PPC Blog

Scaling Back Your PPC Program? Here’s What You Need to Consider

It’s not uncommon for businesses to get excited about promoting new products or services through paid search advertising.

But sometimes, they forget they’ll need to either increase their advertising budget for this new endeavor – or re-allocate some of their existing budget.

Unfortunately, when you shift marketing budget from one area to another, you trigger a set of trade-offs.

And so, these businesses have to make some tough decisions. We had this happen recently with a client.

And today, I’ll use it as an example of some of the trade-offs you have to make when dedicating some of your existing budget to a new product launch.

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The Secret Sauce of PPC Success? Thinking Longer-Term

It’s not uncommon for clients to offer us additional PPC budget a few weeks before the end of a fiscal quarter.

They do their accounting and find they have some unused budget. So they offer it to us — but only if we can use it to get more results.

Unfortunately, PPC doesn’t lend itself well to this kind of short-term strategy.

PPC Success and Longer-Term Thinking

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7 Dos & Don’ts for Taking Charge of Your PPC Program (Again)

Over the past weeks, we’ve seen major economic changes due to the coronavirus and associated lockdowns.

Consequently, some companies are reluctantly letting go of their pay-per-click (PPC) marketing agencies and bringing those responsibilities back in-house.

In other cases, companies are making cuts to their marketing teams and shuffling responsibility for PPC to other team members.

Whatever the cause, many experienced marketers – who haven’t been hands on with PPC for many years – are now finding themselves with that responsibility again.

These marketers are now scrambling to get back up to speed.

If you find yourself in that situation, here are some dos and don’ts to help you get your footing.

PPC dos and donts

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How to Get Your PPC Ad Messaging Right

Last week, a prospective client speculated that his previous advertising agency was using automation to create his ad messaging.

He reached this conclusion because his ad messaging never quite captured his business goals and/or spoke to his target audience.

And when he requested changes, the agency never applied them consistently.

So was his agency using automation? I can’t say for sure, but it seems likely.

After all, this prospective client was paying only $350 to $400 a month for account management. I don’t see how any agency could create spot-on messaging at that kind of rate.

Still, I understand his frustration. The agency should have been more open about their methods, and what he could expect to get in return for their fees.

Because there’s no escaping that really good messaging — messaging that speaks directly to your target market and accurately represents your brand — takes time and expertise to develop.

How to get your PPC ad messaging right

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7 Signs Your PPC Program Is Being Mismanaged

Most experienced PPC specialists will recognize the telltale signs of PPC mismanagement.

But if you’re not a PPC professional – maybe you’re a business owner or marketing director – you might overlook those indicators.

This is a problem because now, more than ever, it’s important that your PPC program is managed skillfully.

You have to be careful in interpreting those indicators and not jump to conclusions.

No one practice or setting can tell the whole tale.

And maybe your PPC managers have a good explanation for the small anomalies you see.

But when you see an accumulation of things in your account that are odd or even bizarre, you can start to conclude that the account is being poorly managed, whether due to lack of expertise or indifference.

So what are the signs of mismanagement that you should look for?

Here are seven of the most common ones.

7 signs your PPC program is being mismanaged

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Is the Google Ads Partner Badge a Red Flag?

In the 10 years I’ve been running my business, never once has a prospective client asked if my agency is a Google Ads Partner.

Nonetheless, my team and I took it upon ourselves to become a Google Ads Partner (at the Premier level) anyway.

For a long time, becoming a Google Ads Partner was considered best practice. And it came with a few benefits, like having an assigned Google Ads rep and some additional Google training (if you were lucky).

Besides, meeting the requirements to become a Partner wasn’t onerous. So why not?

But recently, Google announced that it will be changing its Partner program by introducing new requirements. (UPDATE: Google recently announced that it will be pushing these changes to 2021.)

Which has many PPC pros alarmed.

Why? Because they essentially require Partners to put the goals of Google above the goals of their own clients.

Which has me wondering if the Google Ads Partner badge is now a red flag instead of a symbol of trust.

Google Ads Partner program

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Do You Really Need to Translate Your Google Ads?

When you manage online advertising campaigns for companies with global reach, the following question inevitably arises:

Do you really need to translate your Google Ads into local languages?

In most cases, the answer is yes.

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately!), Google Ads won’t automatically translate your ads for you.

If you create an ad in English and then select Spanish as your target language, your ad remains in English – but it will target Spanish speakers.

And unless those Spanish speakers also understand English, your English-language ad won’t get much traction.

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Google Ads Announces $340M in Ad Credits for Small and Medium-sized Business

On March 27, Google announced that it would give ad credits to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to help alleviate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on communities and businesses.

My team and I were excited to learn about this new program. But we’re also a bit anxious to see how it will all play out — especially as the announcement and subsequent communications have been vague on details.

In this post, I’ll summarize what we know about the program so far, and where we see possible pitfalls.

Google Ads grant for SMBs

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6 Reasons to Run Responsive Display Ads (& 2 Reasons Not To)

Some advertisers struggle to create display advertising programs.

Sometimes they don’t have the design expertise or capacity to create good-looking ads.

And even when they do, they may not create every possible ad size or type.

This is one of the reasons Google rolled out responsive display ads in 2016. It was a way to help out advertisers — and a way to potentially fill more ad placements.

Since 2018, responsive display ads have been the default ad type for the GDN, and responsive display ads are something we use quite often for clients.

And if you’re not using them for yourself or your clients, it might be time to take another look at them — for six good reasons.

But at the same, I can think of two good reasons why you might not want to.

Before we get into that, let’s quickly review what responsive display ads are.

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Go Beyond Keyword-Only Targeting in Paid Search Marketing

Some keywords garner so many clicks, you can quickly drain your budget if you use them.

So you (or your marketing team) might resort to the tactic of only running those ads for an hour or two a day.

I understand the problem. But limiting the amount of time you run these ads isn’t the best solution.

A better approach is to move beyond keywords and get more precise in your targeting.

Fortunately, Google Ads give us lots of options when it comes to audience targeting.

So many, in fact, that the choices can become overwhelming.

Therefore, I will use this blog post to show how you can move beyond keyword-only targeting with seven different audience targeting methods.

Go Beyond Keyword-Only Targeting in Paid Search Marketing

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Matt Grimm, Ecommerce Director at Red Star Traders

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