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August 18, 2009

Don’t Gamble with Your PPC Campaigns! Save It For The Casinos.

By Account Deleted

Gamble-ppc In the lyrics of one of my favorite songs by Kenny Roger’s “the Gambler” which states that “you gotta know when to hold em…., Know when to fold em… No when to walk away…… Know when to run….  And it is those lyrics which reminded me of how easy it is to gamble with your PPC Campaigns, when "rash" decisions can really screw-up your bottom-line. (BTW - What the hell happened to Kenny Roger's Face? It looks like he gambled and lost with his plastic surgeon - See photo below) In this post, I will discuss why it’s important to “know when hold certain keywords and also “when to fold ‘em” or pause them. Just because a keyword may be under-performing, does not mean it’s a bad keyword. It just may bring attention to other areas of the PPC optimization experience (Landing Page, website usability or even the Text Ad). Let’s discuss

Not all keywords are the same for everyone. In my experience, I have seen other PPC Marketers and even myself at times, be guilty of not giving keyword a 2nd chance at life it deserves and it's very much like gambling with real money where the only difference is that your not bidding with Chips, your gambling with your business.

Kenny-roger-face In my humble opinion, the best approach to managing keywords in the PPC Campaigns is to create  a small group of 10-20 “tightly” relevant Head Terms and Long Tail Phrases about that specific product or service. Depending on your analytics package, it is sometimes a good idea to identify a few head terms and leave them in either Broad or Phrase Match and let the user find the long-tail work for you. Once you have that setup, I would then monitor them closely a few times a day for a week at a time just to see the behavior.

A Few Behaviors would be:

  • Click Thru Rate (CTR%)
  • Avg Position Fluctuation
  • Competitive saturation
  • Eventually CPL/CPA.

Once you have a good idea of the winners and “non winners” – (Notice I did not say “LOSERS” because the under-performers may just have the wrong “intent” factor which is perfectly ok), segment them and start working on the ones that need a little more attention. The beauty of Paid Search is the ability for the search marketer to try all types of "last resorts" and test new things. Moreover, finding the ultimate “gold-mine” keywords are not always instant. It could take months to truly get a handle on how to continue the ROAS Success. So in comparing PPC to Gambling at the Casino, you are in effect,

  1. Looking at your cards
  2. Looking at the others players
  3. Looking at the dealer’s cards
  4. Deciding to FOLD'em or HOLD'em

The benefit of PPC is that you do not have to fold right away, you can try different tactics to truly determine if it’s a lost cause and/or stop the bleeding before the credit card company knocks on your door.

So what are some examples of Rehabilitation Tactics?
Certainly, there are many tools to utilize when you are forced to give these keywords a second and third chance at life in your campaigns.

  1. Step #1: Look at all of the RAW search queries (through analytics) and see if there is a gap in the long tail searches. An example maybe adding a FEW MORE negative keywords to filter out unqualified visitors to keep the cost down and improve CTR to get your ROAS at the level it needs to be.
  2. Step #2: Look at the keywords position. Perhaps the “quality score” effect is just not there, so you may want to drop a few cents of the maximum CPC.
  3. Step #3: Look at your Landing Page and Website and looking for problems in your Conversion process. This could also be an issue with price, lack of information, shipping costs (if applicable) as well as anything else which may be affecting your ROAS.
  4. Step #4: If on the Content or Site Placement Networks, run a referring sites report and add those sites that are driving up add spend and not converting to the Site Exclusion section within Google Adwords.

In Conclusion:
The bottom-line of this post is to highlight on the fact that PPC does not have to be a game of High Stakes BlackJack. The PPC Marketer has many options on the table and just needs to be conscious of the surroundings of the user experience to make a better decision. Many great PPC experts in the industry  have also been evangelizing on these similar tactics, techniques and strategies mentioned in this post. However, this SemGeek’s thought process is using all of these best practices and simply relating them to other types of behavior, whether you are gambling at the Casinos, or Fishing (That’s another analogy to write about) it’s all relative.

Rocky-vs-clubber-lang PPC marketing is dynamic in that sometimes you can “win by Knockout" in the first 30 seconds, but if you get knocked down more that 3 times in the same round, as a PPC Marketer you can still continue to analyze your opponent (client) and fight your way back to a successful campaign.

August 17, 2009

Search Engine Strategies - San Jose 2009 Wrap up

By Simon Heseltine

Shari Thurow Marty Weintraub Search Engine Strategies San Jose 2009 wrapped up last Thursday, and I was in attendance for the last 2 of the 3 days of the conference.  Originally I'd thought about live blogging the sessions I attended, but instead I decided that I'd just do a wrap up post and fill it chock full of tidbits from a selection of sessions.

Continue reading "Search Engine Strategies - San Jose 2009 Wrap up" »

August 16, 2009

The Power of a Twitter Suggestion, Product Reviews & Video Sharing

By Li Evans

Earlier this afternoon I was getting a little disheartened by some .... pardon the expression,.... lame ass marketers touting that everyone needs a Blog .. type promoting social media marketing.  You know the type, they think they know social media because they have a blog and a twitter account.  A friend of mine asked me to check out some links from some webinars that .. well frankly, some schmuck put together who thinks social media is about links from a blog directory.  Pardon my candidness - but schmuck is about the best way to describe who presented the information.

