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Keep It Simple Stupid - the KISS of PPC

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Miércoles, 01 Marzo 2017
en Google

kissA couple of weeks ago I sent out a simple tweet about how I had stopped using phrase match in my PPC campaigns. Which is strange, because my campaigns were almost exclusively built on ranks of phrase match keywords covering a multitude of search queries relevant to my clients' products or services. A few people asked me why... the reason is the launch of broad match modified keywords.

I hated broad match - it just seemed like leaving your car parked with the door open, the engine running and the keys in the ignition. Hey, Google - over here! Come spend whatever you like! And, oftentimes, advertisers were surprised by just how quickly a budget could be depleted. Ta-Daaaaa! No you see me now you don't!

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Google AdWords' Default Settings

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Viernes, 10 Febrero 2017
en Google

adwords defaultsThis week we have taken over the management of a Google AdWords account that was floundering.

This is not something new... often, we are contacted after a small or medium business has taken the plunge into the inviting waters of ppc only to find that the water is deeper, colder and a lot murkier than it looked to be from the shore.

But this particular account led us to consider some fo the default settings in a new account set up. Some of them we have complained about before: why, for example, is the keyword quality score column not activated by default in the reports? Or why is auto-tagging "yes, please" not the default setting? but neither of these directly affect the costs of the advertising. The default setting double whammy we discuss today does...

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Who Wants to Fight Iron Mike?

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Viernes, 20 Enero 2017
en Google

mike tysonOne of the big selling points that Google give to potential AdWords advertisers is how their platform "levels the playing field" and allows small and medium businesses to compete with the big boys.

And this is true.

You can set up your ad campaign, select your keywords, set a bid and enter your credit card details and away you go... someone searches for "blue widgets" and your ad appears right next to the ad from Big Blue Widget Corporation. So, yes, you are competing with them and Google has levelled the playing field. Or have they?

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Quality Score - the Red Herring in the Adwords Ocean

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Viernes, 14 Octubre 2016
en Google

adwords choicesI can just about remember my first Adwords campaign. It was for my own business and I was spending my own money.

In my opinion, this is the best way to learn the platform - there is no better motivation to learn the subtleties (and not so subtle pitfalls) than knowing that every wasted click is money straight out of your own pocket.

In fact, for everyone wondering how best to learn AdWords, I would always suggest they look to get some skin in the game.

Looking back, I now realise how green I was and how much money I probably wasted, but that is not the theme of today's article.

Instead, today, I am considering the way in which the KPI's change over time as your Adwords knowledge develops.

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People Who Like Remarketing also Like Custom Affinity Audiences

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Jueves, 18 Agosto 2016
en Google

custom affinityRemember how, when you buy something on Amazon they are always quick to tell you that people that bought that particular gadget, book, DVD or special gift, also bought these other vaguely (sometimes curiously remotely) similar items?

It's called the upsell. Whilst I've got you buying one thing, I'll sell you another.

I was reminded of this when looking at Custom Affinity Audiences which we are actively encouraging our clients to consider in their accounts. We're seeing some strong results, and the reason seems to be quite simple.

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Paying Facebook for Website Clicks

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Martes, 28 Junio 2016
en facebook

facebook clicksUPDATED - AFTER RESPONSE FROM FACEBOOK - SEE BOTTOM OF POST

Caveat Emptor - Buyer Beware.

If you're buying clicks online it pays (literally) to make sure you know what you are buying.

And when it comes to facebook, I thought that I needed to pay most attention to those companies looking to sell me hundreds of devoted followers for pennies... but it turns out, I have to worry more about facebook themselves.

We recently launched a small campaign for a client using the "video" option rather than a photograph. It's an option facebook offer and it whilst it is more of an animated slideshow than a video, it seemed like a nice way to present the client's product range.

Alongside the text and images we chose to pay for "website clicks". And then we sat back to watch the traffic.

