Posts Tagged ‘PPC’

Excel Ad Intelligence Tool Suite

Written by Debra Leitl on October 31, 2011. Posted in Search Engine Marketing

Excel Ad Intelligence ToolMicrosoft recently released Ad Intelligence Tool Suite which simplifies keyword research and management. Ad Intelligence Tool Suite is a rebrand of Microsoft’s AdCenter Add-In for Excel and contains many features that are easy to use even if you are not an expert in Excel.

Ad Intelligence Tool Suite works with Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and 2010 and provides you with a host of tools to manage keyword forecasts, extract keywords from websites, monetize, and more.  If you are not familiar with Ad Intelligence Tool Suite here is an overview of some of the features it has to offer to help you succeed in pay per click advertising and maximize your return on investment (ROI).

Set Up Holiday Pay Per Click Ad Text Now

Written by Debra Leitl on September 30, 2011. Posted in Search Engine Marketing

Set Up Holiday Pay Per Click Ad Text NowIf you haven’t already starting planning your holiday marketing strategy the time is now to start thinking about Black Friday and the upcoming holiday season. Pay per click advertising is no exception to the rule and it isn’t too early to begin setting up holiday pay per click ad text now. So how should you begin?

Previous Season PPC Results

If you used pay per click advertising last year review the results of those campaigns to use as a starting point for this year’s campaigns. Although the marketing climate can change from one year to the next, reviewing previous campaigns will help you to see which ads performed well so you can update them to correlate with words people are using in their holiday searches for this season. The ads may have converted well last year but it may be necessary to update them with the top keywords for this year.

7 Tactics To Improve Your PPC Campaigns

Written by Debra Leitl on September 14, 2011. Posted in Search Engine Marketing

Pay per click advertising is a strategy which is used in conjunction with other strategies in your business marketing plan. PPC search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN allow you to set up an advertising campaign which helps to drive immediate traffic to your website while you are waiting for your search engine marketing efforts to kick in. When you set up a pay per click advertising campaign you pay for each visitor that clicks on your ad and arrives on your website. The price per click is determined by the amount of your bid on keywords that your target audience uses to find your product or service.

A PPC campaign requires your undivided attention for the campaign to be successful and for you to receive the best return on investment (ROI). Here are 7 tactics that will help you to ensure you are not leaving money on the table when running a PPC advertising campaign.

Increase Multi-Word Keyword Portfolio

The success of your PPC campaign is all about keywords. It only requires a small amount of your time each day to brainstorm keywords which are relevant to your product or service and help to expand your keyword portfolio. The more relevant keywords you have the better your chances of converting more visitors to sales.

Multi-word keyword phrases attract highly targeted traffic to your website and tend to have higher rankings than single and double word keyword phrases. Coming up with as many multi-word keyword phrases as you can, will increase your sales conversion ratio since your visitors are searching for that specific information. For example, “blue shoe laces Nike sneakers” would be an example of a multi-word keyword phrase which is also commonly referred to as a long tail keyword and tells you exactly what the customer is looking for.

Descriptive Ad Copy

The type of ad you create for your PPC campaign will determine the type of response you will receive. It is important to use highly targeted keywords that your market uses to search for your product or service. The ad should contain a title that grabs the reader’s attention and the body of the ad should provide a clear description along with a call to action which is to click through to your site. This means you must know your market and some of the reasons they are searching for your product.

Landing Page Testing

When you set up a PPC advertising campaign it is important to incorporate the landing page as an extension of the campaign. Your landing page must deliver what the ad promises and should contain relevant keywords from the advertisement.

To optimize a landing page it is important to test it with a website analytics program such as Google Analytics. Most website owners do what is called split testing where you use two different landing pages and test both of them to see which one performs the best. To split test landing pages you make minor changes to the page until you find the strategies that work and produce the best return on investment (ROI).

Keyword Portfolio Funnel Analysis

When you test your landing pages it is also important to do a funnel analysis. The funnel is the process that your customer goes through to reach the end goal which is usually the sale. There are parts of the funnel process where you will find your customers making their exit such as abandoning their shopping cart during the checkout procedure. Funnel analysis also involves testing keywords that you are using from your portfolio which are used in the funnel process.

