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Archive for February, 2012
If you’re running paid search campaigns in Google AdWords, and you don’t already use the Dimensions tab, you’re missing out on a ton of useful data. Rolled out in mid-2010, the Dimensions tab is one of the most important components of the AdWords UI. It allows you to view data for an entire account or specific campaign(s) that can be used to better target your customers, decrease wasteful spend, and improve conversions. At PPC Associates, our Production team relies heavily on the Dimensions tab to pull detailed reports on campaign behavior across different time periods or geos, and to better understand how and where our ads are being shown on both the search and content networks.
The Dimensions tab is located on the right-hand side of the tabs list in the AdWords UI. If you can’t already see it, click on the drop-down arrow at the end of the row to bring up the menu of available tabs.
Once you’re in the Dimensions tab, go to the “View” drop-down menu to see the types of data available. The screenshot below shows the main menu; for Time, Conversions, and Reach and frequency you have additional options, such as Day of the week, Day (date in time), Week, Month, Quarter, Year, or Hour of day.
So now that you know where to find this, how are you going to use it? There’s a ton of good stuff here, and obviously not all of it will be relevant to every campaign. If you’re not using track-able phone numbers in your ads, for example, the “Call details” option is not going to have any data for you. If your campaigns are only running on the search network, you won’t have any automatic placements to review. But take advantage of what you can. Here are a couple of examples of how we use the Dimensions tab at PPC Associates:
1) Day parting. We usually run two types of day parting reports: day of the week and hour of day. You can pull the data separately, or you can use the advanced segmentation feature in AdWords to break it down by hour of day for each day of the week. Once you have the data in Excel, use conditional formatting to easily spot trends in campaign performance. This can then be used to optimize the campaigns; for example, you may choose to increase bids during time periods with high conversion rate and low CPA, or decrease bids when the opposite is true. If there’s a clear drop in performance during specific days or hours of day, you may even want to turn campaigns off during these low-performing time periods. In the sample data below, it’s clear that the hours of 5 am – 8 am do not perform well, whereas the hours of 4 pm to 8 pm have high conversion rates and low CPAs.
2) Search query review. Being able to see the actual queries that cause your ads to show is powerful, both for finding terms you don’t want to show up on and getting new ideas for keywords. We all know that running keywords on broad match – or even modified broad match or phrase match – opens up a campaign to a wide range of search queries, many of which might not be relevant to what we’re advertising. The “Search terms” option in the Dimensions tab will let you see the queries triggering your ads. Use this data to promote high-performing queries by turning them into keywords with targeted ads, and also to scrub out unwanted terms. This is especially important when your campaigns include a lot of general keywords. Just imagine how many irrelevant queries you can get matched to when bidding on “will” (as in last will and testament) keywords. The screenshot below shows just a few out of thousands.
Clearly this is a very broad overview of the Dimensions tab and the ways you can use it to optimize your campaigns. There are a lot of different ways to use the data, and the “Customize columns” and advanced segmentation options let you slice and dice the data in innumerable ways. No time like the present to get in, start some tests, and figure out how to improve your campaigns with the options on hand.
- Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily of Schipul – The Web Marketing Company.
With Google’s recent Search Plus Your World update, it is now more important than ever to have a highly optimized Google+ page. Since Google now shows social results mixed in with organic results, your Google+ page is extremely crucial in helping you appear in Google.
With the release of Google’s Search Plus Your World update, Google now recommends Google+ pages for specific search queries. When I do a search for the term “web design,” I get these recommended Google+ people and pages:
As you can see, Google now recommends Google+ People and Pages related to a specific search term e.g. “web design.” So, how can you appear as a related person or page for search queries? Well, the first thing you need to do is fill out your Google+ page and optimize it.
Below are some tips to help you optimize your Google+ page.
Tips on How To Optimize Your Google Plus Page
Be Sure to Select an Optimized Title
The name of your brand or business should be the title of the page but be sure to choose wisely and if relevant include keywords in your title. For example, the SMX Conference Google+ page, includes “Search Engine Marketing” in their title. See the screenshot below.
Fill Out Your Meta Description
Google also let’s you provide a meta description that appears directly below your page title. This is a great place to provide an accurate description of your services. Also, be sure to include keywords in your description so that you can rank better for these terms in Google’s new update, Search Plus Your World.
So for example, SEO Hacker uses “SEO Hacker is an SEO Services Company in the Philippines that aims to help you learn SEO in Simple. . .” as their description. Instead of using their tag line, “Be Visible. Get Searched. Let’s Make This Happen,” they decided to use a more keyword rich meta description which will help them better rank in Google+ for SEO and SEO services.
Fill Out the About Section
This section is just as important as filling out your meta description and choosing the right title and it’s a great opportunity to include links to specific pages to your site like a services page or a contact form.
In this section, you should include information that searchers will want to know about your company. Also, Google allows you to use bulleted formatting which is a great way to list your services and products in an easy to read format.
So, be sure to include as much information as possible when filling out this section. A good example of this is from Schipul’s Google+ page:
In the photo section, you have the opportunity to upload photos with keywords. Also, by uploading photos it will help your profile reach completion. Use photos that best feature your company, company culture or services. You can also use images for your photos like the Search Engine Land example below:
Also, the photos you add to your Google+ page will appear the new Search Plus Your World’s search results pages (SERPs)
Fill out Your Recommended Links
This section is another great chance to link your services pages, contact forms, etc. We recommend inserting links that are only relevant to your Google+ page including keywords. Also, be sure to include links to your other social networks, blog, website, contact forms, etc.
Here’s an example from SMX’s Google Plus page:
Be Active and Update Frequetnly
Finally, you need to become more active and update frequently on your Google+ page. You don’t have to over do it but posting something valuable and relevant to your customers, followers and friends can help you rank better in Search Plus Your World. Try posting at least twice throughout the week. By posting regularly, Google will notice your activity and reward you for being active and providing new and fresh content.