Google Minimizes Role of Exact Match Keywords in PPC

pay per click marketing qiigoOver the past few years, Google’s ability to understand language has grown leaps and bounds, leading to big changes for organic search and SEO. Now, those changes are starting to show up in Google AdWords, reshaping the way PPC marketing campaigns are conducted.

This spring, Google has announced that exact match keywords will play a minimized role in Google AdWords. The change widens the net of keywords that can capture PPC traffic and could fundamentally change the way PPC marketing professionals approach the AdWords platform.

We outline the changes below that Google has made and how they will impact future PPC marketing efforts.

Change Ignores Function Words & Word Order

Google already treats plurals, variant spellings, and misspelled keywords as “exact matches” for AdWords campaigns. But with this most recent update, there are two new changes Google is making to Exact Match campaigns.

The first change is that Google is now ignoring most function words for Exact Matches. Function words are linking words that include conjunctions (“and” or “but”), prepositions (“then” or “about”), pronouns (“her” or “they”), quantifiers (“few” or “all”), and modals (“could” and “should”). In most cases, Google now ignores these words entirely, removing them from queries when matching them to PPC campaigns. So, a search of “vacation in Barbados” will be considered an exact match for “vacation Barbados.”

The second change is that Google will also be ignoring word order on most queries. If, for instance, a user searches for “mens shoes red,” Google will that search as a match for “red mens shoes.”

It’s important to note that there will be exceptions. If Google’s algorithm detects that a function word is essential to the meaning of a query, or if it detects that word order matters, it will still make sure to match those keywords accurately.

What This Means for PPC Marketing

This change comes with a number of implications for PPC marketing teams. Google’s new “wide net” approach to exact match keywords means that PPC marketers now need to take extra steps if they want closer control over the keywords their ads are matched to.

By using negative keywords, you can eliminate variant keywords that you don’t want to trigger your ads. When crafting new PPC campaigns, marketers will need to take the added step of analyzing their chosen keywords to see if they could be matched with unwanted keywords. Any variants you don’t want should be added to the negatives for your campaign.

It’s also important for marketers to take periodic looks at their Search Query Reports. You’ll want to check over the keywords that are triggering your ads and look for keyword variants that you want excluded from your campaign going forward.

Generate clicks and conversions on your next AdWords campaign with help from the PPC marketing experts at Qiigo. Call (888) 673-1212 today to discover your road map to PPC success.

How to Write PPC Ads That Actually Convert in 2017

PPC Ads that convertIn terms of dollar for dollar performance, PPC advertising is one of the best most powerful tools in the internet marketer’s arsenal. But if you don’t know how to write PPC ads that convert, all the time and effort you put into your PPC campaigns will be for nothing.

The goods news? The principles behind high-performing PPC ads are simple to learn and easy to apply. And while recent changes to Google AdWords have made writing PPC ads a bit more complicated, learning how to harness the potential of these changes can send your click-through and conversion rates into the stratosphere.

Looking to take your PPC advertising campaigns to the next level this year? With this guide on how to write PPC ads, you’ll be drawing new clicks and new customers in no time.

Focus on PPC Ad Headlines First

When crafting PPC ads, the most crucial element will always be your headlines. That’s especially true now that Google has expanded AdWords headlines from a single headline of 25 characters to two headlines of 30 characters each.

Those two headlines will draw more eyeballs and generate more clicks than any other part of your ad, so it’s important that you invest the time it takes to make your headlines everything they should be. That means:

  • Including your targeted keywords
  • Offering a clear value statement
  • Including a call to action

Create Conversion-Friendly URLs for Your Ads

On any AdWords ad, your URL will appear directly beneath your headlines. This often makes it the second thing users see when they look at your ad. So take the time to create a destination URL that aligns with your campaign’s overall message, echoing one or more of the key points from your headlines.

Craft Copy That Compliments Your Headlines

The description portion of at PPC ad will always play second fiddle to the headline — but that doesn’t mean you should neglect the content in this part of your ad. When writing PPC ad descriptions, think of the description as complimentary text for your headline. Use this space to detail secondary points of value that your business offers.

Leverage PPC Ad Extensions to Draw Clicks

AdWords extensions are a great way to stuff extra information into your PPC ads. More importantly, they take up valuable real estate on search result pages. With the right combination of extensions, your ads can take up two or three times the space of your competitors’ ads, helping you draw more clicks.

Some of the best extensions available include:

  • Sitelinks extensions, which offer alternative links to other pages on your site.
  • Location extensions, which allow you to include your address and hours within ads.
  • Call extensions, which make it possible for users to place a phone call directly through your ad.
  • Review extensions, which incorporate online reviews from reputable third-party sites.
  • Callout extensions, which allow you to add short, additional blurbs beneath your description.

