PPC Blog: B2C

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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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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3 PPC Fundamentals You Shouldn’t Overlook When Launching Google Ads Campaigns

By the time you become a PPC pro, you’ve probably launched hundreds of Google Ads campaigns.

But even with all this experience, you can sometimes overlook key PPC fundamentals in a rush to get ads live — or when grappling with Google Ads changes and updates.

And naturally, this kind of thing is even more likely to happen to PPC newbies.

In today’s article, I’m going to hit on three fundamentals for launching Google Ads campaigns that PPC pros sometimes overlook — and that PPC newbies might not be fully aware of.

Launching Google Ads campaigns

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A PPC Brand Awareness Resource Roundup

In the past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking (and writing) on the topic of building brand awareness through PPC.

Why is this topic so often overlooked?

I suspect it’s partly because so many of us are focused on account performance.

Performance is important, of course. We’re all keenly interested in performance metrics, such as leads, conversions and sales.

But if your sole focus is performance — to the detriment of brand awareness — then you will lose opportunities, jeopardize long-term performance and even put the health of your entire business at risk.

Therefore, let me continue to bang the drum of brand awareness by recapping some of my most recent articles:

Brand awareness in PPC

 

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Our PPC Wish List for 2020

As has become tradition here at Group Twenty Seven, we like to mark this time of year by compiling a wish list of all the things we’d love to see in PPC for the coming year.

Looking back, we realize we didn’t get everything on our PPC wish list for 2019 (or even 2018), but we’re not giving up hope that this year will be different!

So here’s what we wish for in 2020:

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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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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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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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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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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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“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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