All Posts by charles kirkland


About the Author

Charles is a walking, talking, networking blend of credibility and know-how. Raised in a working class family, he combined a tenacious work ethic and keen sense of curiosity to usher him over one hurdle after another.

Oct 03

The A-Team van at a Toyota Prius convention

By charles kirkland | Traffic

What I’m about to tell you will fly in the face of a number of myths about PPC.

But it needs to be said.

If you really want to succeed with PPC you need to forget about all the Bright Shiny Objects (BSO’s) and focus on the variables you can control.

You have to focus on bidding, ad copy, targeting and landing pages. 

These are the 4 things you have 100% control over.

For the love of the free world please stop adjusting your bid’s like it's a broken thermostat.

Bid high and get the traffic. 

I cringe every time I hear about some $17 course that promises all the cheap traffic you can get regardless of the niche. 

I hate to burst your bubble but Google, Facebook, and Bing have more PHD’s than NASA and some kid working at Starbucks and living in his mom's basement isn’t going to outsmart them. 

By bidding high you raise your quality score and you don’t have to waste a lot of money trying to figure out if the keyword is going to work or not.

If it's a dud, move on the next one. Don’t fall in love with your keywords. Winning the bidding game is about hardcore stats. Leave emotions for your ad copy.

Figure out fast if it's going to work instead of bidding low while your campaign limps along on life support for weeks while you debate about it.

Novices often brag about how little they can spend while pros brag about ROI and the number of daily leads and sales.

If you’re bidding high and still not getting clicks, you need to look at your ad.

Is your ad copy congruent with the keyword?

Google “Omaha Steaks overnight delivery.” Regardless of how much you are bidding, I don’t think anybody is going to click on the ad for “vegan & gluten-free steaks.”

Your ad copy has only one get the click. 

That's it.

Stop writing watered-down politically correct ads. 

The job of your ads is to stand out like the A-Team van at a Toyota Prius convention.

Make your ad scream with emotion.

This isn’t Dragnet; don’t give them just the facts. 

Could you imagine if George Lucas told the story of Star Wars as facts? 

It would read like the Encyclopedia Britannica, or like most webinars. 

100% boring. 

Give your ad copy some life; make it strike a raw nerve with your prospects.

Your job is to focus on what you can control and hedge your bets with what you can’t control.

That is about it for now. I am getting ready to roll out a new ad campaign, and I’m going over my PPC checklist.

If you want us to help grow your business with PPC, reply and let's talk.

Charles Kirkland

Sep 28

Facebook or Adwords: Which is Better?

By charles kirkland | Adwords , FaceBook

I get lots of questions about which is better, Facebook or Adwords.

That's the wrong question to ask.

That's like saying the Hennessey Venom GT is the best car in the world. 

While it's the fastest supercar you can buy today for $1.2 million dollars, it wouldn't be the best thing to take down to the farm to feed the cows.

You have to pick the traffic source based on your offer.

Let's look at a situation where Adwords would leave Facebook in the dust.

Let's look at a situation where Adwords would leave Facebook in the dust.

One of the many reasons I love running Adwords over Facebook is real time intent.

In Facebook you really don’t know when a user liked an interest.

Was it this week, last year or 6 years ago.

Look at your profile preferences and you’ll see things you didn’t even know you liked.

Facebook takes all the data they have and comes up with some really good guesses about what you like.

It’s freaky how spot-on it is. But it fails to take into account recency of the data.

You can run conversion optimization and that helps a lot.

But as an advertiser you don’t have access to how fresh that like is.

And once that data is added to your profile it stays there until you remove it.

If you have first party data about your audience, Facebook can become unstoppable.

But Adwords is different.

Before I get tons of emails trying to tell me that Adwords is made up of multiple ways to serve ads, let me say that I’m specifically talking about search.

In search you're getting real-time actions.

Let's look at this real life example.

Let's say little Johnny gets back from playing at Grandma’s house at 9pm.

While you are somewhere in Dreamland little Johnny starts crying in the middle of the night. You wake up and run to his room only to discover he got into some nasty poison ivy and it's itching like crazy.

At 3am you’re not going to ask your friends on Facebook what's the best homemade cure for poison ivy.

Instead, you're going to grab your smart phone and do a voice search and start looking for the first results which is a sponsored ad. Now you're sending your other half to the 24 hour Walgreens looking for the anti-itch cream you just looked at.

By the way, baking soda works wonders in relieving poison ivy.

See how Adwords is solving the problem in real time.

In case you're saying Adwords is too expensive, you need to fix your funnel and up your quality score to compete.

Look at each keyword group and the intent behind it to come up with a hyper-targeted ad with a high quality score.

In PPC the goal is to have the highest possible quality score.

Your’ll pay less and get more impressions than your competition.

While I believe this a a great example of when Adwords beats Facebook, don’t get stuck using only one traffic source.

Master one and expand to the next; there's no law that says you can only use one traffic source.

I’m getting ready to help work one-on-one with a few lucky businesses. If you want to know more about it, let me know.

Talk soon,
Charles Kirkland

Sep 18

AdWords Editor Checklist

By charles kirkland | Adwords

AdWords Editor

AdWords Editor is a free downloadable application to manage your AdWords campaign. You can make bulk changes by importing all of the account data and then uploading the campaigns back into the account for the changes to take effect. Here you can even work offline and make changes. When you go online you can upload the same. You can download the AdWords Editor for Mac or Windows from here: Google AdWords Editor.

