4 AdWords Tools For DIY AdWords Managers

Even seasoned SEM managers need help organizing, updating, and analyzing the high volume of data created by their campaigns. It’s simply too much for to handle with spreadsheets alone. Luckily, there are several tools available to help with the mundane tasks and detailed analysis.

AdWords Editor

AdWords Editor

AdWords Editor

AdWords Editor is a free, downloadable Google application for managing large AdWords accounts efficiently on Windows or Mac computers. Download your campaigns, make bulk changes with powerful editing tools, then upload the changes to AdWords.

Filters & Automated Rules

AdWords Automated Rules

AdWords Automated Rules

Filter your account statistics to search for the data that interests you the most, such as keyword text, average cost-per-click (CPC), or impressions. Once you’ve created a filter, you can save it for easy access in the future. Automated Rules allow you to take action based on your filter results. For example, you can raise your CPC bids every Tuesday for keywords with an average Cost Per Lead below your target range. Similarly, you can pause and flag keywords with an unacceptable Cost Per Lead to manually review them before allowing them to run again.

Bulk Edits

AdWords Bulk Edits

AdWords Bulk Edits

A relatively new feature in the AdWords web interface that mimics some of the bulk editing capabilities in AdWords Editor (AE). Need to do a quick “Find and Replace” or “Append Text” function for some keywords or ad copy? Bulk edits make it easy. We still find AE to be more useful for large-scale updates, but Bulk Edits can speed up the monotony of making several minor changes to campaigns, ads, or keywords.

Automated Reporting

AdWords Automated Reports

AdWords Automated Reports

Customize your AdWords reports and have them emailed to you on a regular basis. With automated reporting, you can keep an eye on your most important campaigns, keywords, and ads without the trouble of logging in and re-creating your reports every few days.

Of course, machines can’t completely replace humans (yet), but they can help reduce the monotony and let us focus on the high-level strategies and insights that improve performance and yield more leads.

B2B Leads From Wall Street to Main Street

world mapA B2B client offers sales and management training for corporate clients with a network of over 200 training centers worldwide. The local trainers rely on a steady stream of leads to put their process to work and generate more clients. Your Search Advisor is tasked with increasing qualified sales leads from people searching Google, Yahoo, and Bing at the national and local levels.

Strategize

We set out to lower the average Cost Per Lead compared to previous campaigns run by another agency. In partnership with a team of specialist agency partners, YSA generates leads from content marketing and PDF downloads on dedicated landing pages that we built. Our search campaigns cover a wide spectrum of sales and management training topics to reach prospects at each stage of the B2B decision-making process.

Let YSA Work For You

Do your PPC campaigns need a boost? Are you reaching your best prospects with solutions to their problems? Let YSA help your business grow with a customized PPC strategy that will leave your competitors behind and your customers amazed.

Work With Us

Crafty E-Commerce Shop Seeks Sparkling ROI

blue beadsAn e-commerce retailer in the arts & crafts industry was looking for a strategic partner to manage all of their Pay Per Click advertising across Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, and Facebook. Our objectives are to grow sales volume and total revenue while maintaining a Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) within a narrow target to maintain profitability.

Strategize

To keep up with the ever-changing world of e-commerce PPC, Your Search Advisor has helped guide the client through every major change in Google’s shopping campaigns since 2008: Google Base, Froogle, Google Merchant Center, and Product Listing Ads. Google’s new Shopping Campaigns (launched February 2014) provide even more product-level data for deeper analysis.

Let YSA Work For You

Do your PPC campaigns need a boost? Are you reaching your best prospects with solutions to their problems? Let YSA help your business grow with a customized PPC strategy that will leave your competitors behind and your customers amazed.

Work With Us

Turning Leads Into Custom Home Sales

Landing Page OptimizationA custom home builder in Virginia needed more sales leads to ride out the downturn in the housing market. Our objective was to drive qualified leads, at the lowest possible Cost Per Lead. We inherited the AdWords account in 2011, and re-built it from the ground up.

Strategize

After rebuilding the account, we determined that the most effective way to improve our overall Cost Per Lead was to create a thorough Landing Page Testing Strategy. By increasing conversion rates steadily over time, we would be able to continually drop their Cost Per Lead.

In Their Own Words…

What you have been able to do for our company is truly remarkable. Not only have our internet leads tripled year over year, but your detailed reporting and tracking system has allowed us to reduce advertising expenditures in other less lucrative areas.

Scott Sleeme
Mitchell Homes, Richmond, VA

Let YSA Work For You

Do your PPC campaigns need a boost? Are you reaching your best prospects with solutions to their problems? Let YSA help your business grow with a customized PPC strategy that will leave your competitors behind and your customers amazed.

Work With Us

New Patients For An Established Dentist

Graham Gardner DDS

Graham Gardner, DDS

Your Search Advisor’s highly-analytical approach helped Gardner & Jones Orthodontics become one of the top Invisalign providers in the United States.

