PPC Blog: PPC strategy

The Challenge of Competing with Directory Sites in Paid Search

When you run Google searches, the results are sometimes filled with ads for directory sites.

This is especially true when the search terms relate to expensive, big-commitment services, such as schools and assisted living facilities (a.k.a., nursing homes).

People will usually thoroughly research and compare these services before buying, which makes directory sites appealing.

As an advertiser, you might see this as a problem. After all, how can your ad for a single facility compete against ads for directories that list hundreds of facilities?

Competing with directory sites in paid search

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Don’t Bother With PPC If….

While we’re always happy to take on new clients, we’ve learned over the years that even the most brilliant PPC campaign can be scuttled when certain conditions aren’t met.

Fortunately, fixing these problems is within reach of most clients with a few resources and the right mindset.

But until then, proceed with caution. As a PPC agency, we don’t want to waste your time or budget. Which is why we sometimes decline to work with clients when these conditions aren’t met.

What are these problem areas you ask? The most common ones are as follows:

Don't bother with PPC if

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5 PPC Takeaways That Will Make You a Better Marketer

One of the joys (and challenges) of a career in paid search is the constant state of learning and change. It’s a theme that runs through many of my articles.

But in the busy-ness of our day-to-day PPC activities, it’s easy to simply move from one thing to the next without pausing to learn from what’s in front of us.

What lessons can we draw from our experiences? How can we apply these lessons more broadly?

In that spirit, I will recount some of my team’s top PPC takeaways from the past few months:

PPC takeaways

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4 PPC Metrics That Get More Attention Than They Deserve

It’s not uncommon for people new to paid search to get overly focused on certain PPC metrics.

While I applaud their interest, I often find that those metrics—in isolation—aren’t terribly useful.

At the same time, I can understand the fascination with certain numbers. After all, it’s easier to focus on one or two highly visible numbers than more complex metrics that are harder to nail down.

And, sometimes, I think these metrics become a way to avoid taking a broader perspective and asking tougher questions.

Therefore, I’m going to use this post to describe a few metrics that get more attention than they deserve—and what you might want to focus on instead.

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How to Make the Google Ad Grants Program Work for Your Nonprofit

Last December, Google communicated forthcoming changes for its Google Ad Grants program. The changes were scheduled to be implemented on January 1. However, it appears that Google is giving account owners some time to make necessary adjustments.

The program provides up to $10,000 USD in AdWords advertising to eligible nonprofits, with some restrictions.

Some of the program changes are good (such as the removal of the $2 bid limit).

But other changes may create new challenges. In particular, the new 5% CTR rule might create some difficulties, especially if your nonprofit operates in a highly competitive market.

In my latest column in Search Engine Land, I take a closer look at these Google Ad Grants program changes and describe how nonprofits can work with—and around—the new rules.

Google Ad Grants changes

Don’t Let Your Website Redesign Derail Your PPC Program

Is a website redesign good news for your PPC program? Well, yes and no.

It’s true that an updated, well-functioning website can give your PPC program a nice boost.

But it’s also true that the website redesign process can send your PPC program off the rails—at least temporarily.

In my recent article in Search Engine Land, I talk about where things can go wrong in website redesigns from a PPC perspective.

Because when you know where potential problems lie, you can take steps to avoid them when you can—and correct them quickly when you can’t.

website redesign and your PPC program

13 Reasons Why PPC Brand Bidding Is a No-Brainer

Among most paid search pros, PPC brand bidding is an accepted practice. Still, some clients (and maybe even some PPC pros), continue to resist it.

The most common reason I’ve encountered for not bidding on brand is the belief that organic will pick up the slack. Some will point to this 2013 eBay study that concludes bidding on brand is a big waste of money.

But that was four and a half years ago — a lifetime in this industry.

In the meantime, my experience begs to differ.

PPC brand bidding

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4 Common Misconceptions That Lead to Unfortunate PPC Breakups

Relationships are hard. And your company’s relationship with PPC is no different.

You and your marketing team may give PPC your best shot — but still not get the results you expect.

Ultimately, you become frustrated with paid search and decide to break off your on-again, off-again relationship.

But, as with personal relationships, sometimes these breakups are based on misunderstandings. Only after you gain some distance — and more knowledge — do you realize you might have been too hasty in your decision.

PPC breakups

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How to Compete When CPCs are Sky High

In some industries, such as law, insurance, medical coding and education, the cost of online ad clicks are through the roof. In these areas, companies pay on average $50 per click. And clicks costing $200 or more are not unusual!

If you don’t have the deep pockets of the big brands, is it possible for you to compete when prices are so high?

The answer is yes. And you do it by bringing down costs where you can and making sure that every click counts.

To find out more, check out my latest column in Search Engine Land: “Beat High-Cost Paid Search Clicks by Sweating the Details.”

When CPCs are sky high

How Your Small Company Can Compete Against Big-Brand Advertisers in PPC

It isn’t easy to compete against big brand advertisers in PPC. They have deep pockets, large in-house marketing teams, and contracts with high-priced ad agencies.

As a smaller competitor, you might conclude that the advertising playing field is simply too uneven to compete.

While you may not be in a position to buy full page print ads in national newspapers or produce commercials for TV, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a channel that still allows small advertisers to play on the same field – if they know how.

In this article, I’ll give you some tips on how to compete against big brands in paid search – using one anonymous advertiser as an example.

Competing against big-brand advertisers in PPC

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Matt Grimm, Ecommerce Director at Red Star Traders

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