#404 - PPC Ad Management: 5 Bad Habits to Break This Year
Best SEO Podcast | EWR Digital

Video Transcript

Join Matt and Chris for a great discussion on “PPC Ad Management: 5 Bad Habits to Break” by Lisa Raehsler at Search Engine Journal. 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 PPC Specialist!

Chris: PPC Specialist! It’s good that you’re the PPC Specialist today because we’re gonna be talking about PPC today. That’s kind of how that works. Welcome to another fun-filled edition of our podcast, this is podcast number 404.

Matt: 404!

Chris: As always we’ve got–

Matt: Danger! Danger! Danger!

Chris: A tip–

Matt: 404!

Chris: That’s right.

Matt: 404!

Chris: It does not mean we’re not found. [00:00:56] [Indiscernible] in the podcast, like 404 not found. That would’ve been–

Matt: We have a great 404 like–

Chris: Like page?

Matt: Yeah. Page, yeah.

Chris: I think so. And so, as always we have a tip from our previous podcast and our tip is…

Matt: Hilarious actually. Don’t focus on the production value of your video, focus on real value.

Chris: Right. So people make debates, “Hey, should I hire a video company to make a video and make it really high production quality?” We actually say, and some statistics that we’ve heard rumors of, not actually read say that–

Matt: I read. It’s three times great if it’s a true picture versus a stock photo.

Chris: A true picture or a true video. We’re applying that to that.

Matt: Yeah, yeah.

Chris: So just grab your phone, make a video, make it good content, and that’s gonna be a lot better.

Chris & Matt: Subscribe. Follow. Boom!

Chris: Alright. So this is podcast number 404. We’re broadcasting live here from Houston, Texas. And Matt and I, we are your…

Chris & Matt: Results Rebels!

Chris: Whoo-hoo! Alright. That just feels good. I wanted to jump in with a– we’ve got two really good reviews today. I wanted to jump on with this really short one. This is from Pam Fournier. It is of course…

Chris & Matt: 5 stars!

Chris: And it says, “I have been listening and re-listening to this company’s entertaining and informative podcasts working to implement these strategies. Thank you!” That was on Yelp.

Matt: Whoo-hoo! Yelp!

Chris: Oh, she added it on Yelp. I like that a lot. Thank you so much. I think this other one, I can’t remember where I found this other one.

Matt: That whole thing is–?

Chris: Oh yeah, it’s a review. It’s a good one. It’s a doozy. We’ll get into that here in just a second. Just so you guys know, we’ve got a great article we’re discussing today. If you missed it. Shame. Shame. Shame on you for missing it. Our last podcast we interviewed Loren Baker, the founder of Search Engine Journal. Yes, that is the publication that we cover. A lot of the articles that we cover are from the Search Engine Journal.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: He was an awesome article– I mean an awesome podcast, like absolutely.

Matt: Yeah, it was a great interview, absolutely.

Chris: He wrapped it up actually after the podcast, and he said, “I feel like I’ve know you guys a long time. When we get to Houston we’re gonna have beers.” We’re like, “Yes! That sounds awesome, we’ll do that.” Javi over there taking photos going, “yes,” he would like to join us for the beers with Mr. Loren Baker. So punch in the face to you Loren for joining us. And to Javi actually, for getting all the technology sorted out so that it would work. We got a couple improvements. We heard that the audio may have been a little bit low on Loren.

Matt: Yeah. That’s why we’re gonna do some closed caption.

Chris: Closed caption, absolutely. The article we are covering today is titled, “PPC ad management: 5 bad habits to break.” Yeah, so in fact we’ve got our own. If you’re interested in like 5 bad habits you should break, we’ve got for free, “5 online marketing mistakes that can tank your business & how to avoid them.” You could get that for free just by going to eWebResults.com/SEOTips. Fill our your email and you’ll get that PDF. A Really great article that Sammie put together kind of based on some information around here at the office. This article we’re covering today is by Lisa Raehsler. Hopefully I’m saying that.

Matt: Go Lisa.

