#394 - The Nitty-Gritty of Paid Search PPC - Part 1
Best SEO Podcast | EWR Digital

Video Transcript

Learn how to find optimization opportunities right under your nose! Join Chris and Matt as they discuss “The Nitty-Gritty Paid Search Account Health Check” by Amy Bishop at Search Engine Land. TRANSCRIPT:

Chris: Hi and welcome to the SEO Podcast: Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing. My name is Chris Burres, owner of eWebResults.

Matt: My name is Matt Bertram, your on-call PPC Specialist.

Chris: Welcome back to another fun-filled edition of our podcast. We probably don’t have a tip from our previous podcast ‘cause I don’t think I brought it over. In fact, I know I didn’t bring it over.

Matt: We’re busy! We’re busy.

Chris: And it’s Halloween. If you’re watching the video, you may know that we’re off-kilter. It’s a Halloween– I don’t know, Halloween-ish thing. We’ve got bats and then spiders flying all around. Don’t knock off my hat. Don’t knock off my hat. Alright, so normally we have a tip from our previous podcast, but what we certainly have is a great article. The article that we’re gonna talk about today is by Amy Bishop. And if you’re in some position to do some sort of hashtagging, and tweeting, and whatever, what we’d like you to do is tweet #SEOPodcast – this is podcast number 394 – make sure you tag us in it @BestSEOPodcast, @eWebResults. And also tag Amy, she is @Hoffman8, that’s H-O-F-F-M-A-N, the number 8. Her article is, “The Nitty-gritty paid search account health check: Part 1.”

Matt: Yes.

Chris: There are actually two parts. There’s eight steps in this part, in this particular part. So we’re gonna get started on that here in just a second. Please remember we are filmed live here in Houston, Texas, and we’ve got a review, right? So you noticed like one of the tear tattoos is gone. Jay Edwards, he says, “Great content but could do without the carry-on. Annoying to listen to.” And we were just talking about that. Yeah, we’ll that’s the only bad feedback we’ve ever gotten. And statistically it’s pretty low. Mostly we get that people like it. It is only 4 stars, we understand. Punch in the face to you Jay.

Matt: Thanks Jay. We appreciate the feedback.

Chris: We really do.

Matt: We will try to cook the potatoes a little faster.

Chris: Alright, so this will be the last podcast that we’re sharing our 17 tips. Mostly because I didn’t update the URL. It’s one of the things that got sidetracked. So if you would like tips from this podcast about internet marketing, you can get that at SEOTips. So eWebResults.com/SEOTips. Those are gonna be taken down and replaced. Actually we’re replacing them with, “5 key internet marketing things you should focus on,” something like that.

Matt: We can leave the tips up there too. I mean we can keep adding stuff.

Chris: Yeah, we’ll leave them out there.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: But what you’ll hear in the podcast is gonna be a little bit different.

Matt: Yes.

Chris: If this is the first time you’ve listened to the podcast: howdy and welcome to the show. As you just heard from that review, you might get a little irritated by this beginning. We like it, it sets the tone, it sets some fun for the podcast.

Matt: Just like fast forward it to like three minutes.

Chris: Yeah. It’s called the potatoes, we get into the meat a little bit later, and it’s worth it. Even this guy’s like, “It’s great content, but get rid of the carry-on.” So we realize–

Matt: He’s British.

Chris: So if you’ve listened to this podcast before, we really appreciate it. Welcome back, and you know we run a contest each and every week. And the way contest works is: if we get one review – which we did get this time- and if we get 10 shikos– you know what a–?

Matt: A share, a like, and a follow. Trick-or-treat.

Chris: Right. If we get any one of– 10 shikos and we get one review, then we don’t tell you how to leave us a review. We did not get the 10 shikos, right?

Matt: Okay. Well I want reviews on Yelp.

Chris: On one place.

Matt: On one place. Yeah, one place.

Chris: So we’re gonna tell you the one place you can leave us reviews. It’s easy to get there, all you need to do is go to eWebResults.com/

Matt: Yelp

Chris: Yelp. And that’ll take you to our Yelp page. Please leave us a review. Please make that review…

Chris & Matt: 5 stars!

