PPC Tips and Strategies for Increasing Student Yield

While one may or may not think of a college or university as a business, there is no arguing that those involved in student enrollment mean business. The playing field is more competitive every day. This is evidenced by the fact that more and more schools use PPC (pay per click) advertising as part of their appeal.

Since many more in your target audience communicate through digital channels than in the days when you and I went to school, it goes without saying that it doesn’t pay to stick with just traditional means of promotion. Besides, at the rate that the enrollment landscape is changing, PPC almost qualifies as traditional.

PPC Strategies for Higher Ed

Unlike large, profit generating entities, most colleges have limited budgets to work with. This means that while one may encourage ones students to experiment, to “find themselves”, you don’t want your marketing people to have to do so, too.

Make sure you have a clearly defined strategy going in. Higher Ed keywords are generally very expensive (again, the Higher Ed space is VERY competitive), so it’s essential that you use your marketing dollars efficiently. That having been said…

Branded Campaigns Don’t Work for Higher Ed

Many businesses use branded campaigns to make sure their competitors don’t pick off shoppers who are looking to pilfer their customers. However, your audience differs from most. With a college website, many students, alumni and faculty use the website as a constant resource.

Since you’re already at the top for a branded search, you don’t want to waste your money paying for those who choose to access your site through a PPC add. That’s a sure way to burn through your ad budget and see minimal return.

Higher Ed Remarketing Ads Do, Though

The enrollment funnel for Higher Ed is protracted when compared to other competitive spaces. That being the case, a conversion rarely happens as part of an early touch. This is true across the board, unless your brand is so big that you don’t need to advertise. That’s a very exclusive club.

Remarketing ads follow visitors from their initial visit to your site (or mobile App). As they visit other competing sites, your ad will pop up, keeping your school fresh in their mind. It’s a great way to maintain a familiarity and nurture the process. These remarketing ads can include periodic offerings such as a limited time discount on an application fee in exchange for contact information.

Get even more granular by using Google’s RLSA’s. You can target users based on their behavior, which page on your site they visited and how long they stayed. So, if they visited the page for your dental school, they’ll receive remarketing ads specific to that discipline.

Higher Ed PPC & Mobile

Make sure the landing pages for your PPC ads are responsive. Recent surveys indicate that roughly 80% of high school seniors and their parents view college websites on their phones. If your site is mobile friendly, you’ll also be able to take advantage of Google’s new Expanded Text.

You’ve spent the money to get your visitors to your website. Don’t blow the experience now.

And that’s Just the Beginning

Want to know more about how you can pull more candidates into your school’s enrollment funnel? Beacon is recognized as one of the top Higher Ed web design firms in the country. We’ve been helping colleges and universities with PPC marketing for over 20 years. Feel free to contact me with questions regarding your institution’s admissions goals or call a member of the Beacon digital marketing team at 1.855.851.0109.

Kent Dickinson
Kent Dickinson joined Beacon as an Account Executive in May 2017. Kent is a veteran sales executive with more than 25 years of experience in business development, strategic planning, operations, and sales management. He has worked in a variety of industries including digital printing, book publishing, educational textbooks, direct marketing, consulting, and financial services. Kent earned a B.S. in Business from Wake Forest University, and his MBA from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Kent is an avid college sports fan, an occasional golfer, and bedtime reader. He also enjoys travelling and considers himself an adventurous foody.
By | 2017-09-01T09:28:27+00:00 September 6th, 2017|Higher Education, PPC|Comments Off on PPC Tips and Strategies for Increasing Student Yield

How To Create Remarketing Campaigns That Work

Remarketing-Tips

Whether you’re looking to drive sales, increase registrations, bolster applications, or promote awareness of your brand, remarketing can be an extremely effective component of your marketing strategy. Remarketing lets you show ads to people who’ve visited your website before or who have interacted with your site using their email. When people leave your website without taking action (register, buy, fill out a form, add to cart, etc.) you can show them targeting text or display ads to bring them back to targeted landing pages so they can convert. Below are just a few of the benefits of remarketing for your website:

