PPC Blog

PPC Functions and Tools We’re Grateful for in 2019

Once again, Thanksgiving is quickly approaching.

And in keeping with tradition, my team and I like to use Thanksgiving as an occasion to reflect and give thanks for the many PPC functions and tools that made our jobs easier this year.

Because when we can complete our work more easily, thoroughly and efficiently, it helps us deliver better results for our clients.

So without further ado, read on to see what we’re grateful for this past year. (And if you’re not using these functions or tools yourself, it might be time to give them a try.)

PPC functions and tools

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Should You Choose a Generalist or Specialist Marketing Agency?

When you decide to hire an outside marketing agency – either because you want to outsource your marketing entirely or supplement your existing in-house team – you’ll have a lot of decisions to make.

And one of the biggest will be whether to hire a generalist or specialist agency.

Let’s start by defining our terms: a generalist marketing agency is one that handles all kinds of marketing. These may include (but not be limited to):

  • Content creation and strategy
  • Social media management
  • SEO
  • SEM
  • Email marketing
  • Analytics
  • Media buying
  • Affiliate marketing.

A specialist agency, in contrast, will focus on only one of those channels. So they will do only SEO or only email marketing, for example.

So which should you choose?

Generalist or specialist marketing agency

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Brand Awareness is Your Insurance Policy Against Dirty Tricks in PPC

The paid search community was recently caught up in a flurry of tweets on the topic of a certain “dirty trick.”

The CEO of Basecamp, Jason Fried, complained that Google Ads allows competitors to bid on a company’s branded keywords (including his own). He claims that the practice is cowardly and nasty — and implied that it’s a dirty trick.

Fried is right in that Google does allow competitors to trigger ads with protected brand keywords. However, Google doesn’t allow advertisers to display competitors’ protected marks. (Hat tip to Marty Weintraub for the clear explanation.)

Dirty tricks in PPC

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Don’t Get Entangled in These PPC Snags!

Your PPC campaigns might be running perfectly fine right now.

But someday, you might suddenly find yourself entangled in something you didn’t anticipate.

You’ll have to struggle to free yourself before you lose sight of your goals – or your results sink.

Snags can happen anytime in your PPC programs.

You’re most susceptible to these snags when you’re new to paid search advertising.

When you know where the snags are hiding, you can take proactive steps to avoid them.

This article will help clear the PPC waters for you.

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5 Ways to Build Your Brand With Google Ads

To my delight, more and more businesses are grasping the value of building their brand via Google Ads.

For too long, the emphasis has been on performance (“How many sales are we getting? How many leads?”) while ignoring the fact that brand building is a critical contributing factor to performance success.

Brand building is an investment in your company. Because, everything else being equal, prospective customers are more likely to buy a product or service from a brand that they know (or have at least heard of) as opposed to a brand they don’t know at all.

However, brand awareness doesn’t happen on its own. You need to put some of your budget behind it.

5 ways to build your brand with Google Ads

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SEO vs. PPC: A Few Forgotten Truths

For years, people in this industry debated the merits of paid search advertising versus organic search marketing.

Which was better?

Which one should you put your resources into?

Honestly, I thought we’d settled this argument a long time ago:

You need both!

But recently, the topic came up again amongst some of my clients.

I can see why. If you weren’t part of the original discussion, this conclusion might not seem so obvious.

Therefore, allow me to use this article to express a few forgotten truths in the SEO versus PPC debate.

SEO vs PPC

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Brand Versus Non-Brand Goals in PPC Campaigns

Many of my clients have questions about their PPC program goals.

Should they only set goals that are directly related to leads and sales?

Or should they also set goals that are related to brand building?

And if they’re doing well with leads and sales, wouldn’t it make sense to put all of their focus there?

Not necessarily.

When you consider the health of your PPC program (and your business overall), you need to take a balanced approach.

And to explain what I mean, I like to use financial portfolio management as a metaphor.

Brand Versus Non-Brand Goals in PPC Campaigns

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8 Tips for More Effective Video Ads

Video advertising continues to grow in popularity. And indicators are that it still hasn’t reached saturation point.

According to some studies, 87% of businesses use video as a marketing tool – up from 81% in 2018!

But still, some advertisers hesitate. They worry about investing in video ads and then not getting the results they want.

They have a right to worry. It’s entirely possible to create a “bad” video ad (i.e., an ad that fails to support your marketing objectives). So you need to do your homework.

While every business is different, there are some rules of thumb you can use to make your video ads better. Here are some of them:

video ads

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Responsive Search Ads: They’re Not What You Think

When Google rolled out responsive search ads in 2018, they were met with skepticism and resistance by many PPC managers.

Responsive search ads were another instance of Google applying machine learning to the paid search management process — and this made some people nervous.

After all, many managers had had less than great experiences with Google’s other automated tools. And they worried that this tool wouldn’t be any different.

At Group Twenty Seven, we shared these concerns.

These concerns were confirmed when we tested responsive search ads and didn’t get the results we were hoping for.

But a couple of weeks ago, Google invited the Group Twenty Seven team to a customized training event, and responsive search ads were part of the discussion.

And in light of what we learned, we’ve started to reassess this ad type.

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What to Expect From Your New PPC Agency

If you’ve never worked with a PPC agency before, you might wonder what to expect.

What questions will they ask? What will they want you to do?

And what can you do to make the relationship go more smoothly?

As the manager of a PPC agency, I like to think I have some insights into the client-agency relationship.

Here are six things you can expect from your new PPC agency.

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“Working with Group Twenty Seven has been tremendously valuable for our PPC goals. They are constantly bringing fresh ideas to the table and are focused on increasing our sales. The personal touch and flexibility they provide has made working with them not only a great experience, but also our ROI continues to grow. I have and will continue to refer the talented Group Twenty Seven!”

Matt Grimm, Ecommerce Director at Red Star Traders

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