Monitor Your Competitors

It is smart business to keep up with what your competitors are doing with their PPC advertising campaigns. Changes in the process your competitors use could affect keyword prices as well as your ad positioning in the keyword results. Using analysis to monitor your competitors will help you to stay ahead of the game.

Improve Keyword to Product Relationships

Online consumers are constantly changing the way they search for your product or service. This is why it is important to keep expanding your keyword portfolio to leverage the keywords that people are using to find your product. By staying up with keywords being used in organic searches you can increase the click through rate (CTR) for PPC ads and convert more visitors into paying customers.

Improve Landing Page Copy with Keyword Inclusion

Using keywords in your landing page copy is important to the success of the PPC advertising campaign and receiving other traffic which did not originate from your PPC ad. Google emphasizes alignment of the landing page with the PPC ad copy. If the two elements are not relevant to one another this could hurt your PPC ad ranking in the search results. Part of the correlation process includes using keywords which are relevant to the product in both the ad copy and the landing page.

These are main strategies that we recommend you use to improve the performance of your PPC advertising campaigns. Once you are comfortable with these strategies you can try additional strategies to increase the click through rate and return on investment.

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Use PPC Negatives And Save Money

Written by Debra Leitl on June 13, 2011. Posted in Search Engine Marketing

The internet is a powerful tool for advertising any business. Those seeking information about a certain type of business need only search for it in their browser. That’s why it makes strong marketing sense to do all you can to make sure that when they search, your business is found. When an internet search is launched for a descriptive word or phrase (known as keywords), advertisements relevant to the results of the search are displayed alongside them on the search engine results page (SERP) as “sponsored ads” or “sponsored links.” How do those contextual advertisements appear?

These ads are the result of a advertising strategy called search engine marketing (SEM). Most SEM is carried out as Pay per Click (PPC) advertising. PPC advertising is an effective and relatively inexpensive way to market your business on the internet which leverages the power of search engines to help bring your business to the attention of customers.

How does PPC Advertising Work? 

Pay per click is an arrangement between the search engine company and the advertiser. The advertiser pays the search engine a pre-determined amount each time their ad is clicked on from the SERP. You choose the keywords that apply to your business, determine what you are willing to pay for each clickthrough and submit that information to the search engine. The highest bidder for any particular keyword receives the highest placement for their ad in the SERP, ensuring them the greatest visibility. The more popular a keyword, the more it costs, so it is vital to consider your keywords carefully. 

A PPC ad campaign only costs you when your ad is clicked on. When it is, you want the visitors to your site to find what they’re looking for and make a purchase. What you don’t want is clickthroughs from unqualified traffic – that is, visitors who will not find what they are looking for on your site. Unqualified clicks from your PPC advertising campaign cost you money with no resulting sale. You therefore want to lower the number of irrelevant clicks to optimize your conversion rate (the number of visitors who are converted to customers). 

An extremely effective way to hone your PPC campaign for maximum effectiveness is to identify negative keywords. Negative keywords are those words that your unqualified traffic is searching on to arrive on your site – those words that are not completely applicable to the content of your website. 

PPC Negatives represent one of the most underutilized opportunities for small businesses to implement for their PPC campaign strategy successfully. They are a highly effective means to save money on your PPC advertising by eliminating clicks that do not lead to business. When you’ve identified negative keywords, searches including them will eliminate your site. That saves you money by making each click that does go to your site more valuable, decreasing your PPC costs and increasing your return on investment (ROI).

Negative Keywords in Action 

How do search engines handle negative keywords? Here are some examples of the way the keyword exclusion works and tips for making negative keywords most effective: 

Negative Broad – Identify the plural term as well as a term itself. 

(Example: If you identify the term silk flower, you also want to exclude silk flowers).

Also, when you identify a term, its individual words will not be excluded from results – only the complete term itself.

(Example: If someone searches for silk roses, your ad will still appear because the word silk is not a negative keyword on its own.)


Negative Phrase – When choosing negative keywords, add quotation marks to the phrase itself. Keep in mind that if only one of the words in the phrase is searched, that word will not be excluded. 

(Example: If you identify “jigsaw puzzles” as your negative keyword phrase, and someone searches for crossword puzzles, your ad will appear because one of the words in your phrase was searched).  Unless the exact phrase is searched, your ad will still appear.

