Posts tagged adwords
Dynamic Remarketing: Building The Best Lists

Dynamic Remarketing gives advertisers the unique ability to remarket with banner ads that showcase the exact products the potential customer viewed. The caveat, as with all remarketing, is of course that the potential customer had to visit your site in the first place. The potential for this new type of remarketing is huge, and we encourage you to test a Dynamic Remarketing campaign against your existing Remarketing campaigns to see what works best for you or your clients.

Dynamic Remarketing Examples


As we started setting these campaigns up for our clients (and followed Google's setup guide here), we ran into a few snags with the automatically generated lists created by Google. Upon further review, and a phone call or two to our Google reps, we now create our own lists through Google Analytics and do not rely on the accuracy of Google's pre-populated lists for a couple of reasons:

  1. They didn't work.
  2. When they did work, we tested their lists vs. ones that we created, and the list sizes were wildly different (and much smaller when created by Google).

How To Build Your Initial Lists

For each of these remarketing lists you build in Analytics, make sure to check the radio button "Create my own remarketing type using Segments."

1. Pageview>1; Did Not Checkout

Our first list is essentially an "All Site Visitors" list but a little more targeted. First of all, we want to make sure they didn't bounce right away, and second, we want to make sure they didn't check out. To ensure they didn't bounce, we set the Pageview to >1, and to ensure they didn't checkout, set your Transactions to equal 0.

Custom Remarketing List in Google Analytics

 2. Abandoned Cart

Hopefully you already have an Abandoned Cart list you can use from your general Remarketing campaign. If not, setup this list in the same way we started #1. Under the Conditions section, you'll want to add 2 Filters.

  1. Page contains [enter the portion of the URL that is specific to your cart]. Example: Page contains /cart.php
  2. Transactions per user are = to 0.

Essentially, the user added something to their cart but did not check out.

3. Product Page View

This list gets a little complicated. If you're lucky enough to have a site that's URL structure contains /product/ on every product page, you're in for an easy list build! Just set Page contains /product/ and Transactions = 0.

If you are like some of our clients, you'll need to get a little creative. For example, we picked specific silos of the site that were the most profitable and combined them in one list, so if a user hits any of those silos or pages and products but did not check out, they'll be included in this list.

 While these three ideas are not an exhaustive list of all the things you could test and build using Google Analytics and Dynamic Remarketing, this is generally where we like to start. Once you begin getting enough data, you can start optimizing and create new tests.

Have a great list idea that isn't mentioned above? Please share it in the comments.


Reporting TRUE AdWords Assisted Conversion Values

Great, Multi-Channel Expectations

When Google Analytics Multi-Channel funnels first came out, we were AWED and AMAZED. The metrics I latched onto first were the assisted transaction and revenue attributions. At last! Now those lower-converting AdWords campaigns could show their value. I knew they had to be doing something, but I didn’t have the tools to prove it before.

A Sad Discovery

I quickly came to discover, however, that these Assisted attributions are not in addition to the Last-Interaction conversions but rather include any conversion that involves an AdWords click along the conversion path, even if the Last-Interaction conversion was through AdWords as well. This means that we were reporting overlapping attribution on our AdWords transactions and revenue values! Basically, we couldn’t get anywhere near accurate revenue values for Assisted and Last-Interaction Conversions when combining their values together.

Data-Driven Redemption

That is, until we built a User-Defined Conversion Segment. We call our heroine “Exclude AdWords Last Interaction.” She looks a little something like this:

Exclude AdWords Last Interaction

Turn on this segment in the AdWords section of the Multi-Channel Funnels Assisted Conversions tab and it’ll set all of your Last-Interaction values to zero in addition to excluding any overlapping Last-Interaction revenue attributions from your Assisted conversion metrics. These are the REAL sidekicks -- none posing as the breadwinner.

True Assisted Conversion Value

These reports now show overall revenue numbers that I can pass on to clients and not feel like they’re being quite so duped by the illusions of attribution as I once was.

If you need help setting up this segment or any similar to it, we’re here to help. Just let us know.

Explore New AdWords Account Ideas To Expand Market Share

The secret to awesome AdWords account management (and the secret to maintaining any marketing web platform) rests on the truth that there is always room to grow or change. Sure, you check search terms, and of course you maintain competitive bids on valuable keywords. But what more are you doing that Google might not be reminding you to do?

