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Paid Search Decathlon of Quality

ranking-medalsThe Summer Olympic Games are just over a month away. The Olympics are interesting because so many athletes spend their entire lives playing and practicing for one event or race where glory or defeat is attained in as little as 10 seconds.

To be the best in the world of paid search, marketers train and follow best practices, with the goal of attaining perfection and validation in the form of inspiring customers to choose ours as the best ad on the page for their search. And we only have 3 seconds to do it.

For marketers or athletes, the pursuit of perfection is a critical component of success. If your campaign isn’t fundamentally sound, it doesn’t matter how much talent you have. You will lose over time.

In order to be ready for the big event, everyone should practice the Paid Search Decathlon of Quality. These 10 “events” will ensure that your campaigns are perfect so your consumers award you the gold medal of their business.

1. Landing Pages

Are any landing pages broken? Many of the PPC tools have a URL checker that will help make this process more efficient. Nothing is more disappointing that paying for traffic that takes a customer to a broken page.

2. Daily Budget Caps

Are your budget caps high enough to capture all the necessary traffic? This is something to especially watch during peak periods. If you sell beach balls you don’t need as high of budgets in the winter, but you do need to raise them once that first 90 degree day hits.

3. Keyword Structure

Do your keywords match the ad copy? Are your keywords tightly focused ad groups?

4. Negatives

Did you think you added a keyword to your targeting list, but really made it a negative, therefore stopping all your ads? Are you thinking of all the variations of search phrases people are using when searching for your products? Do you want to show up for “worst” beach balls?

5. Geotargeted Settings

Are you showing your ads to the right locations? If you sell to only a few states, or locations why spend money targeting those outside of those regions?

6. Tracking Appended

Is your web analytics code set-up properly? Are your keywords tagged so that you can track the tremendous value you are driving for your business?

7. Ad Copy

Are there misspellings in your ad copy? Did you use 3 L’s in “beach ballls?”

8. Content Targeting

This one has burned me too many times in the past. When setting up a new campaign did you remember to turn off/separate content targeting from your search campaigns?

9. Ad Extensions

Are you using the proper extensions? Are your local and product listings linked correctly?

10. Mobile Targeting

Are you targeting mobile devices? Are you targeting them via unique campaigns? They perform very differently, so don’t lump them in with your desktop targeted campaigns.

Are You A Paid Search Champion?

No one sets up a campaign, or uploads changes thinking that they did something incorrectly – otherwise you wouldn’t have uploaded them. However, we’re all human, and part of being human is making mistakes.

Minimize your paid search mistakes by walking through this checklist frequently. Do some searches see what the user sees don’t just assume that things are working the way they should. The Paid Search Decathlon of Quality will help you run a gold medal worthy paid search program.

Register now and receive the low Pre-Agenda Rate for SES San Francisco 2012, taking place August 13-17. Marketers and SEO professionals attend SES San Francisco each year to network and learn about topics such as PPC management, keyword research, search engine optimization, social media, local, mobile, link building, duplicate content, multiple site issues, video optimization, site optimization, usability and more. The conference offers 70+ sessions, intensive training workshops, and an expo floor packed with companies that can help you grow your business. While you’re at it, network with peers and leading industry vendors.

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