Bigger Isn’t Always Better In Your PPC Campaigns

December 9th, 2009 by Kristie McDonald

It used to be – in the old days (okay the “old days” in the search engine marketing (SEM) world was 2 years ago) – that large pay-per-click (PPC) does-ppc-size-mattercampaigns with thousands of keywords were the way to go.  The bigger the better.  Some of the older Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing accounts that I’ve taken over have had over 50,000 keywords!

Now, according to Google AdWords and what we’ve seen in our own management efforts, it is a much better idea to start with a smaller PPC advertising account and expand slowly.

There are two reasons for this. 

Quality Score

First is the need to establish a good quality score.  Using extremely targeted terms and matching them carefully to your ad copy is the best way to establish a high quality score in your account.  There are other factors, of course, but these are the most controllable aspects of the quality score calculation.

The 80/20 Rule

Second is the smart use of your time and money.  Business owners are busy people.  The methods that you use to grow your business should be chosen carefully with respect to your time and your expenses.  What we see again and again with all of our clients is that 20% of the keywords in a PPC account (actually, it’s probably more like 5-10%), make up 80% of the traffic and conversions for the business. 

What does this mean to you?  For the best effect, you should focus your time and expense on those 20%.

The Catch

The problem, in many cases, is that we don’t really know what the 20% is until we test them.  Yes, keyword research and competitor research reveals a lot of data on what the top keywords are for a particular industry.  However, until those keywords are tested with your ad copy, your call to action, and your business model, we don’t really know which ones will be in the top 20.  It has to be  tested.

So, for the best PPC results and the best use of your time, you should start with a small, targeted account with tight ad groups and focused, effective ad copy.  But – this tight campaign should then be expanded based on the actual results. A qualified PPC Management Company will provide a complimentary consultation to help you determine the best route for your PPC Campaigns.

Analyzing trends in the New Google AdWords Interface

September 21st, 2009 by Kristie McDonald

Google AdWords provides a lot of data regarding your campaign performance.  And if you have Google Analytics installed (which you should – it’s free and easy), you have access to a lot of useful data there as well.   Analyze Trends With New AdWords Interface

It can actually be overwhelming when you first start to poke around your PPC advertising campaign or your Google Analytics account to figure out what the most valuable data really is, so let me point you in a couple key places.

The new interface has some really great ways to view, filter and analyze your Google AdWords campaign data quickly and efficiently.  These options used to only be available in the reports area, but now they can be seen for every campaign and ad group.

With the new Google AdWords interface, you now have a great new data reporting tool on the right hand side.  It is a graph that will show you the trend for the time period you have selected on several different data values.  You can change the date range to view as many days as you like – I prefer either 30 or 7 depending on the campaign.  The two data items I keep an eye on from this “30 thousand foot” view are Impressions and Cost.  Basically we are looking for any trends – up or down – of the number of impressions your ads are getting and the amount that is being spent on the entire account.  If either one has an unusual spike, there is going to be some digging to do to be sure everything is running as planned.

Also, while you are getting that overview perspective for your AdWords account, go ahead and sort campaigns and ad groups by Cost (descending). This way, your attention is focused on the highest spenders at a high level.  This will also alert you to situations where your highest spenders shouldn’t be your highest spenders and you can make changes accordingly. If you have PPC advertising questions, you might want to consider contacting a professional PPC management company with questions or to plan a consultation.

Creating Local Business Ads for Google Maps

August 24th, 2009 by Kristie McDonald

Do I need to Create a Local Business Ad to advertise on Google Maps?

Google has begun, more than ever, pulling regular search ads into the Google maps display – especially if there are limited competitors running local business ads.  They have also started to default the maps Google Maps Adsdisplay to the small map with many more local listings and sponsored listings displayed on the screen.  This has created a need for more ads to run in this space – typically there are only three that run when a full map is displayed.

Despite that, a Local business Ad is much more powerful because of the actions the user can take to interact with your ad and find your business.

When you run a Local Business Ad:

  1. An icon that you design is displayed on the map.  If done correctly, this can cause your location to stand out from the crowd.
  2. Your address is displayed in the ad.
  3. Your ad has a link that says “Show on Map”.  As I discussed in my last post about Google Local Business Ads, if your audience is particularly sensitive to location, seeing your location on the map can be a great selling point.
  4. Once they have select the option to show your information listing on the map, the user can get directions, show the street view, save to their saved map locations or send the listing to an email address or even a GPS system!
  5. Also on the information listing, you can display your phone number and an image.

How do I run Local Business Ads?

First, you must have a Google Local Business Listing  – this is something you should have regardless of whether you run ads.  It is free and when you have a local business listing, properly optimized, your listing can show up on the first page of Google maps for your targeted key phrases.

Second, once you have created a local business listing, you can add a local business ad to any ad group from within the Adwords Editor interface.   Simply select the Ads tab, the Local Business Ads tab and Add Local Business Ad.  You can add the business location, the ad copy, an image to be displayed on the Information listing and a small little icon to be used as a Map Marker on the map.

For more information on creating and managing local business ads, contact the PPC Management Professionals at JumpFly.