How to Audit Your Bing Ads Account

Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in Advertising, Search
How to Audit Your Bing Ads Account

Let’s be honest. Your Bing Ads account doesn’t get as much love and attention as your Google AdWords account. And your Bing account likely started out as a carbon copy of your AdWords account, imported once and left relatively unchanged. I understand. But just because Bing has less search volume than Google and represents a smaller portion of your overall ad spend doesn’t mean it should be covered in dust. Bing is a great source of low cost search clicks and you want to make sure you’re making the most of your investment. In this guide, I’ll walk you through a comprehensive account audit to identify opportunities to improve your Bing Ads account.

Here are the main sections I’ll cover:

  1. Account Organization
  2. Keywords
  3. Negative Keywords
  4. Ads
  5. Landing Pages
  6. Extensions

As you go through the guide, feel free to check each section off. Now let’s get started!

Account Organization Audit

The following steps will help you make sure your overall Bing Ads account is in good shape.

Structure – Is there a clear structure to the account’s campaigns and ad groups? A well-structured campaign helps prevent problems like missing or overlapping keywords and helps you spot opportunities in your reports. It also makes it easier for colleagues to help manage your campaigns if your team grows. For help, read How To Structure & Setup PPC Campaigns.

Conversion Tracking – Is conversion tracking set up? Is it working? Are the right conversions being tracked? With conversion tracking, you can optimize every aspect of your campaigns to maximize profit and eliminate wasted spend by measuring the impact ads have on your bottom line. Make sure you’re tracking the most important actions a visitor could take (e.g., shopping cart checkouts).

Brand & Nonbrand Split – Are brand and nonbrand campaigns split out into separate campaigns? All keywords that contain your brand name should live in their own campaign because branded keywords perform differently than nonbrand keywords: CTR is higher, Quality Score is higher, search intent is different, ad copy is different, cost per conversion is different. Keep brand and nonbrand separate so you can optimize accordingly.

Ad Group Focus – Are there any ad groups with far more than 10 keywords? Having too many keywords in a single ad group makes it very difficult to create focused and relevant ads. Split out keywords into new ad groups based on the main word and theme and drop in a custom ad that someone searching those keywords would want to see. For help writing focused ads, read 5 Tips For Creating Effective PPC Ads.

Approval Issues – Are there any keywords or ads that are marked as disapproved? Approval issues keep your ads from running but can be fixed quickly. If you find any, make the required change and set a reminder for yourself to check back in a few days to make sure the issue has been resolved.

Disapproved keyword in Bing

Campaign Setting Audit

Now that we’ve made sure your Bing Ads account is in good shape, let’s take a look at each campaign to make sure they’re set up optimally.

bing ads settings tab

Ad Rotation – Are the ads set to “optimize for clicks?” While “rotate ads more evenly” is great for split testing multiple ads, it requires you to manually monitor the test for a winner. Failing to pause ads that underperform will mean the losing ads keep serving. A great alternative is to set the ads to “optimize for clicks.” Unlike Google, ad rotation settings are found and set at the ad group level. With this setting, Bing Ads will test your ads on its own and serve the winners more quickly than if you were to do it manually.

Bing ads ad rotation

Set your ads to optimize for clicks

Budget – Is the daily budget adequate? Is the campaign consistently depleting its budget? Review your spend and budget to make sure your best-performing campaigns have a high enough budget to handle the volume. If the budget is maxed out, consider lowering your bids in order to reduce your cost per click– you just might get more clicks for your money.

Budget Delivery – Is the campaign budget set to “accelerated” delivery? If it isn’t and you’d like to get more clicks from your campaign, you may want to test it. Standard delivery distributes your budget throughout the day and helps you avoid running out of budget early in the day. Accelerated delivery shows your ads as soon as reasonably possible which means your ads could stop serving if you don’t raise the budget enough to capture the increase in traffic.

Bing ads budget delivery

Set your budget delivery to accelerated to capture more clicks

Location & Language – Are location and language targeting settings appropriate? Make sure your campaign and ad groups are targeting only the locations your business serves. And if your budget is limited, consider only targeting your most profitable locations for now.

Keyword Audit

Next, let’s take care of the keywords and make sure there are no issues or missed optimization opportunities.

Search Queries – Review the search query report and look for new keyword opportunities that stand out. Knowing which search queries triggered your ads and how they performed makes it easy for you to optimize your search campaign and save money by adding new exact match keywords. For help accessing and taking action on your search query report, read How to Use The Search Query Report.

Bing Ads Opportunities Tab

Review the Bing Ads opportunities tab

Opportunities Tab – Review the Bing Ads Opportunities tab. There may be good keyword recommendations for the campaign that you can take add in order to reach new customers. Make sure you add new keywords in relevant ad groups so your ads can be relevant as well.

Broad Match Modifier – Does the campaign have Broad Match Modifier keywords? Should any new BMM keywords be added? These broad match keywords contain a + before one or more words that are required to show up for searches. This keywords don’t have the high risk of irrelevance that comes with standard broad match keywords. For help with BMM, read our guide to keyword match types.

Missing Bids – If the campaign is using manual bidding, are there any keywords that don’t have a Max CPC bid set? If the bid is blank, the default ad group bid will be used, which isn’t optimal. Instead, set a bid based on that keyword’s value to your business.

Duplicate Keywords – Are there any duplicate keywords? Two identical keywords with the same match type shouldn’t exist in your account. While they won’t drive up your CPCs, they will compete and make it difficult to both optimize and control which one serves.

Bids by Match Type – Are bids set properly for each match type? If a keyword is present with multiple match types, each keyword should have a tiered bid to ensure the most appropriate match type is served. Set your exact match highest, then phrase, then broad match modifier, and finally broad with the lowest.

