Amazing Paid Search Tactics & Tools – SMX Advanced 2012

June 6, 2012
By Michelle Lowery in Internet Marketing Conferences

Amazing Paid Search Tactics & Tools - SMX Advanced 2012Okay, I’m getting a little out of my comfort zone here. We thought it would be interesting to cover a paid search session, although Outspoken Media doesn’t do paid search. I imagine I’m going to be hearing a lot of new terms, and I’ll do my best to keep up with these guys because it’s an amazing group of speakers: Brad Geddes, Ping Jen, Frank Kochenash, and Dan Sundgren, with Matt Van Wagner moderating. They’ve got some great tips for PPC, and some insights on what’s coming down the pike. Get ready to improve your campaigns!

Dan starts things off with a slide talking about El Guapo’s plethora of keywords. Nice.

It’s not one size fits all. What you should look at are two scenarios. One is new keywords; the other is expanding your current set. That’s how I look at it. Think about the details of your business. How do you map that business in the constructs of AdWords to do the long tail right?


Have a name for your strategy. Set up dedicated boxes with tons of RAM.

Get Excel going. The big hammer we all love and adore. You can build a million-row Excel sheet and concatenate it. You can also use the Bing desktop tool. It’s great. There’s a link in here about how to concatenate.

DKI and Landing Pages

DKI is your best friend. You should absolutely DKI. Think it through, and make sure your default copy is strong. It’s critical. Then drop your customer exactly where they need to be with the long tail. It can be a lot of work, but their quality score will go up, so it’s crucial.

Desktop Tools and APIs

If you have a technical marketing manager on your team in-house, fantastic. Or maybe you can do it yourself. You can do this before figuring out Googles APIs. Unless you have unlimited API access, Google can make it difficult.

Test the GDN & BCN

Isolate your keywords into their own campaigns. Remember that Google’s ad grouping means you have to look at it a little differently. The other thing is watch your placements and sites.

Those search query logs are going to be critical.

Dan also had a lot of information about Google AdWords account limits, so grab his slides if you can.

Next up is Brad to talk about Demystifying Quality Score.

Google’s changing how Rotate works. Maintain control: Opt out of Rotate changes here:

I’m going to talk about pivot tables. They’re not scary, they’re easy to use. Best way to learn how to use them is to read the Microsoft help files. But use the ’07 help files, not ’10.

Google makes money on impressions. If an account has the majority of its impressions at a Quality Score lower than 7, it’s probably hurting you. If you have bad accounts, don’t go for the long tail yet.

Where to Start: Spend & QS

Use a pivot table to find where to up your spend. There’s one big issue with pivot tables—they just give you averages of data, and everyone knows averages lie.

Normalizing Quality Score

Make another column in your pivot table for QS*impressions. You can also normalize your Quality Score by Ad Group.

Another analysis you an do, The first will give you spend or lower CPCs. But if you have a lot of low Quality Scores, they’re not showing, All keywords below a 3 QS is where you can start improving your Quality Score.

If campaign IS high and loss due to rank; sort by IS by Ad Group.

Sevens are great if you’re in retail. If you’re in finance, mortgages, fives are great, fours are average, so there are industries that break the rules. If you go into your Ad Groups, and your scores are 3s and 4s, but your positions are 1s and 2s, is your ad above the organics? Google only puts ads above the organics that break a certain threshold.

Here’s the problem. Google just changed how they show ranges. The steps are the same; the analysis is slightly different. In the old days, if you had a band landing page, you wern’t above a 3, period. But now they don’t tell you what the average ranges. You need to put more thought into what’s going on.

Brad goes into some great detail here about quality scores, averages, CTR, landing pages, keywords, and fixes with screenshots on his slides. You’ll want to check out his slide deck for all those details and screenshots.

Dramatically Different Ad Copy Testing

Relevance is Google’s way of trying to put CTR to semantics. You can do incremental ads, try a different tagline or something, try a different angle, see what makes a difference.

Estimated Ranges

Relevance has really big ranges, but landing pages isn’t quite as big. Google needs to tweak this a little to make it more even.

How Much Time Should You Spend?

If you see that your QS are below 5s, spend time on QS. You need to. If the majority of your impressions are 7 or higher, don’t obsess over it. Have some fun with it. If most of your stuff is at a high QS, don’t spend time on it. You have other things to do.

Next is Ping. He’s going to talk about creating a profitable PPC campaign.

