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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Qualified SEM's Need Not Apply

I noticed an employment ad for a Paid Search Marketing Manager posted in a few webmaster forums today.

I've been very fortunate to meet some great, and extremely talented, people in this industry - most of which don't have any formal education beyond high school. Although I'm far from great and barely have any talent, I do fit well in the "don't have one of them there fancy degrees" crowd.

Personally, even if I did have a degree I wouldn't work in a search marketing position that required that I had one. To me a company that requires it's search marketing employees to have a degree doesn't understand the search marketing landscape AT ALL. I'd take a high school drop out with a year of real world SEM experience over a person with a 4 year degree and a lot of hypothetical SEM knowledge any day of the week.

Do you the want the best person for the job or do you want the person with the most respected degree? In this industry one doesn't always equal the other.


AdCenter Invites - Join Now

I received an e-mail letting me know I can invite 10 people to join AdCenter. If you've been waiting to join and have missed the previous open enrollment sessions leave a comment here with your e-mail address (format it like this: myemail at domain dot com) and I'll send you an invite. I only have ten invites and they will be given out on a first come first comment basis.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Shut Your Campaign Down Now

I spend quite a bit of time answering PPC related questions in various marketing/webmaster forums. I feel reading and responding to questions from other more and less experienced PPC marketers helps me stay sharp. I come across a handful of questions every week that I don't know the answer to and that makes me spend some time doing research or conducting more testing to determine the answer. I'd like to think I've helped a lot of people in various forums and at the same time have learned a TON.

Anyway, to the point of this post. I often see people with live AdWords campaigns asking questions in forums that amaze me. I find myself shaking my head quite a bit saying to myself "why on earth would you start an AdWords campaign until you understand what you are doing? It's real money after all."

If you have an active AdWords campaign and don't know the answer to all of these questions off the top of your head shut it down and go read the FAQ and other available information. You'll be far more successful in the long run.

1) What are keyword matching options?

2) What is the content network?

3) What's a good CTR?

4) How is the minimum bid determined?

5) How much do I have to spend?

6) What's dynamic keyword insertion?

7) Where will my ads appear?

8) What's a CPM ad?

9) What is conversion tracking?

10) What does negative keyword matching do?

All pretty straightforward questions that anyone with an active AdWords account should be able to answer without looking anything up.

Related: AdWords Learning Center.


Ask's PPC Program

Came across this thread today regarding Ask's PPC program.

My experience with them can easily be described as horrible, and, very short lived. Other seem to have pretty much the same opinion. One of the most basic complaints is Ask not getting back to people who fill out their forms requesting more info or to be contacted. Maybe Ask employees have all been too busy watching their new lineup of commercials on TV to get back to potential advertisers.

Most PPC managers I know are incredibly busy and don't have time to deal with unresponsive companies. It's almost like Ask considers it a privilege to be able to advertise with them.


SuperPages.com to Sell Google AdWords

My knee jerk reaction to the news - huh?

In my AdWords world it's always been about close relationships between the client and AdWords account manager. An account manager that's not managing 100 accounts, actually understands the client's market and has the time/resources to manage campaigns around that market effectively is worth their weight in gold.

I'll save my comments until after things get rolling and I have a chance to test this out. Yes, I know many small business owners who would be happy to particiapte:-)

Right now though I'd have to say this post pretty much sums up what I think about it, espcially this part:

"Adwords... oh, that's like the Yellow Pages, isn't it?"

I just know I'm going to hear it from a new client someday.

Clickz reports that Superpages salespeople will begin selling Adwords based on a new agreement signed this week. Am I the only one who says OMG?

I'm a long-time Adwords user and a believer in the system. However, this kind of bulk-buy-mindset that ignores ROI, analytics, and conversion results does nothing but hurt both the media property and the client in the end."


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The $40,000 Experiment

Shoemoney started a thread over at DP about his "$40K experiment".

Basically, he's throwing a total of $40,000 ($10,000 each) at AdWords, Yahoo/Overture, AdCenter and AdBrite and plans to post about the results in his blog. He's also soliciting questions - i.e. do you want to know about something other than the overall ROI of each campaign?

