Category Archives: Keywords

Search Partner Network Mysteries Revealed

The AdWords Search Partner Network has been somewhat of a mystery to the owners of most AdWords accounts I’ve audited this year.

It’s been conventional wisdom that it’s worth separating Search Partners from Google (and separating both from Content/Adsense) … but as a matter of practice we find probably less than 5% of accounts are ever structured this way. (It’s a shame because you can usually find 10% to 20% savings)

Recently, Google’s evolution of the Search Partner network to include shopping feeds, and newer large properties has changed the game. Furthermore, it appears their fuzzy logic algorithms are sometimes causing some “bleed” between networks when one uses the standard separation method (setting one campaign to “Google” only, and another duplicate as “Google + Search”, … but bidding one penny lower on Search).

One very astute listener to our recent free MP3 “Maximum AdWords Results in Minimum Time” suggested to me that the concept of separating the two networks AT ALL was “out of date” due to the “bleed” between campaigns.  This concerned me, because it contrasted with the continued advice I’d been giving to make the separation.

So I put the team to the task of digging deep into dozens of reports to find out the answer.

If you want to know, you’ll just have to listen, and you might find a half dozen or so other “Mysteries of the Search Partner Network Revealed”.  (Rob, the low-key but brilliant gentleman interviewed, heads up our entire PPC  management department)


Pay Per Click Market Research

What can pay per click market research do for you?

Ppc research can identify upside potential (and downside risk) so you can decide whether it’s worth going forward.  It can also capture consumer language (which you can echo back to improve sales conversions), and identify segments and sub segments and niches within your market who you can laser target to multiply your results.

But even more importantly, ppc market research TEST the responsiveness of the market BEFORE you develop a product, or spend a fortune in money and time:

  • Is there really a need in the market for your product or service?
  • Where are the market gaps?
  • What might it cost you per lead and per sale to enter the market?


When you run traffic directly from pay per click to a survey in preparation for developing a newsletter capture page:

  • You’ll often find that approximately twice as many people (on a percentage basis) will sign up for the newsletter as were willing to take the survey
  • Since you’re paying PER CLICK, you already know your COST PER SURVEY
  • You can then ESTIMATE YOUR COST PER LEAD by simply multiplying by two (note: legally, I can’t guarantee this cost for you, I can only report my experience)
  • On average, if I plan to sell something similar to what my competitors are selling on the front end, I find approximately 1 out of 10 newsletter subscribers will purchase
  • So I can multiply my cost per lead x 10 to get an ESTIMATED COST PER SALE (note: legally, I can’t guarantee this cost for you, I can only report my experience)
  • This model is especially powerful when you track survey response on a keyword by keyword basis because you wind up with a BUYING HEAT MAP of the whole vocabulary of your market
  • Determine if there is viable pathway into the market on a keyword by keyword basis
  • Pause or kill any keywords which look “red” and only roll into the market on the “in the black” estimates

There’s much more info on the free ppc research mp3 – how to use surveys to identify true point of difference benefits so you’ll stand out from the competition, etc

PPC Volume and Cost Estimation for New Markets

I get a lot of questions regarding updates to the Volume Estimation techniques in my method for comparing and choosing new markets.  Here’s a walk through of the EXACT and most up to date method I use for doing this!

For beginners, I recommend choosing markets where the calculation shown in the video is between 30,000 and 600,000.  PPC markets underneath this volume may not be worth the effort, and those above this volume may be too brutally competitive for a newbie to make their first dollar online!

Last, these pay per click search marketing techniques are ONLY intended for use in the How To Choose Your Market method, … I use other formulas and methods for other purposes.  (If you own another product of mine and are estimating volume for other reasons, please follow the formulas therein).

Keyword Research for Adwords – Crucial Concept

Getting lost doing your pay per click keyword research? Join the crowd! Here’s how to get FOCUSED and UNSTUCK in your keywords fast:

Step One – Define Your “Bulls-Eye” Keyword Concept

Step Two – Gather “Bulls Eye” keywords using Google’s free keyword tool, but do NOT get carried away!