Go Granular with Device & Audience Targeting

It’s no secret that segmenting and microtargeting are winning strategies in PPC advertising. So be sure to structure your campaigns in a way where you’re targeting your target markets as precisely as possible. Whether you’re targeting geographic locations, age ranges, audience interests, or specific devices, having a clear sense of who your strongest targets are will be invaluable in getting your ads in front of the right eyeballs.

Ready to take your PPC advertising efforts to the next level? As a Google Premier Partner, Qiigo can help you research the right keywords, draft your campaigns, and write killer content for your PPC ads. Call us today at (888) 673-1212 to find out how you can get started.

How to Use UTM Codes in Your Digital Marketing Campaigns

how to use utm codesAny successful digital marketing campaign is powered by data. But data-driven campaigns are only possible when you collect that data properly. One essential tool used by digital marketers for data collection and segmentation is UTM codes. UTM codes help you build unique URLs for different marketing campaigns, making it possible to properly segment campaign traffic in platforms like Google Analytics.

Below, we outline how you can quickly and simply set up and use UTM codes within Google Analytics for your digital marketing campaigns.

UTM Codes: The Basics

A UTM code (short for Urchin Tracking Module) is a piece of code that is attached to a page’s URL. This code makes it easy for analytics programs to track where users are visiting your website’s pages from. By creating a new, unique UTM code for each campaign that you wish to track, you can easily isolate data to compare one campaign against another.

UTM codes are composed of five different elements, also referred to as parameters. Three of these parameters are required for all UTM codes. Two are only used in certain cases.

The five parameters are:

  • Campaign Name – utm_campaign: This is the name of your campaign. (i.e. “summersale”)
  • Campaign Source – utm_source: This is where you are running your campaign (i.e. “facebook”)
  • Campaign Medium – utm_medium: This is the type of link used to direct traffic to your site (i.e. “bannerad”)
  • Campaign Term – utm_term (optional parameter): If you are running a PPC campaign, this is the keyword term used.
  • Campaign Content – utm_content (optional parameter): If you are running multiple campaigns with the same name, source, and medium, you can add an extra keywords with this parameter to differentiate them.

Setting Up UTM Codes

Getting a UTM code set up for your campaign is simple, thanks to Google’s URL Builders and other similar tools. With Google’s URL builders (available for web and email ads, as well as mobile-app ads), you simply enter your website’s URL and each of the parameters you are using. Google’s tool will automatically generate a unique URL with the proper UTM parameters for your campaign. You will want to create a unique UTM code for every campaign that you are tracking in Google Analytics. This way, you can isolate each campaign individually.

One important point: make sure you use the same spelling for shared parameters. For instance, if you are running multiple campaigns for your summer sale, make sure to use “summersale” for the Campaign Name of each campaign. If you are running multiple campaigns on Facebook, you will want to spell “facebook” that same way every time in the Campaign Source parameter. Note that UTM parameters are case-sensitive, so capital letters matter.

UTM Codes & Google Analytics

When you’re in Google Analytics, you can easily track and compare different campaigns based on their UTM parameters. Simply go into Traffic Sources > Sources > Campaigns to see an overview of all campaigns listed by the Campaign Name parameter. In other areas, like the Explorer, Ecommerce, and AdSense sections, you’ll be able to drill down by additional parameters, like Campaign Source and Campaign Medium.

UTM codes make it easy to track and compare how social media campaigns perform on Facebook vs. Twitter, whether you’re seeing more clicks from banner ads vs. sidebar ads, or how different ads perform within the same campaign. This way, you can go ultra-granular when fine-tuning your digital marketing efforts, helping you build smarter campaigns and optimize results.

Get more out of digital marketing by choosing the digital specialists at Qiigo. Call (888) 673-1212 today to learn how you can unlock your brand’s digital potential.

Qiigo Announces Ad Budget Alerts

At Qiigo, we are always looking for ways to better serve our clients. We are pleased to announce a change to how we notify our clients when their Local Marketing Program budget is reaching its limit. If your account balance for Search Engine Advertising is running low, we will now be notifying you via Qiigo Ad Budget Alerts. Qiigo Ad Budget Alerts are proactive, automated email alerts that help you quickly and easily manage your online advertising budget.

