PPC Buzz of the Week – Friday 9/4/09

Google AdWords Training and Other Information for the Pros


There are plenty of blog posts and webinars out there to educate the search advertising agency industry… to a certain extent. This week DragonSearch gained access to AgencyLand, an online resource center created by Google to educate the industry on not just AdWords but Google advertising across the board. I personally had never heard of AgencyLand prior to the email I received from our Google representative and it’s doubtful I’m alone in this unawareness. According to a somewhat old article (we’re talking Internet time here) from Rupal Parkeh at Advertising Age, AgencyLand is only in beta for select agencies.  Although DragonSearch just received its AgencyLand credentials, the content I’ve viewed so far is informative for all aspects of the industry even though it mainly revolves around Google products.

One question that arises, which Rupal Parkeh also sheds light on, is whether AgencyLand was created more for Google’s own marketing rather than education. Several sections of the AgencyLand courses are designed to provide evidence and arguments into why a company/client should utilize paid search in their advertising efforts.  These are helpful for the agencies selling their services, but ultimately Google reaps the benefits of those services being sold.  Nonetheless, I see tremendous upside in AgencyLand and the information PPC professionals can gain from not only the information currently available but also future information.

PPC Testing…When You Don’t Test Long Enough

A few months ago we posted an article titled PPC Effect on Ecommerce: Immediate or Down the Road? which focused on  the “days to purchase” report in Google Analytics and how understanding that report could help you understand if PPC was delivering an immediate impact on your ecommerce transactions. George Michie at Search Engine Land investigates this idea of PPC effectiveness on ecommerce further in this article about order latency. Proper knowledge of your product purchase cycle, utilizing the “days to purchase” report in Google Analytics, and finally allowing enough time to conduct a proper test of your PPC advertising’s effect on ecommerce will provide critical insight into how to improve your PPC performance.

Landing Page Optimization….Again Not Testing Long Enough

Search advertisers sometimes act too hastily, especially when it comes to landing page optimization. Tim Ash over at SearchEngineWatch.com states that you should always gain an appropriate amount of information/data on your landing pages before making widespread changes in your PPC bid management and landing page utilization.  There is no doubt Tim is correct in determining an appropriate testing time period in which enough data is collected and then analyzed to make adjustments to your campaigns and landing pages. So many times a paid search advertiser, whether it is an agency or in-house marketer, acts too hastily on the data that is flowing into their analytics package. In the end, they may be making adjustments that might actually hinder rather than help their PPC performance. Allowing enough time to collect data and not making landing page optimization adjustments based on very short periods of success and failure will set up any paid search advertiser for future success.

Improving Click Through Rates with Testimonials

Amber from PPC Hero provides an excellent A/B test to conduct in this blog post. Utilizing testimonials, as Amber explains in her example, provides firsthand experience and benefits that searchers typically only see on the client’s website. In addition, testimonials are not widely used in paid search ads so using them should set your ads apart from the competition, thus increasing click through rates. Simply put, follow Amber’s advice and A/B test a testimonial ad in at least one of your ad groups. What do you have to lose?

Display Ad Builder Unveils New Templates

I for one was getting a little tired of the same old plain templates in Google’s display ad builder for content network ads. Google must have read my mind because they rolled out more high quality templates and fonts for display builder pay per click ads as discussed in this post on the AdWords blog. I must admit that some of these templates are going to be used by a lot of advertisers while others may catch a placement site visitor’s attention but be completely irrelevant in regards to your products and services. Check out the examples below for what I mean:
Business Display Ad

Will be used by everyone because it is a typical “business” themed ad.

Random Guy Display Ad

Catches your attention but is it relevant to your products and services or does it fit with your martketing plan and materials?

Pay Per Click Advertising: The New Wave of Search Advertisers Coming from NASA?

PPC Rocket ScienceI’ve been known to say “PPC is not rocket science”, but apparently that is no longer the case according to Todd Mintz’s article. After reading Todd’s article, PPC is definitely along the same lines as rocket science (okay maybe a slight exaggeration). Pay per click advertising requires a wide range of skills including marketing to determine appropriate demographics to target, writing skills to obviously write ad copy, analytical and mathematical skills to analyze data in your analytics package while tying it back into your AdWords data, and finally the undefined skill I’ll call “the right stuff”.

“The right stuff” is the ability to recognize the importance of each of these skills, tie them all into one optimization action, and then start all over again for the next potential performance enhancing optimization procedure. Thinking about everything a paid search advertiser needs to know and analyze, you will not hear me say “PPC is not rocket science” again anytime soon.

Until next week…Keep on Searching and have a great Labor Day!

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