Step 2 – Part 2

Step 3 – Organize Your Keywords Quickly!

Step 4 – Do a quick traffic check for volume and bid prices

Step 5 – Stop and Make Your Bullseye Keywords Work!

taming adwords logic

I find it horribly upsetting to see how many adwords marketers simply don’t use the reporting center.

Here’s the thing … Google uses FUZZY LOGIC to serve your ads on all but exact match keywords.

And even though Google has the best fuzzy logic around, it’s still VERY FUZZY, and the percentage of irrelevant and costly keywords (or content sites) served is frightening.

Thankfully, Adwords provides the reporting center, and there are two reports in particular of immense value … the Search Query Report, and the Content Placement Report.

They can seem overwhelming, but all you really need to do is:

1) Make sure you’ve got conversion tracking installed. (Adwords is ALL about conversion tracking … I really don’t understand how anyone makes ANY money without it)

2) Run the reports.

3) Suppress impressions on poorly performing keywords by adding them as negatives, and suppress poorly performing sites by excluding them.

There are many more valuable things you can do with these reports (like identifying keywords you hadn’t bid on for peeling and sticking into new adgroups … they’ll show up because Google broad matched them using fuzzy logic, etc., … or peeling out a great content site and putting it in a placement only campaign to more effectively manage the bids) … but these are extra credit.

Seriously, in the past 100 accounts I’ve seen, less than 5% had run these reports, leaving a huge gaping hole in the market for you!

pay per click search marketing focus

If you had to choose ONE keyword which represented your best customer, which one would it be?   If you can’t answer that in 10 seconds or less, you’re lacking pay per click search marketing FOCUS.  

Everything on the internet is indexed by keyword.  And every ppc keyword is a conversation … a unique set of desires, concerns, … and a unique mix of qualified and unqualified prospects and customers.

What’s your pay per click search marketing focus?  EVERYTHING in your business depends upon the answer to that question, whether you market online or off, because being able to answer it means knowing exactly what your business is about, at it’s very core …

If you could ONLY run ONE ad and ONE keyword and ONE adgroup to keep your business going, which one would it be?

You need to define your PPC marketing center.

I’ve got a lot more to say about your search marketing center … stay tuned!

the peel and stick MYTH in adwords

When you’ve got a keyword with low CTR in an adgroup, you should probably either delete it, or “peel and stick” it to a NEW group right?

But did you know 99% of Adwords users don’t really know HOW to peel and stick? In fact, 99% of pay per click advertisers don’t even know how to properly DELETE poorly performing keywords from Adwords!

That’s because you’ve got to take the word you deleted (or “peeled and stuck” into another group) and ADD IT AS A NEGATIVE KEYWORD to the group it originated from.

Here’s why.

Take the following keywords in a simple group for my page (ad has headline “All About Pet Rabbits”)

rabbit –> CTR 1.7%
rabbit care –> 1.9%
rabbit recipes –> 0.27%
rabbit hutch –> 1.0%

I guess there aren’t too many rabbit recipe searchers out there we need to delete the keyword. (Note: don’t eat bunny rabbits … it’s just wrong!)

Also, the rabbit hutch searchers will respond better to a headline about rabbit hutches, right? So I should “peel and stick” rabbit hutch to another ad group, right?

Well, here’s what most people would do.

First they’d delete the rabbit recipe keyword:

rabbit –> CTR 1.7%
rabbit care –> 1.9%
rabbit hutch –> 1.0%
rabbit recipes –> 0.27% DELETED

But would this really suppress all the impressions on rabbit recipes and improveme Click Through Rates?

I contend NO! … especially not by today’s Adwords rules.

The rabbit keyword by itself is a broad match. That means Google can expand it to include rabbit recipes whenever it thinks it might be relevant. And if you run a Search Query Report (you DO run them regularly, right?) … you might be surprised to see how wide Google casts it’s net.