Chris: Alright. Next, if you would like to shiko us – share, like, or follow us – you can do that on our profiles on all of the platforms: Facebook.com/

Matt: eWebResults

Chris: Twitter.com/

Matt: eWebResults

Chris: YouTube.com/

Matt: BestSEOHoustonPodcast. Just kidding. eWebResults.

Chris: Instagram.com/

Matt: eWebResults. We got them all, we got all dashes. We’ve been in business since 1999.

Chris: LinkedIn.com/company/

Matt: eWebResults

Chris: And all of those will take you to our profiles on those platforms. Please shiko us there. We would really appreciate it. If you’re a PHP genius or a WordPress guru–

Matt: We’ve hired you.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: We don’t you.

Chris: We’ve hired.

Matt: We don’t need you right now.

Chris: And if we need you later, call and leave an audio résumé.

Matt: But account managers, we’re kinda looking for right now. If you’re in Houston, give us a call, we’re looking at some people right now that have reached out to us, and we’re open to bringing on a few more.

Chris: Yup, absolutely. If you would like a free– no longer free website analysis.

Matt: It’s not free, it’s not. Stop saying it. It doesn’t–

Chris: If you want–

Matt: 15 minutes with an expert.

Chris: If you want 15 minutes with an eWebResults internet marketing expert for free–

Matt: Valued at $125.

Chris: Go to our website, eWebResults.com and fill out the form. You get great results, we’re getting good reviews off of just the 15 minutes.

Matt: Yeah, well the 15 minutes– the $500 reviews, everybody’s walking away. It’s coaching session, I love it, y’all are great. A lot of people have converted over.

Chris: We did one this week, like same day. She was like almost in a panic, right? Same day, and then we ended up doing more work for her afterwards just ‘cause she’s got so much value out of that.

Matt: 15,000 hits per month, right?

Chris: Per month, yeah.

Matt: I mean it was– she’s got a blog, yeah.

Chris: Punch in the face to you Candy, you’re killing it.

Matt: Yes, we appreciate it. Yup.

Chris: And I’ve talked to her about doing some kind of guest posting and so she’s open to the discussion, so you gotta like that. That really is the potatoes– well no, that’s not the potatoes.

Matt: Oh we were almost there. We heard it up. What have we got?

Chris: Alright, so I’ve just got three little pieces of news. Amazon now has more than 500,000 employees.

Matt: And they wanna walk into your house.

Chris: And they wanna walk into your house.

Matt: And deliver the package.

Chris: Amazon key. Yeah.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Just yeah, let’s put the Amazon key on your house. Man, you know statistically a lot of people are gonna allow that.

Matt: Well Walmart’s trying to do it, too. I mean it’s head to head now, like low cost. Yup.

Chris: And now YouTube has 1 million hours of watched time on living room devices.

Matt: That’s awesome.

Chris: Right? So that’s in the living room on your TV, I know you cut the cord.

Matt: Oh years ago, years ago.

Chris: Years ago. So you’re the YouTube– you’ll probably watch YouTube on your TV if you bothered at all.

Matt: I mean my mom was with Microsoft for 25 years and she said everything is going to– that’s what the goal was with Microsoft, is to get it in the living room, the desktop.

Chris: Yup, and I have one in my living room, so I’m there.

Matt: Well I mean not multimedia on one device. All like– the internet everything. Like that was their goal like 25 years ago. I mean it’s now just coming to flourish.

Chris: And the device– I first tried a Mac that was actually– I got unlucky ‘cause it was like a defective Mac. That’s not Apple’s fault. That’s just you know, a little bit of hardware issue. I bought it on eBay– I mean on Craig’s list. And now I have a PC. It’s a PC.

Matt: I just ordered two new laptops on eBay refurbished. I’m okay with it. Monitors not so much.

Chris: Yeah, refurbished PCs I’m very comfortable with.

Matt: Yeah, but not monitors. I like to buy monitors.

Chris: Like my mom’s computer died in– well actually it didn’t die. Comcast came out and said, “We don’t support that computer.”

Matt: Time to upgrade.

