Gerard McHugh - PPC Expert based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire UK
Gerard has spent over 15 years working on Pay Per Click campaigns for companies operating in the UK, Europe and USA. He is Google Ads Certified in Search, Display and Shopping and a Microsoft Certified Professional.
Forget the big talking point of the year, there will be no mention of a pandemic here. What you ALL really want to know is ‘what nuggets do I need to know about PPC in 2020’ Sorry, What’s Your Name Again? I am including this in 2020. But it happened in 2017, or 2018 or 2019 – I really cannot remember exactly when, but it definitely occurred at some point in my adult life. I still regularly refer to them by their old names, so I’m not surprised clients do as well. But in the interests of clarity – AdWords is now was rebranded in 2020 / sometime in the last 5 years to be known as Googl..
Who thought at the beginning of 2020 we would spend most of the year staring in a real-life version of the film Contagion ? Well hindsight is a wonderful thing, so this year in preparation for anything that may come up in the future I’ve used some quiet time to rewatch The Towering Inferno and the Poseidon Adventure just in case I pick up any tips that might prove useful on future holidays. It is probably a longshot, but I also watched Jurassic Park. Well, after this year you never know. If anyone had told me at the start of the year that by the end of March, a third of our clients woul..
I’ve compared managing a PPC account to surfing more than once in the past. The comparison being that on a wave you start slowly, build up momentum and enjoy rising and falling sensations or peaks and troughs. The whole time anticipating what lies ahead whilst acutely aware of what is behind you. A lot of this also happens through the life of a PPC account! Start Slowly It’s rare to build an account that nails it from day one. Depending on your starting point, you may have historical data from an old account, or SEO data which can make the getting up to speed process quicker...
Often reviewing an account, I’ll have a look through the account change history and the sum total of changes made are bid changes. A couple of pence up here, a couple down there. Up one week, down the next. Sometimes agencies do it to justify their fees by leaving a trace in the account. Sometimes people do it because they are probably fresh out of other ideas to improve performance – so best do SOMETHING. HEADS UP - Google Ads is moving towards automated bidding and has been for some time. If you are self-managing your account consider using an automated bid strategy suitable for your goal..
When Google AdWords was launched in late 2000 it was a fairly simple platform. You put a few keywords in, wrote an Ad or two and you were pretty much done. Not so any more, it’s a huge platform with more settings than ever. Even those of us who work with it full-time can find ourselves struggling to remember how to navigate to a particular feature or report. Taking that into account, you would think that quickly understanding whether an account is working well or not would be more difficult? Well in reality it isn’t, the pulse of any campaign is still the same – the search query report. ..
It’s something that isn’t talked about very much in PPC circles. Possibly it is seen as some kind of dirty, grubby secret that is best forgotten? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because it is essentially highlighting a weakness in the product we spend our lives promoting the strengths of. The majority of click fraud can be grouped as either comes from malicious clicking on Ads from competitors and bots to increase click budgets spent, or by advertisers looking to boost their click income on Ad Networks. Google take click fraud seriously and have their own series of algorithums running, an..
Hero Conference London 2018 Once a year in the UK, some of the worlds leading PPC thinkers, innovators and practitioners gather for Hero Conference, organised by Hanapin Marketing. This is (we believe) the only 100% focused PPC conference run in the UK (Hanapin also organise a US version each year). It’s 2 days packed with speakers covering everything from hands-on Excel skills to strategic reviews of the best Search Marketing Campaigns being run across Europe right now. So, what did we learn, and what do business owners / marketers and PPC Managers need to know? PPC is in a really ..
I’ve reviewed so many AdWords accounts for potential clients that I thought I’d pretty much seen it all. Then a couple of weeks ago a prospective client asked me to review their account. They were spending about £5k a month and so I expected to see some level of sophistication in the build. What I found was one campaign, with one AdGroup containing ONE keyword! It’s far more common than I’d like - to see poor quality accounts having been built or managed by other agencies. The most common issues being - AdGroups filled with hundreds of keywords of varying match types. No one tra..
Unless your agency has multiple PPC staff in place, there are many drawbacks to offering it as a service with only one or even a couple of people in-house. Cost Effectiveness How many PPC accounts do you need to employ a full-time member of staff? Depending on the account sizes, it could be quite a few. If that staff member isn’t working close to capacity, it’s unlikely you are making a profit. Holidays If you only have one PPC person, who covers for them when they are on holiday? Or do you just let the accounts run without being monitored properly? Staff Retention What if your P..
The Google Keyword Tool is the MAGICAL must use tool which allows you to accurately forecast search volumes for a client. Every client has heard of it and every client wants you to use it to predict their future business success. We used to crank up the GKT for forecasting a lot and generally the scenario used to run something like this – CLIENT "Can you do a forecast for how many searches are performed for my product / service?" ME "Sure" As soon as I put the phone down or walk out the room I’d think ‘BUGGER, I might need some embellishment here…’ AS time went on ..