With Qiigo Ad Budget Alerts, you can take prompt action to ensure your ads keep working for you, generating valuable leads for your business. And our system makes it easy for you to monitor, manage and adjust your ad budget when you need to.

qiigo ad budget alerts

Here’s how it works:

  • We will send you an email alert when your budget has 20% left for the month.
  • We send a second email alert at the 10% mark.
  • The email alert will include your total monthly budget, as well as the budget percentage remaining for the month.
  • Each email alert has a link, so you can immediately click to adjust your budget and keep the ads running if you need to.
  • Options for next steps include:
    • Adding budget just for the remainder of the current month
    • Adding a permanent increase in your monthly budget

How will Qiigo Ad Budget Alerts help you?

  • Our system will send you automated, proactive email reminders, because we know you’re busy running your business.
  • The Qiigo Ad Budget Alerts will help you understand how much budget you have left, compared to your overall budget each month. They help you make the best decision about whether to add budget just for this month, up your budget permanently, or just wait until next month to continue running ads.
  • If you need our help, each Qiigo Ad Budget Alert includes your Qiigo Account Manager’s contact information, so you can call or email us immediately to discuss your options.
  • By making sure your online a budget doesn’t accidentally run dry, we help keep leads coming to you, to grow your business.

Should you have questions or concerns, we always encourage you to reach out to your Account Manager. His or her contact information will be included in each email alert. We believe the new Qiigo Ad Budget Alert system will provide you with an easier way to manage your ad budget, so leads keep coming and you can focus on growing your business.

Other Important Features about Qiigo Ad Budget Alerts

  • If you ever want to shut off the alerts, we make that easy with a simple “1-click Unsubscribe” process.
  • If you decide to ignore the alerts, that’s ok. We’ll send another one at the next alert set-point, and when your account runs out for the month.
  • When your account runs out, your ads will pause, and no further leads will be generated until the ads restart next month. However, if you have a monthly budget allocated, they will restart automatically with no further action required from you.
  • Qiigo does not get paid more, if you run more ads. Unlike most digital marketing agencies, we do not charge a percentage of your ad spend. We simply want to help you succeed, by helping you generate the best, most profitable leads to grow your business.

Google Removes Right Column PPC Ads

Never shy to make changes, Google has made a major shift in the way that pay per click ads appear in search results. Starting in late February, PPC ads have been removed from the right column on all desktop search result pages. At the same time, Google has rolled out an increased number of banner-style ads on some pages, with many SERPs now seeing as many as four above-the-fold banner ads.

The change has many marketers wondering why this change has been made now, its effects on PPC, and what it means for digital marketing going forward.

Why Right Column Ads Died

right side ppc

While some digital marketing experts were surprised by the change, there’s nothing too shocking about Google removing right column PPC ads. Google and digital marketers have known for years that right column ads perform significantly worse than above-the-fold banner ads.

One recent study showed that top-of-page banner ads receive 85% of all clicks. Another study concluded that customers are fourteen times more likely to click on a top-of-page ads compared to sidebar ads on Google search results. According to Google’s Matt Lawson in a recent post explaining the change, users just don’t click on sidebar ads.

The rise of mobile search – which doesn’t allow for sidebar ads in search results – also led to the decision. Google has noticed that more and more users are starting searches on one device and then completing them on another. By removing right column ads, Google has created a more unified cross-platform search experience.

Google’s Expansion of Top-of-Page Ads

To offset the removal of sidebar ads, Google has expanded the number of banner ads that appear above organic search results. Previously the upper limit for the number of above-the-fold banner ads on each SERP was three. Google has increased that limit to four ads per page.

Google claims that this change will only affect “a very small percentage of highly commercially relevant queries.” But some marketers are already reporting that as many as one third of all search results are returning four-ad pages.

While, this might seem like an uneven trade off – five sidebar ads for one banner ad – the difference in click-through rates between sidebar and banner ads is expected to offset this.

Looking to give your business’s PPC and SEO efforts a boost? Call Qiigo at (404) 496-6841 today to find out how our experts can supercharge your digital marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing Facts Check Up


As we near the mid-way point of 2015, it’s important to take stock of how the year has been progressing and what’s on the docket for the remainder of the year. As expected, digital marketing is continuing to have a significant impact on how we market our businesses. As more businesses add or expand the percentage of marketing spend directed towards digital, it’s a good idea to look at some key digital marketing facts.

    78% of Americans have high-speed internet at home.

    It turns out that high-speed internet usage varies greatly between age, race and geographic areas. According to the US Census Bureau, 88.5% of San Jose area residents use the internet compared to only 69% of Fresno area residents.

    More than 90% of Americans own a cell phone.

    When you see this statistic it is clear why digital marketing continues to grow. More Americans have a cell phone than high-speed internet at home.

    More than 8 million US homes have dropped cable or satellite TV.