Benefits of Remarketing

  • Large Reach Online: You can reach people on your remarketing lists as they use Google search and browse over 2 million websites and mobile apps that are part of the Google Display Network.
  • Branding Yourself: Because the cost-per-click is so low, you are able to run a large-scale and inexpensive branding campaign on popular websites.
  • Reach Visitors As They Are Ready to Take Action: Bring users back in the middle of their research/shopping process.
  • Remarketing Lists Are Tailored To Your Goals: Create unique lists for users that abandoned checkout/registration, users that have converted before and users that abandoned after one visit.
  • Low Cost-Per-Click: Because these users have visited your site before the cost-per-click is sometimes 2-3 times lower than search campaigns.
  • Simple Ad Creation: Produce multiple text, image, and video ads for free with Ad gallery.
  • Marketing Insights: See reports of how your campaigns are performing, where your ads are showing, and what price you’re paying.

Every website has a function. As a higher education site, your goal may be to drive more applications or showcase degree programs you need to fill vacant spots in. eCommerce sites have a goal of selling more products, seasonal goods or featuring sales/promotions that arise. Even normal content websites can get in on the action. Remarketing can be a crucial component or your website by bringing users back to download whitepapers, read new content or sign up for e-newsletters.

Remarketing Ad Types

Remarketing Campaign Types

  • Standard Remarketing: Used to show ads to previous website visitors as they visit. Display Network websites and use Display Network apps.

With standard remarketing, you are able to use AdWords remarketing code or your Analytics tracking code to start tracking every visit to your site and start building audiences. You can begin creating lists based on the product/content page they visited, based on visiting a certain page of your conversion process and even based on not visiting a certain page. The benefit of creating remarketing lists using Google Analytics is that your lists are much easier to build, just like narrowing down your audience using advanced segments or inline filters when navigating the Analytics interface. Standard remarketing relies on either text ads or image ads (we recommend using both) to maximize your chance of customers viewing your ads.

  • Dynamic Remarketing: Boost your results with ads that include products or services that people viewed on your website.

Dynamic remarketing is perfect for eCommerce websites or sites with products or service pages. These campaigns can be somewhat trickier to setup but are invaluable to your bottom line. You need a setup and verified Google Merchant Center account and remarketing code that tracks dynamic variables from your product pages. This step will need to involve a developer on your site or with an agency like Beacon. The beauty of these campaigns is that you can show users the exact products they viewed within an image ad on a popular site like CNN or Weather.com to bring them back to the shopping process. These campaigns have very low cost-per-click and high conversion rates.

  • Search Remarketing: Show ads to your past visitors as they do follow-up searches for what they need on Google, after leaving your website.

Remarketing Lists For Search Ads (RLSA) are simple to use and drive higher returns than standard search campaigns. After you have gotten visitors to your site through a search or non-branded campaign you can use search remarketing to bring them back as they continue researching on Google. For example, you may be selling ‘sectional sofas’ and bidding on those terms to bring people to your sofa pages. After they leave your site you can bid on ‘sectional sofas’ using a remarketing list to only show your ads to previous visitors. The same concept will work for users searching for ‘mba programs’ or ‘divorce attorneys’. Your cost-per-click will be much lower than the original one and the fact that they recognize your URL helps drive more clicks.

  • Video Remarketing: Show ads to people who have interacted with your videos or YouTube channel as they use YouTube and browse online.

Video remarketing works by linking your YouTube account to AdWords. You can start building video remarketing audiences by adding users who watched your videos, liked, commented or shared your videos and those users who subscribed (very qualified users) to your YouTube channel. By reinforcing your message with people who have already seen your videos or channel, you’re more likely to succeed in increasing your return on investment. Video remarketing also uses a different pricing model, known as CPV. With CPV bidding, you’ll pay for video views and other video interactions, such as clicks on the call-to-action overlays (CTAs), cards, and companion banners.

  • Email-List Remarketing: With Customer Match, upload a list of email addresses that your customers have given you and show them ads as they browse online.