Low Quality Score – Are there any keywords with low quality scores? If the Quality Score is under 4 and the keyword is served regularly, you’ll want to take steps to optimize it. Move the keyword into its own ad group and give it a more relevant ad and landing page. This can improve your quality score and get you more clicks and more sales.

Negative Keyword Audit

On the other side of keyword optimization is the negative keyword list. Let’s make sure each campaign has an adequate negative keyword list so we can prevent your ads from showing up for clearly irrelevant queries.

Missing Negatives – Are there any campaigns that don’t have negative keywords? Negative keywords keep you from wasting money on vague or irrelevant searches. Check out the starter lists in the following guide to help you get started: How to Find and Use Negative Keywords.

Search Query Report Negatives – Review the search query report for negative keyword opportunities that stand out. Adding negatives based on performance data in the SQR will boost your CTR and Quality Score, as well as make your spend more efficient. Look through the report for irrelevant queries that you want to avoid and add them as negatives.

Bing ads negative keyword conflict report

Review Bing’s Negative Keyword Conflict report

Negative Keyword Conflicts – Are there any negative keyword conflicts that are blocking keywords in your campaign? Are there any that could be blocking relevant searches? Review Bing’s negative keyword conflicts report and removing conflicting negatives, or change them to negative exact match to limit the scope of their impact. Learn how to use the negative keyword conflict report.

Ad Audit

Now it’s time to address the part of your campaign potential customers see. Your ads are what you’re paying to promote, after all, so let’s make sure they’re strong.

Typos – Are there any typos or spelling issues in the ads? Typos reflect poorly on your business and obscure the message of your ad so address any issues.

Calls to Action – Does each ad have a call to action? Tell your customers what the next step they should take is and you’ll see an increase in the number of them that actually follow through.  For help writing ads, read 5 Tips For Creating Effective PPC Ads.

Include a call to action

Add a call to action

Ad Quantity – Does the campaign have two active ads in each ad group? Keeping two ad variations in an ad group makes it easy to test them both to find a winner. It also protects you from sudden disapprovals that could pause an ad without you knowing. But Bing doesn’t handle having multiple ads gracefully like Google, so you want to limit the number of ads in each ad group to two, or at most three.

Custom Display URLs – Do any ads have custom display URL subdirectories (the part after “.com/”) for the ad group? The display URL is a great place to tailor your ad to show relevance to the ad group. For example, an ad group about “Red Widget Prices” could feature the Display URL “www.widgets.com/red-widget-prices”. It’s possible that that display URL outperforms the real URL so you should test it. Just make sure you have redirects set up for these made-up URLs in case someone copies and pastes the link.

Landing Page Audit

404 page example

Make sure landing pages work

Landing Page Errors – Are any ads pointing to error “out of stock” pages? Landing page problems break your ads, frustrate potential customers and are a complete waste of money. Update the destination URLs of ads with broken landing pages and pause ads for products that are out of stock to make sure your money goes towards ads that can actually lead to conversions.

Landing Page Quality – Are you sending traffic to the right pages of your website? If a customer is searching for a specific product, don’t send them to your homepage and make them search– take them straight to that product so they can make a decision to buy. Review the ads of each ad group to make sure the most relevant page is being used in the Destination URL.

Landing Page Optimization – Are the landing pages optimized for conversions? You’re going through a great deal of effort to bring customers to your website; is there anything you can do to make the most of the visitors you already have? Consider removing distractions from the landing page, adding a clear call to action, testing headlines, etc. Tools like Unbounce can make this easy and the performance boost can make a huge difference.

Editorial Compliance – Does every landing page have the proper privacy policy & terms? Missing these could result in approval issues at best, and legal issues at worst. Make sure your landing pages have all the fine print your main pages have.

Extension Audit

Bing Ads Sitelinks

Configure sitelinks in your top campaigns

Sitelinks – Does the campaign have sitelink extensions configured? With sitelinks, you can include quick links to your top pages to segment your audience, list your benefits and win the click. There’s no extra cost to sitelinks and they will dramatically boost your CTR so make sure to add them, at least to your top campaigns. For help, read How to Use Sitelinks.

Other Extensions – Are all other appropriate extensions being used? Brick & mortar businesses should set up Location Extensions and businesses that handle inbound leads over the phone should set up Call Extensions. Extensions enhance your ads and can dramatically improve performance so test each extension that makes sense for your business.

How to Audit Your Google AdWords Account

Posted by on Oct 29, 2013 in Advertising, Search
How to Audit Your Google AdWords Account

Whether you’ve inherited an AdWords account or created one from scratch, it’s important to take a step back and review the account as a whole to make sure there are no problems. There are a lot of moving parts and dozens of places problems can hide and it’s easy to miss them if you don’t have a system. In this guide, I’ll walk you through a comprehensive account audit to identify opportunities to improve your Google AdWords account!

Here are the main sections I’ll cover:

  1. Account Organization
  2. Keywords
  3. Negative Keywords
  4. Ads
  5. Landing Pages
  6. Extensions

As you go through the guide, feel free to check each section off. Now let’s get started!

Account Organization Audit

The following steps will help you review your overall Google AdWords account to make sure it’s in good shape.

PPC Account Structure

Keep your account organized

Structure – Is there a clear structure to the account’s campaigns and ad groups? A well-structured campaign helps prevent problems like missing or overlapping keywords and helps you spot opportunities in your reports. It also makes it easier for colleagues to help manage your campaigns if your team grows. For help, read How To Structure & Setup PPC Campaigns.