Chris: And she’s like, “What should I get?” I’m like, “Get this, and it’s a refurbished and I trust it. Alright so that is the potatoes of our podcast. Time to get into the meat. This is a Halloween episode, that’s why there is–

Matt: No way, there’s vampire bats, vampire bats.

Chris: There’s bats, right? Yeah, and it says Halloween. And we’re covering an article by Amy Bishop. Again, you can tweet her at @Hoffman8 and the title of the article is, “The nitty-gritty paid search account health check: Part 1.”

Matt: PPC doctor’s here.

Chris: There are 8 steps. I feel like– okay, so just a warning: he’s gonna have a lot to say, and I might be like doing the across the throat like, “Okay that’s enough. We gotta get into our podcast,”whatever. He also has some place to go, so there’s probably a good blend of– oh, we’ll get a good balance.

There’s 8 points, the first one is, “First, get the background.” Remember last podcast or two podcasts ago, we were talking about how many internet marketing companies actually don’t do a comprehensive analysis when they get a new customer? We’re talking about paid search account health check. Get the background, right? So you wanna know, “Who are the targets? How is the performance measured, and what are the goals,” right? Because you’re gonna have different goals. Maybe you want newsletter sign-ups, maybe you want video watches, maybe you want purchases that you just–

Matt: This is a lot of what we’re doing in the $500 audit too, people are asking to audit their Analytics and their AdWords.

Chris: Yup. “How do they track success–” So here’s a question that’s always interesting from a performance perspective, and she didn’t include this in hers. What is the lifetime value of a new customer? Right, so if we’re acquiring a customer– and we know that you could have other goals like newsletters, we mentioned some of those. But what is the lifetime value of the customer? Because that’s a really important thing to consider if you’re gonna figure out how much you’re spending on it. So I don’t know if you’ve got something to add too.

Matt: Well, I–

Chris: “First, get the background.”

Matt: Well yeah, you gotta understand who you’re targeting, you gotta understand what you’re trying to achieve. And a lot of times like give us examples. One of our clients was pushing a little $75 item, where they had a $3,000 item that weren’t really going to sell.

Chris: Oh yeah, yeah.

Matt: You just really gotta understand what the cost is of acquiring that lead and then work it all the way backwards through all the steps.

Chris: I think it’s a good thing to just touch on real briefly, ‘cause what happens here at eWebResults is so much more than internet marketing. Internet marketing is so big.

Matt: Business strategy.

Chris: You’re right, business strategy, right? So literally a customer comes to us, they want to sell, they’ve actually ordered. They have a warehouse full of these $45 items and they also sell a service that is like $2000 to $3000. And I’m like, “The first thing we need to focus on is, how do we pay for our service so that you guys can continue to work with us for free?” Right? Effectively for free. Sell the $2000 item. Boom. Now we just sell the– now we focus on the $49 item.

Matt: Well yeah. Well there’s a lot of strategies too in nurturing the lead of a value chain, and just how to structure your business the right way, and it just really depends on what you’re trying to achieve. And I think that that’s the biggest thing we’ve gotta establish up front is: well, what are you trying to achieve, and does it line up with the goals? Was it lined up on the bid market? Like the cost per click. You know, there’s a lot of things to consider. Like a lawyer, “Hey, we’ve got a $300 budget.” Like, “Okay.” You get a couple clicks, you know? You just gotta make sure it all makes sense I think.

Chris: Absolutely. Next, “Conversion tracking, types, values and priorities.” So she said, “This should come as a big part of any account background,” right? But makes sure you focus on it alright? Because it’s out of the background information that some of the important stuff. We’ve looked at bad conversion metrics, right? Like we’ve adopted accounts from other companies and we’re like, “Okay this– if you look at these conversions and they were of reasonable value, they were killing it. Why are you leaving them?” right? And then you’re like, “Oh, is a conversion for you 10 seconds on a webpage?”

Matt: Yeah, there’s been some really like 92 conversions and I was like, “Wow.” And then yeah, it’s like 10 seconds on page.

Chris: Which is almost of no value, right?

Matt: And then on the other end of it, be cautions when Google builds you a campaign.

Chris: Oh yeah.