AdWords Customer Match allows you to upload your email list to begin remarketing to them on YouTube, Gmail or the Search Network. This can be extremely valuable to relay promotional offers, new products, and services and increase brand advocacy from your repeat visitors. AdWords even gives you the option to upload a plain text file of email addresses and will hash them using an algorithm for your client’s and user’s security. A great way to use this remarketing type is by segmenting your users by their email address so you can remarket to:

    • Higher Education:
      • Undergraduate students
      • Undergraduate parents
      • Graduate program students
      • Alumni
    • eCommerce
      • Repeat purchasers
      • Users who abandoned checkout
      • Users who have converted
      • Visitors interested in specific products/services

In Conclusion

Remarketing can sound confusing and overwhelming but in reality, some campaigns can be set up and begin running in hours. Whether you are interested in getting your brand name out their, selling more products and seasonally low sales periods, boosting your monthly promotions, enrolling more students or simply educating your visitors, remarketing can be that missing piece of the marketing puzzle. Contact Beacon, to learn how you can get started in remarketing for your website today.

Jordan Burleson
Jordan is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Beacon. He has a B.S. in in Communication (Broadcasting & Advertising) from Appalachian State University. Jordan specializes in search engine optimization strategies, social media marketing and analytics to help businesses drive more online traffic. When out of the office, you can find Jordan running, cycling or scaling a mountain. Along with trolling the internet for the next big thing, he is an avid movie viewer and bibliophile.

Connect with Jordan on Google+

By | 2017-08-15T16:01:28+00:00 September 13th, 2016|PPC|Comments Off on How To Create Remarketing Campaigns That Work

How To Convert Standard Text Ads To Expanded Text Ads In Google Adwords

Expanded Text Ads Are Available Now

The way users search for products, brands and services online have changed. Businesses can no longer avoid or ignore the shift to searching on mobile devices. Because of this Google and Google AdWords have rolled out both responsive ads and expanded text ads across their advertising platform. Earlier in 2016, Google changed the way search results display by removing paid ads from the right-hand side of search results pages, which helped pave the way for a better mobile search experience across all devices. The big news for advertisers… You now have 50% more advertising space in your text ads!

Expanded Text Ads Mockup

How To Get Started With Expanded Text Ads

Expanded Versus Standard Text Ads

Expanded Versus Standard Text Ads

Expanded Versus Standard Text Ads

 

 

unnamed - Copy

Expanded text ads now feature two headlines at 30 characters each and one 80-character description line that will help advertisers reach a broader audience on mobile and create more room to promote your brand. Expanded text ads have removed the display URL and now use the domain URL from your final URL and give you the option to add keywords in two new optional “path” fields. It is important to transition your ads as quickly as possible because you may have the opportunity for your ads to showcase 50% more text than competitors that haven’t made the switch. Google has provided an Official Guide To Optimizing Expanded Text Ads for those of you that manage your paid ads internally. Agencies like Beacon, have a paid search team to assist you in getting the best bang for your buck so you don’t have to.

Should I Convert To Expanded Text Ads?

According to Google, starting on October 26th, 2016, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads. This means you’ll only be able to create and edit text ads using the expanded text ads format after this date. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside expanded text ads. Keeping the old format will mean losing 50% extra advertising space and potentially huge losses to competitors using the format. 

How To Convert Standard Text Ads To The New Expanded Format

Now we come to the tricky part. If you are like me and manage hundreds, if not thousands of ads, converting these ads to a new format manually can take an impossibly long time. If you add up ad creation times for most ads (let’s say 1-2 minutes) multiplied by an account with upward of 100 ads, you are looking at investing 3-4 hours in converting to expanded text ads. If you manage multiple campaigns for multiple accounts, like Beacon does, this conversion time can add up to over 2-3 weeks time easily. Fortunately for you, Beacon has a quick solution.

