PPC Blog

Are You Inadvertently Sabotaging Your PPC Programs?

Of course, you want only the best for your PPC programs. After all, you put a lot of time, effort and thought into them, and you expect good results in return.

But sometimes, without being aware of it, we employ certain strategies and tactics—or don’t employ certain strategies and tactics—that doom our PPC programs to failure.

In the course of working with business owners and marketing teams across a wide variety of industries, I’ve identified four missteps that can seriously undermine PPC programs.

As a result of these missteps, PPC campaigns can fail spectacularly. Or, more likely, they’ll lurch, sputter and fade into oblivion. But all of them will leave your team wondering… “Where did we go wrong?”

In my latest Search Engine Land column, I identify four ways in which you can inadvertently set up your PPC program up for failure—and what you should do instead.

PPC programs

3 Underutilized Ad Extensions You Should Revisit

Most of us are familiar with commonly used AdWords extensions, such as sitelinks, call extensions and callouts. We know how they work and where they work best.

And because we’re familiar with them, we tend to go back to them again and again. Which is fine! If they’re working for your business, why stop?

However, there may be other extensions in AdWords that might also be useful. Extensions that you may not be aware of. Or that you’re aware of but haven’t considered. Or that you’ve considered but have written off.

ad extensions

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On the Fence About PPC Marketing? Here Are 5 Reasons to Jump Off

Ask some B2B businesses why they’re not running PPC marketing campaigns, and they’ll give you a whole list of reasons.

They’re not convinced it’s necessary. Or they worry about not getting a positive return. They claim that they can’t saddle their overworked marketing teams with another layer of responsibility. And they’ve heard horror stories about companies losing a bundle thanks to a single botched AdWords setting.

These B2B businesses are wise to proceed with caution. After all, when venturing into any new marketing channel, you need to do your due diligence.

But even with these reservations, the case for getting into PPC only grows stronger. And today, it’s a marketing channel that your B2B simply can no longer ignore.

PPC marketing

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Should Your B2B Business Give Up on the Google Search Network?

Let me say it up front: The Google Search Network may not be a good fit for all B2B businesses.

But before you and your marketing team give up on the Search Network entirely, there are some things you should explore first.

For starters, we sometimes find that failing B2B Search Network campaigns can be turned around with some simple adjustments—adjustments that seem obvious in retrospect but are easy to miss when you and your team are knee deep in the account.

Then, you have to consider exactly how expensive is “too expensive” when it comes to bidding on sought-after keywords.

And if you’re still not getting good results, then it might be time to consider some alternative approaches.

In my recent column in Search Engine Land, I expand on these ideas to prevent you and your marketing team from giving up too early on the Google Search Network.

Google Search Network

Creative GDN Strategies for Your B2B Business

As a boutique PPC marketing agency, we work with many B2B businesses. And while most B2B marketing teams are eager to grow their PPC campaigns on the Google Search Network, many are hesitant to wade into the Google Display Network (GDN).

Admittedly, the GDN has a mixed reputation. We’ve all heard horror stories of companies carelessly diving in and blowing a bundle with no tangible results.

But at the same time, there are good reasons for venturing into the GDN, such as:

  1. Lower click costs: Some of our clients pay $100 per click on the Search Network but only $2-3 per click on the GDN—and reach a lot more eyeballs in the process.
  2. Increase in brand presence: Having a good mix of GDN and remarketing campaigns can help with brand recognition and drive more targeted traffic to your website.
  3. Lift in Search Network performance: Time after time, we find that presence in the GDN results in mysterious improvements in Search Network performance.

GDN strategies

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FAQs About the GDN’s Responsive Ads

If you’ve been keeping up with the Google Display Network (GDN), then you’ve undoubtedly encountered AdWord’s new responsive ads.

As with any major AdWords change, our clients have had lots of questions about the new ad offering. And there seems to be a lot of confusion about the details.

Therefore, I’ll use this post to address some of the most common questions we’ve been asked.

responsive ad FAQs

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How B2B Marketing Resembles PPC Marketing in the Higher Education Vertical

Your marketing team is undoubtedly well versed in the differences between B2B and B2C marketing. As we’ve all learned, the B2B sales process is more complex than B2C, with a longer conversion path. Purchase decisions take longer and require group consensus. And after the sale concludes, the relationship between buyer and seller continues through product or service implementation and delivery. And in B2B, there’s always the tantalizing possibility of large future sales.

But every rule has its exceptions—and this is where PPC marketing in the higher education vertical gets interesting.

Because in many ways, PPC marketing for universities and colleges has more in common with B2B marketing than B2C—even though the target is individual consumers, not businesses.

Why does this matter? Because understanding the similarities and differences between B2B marketing and PPC marketing in the post-secondary education vertical can provide helpful insights for your own marketing efforts.

In my recent Search Engine Land column, I describe these B2B and PPC similarities and differences and give tips on how to leverage them. I invite you to take a look!

PPC marketing in higher education

3 Embarrassing PPC Text Ad Mistakes—And How to Prevent Them

We’ve all been there. You’re doing some testing and you come across an error in your live PPC text ad. Maybe it has a typo. Maybe one of the ad extensions is out of date. Or maybe the extensions don’t fit with the headline and body.

Ugh!

Fortunately, you can take steps to minimize the chance of these embarrassing errors occurring. And thank goodness! Because few other aspects of your business are as visible to the world as text ads.

PPC text ad mistake

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Why You Should Use AdWords Labels in Your PPC Account

As a PPC agency, we’re accustomed to working with all kinds clients, from small family owned businesses to much, much larger international businesses. The biggest challenge for us, and for any PPC agency, is keeping on top of the very largest of these accounts. Some of them run hundreds of campaigns and, if you don’t know what you’re doing, these accounts can quickly get away from you.

In a recent blog post, I talked about some of the tools and strategies we use to manage these “monster” PPC accounts.

Only after that post went live did I realize I’d left out one of the most effective tools we use for keeping big accounts under control.

And that tool is AdWords labels.

AdWords labels

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When Google Automates PPC Branding and Messaging—Should We Worry?

If your clients are like ours, they take branding and messaging seriously. They dedicate a great deal of thought to the characteristics, values and attributes they want to communicate to their audience.

And as their trusted PPC agency, we work hard to make sure that our clients’ branding and messaging decisions are reflected in their paid search advertising.

Which is why two recent Google AdWords initiatives have me worried:

  1. Responsive ads
  1. “Ads by AdWords.”

Both of these initiatives continue Google’s slow march to automating the ad creation process—a march that circumvents the careful control of branding and messaging that our clients rightfully insist on.

Learn more about Google’s troubling move into branding and messaging in my recent Search Engine Land column.

PPC branding

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Matt Grimm, Ecommerce Director at Red Star Traders

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