According to recent research from eConsultancy, “Paid search consumes the largest portion of online lead generation budgets, accounting for 28% of spending (in 2010), up from 22% in 2009.” In addition, more than half of companies that use paid search increased their budgets for it last year.
There’s no question that paid search delivers leads, and no question that AdWords is the big dog in the PPC world. Yet many marketers struggle to optimize this channel in the face of increasing competition, changes to Google results pages (e.g. Google Instant) and changes within AdWords itself. How can you use AdWords reports to fine-tune campaigns? How do the new keyword targeting options work? When should you use the AdWords Editor? How can you optimize campaigns using search funnels? Where do image ads fit in the mix? And most vexingly, how can you fix low Quality Scores?
Find the answers to those questions and more here in some of the best Google AdW0rds tips, tactics and techniques of the past year.
4 Ways to Leverage Adwords Search Query Reports by PPC Blog
Four ways to generate actionable data from Adwords Search Query Reports, such as finding new keywords from phrase variations and synonyms, and identifying negative keywords to add to campaigns.
Including Image Ads In Your Marketing Mix by PPC Hero
“Image ads (a.k.a. banner ads) are run on the content network, and they are a great way to add an additional variable to your ad testing, and reach your customers in a new way.” This post outlines several considerations to keep in mind when using image ads on Google’s content network, as well as step-by-step instructions for setting up image ads.
3 Rarely Used AdWords Settings You Should Be Aware Of by Daily SEO Tip
Eric Gesinski explains how to adjust keyword bids by time of day, set up a custom area within which to display ads for local campaigns, and rotate ads evenly for proper A/B testing.
New keyword targeting feature rolling out globally by Google Inside AdWords
Dan Friedman illustrates how the new modified broad match keyword targeting option works, complementing the original broad, phrase and exact match options in AdWords.
Google AdWords Quality Score Factors by PPC Blog
***** 5 Stars
An outstanding post detailing the factors that make up Google’s notorious Quality Score, the most important steps you can take to improve a low quality score, and which actions don’t really matter.
Uncovering Valuable Insights With Google’s Bid Simulator by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Comparing Google’s bid simulator to “a spreadsheet where marketers can test different scenarios to illustrate the real value between click and cost,” Jeff Licciardi explains how the bid simulator can be used to drill down to the revenue-per-click level and optimize bids to increase impressions, clicks and ROI.
5 Reasons Why We Love AdWords Editor by 1upDigital
The AdWords Editor, as Lucy White describes it, is “a free Google application that allows you to manage and update your Google AdWords campaigns offline, and then upload your changes to the online AdWords interface.” She details five reasons why this tool is helpful for managing large AdWords campaigns, among them the ability to find and replace, copy and paste, and make bulk changes (such as changing max cpc bids for a group of keywords).
Spotlight on AdWords Search Funnels – Part 1 by Google Conversion Room Blog
Noting that “The standard approach to conversion reporting traditionally focused on a customer’s last click on your ad. Search Funnels fills in the gaps on what happened before this last click!” Evelyn O’Keeffe steps through the benefits of and process of using AdWords Search Funnels to hone in on metrics such as assist clicks (clicks on one of your AdWords search ads that happened prior to a conversion) and assist impressions (unclicked ad impressions viewed prior to a conversion).
6 Steps To Raise Your Quality Score by PPC Hero
Amy Hoffman provides a helpful checklist of actions for improving quality score, such as using keywords in your ad copy and creating tightly themed ad groups.
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To teach you a better way to sell, the folks over at RainToday developed a new training program, Selling Consulting Services with RAIN Selling. Lessons start next week but enrollment for the program closes at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, January 28, 2011.
8 Ways to Optimize Your AdWords Campaign by Search Engine Journal
Larry Kim offers eight tips to improve the ROI from your AdWords campaigns, including using your prospects’ words, optimizing ad copy, and using long-tail keywords to get more conversions at a lower cost.
The New Google AdWords Feature You’re Not Using But Should Be by MediaPost Search Insider
Janet Driscoll Miller explains how the AdWords Call Metrics feature works, who can benefit from it, how to enable it, and how it “opens greater opportunity to effective, trackable mobile search advertising.”
Case Study: Improving Low Quality Score Accounts by PPC Hero
A practical, real-world case study that steps through four key areas for improving quality scores: tightly-focused ad groups, relevant landing pages, using keywords in ad copy, and taking advantage of all keyword match types.