Matt: We have had a lot of people come to us where Google’s built them campaign and they’re like, “AdWords doesn’t work.” Well, Google’s goal is to get clicks. Now they said this quarter that they’re trying to change to conversions, we’ll see what happens. But I mean you gotta look at the whole picture to understand what’s going on.

Chris: Just know that an internet marketing agency is gonna have your back a little bit more than Google, right?

Matt: Yes. We love you Google.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: We love you Google.

Chris: As a Google partner we actually have access to Google personnel if we’ve got questions about optimization, but you know. And you want to make sure you’re focused on which goals make a difference. Again, 10 seconds on a webpage, not really gonna make much difference. If you’re under that, then you know, you’ve got bigger problems. And you know, a real goal is gonna be a form submission, maybe a phone call, you know, those types of things. A video watched situation.

Matt: Or like a pro tip: they land on that page, you target them with like remarketing or something like that, or an email drip automation. I mean there’s a lot of really cool things you can do if you have maybe someone come back and hit a second page, or click through to something. I mean you can do almost anything you can imagine today. It’s really exciting.

Chris: Alright, number 3, “Performance trends over time.” So again this is, “The nitty-gritty paid search account health check.” “Performance trends are important. You can start with performance trends if you’re looking to resolve any glaring issues.” Right? So you can see that. One thing she said is, “I look at what is working now and what isn’t working now.” I also look at what was working and why it stopped working. Trying to understand why it stopped working ‘cause there’s a lot of things that you can learn in those situations. I don’t know if you’ve got something to add about performance trends over time?

Matt: Yeah. Look at seasonally what happened. Seasonally or look what happened with the hurricane.

Chris: Yup.

Matt: I mean the hurricane produced for some companies huge amounts of clicks because they were redoing the floors or they’re redoing the drywall.

Chris: Cleaning their pool.

Matt: Or cleaning their pool. And then on the other end, just stopped search traffic. So a lot of times– like one campaign brought in, it was big, $5,000 to $10,000 a month and basically the economy was crashing at that time. And so you know–

Chris: It was tough to even generate one lead, right? And then the hurricane happens and through the roof, yeah.

Matt: Yeah, so it changes with what’s going on seasonally. Yeah, stuff like that.

Chris: Absolutely. And one of the things that we– we have an MRC, Monthly Results Call with our clients, and one of the things that we incorporated is: let’s look at the historical trend of traffic last year. So say in this case from October to November, you wanna look at that in 2016 because we have– you know, there’s some industries– plumbing was one – and this is not the right month set – but search traffic from one month to the next month last year dropped by 50%. So we prepare our customers. One, “Hey, if you continue with the exact same strategy, you will probably get a 50% drop, or we can implement new strategies to makes sure we’re taking more of the business from the other people.”

Matt: Well I mean, that was one of the things we were talking about. If you let everybody spend their wad at the beginning of the month, and save it until the last week, you’re gonna get a lot less competition. So there’s a lot of different strategies you can implement. It just depends on what you’re trying to achieve and what those goals are. So there’s a lot of different tips. You can still compete in this market, even with more people coming in, you just got to get a little more creative.

Chris: Yup. Alright next, “Campaign structure.” Again this is, “The nitty-gritty paid search account health check.” Campaign structure, “How many keywords are in an ad group?” These are the kinds of things you wanna look at. Are they relevant to each other? Right? When they’re in the same ad group. And I added: is the target page–? So I know she doesn’t really– maybe that’s in the next article. She doesn’t really get into the target page. When you’re looking at your AdWords campaign and you’re trying to really be focused on the ads, and the groups, and how they’re organized, but what page are they landing on?

Matt: That’s the biggest thing that people are missing. They’re looking at one side of the equation, you have to look at optimization of the page, and that’s quality score, all kinds of things play into that. That’s probably like one of the biggest pieces you have to consider, and it’s part of the total process when you’re using AdWords.

Chris: Even that customer that we’re talking about whose business was kind of struggling because of the economy. When they joined us, their campaign was pretty good. It got a lot better with us, but it was pretty good. And so I was like— my first thought with structure was – and it had been performing better in the past. Let’s roll back to the past and then let’s start working on landing pages, because the campaign when we started.