Additionally, if extra words are added, separating the initial words from each other, your ad will still appear.

(Example: If  the words jigsaw kitten puzzles is searched on, jigsaw and puzzles are no longer next to one another so the phrase will not be excluded from the search.)


Negative Exact: To designate a phrase as negative exact, put [ ] around it. Be aware that anything that does not match the phrase exactly will not be excluded.  

(Example: If your example is [red wagon] and someone searches for child red wagon, your ad will still appear because the search and your phrase do not exactly match.

Identifying Negative Keywords 

How do you identify negative keywords for your site? Use a Search Query Report to provide the keyword data to identify useful negative keywords. This data will allow you to see what visitors are searching for in order to arrive at your site. The keywords that brought visits but did not convert to sales are the ones that are candidates for the status of negative keywords. They are bringing traffic that costs you money but result in no revenue. 

When your analytic information is extensive, the process of identifying your negative keywords can be made more efficient by the use of spreadsheet. It can help you to manipulate and make sense of the data to discover those words that are costing you useless clicks. A helpful resource to working with that data can be found in this helpful step-by-step guide, Search Query Mining for Campaign Negatives on PPC Prospector. 

Rather than eliminating irrelevant words visitors have already searched on to arrive at your site, you can take a more proactive approach to identifying negative keywords. Free online keyword tools abound that will assist you in anticipating some of the common negative keywords before they waste a penny of your PPC advertising budget. 

Additional help in identifying negative keywords is available from Google Adwords. They now offer negative keyword lists, which offer a new way to manage negative keywords, even across multiple campaigns. These lists will enable you to manage a particular group or negative keywords from your account’s Control Panel and Library. 

Benefits of using Negative Keywords

Making certain you use the most targeted keywords (and eliminating the negative ones) is beneficial to your marketing strategy. Identifying negative keywords will result in these benefits to your PPC advertising: 

  • Lower cost – Reduce the wasted expense of keywords that don’t increase ROI.
  • Increased quality score – A quality score is a calculation which designates the relevance of your keywords in relation to your content and the search query performed to reach your site. A high quality score insures a higher ranking in  SERPs and the lower your cost per click.
  • Increased conversion rate – More highly targeted traffic means more sales.
  • Better brand experience – Make the best possible impression with your visitors by being easy to find and relevant to your visitors’ search.

As you can see, effective PPC advertising is as much about what visitors won’t find as it is about what they will find on your site. Identifying and excluding negative keywords is an effective way to streamline your PPC budget, making every click more targeted and therefore potentially more valuable. Make the effort to hone your keywords by excluding those which cost you needlessly and your PPC ads will be all the more effective and profitable.

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Free Marketing Emergency Pay Per Click Mini-Course

Written by Debra Leitl on May 10, 2011. Posted in Misc

Do You Think Pay Per Click Advertising is Too Complicated?


Pay per click advertising is one of the best ways to start driving immediate traffic to your new website or blog. Once you are all set up you can have visitors arriving on your website within a few hours of activating your campaign.

When I was first starting out, I heard all of the horror stories about people losing their shirts with PPC advertising and I was afraid to set up a campaign of my own. But… over time I created a method that teaches you how to easily get started successfully with pay per click advertising in only five days for just 15 minutes a day.

Jump Start Your PPC

Written by Debra Leitl on August 17, 2010. Posted in Search Engine Marketing

Take a deep breath, and prepare to jump into your PPC campaign. But, before you start spending money on Google, do your homework and prepare. Here are the steps to jump-start your Pay Per Click campaign.

Step One: Do a SWOT Analysis

As with any business venture, before starting your PPC campaign, you will want to conduct a SWOT analysis. This identifies the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats facing a particular project. One way to use a SWOT is to match identified strengths with identified opportunities so that you can get the most out of your existing resources.

  • Strengths: internal factors that will be helpful to meeting the goal
  • Weaknesses: internal factors that will prevent or make meeting the goal more difficult.
  • Opportunities: external factors that will lead to meeting the goal.
  • Threats: external factors that will prevent meeting the goal.

When looking at your PPC campaign, here is a potential SWOT analysis:

Strengths: Good writers, unlimited budget, narrow target market

Weaknesses: Overwhelmed team, lack of focus about which product/service to promote

Opportunities: Little competition within your PPC target market

Threats: Changes in legal regulations, increase in sales tax

Once you perform the SWOT, you can begin to focus your efforts to make your PPC campaign as successful as possible.