Conversion Tracking – Is conversion tracking set up? Is it working? Are the right conversions being tracked? With conversion tracking, you can optimize every aspect of your campaigns to maximize profit and eliminate wasted spend by measuring the impact ads have on your bottom line. Make sure you’re tracking the most important actions a visitor could take (e.g., shopping cart checkouts).

Brand & nonbrand campaigns

Separate branded and generic keywords

Brand & Nonbrand Split – Are brand and nonbrand campaigns split out into separate campaigns? All keywords that contain your brand name should live in their own campaign because branded keywords perform differently than nonbrand keywords: CTR is higher, Quality Score is higher, search intent is different, ad copy is different, cost per conversion is different. Keep brand and nonbrand separate so you can optimize accordingly.

Ad Group Focus – Are there any ad groups with far more than 10 keywords? Having too many keywords in a single ad group makes it very difficult to create focused and relevant ads. Split out keywords into new ad groups based on the main word and theme and drop in a custom ad that someone searching those keywords would want to see. For help building focused ad groups, read How to Use Ad Groups to Build Relevant Ads.

Approval Issues – Are there any keywords or ads that are marked as disapproved? Approval issues keep your ads from running but can be fixed quickly. If you find any, make the required change and set a reminder for yourself to check back in a few days to make sure the issue has been resolved.

Disapproved ad in AdWords

Check for approval issues

Campaign Setting Audit

Now that we’ve made sure your AdWords account is in good shape, let’s take a look at each campaign to make sure they’re set up optimally.

AdWords Settings Tab

Ad Rotation – Are the ads set to “optimize for clicks?” While “rotate evenly” is great for split testing multiple ads, it requires you to manually monitor the test for a winner. Failing to pause ads that underperform will mean the losing ads keep serving. A great alternative is to set the ads to “optimize to clicks” or “optimize to conversions.” With these settings, AdWords will test your ads on its own and serve the winners more quickly than if you were to do it manually.

Budget – Is the daily budget adequate? Is the campaign consistently depleting its budget? Review your spend and budget to make sure your best-performing campaigns have a high enough budget to handle the volume. If the budget is maxed out, consider lowering your bids in order to reduce your cost per click– you just might get more clicks for your money.

Location & Language – Are location and language targeting settings appropriate? Make sure your campaign is targeting only the locations your business serves. And if your budget is limited, consider only targeting your most profitable locations for now. Also consider adding additional languages that your bilingual customers may speak. This opens up your campaign to additional opportunities to display your ads.

Search/Display Network – Is your campaign opted into both the search and display network? It shouldn’t be. You never want to create an AdWords campaign that’s set to serve on both the Search Network and Display Network because that makes the campaign difficult to optimize. If you want to serve banner ads and advertise on blogs and niche sites, create a dedicated Google AdWords campaign that is set to serve on the Display Network Only.

Ad Delivery – Are ads set to “accelerated” delivery? If they aren’t and your campaign has an adequate budget, you may want to test it. Standard delivery distributes your budget throughout the day and helps you avoid running out of budget early in the day. Accelerated delivery shows your ads as soon as reasonably possible which means your ads could stop serving before you even wake up.

Bid Modifiers – Are bid modifiers being used? Bid modifiers make it easy to adjust your bid based on the predicted value. For example, if you have a 5% conversion rate  on mobile and a 10% conversion rate on desktop, you may want to decrease your bid for ads shown on mobile devices. For help, read How To Analyze & Optimize Your Mobile Bid Modifiers.

Keyword Audit

Next, let’s take care of the keywords and make sure there are no issues or missed optimization opportunities.

Search Queries – Review the search term report and look for new keyword opportunities that stand out. Knowing which search queries triggered your ads and how they performed makes it easy for you to optimize your search campaign and save money by adding new exact match keywords. For help accessing and taking action on your search term report, read How to Use The Search Terms Report.

AdWords Opportunities Tab

Review the AdWords opportunities tab

Opportunities Tab – Review the AdWords Opportunities tab. There may be good keyword recommendations for the campaign that you can take add in order to reach new customers. Make sure you add new keywords in relevant ad groups so your ads can be relevant as well.

Broad Match Modifier – Does the campaign have Broad Match Modifier keywords? Should any new BMM keywords be added? These broad match keywords contain a + before one or more words that are required to show up for searches. This keywords don’t have the high risk of irrelevance that comes with standard broad match keywords. For help with BMM, read our guide to keyword match types.

Missing Bids – If the campaign is using manual bidding, are there any keywords that don’t have a Max CPC bid set? If the bid is blank, the default ad group bid will be used, which isn’t optimal. Instead, set a bid based on that keyword’s value to your business.

Duplicate Keywords – Are there any duplicate keywords? Two identical keywords with the same match type shouldn’t exist in your account. While they won’t drive up your CPCs, they will compete and make it difficult to both optimize and control which one serves.

Bids by Match Type – Are bids set properly for each match type? If a keyword is present with multiple match types, each keyword should have a tiered bid to ensure the most appropriate match type is served. Set your exact match highest, then phrase, then broad match modifier, and finally broad with the lowest.

Low Quality Score – Are there any keywords with low quality scores? If the Quality Score is under 4 and the keyword is served regularly, you’ll want to take steps to optimize it. Move the keyword into its own ad group and give it a more relevant ad and landing page. This should boost the CTR, which will boost the Quality Score, which will ultimately save you money and earn you a higher position on the search engine results page.

Negative Keyword Audit

On the other side of keyword optimization is the negative keyword list. Let’s make sure each campaign has an adequate negative keyword list so we can prevent your ads from showing up for clearly irrelevant queries.

Missing Negatives – Are there any campaigns that don’t have negative keywords? Negative keywords keep you from wasting money on vague or irrelevant searches. Check out the starter lists in the following guide to help you get started: How to Find and Use Negative Keywords.