While perusing a client’s website, I noticed a recurrence in keyword use for top product descriptions that we weren’t bidding on in the AdWords account. Curious, I performed keyword research on this term and related terms to find that we’ve been missing out on a decent amount of traffic. Since this particular keyword does not appear in any major categories or subcategories on the site, we never dug down this deep on the site in the initial account build. As an experiment, I built an ad group for these terms and a few weeks later it was pulling in upwards of 90% new visitors to the site, and it continues to expand the company’s audience today.

The biggest insight we’ve pulled here is that an account is truly never optimized. Don’t assume you’re reaching the entire market on your brand or products. If an account has been running for a while, take an hour to read over the site. Sometimes your market exists in the nooks and crannies.

Preparing Your AdWords Account For The New Google Shopping

On May 31st of this year, Google announced that it would be transitioning its Product Search to the new-and-improved Google Shopping.

This is a major change that has the potential to greatly affect companies that have previously enjoyed a high volume of traffic through Product Search. While Product Search has always been free, Google Shopping is moving to a purely commercial service, meaning companies are going to have to pay to show up in the results. While some companies may suffer, others have a great opportunity to pick up more traffic - that is, of course, if they're willing to pay for it.

So how can you be prepared for this transition?

If you already have a Merchant Center account, my recommendation depends on whether or not you have a Google AdWords account.

Don't have an AdWords account, but would like to keep showing up in the Shopping results on Google come October? Then it's time to get into the Google advertising game! Since this post is focused on those who already use both Merchant Center and AdWords, I won't get into the details about how to go about this. However, if this describes you and you'd like to know more about how to do this the right way - drop me a comment below. (I'm happy to follow up with you and provide a Google coupon for your first $100 of ad spend.)

Google's offering an incentive

If you currently advertise on Google AdWords, there is a limited time incentive opportunity from Google for those who aren't currently using Product Listing Ads in their AdWords accounts.

If you're asking, 'what are Product Listing Ads?' chances are you don't have them. Steps to creating a campaign for these PLAs and connecting your AdWords account to your Merchant Center account can be found on Google's Help Center. All merchants who create PLAs for the first time by August 15, 2012 will automatically receive a monthly credit of 10% of all their PLA spend through the end of 2012. This is a HUGE advantage - so don't miss out on this discount!

Merchants who are already using PLAs in their AdWords account can still cash in on the fact that they've been doing this all along. Google is giving $100 of AdWords credit to existing merchants who are using PLAs if they fill out this form by August 15th.

A lot of changes are coming this fall and are already in the process of being tested. Make sure you have your AdWords account in order and are ready for this transition - and don't forget to take advantage of these incentives by August 15th!

How Many Keywords with a Limited Budget

Google AdWords is more than just a little overwhelming for businesses just starting to advertise on the Google Search network. When we begin with clients who are new to PPC, one question that is more difficult to explain is how keyword volume and match type per ad group should be built out given the allotted budget. I’ll approach this question here as though the client has a limited budget but moderately wide array of services or products to advertise. Limited BudgetFor a company with a smaller budget or a company just trying to test out the waters in PPC advertising, there are a few key factors to consider:

1. Build the Most Important Campaigns First

The issue you face with a limited budget is that it won’t spread but so far across all the campaigns you want to run without nullifying the value of some campaigns. By focusing the budget on the most important campaigns first, you’re more likely to see the full scope of impression share available to you and how well you can compete in your market.

2. Focus on Exact Match Keywords

With a small budget, broad and phrase match keywords are a bit of a budget gamble. It’s important to start by stocking your ad groups full of every medium-to-high traffic exact match keyword that you believe is most likely to drive conversions. From that foundation, branch out into some phrase and modified broad keywords that are most specific to your service or products so that the matched search query report can show you what people are searching for besides the exact keywords you’re bidding on.

3. Review Matched Search Queries

Limited budgets leave no room for wasted clicks. Check the matched search query report, which you can find both in AdWords and Analytics, at least a couple of times each week to see if there are any irrelevant keywords leading to clicks on your ads.

Essentially, a limited budget means a compact account. Once you carefully plan out your company goals and priorities, you’ll be well prepared to carefully choose the most relevant keywords for your business.

