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  • bob@smsrd.com
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Author Archives: Ryan

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Getting To The Why

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Our office recently saw a TED Talk by Simon Sinek on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”. To summarize, he talks about a concept he came up with called the Golden Circle. There are three layers to a company; the outside layer is the “What”. What do you do and this could be a personal question or a business one. The second layer is the “How”. Finally, the most important and hardest question to answer is “Why”. When a business or individual can portray the “why”, they will gain followers that believe in that vision and the examples that Simon uses are Apple, the Wright Brothers, and Martin Luther King Jr.

His Ted Talk inspired us to look within and answer the “why” for our company.

At the end of the presentation all we could think about, in regards to our company and who we serve, was the tag line for Zalinsky Auto Parts. To the best of our knowledge, this isn’t a real company but a fictional one in the movie Tommy Boy. Yes, the movie with the late (and hilarious), Chris Farley. The tag line for that company was “I make car parts for the American working man, because that’s what I am, and that’s who I care about.” Although we are not an auto parts store, we can empathize with that saying. We market for small businesses because that’s what we are, and that’s who we care about.

As a business, especially a small one, knowing the “why” is crucial to promoting your business. Now while the conversation about the “why” is not as funny as the plot to Tommy Boy, there are some serious business lessons that help in getting to the Why.

Connect Businesses to New Customers: The search engines can be seen as a meeting point between two different audiences. To the person with the blank search box on their screen, they are looking for a specific product or service such as the Brake Pads that Callahan Auto sells. On the other end of this are advertisers looking to sell their product. If Tommy Boy were to be re-made today, they could utilize Google AdWords to find customers to buy these brake pads as the search results serve as a meeting area to connect businesses that provide a product or service to the individuals looking to purchase said products or services. Helping clients to utilize these marketing channels excites us because it helps us improve the quality of life for consumers while helping our clients grow their business.

Allow You Time To Focus On Business Items: If Callahan Auto were to operate by today’s rules, they would be able to outsource the digital marketing needs of their business to experts such as us. This would free up time in their schedule to grow the brake pad division and to explore other items to sell within the Callahan Auto line or even time to discuss ideas for other businesses to open. One Why within our world that we take pride in is helping to keep this part of their business in good hands as this additional time saved can be used to focus on other areas of their business.

While Tommy Boy and TED talks are two things that are typically not mentioned in the same sentence or the same article, the principles of getting to the Why ultimately played a major factor into the plot of the movie and if Digital Marketing was as prominent in 1995 as it is today, we would welcome the opportunity to manage the digital advertising for Callahan Auto Parts to get their name out to potential customers and give Tommy Callahan III additional time to focus on growing other parts of the business.


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Be Careful What Click Through Rate You Wish For

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As the old saying goes, “be careful for what you wish for; you may receive it” is something that holds very true in today’s world, especially when it involves the Click Through Rate of your AdWords account.

In a recent article, we discussed the new Added By AdWords testing going on and Google’s assertion that these ads would help improve performance by 5%-15%. While they did not specifically state the scope of metrics this applies to, our suspicion is that this is related to Click-through Rate.

While Click-through Rate is an important aspect to look at, as it is one of the major factors that helps determine Quality Score (improving this can decrease your Cost per Click), your ultimate focus as an advertiser needs to be on generating additional business for yourself, not Google.

Sometimes what is good for Google (higher click through rate) isn’t necessarily going to lead to beneficial results (improved Conversion Rate) on your end. For example, Dynamic Keyword Insertion helps adjust the headline of your ads to match the search that someone conducted. While we see many cases where this helps to improve Click through Rates, many of these cases have led to lower Conversion Rates.

While consideration to Quality Score impact needs to be seriously evaluated before taking this step, there are occasional instances where undermining your Click-through Rate can actually help your business. One case we ran into in the past involved a B2B client that was focused on higher scale projects.

Initially, the Click-through Rate for this client’s traffic was high but the quality of leads coming in was not. In this case, the solution we came up with was to pre-qualify people within the ad (by saying that the client would only take projects at a certain dollar amount or over).

This had an immediate impact on account performance. In Google’s eyes, overall performance went in the tank as the Click-through Rate of these ads saw a significant decline. In the Client’s eyes, AdWords performance improved substantially as the quality of sales leads he received improved.

