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Latest PPC News & Opinion

  • eBay Search Algorithm Getting Dirty with eBay Watchers
    It’s no surprise that eBay’s Profits were damaged by the Google Panda 4.0 Algorithm Update where they lost an estimated 80% of it’s search listings. However, eBay has opened the door to “Black Hat” type practices that force Sellers to spend money on “FAKE Stats” in order to get better visibility. In this post, I will dive into some of the specifics of this new and questionable practice.   “eBay Watchers” Rank smells like Old Fashioned Link Farming According to a great article by eCommercebytes.com entitled “You Can Buy eBay Watchers – But Should You?“, author Ina Steiner states “eBay gives greater exposure to listings that have a greater number of views and watchers than other listings. In addition, shoppers on eBay are naturally attracted to listings that have many watchers and views, often believing that popularity indicates a sought-after item that they should be looking at too. ” So now, there are ...

  • Phone Calls Becoming More Important than Clicks in PPC Marketing
    In a recent article in the Inside Adwords Blog, entitled “Charge up your phones with call-only campaigns” Google rolled out “Call-Only” campaigns where advertisers can have their text ads just show a phone number, short description and a call button. In this day and age, it makes complete sense, however one has to wonder if this new option has anything to do with drivers who continue to look at their phone while driving. According to Google, they state “With smartphones in hand, consumers are increasingly looking for products or services while on the go and then placing a call right away. In fact, 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results.”   How to Maximize Call-Only Campaigns? Well, the first thing to optimize is the CTA (Call-to-action) for this, as we already know consumers will make a phone call and not click. So, in order to do this effectively, these ...

  • Timing is Everything in PPC and Social Media Marketing
    There is a quote from one of my favorite movies that truly struck a cord with me through the years and it’s never been more relevant now with regards to PPC Advertising on Social media platforms such as Twitter Ads and Facebook Ads. In the movie “A Good Year”, Maximillian Skinner (Russell Crowe) tells his employees that “The secret to riches, lab rats, is the same as the secret to comedy… timing.” In this post, I will talk about the benefits of leveraging this strategy and the storytelling effect on future events.   Back in 2005, when I was managing the PPC Strategy for an Automotive Catalog Company, I relied on Google and Yahoo to compliment a TV Show on the SpikeTV Network which was promoting the products from the Catalog. I actually won the 2008 Semmy Award for this article entitled “Optimizing Paid Search & Landing Pages for TV, Radio and ...

  • 2015 – The Year of the Stock Portfolio in PPC Marketing
    Ahh, remember the days when It was just Google Search, Yahoo Search and Bing Ads were the only platforms that Search Marketers had to worry about? Remember the catastrophic disaster of importing Google Search campaigns into Yahoo Search via failed spreadsheets? (geez, the more I think about it, that does seem like a very long time ago) Since the evolution of Display, Retargeting, Mobile and Social, our strategies are turning into a Chinese menu of sorts and we have to keep up with all of the changes if we want our clients to succeed in today’s world. In this article, I will take a “deeper dive” into why it is so important to have a “stock portfolio” approach mindset.   Where are all the Fish in 2015? Remember the old saying “Fish where the Fish are”?, well that is an understatement these days. Today, there are many different oceans, lakes and ponds that ...

  • Geico Outspends Flo and Aaron Rodgers to Dominate PPC
    Alright, it’s quite obvious that these Insurance Companies are spending tons of money on these very entertaining TV commercials and we can all agree that they have succeeded in cementing their brands into our subconsciousness. However, I was interested in seeing how these companies compared in the PPC World and what I found was pretty surprising. In fact, it appears that these Insurance Companies are putting a ton more money in PPC now than in any other years. Let’s discuss Overall Summary: As you can see in this screenshot provided by my friends over at Spyfu.com, the insurance company(s) State Farm, Geico and Progressive have some strong competition going on in terms of keyword coverage. Statefarm provides the largest amount of keywords, while Geico and Progressive are similar. However,  it’s hard to imagine that (3) different advertisers are bidding on over 253k+ of the same terms, yet as you will see shortly, ...