For the record, like my respected pal Mike Grehan, I hate the term Social Media ... there's got to be a better term to explain this form of conversation/promotion/marketing.

With that all said, I set off then this evening to find a shredder.  Yes, something as plain Jane and utilitarian as a shredder.  See I got new checks, but the bank made an error and put the wrong number in the account area - so they sent me the correct ones.  I also have a bunch of CDs I need to shred.  Thus started my quest.

I went to Twitter and asked:

Low and behold a local pal Shawn Collins of Afflilate Summit tweeted me back:

Of course I thanked him!

But .... me being me not only did I watch his review:

I did a search.Google-Ativa-DQ120-Diamond-Cut-Shredder  

Look closely at what I have highlighted in red boxes (click image for larger view), it's all Shawn.  Shawn's review ranks highly from the website I visited, not only that his YouTube VIDEO ranks highly.  Followed by the OfficeDepot.com listing (highlighted by blue box).  Funny thing - Shawn's link links right to the Office Depot product.

Now, If I wasn't such an in-depth internet user that I am, and as loyal to Staple as I am, I wouldn't have done a search on the Ativa™ DQ120D Diamond-Cut Shredder in Google to find alternate sources for this product.  However neither Staples nor Amazon carry this product.

Point is, I trust Shawn - he's one of my followers on Twitter who actually holds conversations, I've met him in person, and he even runs a respected conference called Affiliate Summit.  He's got authority in my book, a trusted authority.  Add to the fact that he's ranking in Google for all this, I'm buying the Ativa™ DQ120D Diamond-Cut Shredder from Office Depot.

That's not just the power of Twitter, it's the power of a blog post review and video sharing - Social Media Marketing (by an Affiliate Marketer) in action.

August 06, 2009

Mike Grehan Joins SEW, ClickZ and Search Engine Strategies (SES) - Interview

By Li Evans

Mike_grehan It's with a lot of smiling this morning that I get to be the first place that has an interview with Mike Grehan about his new position with Search Engine Watch, ClickZ and Seach Engine Strategies (SES). (official announcement)  Mike's taken on a whole new role leading some exciting changes for the next coming year as well as helping to shape the direction of the industry as one of the top minds on where not just search marketing is going, but the whole online marketing industry as a whole. 

So lets hop right to it...(this is a two part interview that continues on Take It In-House)

Tell us about your new role with Incisive Media, SES, SEW, ClickZ

Mike Grehan:  I’ll be carrying Matt McGowan’s suitcase while he’s traveling as well as acting as his bodyguard to keep him safe from his adoring fans at conferences…

And apart from that… Effectively I’m working with the content team to help shape us up for the future. These three powerhouse brands have been around for a while and have a great reputation. But as the industry changes, we must change with it. And not just react to changes but anticipate it and facilitate the online conversation.

Of course, I’ll be playing a much larger role with the conference on the speaking front, as well as regularly writing and blogging across all three brands. And then there’s the webcasts and the…

How has the search industry changed in the last three years?

Mike Grehan:I think the biggest changes revolve around less dependency on technical solutions in the way we had to provide for clients. Now it’s much more important to have a strong marketing strategy as well as some tech savvy.

How important has social media become?

Mike Grehan:  Interesting that so many people in search are drawn towards this, so called “social media” when it requires an entirely different skill set. People like yourself who have a PR and marketing background (as well as being an excellent coder :) ) are more likely to succeed. As to how important it has become, go and ask the 250 million people at Facebook, they’ll tell you :)

This interview continues on Take It In-House.

August 04, 2009

Want to Meet Charlene Li & Have Dinner?

By Li Evans

Charlene-Li-headshot-dinner-promo As Director of Social Media for Serengeti Communications, I'm really excited about announcing this contest that we're holding through our Take it InHouse brand.  The contest is really simple and you have the opportunity to join us for a private dinner with Charlene Li in San Jose during Search Engine Strategies this year.  Charlene Li is Thursday's keynote speaker and she's also co-author of the awesome book Groundswell.

We're giving away 2 seats to the dinner and here's how you can win.

Take it InHouse is looking for two companies who manage the most vendors to help them get their online marketing strategies accomplished. 

What does that mean? 

So say you have one company to do your PPC, another for SEO, someone else to handle your online PR and yet another company to do Social Media or Analytics, we want to hear from you! 

The form is really simple to fill out, we just want to know how many vendors you work with and for what (not who they are).  We’re curious as to the average number of vendors that one company has to deal with to handle their online marketing initiatives.

The two companies with the most vendors will be our winners.  If there are several companies who have the same number, we’ll put them into a fishbowl and have a drawing.  We’ll be announcing the winners on Friday August 7th, so spread the word!  If you are coming to San Jose for Search Engine Strategies or even live in the area and run your business from around San Jose, let us know about how you manage your online marketing strategies!

Win A Seat at a Private Dinner Featuring Charlene Li

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