The last post here presented some of the best articles and blog posts on general search engine marketing practices. This post focuses on interesting observations and helpful advice pertaining specifically to Google AdWords, the largest SEM platform.
In Google AdWords, Bidding Wars Are a Thing of the Past: Beat Your Competition with These 4 Tactics by PPC Hero
Post demonstrating how tactics such as keyword group optimization, writing relevant ad text, and designing relevant landing pages can save you from over-bidding on keywords.
Techniques that Always Work?: Who Uses Dynamic Keyword Insertion? by Traffick
Blogger Andrew Goodman provides the how and why of dynamic keyword insertion in AdWords, and why, though it's a powerful technique, it doesn't "always" work.
Just a Bit Off Target With Pay-Per-Click by Future Now
Even sophisticated, major retailers can make SEM mistakes. This post shows how Target screwed up a PPC campaign, and how it could have been fixed.
AdWords Optimization Tips: More on Ad Text by the Inside AdWords Blog
The Inside AdWords Crew offers advice on mentioning prices or discounts in ads, what elements to test, and how to most effectively track the performance of different text ads.
Google Campaign Optimizer No Substitute for Experience by StraightUpSearch
A prescient blog post on the importance of trusting experience and established best practices in SEM over Google's optimization tool. As this post notes, "Research and testing...(has) revealed that this tool does everything but 'fine-tune' an AdWords campaign. Test cases yielded scores of woefully irrelevant, broad match keyword suggestions as well as sky-high max CPC recommendations. All of which would have sent a perfectly profitable campaign into a tailspin."
Split-Test Your Adwords Ads In 2 Minutes Or Less by NetBusinessBlog
Blogger Dee Barizo provides step-by-step instructions on testing Google AdWords text ad performance to optimize campaign results.
Give the Google Content Network another try by John W. Ellis Search Engine Marketing
It's a very rare occurrence when a blog post causes me to completely change my mind about a firm conviction, but that's what John Ellis accomplished with this post. Like John, "I have avoided advertising on Google’s content network. I had seen the numbers on content ads and the return on ad spend was terrible." But he demonstrates how, in four easy steps, to make Google content network ad campaigns produce worthwhile results.
Chinese Food and Chocolate Pudding: SEO And Paid Search Go Together by MediaPost Search Insider
Writer Tony Orelli shows how organic SEO and paid search work together to maximize website traffic, concluding "we can no longer view SEO and paid search as separate efforts, but two complementary disciplines within your overall marketing mix."
Quick Fixes to Some of PPC’s Most Common Problems: Part One by PPC Hero
A detailed how-to post with specific recommendations for dealing with low conversion rates, poor quality score and low-quality traffic.
More Quick Fixes for Your PPC Account: Get More Clicks by PPC Hero
A nice follow-up to the previous post, this one with concrete suggestions for addressing low click-through rate (CTR), low ad position and disappointing traffic levels.
9 Common Mistakes in Landing Page and PPC Campaign Design by Performancing
Blogger Rich McIver provides helpful guidance on how to avoid nine common mistakes that can negatively impact SEM results, including placing the call to action below the fold, asking too many questions, requiring visitors to download plug-ins before viewing content, and focusing bids on unproductive keywords.
Previous articles in this series:
Best of 2007: SEO Analysis Tools
Best of 2007: SEO Keyword Research Tools
Best of 2007: News Articles on Social Media Marketing
Best of 2007: Blog Posts on Social Media Marketing
Best of 2007: Articles and Blog Posts on SEM