Chris: In fact if you’re near some sort of electronic device, what we’re gonna ask you to do is go ahead and tweet: #SEOPodcast. Tag us in it @BestSEOPodcast, @eWebResults, and also tag Lisa in it @LisaRocksSEM. And it’s capital L, capital R. I can’t remember if that makes sense in Twitter. It shouldn’t, but I think it does.

Matt: Was it Instagram that just put all the spaces in? They like forced the spaces in like the underscore?

Chris: Oh really?

Matt: I don’t know.

Chris: I mean, I didn’t notice that.

Matt: Twitter I think is fine, but yeah.

Chris: So @LisaRocksSEM, go ahead and put a tweet out there. Let people know that you’re listening to us talk about Lisa’s article. So that’s really good. Again, you can get those 5 online marketing mistakes that can tank your business at eWebResults.com/SEOTips. We did tweet, howdy. If you’ve listened to this podcast before–

Matt: You know what we’re about to say.

Chris: Well, yeah. If you haven’t: howdy – we’re in Texas – and welcome to the podcast. We’re about to get into the meat. This is called the potatoes. We give you some kind of background information. We talk about a little bit of news. We’ll get to the meat here really quickly. Each week we do run a contest, the contest has two components. If we get 10 shikos…

Matt: A share, a like and a follow.

Chris: A share, like or follow: a shiko. If we get 10 shikos and a review then we don’t go through the process of telling you exactly– Well, we actually postponed the process to the end. And guess what? We are postponing it.

Matt: Boom!

Chris: We got 10 shikos and we got 2 reviews. So we’re really excited about that. So like I said, we won’t tell you how to leave us a review on Yelp until the end of the podcast. Just had to slip that in there. Hey, if you want a free website analysis – this’ll be the last promotional piece – we’ve got a free website analysis for you. You start it and get the process rolling by going to eWebResults.com and clicking, I don’t know, the free website analysis button. Is that a good–?

Matt: That’s a good place to start, yeah.

Chris: That’s a good place to start. That’ll get the ball rolling, you’ll talk to one of our internet marketing experts. It might be Matt, it might be me, it might be one of our other internet marketing experts. We actually did have somebody specifically request that their analysis was with me. I was happy to do that, it was really good. Punch in the face to Apogee Rockets and I’ve got a proposal, actually a plan, a marketing plan going out to him a little bit later today.

I have a little bit of news. Amazon Prime jumps 20% in terms of cost. I don’t know, are you on Amazon Prime?

Matt: It just keeps going up. Yeah.

Chris: $10.99 to $12.99. And then ZTE wants to lead the charge on foldable phones.

Matt: Okay.

Chris: So we’ve got the foldable phone, and then you’ve got like the bit screen. We’re always looking for more screen space, right? So they basically show a tablet and then it folds, and now it’s a phone. It’s kinda cool.

Matt: The Instacart news was the big news that like CBS and Costco. Everybody’s like teaming up, like Walmart watch out. But I know that that’s not SEO news.

Chris: Well no, but that’s news.

Matt: But I think it’s a big deal of what’s going on in kinda the space.

Chris: Some consolidations in the online retail space. Alright. And I don’t think you had any PITFs.

Matt: I didn’t.

Chris: So let’s get into this. This is really awesome. This one I know was definitely on– Pam, the last one, was on Facebook. This one was actually on Yelp, so this is really awesome. This is from Emily F. It is 5 stars!

Matt: Whoo!

Chris: And Wigginton, she’s in Wigginton, United Kingdom. It says– listen to this, this is great, “I listen to your SEO podcast every day before and after work – or will do until I’m all caught up again! – and totally love your goofy delivery of top quality content,” she says, “I’m a goofy so-and-so–” herself. “Thank you so much for all the time and hard work you’ve put into delivering value to myself and others in the industry; I really appreciate the effort and you’ve inspired me to promise myself to up my game this coming year.”

Matt: I like it.