It’s pretty straightforward. It’s about good volume, and good ROI. You have a landing page, a keyword, and insight into what is a good keyword. You have to think about the landing page first, not just the keyword. If you don’t have it right, it won’t convert. You have to use the right keyword to find the right audience.

How AdCenter Brings Searchers and Advertisers Together

From an AdCenter perspective, we look at the search user’s intent, and whether your landing page can help the user.

Increase Volume – Tactics

I always get this question: If I do this, will it affect my Google Quality Score? I don’t know, but it will affect your campaign. I talk about ad copy first. Your ad copy has to articulate your selling points. Make sure you know how to hit your audience’s weak spots, or the competition will just surpass you.

Sometimes when people search, they want to understand what they’re searching for first.

Two things to keep in mind: Avoid negative keyword conflicts, and increase the volume of your keyword.

In AdCenter, you can generate a negative KW conflicts report. It’s very effective. I don’t think many people are aware of this report yet.

Now let’s talk about ad copy. AdCenter is already in the process of providing a testing function, but we don’t provide an expiration date of how long you can use A/B testing.

Ping is turning on his camera to take a vote and snap a photo: Who thinks they should provide an expiration date for A/B testing? He says it’s called “help me to help you.”

Now, how to increase your ROI. It’s all about the value of your traffic. So what can you do? From an ad copy perspective, you need to be very specific. If you search “diabetic drug” right now, you’re going to get results for humans, dogs, cats, everything. It’s because those drugs are so profitable, they go for the broad match. They don’t care about being specific.

You can increase your ROI using our tools, too. In terms of keywords, when should you use a broad match modifier or a negative keyword? First, figure out what group of people you want to target.

How to Achieve the Ultimate Success

  • say what you do
  • do what you say
  • provide a positive experience
  • provide good keyword relevance
  • and two more things I don’t catch before he flips the slide, but they were good, positive things!

Put it all together, and your customer will come back to you.

Frank’s up next. He’s going to talk about Google Product Listing Ads (PLA). These are the product ads that show up in the upper right hand corner. They’re driven from the product feed into the Google merchant center.

That’s how it is now, but it’s about to change and become Google Shopping. The new listings will show one product with multiple purchase options.

Why we care: PLA is a significant growth channel. At the end of the third quarter last year, we started seeing a lot of performance and reach. In 2012, there’s some variation, but it’s pushing the upper teens to 20%.

Product vs. Keyword Targeting/Bidding

  • product targeting automatically determines which products to show based on how close the content of a product listing in your GMC feed matches the search intent of the user
  • in PLA, you bid on products and groups of products, not on keywords


Optimize your feed content for maximum relevance and performance.

Increase relevance and performance of product listings

  • include search terms in title and description
  • ensure titles are structured for performance and relevance
  • align product and all its attributes to the search terms and queries you want to appear for (i.e., to help Google determine how to best match your products to user intent)

Data Quality is King

  • update your feed every time prices change
  • update your feed every time availability changes
  • ensure no dead links
  • ensure landing pages match products advertiser
  • monitor and address trademark and other policy violations and errors

Get Granular

Use the flexibility of Adwords groupings/labels for unlimited targeting options. Use promotions, optimize like ad copy.

Implement Negative Matching

Apply Tried and True Paid Search Techniques

Leverage Proven Paid Search Tactics for PLA

Frank also provided a big slide of bonus information. He says now is the time to start testing before the shift to Google Shopping occurs, probably in October.

And just like that, SMX Advanced is over. Well, not completely over because there’s still the SEOmoz party tonight, and most of the Outspoken Media team will be there! Thank you to everyone for reading our coverage, for sharing it, RTing it, and for helping us to provide value to the industry and community we love so much. If you have anything to add to any of this coverage, feel free to jump into the comments. We hope to see you all again next year, or even sooner at PubCon!

Get all the SMX Advanced 2012 coverage here!


(Link)Build a Relationship in 15 Minutes a Day

on Nov 16 by Amanda King

Perhaps the newest buzzword in SEO is “relationship building.” It’s not about link building anymore-it’s about the relationship. And while…

Online Marketing
Online Marketing

10 Ways To Use Recycled Content

on Jul 23 by Lisa Barone

As we’ve previously covered, remarkable content is dying. It’s dying and in its place we’re seeing content farms sprout up…

Internet Marketing Conferences
Internet Marketing Conferences

Keynote Conversation: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at SMX

on Mar 2 by Lisa Barone

Good morning, SANTA CLARA! Sorry, I’m super hyped. So hyped that I was waiting outside the keynote room at 7:45am…

^Back to Top