Step Two: Set Goals

You can spend unlimited amounts of money on PPC. You will need to be careful that your cost per lead is something that you’re prepared to absorb. Set goals for your campaign. These goals will include:

  • How much you want to spend per click/lead
  • Who will manage the campaign
  • What will a successful campaign look like
  • How will you follow up with your leads
  • What modifications to the website (additional landing pages, etc.) need to be made to accommodate the campaign
  • Which products and services you will focus on

Step Three: Start the Campaign

There are a few components to a PPC campaign that you’ll have to organize.

  • Keyword research
  • Negative keyword research
  • Divide words/products into adgroups
  • Write ads for each adgroup
  • Create multiple points of contact
  • Deploy and refine

Step Four: Be Consistent

Once you’ve started your PPC campaign, the most important aspect of follow up is to be consistent. Your ad text needs to match the content on the page that people will find when they click through the ad to your website. The message they see must be consistent with what they’re expecting from the ad.

A little bit of planning, and dedication to detail through execution will make your PPC campaign a success. Be descriptive!

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PPC Search Ads, Not Just Text Anymore

Written by Debra Leitl on May 19, 2010. Posted in Search Engine Marketing

It used to be that pay per click advertising consisted of creating your title, writing the body of the ad, adding a call to action, and then placing a link to the landing page at the bottom of the ad. For a while this represented a breakthrough in Internet marketing and a viable way to generate immediate traffic to your website. Pay per click advertising still is an effective way to generate immediate traffic to your website if you know how to leverage it to your advantage.

In recent years Google has enhanced AdWords to help pay per click advertisers get the most out of their marketing campaigns and the features they have added are not just text anymore. The cool new features include eye catching rich media which includes the Google plus box and the video plus box. Here is an overview of what each feature is and how it works:

AdWords Plus Box

If you run an ecommerce website online with a selection of products the plus box can provide you with more visibility and increase the chances of searchers clicking on your pay per click ad. Instead of simply displaying text, you can display images and pricing information that is taken from your ecommerce catalog on your website.

When you view the PPC ad in the search results you will see a plus sign under the text on the ad. When you click on the plus box, it will highlight images and details of your top rated products including details and pricing.

The advantage of this is the visitor can see your products and if they are interested they can click on the product image to view it directly instead of having to sift through the product inventory on your website. This increases your chances of making a sale before they leave and it decreases having to pay for clicks on your ad from uninterested parties that end up leaving your site for one reason or another.

Video Plus Box

If your website is sales driven you may not find this feature of Google AdWords helpful unless you offer a product that requires visual details for the consumer to get an accurate idea of how it will benefit them. On the other hand if your goal is to create awareness of your brand than this feature would definitely be for you. This is because visitors can click on the plus box below the ad to view a video that can either describe a product in detail or highlight your brand.

When the visitor clicks on the video plus box it includes a link which allows them to preview a video. This action incurs a CPC (cost per click) and if the visitor clicks through to your website there is no additional cost for the click. If they simply click on the video only one CPC is incurred. If the video feature does not encourage the user to click through to your website, at least you will have created an awareness of what your brand is about.

Rich Media in PPC

Google refers to these features as rich media in pay per click advertising, especially the video plus box which is also known as Google VPB. As it stands now you cannot upload your video through your account and instead you must send it to Google in a file that is no larger than 10MB when formatted in a zip file. This will be subject to change due to the labor involved on Google’s end. Regardless, rich media in pay per click advertising is a significant breakthrough for PPC advertisers and it will be interesting to see how it evolves as marketing becomes more media-based with Web 2.0.

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Leverage PPC Search Query Reports To Improve Your Quality Score

Written by Debra Leitl on May 19, 2010. Posted in Search Engine Marketing

When you use Google AdWords for a pay per click advertising campaign Google uses a specific system to determine your overall Quality Score. The system involves a variety of elements that create a score for the keywords you are using in your PPC campaign. The elements include the relevancy of your keywords to your PPC ad and then they are measured with the words your target market uses during organic searches.