If you download the most recent version of AdWords Editor that supports expanded text ads, you will be one step closer to expanded ads. Once in AdWords Editor’s Ads panel, select all the standard text ads you would like to convert and right click your selection and select ‘Export as expanded text ads’.

2016-08-15_11-14-37

Once Editor exports the selected ads you will find all of your standard text ads with the updated expanded text ads format in the downloaded .csv file. All you need to do from there is to fill in the two new optional path fields if you choose so and create a new headline #2 to complete the transition.

Expanded Text Ads CSV

Remember that when you import the .csv file back into Editor your headlines, descriptions and paths may exceed the recommended character lengths and you may have some edits to make before all the new ads will be approved.

More Questions?

If you have more questions on how to utilize the new expanded text ads in your AdWords account or need new management of your brand’s campaigns, please contact us today.

Jordan Burleson
Jordan is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Beacon. He has a B.S. in in Communication (Broadcasting & Advertising) from Appalachian State University. Jordan specializes in search engine optimization strategies, social media marketing and analytics to help businesses drive more online traffic. When out of the office, you can find Jordan running, cycling or scaling a mountain. Along with trolling the internet for the next big thing, he is an avid movie viewer and bibliophile.

Connect with Jordan on Google+

By | 2017-08-15T16:00:58+00:00 August 16th, 2016|PPC|Comments Off on How To Convert Standard Text Ads To Expanded Text Ads In Google Adwords

Google’s New SERP Layout: How It Affects You

What Happened With The SERPS?

Starting February 18th, Google issued a worldwide roll-out of a ad placement format: 4 paid ads will now display on top of desktop SERPs (search engine results pages), instead of the usual 3. In addition, they are also removing paid ads on the right-hand side of SERPs with the bottom of the SERPs featuring 3 paid ads. These changes, once fully rolled out, will be active across all languages. This change isn’t completely unexpected as Google has been testing their four-ads format for months now, but we should be seeing the changes take a more permanent effect in the next few weeks. The one constant amid all of these changes are the Product Listing Ads (PLAs), which will remain atop the SERPS or on the now free right-hand side.

How Does The SERP Change Affect Me?

In the industry, speculation abounds as to what effect these changes will have on:

search-cps-after-serp-change

  • Paid Search Cost: One of the main concerns from the change has been how much more expensive will clicks become with fewer ad spaces. Will advertisers with smaller budgets not be able to compete and fade away? SO far, the results don’t show this is the case. According to different early case studies, CPCs haven’t shown any increase and some industry experts argue that the increase in ad inventory at the top of the page will drive down CPCs.

new organic results

  • Organic Visibility: Another cause for concern has been that organic listing #1 is now paid ad #4. This means organic results and organic top-performers have been pushed down the page and lose visibility. Organic real estate has been shrinking for years, thanks to features such as news, images, videos, local/map packs, the Knowledge Graph, new ad formats and features like hotel/flight search. The conclusion is that results have not changed enough to start worrying or make drastic changes but if you have third-party tools or SEO management platforms to monitor position changes, you should make use of them to stay ahead of any new changes.

shopping-ads-ctr-lift

  • Product Listing Ads: One of the biggest gains from the SERP change came in the form of Google Shopping Ads. Product listing ads and the knowledge panel are the only listings that will appear in on the right, beside the top four paid search ads. Early results suggest that the retained position on the right-hand side is helping the PLAs attract a slightly higher CTR as well as a larger share of the paid clicks from the SERP. If you currently have PLAs, take advantage of them by expanding your product groups and enjoy the new exposure until competition creeps in. If you aren’t taking advantage of PLAs and have shopping feeds, work with your developer and/or marketing team to create a Merchant Center account and tap into this prime retail space. 

paid-search-volume-changes-after-serp-change

  • Search Volume: Many marketers have been concerned that fewer ads above the fold and SERPs would translate into decreased impressions and search volume. Although some paid search users have complained of fewer impressions and clicks it seems to be more of an issue of seasonality and normal shopping cycle than the SERP change. For marketers that focus on the spots 3-4, most have been the biggest winners from the SERP change as impressions and clicks went through the roof especially at the 3rd position (some are seeing CTR double or triple). The good news is the right-hand ad positions and bottom of the page ads accounted for less than 15% of click volume before the new changes so the true impact isn’t as great as some marketers will lead you to believe.

