13 11, 2015

Why You Need Bing Paid Search Marketing

By | 2017-08-07T15:45:10+00:00 November 13th, 2015|Categories: PPC|Tags: , , |

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.

23 04, 2015

Google AdWords Upgraded URLs: A Quick Guide

By | 2017-06-16T12:22:18+00:00 April 23rd, 2015|Categories: PPC|Tags: |


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!




28 02, 2013

Do Enhanced Campaigns change the way Quality Scores are calculated?

By | 2017-06-16T13:03:55+00:00 February 28th, 2013|Categories: PPC|Tags: , |

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

6 02, 2012

New Tool to Analyze PPC Data

By | 2016-11-23T11:20:48+00:00 February 6th, 2012|Categories: PPC|Tags: , |

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!

17 06, 2011

Time Saving Features in Adwords Editor: The Copy and Paste

By | 2017-08-08T08:35:44+00:00 June 17th, 2011|Categories: PPC|Tags: , , , |

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!






20 01, 2011

Mobile Display Ads Will Take You Further Than You Think

By | 2016-11-23T11:20:48+00:00 January 20th, 2011|Categories: PPC|Tags: , , , |

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.


17 11, 2010

Affiliate Marketing is the Bee’s Knees!

By | 2016-11-23T11:20:48+00:00 November 17th, 2010|Categories: PPC|Tags: , , , |

What are you waiting for?  Stop putting all of your eggs into the traditional PPC baskets of Microsoft and Google and start entering the brave world of Affiliate Marketing Programs.

Here are reasons why:

1)      You can easily extend your marketing reach by letting others entice your market.

2)      PPC keeps getting more expensive, and money doesn’t grow on trees.

3)      Affiliate Marketing removes the need for budgeting guesswork as long as you know your margins; you set up your affiliate offers and pay a standard, set amount with each conversion.

4)      Even Google is doing it!

Affiliate Marketing rocks because you only pay when a sale occurs.  This method is a safe way to give your online marketing efforts unprecedented leverage.  Instead of just relying upon your own online marketing efforts like PPC, SEO, SMS, etc., you can have the force of an entire network of affiliate sites working to promote your products, specials, coupons, and more!  An affiliate program will help you reach hundreds, if not thousands, of targeted, affiliate websites for free impressions and clicks.  Again, you only pay when you have a conversion!

Have I convinced you yet?  I hope so.  I also just wanted to add that while Affiliate Marketing Campaigns are highly cost effective since they are the closest means to a true revenue-sharing model, don’t stop conducting your other online marketing efforts.  PPC, SEO, SMS, and the other important three-letter acronyms are still necessary. To keep you stacking the SERP results and have a presence, this way just helps you saturate the market and provide numerous incremental sales.

The best four stateside affiliate networks include the following:

1)      Commission JunctionThese folks are the largest network stateside and have really innovative materials.  The fee is a bit more, so if you join them, you should probably be selling more than bags of peanuts.

2)      LinkshareThey have fantastic tracking tools and reports.

3)      Google-We all know about them.

4)      Share a Sale-Their API’s are great, and they are really pushing the envelope on video implementation. Their startup cost is low, and their customer service is great.

23 09, 2010

Regular Adwords Reports That Lead to PPC Bliss

By | 2020-02-04T10:26:00+00:00 September 23rd, 2010|Categories: PPC|Tags: , , |

One of the most common blunders of PPC is over management—making so many changes that you don’t give any change a chance to have an effect or making so many changes that it’s impossible to make definitive conclusions. Following the schedule below allows me to prevent myself from over-managing and ensures that I keep abreast of trends and regular maintenance. Change the schedule as you see fit but still make sure you run these reports. They’re important—for your sanity and the healthy of your account!


Ad Copy: Check to make sure CTRs are healthy. Pause under-performers. Run new test in their place. Have no more than 3 ads running per ad group. If it’s a busy week, I will leave ad groups with healthy CTR alone—no testing; if I have time, I will try to improve on them. I don’t make any decisions on results until there are at least 500 impressions on an ad. The impressions your account receives will determine if this will be a weekly or bi-weekly task.