From the post:

"March 1st I started campaigns on adwords, yahoo search marketing, msn adcenter, and adbrite each for $10,000.00 budgets for the month of march. All targeted the same keyword except for adbrite where I just did a network run of ads (best bang for the buck).

I directed all these ads to the same affiliate for the same keyword and the results are pretty interesting.

I am now preparing a blog post about it and curious as to what specifics people might be interested in knowing other then basic roi"


If you have questions for Shoe or are just interested in the outcome of his experiment swing by the forums and let him know.

Any guesses as to what campaign ends up with the best ROI? I don't know a thing about his market but will toss out AdCenter as my guess.


Monday, March 20, 2006

AdCenter Traffic Increase on March 22nd

I just received word for the AdCenter team there's another traffic/ad distribution increase on the way March 22, 2006.

"Just a short note this time: on Wednesday, March 22, we’ll be raising AdCenter traffic levels to 70%. AdCenter customers should start to see an impact to their campaigns beginning Thursday, March 23, however it may take several days to reach 70%. Just like last time, your budget may be impacted due to the increase. Also, as more traffic is directed to adCenter, you should expect a decrease in traffic from your Yahoo! Search campaigns"

Traffic has been increasing and conversions have been holding - keep it coming AdCenter team!


Friday, March 17, 2006

Looking for a pro to run your Adwords campaign?

Start your search at http://www.whoisagap.com/.


One-Page Campaign Setup

It's about time:-)

"AdWords offers two ways to create a new keyword-targeted campaign:

- The multi-page setup wizard, which lets you create your campaign from scratch with all-new settings. - The advanced one-page setup wizard, which lets you copy and modify settings from one of your existing campaigns.

You can choose either method whenever you create a new keyword-targeted campaign in your account. When you click the "Create a new campaign: keyword targeted" link on your Campaign Summary page, you'll be offered the chance to use the one-page wizard, using a pull-down menu to select the campaign settings you'd like to copy. Targeting, ad text, and pricing fields for the campaign will be filled automatically with the data from the existing campaign you choose. You can then click "Edit" next to any of the categories to change the existing settings or add other information for the new campaign."


That's from here - What is the One-Page Campaign Setup option?

More info at the Inside AdWords blog.


AdWords "Starter" Version

Via one of the best damn search blogs out there, Google Offers New "Starter" Version of AdWords.

I often come in contact with people new to the PPC/AdWords world who have been a bit confused or made mistakes when first setting up their account. Anything Google can do to minimize those issues will be a big + to new advertisers.

Happy St Patrick's Day!


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Google Print Ads...Who Won the Auction(s)?

It must not have been me...no notification received on this end. I'm actually a bit surprised. My bids were slightly above what one should expect to pay if they went direct yet apparently insufficient for this auction.

Any print auction winners care to share how they feel the winning bids compared to what they could have purchased the ad space for directly? Higher? Lower? About the same?


Friday, March 10, 2006

AdWords Referral Program

Starting to get back in to the swing of things today after long, long week of being sick. One of the first things I wanted to cover this morning is the AdWords referral program.

I came across the info at DP, which linked to the JenSense blog entry on the subject. She lays everything out very clearly...no point in repeating it all here. Head over to the JenSense Blog for the full story.

I'm disappointed it's not available in the USA but still have hope it will be at some point in the future.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Back Soon

Sorry for the lack of updates...I've been out the past few days fighting with a nasty cold. I hope to be back posting useless Internet clutter in the next day or two.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Join AdCenter - No Wait

On March 6th AdCenter will hold an "open enrollment" for people wishing to participate in the AdCenter pilot. Starting at 9 AM PST and running for about 3 hours advertisers can sign up at http://adcenter.msn.com without waiting for an invitation to the pilot. Those who sign up during this time will be asked to pay a $5 sign-up fee with a credit card, and then they’ll have instant access to their account to begin creating ads.


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