Search Query Report Negatives – Review the search query report for negative keyword opportunities that stand out. Adding negatives based on performance data in the SQR will boost your CTR and Quality Score, as well as make your spend more efficient. Look through the report for irrelevant queries that you want to avoid and add them as negatives.

Negative Keyword Conflicts – Are there any conflicts that are blocking keywords in your campaign? Are there any that could be blocking relevant searches? Review the list of negative keywords and compare them to keywords in the campaign. Consider removing conflicting negatives, or change them to negative exact match to limit the scope of their impact.

Ad Audit

Now it’s time to address the part of your campaign potential customers see. Your ads are what you’re paying to promote, after all, so let’s make sure they’re strong.

Typos – Are there any typos or spelling issues in the ads? Typos reflect poorly on your business and obscure the message of your ad. Pause any ads with issues, and make the corrections in a duplicate of the ad (changing the ad directly will reset the performance statistics).

ppc ad with a clear call to action

Include a call to action

Calls to Action – Does each ad have a call to action? Tell your customers what the next step they should take is and you’ll see an increase in the number of them that actually follow through.  For help writing ads, read 5 Tips For Creating Effective PPC Ads.

Ad Quantity – Does the campaign have at least two active ads in each ad group? Keeping multiple ad variations in an ad group makes it easy to find and serve the best ad for those keywords. It also protects you from sudden disapprovals that could pause an ad without you knowing. Add new ad variations to your ad group to keep the number of ads to two or greater.

Custom Display URLs – Do any ads have custom display URL subdirectories (the part after “.com/”) for the ad group? The display URL is a great place to tailor your ad to show relevance to the ad group. For example, an ad group about “Red Widget Prices” could feature the Display URL “www.widgets.com/red-widget-prices”. It’s possible that that display URL outperforms the real URL so you should test it. Just make sure you have redirects set up for these made-up URLs in case someone copies and pastes the link.

Landing Page Audit

404 page example

Make sure landing pages work

Landing Page Errors – Are any ads pointing to error “out of stock” pages? Landing page problems break your ads, frustrate potential customers and are a complete waste of money. Update the destination URLs of ads with broken landing pages and pause ads for products that are out of stock to make sure your money goes towards ads that can actually lead to conversions.

Landing Page Quality – Are you sending traffic to the right pages of your website? If a customer is searching for a specific product, don’t send them to your homepage and make them search– take them straight to that product so they can make a decision to buy. Review the ads of each ad group to make sure the most relevant page is being used in the Destination URL.

Landing Page Optimization – Are the landing pages optimized for conversions? You’re going through a great deal of effort to bring customers to your website; is there anything you can do to make the most of the visitors you already have? Consider removing distractions from the landing page, adding a clear call to action, testing headlines, etc. Tools like Unbounce can make this easy and the performance boost can make a huge difference.

Editorial Compliance – Does every landing page have the proper privacy policy & terms? Missing these could result in approval issues at best, and legal issues at worst. Make sure your landing pages have all the fine print your main pages have.

Extension Audit

Configure sitelinks in your top campaigns

Sitelinks – Does the campaign have sitelink extensions configured? With sitelinks, you can include quick links to your top pages to segment your audience, list your benefits and win the click. There’s no extra cost to sitelinks and they will dramatically boost your CTR so make sure to add them, at least to your top campaigns. For help, read How to Use Sitelinks.

Other Extensions – Are all other appropriate extensions being used? Brick & mortar businesses should set up Location Extensions, businesses that handle inbound leads over the phone should set up Call Extensions, etc. Extensions enhance your ads and can dramatically improve performance so test each extension that makes sense for your business.

How To Set Up Conversion Optimizer with Google AdWords

Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in Advertising, Search
How To Set Up Conversion Optimizer with Google AdWords

Want to get more conversions? Definitely!

Want to spend less money on wasteful keywords? Of course you do.

But do you want to devote yourself to manually managing keyword bids? Probably not. And, in many cases, you wouldn’t even do that great of a job optimizing bids manually.

Wouldn’t it be great if the system just managed that for you? Well, with Google’s Conversion Optimizer, that’s exactly what you’re offered. With just a few clicks, you can set your AdWords campaign to automatically optimize your bids with the goal of getting you the most conversions given your cost-per-acquisition (CPA) goals. Conversion Optimizer will use your campaign’s past performance to optimize the bid for your ads each time they’re eligible to appear. You’ll still pay for each click and you won’t need to set your bids manually to reach your conversion goals.

Conversion Optimizer automatically optimize your bids to get you the most conversions.

The system isn’t perfect, but in many cases it beats what you’d be able to pull off by setting bids manually. Give it a chance to outperform your manual management and you may be able free up your time and focus to tackle other opportunities for your business.

How To Set It Up

  1. Set Up Conversion Tracking
    First, make sure you’ve set up AdWords Conversion Tracking by creating a conversion goal and installing the tracking code onto your website. This provides Google with insight into which of your ad clicks result in conversions on your website.

  2. Collect a Baseline
    In order to make accurate predictions about your future conversion rate, your campaign will need at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days before conversion optimizer is enabled. The more conversion data the system has, the more accurate it will be.
    adwords-conversion-optimizer-eligibility

  3. Switch Your Bid Strategy
    At this point, Conversion Optimizer will become enabled for your campaign. To access it, go to your campaign’s settings tab and click Edit next to “Bid Strategy.” Switch to Conversion Optimizer by selecting “Focus on Conversions.”
    adwords-conversion-optimizer-focus-on-conversions

  4. Advanced Options (Optional)
    Bid Type -Under Advanced Options, you can select a bid type. You can set either a maximum cost-per-acquisition (max. CPA), which is the most you’re willing to pay for each conversion, or a target cost-per-acquisition (target CPA), which is the average amount you’d like to pay for a conversion.
    Bid – Then you can either select “Start with recommended bid” or set a custom bid.
    One-per-click vs. many-per-click – Conversion Optimizer will focus either on one-per-click or many-per-click conversions, depending on the bid metrics that you choose in your AdWords conversion settings. One-per-click is ideal for conversions that an individual user shouldn’t repeat, like a newsletter signup. Many-per-click is ideal for conversions that you’d like a user to repeat, like completing an online order.

