CNN News Comments

CNN Article + Comments

Although I won’t reveal my perspective on her speach, as this blog is not a poltical one…it’s disheartening to see the array of ridiculous comments, presumably from those who feel themselves to be “knowledgable” about current events and politics…

Oh God when will she go away? I didn’t know there was a coloring book for economics 101 for her handlers to try to explain it to her. If she’s the best the GOP’s got, you folks are in serious trouble.

Did she even take an Econ 101 class?

Economics 101????? Please don’t tell me this woman is talking about college courses now! If anything she needs to go back to elementary school history and english, not to mention Speech and Communications 100. She’s so useless, she makes Bush look bright.

Her central point was as follows:

“Since when can you get out of huge national debt by creating trillions of dollars of new debt?” Palin asked. “It all really is so backwards and skewed as to sound like absolute nonsense when some of this economic policy is explained.”

“We need to be aware of the creation of a fearful population, and fearful lawmakers, being led to believe that big government is the answer, to bail out the private sector, because then government gets to get in there and control it,” she said. “And mark my words, this is going to be next, I fear, bail out next debt-ridden states. Then government gets to get in there and control the people.”

“Some in Washington would approach our economic woes in ways that absolutely defy Economics 101, and they fly in the face of principles, providing opportunity for industrious Americans to succeed or to fail on their own accord,” she said. “Those principles it makes you wonder what the heck some in Washington are trying to accomplish here.”

Again, you’ll never know my perspective, but a fair point is raised (as is the case in most speeches or news articles)…instead of debate, ad hominem attacks follow with routine predictability. The lack of crticial thinking and unity is terrible…c’mon guys! 

Jeff

Also Some useful info regarding the new AdWords interface hotkeys (help you get around that left to right scroll!): As seen in Jonathan Volk’s blog

Global navigation
g then o: Go to All Online Campaigns
g then c: Go to Campaigns tab
g then r: Go to Ad groups tab
g then k: Go to Keywords tab
g then n: Go to Networks tab
g then a: Go to Ads tab
g then s: Go to Settings tab

Table navigation and actions
j/k: Next/previous row in the primary data table
x: Select current row (Use Shift + x for multiple rows)
e: Edit
p: Pause
n: Enable
d: Delete
l: Download

Editing ad groups and keywords:
e: Edit selected rows
Ctrl + Arrows: Move between editable fields
Ctrl + s: Save changes
Esc: Cancel edit mode

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Posted in Uncategorized

Gmail Word of the Day Turned Credit Report Offer?

credit report word of the day

And it’s linking to:
http://ads.pheedo.com/click.phdo?s=f2c7d14a3680c923d47515e2941a9f58&p=4

which redirects to:

http://www.freecreditreport.com/pm/default.aspx?PageTypeID=HomePage82&red=1

Good Job!

Posted in Uncategorized

New AdWords Interface

First of all, good job Google! Some of the features now available to beta testers of the new AdWords interface are flat out awesome. Click on the link above to attempt to join the beta test. Here are a few key features which I find rather impressive and time saving:

  • Say bye bye to the placement performance report for your content campaigns. When viewing adgroups running on the content network, there’s a new tab called “Networks”, which upon clicking it delivers a list of sites where your ad automatically appeared. At this point you can immediately optimize and even check certain placements to be managed manually by you (bid more since it works really well).
  • There’s a chart for every possible campaign/adgroup/keyword detail view.  You can view 2 variables with time on the x axis even down to the keyword level. Prior to this innovation you had to get the CSV and get your “chart” on in Excel…or use the Google Analytics integration if you’ve set it up.
  • You might be thinking to yourself…wow, this is enough..what else could they have done? Well, this is big and if I had a drum I’d be doing a drumroll — the search query report is now available in the adgroup detail view by simply checking off a keyword and selecting “Show Query Report” up top under the graph (sorry, no screenshots today!).

Beyond that…there’s probably even more and in general it’s very slick. These guys are too smart over there and we should be thankful they’ve done such a good job with the product. Now…if those Yahoo guys/gals could just release a bulk editor — I’m not holding my breath. Videos below though.

Update – editing bids can be done in almost real time by simply clicking on the max CPC in any view where adgroup/keyword max CPC is a visually available attribute…good stuff!

