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

Search Engine Land Source

How to capture urgent leads with call-only ad extensions

d8nn /
If you find yourself facing an overflowing toilet, you’re not going to deal with it from the confines of an ergonomic desk chair. There’s no time to sit in front of the computer and do your due diligence. Unless you happen to be deft with a plunger and a snake, you’re going to pull out your phone and look for a qualified problem solver as quickly as possible.
But what happens when that first search result is nothing more than a phone number and two disjointed phrases, an incoherent mess reminiscent of what’s clogging up your pipes?
You’re going to skip to the next item on the SERP in search of a solution.
If you’re the plumber, how do you fix this problem? How do you make sure the person with the overflowing toilet calls you and not your competitor?
Today, I’m going to dive into how the recent addition of ad extensions to call-only ads can help you

Search Engine Land Source

AdWords Scripts now available in new AdWords interface

AdWords Scripts are now available in the New AdWords interface, giving users a visual refresh, as well as some new capabilities that make management a bit easier, especially for advertisers with lots of scripts in their accounts.
Here are some of the key changes:

See up to 500 script logs per page and filter by date.
See a more precise time when a script will run.
See who added a script to the account.
Filter scripts based on name or who created it.
Duplicate existing scripts.

You can find scripts in the three-dot menu, under the Bulk Actions section. If you go there from your MCC account, you’ll find your MCC-level scripts and, if you access the page from within an account, you’ll see the scripts you’ve set up for that account.
Scripts are now available in the new AdWords interface.
Google shows 10 scripts by default, but there’s a new option that lets you see as many as 500 scripts on one page. For heavy script

Search Engine Land Source

Beat high-cost paid search clicks by sweating the details

In some industries and sectors, the per-click cost of search keywords is notoriously expensive — so expensive, in fact, that it dissuades some businesses from even stepping into the fray. When a click can cost you $200 or more, that reluctance is understandable.
At the same time, the costs of not stepping into PPC might be just as pricey, even if they’re not as obvious. In industries where competition is stiff, you could stand to lose a lot by being conspicuously absent from PPC.
So, what’s a business to do?
Fortunately, expensive clicks — even really expensive clicks — don’t have to stop you from venturing into PPC. You just have to make sure that every click counts.
Industries where clicks are costly
Before we get into a discussion about how to make sure every click counts, let’s get clear on the industries and sectors we’re talking about.
Though most advertisers aren’t paying more than a few dollars per click, some industries have

Search Engine Land Source

Competitive analysis: Making your auction insights work for you

Oh, the auction insights report. You want to love it because it comes straight from AdWords, while most other competitive data comes with a grain (or maybe a pillar) of salt. Yet, while the information in this report is all nice to know, it might not seem to be immediately useful.
Don’t throw in the towel too soon, though — with auction insights, there’s more than meets the eye.  Let’s talk about how to put the data to work.
Who has the majority of the impression share?
This is, of course, the most obvious use of the report. Who seems to be dominating impression share?  You can look at this a few ways:

Who is dominating impression share across all of your campaigns?
Who is competing for impression share for each campaign? What about your top-performing, or worse-performing, ad groups?
Who is vying for impression share on your top-performing keywords?

You can garner a few things from this report at a pretty high level.

Search Engine Land Source

Evaluating PPC talent, part 2: The test

Previously, we discussed how to find good PPC candidates for your particular company, but now it’s time to evaluate those candidates.
It comes down to this: You’ve held dozens of interviews with candidates almost impossible to tell apart. They all have similar credentials. They’ve worked in the right industry or environment, have used similar tools to what your paid media team uses and didn’t hesitate to answer your questions. But what’s next?
The technical assessment of your PPC hire may be the thing you’ve most overlooked, and it can often lead to a complete disaster.

How do we evaluate PPC talent?
You cannot properly assess how someone will fit into your team and impact your business simply by reviewing resumes and asking them a few questions to make sure they speak the language.
Unfortunately, there is also no one-size-fits-all assessment your team can find online and use. You have to start by taking an honest look at your work environment and understanding

Search Engine Land Source

Phrase match is dead. Long live phrase match!

When Google launched their broad match modified match type some years ago, some marketers hailed the demise of phrase match as something of a foregone conclusion.
Many, ourselves included, quickly shifted gears and rolled out new campaigns using a combination of broad match modified (BMM), exact match and negative match keywords. And others did not.
Let’s consider why we did this. First — and this should be writ large wherever AdWords advertisers congregate — no one likes broad match. No one except, perhaps, Google.
Using broad match is essentially lazy, the equivalent of holding out your hand with all your money it in and letting Google take what they want. They’re getting better — broad match is nowhere near as bad as it used to be — but it still allows Google a freedom you wouldn’t want your car mechanic or your electrician to have.
As a result, many advertisers instead opted for phrase match and exact match for their keywords, often

Search Engine Land Source

Disclosure and transparency: The agency/client relationship twins

There is an old joke about what to do if you’re ever stranded on a desert island with only a pack of cards: The answer is to start playing solitaire, because sooner or later someone will lean over your shoulder and say, “Why don’t you put that red seven on that black eight?”
When we structure our marketing campaigns, either alone or as a well-oiled team, the last thing we want is for someone to come along and tell us how to do it better. We have our reasons. We are experienced marketers. And, let’s be honest here, the least wanted advice often comes from the client.
We can live and breathe AdWords, breakfast on Bing Ads and snack on Facebook and Twitter; but the client pays for the campaigns.
We were recently approached by a client who was unhappy with their current agency. They wanted us to take a look. But the other agency — hereafter known as “Opaque”

Search Engine Land Source

Apple Search Ads: Still tapping after 6 months of testing

It’s been five months since Apple expanded their Apple Search Ads program to advertisers in three additional countries (UK, New Zealand and Australia). After its initial, US-only launch in October 2016, I was really excited to finally get to test out this brand-new platform when it finally launched in the UK.
Now that I’ve had some time to experiment with it, I’m going to discuss what I like, dislike and hope to see in the future across this new and exciting platform. I want to share my own experiences here in the hope that anyone looking to test some Apple Search Ads campaigns in the future can get started as soon as possible.
One of the reasons I was so interested in Apple Search Ads is how booming the app market is globally, with 2.2 million apps available in the App Store alone as of March 2017. Furthermore, according to research by Flurry, the mobile browser is effectively dead

Search Engine Land Source

Optimize your AdWords account with these hidden gems

Ahhh… summer. A time to hang out at the lake, fire up the barbecue and gaze at the stars.
And, if you’re a PPC pro, it’s also a great time to catch up on some of the smaller, sometimes overlooked elements of your PPC campaigns.
Naturally, this only applies if your business tends to slow down in the summer. If not, you’ll have to find another slow (read: less crazy) time of year to perform these tasks. When things are moving ahead full steam, we usually can’t afford to take our gaze off big-picture account items, such as leads, sales, campaigns, ad groups and keyword performance. And that’s understandable.
But when you do have time to polish up some hidden gems of campaign settings and features, you may find that they can add up to significant performance differences.
To get you started, here are three hidden gems worth examining:
1. Automated extensions
As part of its move toward increased account automation, Google recommends that

Search Engine Land Source