None of us set out to have our PPC programs fail.But sometimes they do, despite our best intentions.But sometimes, behind those failures, is some inadvertent self-sabotage — sabotage that will virtually guarantee a failed PPC program.To help you avoid inadvertently setting your PPC programs up for failure, I’ll use this column to describe four ways to “help” your PPC programs falter or self-destruct.Put too many options on your landing pageI’ve talked before about how landing pages are critical to PPC success and how important it is to keep them focused.
It’s the proverbial, “How long is a piece of string?” question.SEO is not as easy to nail down as, say, sending out a direct mail campaign to 100 recipients.In some ways, it is not always as easy to measure, as many marketing activities may impact organic search traffic.Ranking nationally for a highly prized keyword that may be £10 per click in AdWords will have far more costs associated with it than ranking for a locally oriented keyword.But even on a local level, there can be huge variability — and whether you want to rank in a state, county, city, town or micro-area like a borough or village will influence how difficult this will be.This, of course, influences the price of SEO for your unique situation.
Sometimes you make a mistake with AdWords Editor, but instead of changing the existing ad, you create a new one.Or you’re overzealous in converting your old standard ads and make two expanded text ads (ETAs) instead of one.Suddenly, you’ve got multiple ads that are exactly the same.Even if your testing works, the data is split out between the doppelgängers (that’s German for “ghostly twin,” or something).On top of this, it’s adding needless complication to managing your account.If you’re labeling up different variants, you might catch one but not the other.
There’s just under two weeks left to finalize your entries in the 3rd annual Search Engine Land Awards — the industry recognition program from our sister site is already considered the “world cup of digital marketing” by some — the competition is heating up as we approach the final deadline for entries.The final deadline is July 31, 2017 at 11:59 PM PT, so don’t delay – start or complete your awards submission now.Be recognized among the best of the best in SEO & SEMSince the inception of Search Engine Land by co-founders Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman, our mission has always been to provide information to shape the best practices in search marketing, and deliver actionable tactics to help the marketing community achieve amazing results.Our annual awards are recognition of how the industry has continued to grow over time across the globe, and honor the most impressive and innovative campaigns, individuals and teams in search marketing today.Provide validation for clients that your services are top-notch
Therefore, it’s key that you test your ads regularly, to make sure you aren’t letting any conversions slip through the cracks.Testing and optimizing is an important part of our job as digital marketers.At SMX London earlier this year, I gave a talk on how we design and implement tests at Crealytics for both Text and Shopping ads.Carrying on from that, this post will cover three methods you can use for successful testing, two types of testing to help you take performance to the next level, and five common pitfalls that testers often run into.I’ll also illustrate these points with examples from our own internal testing efforts.Deciding which method to use
For example, you may be advertising for a company that has franchises throughout the country (such as a Macy’s or REI) or a branch of locations unique to a region (e.g., Shaw’s grocery stores in the northeast US).In this post, I’ll speak to the various account breakout options for multilocation businesses while detailing the pros and cons of each.Clients will ask questions such as:Which locations are performing the best?Which keywords/audiences are working well by location?What does the competitive landscape look like in X location?
Ask any digital marketer about the prerequisites for a successful campaign, and undoubtedly many of the answers will revolve around obtaining or making use of data points.Simply put, marketers — especially digital marketers — love data.(What, you thought you were the only one dreading that Monday morning number pull?)Some of the most common reporting issues result from good intentions.If the report is watered down, people will skim it or ignore sections (and maybe eventually the entirety).This is a slippery slope — even if they continue to consume part of the report, they could miss out on things that you really wanted them to see.
I’ve seen AdWords accounts with almost awe-inspiring intricacy.AdWords Smart Bidding looks at specific queries (and the context of those queries)Overly segmented account structures are attempting to approximate something that Smart Bidding already does: bid to a user’s specific search query and adjust bids for devices, time of day and audiences to control the impact on the advertiser’s objective.AdWords Smart Bidding considers dozens of additional signals and the combinations of them, like mobile devices at nighttime in a specific area.This may sound insane, but here’s how I think campaigns should be organized:Organize your ad groups around what ads you want to serve to groups of users.
Previously, we discussed how to find good PPC candidates for your particular company, but now it’s time to evaluate those candidates.It comes down to this: You’ve held dozens of interviews with candidates almost impossible to tell apart.They’ve worked in the right industry or environment, have used similar tools to what your paid media team uses and didn’t hesitate to answer your questions.What tasks would this person be expected to complete daily, weekly or monthly?If you’re a SaaS (software as a service) startup in need of speed and growth, you simply cannot afford to hire someone who hasn’t been through that; bringing on PPC manager from a local digital agency won’t get the job done.Your hire will need to understand how to deliver a plan of upcoming experiments at scale and execute on them quickly.