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AdWords Quality Score - An Ongoing Conundrum

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Domingo, 19 Junio 2016
en Google

adwords quality scoreWe all appreciate the importance of keyword Quality Score in AdWords. We know it is something we should be striving to improve with the aim of having 10/10 scores for all our main keywords.

But, whilst we understand the importance, in practice QS is still something of a mystery.

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Bid Adjustments by Device - Marketer's Prayers Answered

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Lunes, 30 Mayo 2016
en Google

bid adjustmentsA couple of years ago we were discussing bid adjustments by device on the weekly #ppcchat twitter tag, and I posted a screenshot to voice my frustration at the inability to split desktop and tablet traffic in my AdWords campaigns.

Others were equally frustrated by the inability to effectively target mobile only traffic - you had to implement a clumsy workaround which would reduce mobile traffic, but not eliminate it.

The solution seemed so simple - have a "base" bid and then allow all device types to have a bid adjustment - that you had to conclude that Google had simply decided that they knew best and that we were not going to able to filter our traffic the way we wanted to.

And then Google announced a change.

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Just How Human is Google's Algorithm?

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Jueves, 19 Mayo 2016
en Google

cpa bidding paralysisThere's a strange thing that sometimes happens with CPA bidding in Google AdWords.

Following a few days of fluctuation, the ad impressions drop to almost nothing.

There doesn't appear to be any change to the settings and the billing is OK - so what's going on?

In most cases it appears that Google's algorithm simply gets nervous - you might even say it panics!

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Now You See It - Now You Don't

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Jueves, 28 Abril 2016
en Google

hidden from viewImagine for a moment that you are buying ads in a magazine.

Full page, full colour ads. Nice. 

The salesman at the magazine tells you that you're getting a great deal. For only $10,000 dollars your ad is going to be in 150,000 magazines. You think that's a great price. You book the ad, give them your money and run back to your office to wait for the phone to start ringing off the hook.

But the results are less than spectacular, and you start to question why. So you get back in touch with the salesman. "How many magazines does my ad appear in?", you ask. "150,000," is the happy reply "but we actually only sell 50,000 of them, the rest we just recycle and pulp."

Would you be upset? You betcha.

Welcome to the Google AdWords display platform.

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PPC Management and Transparency

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Martes, 05 Abril 2016
en Google

adwords transparencyRecently I was asked whether or not I felt an agency should grant a client access to their AdWords account. I was somewhat baffled by the question.

The notion that an agency would consider not allowing a client access to their own AdWords account is, to me, absurd; but there are many agencies who neither grant access, nor run the account in their client's name.

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Call Only Campaigns with Third Party Call Tracking

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Lunes, 01 Febrero 2016
en Google

call only campaignsWe have been experimenting with Call Only Campaigns in Google AdWords.

Call Only Campaigns are like regular search campaigns but they are only eligible to run on mobile phones. Basically, a user sees your ad, clicks on it and their phone app opens with your number pre-dialled.

And it doesn't matter where a user clicks. There is a Call Now button on the ads, but wherever they click, the result is the same - they are primed to place the call.

At this point we find many people panic. They simply weren't ready to place a call to your business. They were expecting to be redirected to your website and then have the opportunity to browse your offer, find out a little more about your company and then... maybe... give you a call.

Instead, most people simply drop their phone and wonder how they did that.... "Surely I didn't hit the Call Now button, or did I ??"

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Dumbing Down Google Analytics with Smart Goals

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Domingo, 31 Enero 2016
en Google

google analytics smart goalsGoogle Analytics recently introduced Smart Goals.

Smart Goals are goals that Google themselves configure within your Analytics account to measure the activity of your best visitors. This is based on visitor behaviours such as the time they have spent on the site, the number of pages they have visited and an undoubtedly bewildering array of other signals that Google have doubtless determined to indicate desirable behaviour from their analysis of user data.

And, let's face it, Google have more data than... well, than anyone.

So these goals will be the best we can get, right? Nope. Not even close.

