Posts Tagged ‘adwords’

Aug 29

I just returned from my Internet marketing and web analytics training session in Melbourne, Australia. The training session went very well (my user engagement metric was calculated as the number of trainees awake after a heavy lunch divided by total number of trainees :) ).

Seriously though, in the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) optimization session, one of the consultants asked about Adwords account structure for clients that have campaigns targeting different geographies/countries. It is best practice to set up a unique/separate campaign for each geography, even if you are using the same list of keywords.

For example, if you have a client in the hospitality industry and they want to drive traffic from the UK, Australia and Japan, one campaign per country should be created. You’ll then have control, at the campaign level, for each of the following attributes:

  • daily click budget
  • language preference
  • ad serving and distribution options
  • start and end date

Following the same example above, if we see high traffic potential and good conversion from the UK campaign, we can increase the daily spend for that specific campaign with one click. And while the UK campaign is performing well, we can examine the other campaigns that might not be performing as well and make the necessary adjustment.

Another benefit of having different campaigns for different geographies is that it will make your analytics and ROI measurement much easier.

I also recommend you use a campaign naming convention that relates to the content of the campaign. For example, AirportTransportation_UK and AirportTransportation_Japan are much more meaningful than Campaign#1 and Campaign#2.

Will have a more detailed post on campaign naming conventions sometime in the future.

Jul 15

If you are running PPC campaigns in Google Adwords and you are not taking advantage of the enhanced Adwords Editor, you are missing out big time! :-)

The Adwords Editor is a free desktop application that you can download, import your Adwords account into, work on them offline, and then upload to Adwords when you are ready to take the changes live. The application might take some getting used to (especially for making changes <–> approving changes <–> sharing files with changes) but once you get the hang of it, you’ll love it.

Check out these top ten features and put them to use right away. You’ll save yourself a whole lot of time and effort and end up spending more time on analysis and campaign performance improvements than edits and updates.


Jul 02

Here is a cool tool to help advertisers see how their ads are shown on Google. Check it out at the following link; it is referred to by some as the “Ad Preview“.

I recommend you use this tool instead of you (or your colleague or clients) going on Google and searching for your ads. This way you don’t add unnecessary impressions to your keyword/ad performance.

Along the same lines, clients often ask why they can’t see their ads on Google. Here is a recent post on Google’s Inside Adwords blog that addresses this issue.

Hope you find this useful!

Apr 06

I was traveling last week at my Ambassador Training Session and super swamped this week catching up, so I missed few days of reading my blogs and forums and it seems that I am two years behind! :-)

One the most important announcements this week from Google is the availability of Google Website Optimizer (GWO) to all AdWords users. The folks at Google did a fine job with this tool.

We were beta testing the GWO on a few of our accounts and the results were pretty amazing. I read somewhere today that this is like free money! The tool allows you to test various combinations of copy & images on your landing pages, manage all the combination juggling and crunching for you, and finally announce the winning combination when the experiment ends. We ran a quick experiment for one of our clients and achieved 129% improvement in conversion rate. This is just the beginning and it is on top of an already high performance landing page.

If you have a client that is investing money in Adwords, GWO is a must. You’ll improve their conversion rate and they’ll reward you for the improved Return on Investment (ROI). We offer Google Website Optimizer services to anyone that is interested. We’ll be more than glad to help you!

Apr 06

Over the last few months it seems that a good percentage of the business we are getting is of the consulting or audit nature. Instead of clients asking us to implement PPC, they are actually complaining about PPC and how they are not realizing the anticipated ROI.

I once heard that “PPC is so easy to learn but it takes a lifetime to master”. That is so true! It only takes minutes to set up a campaign but few people invest the time to do the job right.

One of the most common mistakes we find when we audit an existing PPC account is the lack of meaningful account structure. The advertiser will create one campaign and then throw in all types of keywords in to one ad group. After turning the traffic on, they wonder why they are not seeing a good ROI!

It takes work and effort and creativity to implement a high performance PPC campaign. A recent post in the Inside Adwords blog addresses this issue of PPC Account Structure. Take look and re-examine how you set up your Adwords campaigns and see improvement & ease of management almost immediately.

We would love to hear your questions or comments!

Apr 06

If a client has PPC campaigns in Google, Yahoo, and MSN, we want to make sure they are all tagged in such a way that Google Analytics can make the most sense out of all your marketing campaigns. In fact, this applies to e-mail and banner campaigns too.

For Google, you just need the auto tagging of URLs feature turned on inside of AdWords (and it should be turned on by default). For others like Yahoo, MSN, and e-mails, you need to go to Google URL builder. . Let us walk through one example of using this tool.

Let’s say your landing page is and you are running a Yahoo PPC campaign for T1 internet services to it. Let’s also say that the keyword that triggers this ad is “t1″ without the quotes.

  1. Stick the landing page URL into the Website URL box.
  2. Campaign Source will be yahoo (note the lower case spelling).
  3. Campaign Medium will be cpc.
  4. Campaign Term will be different for every keyword inside your campaign. We are building a URL for the keyword of t1 so Campaign Term will be t1.
  5. Campaign Content would be left blank in this case but in another campaign such as e-mail you would use this field to differentiate between parts of your e-mail.
  6. Campaign Name would be whatever the campaign name was in Yahoo PPC. We add ysm_ as a prefix so we know it was a Yahoo campaign in any analytics reports we read later. So let’s put in ysm_T1_InternetServices.

