Joshua Schafernak is a SEM/PPC Analyst at Dealer Product Services. Before working at DPS, Joshua spent several years as a SEM/Web Content Specialist. In his personal life, Joshua enjoys video games, science fiction/fantasy, graphic novels, comedy, music, weightlifting, creative writing and vegetarian cooking.

Tips to Pass Google AdWords and Bing Ads Certifications

Multiple Choice

Google AdWords and Bing Ads are very effective tools in achieving a number of business advertising goals, but marketers must first become proficient in how to properly use them in order to reap the benefits. Luckily, both Google and Bing offer free online training and certification programs for their respective advertising platforms.

Having passed both the Google AdWords Certification and Bing Ads Accredited Professional program, I have compiled some pre-exam tips to help you get certified! Continue reading Tips to Pass Google AdWords and Bing Ads Certifications

‘Impressions’ on Adwords Desktop Editor 11

Adwords Desktop Editor 11

Google recently released AdWords Desktop Editor 11, the newest version of their desktop campaign editing interface.

For those unfamiliar with the Adwords desktop editor, it is a very useful free interface that allows adwords marketers to make bulk account changes, work offline and do just about everything you can do in the online adwords interface.  However, some tasks are easier to accomplish in the desktop editor than they are online. For example, I’ve always found the desktop editor is better for making any sort of batch changes, importing/exporting things from accounts or restructuring an account layout. Bing Ads also has a similar desktop editor. Continue reading ‘Impressions’ on Adwords Desktop Editor 11

Bing Ads Restoring Their Look & Feel

bing-ads

Ahh…finally…Bing is listening to its users and moving to restore their interface as announced last week. As we learned earlier this year at Bing Ads Connect, this is in result of Bing starting to collaborate and listen to Agencies.

This update will feature:

  • Auto-tagging campaigns to more accurately pull data into Google Analytics
  • Streamlined Billing Process with online insertion orders
  • A new performance indicator tool (Top Mover feature) that will let users quickly analyze ad performance
  • Improved interface with simplified navigation helping improve work flow

This new update will start rolling out this week for some users. Here is a quick look at the before and after screenshots of the new Bing Ads design:

Continue reading Bing Ads Restoring Their Look & Feel

The Pros and Cons of Ad Position One

Google Ad Position Graphic

One word that comes up a lot in the world of SEM is optimization. Heck, “optimization” is the “O” in SEO. From a PPC Analyst standpoint, I strive to achieve optimal results for my clients paid search accounts. While I love to see my clients ads at the top of paid search results, sometimes achieving an average position of one isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, different campaigns have different objectives and there is variance from industry to industry. Truth be told, an average position of one is not always the most cost-effective position and there are other things to consider.

Search metrics often affect each other to form an ecosystem. For example, ad position has an effect on click-through rate (CTR). If an ad is position six, it’s generally going to have a lower CTR than an ad in positions one through five, regardless of how compelling and relevant the ad. Most people won’t even read six ads before clicking. Some people might click on the top ad assuming it’s the relevant ad without more than a glance.

Continue reading The Pros and Cons of Ad Position One

Welcome to the Jungle Vol. 4 – Surviving the Digital Marketing Jungle

Entering The Jungle Article

My last three weeks have been pretty busy. Surviving the digital jungle can be difficult when you’re coming from another industry. Digital marketing is a fast-paced and ever-changing environment that demands a high level of motivation and drive, naturally pushing me to go farther, do better, and learn more. Posting for social accounts and optimizing PPC accounts, and studying for the Google and Bing certifications has kept my day-to-day plate quite full. Also, in this time, I have officially become a Bing Ads Accredited Professional!

There have been three main areas in which I have devoted greater amounts of time in order to get the very best results – social media posts and PPC campaign optimization.

Continue reading Welcome to the Jungle Vol. 4 – Surviving the Digital Marketing Jungle

Taking Advantage of Seasonality in PPC

Seasons

Seasonality affects most businesses, hence it’s important for paid search marketers to keep seasonality in mind when planning PPC strategies and budgeting.  Below are some ways to take advantage of seasonality when planning a campaign:

  • Bid on relevant seasonal keywords
  • Write seasonal ad copy
  • Think about how seasonal weather affects your campaigns
  • Use industry trends/historical data when planning campaign strategy

Bidding on relevant holiday keywords and writing holiday specific ad copy can be a great way for some businesses to take advantage of seasonality. A flower company running ads in early February would likely see higher CTRs by creating Valentine’s Day-specific ad copy than they would if they just ran broad flower related ads. Keep in mind that relevant and timely ads resonate with consumers.

Continue reading Taking Advantage of Seasonality in PPC

Updated Adwords Traffic Estimator still leaves much to be desired

Traffic-Estimator

The Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tool was recently updated. While the keyword planner has several functions, the traffic estimator is the real bread and butter of the Keyword Planner. Unfortunately, the traffic estimator has let me down in the past with its highly inaccurate estimates. Since the keyword planner was recently updated, I decided to give the traffic estimator another chance and it appears to be more accurate at predicting impressions and some of the new features are a step in the right direction. However, the traffic estimator is still far from perfect.

The most important function of the traffic estimator is its ability to estimate traffic. Despite the fact that it’s just an estimator, I do expect a certain level of accuracy.  Fortunately, the estimator is much improved at predicting how many impressions broadmatch keywords will receive. While the tool is good at estimating impressions, I don’t think it’s safe to put much weight in the tool’s ability to estimate clicks, CTR, average position, etc. Those KPIs will be highly dependent on how you set up the campaign, your bidding strategy, how compelling your ad copy is compared to your competitors, etc.
Continue reading Updated Adwords Traffic Estimator still leaves much to be desired

Embrace the negative

NegMatchtypes

How Negative Keyword Lists and Matchtypes can make your PPC life easier

Avoiding wasted impressions and clicks is an important part of PPC strategy. Irrelevant traffic can drain your PPC budget and increase bounce rates while decreasing CTRs. Creating a robust negative keyword list for campaigns (or even adgroups) aids paid search advertisers in their struggle to avoid the dreaded irrelevant traffic. Adding negative keywords to your campaigns allows you to use phrase, broad and modified broad match keywords more liberally while avoiding a lot of irrelevant traffic.

When first creating a PPC campaign, it can be difficult to come up with a truly exhaustive list of negative keywords to add. There are negative keyword tools around the web that can help you gauge what types of searches a keyword might trigger. Once your campaign starts getting some traffic, it’s a great idea to check your search terms report to see what queries are leading to clicks on your ads.
Continue reading Embrace the negative

Gorilla PPC Warfare – How To Pull Competitive Insights

Gorilla WarfareIt’s a jungle out there and the key to survival is making sure you are swinging high in the branches of search results. Guaranteeing that your dealership is being competitive in the automotive jungle is crucial to PPC campaign success. Fortunately, Google has a tool for this called the Auction Insights Report.

This post is going to give a step-by-step guide to understanding these reports and how any Grease Monkey out there can pull them.

This wonderful tool provides the ability to take a deep dive analysis of how you are comparing to your direct competitors in market for the same auctions you are in. With this report, dealerships can see how often their ads rank and how their share of total possible impressions compares with their competitors. We utilize these reports to make informed business decisions on bids, budgets and keyword choices to show where we are winning and even losing at the campaign, ad group and keyword level. These reports will give any dealership or client the opportunity to get ahead of the pack.

Continue reading Gorilla PPC Warfare – How To Pull Competitive Insights