Conversion-Rate Optimization, PPC & SEO Lessons

  • Lesson #29: Don’t Only Run On Exact Match

    We’ve talked about not running too many keywords (if any) on broad match, but recently we’ve seen a lot of cases of the inverse – people wanting to run only on exact match. Don’t do this either! If you run too many keywords on exact match, you won’t be able to gain any query information […]
    February 4, 2016

    Lesson #28: Don’t Turn On Conversion Optimization Too Soon

    When setting up an AdWords campaign, it is very tempting to check the box to optimize based on conversion data immediately. While you usually can’t choose CPA bidding when you start, you can check the box that says eCPC, and we see that many clients do this. However, don’t! Google’s conversion optimization algorithms need at […]
    February 3, 2016

    Lesson #27: Beware Of Keywords With Multiple Meanings

    Some brand names are fairly common. Others are named after common objects. But unless you’re “the Cheesecake Factory,” many of these brand names may not work well for search. For example, a search for “Sound-Bar,” the popular Chicago nightclub, yields many ads for sound bars, a now popular piece of electronic equipment. “Next,” the amazing […]
    July 16, 2012

    Lesson #26: Don’t Just Put Everything On Broad Match

    Ok, I’ll give it to you: broad match has its appeal. No need to worry about plurals or all the various ways a phrase could be created. Lots of impressions and therefore better odds for more volume. Less keywords. So the thought is, less work. But that’s just not true. Do not just put everything […]
    July 12, 2012

    Lesson #25: Look to Impression Share For Missed Opportunities

    Impression Share may be one of the most useful and least utilized metrics in search marketing – exact match impression share, that is. Utilizable for the search network only, exact match impression share tells the advertiser what percentage of the possible impressions for their keywords (taking match types into account) the ads are showing up on. […]
    June 26, 2012

    Generic Keywords for SEO & AdWords

    When bidding on generic keywords, the most important thing is not to get too carried away. What do I mean by this? Advertisers who make mistakes bidding on generic keywords tend to fall prey to one of three possibilities: 1) Bidding Too Much on a Generic Keyword: Just don’t do it. Make sure you are […]
    June 25, 2012

    Lesson #23: Rotate Your Facebook Ads Every 3 Days

    When it comes to Facebook ads, one rule applies above all others: rotate your ads often. The rule of thumb is generally 3 days – sometimes a little bit more, and sometimes a little bit less. It doesn’t matter whether the ad is performing well – even the best performing ad will stop performing well […]
    June 22, 2012

    Lesson #22: Remove All Duplicate Keywords From Search Campaigns!

    When it comes to search, a keyword should only ever show up once in an account. Having keywords in different places eligible to show ads for the same search query can lead to two key things. First off, the advertiser is bidding against themselves in the bid auction, increasing the amount they are paying per […]
    June 21, 2012

    Lesson #21: Bid Rules Are Not Set It And Forget It

    Yesterday, we discussed bid rules. But while bid rules can carry out a logic indefinitely, they do not regulate themselves. As a result, it is important to keep an eye on bid rules, and actively manage them. They are not “set it and forget it.” For example, many an advertiser has accidentally competed against themselves […]
    June 19, 2012

    Lesson #20: Don’t Forget Long Tail Keywords

    As we continue this week’s foray into keywords, it is important not to forget about long tail keywords.  Long tail keywords are keywords, generally 3-5 words long, that a user would encounter when looking for a more specific query. While “shoes,” or even “red shoes,” are not long tail keywords, “red steve madden pumps” is […]
    June 15, 2012

    Lesson #19: Never Put More Than One Keyword Type In the Same Ad Group or Campaign

    Earlier this week, we discussed the four different types of keywords: brand, non-brand/generic, competitive and long-tail. Since long-tail keywords can fall under any of the other three categories though, for today’s discussion, we will only refer to the three main keyword types: brand, non-brand/generic and competitive. When it comes to these types of keywords, never […]
    June 13, 2012

    Lesson #18: Bidding on Brand Keywords

    To bid or not to bid? That is the question. Bidding on an advertiser’s own brand keywords is a very contentious topic within the SEM community. However, from every test I’ve seen, bidding on your own brand keywords is not only the best practice – it makes a significant difference when it comes to ROI. […]
    June 12, 2012

    Lesson #17: Send Customers To The Most Relevant Landing Page

    An advertiser has a beautiful expensive landing page or homepage that shows off the large array of products available on their site. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right page to send paid traffic to.  Always send paid traffic to the most relevant page possible on the site. It may be a search results page, it […]
    June 8, 2012

    Lesson #16: TEST, TEST, TEST!

