6 AdWords strategies businesses can use to make love, not war on Valentine’s Day

If you’ve visited any local pharmacy recently, you have a pretty good idea of what holiday is coming up. Yup, that one with the hearts, chocolates, flowers and teddy bears.
It’s not Christmas or New Year’s, but Valentine’s Day is a huge opportunity for all businesses, not just flower delivery and giant teddy bear manufacturers. There’s just as much opportunity to optimize your return on investment (ROI) improvements if you know the right strategies.
Let’s dig into the following pay-per-click (PPC) tactics so you avoid situations like this one and learn how to maximize your advertising efforts on Valentine’s Day.
Is advertising on Valentine’s Day worth it?
Look, people aren’t only looking for flowers, chocolates and cute cards on Valentine’s Day; there are plenty of people who want to spend the day out treating themselves, reserving a nice day at the spa or grabbing a drink with friends. Using Google Trends and the Keyword Planner, we see there is a market

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Supercharge your email marketing with Google AdWords

I have a confession to make.
The odds of my instantly deleting one of the many marketing emails I receive each day are about as good as Tom Brady and the Patriots making the playoffs — meaning it’s pretty likely to happen.
Unfortunately for all you email marketers out there, I’m not alone. According to email marketing service MailChimp, the average email open rate across industries is below 25 percent, with a click rate of 2 to 3 percent. That means that, on average, you’d need to send 100 emails to get two or three people to take any action. All that time and energy spent crafting the perfect email marketing campaign will be wasted if you don’t create a complementary strategy to get more sales from your hard-earned email list.
The good news is that you can use Google AdWords as your complementary strategy by simply leveraging the existing data you have on your email subscribers. Let’s dive into

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The nitty-gritty paid search account health check: Part 2

Welcome to the second and final post in a two-part series about paid search account audits. If you haven’t read the first post, be sure to check it out here! Without further ado, let’s dive right into the good stuff — the remaining analyses standing between you and a perfectly manicured paid search account.
Keywords and negatives
Keywords are essentially the building block of your search campaigns, so needless to say, there’s always room for an audit. Here are some things to review:

Are there any keywords that are spending money without converting?

I look at this in different time frames, including the past 30 days or longer time frames, such as “all time,” because there could be keywords flying under the radar that may not be spending money quickly but that are slowly spending — like a small leak that can do damage over time.

Are there any keywords that are below the first page bid?
Are there keywords that haven’t really

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How to test (and perfect) nearly everything in PPC

PPC (pay per click) is a key component of many online marketing campaigns. And while it can drive significant revenue, it’s also one of the most expensive ongoing costs in a campaign. Therefore, it’s key that you test your ads regularly, to make sure you aren’t letting any conversions slip through the cracks.
Testing and optimizing is an important part of our job as digital marketers. And I’m not just talking about perfecting your ad copy.
At SMX London earlier this year, I gave a talk on how we design and implement tests at Crealytics for both Text and Shopping ads.
Carrying on from that, this post will cover three methods you can use for successful testing, two types of testing to help you take performance to the next level, and five common pitfalls that testers often run into. I’ll also illustrate these points with examples from our own internal testing efforts.
Deciding which method to use
Designing a good experiment is

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Should you create device-specific PPC campaigns?

Should you split your device campaigns apart?
On February 6, 2013, Google announced Enhanced Campaigns, coupling devices together to encourage (nod nod wink wink) the development of mobile-first campaigns. Bing, of course, followed suit soon after.
The PPC world at large was not pleased. I think I speak for many of my peers when I say we’re a group that relishes precise control. While device-coupled campaigns offered mobile-specific messaging, they removed the ability to target mobile/tablet-only keywords or to budget by device.
In late May of this year, Google was kind enough to reverse this most unpleasant change, allowing device bid modifiers as low as 100 percent for each device type. In a manner of speaking, device-specific campaigns are back. Yet there seems to be a bit of chagrin when it comes to relaunching our device-only campaigns, be it due to rising complexity, decreasing tablet volume or the feeling that on the whole, bid modifiers will cover it.
I’ve written previously about my affinity

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How should your ad budget impact campaign building?

Everyone running a PPC account typically has a budgeting question they are trying to figure out. For those with a tighter ad budget, the question becomes, “How do I get the most leads for this limited amount of spend I have?”
Larger accounts run into their own problems; finding points of diminishing returns and making small gains in efficiency while maintaining spend levels at a point that generates the growth you need can be a headache.
If you take away one point from this, it’s that search impression share may be the most ignored primary metric for most PPC managers who are up against a budget. Search impression share is the number of impressions your ads actually received, compared to the potential number they could have received. For example, if there were 100 searches for keyword X, and you received 75 impressions, that would mean you have 75 percent search impression share.
This is important to think about because you may be leaving

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12 things successful PPC managers do in the morning

There are lots of articles out there on what successful people do in the mornings (like this one), and you might have a specific set of things you like to do when you first clock in for the day in order to stay organized.
For PPC agencies and high-level in-house PPC managers, brief morning check-ins with your team can be essential to your clients’ or company’s PPC success. In this post, I’ll outline why I do this and what we’re looking for every morning to make sure we’re on top of our game.
Disclaimer: If you’re a PPC manager at an agency where multiple teams report to you, and each team has an unusually large client load, or you’re in-house managing a massive account, you may have to modify these steps. Further, this practice will only work if each PPC professional on the team has a manageable workload and is committed to the process.
Why have morning PPC check-ins?
As a high-level

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How New & Existing Customers Interact With Your Paid Search Ads Differently

Analyzing paid search orders based on whether they were placed by new-to-file or return customers can be a valuable exercise in determining how different areas of an account help drive new buyers to your site or aid in customer retention.
Beyond that, it can also give you some insight into how searchers behave when clicking on ads and how brand recognition impacts decisions made on the SERP.
To illustrate, I’ll be unraveling some of our new versus existing customer data for one large Merkle advertiser.
The Obvious: Differences In Brand Versus Non-Brand
Let’s start by looking at a keyword segmentation that reveals a likely obvious difference in the share of orders that are placed by new customers: brand versus non-brand.
For the advertiser studied, the share of non-brand orders placed by new customers was more than 3x that of brand keywords.
This makes a lot of sense, as someone who is typing in a brand name for a search is more likely to have

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Harness The Power Of Ad Customizers With AdWords Scripts

Ad customizers were introduced about a year ago as a way to create targeted and dynamic ads without losing their ad history. The ads are much more dynamic than the original Ad Params, since they allow you to replace more than just numbers in your ads.
Of course, because they have more features, they are also a bit more complicated.
Today, we are going to look at a few ways AdWords scripts can help you work with ad customizers. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas of ways you can leverage scripts to make managing your ad customizers a little easier.
Quick Overview Of Ad Customizers
Managing ad customizers consists of maintaining data sources and also maintaining ads. We are going to try to write some generic code to do just that.
If you haven’t already, I recommend you run through this example in the AdWords Scripts documentation before you continue. Much of the code below is based on their solution but is a

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