New Company, New Blog!

I’ll posting now at my new company website- Big Click Co.

Speaking at SES NY

If you’re heading to SES New York this month you’ll be impressed with the excellent content and activities planned by the SES team.

I’m excited to be involved in several sessions and hope we can connect when you attend!

Tuesday, 3/20 2:45pm Day 1ses ny
A Beginner’s Guide to Paid Search (solo presentation)
Paid search advertising provides visibility in search engines at a cost-per-click. Every major search engine offers a paid placement program. This introductory session will teach you how to kick-start a successful paid search advertising program and will focus on the critical components of paid search including tips for:

  • Keywords
  • Ad Copy
  • Targeting
  • Optimizations to achieve the best results

 

Tuesday, March 20th, 5:00 – 6:00pm (Just prior to the Networking Cocktail Reception)

Meet the Experts: Round Table Forum – Mobile, Search and Social table
Join us at our ALL NEW “Meet the Experts Roundtable Forum” where you’ll have a unique opportunity to learn, network and share information with your peers and leading industry specialists. With a choice of several roundtable discussions, each focusing on different key topics and featuring 2 experts, this session is not to be missed. Simply choose the roundtable most pertinent to you and join the discussion! You can also move freely between different roundtables to make sure you get the most out of this session. After the forum, take your conversation and new contacts with you straight into the expo hall for our networking cocktail reception where you can continue the discussion over a few drinks.

 

Wed 3/21 11:15am Day 2
PPC Beyond Search: New Ad Formats, Display & Social - (panel presentation)
For some time, paid search campaign managers have been told to treat search campaigns and “contextual” ads, often managed through the same platform, as distinct targeting methods. But with the explosion of ad types such as search retargeting and Yahoo’s SmartAds, as well as new tactics for managing and bidding on placements, it’s getting harder to justify keeping them in different buckets. This session aims to bring marketers up to speed on the state of the art. Also covered: what tools or skill sets are needed to manage and report on results from multiple search engines and even Facebook? How should marketers prioritize efforts?

Speaking at OMS and SES in San Diego

February 4, 2012 Comments off

Heading to the Online Marketing Summit and SES Accelerator in San Diego? I’ll be speaking in two sessions, so why not come on out? Learn  more about the events on OMS website. Do You Have a Mobile PPC Advertising Strategy Yet? Location: Sapphire I Monday, February 6, 2012, 12:00 PM-3:00 PM Mobile technologies are changing our lives. Mobile shopping and search queries have experienced tremendous growth in just the past year, making it a prime opportunity to leverage for paid advertising. Advertisers can now target the fastest growing audience on the planet on their mobile devices and tablets across operating systems and mobile carriers. Learn how to integrate your current PPC strategies and forge ahead with new, powerful tips.

Key takeaways include: •    Learn how mobile search and ads are different •    Current advertising options in Adwords •    Mobile landing pages best practices and conversion tips •    Conversion tracking options and KPIs •    Future technologies to watch to keep your PPC on the cutting-edge Search Marketing Power Tools Set: SEO and PPC Location: Sapphire M Thursday, February 9, 2012, 11:55 AM-12:45 PM Whether you’re new or a long time search marketer, tools are critical for improving SEO and PPC efficiency, effectiveness and scale. The problem is, the web is flush with search marketing tools. Which are the best for you? This session will spotlight the most important tools to accomplish all aspects of your search marketing program from competitor and keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, landing page testing, web analytics, bid management and more.

Don’t Lose Control of Your Brand and Trademark in PPC

December 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Take control of your brand in PPC by submitting trademark forms to search engines, asking the company nicely to stop, and controlling your brand presence.

Trademark Issues With PPC? Ways to Take Back Your Brand originally posted on Clickz.

I see this situation every few months. A frantic call or email from a client who is shocked and dismayed that their competitor’s PPC ad is showing up when they search for their trademark or brand. How did this happen and what to do?

First, don’t panic. Second, let’s assess the situation.

What if ‘My Trademark Showed Up in Ad Copy on a PPC Ad?’