    The good digital marketers all know one big secret – they test, test, and test some more. Testing is digital marketing’s largest advantage when it comes to the advertising space. Because the field is quantitatively driven and user controlled, it is possible, especially in transparent systems like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, to measure the results […]
    June 7, 2012

    Lesson #15: Rotate Ads Evenly (Or Auto-Optimize Ad Rotation)

    Earlier we discussed how important it is for an advertiser to run more than one ad at a time. But if an advertiser is running 3-5 ads per campaign at a time, how can they be sure which ad is performing the best? Google AdWords currently provides the advertiser with three options when it comes […]
    June 6, 2012

    Background: A Note on Conquesting Keywords

    Conquesting Keywords refer to keywords that are competitor’s brand names or terms. Advertising on competitor’s keywords is a very contentious topic in the industry, but here are some words of wisdom: 1. Do NOT expect strong performance from a conquesting campaign. You won’t get it. Quality scores will be low, CTRs will be low, and […]
    June 5, 2012

    Lesson #14: When Possible, Use The Ad Group’s Keywords in Its Ad Copy

    One of the key factors that determines whether an ad shows up for a particular search query is how relevant the algorithm determines the ad to be to the query. At the same time, by providing users with ads that contain the keywords in their search queries, it’s more likely the user will find the […]
    May 30, 2012

    Lesson #13: Don’t Forget Plurals

    In Google AdWords, the plural version of a keyword is not the same as its singular version. As a result, Google counts plurals as separate from singulars in search query reports, when determining which ad to show for the search results, and when determining keyword match types. It is therefore incredibly important to include both […]
    May 29, 2012

    Lesson #12: Ad Position is a Tool. Use It.

    Ad Position refers to where exactly your ad shows up in the search results. Generally speaking, in Google there are usually three ads above the organic results, (ad positions 1-3), and then 6 ads or so along the right sidebar (positions 4-10). As you go to additional pages in the search results, you may see different […]
    May 25, 2012

    Lesson #11: Use Keywords Your Users Understand

    You may have a niche site, and it’s fine to have one, but even if you do, be sure to use keywords your users understand. If your audience doesn’t know the vocabulary, isn’t searching for any of your terms, or doesn’t understand the vocabulary in your ad, your ad won’t show up and won’t succeed.  […]
    May 24, 2012

    Lesson #10: Don’t Autobid

    Google has several automated bidding options, in which an advertiser can chose to allow AdWords to automatically choose keyword bids in order to maximize clicks or conversions. However, it is advisable not to use autobid, especially when starting out. There are many reasons for this advice, but the three biggest are as follows: 1. Autobidding […]
    May 23, 2012

    Lesson #9: 90% Of The Time, Advertisers Pay Less Than Their Maximum Bid Per Click

    A bid is the most an advertiser is willing to pay for a click on an ad for a particular search term or on a particular site. 90% of the time, an advertiser will NOT wind up paying what they bid for a particular term – rather, they will pay LESS than their bid. An […]
    May 21, 2012

    Lesson #8: Do Not Use More Than One Match Type In The Same Ad Group

    Now that we’ve reviewed the different types of keyword match types, let’s discuss how to use them in practice. To start off, do not use more than one match type in the same ad group. Rather, separate the different match types into different ad groups — one for each match type. There are several reasons […]
    May 11, 2012

    Lesson #7: Do Not Block Relevant Search Queries With Negative Keywords

    We have discussed the various match types and how to use a search query report to ensure that your ads show up for the appropriate search queries. Before we go much further in our discussion of match types, it’s important to address an important caveat: Make sure your negative keywords do not keep your ads […]
    May 10, 2012

    Lesson #6: Have More Than One Ad Running At A Time

    Whether your campaign is running in Facebook, Google AdWords, or Bing Search, whether it’s a display campaign or a search campaign, one rule always applies: always have more than one ad running at a time. If you are only running one version of your ad, you are missing out on one of the best opportunities […]
    May 7, 2012

    Lesson #5: Search Query Reports: A Marketer’s Best Friend

    Whether you want to pull them at the MCC level or through the AdWords interface, nothing is more important in determining the effectiveness of your search marketing program than looking at your account’s search query report (sometimes abbreviated SQR). To find a search query report in the AdWords interface, make sure your Keywords Tab is […]
    May 4, 2012

    Lesson #4: Don’t Forget To Set Budgets

    AdWords, MSN, and a number of other platforms all contain opportunities for users to set the budgets at both the account level and the daily (or monthly, for MSN) level. Take advantage of these opportunities. They are a great safeguard to make sure that you don’t spend more than you intended. Beware though – Google […]
    May 3, 2012

    Lesson #3: Make Sure Your Ads Are Only Showing In The Regions That Offer Your Product Or Service

    Once again, Campaign Settings can make all the difference in your ad campaign’s performance. Today’s lesson focuses on checking the Geographic Settings of your ad campaign. If you do not change the settings of your ads and you’re located in the USA, your ads will show up everywhere in the USA. This is a problem […]
    May 1, 2012

    Lesson #2: Only Run On Devices Your Website Or Company Supports

    Once again this lesson centers on campaign settings. What is the goal of your AdWords campaign? On what devices can it be completed? 1. If you do not have a mobile site or if your site will not show up on mobile phones, do not run on mobile devices. You will be paying for the […]
    April 30, 2012

    Lesson #1: Search and Display Campaigns Must Remain Separate

    In Google AdWords, check your campaign settings (the “Settings” tab). Under “Networks & Devices,” does it say “All” next to Networks?  If so, your campaign is set up to show in both the search and display networks. For a search campaign, change your network setting to “Search.” For a display campaign, change your network setting […]
    April 27, 2012
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