The takeaway out of all of this is that discretion needs to be exercised before making changes that fall in line with what Google recommends because the adjustments that benefit them do not necessarily benefit you as the advertiser.


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Things Don’t Exactly Match Up Here

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The Friday News Dump, while it is most notorious in the news world, it can be applied in several different places, in fact Google engaged in their own Friday News Dump last week.
While a large portion of the population was distracted with March Madness and or celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, Google quietly released some information on a change that will necessitate additional vigilance on the part of advertisers everywhere.

Historically, Exact Match keywords are only supposed to show when the person searches for something that Exactly Matches the search that was performed on Google. Previously, Google had loosened this to where it now includes “misspellings, singular forms, plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations and accents.” We had concerns about this when it became publicly known that this would not be optional.

Our initial takeaways from this are as follows:

1 – Same meaning different order is a bigger cause for concern than Rewording and ignoring function words

The first example cited by Google was the addition, removal or change of function words such as in, the, for, etc. If the update to the close variants was limited to this scope, our concern would be much more limited.

However, this seems to be the opening act for the fact that the exact match setting will no longer take word order into consideration. In many cases, a two word phrase can have a very different context based on the order that they are placed in. Historically, the point of Exact Match is to only match for words when presented in that exact order and this change opens up the door for Exact Match keywords to act more like Broad Match Keywords.

2 – Google says “early tests show advertisers may see up to 3% more exact match clicks on average while maintaining comparable clickthrough and conversion rates”

The way this claim is worded, the first thing that strikes us is a lack of confidence “may see up to 3%” in the already modest claims. While common sense and logic would dictate that loosening the exact match settings are naturally going to lead to more impressions (and more clicks) this says nothing about the quality of these clicks (which would likely decrease) and we are highly skeptical of something that loosens the keyword matching settings to actually increase overall conversion rates.

3 – Search Terms Report becomes more important than ever

One of the AdWords basics is to review the Search Terms Report to see which searches are matching to your ads for the purpose of seeing if there are new keyword ideas worth exploring or whether there are certain searches that need to necessitate expanding your negative keyword structure to help control for the quality of traffic.

With the definition of Exact Match Keywords being updated, the Search Terms report and expanding your Negative Keyword base based on the searches that are being matched through close variant matching will be more important tomorrow than it is today.

The world is always changing and the speed of changes is much faster in Google AdWords than it is for the rest of the world. Just like being a parent, this is the fun part but also the part that keeps us on the edge of our seats on a daily basis. While we have concerns with the expansion of the Close Variants setting, these are concerns that can be mitigated by being extra vigilant in analyzing the searches being matched to your keywords.


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Added By AdWords

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What if we told you that Google is starting a new pilot where they believe they can do a better job writing your ads than you? This may sound crazy but as they say, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

The Ads Added by AdWords pilot has been publicly known for a little over a month but the more we think about it, the more we have concerns about it for advertisers over the long-term.

While Google claims these ads see performance improvement of 5%-15%, we believe that Advertisers need to have authenticity in their voice and controlling how ads are presented is an important part of this process. By transferring part of this process to someone who is not associated with your business or someone hired to represent that voice on your behalf, weakens the authenticity of this voice in our opinion.

The good news is if you like controlling the messaging on your own ads; it is very easy to opt out. There are a couple ways you can stop this process.

1 – Check to see whether this has been applied to your AdWords account

Currently, the percentage of accounts opted into this feature is very small. To check whether you are among these, you will want to click on the Ads tab go to Columns menu, click on modify columns and under attributes you will want to select the icon next to Labels and click apply.

2 – Check the labels and see if any of them say “Added by AdWords”

If anything, it is at least easy to identify which ads have been added by AdWords and which ones have not. The first step you will want to do is remove these ads. Even if you see that this feature has not been applied to your account, the reality is that pausing or not having any of these ads in the first place means there is merely no symptom and there is work to do in removing the source which leads us to…

3 – Request to be opted out of this test

The good news is that you can get yourself opted out of this “feature”. By filling out this form, you are able to opt out of the Added by AdWords feature and ensure that you maintain control of the ads that are seen by your prospects.

While this has been launched on a small scale so far, the progress of this will need to be monitored in the coming months. The good news is that if you have concerns about this, it is easy to avoid having this impact the ads being run in your AdWords account.


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