  5. Monitor Performance
    AdWords will do the rest, working 24/7 to set unique bids in an attempt to meet your CPA goals. Just keep an eye on it to make sure you’re happy with the results.

Once again, Conversion Optimizer isn’t perfect and your mileage may vary with each campaign. But I always test it out in each of my campaigns once they’re eligible. Sometimes it outperforms my manual bids. And sometimes it sets erratic bids that only a heartless computer could (one of my campaigns saw $120 CPCs!) But, like most marketing tactics, you have test it. It only takes a couple weeks to gauge results and every opportunity to improve and simplify your campaigns should be seized.

Discovering Keywords with the Google Keyword Planner

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Advertising, Search
Discovering Keywords with the Google Keyword Planner

Building a search campaign for the first time can be tricky. In addition to choosing your settings and writing your ads, you’ll need to come up with a list of keywords to target. Fortunately, Google’s free Keyword Planner makes selecting your initial list of keywords a breeze.

Google’s free Keyword Planner makes selecting your initial list of keywords a breeze.

Google’s Keyword Planner can help you find keywords (and ad groups) to target in your PPC campaign based on terms that are relevant to your product, service or website. To build your search campaign keyword list, follow these simple steps:

  1. Sign in to AdWords. You’ll need an account to access the tool.
  2. Click “Tools and Analysis” in the menu and select “Keyword Planner.”
  3. Click “Search for keyword and ad group ideas.”
    google keyword tool ideas
  4. Now enter words, phrases, or categories related to the product or service you’re advertising, or just enter your website’s URL and Google will scan your page for keyword ideas.google keyword tool enter source keywords
  5. Click “Get ideas” and Google will generate a list of recommended keywords for your campaign based on what customers are actually searching for.
  6. You can review your list of keywords from the “Keyword ideas” tab, or see them in grouped into relevant ad groups under the “Ad group ideas” tab. Spend some time looking around this page. You can fine tune your targeting, customize your search settings and see relevant stats like search volume, competition and average costs per click. Search volume is especially important as you’ll want to choose keywords that people will actually search for.
    google keyword tool ad group results
  7. Click the double arrows » on the right to collect the ad groups and keywords you like into a “plan.”
  8. Click review estimates to forecast performance with your bids and daily budget. This will help you gauge the traffic you can expect for your budget and can guide your initial bids.
    google keyword tool forecast results

Once you’re satisfied with the keywords you’ve collected, you can either add them to your AdWords campaign directly or click the download icon to export it to a spreadsheet. You can even use this list of keywords to target for SEO or for Bing Ads (bud don’t tell Google, it’ll be our little secret.

Next, learn How Ignoring Match Types Can Kill Your PPC Campaign.

Google Glass & Ads: A Discussion with Robert Scoble

Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in Advertising, Search
Google Glass & Ads: A Discussion with Robert Scoble

Robert Scoble of RackSpace discusses the potential business model of Google Glass with AdStage CEO Sahil Jain.

The AdStage Guide to Google AdWords

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in Advertising, Search
The AdStage Guide to Google AdWords

AdWords is Google’s online advertising platform that allows you to reach potential customers and bring them to your website. AdWords allows you to create ads for your business that can display whenever a person conducts a relevant search on Google.

Google AdWords Logo

In addition to search campaigns, AdWords also offers the ability to advertise outside of Google across its network of affiliated websites called the Google Display Network.

How Keywords Work

Keywords are the words and phrases you add to a campaign that trigger your ad to show. For example, if you deliver fresh flowers, you could use “fresh flower delivery” as a keyword. When someone searches Google using the phrase “fresh flower delivery” or a similar phrase, your ad might appear along with the Google search results.

Pricing

There’s no minimum amount that you have to spend in order to show your ads on AdWords. You set an average daily budget for your campaign along with a bid for each of your keywords. Every time someone searches on Google, AdWords runs an auction with these bids to determine which ads show on the search results page. This also determines their rank on the page.

Two Bidding Methods

  1. Bid for each time a person clicks your ad.
    This is known as a CPC, or cost-per-click, bid. This bidding method works well if you want to drive traffic to your website.

  2. Bid for each 1,000 times your ads are shown.
    This is known as a CPM , or cost-per-thousand-impressions, bid. This bidding method works well if you want to increase awareness of your brand.

Most people opt for the CPC bidding option, which means they’re charged according to the number of clicks they get on their ads. If you use CPC, the amount you’re charged per click depends in part on the maximum CPC bid you set. Generally, this represents the highest amount that you’ll ever pay for an ad click. And since this is an auction, you’ll only be charged the minimum amount necessary to keep your ad at its position on the page.

Where Ads Appear

With AdWords, your ads can appear in various places across the web. This depends on how you target your ads and the types of campaigns you create. Here are three places your ads can appear:

  1. On Google Search and other search sites within the Google Search Network  

  2. On websites that people visit within the Google Display Network

  3. On mobile phones, tablets, and computers

 

Creation

General Targeting

When creating your campaign, there are a number of ways to target your ads in order to reach the most relevant audience.