Chris: punch in the face to you, Emily. Now this is where it gets really interesting ‘cause this was part of our conversation with Loren Baker last time. She says, “I was actually just listening to your podcast interviewing Loren Baker from Search Engine Journal, and your section about not knowing what to do when people see you as celebrity-worthy really resonated with me – because you’re exactly right. Anyone can do what we’re doing, though I doubt with the same humour!” And it she spelled it like the British Humour. Punch in the face to you again. But the fact is that many people don’t do it. They don’t do it. “It’s the HUGE amount of effort you put into and we all admire and that has managed to reach, influence and impact so many people. So be proud!” We are, absolutely, “And you do an incredible job and you encourage us all to constantly strive to improve ourselves and the industry. Muchas gracias! Punch in the face from England.”

Wow. Punch in the face to yo Emily. She says, “Your Digital Marketing Pal.” That’s just awesome.

Matt: Yeah, that was really nice.

Chris: By the way, I did forward that over to Loren Baker ‘cause I felt like he would appreciate that, it’s really cool.

Matt: Yeah, absolutely. Mm-hmm.

Chris: I feel like we do a lot of work for the podcast. Think about what it takes to get Search Engine Journal up and running and managed all the time.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Very cool. Alright, so that is the potatoes of our podcast. It is time to get into the meat. Again this is 5 bad habits to break when talking about PPC ad management. And we’re just gonna jump right in. I was gonna kinda throw a curve ball but you know, sometimes it’s not the time for a curve ball.

Matt: Uh-oh.

Chris: That’s the nervous Matt, please do not throw the curve ball. “Bad habit #1,” again this is Lisa Raehsler, “Ads permanently set to rotate indefinitely.” Right, so there is a setting called, “Rotate ads more evenly,” and Google even knows that this is not recommended for most advertisers. And the reason is because it’s often not followed through. So basically, and correct me if I’m wrong, ‘cause I’m not in AdWords all the time. But you can usually set up a couple ads and Google will rotate and eventually decide which ad to show consistently.

Matt: Yes, but at the same time it might not be statistically significant.

Chris: Oh, they drop it early.

Matt: Google just wants more clicks, so they’re gonna lean that way. And so you can’t really do a true AB test.

Chris: Ah, interesting. So there’s two factors to consider here. So what she’s saying overall is, if you use this “Rotate ads more evenly,” then it rotates the ads evenly and you can collect data. And eventually should you make a decision– and Matt makes a really good point, like it just clicked with me. You might be– Google’s gonna make the decision based on what gets clicked. You wanna make a decision on what gets conversions, right?

Matt: Yes. Yup.

Chris: Because we talk about how the two things that your ad and your meta description need to do because that’s right there on your SERP, you’re Search Engine Result Page. As they need to engage the user, and also steer them in what needs to happen next, right? So if you can get them to say “Buy now” is in your actual PPC ad. And maybe that’s a little intimidating to people, and one of your other ads just says “Read more” right? So they may come, and Google may notice that they click “Read more” more often because it’s less intimidating, but when they click the “Buy now”, they actually buy.

Matt: Yeah, yeah.

Chris: And so you might say, “Okay, I get less click-through rate, but I actual get more conversions with ‘Buy now’ versus ‘Read more’.” So I would agree with her from the perspective: never just throw money against the wall and see if it sticks, right? Don’t just say, “Oh, I’m gonna leave this and then I’ll eventually come back.” And if you aren’t the kind of person that doesn’t come back, then don’t do it that way.

Matt: If you’re having trouble and you’re managing an account and you’re doing other things, set a calendar, right?

Chris: Yeah, yup.

Matt: Set a date to come back and take a look at it and just be diligent about that, but I think that this article when I breezed through it, it was a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing.

Chris: Yeah, that’s what she’s saying: don’t set it and forget it. You do have to visit. We visit all of our accounts for which we’re handling PPC. We visit them at least weekly.

Matt: More than that.

Chris: Usually when they first launch, they’re visited daily. Alright, so that was Habit #1. Habit #2: “Ads displayed outside geotarget,” right? So you can view where your ads are showing, just buy going to the “View: User locations” inside of AdWords, or “Geographical location” inside of Bing Ads. So it’s one of the things we’ve gotten. I know we’ve gotten into different AdWords campaigns, and like one of the first things we’re like, “Do you realize that you’re showing ads–?” you know maybe they targeted Houston, but the company only serves the west part of Houston. And these ads are actually showing in the East part of Houston, “Do you realize this is happening?” This happens all the time when we pick up accounts. So I’m sure you bump into it.