Also, you no longer need to rely on the campaign > adgroup > keywords to view keywords. Now you can broadly view all keywords and filter by nearly any performance constraint all in one pane across multiple campaigns and agroups…better view of the short tail indeed! Same with ads…

Cheers,

Jeff

Posted in Google, ppc bulk edit, ppc tools

NYT.com AdWords Adventure – Luxury Cruise to Mars

Look at pic – enough said. nyt-wow1

Landing page http://www.nytimes.com/?gclid=CKfDpvf4rpcCFQEoGgodmkvCjw

To think I missed the NASA missions…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Paid Search Management Techniques | Excel

Commonly one may need to generate lists of keyword combinations which all share a similar root, possibly a location or service which may be modified by monetary terms, a service in the case of a location root or a regional service modified by budget, “ppc consultant new york” is essentially a “specialty + service + region” but “affordable paid search consultant nyc” would be a “budget + specialty + service + location” keyword.

In any event, in the interest of time I’ll cut to the chase and present the technique. Our objective is to:

a) easily generate keyword lists without using any formulas

b) generate the corresponding tracking URLs if necessary.

The tools required are Microsoft Excel and a free Add-In, ASAP Utilities (download page)

The method – let’s assume we’re beginning with a list of cities.

keyword list of cities in excel

Forgive the somewhat contrived nature of what follows but let’s pretend I’m advertising my PPC consulting activities in a popular paid search engine and I’m hoping that I can scrap up some interest through geo targeted (not campaign setting wise) keyword phrases.

{New York} + PPC Consultant

{New York} + Paid Search Company

{New York} + AdWords Management Firm

First review the location from which you’ll be accessing the ASAP Utilities tool for this exercise.

paid search consulting keyword list

Once I’ve chosen the selected option under, “Text” a dialog box prompts you to enter some data and I will in accordance with my paid search consulting keyword objectives. Please follow the arrows clockwise for a chain of causation if you’re not sure what’s going on.

paid search management keywords being created

And the final result in text.

New York paid search firm
Ne York City paid search firm
Manhattan paid search firm
Queens paid search firm
NYC paid search firm
Long Island paid search firm
Suffolk County paid search firm
Albany paid search firm
New Jersey paid search firm
NJ paid search firm
Connecticut paid search firm
CT paid search firm
NY paid search firm

This example is has been subject to extreme simplification so in case you’re not convinced of this tool’s usefulness I’ll take another screen shot with a more advanced application of the tool. Once you have your keywords you need to tag them presumably.

tagging ppc consulting keywords

The end result is:

last result of URL manipulation

So there’s the URL, you’re inserting tracking parameters after it and you’re ready to upload. Hopefully you’ve found this useful and are now a more efficient individual!

Jeff

jeffjames.vib@gmail.com | http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffjames

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AdWords Conversion Optimizer – Early Results

Some experimentation with Google’s Conversion Optimizer has yielded positive results. 4 days into the experiment I’ve seen a significant increase in CTR and a 10-15% lower CPA. The conversion event is a lead and the conversion scenario across all campaign data is very much a homogeneous one. Many of the keywords are broad match geo targeted keywords (meaning keyword + location, the campaign is set to the entire United States) with essentially the same root and I’m using dynamic keyword insertion liberally in the title of the ads. Finally, the conversion event, if it happens will happen during the visitor session 9/10 times.

I had been using a tiered approach to CPA management with Omniture SearchCenter for the campaign. The rule formerly in use was roughly:

Assuming a CPA tolerance of $10 (for the sake of illustration)

  • If CPA = $10, do nothing.
  • If CPA {10 , 12} reduce max CPC by $.10
  • If CPA {12 , 14} reduce max CPC by $.25
  • If CPA {8, 10} increase max CPC by $.10
  • If CPA {6, 8} increase max CPC by $.25

So in general, given that this evaluation is done at the keyword level the CPA should trend to the middle value over time and hover around it. It is naive in some respects because it has no contemplative ability beyond analyzing a ratio of 2 data points over the course of N days. It may not be making statistically significant decisions and the long tail of keywords which may only accrue 1 to 2 clicks per interval may never see any meaningful adjustments.

The Google Conversion Optimizer requires your campaign to have over 200 conversions over the past 30 days which in some cases is beyond the reach of an advertiser. For any high volume lead gen program this should be a visible option in the AdWords interface by now. Obviously if you don’t have conversion tracking enabled this isn’t an option.

