Google Sleight of Hand?

One of the keys to a great magic trick is a quick sleight of hand while the on looking audience is distracted. Has everyone been watching Google’s right hand when we should have been watching the left?

On August 21st Google posted “Quality Score Improvements” on the Inside AdWords.

We all noticed that last week Google finally put Google Suggest on Google.com.

Then Google releases its own browser Google Chrome this week.

Ok follow me here, they change the way AdWords keywords perform, then quickly begin to change and herd guide people’s search habits. All this happens around the last week of the last summer month before school starts. Then the first week of September when traffic really starts to pick back up for most ecommerce sites they release Chrome which gets all the attention and talk.

Still with me here? Now paid search is like the front line so I see traffic trend changes very quickly. I have noticed some very dramatic changes over the last two weeks due to the change in quality scoring and Google Suggest. Terms that I had stopped bidding on due to low impressions are now outperforming the terms that use to be the sweet spots.

There was some attention given to the changes in Quality Scoring and Google Suggest here and there but not once Chrome was released. Google has everyone so wrapped up in the release that not many have really seen the changes in traffic and keyword trends.

Catch Your Clients Red Handed

Have you ever logged into a client’s paid search account and notice odd changes that you swear you didn’t do?

Check the Change History-If you don’t know how already, here are the steps:

Campaign management screen>Tools>My Change History>Filter change history

Run this report once a week to see if anyone other than yourself has made any changes to the account. You may be surprised how often your clients can’t resist temptation and make random changes on their own. The client not knowing any better could cause detrimental harm to the performance of the account.

Slap Their Hand-The hard part is calling the client out regarding these renegade changes, but if done correctly you can stop this from happening again. I have even gone as far as to add a section to my service agreements that basically states that if the client makes any changes to the account other than billing info, it’s a breach of contract and I will no longer be held responsible for the performance of the account.

Think about it like this, if you took your car in for an oil change, went home and drained all the oil out, drove down the highway and blew your engine you couldn’t blame the oil change place.

What is the Equivalent of #1 Ranking on Google for Paid Search?

Everyone knows that the differences in Organic and Paid are worlds apart, the time lines of achieving success, the actual goals themselves and the over strategic tactics.

But how does one determine true over all success of paid marketing in comparison to organic efforts?

It is an automatic given that the typically goals of a paid campaign will vary for each company, industry, and the products and services offered.

I have some clients that currently have stats so good I want to print it and hang it on my mom’s frig.

MSN adCenter bulk Management Upgrade

Just got this email from MSN:

This weekend, Microsoft adCenter will upgrade with new features that make it easier to bulk manage your budgets and bulk submit ad groups. During this upgrade, your ads and keywords will remain live and continue to run as normal.

New bulk management features

This is good news, I like the thought of shortening the amount of time I spend in adCenter being frustrated. My account rep has been on vacation this week, which was even more frustrating. For the record he is awesome and I do not hold any adCenter short comings against him personally.

Currently working in adCenter is almost as pleasant as walking into a brick wall repeatedly. The conversion rates that I see from MSN are why I even bother coming back. I know that if I plan to work on an adCenter account that I must meditate and become one with my Chi. I also accept the fact that twenty minutes into working in adCenter I will begin to sound like Yo Sammity Sam.

So hoo-ray! Now if they could just figure out how to get more traffic. Maybe a free toaster oven for every unique visitor that does a search?

AdWords Ad Placement Change Coming

adwords ad placementGoogle recently announced that they are changing the ad placement formula for the top positions above the natural search results.

Google’s explanation

Summary:

The old formula considered your quality score and your actual CPC, which was determined by the advertisers below you. The new formula will consider your quality score and your max CPC bid.

More money, better placement. This will become a huge advantage for the larger companies with healthy budgets.

So, now the really interesting thing to watch is how much will the average CPC increase on current top placing ads?

My fav line from the detailed explanation:

“If you don’t want ads that usually appear in high positions alongside search results to appear above search results, check that their maximum CPCs are not dramatically higher than the actual CPCs you normally pay.“

AdWords Editor

This afternoon I joined into an adWords Editor webinar given by the adWords Editor Team. I have to say it was truly worth while.

As a daily user of the Editor I am very familiar with its functions but I did learn some pretty cool new tricks that will save me some time and effort. I can not imagine trying to manage large accounts and stay within reasonable billable hours of account work without this tool.

Here is a link to a top 10 list of functions that people like most about the tool:

AdWords Editor’s “Top 10 Favorites”

Paid Search Newbie Tips

As I have fallen hopelessly in love with the paid search marketing industry I have learned many things along the way. 

I admit I have either made some of these errors, came close to making them. Some of them I have even witnessed colleagues make. I wanted to share these tips in hopes of guiding others new to the industry away from a few road hazards that might come along. 

1. Make sure you archive the client’s existing online campaigns before you begin to apply changes.

2.Keep weekly updates of all of your account’s spends and project monthly spends to ensure all accounts are on point to reach and not exceed monthly budgets.

3. Keep in mind that no matter how proven some best practices are with one account, it does not make it a guarantee for another account.

4. Beware of client neglect – Even if it is a simple email to reach out to a client that has not contacted you in sometime. Quiet is not always a good thing.

5. Keep daily logs of your time spent on all of your accounts. This will not only help you keep a handle on achieving the goals of the client contract but it will in turn keep you more conscience of your daily productivity and might even make you work smarter not harder.

6. Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know. Ask a senior staff member for help or call your search engine account manager.

7. Make time to learning, webinars, seminars, books, blogs and podcasts. These can provide a wealth of information and new resources. Just make sure the information is coming from a trusted source.

8. Know and accept that reaching and maintaining some account goals can be as difficult as bathing a cat. However, the feeling one gets of achieving this is well worth the stress and effort. Not to mention just pleasing the client.

9. You will make mistakes. Sometimes no matter how much research, time, knowledge and strategy planning goes into an account optimization and maintenance, things can go into unexpected direction and have a poor out come. As I was told by a very wise man “Don’t get discourage”. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes. Accept that you are human and this industry is still so young with no exact science. Communicate honestly and openly with your clients and work towards a solution.

10. Last but not least, don’t forget to eat lunch. You can not battle the world of endless acronyms on an empty stomach.

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