  • Google Wants to Own Bid Management Industry
    Typically, it has been the 3rd party software companies that provided Bid Management Solutions for Adwords and Bing Ads platforms. However, Google is pushing their own “new and improved” best practices guide to try and help advertisers get the most of their strategies (or in other words) their budgets. So with this latest move by Google, should those 3rd party automated bidding companies be concerned? Is Google strategically trying to control that market as well. Let’s discuss….   Google announced a new guide (via .pdf) entitled A Bid for Every Auction which covers key topics like:An in-depth look at auction-time bidding and why it’s important to take advantage of itChoosing the automated strategy that makes the most sense for your accountThe best way to test bid automation in your accountMaking a successful automated campaign perform even better  Here’s a screenshot from the Guide.What does this mean for 3rd Party Companies? One word. Money. ...

  • Is Perfecting PPC Campaign Structures Driving You Crazy?
      Years ago, I was told by in Father-in-law and backed up by others in the Family that there is an old Italian Myth which claims that a Donkey thinks about killing its owner 9x a minute everyday. That is crazy right? Well, let’s consider how many times have PPC marketers go back and forth on how to organize campaigns and adgroups. For my experience, it’s one of those constant things that always seem to question the initial strategy. However, there are “rational” reasons to change up the structure once in a while to get the most out of the advertisers budget.   Classification Anxiety Depending on the client’s industry, trying to “intelligently classify” campaign and adgroups structures can not always be a “set it and forget” strategy. In many cases, marketers go back and forth based on some of these variables:Product/Service Category/SubCategory Brand/Sub Brand Author Name Part #, ISBN#  The best solution to this problem is to have ...

  • Google Channeling “Magazine Layouts” for Better Mobile User Experience
    Ahh, the evolution on online behavior keeps on changing and in many cases, it’s starting to reinvent itself into the “ol magazine” world. We went from Desktops, to Smartphones, then Tablets. As more and more of these devices are being developed, Google has once again “stepped up the plate” to leverage all of these variations so that advertisers can get their most bang for their buck, or shall I say Googles’ buck. Let’s discuss…   In a recent article entitled “Building the next generation of display ads for a multi-screen world” Google makes the case that Mobile has created a new and interesting digital canvas for advertisers, however it’s not exactly benefiting the user-experience (just yet). So, they are launching what they call “new generation of display ads is changing how advertisers engage with consumers on mobile devices.”   Over the next couple months, Google is going to roll-out specific, new ad formats just ...

  • Hertz Rental Car Winning in PPC Marketing
    The Rental Car Industry is not only a $24 Billion Dollar Industry, it is also highly competitive landscape, especially within PPC Marketing and Social Media. According to the USA Today article entitled Rental car companies court customers on social media, author Garry Stoller interviews Unmetric CEO Lux Narayan and reveals that “Hertz has the best use of Twitter and the best YouTube channel, and Enterprise has the best use of Facebook. It’s interesting to find that the two largest rental-car companies in the world, Enterprise and Hertz, have found separate niches for building up their social-media presences.” However, when we analyze PPC, SEO and Social Media trends from the top Rental Car Companies (with the help of Spyfu.com, we uncover another interesting mix of strategies, success and missteps. Lets discuss…  Average Adwords Daily Budgets (Per Day) As you can see, Hertz spend the most in PPC, while their closest competitor is spending ...

  • Organic Wine Retailers Reveal Diverse PPC Strategies & Budgets
    As someone who has improved his palate over the years and is becoming sort of a “wine snob” these days, I decided to see what the PPC Landscape looked like for Organic Wine Retailers, and boy is it diverse. The Keyword coverage and budgets are vastly different and begs a few questions like: (1) Were they poorly executed from the start?, (2) Too much Competitive saturation? (3) Is it the right audience for a healthy ROI? With the help of PPC Competitive Software such as SpyFu, I have the ability to identify and compare what keywords specific online retailers are bidding on, as well as budget trends and even keyword phrases that are both same and different from each other. In this post, I have chosen (3) different Organic Wine Retailers who are in the top positions for the search query “Organic Wine”. In the screenshot below, you will see the ...

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