We help small and medium sized businesses advertise online efficiently and effectively.


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

February 3, 2016
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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 least 15 conversions in a campaign in a 30 day period to work for that campaign. If you turn them on too early, they won’t work and can actually hurt your performance as they try to optimize on not enough data. Wait until you have at least 15 conversions in a campaign in the first 30 days to turn on eCPC or CPA bidding.

(And by conversions, I mean conversions that are registering in Google AdWords – if you have conversions from another system, Google AdWords won’t be able to see them and optimize to them, so no matter how many conversions you have, the algorithms will still be off).

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Happy Birthday Digital4Startups!

August 1, 2014
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Today is our 2nd birthday! We are thrilled to have been able to do what we do every day for the last two years and are thankful to all of you for coming along for the ride. We’ve worked with over 25 companies of various shapes and sizes from all corners of the globe, and we have loved every minute of it. We’ve become a Google Certified Partner with our own Agency Rep. And best of all, we’ve been able to make a living pursuing our passions and helping worthy companies. Here’s to the next 2 years!

– Reva and Matt


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Background: Facebook Insights Definitions For Facebook Posts

August 20, 2012
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Sometimes it’s amazing what a Google search won’t yield. With all the changes going on on Facebook, it’s important to understand the definitions of the metrics they provide. Below are the definitions of the metrics provided when you export data from Facebook Insights at the Facebook post level:

Total Reach: Total FB Users who saw and/or interacted with this post.

Organic Reach: Total # of  FB Users who saw and/or interacted with this post because they were fans

Paid Reach: Total # of FB users who saw and/or interacted with this post from an ad/sponsored story/sponsored post.

Viral Reach: Total # of FB Users who saw and/or interacted with this post because their friends interacted with the post

Total Impressions: Total # of times the post was displayed to users

Organic Impressions: # of times the post was displayed to users who were fans

Paid Impressions: # of times the post was displayed to users as an ad, sponsored story or sponsored post.

Viral Impressions: # of times the post was displayed to users who saw and/or interacted with this post because their friends interacted with the post

Engaged Users:  Engaged Users is the number of people who have clicked anywhere on your post.

Talking About The Post: People Talking About This is the number of people who have created a story from your post. Stories include: Sharing, liking, or commenting on your post

Stories About The Post: Number of stories created about the post

Post Consumers: Total # of people who clicked on and viewed the photo.

Post Consumption: Total # of times the photo/link in the post was clicked on and viewed.

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Update: New-ish Option Changes Google Match Types

July 30, 2012
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Over the last few months, Google has released a new feature that affects the way keyword match types (and therefore the strategy of using match types to organize a campaign) works.

In the setting option under each campaign, users can now find a drop down for “Keyword matching options.” When selected, the following option appears:

If you remember, the following had previously held true for the phrase and exact match types on Google:

1. Plurals were considered separate keywords and needed to be listed as such. Before, if “shoe” was in a campaign, but not “shoes,” then a search for “shoes” would not yield the ad.

2. The only way for an ad to show for a misspelled keyword was to run on broad match or broad match modifier. Ads on the phrase match keyword “shoe” would not show up for “sheo”.

3. If an advertiser wanted to show for close variations of a keyword (i.e. heels instead of shoes or pony instead of horse), the advertiser had to advertise the word on broad match or broad match modifier.

Now, however, if the selected box is checked (as is now the default), the above no longer applies to phrase or exact match.

What It Means (In My Humble Opinion)

Having the box checked is better for Google because it enables them to show ads for more search queries. Since advertisers only pay on a pay per click basis, Google makes money the more competitive a pay per click auction is.

From an advertiser’s perspective, the change is better and worse. While it makes it less likely that an advertiser won’t show up on a crucial keyword, it also serves to help eliminate query control. It used to be that if an advertiser wanted to advertise on a very specific keyword, an advertiser could put all their budget into that specific keyword (by putting the keyword in its own campaign and placing the keyword on exact match). With the box checked, this would no longer be the case, as exact match essentially would be the same as broad match modifier used to be.

For those traditionalists, I recommend not checking the box. If an advertiser wants to be absolutely sure they show up on everything, checking the box might be ok, but be sure to keep an eye on search query reports to make sure that the queries remain as targeted and relevant as desired.


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Lesson #27: Beware Of Keywords With Multiple Meanings

July 16, 2012
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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 Chicago restaurant, yields ads for, and Next.Co.UK.

If an advertiser’s brand name has multiple common meanings or businesses, such as the ones above, advertisers may need to handle their brand terms differently.

While normally, one would be encouraged to advertise on brand terms, in the cases above, it is better not to do so. Rather, focus on the specific term that makes it clear that it’s your business. For example, advertise on “soundbar nightclub chicago” or “next restaurant” or even “”

Brand campaigns can normally help improve an account’s quality score and provide high quality traffic at a low cost. They can still do this if a brand term has multiple meanings. Just beware, be smart, and be creative.

A Word With Many Meanings

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

July 12, 2012
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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 on broad match. When advertisers do so, they remove all (or most) query control from the account. As a result, they don’t know what keywords are appearing for which queries and driving which clicks. This makes it hard to optimize, and almost always means the advertiser is paying more for their keywords than they should be.

There are four different match types on Google and three on MSN. Use them all (in separate ad groups) to create the query control every account desperately needs. Budgets, wallets, managers and clients will all be grateful.

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Lesson #25: Look to Impression Share For Missed Opportunities

June 26, 2012
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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. A 100% impression share means the advertiser’s ads are showing up for every search on the keywords in the campaign. A 25% impression share means the advertiser’s ads are only showing up 25% of the time.

The two main reasons an impression share might not be 100% are budget and rank. While there are metrics to these effects as well, it is important to consider them in conjunction with the exact match impression share.

To view impression share, add exact match impression share under columns (it’s listed as a competitive metric in  the new interface) on either the campaigns or ad group tabs.


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Lesson #24: Bidding on Generic Keywords

June 25, 2012
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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 keeping an eye on the ROI of the term to your company, and do not let the bids become over-inflated accordingly. For example, with bid rules, especially position based bid rules, it is very easy for an advertiser to inadvertantly wind up increasing their bid significantly, even when there is no competition. For more information, please see Bid Rules Are Not Set It And Forget It.

2) Bidding Too Little on a Generic Keyword: Generic keywords are often competitive terms. Depending on the industry, they can be extremely competitive terms. As a result, it’s important to make sure that, while not overinflated, the bid on the keyword is in fact realistic so that ads do show up for the keyword. For example, the keyword “mesothelioma” regularly wins as the most expensive keyword within adwords. The average CPC for “mesothelioma” is generally around $100. As a result, an advertiser bidding $20 will not show up. “Mesothelioma” is an outlier in terms of how much it costs, but the same is true of nearly all generic keywords; if there is a lot of keyword volume for a word, and the advertiser’s bid is under $1, be sure to check impression share and position. It is likely that the advertiser needs to increase their bid to receive the maximum benefit from showing on the keyword.

3. Bidding on Irrelevant Keywords: When picking generic keywords to bid on, there are a lot of possibilities. However, it is important not to disregard the search query report when evaluating keyword performance. If the keyword is not leading to relevant traffic or not performing well, don’t get carried away bidding on it. Focus on keywords that perform the best and yield the most relevant traffic – doing so will improve both account and site performance, while reducing cost per acquisition.

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