In Summary

The SERP change in February 2016 shook up the digital marketing world as do all global changes Google makes with search engine results pages. The biggest winners from the SERP change were most paid search advertisers especially those advertisers in position number 3 followed distantly by those in the brand new position 4. Position 3 advertisers saw click-through rates increase over 20% while position 4 saw increases up to 15% in click-through rate. The biggest losers were advertisers in positions 5-11. Those unfortunate enough to remain in these positions or to be bumped down to positions 5-11 have seen significant loss of impression share and total click volume due to be evicted from the right-hand SERPs.

It is still unknown whether organic results will win or lose as data is inconclusive and more case studies need to be performed. Due to just moving down one more position and possibly moving under the fold, organic listing businesses may see drops in search volume and website sessions. If you are high-ranking in organic currently, look to your digital agency or marketing team to find third-party tools or SEO-management platforms to help monitor position increases and decreases over the next 30 days.

 

Jordan Burleson
Jordan is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Beacon. He has a B.S. in in Communication (Broadcasting & Advertising) from Appalachian State University. Jordan specializes in search engine optimization strategies, social media marketing and analytics to help businesses drive more online traffic. When out of the office, you can find Jordan running, cycling or scaling a mountain. Along with trolling the internet for the next big thing, he is an avid movie viewer and bibliophile.

Connect with Jordan on Google+

By | 2017-07-20T09:10:42+00:00 March 1st, 2016|PPC|Comments Off on Google’s New SERP Layout: How It Affects You

Why You Need Bing Paid Search Marketing

Google may be king of the mountain for paid search marketing; but Bing is building it’s empire to challenge Google. Have you considered advertising on Bing Ads? If you haven’t, you should.

According to comScore, Bing’s desktop search market share is over 20%, or one in five searches. In addition to this benchmark, currently Bing’s search algorithm powers Yahoo Search which has a market share of 12%. Together Bing and Yahoo capture one in three desktop searches.

comScore Sept 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Google still holds a large share of desktop searches, exploring options outside of AdWords could be a great fit for your business. Currently, Bing delivers Paid Search Ads not only on the Bing network, but also on Yahoo. A Paid Search buy with Bing expands your advertising reach, and helps you promote your business to your target audience.

What to Keep an Eye On:

Google and Yahoo formed a three year partnership that went into effect on October 1st 2015. Yahoo will now have the ability to serve Google content on their network. Yahoo will decide when Google will provide ads and organic search results for some of Yahoo’s queries; however the amount to be served is unspecified.

Bing responded, referencing their contract with Yahoo, that they will continue to serve the majority of Yahoo’s search results and ads. The Google and Yahoo partnership is still under regulatory review by the US Department of Justice. The influence that the partnership will have on Yahoo search is unknown.

Bing Ads Updates:

bing ads image

Even with the Yahoo and Google partnership, Bing Ads has continued to make competitive updates and improvements. Bing Ads recently launched remarketing ads for both search and shopping campaigns. While remarketing campaigns are not a new tool to paid search, they are an important and valuable option that Bing Ads offers their advertisers.

Remarketing campaigns target an audience that is already aware of your business. They give you an option to deliver an ad to your engaged visitors. Remarketing ads will be served to users who have been to your website, so they are familiar with your business and are more likely to click on your ad.

If you already have a remarketing campaign set up in Google, creating a campaign in Bing will take a few short steps. If you don’t currently have a remarketing campaign, Bing offers an easy to follow walkthrough to help you with the process.

This month, Bing rolled out a Q&A style video series where users submit questions and each month they will dedicate an episode to answer a few of them. Questions can be submitted on twitter using the #AskBingAds or by emailing them directly. The video series is candid and gives Bing Ads a more human side to their business.