Upon opening the application you will see the above shown interface. To add an account you need to click on Add, as shown in the screenshot above.

Next a dialogue box will appear where you have to sign in with your AdWords account.

In the next dialogue box, you can either download all the campaigns or choose which ones to download.

Upon clicking the Open button you can see all of the campaigns. You can also click on Ad groups on the left hand side and see all of the Ad groups that are on that account. You can even see the keywords and ads by clicking on them on the left sidebar.

Now let's make some sheets from where we can upload the data by copying it into the Editor.

This is a campaign sheet where you have to include the Campaign name, Budget, Status and Campaign type. Make sure you use the same column names, otherwise Editor won’t pick it up. Copy this to your clipboard.

Now select Campaigns on the left side bar and then click on Make Multiple Changes.

As you click on Make Multiple Changes, a new dialogue box will appear wherein you have to put the excel sheet data. I hope you already have copied the campaign sheet. Now click on Paste from Clipboard button and wait for the data to populate. Look over the data, and if everything looks good, then click Process.

Here in this dialogue box you have to review the data that you have imported. Take a look at the number of campaigns you have made and the number of campaigns that are processed. If they are same, then just hit the Finish and Review changes button.

On the next screen, you would see the changes that you have made in highlighted in green. Analyze everything and then click on the Keep button that is at the top.

You have now created the campaigns in much less time when compared to making campaigns manually on the AdWords Interface.

This is the AdGroup sheet which contains three columns. These are Campaign, Ad Group and Max CPC. If there are 5 Ad Groups in a single campaign then write that campaign 5 times under Campaign and all 5 different Ad Groups against the campaign rows. You can put in the Max CPC as you wish. Copy the sheet.

Now click on Ad Groups on the left sidebar and then click on Make Multiple changes.

Do not forget to click on the radio button that says “My data includes columns for campaigns and/or ad groups” on the upper left corner. If you don't check this radio button, then the process results might be drastic. Paste all of the data by clicking the “Paste from clipboard” button. Finally, click on Process.

We have now inserted all of the campaigns and their Ad Groups in Editor. Now we have to add keywords.

I have taken a new topic for the keyword sheet just to show you that only the keyword sheet can be used to load the campaigns, Ad Groups and Keywords all at one time. You just have to add all the columns that we have discussed above into one sheet, copy it and put it in Editor (discussed in the next step). Do make sure that there are no duplicate columns. You can consider Campaign, Ad Group, Keywords, Match Type, Max CPC, Campaign Status and Columns.

As you can see in the screenshot above, we have included all of the columns so that we don't have to create the Ad Group and Campaign sheets. However, it is recommended to make a Campaign sheet as we cannot include the Campaign budget and Campaign type column in this sheet. You can find this sheet here for your reference:

To import this sheet on Editor you have to click on Keywords on the left sidebar and then on the Make Multiple Changes button on the top.

Do not forget to click on the radio button that says “My data includes columns for campaigns and/or ad groups” on the upper left corner. If you don't check this radio button, then the process results might be drastic. Then paste all the data by clicking on the paste from clipboard button. Lastly, click on Process.

After reviewing the changes, Keep them if everything is okay or select Revert if something wrong has happened. You will get a warning that the ad groups don't have any ads in them. Ignore that warning as of now. If there are any errors rectify them.

NOTE: If you are using just the Keywords sheet to input all of the data, then you have to insert your budget in the selected campaign, which will show a error. Also, after posting all the changes in your account, you need to change the Campaign type of your campaigns to Search Only.

This is the Ad sheet which includes columns for Campaign, Ad Groups, Headline, DL1, DL2, Destination URL and Display URL. If you want to make two ads in a single Ad Group, you can just make a duplicate row with the Campaign and Ad Group and input a different Headline, DL1 and DL2. You can find the sheet here:

To input the ads into Editor you need to click on Ads in the left sidebar and then click on Make multiple changes. The same procedure is followed as discussed in the Adding Keywords section.

After adding all of the data into the AdWords you have to click the Post button, which is situated at the top, to post all the changes into your AdWords account.

NOTE: Whenever you start working on AdWords Editor do keep in mind to click on the Get Recent Changes button.

Adding data through AdWords Editor is pretty easy and it saves a lot of time.

Sep 12

Should We Bid on our Competitor’s Brand?

By charles kirkland | Marketing

This is an extremely loaded question.

One everybody has to decide for themselves if it's worth it.

Google gives you the ability to show your ad when you search for your competition’s brand name.

While this may seem like a great idea, it could turn into a disaster if you're not careful.

Before you go down this path let me ask you a few questions.

Do you look at these businesses as your competition or potential JV partners?

If they're potential JV partners, you can really get on their bad side fast. You may get way more sales as JV partners.

Do you think there's enough search volume to justify creating a ad set for your competition's name?

Let's face it; if they only have one search a day you'll end up with a low quality score for ads that are seldom seen...which leads to a very high CPC.

Are you prepared for your competition to start bidding on your brand name and do you have the budget to fight them?

Bidding wars don’t help anybody except the ad networks.

There are a lot of things to consider with branded PPC searches.

So am I saying that bidding on your competition is bad?

No, there are plenty of times it makes total sense, and it comes down to ROI.

Every campaign needs to prove itself with ROI.

But what is the ROI from bidding on your competitor’s brand and is it worth it when you factor in the potential fallout?

Each person needs to make that decision.

Reply and let me know what your thoughts are on bidding on your competitor’s brand.

Charles Kirkland

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