I’m starting this post with the conclusion, as I know you are all busy and wanted to save you the bother of reading the rest of the article and then being disappointed to discover that it was all written just to justify the expense of getting an AdWords company like Clickspotters to manage your account. I’m not going to deny that - you’d be right (please get in contact and we will make your AdWords performance SO much better.) BUT, at the same time it might help you to understand why you may have had a bad AdWords experience and how to avoid it in the future, should you be persuaded to try ..
Let’s be honest from the outset, I’m an AdWords advocate living and breathing the stuff so I really want to say ALL BUSINESS (please give me a call with your credit card details) and finish this article right now. But I’m also pretty honest and realistic, so let’s firstly be honest about what AdWords won’t do. It’s NOT instant. But isn’t it like a tap I often hear? Well not really, unless you have previously built and optimised the account and then paused it for a while. In that scenario you could switch it back on and start getting results pretty similar to when you paused it. But if ..
Most people are aware of Remarketing now, we’ve all experienced it. You visit a retailers website and looked at a product. Ten minutes later everywhere you visit on the Internet you see Ads with images of the product you just looked at – trying to entice you to return to the retailer site and complete the purchase. What you may not be aware of though, is that AdWords allows a different form of retargeting through the search interface itself. Rather than seeing images though, this is slightly more subtle – it allows an advertiser to raise their bids for searches performed by a previous visi..
In case you don’t know, the European Commission ruled earlier this year (and handed out a record $2.7 billion fine) against Google for the way Google Shopping results were perceived to be favoured within Google search results. The ruling went further, requiring Google to make changes to Shopping and provide ‘equal treatment’ to competitors – i.e. Comparison Shopping Engines. The best known examples being Shopzilla and Kelkoo in the UK. This week Google rolled out some visual changes to comply with the ruling. In short, they haven’t fundamentally changed the design of Shopping re..
Google AdWords is not straightforward, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The interface and capabilities of the system are now simply phenomenal - so long as you know what you are doing. But keeping on top of the new features is a full-time job. Unless you are a specialist in AdWords (got the Partner badges, the constant training, the 10,000 hours practice etc) it might be that you are either missing the opportunity to offer AdWords to your clients, or worse, flying by the seat of your pants by OFFERING AdWords but not really having the skillset in-house to make it work. ..
Whether you are managing your own AdWords account, or have entrusted its success to someone else, the odds are that as a business owner you have about a THOUSAND things to do at any time. Somewhere buried in that list is generally the question ‘how is AdWords doing?’ From a lot of experience talking to clients the honest answer is quite often they’d say, ‘I don’t really know!’ IT’S NOT ALL THAT COMPLICATED Once explained to them though, they start to understand that measuring AdWords performance is really straightforward as I’ll cover below. (Note – we are not going to cover Assist..
We posted about these free Google AdWords vouchers some time ago and the response was simply THRILLING, in fact we would go as far as to suggest it was almost borderline enthusiastic. Ok, it was somewhat better than that – but as WE think it’s a GREAT offer we thought it worth mentioning them again. Of course we should also mention that although our aim is to keep EVERYONE happy, some people went away HIGHLY disappointed. Why you ask? Well the answer was simply because they were not eligible for the free vouchers. Who the dickens is eligible you may wonder? Any NEW business to AdW..
One of the most common questions I hear from clients is “I’ve been looking and my Ads aren’t showing on Google”. My first thought is “well here we go again”, don’t worry though I'm old and cynical but I’ll get over it. Let’s be clear, I completely understand WHY clients search Google for their own Ads. They want to be sure they are working. But at the same time there are a number of genuine reasons why those Ads are showing, but just NOT showing to the client. 1, PERSONALISATION. The client regularly searches for their own Ads and or organic links. They never click on the Ads..
We are delighted to announce that Clickspotters has been awarded the top level Google Premier Partner status! Google offers the Premier Partner badge to recognise leading companies that are higher spending and meet additional certification and performance requirements in AdWords. As well as the Premier Partner status, Clickspotters is recognised as displaying AdWords specialisms in Search, Shopping, Display and Mobile Advertising by Google. ..
A couple of weeks ago we attended Hero Conference London 2016. This is probably the premiere PPC conference in the world right now and consists of two and half days of non-stop presentations on best-practice PPC tips along with views on the future of PCC. As such, it’s really unmissable in such a fast moving industry. What did we learn? Well trying to compress 2.5 days of PPC into one blog is a fairly tough task! Plus lets face it, there were plenty of new ideas and concepts that perhaps we don’t want to make too public eh?! The Highlights. Larry Kim, founder of Wordpress gave ..