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The Google AdWords Difference

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Lunes, 04 Enero 2016
en Google

adwords scamIf you spend any time at all on the Google AdWords Community Forum (I am a Top Contributor there, so I probably spend more time than most!) you will come across posts where AdWords is decried as a scam or a rip off. Cheating small businesses out of their hard earned marketing budgets whilst giving special treatment to the fat cats with the big budgets... yes, we see that a lot.

But this is actually a reflection of the major difference between Google AdWords and traditional advertising models.

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Funky Quirk on Image Ad Bulk Upload

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Lunes, 27 Julio 2015
en Google

I love the new bulk upload facility for image ads in Google AdWords - I really do.

But with the recent change from Destination to Final URL - there is a funky little quirk that caught me out and got my ads disapproved... here's what happened...

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Drink, You Beast, Drink

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Miércoles, 17 Junio 2015
en Google

adwords horseThere has been little flurry of activity online recently of people complaining the Google AdWords doesn't work, that it's a scam, and that Google have got us all hoodwinked into thinking that if you're in business you must be running an online advertising campaign.

The evidence for this seems to boil down to the same fundamental argument in most cases - "I've had so many dozens/hundreds/thousands of clicks to my website and not a single sale/form completion/phone call."

The conclusion? It's Google.

There is a saying... which I imagine is based on truth, although I have no personal experience... You can lead a horse to water, but you can 't make it drink.

The same is true of website visitors. 

You can bring them to your website in droves, but you cannot make them buy from you. Or let me rephrase that. You can bring them to your website and then your website has to take over and convert them into paying customers. Bringing them to the page is not enough.

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Google Analytics and RLSA Campaigns

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Jueves, 11 Junio 2015
en Google

google analytics for RLSAA few months ago I wrote a blog post about the frustration caused by the fact that remarketing lists generated in Google Analytics could not be used for RLSA campaigns.

Today, I am pleased to report that Google has now integrated Google Analytics lists with AdWords to the extent that they can now be used for RLSA campaigns. You see, you can get what you wish for.

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Who Owns Your Google AdWords Account?

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Jueves, 14 Mayo 2015
en Google

adwords account ownershipThere was a short debate on one of the forums I regularly visit this morning where several AdWords consultants and agencies were discussing client's "interference" in accounts.

One contributor suggestedf that clients should be given "read only" access to the AdWords interface. Another, that they should only be given a monthly report, and that no access be given to the AdWords account itself at all.

I was, not to put too fine a point on things, stunned. Actually, double stunned.

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Call Extension Telephone Number Verification - the Next Hoop Google want me to Jump Through

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Jueves, 16 Abril 2015
en Google

performing elephantStarting in June, Google are going to require telephone number verification for all numbers used in Call Extensions.

You can verify your numbers already, if you wish, but in June, if the numbers are still marked as "unverified" then the Call Extensions will be disapproved.

At the moment they are simply marked as "unverified" - an unsightly red mark on your campaigns and one which clients are (understandably) worried about. After all, anything that Google put in red on your account must be bad, right?

Well, yes and no. At the same time as they mark the number as unverified they also provide helpful guidelines to help you get verification. Helpful, possibly. But of the three options, a little like Goldilock's porridge, only one is "just right"... and even that one has some serious questions to answer.

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Keywords, Match Types and Champions

Publicado por Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
El Usuario no está conectado
en Miércoles, 15 Abril 2015
en Google

adwords keyword championMost people understand the auction concept that underlies Google AdWords. It's a little more complex than a simple auction, the Quality Score of your keyword determines the ad rank and that either boosts the real value of your dollar bid, or reduces it.

But it's an auction nonetheless.

What many people fail to realise is that before your keyword is even entered into the auction another selection process has already taken place.

Since, for most advertisers, there are any number of keywords within their account that could match a particular search query, Google will decide which has the higher ad rank and, therefore, is the one which should become your account's Champion in the battle for results page dominance.

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