In June 2013, Dr. Gardner achieved Invisalign Super Elite status, placing him in the top 1% of Invisalign providers nationwide.

The Game Plan

Dr. Gardner asked us to focus primarily on his Invisalign services, while still generating patients for general orthodontic treatments.

To improve the overall efficiency of our campaigns, we placed a great emphasis on driving more Invisalign patients at the lowest possible CPA. This meant keeping a close eye on all parts of the campaigns; from keyword lists, all the way to conversion optimization.

Like with all of our clients, our plan for Dr. Gardner included the creation of detailed monthly reports. We wanted to show exactly how many new patients were being driven through PPC and display advertising.

In Their Own Words…

I am extremely happy that we are working with Andrew at YSA because it has been extremely beneficial for our practice. He has given us excellent advice and he has made our SEM easy and rewarding. On a regular basis we get excellent reports and he is very responsive whenever we have questions. I cannot recommend him highly enough for what he can do for the business and busyness side of your practice.

Graham Gardner, DDS
Gardner & Jones Orthodontics, Richmond, VA

Let YSA Work For You

Do your PPC campaigns need a boost? Are you reaching your best prospects with solutions to their problems? Let YSA help your business grow with a customized, measurable PPC strategy that will leave your competitors behind and your customers amazed.

Work With Us

Now Hiring: Search Engine Marketing Coordinator

Are you looking for a foot in the door in the online marketing world? Do you want to learn how to use Search Engine Marketing to generate measurable, predictable results for clients in a wide variety of industries? Do you like terrible puns?

We are hiring a Search Engine Marketing Coordinator in our Richmond, VA office to assist our team with the day-to-day planning and implementation of Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook Ads campaigns. Take a look at the details below and tell us why you are a great fit for our growing team.

Job Description

An entry-level Search Engine Marketing Coordinator position in a rapidly growing SEM agency. This job is perfect for a motivated individual that takes pride in his/her work and settles for nothing less than consistently superior results.

There’s no such thing as a typical day, but core duties will include:

  • Providing reports to our clients and handling requests for data & analysis
  • Monitoring ongoing tests and providing quantitative and qualitative support
  • Researching consumer search patterns and web browsing behaviors
  • Managing campaign budgets and tracking client spending
  • Brainstorming new ideas for keywords, ad copy, and landing page content

The right candidate will have the opportunity to transition into a Search Engine Marketing Analyst position within 6-12 months. Our SEM Analysts are responsible for day-to-day campaign management and client interactions.

Desired Skills & Experience

The perfect candidate will demonstrate that she/he is eager to learn the art and science of Search Engine Marketing and has a knack for number crunching in Excel.

Google AdWords and Google Analytics certifications are desired but not required to apply. If not already certified, new hires will be expected to study for and pass the certification tests immediately upon hire.

It would also help to:

  • Enjoy a spirited game of darts, foosball, or cornhole
  • Have a competitive streak
  • Showcase a great sense of humor
  • Embrace spontaneity

Company Description

Your Search Advisor is a Search Engine Marketing firm located in Richmond’s West End. We are in the business of creating long-term value and long-term relationships with our clients. We drive qualified, measurable traffic to our clients’ websites by developing and implementing highly customized Pay Per Click (PPC), website analytics, and conversion rate optimization strategies. Most importantly, we have fun doing it.

Andrew Miller founded Your Search Advisor in 2007 to provide a higher level of service and better results to clients in the retail, B2B, healthcare, and professional services industries.

To Apply

Send your resume and an original Google AdWords text ad describing yourself to info@yoursearchadvisor.com.

Webinar: Call Tracking for PPC – Dec. 5th

Looking for ways to increase sales leads from your Pay Per Click campaigns? Need better visibility into the performance of ALL of your marketing efforts?

Join us on Thursday for a webinar led by Irv Shapiro of ifbyphone. I’m going to share 5 ways we use call tracking to improve conversion rates for our clients that rely on a steady flow of sales leads from search engine marketing.

Topic: Call Tracking for PPC: How it works and why you need it
Date: Thursday, December 5th, 1:00pm EST
Link: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/43/92975
Presenters: Irv Shapiro, ifbyphone CEO and Andrew Miller, President of Your Search Advisor

Register For the Webinar

AdWords Express vs. AdWords Comparison

Is your business toying with the idea of testing Google AdWords to promote your products and services online? Even though nearly every keyword category is already crawling with competitors, there are millions of businesses that have not yet ventured into the Pay Per Click world to increase their visibility online.

The first thing you’ll notice when you start researching AdWords is a choice: Google AdWords Express vs. AdWords. Since most marketers or business owners are not aware of the differences, we put together this quick comparison.

