Search Ads

Answers to common conversion tracking questions

Last month, I wrote about the importance of knowing pay-per-click (PPC) fundamentals when you’re hiring new team members. While you can control the team you hire, it’s harder to find clients, bosses and stakeholders who understand all the details of PPC as well as you do. This can lead to questions about campaign performance when conversions don’t seem to be tracked correctly, which in turn can lead to prickly situations where...

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A guide to writing irresistible calls to action

Often, when we think of optimizing our call to action (CTA), we immediately think of landing page buttons and tweaking colors. However, your landing page CTA isn’t the only marketing CTA that matters. To get people to your landing page, you need them to click on your ads, which means you need a smart call to action in your ads. This is particularly important for paid search advertisers in situations where you can’t...

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Yelp offers new ad customization to advertisers

Yesterday Yelp announced “custom ads” for small businesses. They offer advertisers on the platform the ability to select a desired review and image to appear in their ads. This is similar to TripAdvisor’s ad program allowing advertisers to feature a favorite review. Yelp says these ad units are being quickly adopted: By giving advertisers the ability to select which photos and reviews they would like to feature in their ad, we’re providing...

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The foundation of a good SEM campaign

A strong understanding of the economics of any business unit is absolutely critical to any digital marketing campaign managed against non-brand key performance indicators (KPIs) in a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign. One would think any reasonably large and successful business would have a good handle on their unit economics, and that this knowledge will be shared down the chain of command to the mid and lower levels of the marketing...

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5 New Year’s resolutions for your PPC campaigns

It’s never too late for New Year’s resolutions, so why not give your PPC campaigns a little New Year’s love? In this article, I’ll provide suggestions to tune up your campaigns in 2018 and get them firing on all cylinders. 1. Review your ad copy Upgrading decent ad copy into fantastic ad copy almost always leads to better campaign performance, driving more sales and increasing conversions. In my opinion, it’s some of...

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Understanding AdWords keyword match types for manufacturers

In a previous column, I addressed the challenges paid search advertising can present to industrial manufacturers who sell capabilities versus stock products. Another challenge is the AdWords help files themselves. As an advertising platform, AdWords is geared more to retailers — when a platform uses common retail products to illustrate keyword strategies, it’s often hard to see how the example relates to keywords for complex manufacturing capabilities. For example, under Basic Tips...

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How to reverse-engineer your online advertising strategy

Online advertising experts love to talk about the importance of matching your landing page content to your ads. And you’ll get no argument from me — it’s a great way to improve the performance of your online advertising. I mean, it just makes sense. People click on your ad because the messaging resonates with them. If you have the same messaging on your landing page, that should resonate with these users...

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There’s nothing stopping climate change deniers from using Google AdWords

Targeted, personalized ads have long been held up as a win-win-win, for consumers, advertisers and publishers. An article from The New York Times about climate change deniers using Google AdWords to promote their agenda pokes (more) holes in that optimistic vision. In the Times article, Hiroko Tabuchi laid out how ads proclaiming climate change a hoax appeared at the top of Google search results when searching in private browsing mode. Yet,...

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New test prominently showcases Google Express in mobile search results

Image: Google This week, we spotted a new treatment for Google Express in the search results. This included two new elements: a promotion for the program at the top of the results and a new look for Google Express ads in the Shopping carousel. The “Get it with Google Express” promotion at the very top of the results, just below the navigation, touts the program’s easy checkout and free delivery. The Google...

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Epic review of the biggest trends & updates in paid search

As 2017 draws to a close, let’s take a moment to catch our breaths and look back at the whirlwind that was PPC in 2017. There wasn’t a big change that dominated the landscape like enhanced campaigns of 2013 or expanded text ads of 2016, but multiple trends created an atmosphere of constant, incremental change this year. However, if we were to dub 2017 the year of something in search marketing,...

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