With the Holiday season approaching, Bing released a planning tool to assist with scheduling your paid search campaign. The interactive calendar marks important dates with spending trends to help their advertisers execute an ad strategy. While marketers and consumers are aware of the three highest online spending days, Bing gives interesting search insights, including time of day when searches peak, and online purchasing habits. These details could help small businesses with limited budgets prioritize their ad spend throughout the holiday season.

User Training:

bing ad academy

 

Need help navigating in Bing Ads or learning all the new features? No reason to fret, they have also rolled out a new program, Bing Ads Academy. The training resource offers both online and in person options starting at a beginner level, to more detailed options, and then ramping up to advanced levels. The online training options are structured for users to take at their own pace, and pick and choose what topics they would like to focus on.

Although Google still holds the lion’s share of online searches, Bing has become quite the competitor. Whether you are looking to start a paid campaign from scratch, or expanding on your current digital efforts, Bing is an excellent option for you to consider. Contact us today to find out more about how Bing can help your business reach your marketing goals.

By | 2017-08-07T15:45:10+00:00 November 13th, 2015|PPC|Comments Off on Why You Need Bing Paid Search Marketing

Google AdWords Upgraded URLs: A Quick Guide

google-adwords-yellow2-1920

In February, Google announced a major change to how landing page URLs will be managed in AdWords. If you manually tag your URLs, listen up!

Old Way:             Landing Page URL + Tracking Parameters = Destination URL.

Since your tracking code and landing page URL are combined, any change in tracking code sends your ad into editorial review, where Google has to crawl each altered URL and re-approve your ad. This becomes problematic in terms of data loss and time ads spend under review.

The solution? Upgraded URLs!

With upgraded URLs, the landing page URL and the tracking parameters that currently make up the destination URL will be separated. The landing page will become what is now dubbed “Final URL” and your tracking parameters will be handled separately in a “Tracking Template”. This improved URL management will not only make updates to tracking code easier, it will reduce the number of times Google needs to crawl your ad’s landing pages.

Upgraded:          Landing Page URL = Final URL

                                Tracking Parameters = Tracking Template

Google has given us a deadline of July 1st 2015 to upgrade to the new URL structure, otherwise your account will be automatically converted.

How it’s done:

Before you being making changes, I suggest you become familiar with Google’s Upgrade Guide.

Tracking templates are where you enter your tracking information and any custom parameters you may want to use. You have the ability to scale these template updates across several URLs without resetting your ad. In these tracking templates you’ll use ValueTrack parameters to define what elements you want tracked.

First you need to identify which ValueTrack parameters you want to include in your template. You’ll find the full set of options here. Custom parameters can also be added. So if you want to tag your URLs with a promotion, you might set a custom parameter {_promo} with a value of “BOGO”. You can set up to three custom parameters.

The templates can be applied at various levels within your account, but the most specific level of tracking will be applied to the ad. This means if you have a campaign level and an ad level tracking template, the ad level tracking will override the campaign level template for that ad. To maximize efficiency I recommend creating a template at the highest level possible.

Note: Changes to tracking templates at the ad level will remove the existing ad and re-submit a new one for review.

Now What?

Although all the updates are in place within the AdWords web interface, AdWords Editor has not yet been updated to support upgraded URLs. If you use Editor I highly recommend holding off until the next release comes out. This will ensure nothing falls through the cracks when posting changes from Editor.

Now that you have all the information you need to upgrade, you can begin to make a plan as to how you will go about switching over. Be mindful of the data loss that will occur when you make the switch. If you have questions or need help with your AdWords account, contact us today!

 

 

 

By | 2017-06-16T12:22:18+00:00 April 23rd, 2015|PPC|Comments Off on Google AdWords Upgraded URLs: A Quick Guide

Do Enhanced Campaigns change the way Quality Scores are calculated?

Well, do they?  No.

Google defines Quality Score as “an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person seeing your ad. Having a high Quality Score means that our [Google’s] systems think your ad, keyword, and landing page are all relevant and useful to someone looking at your ad.”