ALWAYS ADD KEYWORDS YOU HAVE DELETED FROM AN ADGROUP AS A NEGATIVE … otherwise you didn’t really suppress impressions on the keyword you intended to delete!

This is also important when your goal is enhanced CTR and CONVERSION via the peel and stick method.

In the example above, if we peel and stick rabbit hutch we want ALL the rabbit hutch traffic go through the NEW group right? But Google can STILL send rabbit hutch keywords through the old adgroup on the broad or phrase match for the keyword rabbit unless you add rabbit hutch as a NEGATIVE.

One might think Google will eventually see the enhanced click through rate in the new rabbit hutch group and funnel rabbit hutch traffic there regardless of how the original group was set up … this is about 85% true in my experience.

But there are situations where it just doesn’t work like this… and if your goal is to take control of the new adgroup traffic, then take control. It’s easier to test, optimize, and figure out what’s really going on with CLEAR BOUNDARIES between adwords groups.

When you delete a keyword from your adgroups, add it back as a NEGATIVE KEYWORD to the same group.

pay per click ping pong

Most people think of the prospects in their ppc market as a whole bunch of white ping pong balls streaming by … they hope to flag them with their Adwords ad and suck them into their sales vacuum tube automated website.

But the truth is, most markets aren’t just filled with white ping pong balls … there are greens, yellows, pinks, and blues. In other words, markets have segments of people with very different needs and buying habits.

Moreover, you can LINK people’s needs to the ppc keywords they’re typing in … right down to the specific conversation they’re having in their mind when they search AND the level of responsiveness inherent in those search phrases.

Here’s a 90 minute  presentation I filmed at my home in New England which I guarante will change your pay per click paradigm (and how you think of market intelligence).

I call it “Pay per click ping pong”

PS – I shot this one when I was FAT … I hate how that gets immortalized.  (I weigh only about 200 now, even though I still eat Cheese Doodles)

keyword intelligence vs. market intelligence

If I haven’t said it before there’s a HUGE difference between pay per click keyword intelligence and ppc market intelligence.

Keyword intelligence is what your fifth grade daughter can figure out using standard keyword database, or the Google Keyword Tool.

Market Intelligence is the conversation people have in their head behind every keyword search … it’s the sum total of their wants, needs, and desires, expressed in the exact language of the emotions which motivate purchase in the category.

Stop obsessing about keyword intelligence and start looking for market intelligence.

For what it’s worth.

People Hate To SEARCH (They Love To SOLVE)

For me, the fundamental marketing insight which underlies all my successful pay per click search marketing has nothing to do with mining keyword databases, setting the appropriate match types, geotargeting, negative keywords, fancy testing protocols, or even click through rates.

It all starts with 9 simple words I remind myself about over and over again:


Searching is a frustrating experience.  The latest published study I saw indicated the average search requires at least five iterations.  That means at least five tries to find the right keyword phrase which brings you the answer to your burning question …

Which means (assuming they ALL get it right on the 5th try, … which obviously they don’t) at least 80% of the time, the searcher is frustrated.  Think 80% x BILLIONS of searches per day and you’ll get the scope of what people are experiencing.

What people REALLY want is to sit down with a loving, experienced relative who they trust implicitly, … to be able to pour their heart out about whatever problem they’re experiencing (the thing that motivated them to search in the first place) … and get the perfect solution presented to them with an arm around them and sometimes a shoulder to cry on.

Instead, they have to compress their whole life’s experience at the moment into a stupid little box, and hope YOU (the ppc marketer) understood them well enough to present exactly what they need.

This is why RESEARCH is so important.  I’m not talking about keyword research … any 5th grader can do that.  I’m talking about doing the kind of human connecting we used to do before all these electrons danced around computer screens and kept us safely hidden from one another …

But linking it back to the keywords people came from so YOU can be their “loving aunt or uncle” next time they’re banging their head against their keyboard because they just can’t get thru to any of the other pay per click marketers via that stupid, stupid search box.

I hope I made you think … stay tuned and I’ll show you exactly how to do it 🙂