Google AdWords Express

AdWords Express is a fully automated advertising program for marketers that want a convenient way to get ads online quickly. In that sense, AdWords Express works well. In just a few minutes, a business owner can add a few keywords that describe her services or products then write a brief description to serve as an ad. She enters her credit card and her business is online in minutes.

Easy, right? Technically, yes. But with every time-saving feature comes a compromise in control. Here are a few of the pros and cons we have found with AdWords Express.

Pros

  • Fast, easy set up for new users
  • Even the high-level reporting can be useful for marketers that are not used to measuring performance

Cons

  • Can only promote one product/service in one geographic area
  • Potentially irrelevant targeting & wasted spend
  • Limited control over audience targeting

Google AdWords (Full Version)

Like to get your hands dirty and dig into data? The full version of AdWords is for you. Advertisers get more features, more control, better targeting options, and more robust reporting than AdWords Express users.

Pros

  • Fully customizable & absolute control
  • Very granular controls over keywords, ads, and audience targeting
  • Can promote more than one product/service in multiple geographic areas
  • Detailed reporting & analysis capabilities

Cons

  • Greater time commitment to climb the steep learning curve
  • More complex interface
  • Potential information overload for beginners

Our Perspective

Both platforms will drive new traffic to your website.  And, both can work well if you set them up and optimize them properly with a goal of improving results over time.

No matter which version of AdWords you choose, pay close attention to your outcomes and results. Take the time to update your keywords, test new ads, and adjust bids for better results. It is entirely too easy to lose control of a neglected account and waste money on unqualified traffic that will never buy from you.

Given a choice, we always choose the full version of AdWords for our clients. We have experimented with the various iterations of AdWords Express (read our review of the former Google Boost service) over the years and helped transition several clients to the fully-featured version of AdWords for 3 reasons:

  1. AdWords Express only allows for one set of keywords and ads, so you can only effectively promote one product or service.
  2. Most Express features are built for local businesses, so online retailers or larger businesses will miss out on geographic-targeting capabilities.
  3. Very little data is provided for each keyword. This makes it nearly impossible to analyze the results and improve over time.

The bottom line: if you are don’t want to give up control over the details that matter for your AdWords campaigns, stick with the full version. If you just need a quick, convenient way to get your ads online without a lot of hand-holding, you might try AdWords Express.

10 Idiot-Proof Steps To Win Your First PPC Client

So, you’ve decided to start managing Pay Per Click (PPC) accounts to build your own business or make a little money on the side. Great move! Most people jump straight into setting up a website and hoping the phone will start ringing. I’ve spent the last 7 years proving that it doesn’t work that way.

If you hang around the industry long enough, you’ll find a lot of great resources for setting up, managing, and optimizing various components of a PPC account. But in my 7th year of running a Search Engine Marketing agency, I have yet to come across many great resources for the aspiring PPC manager that helps land that crucial first PPC client.

Why You Need A Plan To Win Your First New PPC Client

First off, it’s important to establish a game plan. You may luck into a client or two but sooner or later you’ll need a replicable, scalable plan for bringing in new business if you hope to grow. Once you start managing your new PPC clients’ accounts, you’ll need a plan to help keep you out of the weeds so you can spend part of your time marketing and growing your own business.

The following steps can be re-ordered and you may have already checked off some of these boxes, but at some point you’ll need to address each one to earn your prospect’s trust and protect your business as it grows.

Step 1: Earn Your AdWords & Bing Ads Certifications

Google PartnerAnnoying and (arguably) arbitrarily administered? Yes, but certifications from the two major PPC platforms is a credibility booster with new potential clients. While it doesn’t necessarily test for the skills that make a good PPC manager, it does show that you are willing to put in the time and effort to study and pass an exam that is considered an industry standard.

Step 2: Define Your Services

Are you going to offer PPC and SEO? How about web design or social media marketing? Are these new offerings or add-ons to other services you provide? Decide if you want to offer a full-service approach or specialize in one or two fields. It seems counter-intuitive, after all, new business is new business. Right? Not in our experience. Trying to focus on too many disciplines usually ends up with finding yourself spread too thin across multiple services. Selling multiple services simultaneously can also dissuade some new prospects that really only need a specialist in one or two areas.

Step 3: Set Up A Legal Business Structure (do it)

I can’t stress this enough. Many people skip this step and find themselves in serious trouble if the money starts to roll in. If you’re in the U.S., consider an LLC or S-corp to protect your personal assets and make it easier to file taxes. Consult an attorney or use a reputable online service to help with the paperwork. Any time and money spent on this step will be repaid when you don’t have to re-state earnings or pay an attorney to get you out of a legal challenge down the road.