If your Quality Score is high your PPC ad will have a higher ranking on the search results page and a higher score will also lower the cost you are paying for each click. Each one tenth of a point improvement in your Quality Score can save you up to $.02 per click. So how can you leverage PPC search query reports to improve your quality score?

Quality Score Snapshot

Create a search query snapshot of your Quality Score to get an overview of what is happening with your PPC campaigns. If you are running more than one campaign organize your campaigns according to what you are spending overall for PPC advertising, what you spend separately on each ad group and each keyword by the Quality score you received. The campaigns with the highest costs in advertising should only have keywords that have a Quality Score of 8 or better. You should make note of the keywords that are below a score of 8 so you can decide on how to make improvements.

Match the Search Queries with PPC Ads

To save money on what you pay for each click and to improve your PPC campaign results, try to break down each ad group further so that the search queries directly correlate to the ad copy. This will drive down the cost of your Click-Through-Rate (CTR) while improving your Quality Score.

Refine Ad Text

Once you have your ad groups laser-focused to search queries and text, give your ads a boost by taking the lowest performing ads and revising the ad copy to create compelling and convincing ads that increase your CTR as well as your Quality Score. You will have to run some tests before you find winning ads that convert.

Delete Substandard Ads and Keywords

Remove the ads and keywords that are not performing well because this will help your Quality Score. Google Quality score reviews the overall CTR that extends beyond the keyword which is why it is important to remove the low performing keywords and ads that are a detriment to your Quality Score.

Optimize the Landing Page

The landing page is the part of a PPC campaign that most advertisers forget about. Review the reports for landing page performance and then remove the elements that are hurting your Quality Score such as pages that do not load quickly, poor content, content that is irrelevant to the PPC ad and search query, and unnecessary advertising.

If you make it a habit to keep track of the important elements that contribute to your Quality Score, the time you invest will pay off with a successful PPC advertising campaign that produces a high CTR and converts visitors to sales.

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Two Keyword Elements That Could Make or Break a PPC Advertising Campaign

Written by Debra Leitl on May 19, 2010. Posted in Search Engine Marketing

Keywords are the foundation to your online business because they are the search terms that your prospects are using to find you on the Internet. Before you do anything with your online business, it is important to find the search terms your target audience is using to find your product or service. These are the words you will use to drive traffic to your website through content writing, online advertising, social media marketing, and any other methods that you use to attract your target audience.

There are two key elements in keywords that will have an impact on a pay per click advertising campaign: match types and negative keyword uses. Let’s take a look at both of these and how they can impact your PPC advertising campaign and the type of traffic you attract to your website.

Keyword Match Types

There are three different keyword match types that are used for the pay per click search engines.

  1. Exact Match: Exact match terms are specific keyword phrases that you choose when you bid on keywords for PPC advertising. When your target audience uses these exact terms with the words in the exact order, your PPC ad will receive an impression. Exact match terms are the easiest to use in a PPC advertising campaign however, if you use them in excess you can end up leaving a lot of money on the table.
  2. Broad Match: When you use broad match terms the words can be used anywhere in any order of the search terms your prospect uses during an organic search. If the terms are used anywhere in the search your PPC ad will appear in the search results. Broad match is used for keywords that are in any order and include plurals and misspellings.
  3. Phrase Match: With phrase match the keywords that you choose must appear in the PPC ad in the same order that your prospect used to search for your product or service. This can leave a lot of room for error, however if you have knowledge of the type of audience each phrase will attract, then you can use it to drive a specific type of target audience to your website.

Negative Keyword Uses

Negative keyword uses are search terms that are used to filter out a specific audience. They help you to narrow your target audience to eliminate people that may not be interested in your offer or are looking for a specific product that you often have out of stock.

For example, if you are offering blue and green widgets and you have sold out of green widgets. Instead of paying for clicks through to your website from prospects interested in green widgets, you simply use “green” as your negative keyword. When you stock up again on green widgets, you can add the keyword back into the scheme of things. Also, if you are selling blue or green widgets and you are not offering them for free, you can use “free” as a negative keyword to filter out the traffic that is looking for freebies.

Keywords take practice and a lot of testing and tweaking before you find the words that attract the target audience you are seeking. The main thing to remember is that monitoring and testing keywords is an ongoing task for your online business to ensure that you are receiving the right type of traffic and the best return on investment.

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