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Blog Post Series: Building A Profitable Performance Campaign

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While traveling around Asia from October until 9th December, I launched a blog post series on how to create a profitable paid search campaign. I picked this topic because after being in this industry for 10 years and working across North America, Australia and Europe, it’s still the basics (to intermediate) items I see a lot of people get wrong. Plus talking to my Google CSRs, seems to be their issue to.

If you’re reading beyond this paragraph then please make sure you’ve the following done already:

  • Review account structure and that you’re using negative keywords ruthlessly
  • Is your AdWords account and Google Analytics (GA) linked?
    • Check that your YouTube account, G+ Profile and other analytics package are synced up with GA or your main analytics package. You’ll be surprised how offten this isn’t the case
  • Review the account, campaign and adgroup settings on your account(s)
  • Make sure all your URLs are live (no 404 page error or broken links)
  • Have seasonal stock running? That should be turned off!
  • Double check your match type and location targeting
  • Don’t mistakenly have display campaigns active do you?

Done? Good, now that we’ve that out of the way. There are many things I look for after a basic campaign has been setup and has started to generate traffic for your industry but below are the quick wins I look for next. You could go beyond these and look at your SKUs & product performance historically, setting up automatic rules, double checking your extensions are running or use shared budgets and master negative lists. However, before I do any of those I make sure I’ve done everything below. Here were the posts in my series:

Bonus Tip
If you’ve done everything above and want to challenge yourself then look into AdWords scripts. I’ve been playing with them the last couple years while living in London and they are wicked helpful. Takes some knowledge of programming but you can learn all that as you go.

Why Focusing on Major Cities May Cost your Business Money


Why Does It Matters
Depending on your business, you may get 80% of your business from urban centres. However, you may not spend that same amount on your marketing in your those markets (could spend more or less). Finding out where you get your business from and what you spend to acquire that customer is a key determination of your success.

A similar example of this idea is a story I heard a few years ago about major bank who found out that 10% of their customers where producing 70% of the calls to their call centre (and thus were greatly unprofitable for them). After months of doing the research and double checking their number, they sent those customers a letter saying they couldn’t be a customer anymore and would happily help them transfer to a new bank. This allowed the bank to refocus on up selling and creating better services to their profitable customers.

Business is as much about making your company more money as it is about finding ways to cut down on your expenses and focus on your profitable areas of the business.

How To Do It
If you login your Google Analytics and head to the “Channel” subsection under “Acquisition” on the left hand panel. You’ll see all the different marketing channels that are driving your business forward.

You’ll want to make sure you select your main goal in the “Conversions” drop down that sits under the search box on the far right of your screen. This would be the goal that you consider a success; could be a whitepaper download or a new customer signed up for your business.


To the left of the search box/conversions option, you’ll see a drop down called “Second Dimension”, which you can then use to search for “City” in the list and click on that option. You’ll be presented with a list of cities that has users completing your goal you selected above. Depending on your country, this city list can break out suburbs for some areas and not for other but it’ll at least give you an idea of what areas are worth focusing your effects on.

Second Dimension

Go to the top of your screen and click on “Export” and then CSV and download this list. You’ll need to do the above for each goal you’ve. Once you know how many goals each city is starting to bring in, you can add in your cost of marketing for each city and identify cities that might not be as profitable to market in as you originally thought.

This is a great way to save money by cutting down your costs while allowing you to reinvest that money into more profitable areas of the business or attempting new marketing initiatives that you might have had money for in the previous year or quarter.

Use Day Parting To Decrease Google AdWords Spend


Why Does It Matters
Day parting equates to showing your ads only at specific times and/or days. If your business hours are only from 9am-9pm, then you may want to turn off your ads during non-business hours. There are also more advanced uses for day parting including only running/stopping ads during peak hours or slow times/days. You may want to run ads during peak hours because conversion rates will be highest at that time. Conversely, you could turn off ads during peak hours because you already have more business than you can handle during those hours. For slow hours/days, you could offer coupons or specials only during those hours to try to drum up business.

How To Do It
Step 1.
Login to  your Google AdWords account and set your date range for 30 days. On the main navigation look for and click on the “Dimensions” tab. Next click on “View” drop down and then “Time” and finally “Hour of Day”. This will break down your spend and numbers into useful information.

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Customer Growth: Use Question and Statement Keywords in Your Paid Search


Why Does It Matters
Depending on the services your nonprofits offers. Many people search asking questions (What is a postback in Appsflyer?, How do I add x service to Google Doc?), or make a statement (I hate using IE or How to track data in an app). Understanding how people search is important to understanding the people who use your services.

How To Do It
Use the Internal Site Search Analysis report you created in the last section. Look through the list and see if people are using the search box to type in questions or statement. An important thing to note is that questions don’t always have the question mark after them, so it’s important to carefully look through the list. The other option is to use Google’s Keyword Tool (adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool) and see what questions or statements are related to your service(s).

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Seoul Metro Digital View Stations

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Daum’s interactive HD touchscreens can be found in major subway stations around Seoul, Korea. Since 2010, all Seoul Metro stations feature the world’s largest digital signage service, which are 46″ touchscreen kiosk featuring a combination of advertising, transit information and local area maps. Similar to the digital screens in Kuala Lampur.

What’s interesting about these ones is the three screens:

Small Screen: Used for advertising & ordering items mainly.

Middle Screen: You’ll find local maps, transit information, basketball & sports video replays and tourist information at the touch of a button. It’s interactive, so you can find information you need about the area if you’re lost in Seoul, which is pretty hard to do.

Large Billboard: Mainstream advertising for major movies, car and TV shows I found.

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