January 2014 -
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Archive for January, 2014

Why You Should Think Twice About This AdWords Update

Posted by Bob Dumouchel in adwords expert

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Search Network with Display Select

Google recently completed an update to the campaign types and it has us more than a little concerned. Google has been trying to get advertisers to give them search level bids for display quality traffic and it makes me nervous when we see features like this. The display network includes image ads within web pages and it tends to be less qualified. Display can be compared to selling candy bars at the checkout counter of a grocery store. Search traffic is much more qualified and can be compared to someone shopping at the grocery store with a specific list. Combining search and display into one campaign with the same budget is a bad idea.

display network vs. search network

The product claim in this one is:

*Based on initial test results, the average customer could see a 35% higher click-thru-rate and 35% lower CPA on the display portion of their new Search Networks with Display Select campaigns compared to existing Search & Display Networks campaigns. Based on initial test results, the average customer could also see 10-15% incremental conversions compared with Search Network only campaigns. Individual campaign performance may vary.

People running Search & Display Network Campaigns do not understand what they are doing and even Google has recommended against doing this for years. So it’s 35% better than horrible, well that is just dandy. ‘Could see 10-15% improvement’ is a claim without meaning and improving one item without consideration of the other factors is just dumb. 10% incremental increase in conversions without consideration to the cost of that additional traffic is lying with statistics.

In many cases I am a fan of Display Network traffic but it has to be properly managed and controlled. If Google really wants us to use the Display Network more maybe they should consider grading all the locations with a quality score and allow us to buy traffic by quality.

As you can tell we are very reserved about the use of this feature but that does not mean that it might not have some value in certain situations. The bottom line here is that search and display are entirely different sources of traffic and mixing them together is a compromise to one network or the other. These announcements make me crazy because they never tell you what got changed just that it is new and improved.

Online Ignorance is Not Bliss

Posted by Roger McManus in reputation management

Monday, January 6th, 2014

With Google, Yelp, Angie’s List and dozens of other sites taking comments from your customers, ignoring the process can be very expensive.

The World Has Changed

It used to be that a happy customer will tell a friend and an unhappy customer will tell seven other people, friends or not. Today, we might wipe our brow and say thankfully, “Only seven!”

That is because an unhappy customer today can tell seven hundred or seven thousand people about their opinion – accurate or not – in a few dozen keystrokes. And, it might be weeks or months before you even know about it.Woman with thumbs down - negative review

Plumbers have important jobs that rarely involve computers or the Internet. Unfortunately, all of that has changed. The world was simpler. Place ads in the Yellow Pages, maybe a coupon in ValPak, support a Little League team and word would get around that “Joe” is the plumber to call when you have an emergency or an expansion. Not anymore.

Even with great advertising, over 80 percent of people who do not know you will still check you out on line before making that call. The best advertising in the world still only tells them who to check out, not necessarily whom to call.

How Do You Stand?

The easiest way to get a quick feel for what people are saying about you is to open Google and type in your company name and city. The page will fill with different websites like Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, CitySearch and others where your name will probably be listed. (If it is not, that can be both good and bad, but, that is for another article.)

Click on the sites and see where you stand. Pay particular attention to sites that ask “Is this your site?” In those cases you have not done anything proactive to provide the site with information about you. You should do so – but, hold off for a minute. You need to know more before you start typing. In the next article in this series, you will be given precise instructions about how to do this. If you are in a hurry, you can contact me (see below) and I will give you a head start.

Why Should You Bother?

The fact is you do not have to do anything. The problem is that others are. Customers are talking online – whether you register with the sites on which they are commenting or not. And, your astute competitors are encouraging reviews and responding to them. It does take a level of effort, but not doing so can be very expensive. Negative reviews – even untrue or biased – will prevent you from getting calls that will go to other plumbing companies.

Conversely, by systematically encouraging positive reviews from the vast majority of your customers who are happy, it will dramatically enhance your ranking next time you look up your company name in Google.

This article is part of a series dealing with the new relationship between service professionals and their necessary connection to the Internet and online exposure.


Roger McManus is a principal at Mpact Magic (www.mpactmagic.com), a reputation management company that focuses on the service industries.