Let’s assume your brand is trademarked. All major PPC ad platforms prohibit use of trademarks in ad copy. Therefore, it shouldn’t be appearing in others’ ads in search engines like Google or Bing, or in social ads like Facebook or LinkedIn. If it is, you can file a complaint with the ad platform and ask that it be investigated. Google’s form includes a “Scope of Complaint – Advertisers Involved” where you can select to limit this complaint to specific ads or to all advertisers. If you select all advertisers, be sure to include your own AdWords account as an “Authorized Entity” or your own ads may be disapproved in the future.

Likewise, if you experience this on Bing/Yahoo, you can also file a complaint about use in a specific PPC ad. Microsoft will investigate a complaint about trademark infringement in the text of a search ad on Bing and Yahoo Search after it receives all required information via the form. One major point of difference is that Bing allows the fair use of trademarks in ad text, such as resellers, product reviews, dictionary use of a term, or comparative advertising.

Facebook also allows you to report Intellectual Property or Copyright Infringement from forms on its site.

If you discover this occurring in LinkedIn, it asks you to contact LinkedIn Customer Service.

What if ‘My Competitor Is Bidding on My Trademarked Keyword so Ads Are Showing Up on Branded Searches?’

This scenario is a little trickier. Google allows advertisers to bid on trademarked keywords in the U.S., Canada, and many other countries, as long as they are not in the ad copy itself. Google’s help section also lists countries where such keyword bidding is not allowed at all.

Bing and Yahoo will no longer investigate complaints about trademarks used as keywords. Therefore, in both of these paid search platforms, it’s possible and likely a competitor could leverage your good name for their benefit.

There’s always one other option: ask nicely. It’s recommended to reach out to the violator and simply ask them to stop using your trademark in advertising. For example: “I was searching on Google this morning for our trademark term ‘super fly sunglasses’ and it appears that your ad is showing up on this keyword phrase. I am not sure if this is an accident or intentional, but I would like to ask that you remove this from your campaign and/or add ‘super fly sunglasses’ as a negative keyword. I hope you understand that this is a trademarked term and we are constantly fighting trademark infringers and simply want to protect our brand. I appreciate your acknowledgment of my concern and willingness to help with this. Thank you for your understanding.”

Does the violator have to comply? No, but it never hurts to ask.

How to Take Control of Your Brand Back

If you encounter problems with your trademark being used in either PPC ad texts or keywords, you are likely in a competitive industry where your brand has value and people want that. You’ll now need to stand out as the brand. Besides taking the action noted earlier, a few other simple tactics can help your ads stand out:

  • Brand owners should always bid on their own trademarks to be present for searches and to reinforce your brand’s leadership.
  • Use of “official site” or “original” in your ad text sends the message your brand is the one and only and can help to differentiate yourself from lookalikes.
  • Include a clear display URL in the ad with your brand name, even if the core domain is not the brand name. Try using http://www.somedomain.com/brand if necessary.
  • Utilize Ad Sitelinks in Google with clear brand messaging to get an additional four links attached to your ad when it appears in the top positions.
  • Use of the trademark symbol ™ or copyright symbol ® in the ad title or ad text is allowed if the trademark is already registered for both Google and Bing.

Now that we’ve assessed the situation and have a solid direction, we can begin to calmly tackle each incident and take control of our brand in PPC.

The secret formula: submit trademark forms + ask nicely to stop + control brand presence = one happy brand.

PPC Competitive Analysis

August 19, 2011 1 comment

Presented at SES San Francisco on August 17, 2011.

An essential component of any search marketing plan is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. This knowledge helps you comprehend what links to gain, ad prices to pay, content to offer and customers to seek. In this session, we take a close look at what tricks you can use with search engines to analyze your competitors’ game and also what free and premium tools are available to deep dive into their strategy. Join us for a candid discussion as panelists reveal their secrets for monitoring competitive forces and threats while sharing tips that can be successfully applied to any business intelligence effort. After attending this session, you’ll have the skills to easily discover what keywords your competitor is targeting, how much your competitor is spending on ads, and be able to identify opportunities your competitor is missing.

Back-to-School PPC: A+ Tips and Expansion Ideas

August 15, 2011 2 comments

Originally posted on ClickZ.