Matt: I mean there’s a lot of things. I mean one of the major things when setting up any campaign– I’m actually on a campaign that I just took on this week that I was looking at. It’s basically– one of the options is search for people in my area or people– it’s something like that. Or people in my area.

Chris: Right, right.

Matt: Right? And Google’s default is search for anybody in this area, has an interest in this area, or is located. And you always gotta kinda switch that to make sure it’s only people in that area. Typically based on what kind of campaign you’re running for mostly small business. You want people that are in that geographical location.

Chris: Right.

Matt: Right? And then like exclusions, like we got some in Houston, we got some airports. So if you do a circumference around the area, and you’re including the airport, you’re gonna be showing ads all in that area. So you’re gonna be getting people that you don’t want. So there’s a lot of kind of–

Chris: Which may not matter for like a community airport, but when you’ve got millions of people going through like the Houston intercontinental airport– by the way, this is cool ‘cause I hadn’t thought about this. And they are doing searches ‘cause they are sitting on a layover, right? And those searches, if they’re searching for anything for a local service, you’re not interested in showing ads to them.

Matt: Well, and also there’s functions where you can target demographics, you can target salary ranges, you can target age ranges. You think you only can do that on display, you can actually do a lot of it in search and it kinda helps when you’re going after different demographics. You could do like an ad bid increase for a particular area based on income level, stuff like that.

Chris: So I just had this, this popped into my mind. So when might you want traffic for a local service from outside the area that they service? I am throwing you a curve ball, but when might you want traffic from outside the area that they service even though they service in a certain area? So they service the tight area, why might you want traffic outside of it?

Matt: I need more info. I need more input.

Chris: So here’s what I thought ‘cause there are situations where it might be okay. So for instance, you can imagine in Florida where there are a lot of rental properties, right?

Matt: Okay.

Chris: And it’s key, you wanna tie it to the keyword, right? So if somebody is outside of Florida and searching for “Plumber in Miami,” just the fact that they’re not in Miami, that’s still probably a really good phrase.

Matt: Sure.

Chris: Right? And the fact is it really does need to include Miami because if they just search plumber and they’re not in Miami, they’re not gonna get what they’re looking for if they need a plumber for their rental property. So that’s just the kinda thing. There are situations where the service you provide could be offered to people who are outside of the area, but the service needs to happen inside the area.

Matt: Okay. I mean to bring that in a little bit, if you’re targeting a geographic area but you know people work downtown.

Chris: Yes.

Matt: Right, so kinda in Florida here– but I understand–

Chris: That’s the same thing, right? Yeah.

Matt: I understand what you’re saying. So there are options for that. I would say probably start with the low-hanging fruit.

Chris: Right.

Matt: Right? And then when you’re looking for more search volume, you can move up the funnel and you can widen–

Chris: Well you probably need a separate campaign that really says– so we’ve got a customer that applies to pool service, and you make a great point. When are the people who need pool cleaning service for their pool, searching? So one, interestingly we know that they convert more on workstations than mobile, even though there’s lots of mobile traffic. It’s probably when they’re getting the work, right? Like, they’re coming after the weekend, and they spend the weekend cleaning the pool and are like, “This is ridiculous, I don’t wanna do this anymore.” They get to work, they’re at a computer. Well, work may be outside of the service area that they need the service in, but they will have to add the geotargeting in order to get the right results.

Matt: Well like if you’re booking a doctor’s appointment or a dentist appointment and you’re working outside maybe where they live they might– so you might have to widen that. So I think it’s a good point, and I think creating a separate campaign to kind of target that so you can really drill in on the data is a good idea.

Chris: Cool. Alright, good. So Bad Habit #3, “Improper use of Search Query Tool.” Alright, so I’m gonna read this to get a little bit of an example. She said: say you don’t wanna serve ads for TV shows like HGTV – This is an example – or Houzz, that she has. “A common bad habit is to just add the negatives in an exact match default,” ‘cause that’s the default for Google. “However, this will only exclude a very small portion of what you really need to exclude. Therefore you wanna change these simply to like HGTV broad match, or Houzz broad match, just to make sure that you get the right exclusions.