What The Wire Can Teach Us About SEM - Part 2 of 2

(In case you missed it: Part 1 of 2)

“All in the game, yo. All in the game.” - Omar Little

Omar Little - All in the Game, Yo

At the end of the day, SEO is a kind of game. It’s a very serious game with billions of dollars riding on it, sure, but it’s a game nonetheless. There are rules and strategies that work - that have been proven to work for years. Even when the rules change (aka Google gets a big idea), smart players simply work to familiarize themselves with and exploit the new playing field.

There will be bumps in the road (there may also be a few boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios and bags of cash dropped from on high), but dogged and intelligent pursuit of organic power using the rules that search engines created and SEOs have trail-blazed is a surefire route to success.

“I want my corners.” - Avon Barksdale

Stringer Bell believed in a new kind of game - the game beyond the game as he memorably put it - and he stopped believing in the importance of territory. It was a classic case of vision becoming unmoored from reality. Yes, in a perfect world Stringer’s strategy might have worked, but in the real world it was always going to be a flop. Owning the corners was a fundamental building block of the drug trade in Baltimore - you couldn’t divorce them from the rest of your strategy. The same idea can be applied to SEM; you’ll never get anywhere unless you execute on fundamentals. You’ve got to have your corners.

There are dozens of aspects of SEM that all contribute to a better organized and optimized web presence. There are a hundred ways to make your online presence more visible, more effective, and more profitable. But there are a few rock solid fundamentals that absolutely every SEM effort will fail without.

  • Content
    • Without it, you don’t exist to search engines.
  • Site Structure and Speed
    • Without it, you don’t exist to Google.
  • Analytics
    • Without it, you are flying completely blind.

Without those basic building blocks in place, nothing else you do is going to work the way it should, or the way you want it to. There is a game beyond the game, there surely is - but you’ve gotta have your corners.

“‘Failure to properly identify myself as a police officer.’ Sounds like what I was guilty of most of my career, actually.” - Detective Roland Pryzbylewski

Prez was not natural police. He got on the force because his father-in-law was a higher up in the department, he was unable to control his fear in the field, and he consistently failed to take his situation as seriously as he should. He just wasn’t a good cop - he wasn’t cut out for it.

But he was a fantastic teacher. After being drummed out of the force he ended up working in Baltimore public schools and making a real difference. It was a match for his skill set - it was his calling.

We see this happen a lot with e-commerce sites. They can get carried away chasing rankings and traffic for terms that aren’t their real strengths. If you’re a company that makes vacuum cleaners, then focus on selling vacuum cleaners! Don’t waste time and money trying to rank for other items that are insignificant in the larger scheme of things, and which are inferior products to your main offerings. Know thyself, and do what you do when you do what you do.

“A man got to have a code.” - Omar Little/Bunk Moreland

Perhaps the most quoted line from The Wire. It expresses the moral center of the entire show - that a man must have a personal code of conduct that transcends the law, and any traditional or makeshift authority or set of rules. It’s an acknowledgement from Omar that there is indeed a “game beyond the game” - but it’s not about what Stringer thought it was. It’s about integrity.

We would argue that’s the primary value of an SEO company as well.

At Delegator we don’t do black hat SEO - while it may pay off in short term results, we know it’s a losing strategy in the long game and a threat to the businesses of our clients.

We track and keep our clients apprised of their organic and PPC results at all times - good or bad. That keeps us accountable.

We assign an account manger for each client so that communication never breaks down, and there’s always someone looking out for your best interests with skin in the game.

We believe in comprehensive packages that keep us flexible, rather than monthly draws on your bank account for services you might not need anymore or that may have become less important to your business.

It’s all in the game, yo. All in the game.

What the Wire Can Teach Us About SEM - Part 1 of 2

The Wire is everyone's favorite show for a reason. A deep well of characters, a sprawling narrative that felt intimate and alive, a searing critique of the drug war and a top to bottom post-mortem on the heart of a once-great city. It could only be described as, well, "Dickensian." Sorry, Gus! The Wire was one of those shows that kept you on the hook with long-developing plot lines (investigations, mergers, a series of major news reports) that typically extended over an entire season. It also delivered incredible quotes and moments of drama and comedy on a weekly basis - sometimes both in the same scene. It's what gave the show its weekly entertainment punch to go along with its historical level of sophistication and "reporting."

