10 Most Popular ClickEquations Blog Posts of 2010

Is it just me, or does it seem like this year was twice as busy as any previous year in paid search? It was a busy year on the ClickEquations blog front as well, so I figured I’d recap with our 10 most popular blog posts of the year! Not surprisingly, the list is dominated by the posts that expanded on our highly downloaded eBook, the 21 Secrets Truths of High Resolution PPC. We’d love to hear what you liked this year and what you want us to cover next year. Without further ado, here are the 10 most popular ClickEquations Blog Posts of 2010: #10 –  The Secret Truth Series #10 – Bids and CPC

The AdWords auction is not a purely economic auction. If it were the high bidder would always win.

But in the AdWords auction the high bidder can wind up in 1st, 3rd, or 5th position – or even wind up out of the game with nothing.

In the post, we unravel the role bids actually play in determining your CPCs. Read more.

. #9 –  Match Types and Quality Score – The Truth at Last

Many say that using more exact match within your campaigns is a way to boost quality scores. Others point out that match type has no impact at all on quality score.

Who’s right?

It turns out that the truth is somewhere in between. Read more.

. #8 – The Myth of Single Keyword  Ad Groups

The idea of creating highly targeted ad groups, so that all of the attracted search queries are well aligned with the included text ad copy, is one we’ve written about often.

Some people have taken that idea to the extreme by suggesting you should create ad group with just one keyword.

This blog post breaks down that argument and recommends against single keyword ad groups. Read more.

. #7 –  Keyword Zoom Takes You Inside Keyword Performance

We’ve always been huge believers in the idea that search queries are more important than keywords. It’s an idea woven throughout ClickEquations.

In the July release of ClickEquations queries become even more actionable. We made it possible look inside the performance of any keyword and directly manipulate the queries that have consumed expense or driven revenue and tune the relationship between those queries and specific ad copy.

This was a huge breakthrough, and we call it Keyword Zoom. Read more.

. #6 –  The Secret Truth Series #18: Effective Text Ad Testing

There is only one way to measure success with text ads: Testing.

But testing requires more than simply running a couple of ads simultaneously. It requires the conditions for a fair test, a clear goal, and valid measurement and analysis. Much of what passes for text-ad testing in paid search lacks one or more of these requirements.

This blog post looks a little closer at each to better understand how to properly test text ads. Read more.

. #5 – 43 Paid Search Tools (And When To Use Them)

Day in and day out, we’re all trying to improve results and move from our current profit to our potential profit. As paid search marketers we tend to divide our time into 3 major areas: Research & Planning, Campaign Management, and Analysis & Site Experience.

In order to be able to move from your current profit to your potential profit, you have to be able to do each of these areas more effectively and efficiently. So how do you do that and how do search marketing tools fit into the mix?

In this article, I talk about when it makes sense to invest in paid search tools vs. education and list 43 tools to consider. Read more.

. #4 – The Secret Truth Series #11 – How AdWords Quality Score Impacts CPC

The Max CPC and quality score of a keyword determine its position, and position and quality score drive actual CPC. So exactly what effect does quality score have on cost?

In a follow-up to The Economics of Quality Score, our most popular blog post ever, we diver into how Quality Score applies as a discount or a penalty to your CPCs. Read more.

. #3 – AdWords Search Funnels: The Secret Cost

Google’s announcement of AdWords Search Funnels was an imporant milestone, legitimizing and expanding the visibility, role, and in many cases capabilities of PPC revenue attribution.

In this post, we ask publicly what everyone talks about in private – do you really want Google to see your conversion information? Does it hurt us collectively as advertisers every time someone shares their conversion information with Google? Read more.

. #2 – 6 PPC Analysis Tips

The idea of a good paid search account is a myth. An account is simply an aggregation of campaigns. Campaigns combine ad groups. Ad groups roll up text ads and keywords. Keywords and text ads exist only to attract search queries.

Effective PPC analysis is about finding the segments in your account that deviate from the norm. In many cases, you’re leaving opportunity on the table.

This highly actionable blog post covers 6 ways you can make your PPC analysis more effective, including Internal Benchmarks, Measuring Against Potentials, What’s Changed, Trend Charts, Against Goals, and External Benchmarks. Read more.

. #1 – The Secret Truth Series #6 – Success Through Negative Brand Keywords

A few years ago when asked for the #1 tip to improve a campaign, Craig wrote that segregating brand keywords was the task that he thought nearly everyone should do, many haven’t done yet, and can offer huge benefits in any campaign.

As covered in the discussion of Secret Truth #3 and #4, when the keywords within an ad group or campaign have inconsistent business goals or performance profiles, the quality of your results suffer.

There are probably no keywords in your account that have as distinct business goals or performance profiles as brand keywords – which is why they really need to be isolated. Read more.

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