Matt: So Google’s tricky. Google wants your clicks, so the same thing that Google would use in broad match for just the search term. They would do synonyms, they would do misspellings, they’d do sort of that thing. No, not the case.

Chris: Non negatives.

Matt: Non negatives and plurals and all that, and when you’re creating negatives, I would do phrase match and I would exact match or even broad match, all three of them. Because even on the search terms Google’s just sometimes weird about stuff and sometimes stuff will show when you don’t really think it should show. So just kinda protecting yourself with the negatives is really important, especially when your clicks are $15, $45 even $85 a click, right? Because you’re looking at cost per conversion, it’s really difficult. So it’s just something to make sure you’re looking for.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: Is everything okay, can y’all hear us? Hey!

Chris: No, they can us. We’re just gonna use the audio from the YouTube this time.

Matt: Oh, let’s hope that [00:19:24] [Indiscernible]

Chris: But we’ll get that– I don’t know, I forgot to start that, we were goofing around before. Alright, so I wanted to ask this question ‘cause this brings up negative keywords. On a scale of say 1 to 10, how important is it – even from the beginning of a campaign to do negative keywords?

Matt: Super important. It’s like before you launch the campaign.

Chris: It’s a must-have, right?

Matt: Well, there’s even lists out there that are like standard lists that you can import, ‘cause you’re gonna get all kinds of stuff if you’ve never run a campaign before. And you’re gonna spend hundreds of dollars just trying to negative out everything. Really in your search phase, when you’re really researching it, is a good idea when you’re not just looking for terms to use, but also terms you don’t want to exclude, start now.

Chris: Yes, start immediately.

Matt: Yes, and negatives just– I think people spend not enough time on it.

Chris: So Matt mentioned Google and it’s approach on negatives. She adds that, “On Bing Ads, negative keywords are not added as exact match. Instead, Bing Ads presents negatives as exact or phrase and provides a drop-down that allows you to change that match type easily.”

Alright, number 4. This is bad habits, right? So bad habits that you need to drop as you go into 2018, related to PPC ad management. It says, “Ignoring ads on mobile apps/games.” And so we often don’t see great conversions, right? So we often just don’t put any ads– don’t wanna show display ads on games. I don’t know if you’ve kinda shifted that. Can you speak to that a little bit?

Matt: Ah well, I’ll tell you that yeah, like games are horrible for conversions.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: And I think what she used here– I guess she’ll get into it, but yeah. If you wanna just block all the games starting now– and I mean, how many times if you’re in a game or even– I’ll tell you, even the flashlight, like all the little apps, like you’re trying to do something, right? And the interruption marketing is not strong enough to convert you, so you gotta really be careful. So yeah, no game apps.

Chris: No game apps. Unless you’re marketing a game maybe, a similar game.

Matt: Yeah, yeah.

Chris: That may be a situation where you want to. She says that if you want to just exclude all games, then you need [00:21:49] [Indiscernible] She’s got a good screenshot on this article. AdSenseForMobileApps.com. And that will get rid of all of them.

Matt: So there’s also one for Android.

Chris: Ah, okay.

Matt: So that’s iOS and then for android.

Chris: Got it.

Matt: So it’s really nice. When I learned that, I started using it on all the campaigns because when you’re doing display it’s kind of a jungle and to help to limit all these nonsensical clicks. You know?

Chris: Yeah, get rid of them. Alright, that was Bad Habit #4. It is the last bad habit. Thank you so much Lisa Raehsler. Bad Habit #5 is, “No ad extensions strategy.” So I was reading this, and I’m like, “Yeah this is bad.” So one of the worst bad habits in managing PPC accounts is neglecting the ad extensions component. They seem to be added as an afterthought with no strategy, often you’ll see ads that are using extensions but you end up with duplicate information. That’s just a waste of text opportunity. It can be time consuming to sort these things out, but it’s a habit well worth kicking. Get rid of the habit of not applying enough strategy in time and thought to your site links.