As far as bidding parameters are concerned – the advertiser can specify CPA at the adgroup level. When setting the CPA values initially it will give you its prediction (CPA) and if you bid below it you’ll be warned that traffic may decline. I bid about 25% lower than their recommendation and I’ve seen no decline in traffic thus far.

As far as what the fundamental difference between rules based bid management and the conversion optimizer might be – well, it could be quite large. Beyond simply computing basic conversion math I suppose that the following statement by Google expresses adequately (how) excess value may accrue to the adopting advertiser:

“It uses the optimal CPC bid for her ad in each auction, thereby working to keep her average cost per conversion below her CPA bid.

Using real-time performance data allows the Conversion Optimizer to adjust Kim’s bids for better performance than she’d get with manual bidding alone. Also, because the Conversion Optimizer chooses a new CPC bid for each auction, Kim only spends money on the sites and search queries where her ads are likely to get conversions.”

Hopefully I’ll have continued success with the campaign optimizer. I suspect that within 24 to 36 months , the same technology will be available at a much lower conversion volume entry point depending on how predictive and sophisticated Google’s algorithms become as they continue analyzing trials using the current minimum level of conversion data. This is also a very elementary strategic consideration as the more Google can help automate advertiser success, the more they will be able to reduce revenue volatility and advertiser turnover. I wonder if they’ll ever release a landing page generator for advertisers…

Jeff

supporting data and FAQshere

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Posted in google conversion optimizer

Rules Based Bid Management – AdWords Editor

For those of you managing PPC campaigns who may not have access to a rules based keyword bid management solution like SearchCenter, Index Tools or Keyword Max – or any other commercial application you can still be the beneficiary of a fairly robust rules based bidding solution.

In the following situations, AdWords editor will be a reasonably good alternative to the manual tracking and adjustment of keywords.

a) Your chief PPC success metric is either cost per sale, or cost per lead – or any other page view generating action. Google AdWords doesn’t process revenue, thus the only data in AdWords editor is “cost/conversion”.

b) You have AdWords editor – download here if you need it.

Our point of departure once the above conditions are satisfied will be something called a “custom view” which lets you do just what it says. Here’s a screen shot. It’s also called “advanced search”.

adwords editor image

After selecting the parameters for the keywords whose bids you wish to manage, you should select some performance criteria. If you want to filter so that all you have in your editing pane is keywords that have 20 clicks and no conversions, or > 20 clicks and 1 conversion, or impressions < 5 and average position less than 6, or clicks in the top 10% of all clicks and conversions DNE (do not exist). You get the idea. You can generate many layers of keyword classes with 2 performance selections. You can save up to 10 custom searches as well, which is useful.

Now – the next consideration is after you’ve defined your performance cohorts, how do you apply the bid changes. Let’s say you want to increase bids globally for all keywords that have had a cost/conversion above/below some absolute $ value over the past 7 days by 10%.

a) select the date range on top of adwords editor so that “last 7 days” are showing.

b) wait for the data to load (it can be a little sticky, make sure you’re freshly logged in).

c) set the custom view

d) once you’re confident the custom view is set and correct, go to the bottom of the editing pane and click on advanced bid changes:

advanced bid changes, adwords editor dialog box

Make the changes you’d like, while setting max CPC ceilings or min CPC floors to ensure that your global changes never push the keyword MAX CPC beyond a level you’re comfortable with.

That’s essentially all there is to it. Keep in mind if you have 10k + keywords you need to be patient with the custom view to set. Sometimes the date range won’t click so just log out, long back in and try again immediately. Another useful feature is sorting all of your keywords by minimum CPC and possibly deleting anything with a $.40 + minimum as it may have a negative impact of better quality keywords in the AdGroup.

Also – many advertisers use ROAS (return on ad spend) as their chief success metric). You can easily have a CPA 2x higher, and a ROAS 3x higher. SO…there isn’t a perfect correlation between cost per sale and return on adspend thus rendering this tactic somewhat ineffective. It’s still a great keyword editing tool and with a little ingenuity a combo of Google Analytics + AdWords Editor is a winning combo for most online merchants.

Jeff

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Posted in adwords editor, rules based bid management
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