? We advise against it.

Display Network and Search advertising are completely different. They require totally different approaches including different bids, budgets and ads. Even Google, in its certification training for AdWords, recommends setting up separate campaigns for Search and Display.

The Display Network can be effective. In fact, in certain situations, it can generate leads more cost-effectively than Search. But not when it’s run from within the same Campaign. In the hundreds of AdWords accounts that we’ve managed, a lot of the money we’ve seen wasted prior to our arrival was caused by targeting both Search and Display in the same Campaign by default.

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Google AdWords Changes

Posted by Cindy Wilson

It’s an update!

Enhancements or Detractions

Most businesses work hard for their customers.  We aim to make our clients happy with the products and services we provide. This means we sometimes make exceptions, work extra hours to meet deadlines or provide extra personal time and training. But overall, we try to be consistent in what we do and when we have to make a change to a policy or procedure, we let our clients know about it.

Google doesn’t seem to work that way.  We are amazed at how often tools, procedures and functionality just change without any notice.  Sometimes it’s for the better such as the Google Ad Preview Tool discussed in a previous blog post. But most of the time, the change provides less functionality and just makes us frustrated.  Within just the past few weeks, here are just a few of the different changes we’ve noticed:

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Google Ad Preview Tool

Posted by Cindy WilsonGoogle Ad Preview

If you advertise using Google AdWords, you want to know where your ad will be positioned and how it looks on the search results page.  Typing your keyword into Google Search will allow you to do this. However there is a “cost” associated with this action, even when you don’t click on your ad.  If you look at the page showing your ad, you generate an impression for your ad. When impressions go up but the number of clicks doesn’t, it reduces your Click-Through-Rate (CTR). A reduced CTR negatively impacts your Quality Score, which can cause Google to raise your Cost Per Click. But if you click on your ad, in order to improve your CTR, then you will have to pay for that click.

As an advertiser, you also may want to see how your ads appear in different locations, such as other parts of the country, or even in a different country.

In either situation, the best way to see your ad is to use a free tool that Google provides; an online tool aptly named the Google Ad Preview Tool. This tool allows you to “search for your ad just like you would on a regular Google search results page, without accruing any impressions.”

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Important New Google AdWords Privacy Requirements

Posted by Hans Riemer

Google AdWords Privacy Requirements

Privacy Requirement

Google has announced a new set of requirements for AdWords advertisers that go into effect on May 17, 2011. If you use AdWords to drive clicks to your website and you collect any kind of personal or financial information on your website, then these rules will apply to you.

Google will require AdWords advertisers to disclose the following before a person is asked to enter information on the site:

  1. How personal or financial information will be used.
  2. How users can opt-out later.
  3. That you use SSL security for collecting certain personal or financial data.

Google provides examples of what they mean by personal and financial information here.

You can read Google’s announcement, dated May 4, 2011, regarding the new policy here.

 

Google Display Network – Recent Changes=Bad News

Posted by Hans RiemerDisplay Network

Many Google Adwords advertisers have improved their Adwords ROI using Google’s Display Network because it allows them to extend their advertising reach and target prospects on contextually relevant websites that display Google ads. However, the contextual targeting has always been far from perfect and advertisers are often shocked to discover their ads appearing on non-contextually related web pages, parked domains and low quality sites. By “low quality sites” we mean MFA or Made-For-AdSense sites where the sole purpose is for the website owner to get a portion of the cost per click the Google advertiser pays. The more clicks, the more money they make. As you can imagine, the quality of traffic from sites like this is poor.

On the other hand, if a Display Network campaign is setup properly and with on-going optimization and vigilant blocking of poor quality sites, it can be quite profitable for the advertiser. Some of our clients have received more leads, at a lower cost per lead, from the Display Network than from Search.

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Are You Paying for Ads on Parked Domains?

Posted by Hans Riemer

Ads on parked domains

Parked domain?

People who place ads though AdWords or Microsoft adCenter typically do so primarily because they want the chance to bring someone who has typed a relevant search query into Google, Yahoo or Bing to their website. What is not so well known is that roughly half of the money that is spent on AdWords or adCenter goes for clicks on ads that do not appear on search results pages, but instead appear on other websites.

AdWords and adCenter show ads on these non-search websites by default unless this feature is manually disabled. This approach, known as Contextual PPC, provides many more opportunities for ads to be seen and clicked than if they just appeared on search results pages, so it drives substantial revenue for Google and Microsoft, gives advertisers greater exposure, and helps website publishers monetize their content.

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Conversion Optimization Best Practices

Posted by Hans Riemer

 

Improve Conversion Rates Through “Reverse Engineering”

Whenever we have been asked to troubleshoot an online campaign that isn’t working, the #1 problem we see is that most of the effort has been placed on driving traffic rather than the overall goal. In other words, instead of focusing on keywords or ads, you should begin by defining the desired result of your marketing activity or campaign. Is it a highly qualified lead? A sale?

Start at the end and work your way backwards. That’s what we mean by “reverse engineering.”

Let’s break down the process into a sequence of logical steps you can follow.

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