Big Changes from Google That Make PPC a Must

Google is 15 years old today, Sept 27th, 2013.  With the anniversary, they're announced some big changes that really make doing Paid Search crucial for you:

The 3 bullet points below are really important in this regard:

  •     Google has made a pretty big update to their search algorithm.  Article here.
  •     Super Important news:  Google is now no longer showing keyword data for any organic search keywords.  This is a pretty big deal.  Now SEOs can no longer know what keywords bought people to a site, what keywords converted best, etc. What this means:  Paid Search (PPC) becomes huge.  The only way to get this very valuable data is by doing PPC and getting the data from that.  Full article here.  Another article and reactions here.
  •     Great Report for Showing PPC's effectiveness:  Clients often wonder about Paid Search:  Is it cannibalizing my organic listings?  How much does it really help my overall bottom line?  (In a nutshell:  Its crucial.)  They may feel they want to cut back on PPC but don't realize how integral it is to their business profits across the board.  The guys at Resolution Media (one of the biggest PPC agencies in the U.S., really know their stuff) put together a great report.  Article with .pdf report here.

Bottom line on Google's changes: 

It really hurts traditional SEOs:

1.  If all they track is keywords only and not KPIs- sales, leads etc.  Keyword data from organic simply no longer exists.

2.  They keep taking data away from SEOs as the years go on.  This will only continue.  Why?  They don't want anyone to be able to "game" the system:   5 years ago you could buy links, get a keyword report and optimize your site, put a bunch of real or fake reviews up, and rank well.  No more.  They want to make it so hard to game the system people don't do it anymore, SEOs, regular businesses, etc.  

In a way, this makes sense.  Is your favorite restaurant the best because they did anything besides have awesome food and service?  Not likely.  They just have the best food and service, some advertising and alot of word of mouth.  This is the way Google wants the internet to be.  

Its Awesome for Paid Search Specialists.

1.  If a site wants better organic traffic, they need to do PPC to find the keywords they need to rank for. 

2.  Google loves it when people use PPC.  Google made over $50 billion last year from advertising, over 97% of their total revenue.  They're pulling out all the stops and adding more awesome features for advertisers each month with no end in sight.    

What do you think?  How will you handle the changes going forward.  Please leave a comment below...


How to Track Adwords Video Remarketing in Google Analytics

Hopefully you're trying and testing out Adwords Video Remarketing.  Adwords for video is right in the main campaign area but Adwords Video Remarketing is separated out a bit.  

About Adwords Video Remarketing:  One of the nice differences with Video Remarketing is you can remarket to people who have interacted with your YouTube channel or page and serve them ads.  For full information, see Google's info and start testing:

This post is about tracking traffic and engagement from your Adwords Video Remarketing to your site.  Did your Video Remarketing campaigns result in more traffic to your site, more conversions.  


After running a number of Video Remarketing campaigns I noticed that I was getting alot of views of the clients videos and even clicks to the site, which is great.  

However, when I went into Google Analytics (GA), I didn't see any stats from these video remarketing campaigns, traffic numbers, or other data.  I contacted Google and they said that, unlike regular Google Adwords where everything is tracked automatically in GA if you have GA and Adwords linked,  at this time the tracking is not really up and running for video remarketing as a source of traffic you can measure in Google Analytics.  

Since its so important to track all your advertising to see if its brings good ROI, there had to be a workaround, and there is.  And in looking around in finding a solution to this workaround I found a couple of other cool things and tips that can benefit your tracking efforts.


Use Google's URL Builder: GA has a feature that allows you to track anything on the web you set up and see the data in your GA account.  You use utm tracking parameters to tell GA where the traffic came from.  For example, if you have an ad on a site, you can add info to the link in that add that goes to your page.  So in the ad it goes to perhaps your sites URL: when they click on that ad.  If you want to add important information to the ad so you can track it in GA you'd use the utm parameters and add the campaign, ad, and more like this: 1&utm_content=new video

It looks confusing but its not.  You use Google's URL builder to set it up, its very easy.  Link here:

Use this to track your Video Remarketing Campaigns:  You can then use the URL builder to add the correct tracking tags to your Video Remarketing list campaigns so you can then see them in GA.  

But I thought Google already automatically tags Adwords, won't this mess up the numbers in GA?  Yes, BUT only if you simply dropped in the tagged URL you created, such as the one you see above.  There is a cool workaround that allows you to tag a URL and not have it mess up Google Adwords auto-tagging.  How?  Use a url shortener.  

Use a URL Shortener to Shorten Tagged URLs:   You're probably familiar with URL shortners like or  They take a long, ugly URL and make it real short.  Did you know you can take a long URL that is tagged like the above URL, drop it into and shorten it?  The coolest part about this is that the tags you set up still work in the shortened URL!  Super cool!  Even better, now you can track your Adwords Video Remarketing campaigns in GA and not have Adwords Auto Tagging mess up.  

So Let's Recap:

To track Adwords Video Remarketing campaign in GA: 

  1. Use Google's URL builder to correctly set up a tracking URL. 
  2. Drop that tagged URL into URL shortener. 
  3. Use that shortened URL as your destination URL in your Adwords Video Remarketing ad. 


1.  Great I set this up, Now where do I look for my data in GA? 

Good Question!  In GA go to Traffic Sources>Overview>Search>Campaigns:

Then you'll see your Video Remarketing data there.   

Question 2:  Is there an easier way to create the utm parameters and then shorten them?

Well, its really not that hard going to Google's URL Builder then dropping them into to shorten them.  But since you asked- yes!

There's a cool tool from that not only creates the tagged URL but can shorten it on the fly, download it to Excel, make a QR code from it and more.  Check it out here.