Here at Delegator we're big fans, and we even started using some of those quotes around the office to reference some of the things we were doing for clients related to AdWords, SEO, Analytics, and more. With a recent upswing in attention on the show (thanks Grantland!) we thought now might be a good time to share with our clients and readers what we've been talking about for years. Search Engine Marketing - As Explained by the Cast of The Wire. Sheeeeeeee...

“When you take a shot at the King, you best not miss.” - Omar Little

Omar Little

Taking aim at the number one Google ranking is a formidable task. That’s especially true when you happen to be going up against another entity that a) has a clearly more relevant relationship to the keyword than you do or b) can spend you under the table. Unfortunately for most companies, it’s not a realistic goal.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn't try, or shouldn’t at least set it as your goal. Sometimes toppling the king is easier than you thought (just ask Marlo). But more often than not, as Wee-Bey found out, you end up eating chicken salad across from Bunk and McNulty. What is realistic for most companies is getting a few corners of their own - corners the big boys  might not know about. The way to do this in SEO is by investigating and then investing in long tail keywords. Maybe Huge Company X has the market cornered on "The Wire Posters," but you could get a real foothold in "Michael K. Williams Posters," "Omar Little Wire Posters," or "Omar Little Season 5 Posters." You won't get quite as much traffic as you would for a generic term, but the traffic you do get will be specific, and motivated to convert.

The only way to achieve a ranking like that for a competitive keyword is perfect preparation, determination in the form of time and money, and luck.

“Look the part, be the part.” - Proposition Joe

Proposition Joe

Joe came in for some ridicule from Avon when he showed up to the annual East/West showdown in full “Pat Riley” suit and tie regalia, but his commitment to looking like a “real” basketball coach helped him coach with more authority and confidence. In other words, getting the look right helped him get the job right. That, and a hired ringer. This is a lesson that can be easily applied to SEM.

Everything starts with your site design. A newcomer to your site should immediately be able to understand what you’re about and trust that you can deliver the goods. Building that initial trust element and creating a homepage that effectively funnels users to the pages you want them to hit is a complicated, multi-faceted process, but it’s a time and design investment well worth making. When you look like a “real” site, you’ll see yourself start to perform like one.

“Our job is to report the news, not manufacture it!” - Gus Haynes

Gus Haynes and Scott Templeton Season 5 of The Wire was about the breakdown of professional ethics within the main character, Detective Jimmy McNulty, as well as the august offices of the Baltimore Sun (where series creator David Simon began his career as a journalist). McNulty, frustrated with the lack of institutional support for his wire investigations, (SPOILER ALERT) fakes the presence of a serial killer by “adjusting” bodies post mortem. Scott Templeton, a hotshot up and comer at the Sun, began his career making up innocuous stories about wheelchair bound children going to Orioles games, but he eventually begins to stretch the truth about the serial killer case - he is the only reporter the “killer” ever contacts.

In the end McNulty loses his badge and Templeton wins a Pulitzer.

When you go with “black hat” SEO - SEO that attempts to get around Google standards and practices through any one of a dozen illicit strategies - you’re taking the same chance. Maybe it will work, you won’t get caught, and your business will go up, up, up. But maybe you’ll get caught, blacklisted, and penalized indefinitely in the organic results, crippling and even killing your business. Is that really a chance you want to take?

At Delegator we only do “white hat” SEO. Be very careful before getting in bed with any firm that doesn’t, and make sure that if you’re running your own SEO operation you don’t cross the line. It’s not worth risking your entire business.

“If Snotboogie always stole the money, then why did you let him play?”

“Got to. This America, man.” - McNulty and Man on Stoop

Anybody can play the AdWords game. Doesn’t matter if they don’t understand it, try to cheat it, or run their accounts into the ground. Because it depends on the quality of your site much less than the value of your dollar, it’s as open as it gets in the land of SEM. The only thing you need to play is money - Google allows you to set up your account and start spending faster than you can run down to your neighborhood game of bones (though your ROI is likely to be higher with Google). You will almost certainly need an expert to guide you through the weeds with no pain and plenty of profit.

Active AdWords management is the best way to navigate the choppy waters of paid search. Active management means going in every day and making changes, re-organizing, raising and lowering bids, and identifying and exploiting new best practices. That's the only proven way to consistently stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the wide open AdWords game.

Come back for more Wire action next week!

Part 2 of 2.