Google Adwords’ new enhanced campaigns will not bring about the change to the way QS (Quality Score) is currently determined.  You can also rest assure that once you update your current (what Google is coining now as legacy) campaigns to the new enhanced version, you will not lose any of the historical QS  information as long as your ads, keywords, display URL’s, and destination URLs stay the same.

Google Quality Score

Here are two example scenarios to  help give you a better understanding when you begin to upgrade your device specific campaigns.

Example Scenario 1:  You have Desktop Only campaigns for your products, and now want to upgrade your B2B Desktop Only campaigns to the new enhanced version.

Because you simply upgraded it without making any changes to the ads, keywords, destination URLs, etc., the QS (Quality Scores) historically attached will stay the same within the desktop devices.  Your keywords will now just begin to get separate mobile QS ratings based on their specific performance moving forward on those devices now that the campaigns target all devices in the single campaign level.

Example Scenario 2:  You have a Desktop Only (Campaign A) and a Mobile Only (Campaign B) campaign for your products.  Each of these campaigns contain different ad copy specific to the audiences on the separate devices.

When updating Campaign A, the same logic from Example 1 above still applies in terms of QS (Quality Scores).  If you want to keep the QS attached to the unique, mobile specific Campaign B, then you will need to copy these ads into the upgraded Campaign A group as mobile optimized ads.  You can then pause or delete your old mobile only legacy campaigns.

Additional information:

How Quality Scores will continue to be measured

By | 2017-06-16T13:03:55+00:00 February 28th, 2013|PPC|Comments Off on Do Enhanced Campaigns change the way Quality Scores are calculated?

New Tool to Analyze PPC Data

I recently came across an article talking about the new Wordstream PPC Grader. Of course my curious self had to go try it out and I’m happy to report this tool offers a lot of insight into your Adwords Campaigns.

Wordstream PPC Grader

(Not to bad of a score if I do say so myself)

Here is some of the great info you can learn from this tool:

1. Wasted Spending on Negative Keywords – Luckily my wasted spend wasn’t to high but knowing there still was some tells me I need to go in and add some more negative keywords so I can get the number closer to $0.

2. Quality Score – Here is let’s you know if you scores are below average, average or above average. It also give you an estimate of how much money can be saved by improving your score a point. Example from my report: “By improving your Quality Score by 1.1, you can save $112.28, or get 35more clicks / month.”

3. Click Through Rate (CTR) – This section of the report shows you the average CTR curve and where you lie on it. It also gives you an estimate of how many clicks you can expect to get by increasing your CTR. Example pulled from report: “If you increased your CTR to 4.41%, you could expect 11 more clicks or 1more conversions a month.”

4. Activity Time – This part of the report doesn’t offer much insight although it is nice to see how where you rank among others when it comes to time spent updating campaigns. I ranked in the 87th percentile for this client and got this message “You’re actively devoting time to working on your account — this is good news for your campaigns!”

5. Long Tail Keyword Optimization – We all know long tail keywords are great because they are more specific and most of the time offer high conversion rates. This section of the report let’s you know where you stand with your targeted keywords and how you rank among competitors. As you can see from the image, my campaigns use a lot of 3+ words and I rank pretty well. Long tail keywords

6. Ad Text Optimization – This section I found very helpful because of the visual it gives for your worst text ad and your best. Here I can compare the two in order to figure out why the worst one is performing so bad. As you can see from the image below, I’m doing pretty well with my text ads.

Text Ad Grader

7. Landing Page Optimization – Here you can see how you compare to your competitors when it comes to the amount of landing pages you are sending traffic too. It’s best practice to have targeted landing pages for each ad group so that you’re sending people directly to the information they want to see rather than just sending them to any page on your site. Here I learned that my competitors have double the amount of landing pages I do and I need to step up my game in order to match them.

8. PPC Best Practices – This is the last part to the report and it gives you a Pass (thumbs up) or Fail (thumbs down) grade on each of the best practices experts have defined in order to have a successful PPC campaign.