Matt: Well you know, you can break up different ad groups too and really up the click-through rate, which Google will reward you, you work with the optimization score and the value score. And so a lot of times when you’re building a– and I guess back to this question, 5 to 10 actually. People say 15, 20, whatever. I like to get super segmented so I can see what’s performing and what’s not, and I have a lot more ability.

Chris: Control, right?

Matt: Really like control, but it’s really based on like the core keyword, right? And then the modifiers on those sides, but that core keyword really dictates how many ad groups you need, and what you’re going after, and that sort of thing.

Chris: So a couple other things that you’ll look at, again under, “Campaign structure.” “Are there any performance outliers – good or bad?” And let’s figure out why. “Are there any keywords or ad groups that are budget-capped because the campaign’s average performance,” or whatever. So here’s an example, just inside of Facebook, right? So that’s a paid campaign, you’ve got these ad groups, right? Well, they’re not really ad groups, they’re–

Matt: Demographic markers I guess.

Chris: Well they’re ads. Actually you got these ads and they’re active, but they weren’t getting any impressions. And the reason is ‘cause the campaign was capped, right?

Matt: So we do Facebook, we do LinkedIn, we do Outbrain, we do Bing. We do everything. I know we talk about Google a lot because it’s just the big 800-pound gorilla in the marketplace, but we do it all and it just depends on what the client’s trying to achieve. And a lot of times using them together gets you some real bang for your buck as far as generating demand, harvesting demand.

Chris: Right, absolutely. “Are campaign’s organized in a logical way?” That just makes things work better. “Did anything come up in part of the audit that would indicate a different structure might perform better?” Like localization. So map out different areas that you service into different campaigns. So excellent. Number 5 is, “Device performance analysis.” So, “Analyzing device performance can uncover low-hanging fruit.” Right, so that’s– do things perform better on mobile devices? Do things perform better on a workstation, maybe on a tablet? And what can you learn and adjust based on that?

Matt: Yeah, no. I mean the click-to-call ads work a lot better on mobile, and certain time periods of the day, you get more mobile versus desktop. Tablets seem to always just do well in all my campaigns, but there’s not a lot of volume, so it’s kind of weird.

Chris: They convert good, but yeah. So maybe you do a bid adjustment on tablets to try to make sure that you can–?

Matt: Yeah, there’s just not a lot of volume usually, but it seems people like buying stuff on tablets.

Chris: So there may be low-hanging fruit. Go ahead and take advantage of that. Number 6– again, “The nitty-gritty paid search account health check.” Item number 6 is, “Geographic performance analysis,” right? Geography is one of my favorite subjects, this is what Amy says, “First, I look at the localization– the location,” excuse me, “settings within a campaign.” So what are they trying to target? What are the areas they’re trying to target? You know, this is where you gotta have the conversation with the customer. And then look at what they’re targeting because it might be different, right?

Matt: There’s tons of tricks here. I could go on for hours about things that you could do here, but I won’t go into it.

Chris: Let me finish my notes and then I’ll turn it over to you, right? You wanna exclude people from other regions, right? So her example was: you may be targeting Venice, Florida because you’re on whatever, vacation or something. And in ambiguous searches, like Venice, Italy could come up. People searching for something Venice related in Italy. So you gotta manage those. One of the things that you can talk about, and this may apply– it probably applies– certainly the volume of searches is higher in the Houston area, but there are people–

Matt: Astros.

Chris: Outside– go Astros!

Matt: Astros!

Chris: People are outside the Houston area looking for services for their home here or their mom here. So it’s not necessarily, you want to really control the keywords outside of the Houston area, in this case, or outside of your area. But be aware that there are people who are searching for your services or your customer services in your area, who live outside– who are currently outside their area, right? So you’re on a business trip and your wife doesn’t handle the plumbing, and says the toilet’s overflowing. Like, you’re looking for plumber Houston from whatever city you’re in.

Matt: It all just comes down to strategy and budget and what you wanna try to actually–

Chris: And what’s the value there?

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: So did you wanna talk for hours right now? You didn’t?

Matt: No. Keep going. Keep going.

Chris: Number 7. You’ve already mentioned, “Time-of-day & day-of-week performance analysis.” So, “Analyzing time-of-day and day-of-week performance can result in multiple different optimizations.”

