The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber could be a good read for many small business owners.

Watch this excellent summary video  –

How to keep PPC accounts healthy

This article on PPC Hero is a good pointer.

You could vary the frequency of executing the suggested steps as per your account’s requirements but the steps mentioned herein are all very relevant towards maintaining a healthy PPC account.

https://www.ppchero.com/ppc-task-checklist-for-account-success/

 

Google ads – Ad rotation “Optimize for clicks” does not always deliver the best results

  1. If you have a new ad that MUST run along side an old ad, it is advisable to manually switch campaign ad rotation settings from “Optimize for clicks” to “Rotate indefinitely” for some time.
    • Do NOT rely on “Optimize for clicks” because sometimes it does not give any impressions to the new ad – it does not test the new ad as it should. In my experience I have seen the algorithm fail too many times!
    • Sometimes the ad rotation algorithm decides in favour of the old ad in so few impressions that the new ad just does not get sufficient impressions to make any impact on the audience.
    • So manually switching ad rotation settings is advisable if you want to make sure that the new ad get a good chance to run along side the old ads.

  2. If you want to test a new ad, then also “Rotate indefinitely” might be better for some time. After some performance data is collected, then you could hand over ad rotation to the “Optimize for Clicks” algorithm if you want.

  3. In certain cases, where you want multiple messages to be shown to the same audience (for example if you want to highlight all the multiple product/ service benefits to your remarketing audience), again rotate indefinitely” might be a better option for you.

Without going into any details I will just link to an excellent article written on Adalysis in Sep 2018 –  https://adalysis.com/blog/google-ads-optimize-ad-serving-often-fails/

It’s over one year but the observations in this article are still very true. “Optimize for clicks” is not the best solution for all situations.

Piano Guys – social media marketing to sell pianos, to being a successful music group

Piano Guys are not a new music group.

I have been listening to them for the last few days but I didn’t know their story till today. I just read this wikipedia article and this entrepreneur.com article.

It’s interesting how it all started with them trying to make videos to sell pianos and while that didn’t work, they figured out something much bigger instead.

Copying text from the entrepreneur.com article

Before it was ever a musical quartet, The Piano Guys was the name of a piano store in St. George, Utah. As part of a social-media marketing strategy, the shop’s owner, Paul Anderson, asked Nelson and a local pianist named Jon Schmidt to perform in video clips he could post to the store’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

“In no time,” goes a joke Nelson tells onstage, “the four of us had 54 videos up on YouTube, 600 million video views, four albums with Sony and 3.7 million YouTube subscribers — and we still hadn’t sold a single piano.”

I found it funny that the videos were so successful but they did not help in achieving the intended goal.

At the same time, they did get results in a different way.

Their deal with Sony is also very interesting – it’s four years old now but it goes to show that tradidtional ways of doing things are fast breaking up. The internet is (or may be the platforms are?) the middle men what big media companies were at one time.

I just found the story interesting so thought of sharing it.

Piano Guys does make fabulous music. Here’s their website and youtube channel.

Google Local Pack Rank – Text in reviews impacts your rank

Let us say you have some service which is not your main business but still you want to rank for that in the Local Pack. How can you do that?

For example, a martial art gym or a gymnastics facility might want to rank for “Birthday Parties” but Birthday Parties are surely not their main business, so how can they do that?

One way is to encourage your users of that particular secondary service, to write descriptive reviews including the  name of that secondary service in the review, if possible. See the following screenshot for an example.

Text in reviews impacts your Local Rank

I am reasonably sure, that the review mentioning “sons birthday party” is helping “Champions Gymnastics” rank in the local pack for birthday party related search query.

Disclaimer – Champions Gymanstics is not my client. This is just a screnshot to illustrate my point.

Adwords country blocking and wordfence settings in WordPress

Wordfence is a very useful plugin for wordpress. However on most sites I have worked on recently, I have realized that most webadmins just install wordfence with default settings.

However if you are using Google Adwords, then do remember to uncheck the “Block access to the rest of the site (outside the login form)” in the “Country Blocking Options” within the “Blocking” submenu of Wordfence settings.

adwords country blocking policy and wordfence settings in wordpress

 

Wordfence also explain it here.

 

AdWords conversion tracking tag vs importing Google Analytics goals

Two useful resources

Differences Between AdWords Conversion Tags & Google Analytics Goals Import

Above article is a definite read to understand differences between using the AdWords conversion tags & importing Google Analytics goals into Adwords.

However, after reading above Lunametrics article you must read this detailed Google resource at

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2679221?hl=en

Does the new Global Site Tag (gtag.js) change anything mentioned in the above articles? (as in October 2017)

In my opinion, the new gtag.js does not change any of the details mentioned in the articles. It is just a new tracking code but GA and Adwords continue to handle data in the way explained in both above articles.

What do I prefer?

I prefer using both GA and Adwords tags together.

I set up interaction related goals (which are not real business goals but still important like “Viewed more than two pages”) using Google Analytics. I import these goals into Adwords and treat them as “soft-conversions”. These type of soft-conversions can be helpful in various cases, for example in analyzing the value of display clicks and other such cases. Mostly, I do not include these soft conversions in the conversions counted by Adwords, so these would show in “All conversions” column in Adwords but not in the “Conversions” column.

However in most Adwords accounts, I prefer the Adwords tag for counting hard conversions like form fills because if a paid click plays any role in a hard-conversion like generating a lead (form-fill), then I prefer attributing it to Adwords, rather than Organic search or anything else. (I understand that many people may not agree with this approach and neither am I advocating it as a definite best practice.)

I could still set up the hard conversions (like form fills) in Google Analytics too but I wont import them into Adwords. This would allow me to see the same data in a different perspective without messing up data.

As with most things concerning data analysis, there is no definite best method for all accounts, so it is good to understand differences between AdWords conversion tags & importing Google Analytics goals and using them appropriately.

Automation is changing the way Adwords accounts are managed

Matt Lawson currently Managing Director, Ads Marketing at Google has written a very interesting article on account structure.

Many PPC Managers, including me, are what can be called “control freaks” – we like to tweak accounts in the hope of making them as relevant as possible, to squeeze as much performance as possible. This is of course time consuming but so far it has been very rewarding.

However even I am noticing that with automation algorithms becoming smarter, we can now stop tweaking a lot of small controls and start focusing at the big picture.

There is a definite need to give up the old way of managing accounts and start considering automation algorithms as a partner. The automation is still far from perfect but it’s worth a try as an experiment for sure. As we all know, more automation is definitely the way forward.

Analyzing what is happening is even more important when we give away some part of control to the algorithm.

Our role as PPC managers will now be even more focused on the big picture, analysis and making sure that automation is doing what we want it to do.

As of now, at least for some more time, I will continue to keep a mix of management style – some controls and some amount of let-go to the automation algorithms. However I am definitely convinced that it’s time to start thinking the way Matt is advocating in this article on Search Engine Land.