Monthly (Beginning of Month)

Reduce Keyword Bloat: (Done before adding any new KWs for the month) Import previous month’s data into Editor. View all keywords at the account level. Sort by impressions. Delete low impression keywords. What “low impression” means depends on your industry’s volume. I usually start with keywords with less than 30 impressions a month since it means that that keyword gets less than one search a day. Lower search volume accounts will have a lower threshold. I leave low volume keywords with clicks >1 alone.

I do a similar exercise for high volume keywords with no clicks, since these words decrease overall CTR and thus, quality score.

NOTE: It is important to understand the order in which you do this work. If you remove bad volume keywords AFTER adding new ones through the search query report (below) you will have a hard time sorting and figuring out which words are bad in volume versus just recently added. For simplicity’s sake, always reduce keyword bloat first!

Search Query Report: Automatically schedule to run the first day of each month for the previous month’s search queries. I use this report to add keywords, upgrade match types to phrase and/or exact, and add negative keywords.

Day Parting/ “Ad Scheduling” Report: If I use day parting in an account, I will check the previous months day part trends to the previous 3 month’s average to see if there are any shifts in CTR, CPC, CPA, or Conversion Rate. I do this for both Day of Week and Hour of Day. I take this information into consideration for the coming month’s management. Rarely will I make a change unless there is a serious shift or a shift trend I have noticed month-over-month.  I try not to make changes until I see data from the Quarterly Day Part Report.

Impression Share Report: More informational than anything, I use this to see what the search volume of the market was like for the previous month and what slice we got. If slice was low/high, I investigate why.

Quarterly (Beginning of Month)

Day Parting/ “Ad Scheduling” Report: If I use day parting in an account, I will check the previous 3 month’s averages to see if my current day part scenario is the best. If hourly or daily trends have changed, I adjust the account accordingly. When this report is scheduled, it trumps the Monthly Day Part Report.

Ad Group Report: (For accounts that max out on budget each month, I do this monthly. On accounts with unlimited budget, I do this quarterly.) Import previous 3 months worth of data into Editor. At the campaign level, sort ad groups by cost/conversion. Ad groups with no conversions or high CPA get paused or noted as areas of needed work. Repeat offender ad groups get paused indefinitely. Sometimes if I feel an ad group might be getting a bad rap, I go deeper into the ad group’s keywords to see if I can find specific offenders that are bringing the whole ad group down. I either delete or pause. If I delete, this keywords becomes an ad group negative.

Overall this should keep your PPC account trim and healthy, worthy of high impressions and quality score. I schedule these in Outlook so that getting them done is a no-brainer. I suggest you do the same.

Good luck!


22 09, 2010

Top Ad Positioning with Google Instant and Close Matches

By | 2016-11-23T11:20:49+00:00 September 22nd, 2010|Categories: PPC|Tags: , , , |

Is that the search query you were looking for?

Google Instant allows you to get to the right content faster because you don’t have to finish typing  in your full search term.  You get instant feedback during your search. Would that cause some search visitors to hit enter and conclude a query before there is a more exact match to the keyword they are looking for?

In our analytics, we noticed that during the course of a query some hits were being picked up as only partial keyword searches. Apparently, some search visitors are believing they have concluded a search query when they have actually not.

For example, let’s say I want to search for Christmas toys.

I start my query and get to the point below where I have typed in “christmas to” and not finished typing completely to “christmas toys”.


On the screenshot above, you notice that there are not any sponsored results.

But if I complete typing, this is what happens…

Now above, sponsored ads fill up the top and right sections of the screen.

What this means is that a window of opportunity exists (albeit perhaps a small one!)  during the course of a search query for top ad positioning by bidding on a exact match for [christmas to] . Suppose that after bidding on the close match, the real possibility exists for searchers catching sight of my ad, stopping the query before completion,  and clicking on the ad. The brief moment of top ad position is  likely far cheaper than bidding on “christmas toys” and might be worth the effort for the traffic you receive.

People say that giving is better than receiving, but that is certainly not the case with AdWords.

I wonder how modifed broad matches variants behave?

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