Top New AdWords Features of 2012

It is no secret that AdWords is the cash cow of Google’s operation. Fortunately for businesses and firms involved with PPC advertising, that means a top priority for Google is to make sure that the AdWords system is efficient, powerful, and constantly improving. To keep you up to date, we’ve compiled the top 3 AdWords features added by Google in 2012:

1.  Enhanced Ad Sitelinks

Sitelinks are a useful extension available for AdWord accounts that gives your ad more visibility by providing additional link options. They look like this:

With Enhanced Sitelinks, Google combines the other ads in your account with your existing Sitelinks to create a much more attractive ad:

To be eligible, you must rank in the top 3 ad positions on Google search and your account must contain active ads that are closely related to the Sitelinks in your campaign.

2.  More Automated Rules and Ability to Undo Changes:

Google listened to feedback from their AdWords users that Automated Rules needed to be more flexible and robust, so they rolled out two improvements:

  • Increased Rule Limit to 100
  • Added ability to undo changes made by a rule

Automated rules is a feature that lets you save time by scheduling automatic changes to your account.  With the increased rule limit and ability to undo changes, you have much more control over your account and can run a more efficient operation.

3. Automated Rules Now in My Client Center

In keeping with the Automated Rules theme, another great feature added by Google is the ability to create automated rules and functions across multiple accounts.

This feature allows users managing multiple AdWords accounts to set automatic rules that affect some or all accounts simultaneously.  While there’s significant risk involved in setting up automatic action across multiple accounts, we can’t deny the potential for saving time that this feature may have for AdWords users.’s New Years Resolutions! (This time we’re really going to do it!)

1. This year, I will stop focusing on the numbers on the scale. I will stop focusing on keywords only when I write SEO content.

2. This year, I will do something active and physical every day. I will regularly add to and refresh the content of my site.

3. This year, I am finally going to get organized - my house, my office, and my life. I am finally going to start utilizing Google Analytics - to track and analyze my traffic, my users, and my conversion statistics.

4. This year, I will quit smoking once and for all. I will stop using Flash to create large or important sections of my website.

5. This year, I’m going to put myself out there and try to meet some new people. I’m going to kick my AdWords campaign into high gear, try some email marketing, and optimize my site every chance I get.

6. This year, I am going to start saving money. I am going to let professionals actively manage my AdWords account, and stop over-paying for keywords that are too competitive or that aren’t going to get me the customers I’m looking for.

7. This year, I am going to be on time wherever I go. I will use Google Calendars to give me reminders about important dates, deadlines and meetings.

8. This year, I am going to learn something new. I am going to try a different online marketing tactic to see if I can improve my results.

9. This year, I am going to indulge my artistic side. I’m going to create banners for my site and start using Display Networks to attract and re-target users.

10. This year, I am going to give some time or money to charity (This is one that should stay on the list). Check out if you need some ideas in the Chattanooga area!

3 Ways To Improve Your AdWords Text Ads

1. Use the ® and ™ symbols when appropriate

In recent months, we've seen a significant increase in ad clickthrough rate (CTR) when using the registered or trademark symbols in our client's ads. If your company is registered or you own the trademark on your company or product, I highly recommend using this in your ad text. This instills confidence in your company or product, and the symbol especially stands out when used in the ad headline.

2. Include punctuation at the end of first description line

We want to do everything we can to ensure our ads are the most appealing ads on the page, and this tip can help set you apart.

Google recommends treating each description line as its own sentence. By adding punctuation at the end of your first description line, your ad headline is expanded when in one of the top positions.

You'll notice the top ad looks more like a search result now and gives searchers more insight into your business and what you offer. Unless your ad is showing up in one of the top ad positions though, your ad will appear on the side in the typical ad format.

3.  Use keyword insertion when ad groups are tightly themed

Keyword insertion is one way you can make your ad more relevant to the searcher. Keyword insertion uses a short piece of code and basically inserts the keyword that triggered your ad into the ad text. This makes your ad increasingly relevant to this particular searcher and can help improve your CTR.

In Google's example, keyword insertion is used in the headline of the ad. Depending on the keyword that triggers your ad, the phrase "{Keyword:Puppies}" could be replaced with your keyword. So the headline could read: Buy Yorkies. If a keyword is too long (character limits for ad headlines still apply), then the codes dictates what the default headline will be: Buy Puppies.

Of these three AdWords features, keyword insertion is by far the most advanced. For more information on how to use keyword insertion and more details about the example shown here, please see Google's tutorial.