Matt: I mean I see a lot of people that are not even using them. And there’s the new message function where they can text you directly.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: So there’s a lot of good stuff in ad extensions, they’re very helpful. The site link extensions, seen a lot of conversions from it. You can put offers in there. And also it’s taking up more–

Chris: Real estate.

Matt: Real estate on a page, so you really wanna use it. Also if you don’t have the location extension, you won’t show up in mobile where those ads are. So it’s really important. And you also gotta make sure you’re doing just not Google, but Google search partners as well to get in there. So that’s a good tip ‘cause a lot of people have been asking me about that.

Chris: Yeah, she mentioned. So make sure you understand the purpose, site links are to link to deeper content, structured snippets are to highlight a specific aspect of a product or header with no link, and then call-outs are features or benefits again with no link. So for more tips– I like this. For more tips on these and other ad extensions, go to, “4 PPC ad extensions you should be using today.”

Matt: Cool.

Chris: Punch in the face to you, @LisaRocksSEM is her Twitter handle. And it’s Lisa Raehsler. I probably pronounced it three different ways and I apologize for the ones that were wrong.

Matt: We appreciate your patience.

Chris: Yeah, we do appreciate your patience. Alright, so we do ask you, if you like this podcast – and we hope you do – one: leave us a review, we’re only asking that you leave us a review at Yelp. We’ve made it incredibly easy for you to leave us a review at Yelp. You just go to eWebResults.com/

Matt: Yelp

Chris: Yelp. It’s that simple. That would take–

Matt: Or I would like G+.

Chris: Oh G+.

Matt: Everybody’s kinda logged in on their G+. Go to G+, give us a review there if you don’t have a Yelp account.

Chris: Right, and that’s eWebResults.com/G+

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: Literally the letter G and the plus sign.

Matt: If you guessed, you could probably figure it out.

Chris: Yeah, and that’ll take you right to– literally it’ll have the pop-up where you can start leaving the review. It couldn’t be easier, eWebResults.com/G+. If you’re looking to grow your business with the largest, simplest marketing tool on the planet…

Matt: eWebResults. The internet!

Chris: In a sense, yeah. eWebResults is the largest, simplest marketing tool on the planet. Call eWebResults for increased revenue in your business 713-592-6724. If you have a referral– so just remember, we have to explain this from time to time, ‘cause we get these odd questions, “Do you guys do websites?”

Matt: We do websites.

Chris: “Do you work in Google shopping?”

Matt: We do.

Chris: “Do you do PPC ads?”

Matt: We do.

Chris: “Do you do social media?”

Matt: Yeah, we do that too.

Chris: “Do you do Facebook ads?”

Matt: We do that as well.

Chris: “Do you do Instagram ads?”

Matt: Yeah, we do that.

Chris: “Do you do Twitter?” “Do you do LinkedIn ads?”

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: The answer is yes. Soup to nuts. And if you have somebody who’s interested in those services, they come to us, we do those services for them. They pay us, we pay you. That’s our referral.

Matt: We’re now doing Waze ads.

Chris: Oh yeah.

Matt: Waze ads.

Chris: Waze ads. That’s cool. All I always think of Waze ads here in Houston is [00:26:04] [Waterberg. “Just eat Waterberg,”] hopped on the Waze ads like really early for whatever reason. And just know we were filmed live here at 5999, West 34th Street, Suite 106, Houston, Texas, 77092. We are the most popular internet marketing podcast on iTunes. And if you’re interested in getting more of the podcast, so audio, video, transcripts of the podcast, you can get all of those at eWebResults.com. We’re the most popular because of you, like because you guys tune in, because you guys reach out to us, ask us questions, and like us on Facebook, we are–

Matt: And we might do a conference this year, maybe.

Chris: Ooh, yeah?

Matt: Yeah, yeah. We’ve been talking about it internally.

Chris: I think it’s a great idea. Again, just about giving back to the internet marketing community and kind of connecting with others. That’s why the podcast, the interview with Loren Baker was so powerful and awesome.

Matt: And we’ve got more to come.

Chris: More to come. That’s it for the podcast. Until the next podcast, my name is Chris Burres.

Matt: My name is Matt Bertram.

Chris & Matt: Bye bye for now.

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