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


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 #23: Rotate Your Facebook Ads Every 3 Days

June 22, 2012
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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 on Facebook after a few days.

Examples of Facebook Ads

As a result, it is important to refresh all of an advertiser’s Facebook ads after a few days and to monitor their performance regularly to ensure that the ads are being refreshed at the appropriate time.

Remember: Facebook is not like any other media network. Ad fatigue occurs much faster than normal, users are on the site expecting to see new and breaking content, and users are generally not looking to leave Facebook during their visit.




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

June 19, 2012
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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 in an auction, inadvertently pushing the bid on their keywords up to an obscenely high level. Others have let a bid rule prevent a keyword from showing up. Let’s discuss each case separately.

Bid Rules Can Prevent Keywords From Showing

A bid rule that has terms for reducing the bid on a keyword can be a great tool, but it can also be a hindrance. Without a position cap, it is possible that a keyword that does not perform as well by some metric can have its bid pushed down to such a degree that it no longer shows ads for the term. An example of this would be a keyword that was in position 3 at a $1.00 bid having its bid reduced to $0.10 and suddenly being in position 12.

There are times when such a strategy makes sense, but there are other times when the keyword not showing up is a crucial part of the campaign. So it is important to make sure that even if there is a bid rule running, the advertiser is aware which keywords are taking which actions. If a keyword is being bid down, and yet it is crucial to the advertisers campaign, the bid rule needs to be altered.

Bid Rules Can Cause Advertisers To Overpay

Bid rules can also bid advertisers up against themselves. Many an errant bid rule has led advertisers to pay 10x or more what they would otherwise pay for a particular keyword, by constantly bidding them up against themselves or continually raising the bid on a keyword that is already performing well. Again, check accounts regularly for any absurdly priced keyword.

Remember, bid rules are not set it and forget it. Check bid rules constantly, and be on the look out for any anomalies.

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Background: An Introduction to Bid Rules

June 18, 2012
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Bid rules are automated rules that an advertiser can put in place to regulate the bidding on a particular keyword. For example, a bid rule could tell the search engine to pause a keyword whenever its ROI drops below $1.00 or to increase the bid on a keyword whenever the keyword falls below an average position of 2.

For advertisers with extensive keyword lists and/or extremely clear goals, bid rules can be a good tool to manage accounts. Even better, they are now available for free within the Google interface, and come standard on such third party platforms as Kenshoo. However, bid rules can also cause a lot of problems, and consequently should be used with caution.



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Background: Formulas Every Digital Marketer Must Know

May 31, 2012
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There aren’t many formulas (this isn’t physics), but the key formulas in digital marketing are absolutely crucial. Here is a quick cheat sheet to five formulas everyone in digital marketing should know:

CPC (cost per click) = cost/clicks

CTR (click through rate) = clicks/impressions

CVR (conversion rate) = conversions/clicks

ROI (return on investment) = (gain from investment – cost of investment)/cost of investment   a.k.a. profit/cost

% Change = (old-new)/old


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Lesson #10: Don’t Autobid

May 23, 2012
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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 means advertisers lose control over where the ads appear on the page (position) and how much they are paying for them (CPC). These two factors are two of the most important levers that can be adjusted when optimizing for performance.

2. Advertisers only pay Google when a user clicks on an advertiser’s ad (or, if advertisers are using a CPA bid, per acquisition). As a result, it is in Google’s best interest to ensure advertisers receive a lot of clicks and/or conversions. But that does not mean they will all be quality clicks or quality conversions.

3. By using match types and adjusting bids depending on the match type and keyword type, as we will continue to discuss, advertisers can save their businesses thousands of dollars by adjusting bids for each ad group and keyword. However, they lose control over this ability if they use autobidding.


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