AdWords introduces Ad Scheduling

The AdWords team has rolled out Ad Scheduling, allowing you to control the days and times your AdWords campaigns appear. For example, you might set your ads to run only on Tuesdays, or from 3:00 until 6:00 pm daily. You'll want to run an hourly report to determine the optimal time slot to generate the most valuable traffic.

Ad Scheduling also includes an advanced feature that lets you adjust pricing for your ads during certain time periods.

For more information about Ad Scheduling, see the AdWords documentation »

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Understanding Ad Groups

Breaking up your keywords into Ad Groups will help you maintain organization and control over your AdWords campaigns. Typically, grouping is done by keyword, though price might be another factor you wish to group by. For each Ad Group you create, devise a list of keywords as well as negative keywords.

For more information about Ad Groups, see the AdWords documentation »

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A/B split testing with AdWords

The Google AdWords team built A/B split testing right into the AdWords interface, allowing you to test ad variations for the same keyword at no additional cost. Be sure to only modify one element of your ads for testing. Changing more than this will make it impossible to know which changes generated which results! The Ad Text Report will compare impressions, click-throughs, CTR, conversions and conversion rate across your ad variations allowing you to determine the most effective ad copy. Gradually, you can perform this same optimization over each element of your PPC ads. The rewards are obvious: a higher CTR will reduce your PPC costs! 

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10 Worst AdWords Campaign Mistakes

Tyler Huston has penned an essential article for PPC advertisers over at SitePoint.com: 10 Worst AdWords Campaign Mistakes. According to Huston, the Top 10 Mistakes are:

  1. Creating a long list of less than targeted keywords
  2. Failing to identify unique aspects of your product or service
  3. A lack of keywords in your ad text
  4. Directing users solely to your home page
  5. Creating single ad groups
  6. Utilizing single campaigns
  7. Using broad match only
  8. Failing to optimize ad serving for your ads
  9. Failing to track results
  10. Entering the content network without modifying bids

If you are running AdWords campaigns, run over to SitePoint and read this article!

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Google click fraud settlement update

If you purchased AdWords advertising between January 1, 2002 and the present, you are a class member in a class-action lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Miller County, Arkansas. If you didn't receive it already, you should be receiving an email shortly from clicksettlement@xmr3.com containing links to further information about the negotiated settlement and how you can claim an award of advertising credits under the settlement. For more information, see:

There are some reports out there claiming that this email from clicksettlement@xmr3.com is a phishing scam–not so! It's legit, so if you feel you've been a victim of click fraud via AdWords, head over and read the legalese.

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Give your AdWords campaigns a spring cleaning

If you haven't already, now is a good time to review your Google AdWords campaigns and give your ads a spring cleaning. In April, the AdWords team announced coming changes to their system designed to improve relevancy  for Google users.

What do these changes mean to advertisers? In an effort to improve relevancy, the impact of broad matching has decreased. Watch your campaigns; if you see a decline in performance, review your ad copy to ensure that ads are clear and exact. If you are noticing unwanted clicks for certain keywords, add negative keywords to improve targeting.

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AdWords referrals

Google began offering $20 for referrals to their AdWords program earlier this month. You can set this up on your websites with a referral button or text links. You can also use Google's code generation wizard.

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Understanding Site Targeting

Google has introduced a new feature in AdWords called Site Targeting. It's simple, but also a little different from anything we've seen from AdWords yet. First, you pick specific websites you want to advertise on, then you pay per impression (CPM) or cost per thousand times your ad is shown–not per click.

What's so different about Site Targeting?

Previously with PPC, you were limited by the fact that a potential customer has to be actively looking for you or your product in order to find you. With Site Targeting, you can place your ad on specific websites and gain exposure to users who weren't actively searching for you but are interested in your offering. Simply put, the implications are huge! 

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AdWords tip: Use negative keywords

Negative keywords cause an ad to not be shown if any of the keywords are in the search phrase. Using negative keywords ensures that your ad is only displayed for relevant searches, increasing your CTR and eventually lowering your bid costs.

When setting up negative keywords for your AdWords campaigns, only place one negative keyword per line and precede each keyword with a dash.

Are you using negative keywords yet? 

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Using AdWords for keyword research

AdWords' Broad Match can reveal a gold mine of relevant keyword phrases that your competitors might have missed! Once you've enabled Broad Match, simply watch your server logs for referals from Google and note the search terms visitors used. This might open up entirely new sales channels for you!

But don't stop there! Take the terms revealed by Broad Match and create Exact Match entries for them, enabling you to track their performance. 

After several months of refinement, you'll wind up with a comprehensive list of effect keyword phrases, many of which your competitors have overlooked. Not only can you optimize your ad creatives with these keyword phrases, but you can also take the opportunity to optimize your website copy.

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