Aww, back-to-school already? Yes, it’s that time of year again when retailers’ minds turn to reaching parents and students of all ages purchasing supplies, clothing, and electronics. According to the National Retail Federation, combined K-12 and college spending will reach over $68 billion this year, serving as the second biggest consumer spending event for retailers behind the winter holidays.

The flexibility and real-time nature of paid search and PPC campaigns make them ideal tactics for the back-to-school marketing mix. In recent surveys, more people say they will shop online and will comparison-shop online than last year. With this audience more available online, it will be critical to be visible and offer unique messaging to entice shoppers.

Keyword Expansion

Now is the time to review your current program to determine how back-to-school themes can be incorporated into your account. Major themes include keywords related to textbooks, school gear, supplies, dorms, apparel, software, games, laptops, mobile devices, tablets and more. If your products fall into these categories or subcategories, it’s a good idea to reach out to the back-to-school crowd and capture this seasonal traffic.

You will be working on a short and accelerated timeline, so once your new keywords are implemented, quickly expand high performing keywords and employ negatives real-time as they become available from query reports.

Ad Creative

Whether you are starting from scratch or revisiting the creative from last year, you can attract more clicks by incorporating the appropriate keywords.

  • Include enticing offers in your ads that focus on discounts and deals for shoppers by using phrasing like “coupon,” “% off,” and “sale” in the ad copy and title.
  • Incorporate “student” and “school” in the ad copy.
  • Highlight your relevance to shoppers by incorporating “back”, “school,” and “student,” to your ad copy.
  • If you are utilizing SiteLinks in Adwords, don’t forget to edit your SiteLinks to include back- to-school language and promotions.

Paid Program Expansions

Including back-to-school seasonal tactics will not only expand the potential of your current account, it is also a great way to test new approaches for winter holiday season.

  • Remarketing/retargeting: Although it’s too late to set up a new retargeting campaign, the current audience can still be leveraged with back-to-school specific messaging, offers, and cross-sells, as appropriate. Prepare ahead next year by tagging appropriate content early to later target with back-to-school messaging.
  • Google Display Network: Leveraging the Google display network is an option to get more exposure to the back-to-school audience. This may be a good time to test category targeting. According to Google, the following categories and subcategories, in order of frequency, were the most commonly searched themes for back-to-school queries:
    • Society: Education, legal, social science
    • Entertainment: Music and movies
    • Shopping: Apparel, mass merchants, and department Stores, Flowers Gifts and greetings
    • Local: Regional content, jobs
  • Facebook ads: If you’re doing Facebook PPC, this is the perfect time to try targeting a student audience. Students can be targeted by their education status if they are in high school or college, and you can also specify a college name. This audience can also be reached by interest or category such as “Precise Interests” from users profiles like “student council” or “Broad Categories” like “consumer electronics” or “gaming”. Mix and match depending on the products you offer.
  • Mobile and tablet only campaigns: In comparison to previous years, students are more connected than ever. According to Google internal data, last year there was a lift of 500 percent in mobile searches for retail and consumer electronics categories over the summer months. This provides a unique opportunity to capture searchers attention on platform not totally saturated with ads. Remember that searches are more general on mobile and tablets than searches conducted through a desktop with a full keyboard. You will need to segment out mobile and tablets in your campaign settings.

mobile-ad-example

Back-to-school seasonality seems to pass in a flash. Search traffic begins in early July, peaks in mid August, and falls off at the end of September. Early planning is recommended, but more essential is understanding the shoppers you are trying to reach, where they purchase, and how to stand out from the crowd this back-to-school season.

Example of “Google Offers” in Adwords Ad?

July 15, 2011 1 comment

Google Offers, in beta, recently launched tests for online coupons to compete with Groupon. In looking through the Google Offers documentation, I didn’t see any direct mention of incorporating into Adwords. Google Offers is intended to be pre-paid, however, this offer just showed up in Adwords and led to a Google hosted landing page with “Google Offers” in the page title. Or is this the old coupon product being transitioned to Offers?

The Landing Page:

More info…

Google Offers beta launching in New York City and the Bay Area

Google To Tie Google Offers, Shopper to Google+

Google Offers Launches Test in Portland

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