I was really impressed with this tool and it’s ease of use as well as the great information it has given me. There’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a try considering it’s Free! So go here and check it out!

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and Facebook! We’ve always got fresh new finds posted for you!

Ashley Agee
Ashley has a BS in Business with a concentration in Marketing from UNCG. She considers herself a marketing maniac during the day and marvelous mom at night. When not working she enjoys spending time with her family and training horses.

Connect with Ashley on Google+

By | 2016-11-23T11:20:48+00:00 February 6th, 2012|PPC|Comments Off on New Tool to Analyze PPC Data

Time Saving Features in Adwords Editor: The Copy and Paste

I remember back in the day, stumbling upon a neat little tool called “Adwords Editor“.  And it was like the sky broke open, angels sang, and the gods smiled down on me. Once I used it, all I could say was: WHAT. A. FIND. Unfortunately I made this find after having a co-worker do a tremendous and tedious account overhaul manually is Adwords, but let’s not talk about that.

Anyway… we all know how Adwords Editor saves us time creating, managing, and editing PPC accounts. But there are even more features once you get into the nitty-gritty of Editor that are worth being aware of. And today I’d like to talk about the most simple of these: copy & paste.

The Copy and Paste in Adwords Editor

Yup. Good ol’ copy and paste. So, we all know you can export all or parts of an account using the “Export” feature under “File”. But what if you want to manipulate something super specific, like ad copy and keyword destination URLs? Exporting this is difficult and even impossible in some circumstances. Well,  copy and paste to the rescue!

How to Use Copy and Paste in Adwords Editor

Simply Control + C or Shift + C (depending on whether you’re selecting choice data or all data in a group) and Control + V into Excel. All data, including headings, will be pasted. Now do your thing with edits. Save as CSV, making sure your headings match, and import into Editor. Review and approve edits. Done! Now wasn’t that easy?

 

This method has served me particularly well in making large, sweeping changes to ad copy. Give it a try and check back again for more tips on our beloved Adwords Editor!

 

~Andrea

 

 

 

Andrea Cole
Andrea Cole is Beacon’s Director of Digital Marketing and not only provides strategic consultation for Beacon’s top clients, but also drives the overarching strategy across the organization, including tools, processes and direction for SEO, PPC, Social, Email and Analytics. She joined the team in 2010 as an SEO/Analytics expert. Andrea is also the author of The SEOptimist blog which provides useful tips and informative articles on SEO, PPC and Web Marketing. Andrea brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our top level clients.

Connect with Andrea on Google+

By | 2017-08-08T08:35:44+00:00 June 17th, 2011|PPC|Comments Off on Time Saving Features in Adwords Editor: The Copy and Paste

Mobile Display Ads Will Take You Further Than You Think

Is your company currently engaging in paid display ads throughout a content network in Google or MSN?  For most of you, the answer should be yes if you are trying to increase revenue and your brand awareness.

How many of you are currently running display ads on mobile devices?  My assumptions is that not many of you are- but you all should be.  Did you know that 93% of the 307 million people within the US have mobile devices, and that 40% of these people have smart-phones, mobile internet devices or mobile-web-enabled feature phones? Mobile users range in age, gender, and income level as can be seen below.

Below are some reasons why you should begin to think about the option to display pieces of rich media or banner ads on mobile devices through Google’s Admob Network.

  1. Campaigns are set up similar to other display content campaigns and Google is the king of simplicity within their user interfaces
  2. Working with Admob you gain the experience they have as they help you manage the complexities that might scare you concerning the wide world of mobile, making it easy for you to target and serve ads to the complete mobile audience
  3. You have the ability to target as broadly as possible given your campaign goals. You can even target by OS and have an ad serves specifically to Android users.

Click on the link below to see all the cool stuff you can do within Google’s Admob Team.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV5-w1OgoeM&feature=channel

By | 2016-11-23T11:20:48+00:00 January 20th, 2011|PPC|Comments Off on Mobile Display Ads Will Take You Further Than You Think
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