Location Targeting

Location targeting allows your ads to appear for people in selected locations. You can choose entire countries, areas within a country like cities, or even the immediate area around a specific address. Location targeting helps you focus your advertising on the areas where you’re likely to find customers.

adwordslocations

Demographic Targeting

If your products are made specifically for one gender, or if your typical customer skews heavily toward an age group, you can use demographic targeting to reach them without wasting your ad spend on others.

Language Targeting

With language targeting, your ads can appear for customers who use websites in the languages that your campaign targets. This helps ensure that your ads will appear on sites that are written in the language of the customers you’d like to reach. Since your customers may be bilingual, you may find it helpful to target additional languages.

Daily Budgets

Your budget is your daily spend limit for a campaign, so it should be an amount you’d be comfortable spending per day (or seeing on your monthly credit card bill if you multiplied your budget by 30.4, the average number of days in a month). Your ads will run until your daily budget is depleted.

Ad Groups

Ad groups are containers that hold a set of ads and the keywords (or other methods of targeting) that trigger those ads. They also contain a default bid for keywords in the ad group along with keyword-level bids, if specified.

Since ad groups live in larger campaigns, they inherit the settings and ad extensions from the campaign they’re housed in, though you can also apply unique settings and extensions to the ad group.

Learn How to Use Ad Groups to Build Relevant Ads.

Ads

Each text ad on AdWords consists of a headline, a couple lines of text describing your business, and a clickable link to your website.

AdStage Ad on AdWords

Headline

The first line of your ad is the one that customers are most likely to notice. Consider including your keywords in the headline to make it stand out because people are more likely to notice headlines that match what they’re searching for. Your headline can contain up to 25 characters.

Description

These two lines are where you describe the product or service you’re advertising. Space is limited, so choose your words carefully to highlight the most important details and benefits. AdWords allows up to 35 characters for each of the two description line.

Display URL

This line of your ad shows the address of the website that you’re promoting. AdWords lets you select a display URL to give people who see your ad a clear idea of where you’ll take them when they click on the ad. This does not need to match the actual URL you send people, so you may want to be creative.

Destination URL

This is the precise location on the website the person who clicks on your ad will be sent. People will not see the destination URL, they will only see the display URL until they click your ad.

Keywords & Bids

Selecting the right keyword list for your campaign can help you show your ads to the right customers as they search or visit certain websites. The keywords you choose should match the terms your potential customers would use to search for your products or services.

When you add each keyword to your campaign, you may also decide how much you’re willing to pay whenever a customer’s search matches that keyword and clicks your ad. This is your keyword’s maximum CPC bid. Many advanced advertiser maintain tight control over their campaign with manual bids, but many others find value letting AdWords automate their bidding for them within their daily budget.

Google AdWords Keyword Planner

Learn how to use Google’s Keyword Planner to choose your keywords.

Match Types

Match types give you control over how closely searches must match your keywords to trigger your ads. They’re an additional layer of control over your keywords that let you target the searcher’s intent.

google adwords match types

Learn more about match types here.

Optimization

Daily Budgets

When you have a limited advertising budget, you need to make the most of every dollar you spend. Rather than letting your campaigns daily budget run out every day and missing out on clicks, or spending more than you can afford, consider how you can spend your budget more effectively:

  1. You can lower your bids to reduce the average cost per click.

  2. Ensure your campaign is set to “Standard delivery” instead of “Accelerated delivery.” This ensures your budget is spread out throughout the day rather than spending as early in the day as possible.

  3. Set your bid strategy to automated bidding. This way AdWords can set your bids to help maximize clicks within your budget

Ads

To optimize your ads, try out different ad text to see which ad has the best results. For example, duplicate your first ad and change the headline to see if that works better. You can even set your ad rotation to optimize for clicks to let AdWords serve the best ads most. When you find a winner, you can test variations of that ad and pause all the others.

Keywords & Bids

You can improve your results and lower your costs by adding, changing, or deleting keywords, match types and bids. For example, if your campaign has been running for a while and your performance data shows that some of your keywords are performing better than others, you could increase your bids for keywords that convert to sales and decrease bids for keywords that aren’t converting to sales.

Visit the Google AdWords Help page for more detailed information.

The AdStage Guide to Bing Ads

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in Advertising, Search
The AdStage Guide to Bing Ads

What is Bing Ads?

Yahoo Bing Network

Bing Ads is the online advertising platform that allows you to reach potential customers across the Yahoo! Bing Network and bring them to your website. Bing Ads allows you to create ads for your business that can display whenever a person conducts a relevant search on Yahoo! or Bing, or visits a site in their network.

Reach potential customers across the Yahoo! Bing Network

How Keywords Work

Keywords are the words and phrases you add to a campaign that trigger your ad to show. For example, if you deliver fresh flowers, you could use “fresh flower delivery” as a keyword. When someone searches Bing using the phrase “fresh flower delivery” or a similar phrase, your ad might appear along with the Bing search results.

How Costs are Calculated

There’s no minimum amount that you have to spend in order to show your ads on Bing. You set an average daily budget for your campaign along with a bid for each of your keywords. Every time someone searches on Bing, Bing Ads runs an auction with these bids to determine which ads show on the search results page. This also determines their rank on the page.

With Bing Ads, you bid for each time a person clicks your ad. This is known as a CPC, or cost-per-click, bid. The amount you’re charged per click depends in part on the maximum CPC bid you set. Generally, this represents the highest amount that you’ll ever pay for an ad click. And since this is an auction, you’ll only be charged the minimum amount necessary to keep your ad at its position on the page.