Step 4: Draft An Airtight Contract

Nothing is more frustrating as a business owner thatn letting a good relationship go bad. I’m not saying that anybody intentionally sets out to disrupt your business, but it does happen for a variety of reasons. Invest in a good lawyer to draw up a contract template that clearly defines each of these items:

  • Project scope (define what is explicitly included, all else is excluded)
  • Timing and milestones
  • Fees and payment schedule
  • Deliverables
  • How to resolve disagreements
  • Indemnity (not being held liable for stuff that’s not your fault)
  • Intellectual property, non-disclosure, and a lot of other legalese

The point is, you need to look out for #1. Somebody, somewhere will try to take advantage of your “handshake deal” if you let them.

Step 5: Develop A List Of Prospects

Most new entrepreneurs jump straight to this step because it actually feels like you are doing something. Plus, it’s where starting a business starts to get fun. Your best prospects may be existing/previous clients, former employers, local businesses, or companies in an industry where you already have some experience. It’s up to you to start qualifying these prospects based on their need for your services, ability to pay, and willingness to recognize & reward good results. Here’s some motivation that only vintage Alec Baldwin can dish out (warning: language NSFW).

Step 6: Create Your Sales Pitch

I’m not talking about Billy Mays or telemarketing sales pitches, I’m talking about David Sandler-style sales that positions your services as the solution to a prospect’s pain points. If you don’t have case studies of your own, use some of the research and examples provided by AdWords and Bing Ads to demonstrate the effectiveness of SEM.

Full disclosure: Sandler Sales Training is a client of ours. Having gone through their training at my own expense, I can honestly say their system is brilliant and works well for selling services like PPC.

Step 7: Schedule Meetings To Qualify Your Prospects

Wait. Isn’t a sales meeting supposed to be about sales? NO! It’s about qualifying the prospect before you even spend time putting together a proposal. Before the meeting, get to know their business inside and out. Learn who their current and ideal customers are. During the meeting, ask about their business and marketing objectives, pain points, budgets, and decision-making processes before you even ask to submit a proposal. You want to qualify them as much as possible. If their pain points are so apparent and you can help solve them, then it’s time to spend time on a proposal.

Step 8: Write A Customized Proposal

Write a proposal customized to your prospect’s business with specific strategies and tactics that will help them accomplish their business objectives. Include the services, timing, investment, and any assumptions/dependencies. This will form the meat of your contract, so be specific to avoid confusion, delay, and missed expectations.

Step 9: Negotiate Fees and Scope

If your initial proposal is not accepted on the first pass, negotiate your rates and/or scope only if absolutely necessary. Don’t let the client push you around too much if you will resent the job later. Think about how far you are willing to flex and don’t be afraid to walk away from a bad deal. Hopefully after step 7, you have an idea of how much your prospect will gain by using your services. Don’t be afraid to ask them to pay a fair amount to solve their pain points!

Step 10: Schedule A Kickoff Meeting

Whether it’s your first new PPC client or your 100th, never skip the kickoff meeting. It’s the best time to set your client’s expectations about the scope, deliverables, success metrics, plan for execution, iteration/testing, and reporting phases of your account management. Agree before the meeting that you will be ready to launch the campaigns with the agreed-upon details.

Bask In The Glory, Then Get Back To Work!

carltonCongratulations, you have landed your first PPC client! Now you have to deliver the goods so you can create a case study of your success and a glowing client testimonial.

CC photo credit

An Intern’s Parting Words of Wisdom

Note from Andrew: We had the good fortune of having Angela Tabb join the YSA team as a summer intern. She was a great help with internal and client-facing projects and we are sorry to see her time with us come to an end. The following words are hers, and the pictures are from our team outing and going away celebration.

Though I did not prevail at turning anyone in the office vegetarian, I can say that I accomplished a lot as a marketing intern. As a summer intern at Your Search Advisor, I gained a great understanding of the impact search engine marketing has on increasing ROI for businesses today. Prior to my internship, I was unaware of all of the efforts that occur in pay per click advertising management on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Reviewing website analytics amazed me most by showing the magnitude that pay per click advertising can have in enhancing a company’s online success. By measuring leads, I was able to see how clients can increase traffic to their websites, expand their customer base, and ultimately increase their Return on Investment. Throughout the internship, I conducted industry research, aided in attempts towards expanding our client base, and learned various marketing techniques about enhancing landing pages in order to increase conversion rates.

Though I had a time great improving my dart accuracy on breaks, my favorite part of the internship was working with keyword advertising because it allowed me to think in the mind of the consumer. There are endless variations of words and phrases that consumers use on search engines daily. I enjoyed the task of narrowing down the most prominent searches in order for clients to spend less on marketing efforts while advertising directly to their targeted consumer.

I’m sad to fly from the nest of such a charismatic marketing team, but thankful for such a wonderful experience. The witty office humor is sure to be missed. Everyday at Your Search Advisor was educational, and I know I will use all of the knowledge I obtained here in my future endeavors.

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