Click on Generate URL and you get:

You have to disable auto tagging of URLs in Yahoo and instead manually give it these generated URLs. Now whenever someone clicks on that Yahoo ad to come to your landing page, Google Analytics will decipher all the utm variables in the landing page URL and sort the data appropriately.

For editing a large number of URLs it may make sense to use a spreadsheet like the one provided by our friends at

Jan 08

NOTE: There is an updated version of this technique.

Do you ever wonder what searchers are exactly searching for and what actual keyword phrases are driving PPC traffic to your site? Using web analytics, you can examine your PPC traffic and configure the analytics program to provide you with “your PPC keywords vs. what searchers actually typed”. This data would help you refine your list of keywords by adding more targeted keywords or including unwanted keywords in your list of negative keywords.

For example, if you are marketing a limousine service for your client and you have “limousine service” as a keyword, the analytics PPC keyword filter might show you that people are typing “limo” or “limo service”. You can then add these two keywords and to your list of keywords. You also might find out that people are typing “cheap limo”, and let’s say your limousine service client doesn’t compete on price and doesn’t want to get traffic that is related to “cheap limo”, then you would add this “cheap limo” to your list of negative keywords.

Our friends at GA Experts came up with a way to get detailed PPC keyword data from Google Analytics. In case you need some extra help to configure this filter for, follow the instructions below.

  1. Go to the GA Account for
  2. Click on Filter Manager.
  3. Click on Add Filter.
  4. For Filter Name, use something like Data Filter – PPC Keywords 1
  5. Filter Type is Customer filter.
  6. Choose Advanced.
  7. For Field A -> Extract A, choose Referral and enter in (\?|&)(q|p)=([^&]*)
  8. For Field B -> Extract B, choose Campaign Medium and enter in cpc|ppc
  9. For Output To -> Constructor, choose Custom Field 1 and enter in $A3
  10. The next 3 options should be yes followed by no for case sensitive.
  11. Hit Save Changes.
  12. Click on Add Filter.
  13. For Filter Name, use something like Data Filter – PPC Keywords 2
  14. Filter Type is Customer filter.
  15. Choose Advanced.
  16. For Field A -> Extract A, choose Custom Field 1 and enter in (.*)
  17. For Field B -> Extract B, choose Campaign Term and enter in (.*)
  18. For Output To -> Constructor, choose Campaign Term and enter in $B1, ($A1)
  19. The next 3 options should be yes followed by no for case sensitive.
  20. Hit Save Changes.
  21. Almost done! Click on the link that says Analytics Settings, then click on +Add Website Profile.
  22. Choose “Add a Profile for an existing domain”, make sure your domain is chosen, and enter in PPC Keywords for the Profile Name. Click on Finish.
  23. Click on Edit besides the PPC Keywords profile. Configure Main Website Profile Information, Conversion Goals and Funnel, and Users with Access to Profile just like it was configured for the other profile.
  24. Click on +Add Filter, choose “Apply existing Filter to Profile”, choose you’re other filters (if applicable) along with the two new filters you just created. Make sure Filter – PPC Keywords 1 comes in the list before Filter – PPC Keywords 2. In fact, these should probably be the top two filters. Hit Finish.
  25. Click on Analytics Settings. Your new profile will have data in it within hours or days depending on website traffic.

Dec 03

In our discussions with customers and consultants that run PPC campaigns on their own, and in reviewing how the PPC accounts are managed, we often find opportunities to significantly enhance the performance of the PPC campaigns. We believe that it is a misconception that you can set up your account once, leave it on “auto-pilot”, and then expect good results. You might get some results, not definitely nothing to write home about. This directly applies to consultants, as your clients expect you to add value and get them better results for their marketing dollars. Once clients start seeing results, improved ROI, consultants will be rewarded generously, at least it has been the case on our experience with our clients.

What is that we will blog about? Well, improving the performance of your AdWords campaigns. Some improvements are related to the actual account/campaign/ad group structure, while other improvements can be done by applying best practices and on-going PPC optimization techniques.

In this December, our plan is to dedicate some time to share PPC best practices and useful tips and techniques. We would love to hear from you on specific areas you want addressed or specific questions you want answered. Although the tips and examples will directly be related to Google AdWords, the concepts apply to other PPC programs, including the new Yahoo Search Marketing PPC interface and the MSN AdCenter.

Add a comment with your questions and we will sure get you an answer or at least point you in the direction to find what you are looking for.


Aug 31

For tips on presenting and selling PPC/Adwords, Google has a set of very good Powerpoint Presentations. You can access these presentations and other useful information by signing up for Google Advertising Professional Program (at no charge).

Meanwhile, contact us if you have any questions or need help in selling or managing your client’s PPC accounts. Feras as well as Gazlan (our Senior PPC Consultant) are both Qualified Google Advertising Individuals, (Feras is also a Yahoo Ambassador), and both are a good resource to tap into for optimizing PPC accounts of any size.