A quick update – it’s always great working with new charities, and I’ve started exciting projects recently with Breaking Barriers and The King’s Fund:
And I also spoke at the Digital Charities SEO meetup last week, which was super fun.
March 1st is my freelancing anniversary (seven years now), but as the saying goes – behind every great SEO, there’s usually some fantastic support. Mine comes mostly in the form of one Deborah Sutton, who has been providing me with amazing copy for over five years. Deb writes pitch-perfect outreach blog posts, and has worked on some of my larger projects too, such as when I lead the content transformation at Deloitte a few years back. Thank you Deb, I couldn’t have done it without you!
And recently, I’ve had the pleasure to work again with Samina Haffajee. Samina was my first point of contact when I started SEO consulting for Unicef UK in 2013, and when I heard she’d gone freelance I pretty much begged her to work with me. Fortunately, she agreed, and Samina has been focusing her considerable skills onto some of my Paid Search campaigns for the past few months, looking for opportunities and overcoming my blindspots.
Finally, my good friend Diana Seifert has always had an interest in PPC, and so I suggested she might find value in becoming certified. I tell this to people all the time, but no one ever does – except Diana, who is now fully Adwords certified and has been very helpfully crunching some data for me on a big paid search project.
Big thanks to you all – and of course my clients – here’s to another great year!
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to make this site less blatantly self promotional, but I just received this great feedback (sorry!):
The London Film School attracts global customers and does so on a marketing shoestring. While looking for someone to support online campaigns, Drew’s personable and expert approach stood head and shoulders above his peers. Not only did he “get” the macro picture quickly and efficiently, all explanations and phone calls were fun. If you’re weary of PPC or SEO conversations, talk to Drew and he’ll make it engaging for you or your team so you’ll want to learn more.
Head of Marketing and Communications
The London Film School
Drew is a methodical and very experienced digital marketing consultant. Always professional, he helped rebuild and optimise a series of large PPC accounts in our AM market, consistently fulfilling detailed briefs on time and to order as well as bringing his own ideas to further improve the project. Highly recommended.
THE YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP
Thanks Oli, pleasure working with you!
Drew delivered a clear, customised training session and we were all left feeling positive about how to manage our Adwords going forward. We’d highly recommend Drew, he’s obviously very switched on and good at what he does.
International Digital Manager
World Cancer Research Fund International
Yesterday, I lead a day’s Google Adwords training at the WCRF-UK.
Not only did the lucky participants get to see me get frustrated at a very non-responsive trackpad, but they also came up with one of the best Google ads I’ve seen in a while – so kudos to them.
Last Friday, I lead a three hour training session with over 20 attendees from charities around the UK. The topic? Adwords: Getting the most of your Google Grant.
Friday afternoon can be a tough slot to give training, especially on something as dry as Google Adwords and PPC, but the time flew by, not least because the attendees were very motivated to harness that strange unicorn of a digital marketing beast – the Google Grant.
I also made sure there were lots of exercises to get us up and moving – nothing is more soporific than one person talking for three hours straight, however good the Adwords training content!
Thanks to Raising IT, whose training session it was, for organising everything and allowing me to break down the pros and cons of the Adwords Google Grant with my trademark bad jokes – and for this very kind testimonial:
Drew was an excellent trainer who made what would normally be a dry subject both fun and engaging. Our attendees gave overwhelmingly positive feedback about the session and left inspired to get the most out of their Google Grants. Highly recommended if you want Adwords training which is insightful AND funny.
I’ve been creating a lot of keyword research for my clients recently, and as well the usual suspects (keyword planner, kabillions of Google searches, competitor research) I discovered a new keyword tool called Übersuggest which I really like.
Übersuggest then gives you all the Google Instant results in one long list from Chimapan-A to Chimpan-Zee (sorry, Simpson’s joke)
6. Send Auction Insights report to Clients each month
This is a really great report for clients for them to see how they’re doing against competitors – and a good way to start the discussion about increasing media spend. In the Campaign tab, click “Details” and then “All”.
7. Analyse Display Network websites
Google’s Display Network can often feel like The Wild West (especially to someone like me who’s very Search Network focused), however I am doing more Remarketing campaigns for clients of late (Remarketing, as you probably know, are those banner ads that pop up as you browse the web showing adverts for websites you’ve previously visited – the one’s that feel like they’re “following” you).
To analyse your Display sites, you’ll first need to get a list of site’s where your ads are appearing. In your Campaign go to the “Dimensions” Tab and select “View” and then choose “Automatic Placements”.
This report gives you the data to do two useful things:
a) Increase the bids on highly converting sites, and
b) Exclude irrelevant and poor performing sites
8. Run a Keywords Diagnosis Report
This report flags if ads are showing for each keyword and if not, why not. It only diagnoses the first 2000 keywords and takes a while with large numbers, so use filters to isolate specific keywords.
This is a good report to check if ads are appearing in different locations (and to be able to bulk check keywords rather than test them one at a time in the Ad Preview & Diagnostic Tool).
9. Run a Top vs. Other Report
This report will show you exactly where your ads are showing on the SERP. Go to the Keywords Tab, then choose “Segment”.
For each of your keywords selected, it will show how many clicks were:
1. Top (above organic results)
2. Other (on the right of organic results)
10. Check out your Search Funnels
Buried in the Conversions tab is a very interesting section called Search Funnels. There’s a whole host of conversion data including “Days to conversion” (how many days it took after the click to make the conversion) and “Assist clicks” (all the clicks leading up to a conversion – except for the last click – for each keyword).
Read Part 1 of 10 Useful Optimisation Tips I found studying for the Adwords Search Advanced Exam.
While cramming for the Adwords Search Advanced Exam, I jotted down all the optimisation ideas I thought would be useful to fold into my day to day PPC management – and so I thought I’d share them.
1. Turn on the Quality Score column in the Keywords Tab
Most of the time I check Quality Score by hovering over the keyword status or filtering results, but I’ve found it’s better to have the Quality Score show in its own separate column. To turn it on, go to the “Columns” drop down in the Keywords Tab, choose “Customise Columns”, add “Quality Score” (from the “Attributes” tab) and click save.
2. Add Invalid Clicks & Invalid Click Rates columns to Campaign Tab
This is a good way to keep an eye on invalid clicks, allowing you to take immediate action if you see a sharp rise in clicks or any other strange activity. Go to the Campaign Tab, and in the “Columns” drop down, select “Performance” and then add “Invalid Clicks” and “Invalid Click rate”.
3. Use spell check in Adwords Editor
If you build most of your draft campaigns in Excel like I do, this is a useful function to keep in mind. Right click an editable field in Adwords Editor and make sure the spell check is selected. Any errors will have a red dotted line underneath and should help you spot the misspellings you made in Excel before you upload them online or send them to a client.
4. Change or Retain Capitalisation in Adwords Editor
This is an important time saving feature, but one I’d somehow missed before. In the Keywords Tab in Adwords Editor, click “Replace text”.
You can then find and replace words, while preserving (or changing) the capitalisation. This comes in especially handy when copying and pasting ad copy (replacing a city name, for example) and is not a function in Excel (or not an easy one).
5. Assess how Destination URL’s are performing
Landing page performance sometimes gets lost in the equation, but it obviously has a dramatic effect on conversions. To run a report to identify the best converting landing pages and those which are under performing, go to the Dimensions Tab and then select “Destination URL”.