November 2014 -
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Archive for November, 2014

Dear Saint Google,

Posted by Bob Dumouchel in adwords expert

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Santa Clause and ListTwas the night before Christmas, and all through the net not a disk drive was spinning, not even in the cloud. The clicks were hung by the SERP with care, in hopes that Saint Google soon would be there. The AdWords Experts were nestled all snug in their beds while visions of new features danced in their heads and I am sure you know all the rest.

Since 2008 I have written an open letter to Saint Google asking for new features for AdWords. Believe it or not I think Saint Google reads my blog because we get many of the things we ask for! This might just be a coincidence but I am not entirely sure that’s true. Maybe we have a Google Elf watching out for us and using some of that 20% time on our list…now that would be very cool! This year’s list contains lots of items that we used to have so to a large extent this year we are asking to get things back.

Negative Keyword Search Query Report
This one has been on my list since 2008 and the surprising part of this is that it could enhance Google revenue. You would think that enhancing Google revenue would be enough to get this one done but it is still on our wish list. The problem is that when you create a negative keyword it just silently removes the traffic leaving no record of what was lost. Now in fairness to Google, a few years ago they gave us a function that showed negatives that blocked keywords but that is only the first layer of the problem. We need to see the search queries that get blocked by the negative keyword. If you are a Google stockholder I would like to point out that giving advertisers this function would probably create more than $1,000,000,000 in additional revenue. I know that not having this feature is only a billion dollars in lost revenue but get enough of these ideas and it can add up to real money, even for Google.

Campaign Monitors
We manage over 100 accounts and it sure would be swell if we could create alerts that show up on our MCC interface. The things we need would be things like campaigns that are out of budget for the day, accounts pacing behind or ahead of a certain budget, sudden drops in daily traffic with a control of what days to check (Monday is different than Sunday).

Close Variant Control
Okay, I do not really expect to get this one but I thought I would ask anyway. Variant control was taken away from advertisers this year and it hurt. Removing the variant control simply made phrase and exact matches more like modified broad keywords and it is very un-Google-like to make things less accurate but here they go. They have the check box and the code is probably still in place; all they have to do is give it back to us.

Ad Location Setting
In the olden days we had a setting that allowed us to set a specific range of locations for our ads. In this way, we could set the target location to 1-3 and it either qualified or it did not but it only showed where we wanted it to. We suspect that this went away because Google lost impression share to this setting but many clients loved it and the system actually followed it.

Allow Search Channel Selection
When el-Goog released enhanced campaigns one victim of this was the mobile traffic control option; we would like it back please. In the current system, the way to get search only is to set the mobile bid to -100%. It would be much simpler to have the different channels. While we are making changes in this area it would be nice if we could individually select each channel including Google.

Implement Version Control!
We understand the development methodology of Google is to innovate, publish, then test. In their mind they get input and iterate, but in reality this causes great difficulties with staff training. We would like to see Google batch together the changes and put them out once a quarter with COMPLETE documentation in a change summary. This would allow us to properly train our staff.

Give More Visibility to Shopping & Video Campaigns
Shopping is well known as a bit of a black art with lots of guessing going on regarding how it really works. Shopping gets its keywords from the description and title but it discloses very little about what it is really working with. One cool thought would be to create the keyword list it is working with and let us see it or even better, let us control it.

Like every year, we are not expecting all of this under the tree on Christmas day, although that would be nice.

Playing Chess to Improve Your AdWords Team

Posted by Dana in adwords expert

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Chess BoardIn the SMS office we play team chess. I have to admit it is fun but it also has a very real business purpose. Online marketing and chess have a lot more in common than you would think. First and foremost is that chess teaches strategy. Playing it in team form creates an environment that the team has to share and communicate the strategy. This is how a marketing team should operate.

We started out in our office playing chess one on one and that helped some but when we shifted to the game in teams it became more fun and more effective for the business. Our teams have to communicate complex strategies to each other and that is what they need to do with the AdWords accounts as well. In team play you have to explain to your team what your goals and tactics are and then reach compromises to move the game forward.

For those without a good grasp of the game it has 6 types of pieces and each has its strengths and weaknesses.  In marketing we have different tools we can bring to the mission and each of them has its strengths and weaknesses. With just 16 pieces that have 6 types of moves the estimated number of moves is 1043 and that is probably much smaller than all the possible moves in a business marketing plan. I think it is fair to say that the variables are big.

If you think about the pieces as being the different types of campaigns you can quickly see the parallels between the two games.  They also support each other much like SEO and PPC can support each other. In chess strategies the players are always looking for multiple coverage on a single position, positions that create positive exchanges, and split positions. Certainly getting your horse in a position where the king and queen are one space apart is almost always a good move. It is watching for and leveraging these patterns that create advantage in the game.

Marketing people need to think in strategic teams and they have to think through complex questions with clear answers. Playing chess might be fun but it also helps you think in multiple steps and with multiple campaigns and you certainly have to think several steps into the future.