Looking for ways to get more return for your PPC investment? We've collected 10 of our favorite search marketing resources.
Paid search flexes both the analytical and creative sides of your brain, but on any given day the PPC can be turned upside down. Google, as well as all other paid search programs are notorious for changing their tools without much notice. It’s essential to have a good set of tools and resources to help you efficiently perform tasks, and stay up to date with the latest changes in pay per click advertising. We’ve outlined the favorite tools our team uses and blogs we read to stay up to date with the latest trends and best practices.
The keyword planner is the essential tool to discover keywords, averages of monthly searches, and view the level of competition you can expect when designing your campaigns and ad groups for the Google search network. Located in AdWords under the tools tab, the keyword planner is a great place to start the keyword research process.
The Search Engine Results Page
The search engine results page, or SERP as we affectionately call it in the search engine marketing industry, is chalk-full of information that you can incorporate into your PPC strategies. Search for products to get a glimpse into how your competitors are advertising, and use the “searches related to” list to see other keyword variations you can use.
The dimensions tab in AdWords is full of powerful metrics that allow data-driven strategies to be incorporated into your account. Detailed metrics such as clicks and conversions can be broken down by hour of day, day of week, and geographic location. Use the information in the dimensions tab to schedule your ads to only run when they perform best, or create geo-targeted campaigns to better target your audiences.
Search Query Reports
Unless you are only using exact match keywords occasionally, your ads will trigger for keyword phrases that may not be entirely relevant to your website or campaign goals. For instance, if you are using the keyword “steel knives,” the phrase “how to sharpen steel knives” may trigger. These phrases can be viewed under the search query report in AdWords. This list will give you a full report of all the phrases that have triggered your ads and can be a great way to discover additional keywords for your ad group or negative keywords to add to your campaign.
Tired of making all your changes in your account online? AdWords editor offers a great solution for working on your accounts offline. AdWords editor allows for bulk editing to quickly make multiple changes, view statistics of accounts, and copy and move items between ad groups and campaigns.
Ad Preview and Diagnosis
With the ad preview and diagnosis tool, you can view how your ad will be shown on the Google search page. Use this tool to see how your ad compares to others on the SERP.
SpyFu is a paid tool that allows advertisers to view metrics on what keywords competitors are bidding on, in-depth keyword research, suggestions for negative keywords, and ad copy resources.
Blogs we read:
The best (and worst) thing about working in paid search is that on any given day you can show up and your job may be completely different due to industry changes. Working in paid search means you have to devote a certain percentage of time to keeping up with new industry tools and standards. These are some of our favorite blogs we read to stay up to date on the latest changes in paid search.
Search Engine Watch
Search Engine Watch is one of the staple blogs to follow for news in pay-per-click advertising. Search Engine Watch provides information on best practices, new features on all the major search engines, and reviews of tools. Additionally, Search Engine Watch also provides news on SEO, Social Media, and has great articles for beginners looking to get into Search Engine Marketing.
PPC Hero is a great resource for ongoing education in AdWords and developing new AdWords skills. Updated regularly with whitepapers, articles, and webinars, PPC Hero is a great place for those with experience running paid search campaigns to expand their skills, discover new strategies and learn about new features available to paid search experts.
Search Engine Roundtable
The Search Engine Roundtable blog scours other blogs to find the most interesting threads, discussions and reports and provides a detailed synopsis of these threads. These articles serve as a great resource for learning how to manage accounts of any size and how to integrate your paid, SEO, and social media campaigns.
Do you have any great resources or tools you use we missed? Let us know!
-Jacob Ehrnstein, Volusion