Matt: Well I was working on a campaign this morning and last night. But I was working on a campaign this morning that basically, when I looked at the historical all-time data, all the leads that converted were between 6:00 am and noon. Like all of them, every single conversion.

Chris: Always?

Matt: Always. So I capped it, right? When I turned it on, I capped it. So, there’s a lot of different things you can do to save money ‘cause all those other clicks were just thousands of dollars of potentially wasted conversions, historically.

Chris: And she talks about, if you’re maximizing, so if your budget enables you to be max bidding across all of it, there’s not much you can do. But if your budget’s capped, then yeah, you know that conversions happen here. Like focus budget there.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Alright number 7, “Review ad tests.” So maybe there’s some ad tests running, if they are and you’re doing a paid–

Matt: There always should be.

Chris: Yeah, there always should be.

Matt: There always should be AB tests running.

Chris: Yeah. So if you’re doing your paid search account health, make sure that there are tests running or put some on. “If so, are there any clear winners?” Are there anything that are stopping the clear winners? Do we maybe not have enough search volume to really see who the clear winner is and make those adjustments. So there’s apparently a book by Brad Geddes, an ad testing guide.

Matt: Yes! I’ve read some of his books.

Chris: Okay.

Matt: He has a couple.

Chris: It’s funny, Brad wrote the book on ad testing. No really, he wrote the book on ad testing.

Matt: Yeah, he did. Yeah.

Chris: So that’s, “Reviewing ad tests.” And finally number 8. Again, this is, “The nitty-gritty paid search account health check: Part 1.” Number 8 is reviewing ad extensions. You were talking about our account or something?

Matt: When you audit an account you need to look back at all the ad extensions to make sure those links don’t go to 404s or something that you don’t want it to.

Chris: Irrelevant?

Matt: Of like actually what the link is, and like actually where it’s going. And so when you’re auditing an account, you really gotta go through everything with a fine-tooth comb because there’s stuff that’s easy to miss.

Chris: She says talk about the relevance of the extensions, are they compelling? And are they performing well? Like those are the things that you should–

Matt: Are they live? Are they active?

Chris: Alright, so this is part 1 of Amy Bishop’s, “The nitty-gritty paid search account health check,” article. She’ll have part 2, guess what that means? I don’t have to research what article we’re covering next week. Yes!

Matt: Alright!

Chris: I like that. Punch in the face to you Amy Bishop. That is a good thing, if you’re watching and listening.

Matt: Yes.

Chris: That’s a good article, I like it.

Matt: Yeah, thank you. Yeah. Happy Halloween, go Astros.

Chris: Go Astros. So they’re playing tonight. I think they start in about an hour.

Matt: Yeah, we gotta get going.

Chris: Yeah, we’ve got things to do. Alright, so that is the meat of our podcast. If you liked this podcast, we ask that you please share it with three friends. Go ahead and shiko us: share, like, and follow us.

Matt: Go to Yelp and give us a review please.

Chris: Yes, and it’s easy to get there, eWebResults.com/

Matt: Yelp

Chris: If you’re interested in growing your business with the largest, simplest, marketing tool on the planet.

Matt: The internet!

Chris: Call eWebResults for increased revenue in your business. Our phone number is 713-592-67– I’m dodging the spider. 6724, go ahead and reach out to us. If you have a referral, that’s somebody who’s interested in internet marketing– in fact that deep dive at website analysis that we talked about was from a referral. We’re gonna follow up with her. If you have that referral, go ahead and send that referral to us, when they pay us, we pay you. It actually works really good. If you’re doing networking in Houston, go ahead and visit UPSocialNetwork.com. Remember we are filmed live here at 5999, West 34th Street, Suite 106, Houston, Texas, 77092. If you want a transcript, audio, or video of this podcast, you can get that at eWebResults.com. That is our website, just so you know.

We are the most popular internet marketing podcast on iTunes, that is because of you, you, all of y’all.

Matt: Thank you.

Chris: Thank you so much. Until the next podcast, my name is Chris Burres.

Matt: Matt Bertram.

Chris: Bye bye for now.

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