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Archive for the ‘Keeping up with the Search Engines’ Category
Last month I wrote about a few ways to use Google’s AdWords Desktop Editor to more efficiently manage campaigns in Google AdWords. This month I’ll share some of my favorite tricks in the Microsoft adCenter Desktop Editor program, starting with two of the same things I highlighted in Google AdWords Editor: advanced bid changes and copying campaign settings. Just like Google’s AdWords Editor, the Microsoft adCenter Desktop Editor lets you make changes to your adCenter PPC campaigns offline and post those changes live after you’ve had a chance to Q/A your work. The Microsoft Desktop Editor also allows you to do some bulk changes that cannot be done in the adCenter UI, so it’s a great time-saver. While adCenter Desktop program doesn’t have all of the functionality of Google’s AdWords Desktop Editor, it’s come a long way in the last several months. I’m excited to see what additional features they’ll roll out in 2012.
Here are three of my favorite tools in Microsoft’s adCenter Desktop editor:
1. Advanced Bid Changes
If you find yourself wanting to increase or decrease bids on multiple keywords in one fell swoop, look for the “Change bids” button at the bottom of the adCenter Desktop tool. Note that you can only find this option in the Keywords tab for adCenter, unlike the “Advanced bid changes” option found in multiple tabs of AdWords Editor. (Fingers crossed, the “Change bids” button will soon show up on adCenter’s Ad Groups tab as well!)
To change bids, simply select the keywords that need adjusted bids, and then click on “Change bids”
As in AdWords Editor, the pop-up box lets you choose to increase or decrease bids by a certain percentage amount or dollar amount. You can also choose to “Set bid no higher than” or “Set bid no lower than” a certain amount.
2. Copying Campaign Settings
There’s now an easy way to copy campaign targeting settings from an existing campaign and paste them into one or more additional campaigns in adCenter. The following campaign settings can be copied: Locations, Day of Week, Time of Day, Demographics, and Devices.
To do this, simply right-click on the campaign whose settings you need to copy and then select “Copy” from the menu. Right-click on one or more campaigns into which you want to copy the settings. Select “Paste special” from the menu. A pop-up box will then give you the option to “Paste settings only,” and any available settings will appear on the right-hand side. Select the settings you want to paste (in this case, “Targeting”).
Double-check the campaign settings in one of your edited campaigns, and they should match the settings you copied over – much easier than going in and adjusting each of those settings manually!
3. Change Target Settings (Multiple Campaigns)
The trick above is great if you have a campaign that already contains the settings you want to add to other campaigns. But if you need to apply the same brand-new settings to multiple campaigns, here’s what you can do.
Start by selecting all of the campaigns you want to apply the settings to, and then click on the “Targeting” button at the bottom of the “Campaigns” tab. A pop-up box will appear that gives the option of modifying: Exclusions (websites and keywords), Locations, Day of Week, Time of Day, Demographics, and Device.
You can modify any or all of these settings, and they will be applied to all selected campaigns. This is great when you’re launching or modifying several campaigns at once.
The adCenter Desktop Editor is still somewhat behind AdWords Editor in terms of functionality, but if you’re spending any amount of time in adCenter, knowing the efficiency-based features is vital. If you have suggestions for features you’d like to see added in the Desktop Editor, leave a comment!
SEO.com recently came out with a stellar infographic featuring the Stars of Search Marketing. You may or may not yet be familiar with these names but in the world of Search Engine Optimization, you should definitely know their work. This fun infographic also showcases the future of search according to these SEO experts.
For more information about these Search Stars visit their websites:
- Bruce Clay – BruceClay.com
- Matt Cutts – MattCutts.com/blog
- Danny Sullivan – SearchEngineLand.com
- Rand Fishkin – SEOmoz.org
A common question in the SEO world has always been: What’s best to use in a URL, dashes or underscores? Do they make a difference to search engines and how do they affect your web site ranking?
Which is better for SEO? Schipul.com/web-marketing vs. Schipul.com/web_marketing
According to Search Engine Land, Google and Bing handle dashes and underscores in URLs differently.
Google’s Matt Cutts, recently released this YouTube video update on the Underscores vs. Dashes question.
“Join on the Underscore, Separate on the Dash.”
Google says it’s better to stick with the dash to separate keywords in a URL. If you’re starting a new website and its brand new, Google encourages you to use dashes. This will allow you to add more easily searchable keywords into your URL and may help improve rankings.
However, if you have a website that’s successful in page rankings and has been around for a while, don’t worry about it. Underscores are fine to use for established websites. Cutts says the amount of impact it has in Google rankings is “relatively low” and he does not recommend going back and rewriting every single URL to use dashes because it’s just not worth it and may cause problems.
Do Dashes vs. Underscores Make a Huge Difference in Google?
Cutts states, “It doesn’t make that much of a difference. It’s what we call a second-order effect. It’s not a primary thing that makes a huge difference.”
What About in Bing?
A Bing spokesperson responded to Search Engine Land by saying they do not differentiate at all between dash and underscore in their URL ranking features.
What Should Webmasters Do?
If you are launching a new site, then go ahead and use dashes in your URLs, in order to keep your keywords separate. According to Cutts, “when Google sees an underscore in a URL, it joins what’s before and after into one term.” However, if you have an existing site and using underscores in your URLs, don’t change them to dashes because it can cause technical problems and can impact your search rankings.