All posts by Pauline Jakober

What happens when Google pushes into branding and messaging?

As Google elbows its way further into PPC branding, columnist Pauline Jakober discusses the drawbacks of automating tasks that impact messaging and branding. The post What happens when Google pushes into branding and messaging? appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Dos and don’ts of PPC advertising for universities

For those in the higher education vertical, columnist Pauline Jakober provides tips for making the most of your paid search campaigns. The post Dos and don’ts of PPC advertising for universities appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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What exactly is PPC keyword management anyway?

PPC keyword management gets a fair amount of attention as a topic of conversation (at least in the world of PPC pros!).

It’s also a topic that sends my brain into overdrive when clients mention it.

Why? Because the phrase is used so loosely it often means different things to different people.

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that PPC keyword management isn’t just one task—it’s a group of tasks. And some are less obvious than others.

In this post, I’ll clarify what keyword management means to us at Group Twenty Seven and describe its many aspects, including:

  • Negative keyword management
  • Keyword trend audits
  • Quality score benchmarks
  • Duplicate keyword management
  • Keyword click-through-rate management
  • Low search volume keyword management.

Negative Keyword Management

For many non-PPC experts, keyword management is synonymous with negative keyword management.

It’s true that negative keyword management is an important part of keyword management. But it’s only one part.

Regardless, building negative keyword lists is a good place to start when launching new campaigns or taking over existing campaigns. Because the more robust your negative keyword list, the less wasted ad spend you’ll have.

That’s why we often perform negative keyword management hourly when we launch new campaigns. Then, we’ll gradually perform it less frequently as we identify fewer and fewer negative keywords.

But we never stop managing negative keywords entirely. Things change and new irrelevant words emerge over time. So we continue to perform this task monthly, at a minimum.

Keyword Trend Audits

Another keyword management activity we undertake is trending audits. Basically, we look at actual search queries in Google Analytics and AdWords to see if we can identify trending keywords we can use (or exclude).

You might be surprised at how often new terms emerge to describe existing products and services—terms our clients have never thought of using before.

Quality Score Benchmarks

Generally, we don’t manage our client PPC accounts with the specific purpose of achieving high quality scores. We’ve always found that if an account is well managed, a high (or certainly, rising) quality score will result.

But that doesn’t mean we ignore quality scores entirely. If a quality score is particularly low for a new client, we’ll take a closer look.

Sometimes, we’ll find that the problem lies with the client’s landing page. When a client has one landing page with multiple conversion paths leading to it, the landing page may not reflect all the keywords used. This leads Google to conclude that the page is serving irrelevant information to users, and thus may assign some keywords low quality scores.

Usually, we can fix these hiccups by adding a few “missing” keywords to the landing page.

Duplicate Keyword Management

Having duplicate keywords goes against AdWords recommendations. And we don’t recommend it either.

But sometimes we inherit accounts with duplicate keywords (or inadvertently add them ourselves), especially if the PPC program is large.

Fortunately, duplicate keywords are easy to spot if you look for them. This is a task we perform regularly with AdWords Editor, a free downloadable tool.

Keyword Click-Through-Rate (CTR) Management

Normally, we monitor CTRs closely at campaign launch and quickly eliminate keywords that aren’t producing.

That said, it’s also a good idea to monitor CTRs even in more established campaigns. Sometimes CTR stats change suddenly, which could indicate that a hot new competitor has entered the market—which could require some adjustments to your PPC strategy.

Low Search Volume (LSV) Keyword Management

When keywords fall into LSV territory, it’s tempting to immediately remove them. But in practice, many keywords drift in and out of LSV over time. Sometimes, it pays to leave LSV keywords alone for a little while, to see how they perform.

And sometimes, we can lift a keyword out of LSV status by slightly manipulating the keyword (or keyword phrase). (Pro tip: Playing around with singular vs. plural versions sometimes works.)

As you can see, PPC keyword management is much more than one simple task! So when the topic comes up, I hope you’ll forgive me for peppering you with 20 questions to define precisely what we’re talking about.

Please note, this post was originally published on the Group Twenty Seven blog.

3 ways in-house do-it-yourselfers can prepare for PPC management

So, your boss just told you that managing PPC is being added to your list of responsibilities. What to do? Columnist Pauline Jakober offers tips on how to get up to speed. The post 3 ways in-house do-it-yourselfers can prepare for PPC management appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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PPC buyer beware: 3 seedy tactics agencies or consultants use to scare you into services

Wondering if an email or phone call from a PPC agency is legit? Columnist Pauline Jakober shares some tips for weeding out the scammers. The post PPC buyer beware: 3 seedy tactics agencies or consultants use to scare you into services appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Why all search ads seem the same (and what you can do about it)

Want to create search ads that stand out from the crowd? Columnist Pauline Jakober explains how a thorough examination of your business and its customers can help you create original and engaging ads. The post Why all search ads seem the same (and what you can do about it) appeared first on Search...

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3 mysterious and scary ways AdWords budget creep can happen to you

Are you feeling spooked by a mysterious rise in ad spend? Columnist Pauline Jakober takes a look at what you can do in AdWords to solve the mystery. The post 3 mysterious and scary ways AdWords budget creep can happen to you appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Updating your SEM toolbox with new, shiny tools –- SMX East 2016

Ask any PPC professional the secret of their success, and they'll often point to tools that help them do their jobs better. Columnist Pauline Jakober recaps a session at SMX East where the best of these tools were discussed. The post Updating your SEM toolbox with new, shiny tools –- SMX East...

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So we have 45 more characters in AdWords text ads… Now what?

Expanded text ads recently went live in AdWords, so what's the next step? Columnist Pauline Jakober explains how to strategically expand on your existing text ads when making the transition. The post So we have 45 more characters in AdWords text ads… Now what? appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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3 common mistakes made in do-it-yourself PPC

Trying to manage your business's paid search advertising on your own? Columnist Pauline Jakober outlines some common pitfalls to avoid. The post 3 common mistakes made in do-it-yourself PPC appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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