Google My Business (GMB) has been one path to help brands solve the latter issue.GMB serves a similar function to business listings, much like Yelp or Yellow Pages, but has the added benefit of being tied directly to the tech giant’s search engine.Customers search for your business, and Google My Business returns a customizable listing to go along with other search results.GMB’s rocky road to excellenceOver the years, it hasn’t been all unicorns and rainbows for Google My Business.If several stores — maybe even hundreds, in some cases — have inaccurate geocodes, a relatively simple process becomes an arduous time sink.
Halloween is just around the corner.Soon you’ll be seeing little ghosts, goblins, witches and Donald Trump wannabes wandering your street in search of treats.SEO is a lot like these trick-or-treaters: If you’re brave enough to go into the scary dark night and knock on strangers’ doors, you could be rewarded with goodies!For SEO professionals, this means higher rankings on search engine result pages (not full-sized candy bars).This month, in honor of Halloween, I thought it would be ghoulishly fun to talk about some SEO strategies that you should start implementing — or face the nightmarish consequences.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]
Technical SEO is an awesome field.There are so many little nuances to it that make it exciting, and its practitioners are required to have excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills.In this article, I cover some fun technical SEO facts.While they might not impress your date at a dinner party, they will beef up your technical SEO knowledge — and they could help you in making your website rank better in search results.Let’s dive into the list.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]
If you run a PPC agency, you’ll know it’s not that unusual for clients to occasionally bring in an outside auditor to review their PPC accounts.Sometimes, your client will let you know in advance; sometimes, you’ll find out when you see a request to access the account.And sometimes, you won’t find out until after the fact, when the final report is forwarded to you for discussion!I completely understand why some clients like to have an outside audit of their PPC accounts.For some companies, it’s simply part of their due diligence.For others, an executive will come up with the idea and push it through.
Shopping ads are great, and they continue to improve.If you’re looking to get more out of your Shopping campaigns, there are some straightforward actions you can take.Some of these have been true since Shopping campaigns were introduced back in 2013, while others are relatively new.Regardless of where you are on your Shopping campaign journey, here are the top seven things I’d recommend to take your campaigns to the next level.Establish clear lines of communication with other teamsA Shopping ad assembles a bunch of data to deliver an ad to a user.
Whether you’re new to paid search or an old pro, one of your biggest challenges is figuring out the right keywords.Pick the right keywords and your business will thrive.Pick the wrong keywords, and you might as well be flushing your ad spend down the toilet.Now, with enough time, effort and money, most advertisers can usually put together a decent keyword list.The only problem is, this takes time, effort and money — something most businesses are a little short on.Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to make the process more efficient?
When helping companies deal with performance drops from major algorithm updates, website redesigns, CMS migrations and other disturbances in the SEO force, I find myself crawling a lot of URLs.And that typically includes a number of crawls during a client engagement.For larger-scale sites, it’s not uncommon for me to surface many problems when analyzing crawl data, from technical SEO issues to content quality problems to user engagement barriers.After surfacing those problems, it’s extremely important to form a remediation plan that tackles those issues, rectifies the problems and improves the quality of the website overall.If not, a site might not recover from an algorithm update hit, it could sit in the gray area of quality, technical problems could sit festering, and more.As Google’s John Mueller has explained a number of times about recovering from quality updates, Google wants to see significant improvement in quality, and over the long term.
We’ve been bullish on answer boxes (also known as featured snippets) for a while now.Six months ago, we wrote about unique strategies we’ve been using to obtain those featured snippets.That coveted “position 0” is just so juicy, for a number of reasons:It ranks above all of the organic search results.It takes up a lot of SERP real estate.It attracts a ton of eyes and drives a lot of organic traffic.
“Dianna, you’ll never reach your goal if you don’t consistently monitor your diet!” my trainer chastised me after my weigh-in and measurement.“You can’t out-exercise a bad diet!”In that instant, I understood exactly what she was saying — because “consistent” is the term my company uses to describe how our small industrial manufacturing clients need to approach their marketing.By “consistent,” I mean doing something on a regular basis that gets you closer to your sales/inquiries/ business growth goals.The beauty of consistency, applied to any endeavor, is that small actions can lead to huge improvements and better results over time.Consistent marketing is akin to regularly working out and monitoring your food intake.
If you’ve been doing SEO for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly experienced your fair share of failures.And in many cases, frustratingly, the SEO program itself was not the issue.While I’ve discussed meta topics such as management challenges, getting executive buy-in, and the need for flexibility in the past, I haven’t directly addressed the question, “What do you do if SEO isn’t your SEO problem?”As search marketers, we work our tails off analyzing data, search results, client websites and more, with the goal of providing recommendations that will move the needle.Unfortunately, the best recommendations in the world don’t matter if they aren’t implemented — and therein lies one of the biggest challenges of SEO.Let’s look at a few common obstacles that can hinder an SEO program’s progress and discuss how we can overcome them.t ensures your recommendations are applied and the program can move forward.