Where Ads Appear

Bing Ads on Mobile

Bing Ads on Mobile

With Bing Ads, your ads can appear across Bing and Yahoo! owned and operated sites, their syndicated partner sites, Windows 8 Smart Search results, and across computers, tablets, and mobile devices.

bing ads on desktop

Bing Ads on Desktop

Creation

General Targeting

When creating your campaign, there are a number of ways to target your ads in order to reach the most relevant audience. You can use any combination of these four targeting options:

Location

Location targeting helps you focus your advertising on the areas where you’re likely to find customers. You can choose from:

  • All locations worldwide
  • Selected cities, metro areas, states/provinces, and countries/regions
  • Near a particular business, landmark, zip code or coordinates.

Bing Ads also lets you target locations you specifically want to exclude from seeing your ads.

Day of Week & Time of Day

You may also choose the when your ads display. For example, you may only want your ads to run during your business hours. Or you find that your click-through rate and conversion rate are highest during certain times. You could then target Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM to show your ads when your potential customers can take action.

Age & Gender

If your typical customer skews heavily toward an age group, or your products are made specifically for one gender, you can use demographic targeting to reach them without wasting your ad spend on others.

Device

You may also target by device and choose to show ads to potential customers when they’re using computers, tablets, smartphones or other mobile devices.

Daily Budgets

Your budget is your daily spend limit for a campaign, so it should be an amount you’d be comfortable spending per day. Your ads are also shown evenly throughout each day with the standard daily budget. There are also two other budget options: daily accelerated and monthly. Daily accelerated will spend your daily budget as early in the day as possible and monthly will spend your daily budget as early in the month as possible. If you’re on a limited budget, you should stick with daily standard.

Ad Groups

Ad groups are containers that hold a set of ads and the keywords that trigger those ads. They also contain a default bid for keywords in the ad group along with keyword-level bids, if specified.

Since ad groups live in larger campaigns, they inherit the settings and ad extensions from the campaign they’re housed in, though you can also apply unique settings and extensions to the ad group.

Learn How to Use Ad Groups to Build Relevant Ads.

Ads

AdStage ad on Bing AdsEach text ad consists of a headline, some text describing your business, and a clickable link to your website.

Headline

The first line of your ad is the one that customers are most likely to notice. Consider including your keywords in the headline to make it stand out because people are more likely to notice headlines that match what they’re searching for. Your headline can contain up to 25 characters.

Description

These is where you describe the product or service you’re advertising. Space is limited, so choose your words carefully to highlight the most important details and benefits. Bing Ads allows up to 71 characters for the description.

Display URL

This line of your ad shows the address of the website that you’re promoting. Bing Ads lets you select a display URL to give people who see your ad a clear idea of where you’ll take them when they click on the ad. This does not need to match the actual URL you send people, so you may want to be creative.

Destination URL

This is the precise location on the website the person who clicks on your ad will be sent. People will not see the destination URL, they will only see the display URL until they click your ad.

Keywords

Selecting the right keyword list for your campaign can help you show your ads to the right customers as they search or visit certain websites. The keywords you choose should match the terms your potential customers would use to search for your products or services.

When you add each keyword to your campaign, you may also decide how much you’re willing to pay whenever a customer’s search matches that keyword and clicks your ad. This is your keyword’s maximum CPC bid. There is no automated bidding option with Bing Ads.

And yes, you can still use Google’s Keyword Planner to discover keywords for Bing Ads.

Match Types

Match types give you control over how closely searches must match your keywords to trigger your ads. They’re an additional layer of control over your keywords that let you target the searcher’s intent.

bing-match-type

Learn more about match types here.

Optimization

Daily Budgets

When you have a limited advertising budget, you need to make the most of every dollar you spend. Rather than letting your campaigns daily budget run out every day and missing out on clicks, or spending more than you can afford, consider how you can spend your budget more effectively:

  • You can lower your bids to reduce the average cost per click.
  • Ensure your campaign is set to “Daily – Standard” instead of “Daily – Accelerated” or “Monthly.” This ensures your budget is spread out throughout the day rather than spending as early in the day or month as possible.

Ads

To optimize your ads, try out different ad text to see which ad has the best results. For example, duplicate your first ad and change the headline to see if that works better. When you find a winner, you can test variations of that ad and pause all the others.

Keywords & Bids

You can improve your results and lower your costs by adding, changing, or deleting keywords, match types and bids. For example, if your campaign has been running for a while and your performance data shows that some of your keywords are performing better than others, you could increase your bids for keywords that convert to sales and decrease bids for keywords that aren’t converting to sales.

Visit the Bing Ads Help page for more detailed information.

Access Google AdWords On Your iPad with AdStage

Posted by on Jul 5, 2013 in PPC News, Search
Access Google AdWords On Your iPad with AdStage

SEM managers have long desired a way to access AdWords on the go, but the current mobile interface, introduced in 2010, is too limited for today’s devices and the full site is severely buggy when accessed with Safari.

That’s why AdStage is offering the world’s first full-featured Google AdWords reporting app (designed from the ground up for the iPad) completely free. We acquired the app, originally called “Semply,” to push our mission to make advertising more accessible to businesses forward.

The app has been wildly successful, but have you downloaded it yet? In a little over a month after its launch, Semply reported over $110 Million in indexed ad spend and it’s currently used by over 1,500 advertisers to analyze AdWords campaigns on the go. Semply has been rebranded as “AdStage -Your Analytics Dashboard for Google AdWords” and is available in the App store.