Here's a screenshot of the tool with an example URL:   


Of course, you can use this technique to track anything you'd like, Facebook ads and posts, Tweets, anything else you'd like to track.  See this great article to learn all about utm parameters and all the things you can track:  

How To Use UTM Parameters In Google Analytics 5

So, what do you think, will this help you track your Video Remarketing ads in Google Analytics? 

 Update:  I noticed that in Google Analytics (GA), there were a number of keywords showing up as (not set).  I figured out that it was the URLs from the above Adwords Video Remarketing campaigns.  The only way I know to have it not show up as (not set) is to add a utm term or utm keyword parameter.  

You could put it like this (see bold are in URL below):

Its not a perfect workaround but at least you won't have many visits showing up as (not set) and clients wondering why this is the case.


Google Adwords Image Ad File Size Now 150kb

Putting together a new Summer Campaign for a client and have been back and forth with them regarding image and Flash Adwords ads for a Display campaign.  

It used to be those ads had to be 50kb or less or you couldn't upload them to Adwords.  But now it seems the allowable file size has been tripled.  Its now 150kb for regular image, animated image and Flash ads.

Here's the link:

Mobile/Desktop URLs In Adwords Enhanced Campaigns: How To


There's been alot of pluses and minuses to Google's new Enhanced Campaigns.  

One of the major problems is what if you have two different URLs one for people on desktop, sending them to your regular site and one for mobile, sending them to a mobile site or mobile optimized page?  

Before you'd just copy your desktop campaign, set it to mobile only and change all the destination URLs to send people to your mobile site.  But now that mobile, tablet and desktop are all in the same campaign how can you send the mobile people to the mobile page and the desktop people to the desktop page?

Yes, you can create new ads and set the device preference to "mobile", which is correct.  But what if you have hundreds of ad groups with thousands of ads.  Copy each ad in each ad group and then setting them to mobile optimized could take forever.  Well, there is an answer!

Thankfully, there's Adwords Editor, Google's desktop PPC management tool.  If you haven't started using this, start now.  This is what you'll be using to make the changes en masse.  Here's how to do it:

Setting up Ads for Mobile-Optimized Page using Adwords Editor

Basic Steps:

  • Duplicate all the ads in your Campaigns/Ad Groups you want to set to mobile.
  • Set these new ads all to mobile-preferred and edit the Destination URL.

To do this en mass within Adwords Editor:

  • Go to the "Ads" tab for your entire account
  • Select all ads you want to be mobile preferred ("Edit" > "Select All")
  • Click "Edit" > "Replace text in selected Items"
  • Put something generic next to 'Find Text' (e.g. "a"). You can put this same letter next to 'Replace Text'. 
    • Make sure to uncheck "Match Case" and check "Duplicate Matching Items..."
    • This will essentially duplicate all your ads in their existing campaigns and ad groups!
    • Click "Find Matches" > "Duplicate and Replace All" 
    • Sort these newly created ads by "All Local Unposted Changes", or clicking on the 'Changed Status' column (there will be a + sign next to all the new ads) 
    • Highlight all the newly created ads and change the Device Preference to "Mobile", and the Destination URLs en masse.
    • Upload your changes- done!

    Everyone who saved about a months worth fr work on this owes me a coffee!  ; )

    How Import Adwords Campaigns Into Microsoft AdCenter (Part 4 of Series)

    So, if you've read parts 1, 2 and three you've set up a main account, invited your clients and got access to their accounts and then created and assigned users to manage those accounts.  Now how do you get all the awesome work you did on their Adwords campaigns into Microsoft AdCenter?   Here's how:

    1.  Download and Install Microsoft AdCenter Desktop.  If you're familiar with Adwords Editor, this is Microsoft's version of this.  Its basically a desktop program that allows you to make many bulk changes to your AdCenter PPC acounts quickly and effciently. 

    If you're not using this program or Adwords Editor and are spending more than 1 hour a week in Adwords or AdCenter.  Download both of those programs now and start learning how to use them.  They will increase your productivity by a factor of at least 20, maybe 100 if you're a power user vs. going online and using the online interface.

    That being said this assumes you already have downloaded Adwords Editor and know how to somewhat use it. 

    2.  Once you install Microsoft AdCenter Desktop sign in with your user id & password.  This is the user you created to manage the account in part 3 or this series. 

    3.  Search through All Accounts, and download this new account.  Even though its empty you have to download this account.

    4.  Open Google Adwords Editor.  Export the campaigns you want to export as a csv.:  File>Export Spreadsheet>Export Selected Campaigns and Adgroups, Select the ones you want and click OK.  See this picture:

    Very Important Note:  Adcenter accounts have a keyword limit of only 100K.  If you have more than that, you will first have to call adcenter and get them to upgrade the specific account's keyword limits.   Last check they will upgrade you to "self serve plus" with a 2 million keyword limit.

    5.  Go back into Adcenter Desktop:  Import>Import from Google>Import from a File>  Find the file you saved using Adwords Editor and Choose file>Check over what is going to be imported carefully the different columns etc. > Import  See Pictures Below:

    Note:  Adcenter will may import geo-targeting, languages and many other things.   Make sure you set these settings before activating the account.  See this picture:

    6.  Check over the account for any errors.

    7.  Set all campaigns to pause, then click Sync.  This will upload the campaigns to the web.

    8.  Go into web interface and make sure all campaign settings are correct.  How to:  Click on a campaign, click on Edit Your Campaign Settings.  You may need to check geo targeting, language targeting, budgets and more.

    9.  P.S.:  Be sure to set up conversion tracking!

    Wow!  That's alot to set everything up and get your users going on Microsoft AdCenter!  But that's why they pay you the big bucks, right?

    Please leave comments below if you need clarification.  Please let me know if this has helped you in any way.  Thanks!

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