Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Best of 2008: AdWords Tips and Tactics, Part 1

While Google AdWords certainly isn't the only option for search engine marketing, it's by far the biggest. Search marketers need to get AdWords right before expanding campaigns to Yahoo! Search Marketing, MSN AdCenter or Ask SponsoredListings. Even features unique to AdWords often "migrate" to other services over time, so search engine marketing (SEM) mastery begins with AdWords.

Here are a few of the best blog posts about AdWords from last year, covering topics such as getting results from the content network, using the conversion optimizer, and reporting.

Google Content Network Tips: Optimizing for a content network audience by Inside AdWords

Advice straight from Google's AdWords blog on how to maximize results from the AdWords content network, including: create separate search and content campaigns; develop different ad copy for search and content; and use placement reports to monitor the performance of content network sites and exclude poor performers.


Google Adwords Conversion Optimizer Explained by PPC Blog

Search marketing expert Gordon Choi explains how the AdWords Conversion Optimizer works, including an illustrative example. This is an automated keyword bidding tool that adjusts your keyword bids based on a CPA you specify. He notes that "If you set your maximum CPA bid to the recommended amount, you should see more conversions without much change to your costs." Theoretically, yes, but keep in mind that Google's interest is in maximizing its own revenue, not yours, so test and use this tool with caution. In another very helpful post, Gordon explains how AdWords' content network site and category exclusion works.


An AdWords Report You Need To Run And Review TODAY! by semvironment

This post explains the AdWords Campaign Performance report and its uses. The report helps identify trends, problems and opportunities. Though applicable to a campaign of any size, larger accounts will see more value from this activity.


Avoid the AdWords Quality Score Slap: How to Make Common Changes to Your Account Without Damaging Your Quality Score by PPC Hero

Explaining that the AdWords quality score is assigned on the basis of the relevance of a keyword to its corresponding ad text, the landing page, and the click-through rate, this post advises moving keywords into new ad groups a few at a time, writing completely new ads rather than editing existing ads, and other tactics to optimize your overall campaign results without damaging your quality score.


Geographic Performance Reporting from Google: Don't Take This Feature Lightly! by Blogation

David Rodnitzky is a big fan of the AdWords Geographic Performance report, and wants you to be too, going so far as to write, "if you have the Google Conversion Tracker installed, you are an absolute idiot not to check this report on a regular basis." The reports shows the differences in the performance of your campaigns based on location—from large regions down to individual suburbs. Armed with this data, you can exclude poorly-performing regions and maximize your exposure in the most profitable geographic areas.

Previous posts in this series:

Best of 2008: SEO Guidance, Part 1
Best of 2008: Interactive PR, Part 1
Best of 2008: SEO Tools, Part 1
Best of 2008: Search Engine Marketing
Best of 2008: Web Analytics
Best of 2008: Email Marketing Tips
Best of 2008: SEO Keyword Tips & Tools
Best of 2008: Sales & Marketing Copywriting
Best of 2008: SEO Link Building
Best of 2008: Website Design
Best of 2008: WordPress Tools and Tips
Best of 2008: Web & SEO Copywriting
Best of 2008: SEO Guidance, Part 2
Best of 2008: Social Media Optimization, Part 1

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Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom

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