The app is currently used by over 1,500 advertisers to analyze AdWords campaigns on the go.

google adwords on the ipad with adstageFeatures

  • Play with your data
    Looking to minimize CPCs? Increase conversion rates? Use our beautiful, interactive charts and grids to help visualize how your efforts have impacted key metrics over time.
  • Quickly check the latest stats
    View ALL important performance indicators- clicks, conversions, click-through rates, costs/conversion, etc- across your accounts, campaigns, and ad groups with the tap of your finger.
  • Optimize keywords
    With full keyword and search query data, discover which keywords are making you money, and which are bringing you irrelevant traffic.
  • Improve ad creatives
    Identify the ads that are improving your click-through-rates and see how different landing pages impact your conversions.
  • Filter by geographic location
    Is your geographic targeting too broad? Are their certain regions that are converting better than others? Find out with our geographic reports.

Available on the App Store

Download it now while the app is completely free! We’ve got some big plans for its next update– Stay tuned.

AdStage Aggressively Moves Forward With Additional Funding, Strategic Google Hires, And An iPad App Acquisition

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in Press Releases, Search

One of first investments by David Sacks and Jason Calacanis’ LAUNCH Fund, two key hires from Google’s AdWords team and acquiring the first AdWords reporting app for iOS to advance the AdStage Platform.

SAN FRANCISCO, June 21, 2013 — AdStage, the cross-network advertising platform originally revealed at LAUNCH Festival 2013, announced additional funding by LAUNCH Fund, two strategic hires from the Google AdWords team, and the acquisition of the first AdWords reporting app, Semply, for iPad, aggressively moving AdStage forward post launch. AdStage has granted exclusive beta access to over 1,300 brands and businesses, allowing them to run campaigns across Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook and LinkedIn from a single, intelligent interface. AdStage now adds $100,000 in additional seed funding from The LAUNCH Fund. The LAUNCH Fund was created on stage by David Sacks and Jason Calacanis in 2013. To date, AdStage has raised $1.53M in total funding. The capital will be used to develop the platform’s advanced features, expand the team and continue to bring the product to an ever growing market.

AdStage has hired two former members of Google’s AdWords team to further develop and market the platform. With the main focus on providing customers with best of breed advertising, having team members that have played key roles in these areas was vital to AdStage taking aggressive market share. Sam Mazaheri, joins AdStage as Director of Marketing and Product. Tom Chokel joins AdStage as a software engineer. After leaving Google, Chokel recently developed the Semply iPad App, the world’s first full-featured AdWords iOS app, which was acquired by AdStage.

“We’ve built AdStage to make online advertising easy and accessible to the masses. Our goal is to become the starting point for online advertising by enabling businesses to gain an instant presence across all networks,” says Sahil Jain, co-founder and CEO of AdStage. “We make sense of cryptic ad data to help advertisers optimize for their best placements. Online advertising is becoming a necessary acquisition method for businesses of all sizes. We’re making it easy by bringing everything under one roof.”

“Today, you have expensive agencies, barebones native interfaces and hard to use enterprise tools that are only accessible to top spenders. There are no simple and accessible self-serve tools to advertise across the growing number of networks. It’s a shame. We intend to fix that while also educating advertisers with the insights they need to make high-impact changes.”

AdStage also announced the acquisition of Semply, the world’s first full-featured Google AdWords reporting application for iPad. In a little over the first month of its launch, Semply reported over $110 Million in indexed ad spend and is used by over 1,500 advertisers to analyze AdWords campaigns on the go. The iOS app has been rebranded as “AdStage -Your Analytics Dashboard for Google AdWords” and is available in the App store. It will remain completely free as the company works on its next update.

AdStage will gradually open up the beta of its cross-network advertising app, AdStage Express, to more businesses, bringing the total number of businesses with access to over 1,300. The most recent release added advanced targeting support for search and social networks, previewable demo dashboards, and a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements. The AdStage team is now focusing on the product’s bold next iteration for a Summer release.

About AdStage

AdStage is a self-serve cross-network ad campaign creation, deployment and management platform. It allows you to build your campaigns once from a single interface, define your goals, deploy across multiple networks in search, social and mobile, and analyze results under one roof. AdStage optimizes your spend against your goals. Its pre-flight recommendation mechanism, ad staging, uses predictive algorithms to tell you where to advertise, how much to spend, and why before you spend a dollar. With investment of over $1.5M from Freestyle Capital, Quest VP, Dave McClure/500S, Digital Garage, LAUNCH Fund, XG Ventures,Mark Mullen and Stewart Alsop. To learn more about AdStage, visit www.adstage.io

About the LAUNCH Fund

The LAUNCH Fund was created in 2013 by Yammer founder David Sacks and LAUNCH Festival founder Jason Calacanis. It is a special purpose fund, investing only in the winners of the LAUNCH Festival, which is held yearly in San Francisco. Visit http://festival.launch.co for more information.

For more information on the AdStage app for iPad please visit: http://bit.ly/19jkJ8a

For logos and screenshots, please visit: https://www.adstage.io/press

Bing Search Share at All-Time High

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in PPC News, Search

comScore Explicit Core Search Share Report

ComScore today released its monthly comScore qSearch report of the US search landscape for April. Naturally, Google led the market in April, but its market share slipped 0.6 points to 66.5%. Bing improved 0.4 points to 17.3% market share and Yahoo! improved 0.2 points to 12.0%. This is a record high for Bing and, given that Yahoo! search is powered by Bing, nearly a third of searches in April were powered by Bing!

It’s more important than ever to include the Yahoo! Bing network in your PPC efforts.

It’s more important than ever to include the Yahoo! Bing Network in your PPC efforts to capture new customers where they search. In fact, nearly 50 million unique searchers in the US  can only be reached through ads on Yahoo! Bing Network and not through Google search. If you’re having a tough time launching optimized search campaigns on multiple ad networks, use AdStage Express to simultaneously build, deploy, and manage online ad campaigns across Google (including Ask & AOL), Bing (including Yahoo!), Facebook, and LinkedIn!

Sign Up For AdStage Beta