    Those 8.6 million households without cable or satellite TV equate to 7.3% of households. The number of US households who cut the cable cord continues to grow. The widespread acceptance of streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) has contributed to the growth of those households without cable or satellite TV.

    Multi-channel usage exceeds 50%.

    More than half of all American adults report doing something else while watching TV. Top omni-channel distractions include email, talking or texting via mobile devices, surfing the web, and watching videos on mobile devices.

    TV advertising costs continue to rise.

    Even with the distracted nature of watching TV continuing to rise, TV ad rates are going up. Cable TV rates jumped 7.1% while network TV rates remained roughly flat.

    Nearly 25% of ad spend allotted to digital.

    In 2015, it is estimated that $183 billion will be spent on advertising with roughly $50 billion going to digital media expenditures.

How does your marketing plan layout for the remainder of 2015? Do you have a solid digital marketing strategy in place or are you looking to revamp the distribution of your marketing dollars.

Call Qiigo today at (404)496-6841 to discuss online marketing strategies that include Local Listings Management, Pay per Click, Search Engine Optimization, and more.

Visit Qiigo at the 2015 IFA Convention

ifa logo

Are you ready? Have you packed? The 2015 IFA Convention starts in just a couple of days! The Qiigo team is making last minute preparations and can’t wait to see you in Las Vegas!

We invite you to visit our booth in the Exhibit Hall. Qiigo will be at Booth 628/630. We’ll have information on our marketing solutions for national brands:

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Don’t forget to get your picture taken with Captain Local when you visit the Qiigo booth. He’s the world’s first digital marketing superhero! Captain Local is obsessed with saving local listings for national brands!

Two members of the Qiigo team will also be leading Marketing and PR Roundtables on Tuesday afternoon. Rick Batchelor, Qiigo CEO, will lead the Brand Monitoring: Tips, Tricks, and Testimonials roundtable discussion. Christian Pillat, Product Manager, will lead the Mobile: Tips, Trends, and Best Practices roundtable.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2015 IFA Convention!

Qiigo to Lead Marketing and PR Roundtable at IFA Convention

The International Franchise Association (IFA) Convention brings together leading franchisors, franchisees and suppliers to discuss the latest trends and ideas for franchise management, development and growth. Leading figures in business and franchising bring their insight to this industry defining event each year.

At the 2015 IFA Convention, Qiigo has been tapped to lead two of the Marketing and PR Roundtable events.


    Brand Monitoring: Tips, Tricks, and Testimonials.
    This roundtable discussion will be led by Rick Batchelor, Qiigo’s CEO. The Brand Monitoring discussion will be held on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 from 2:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the MGM Grand.


    Mobile: Tips, Trends, and Best Practices.
    The Mobile roundtable discussion will be led by Christian Pillat, Qiigo’s Product Manager. You can join this roundtable discussion on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 from 2:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the MGM Grand.

If you are unable to attend the Brand Monitoring or Mobile roundtables, please feel free to stop by the Qiigo Booth (Booth 628/630) on the Convention floor. Meet Rick, Christian and the rest of the Qiigo team. Find out how your brand can benefit from Local Listing Management, Lead Generation and Brand Reputation Management.

Meet Captain Local at the IFA Convention

ifa logo

Who’s Captain Local? Surely you’ve heard of the world’s first digital marketing superhero!?!

Captain Local helps national brands control and manage their online directory listings! You can meet Captain Local at the International Franchise Association Convention in Las Vegas. Appearing only at the Qiigo booth (#628/630), cl saving 300wCaptain Local champions your right to accurate and consistent online directory listings.

Qiigo’s Local Listing Management program is the answer to the difficulty of managing hundreds of location’s online listings. Listings with incorrect information including addresses, phone numbers and store hours lead to consumer confusion and lost sales. Local Listings Management from Qiigo manages the process of creating, claiming, editing, and maintaining your brand’s listings. The result is improved SEO value, consistent brand messaging, and the ability to easily promote new locations.

You can learn more about Qiigo’s Local Listings Management offering, along with our Lead Generation and Reputation Management services, at the IFA Convention February 15 through 18 in Las Vegas.

Visit Qiigo at Booth 628/630. Get your picture taken with Captain Local and learn more about Qiigo’s marketing solutions for national brands.

The Importance of Bidding on Brand Keywords

BRAND on price labels

The positive results from your SEO efforts have your brand appearing at the top of the search engine results page. Great news! Now that you’ve made it to the top of the page are you thinking about cutting back on your PPC campaign? Don’t do it!

Running a PPC lead generation campaign in conjunction with your SEO efforts can maximize your efforts. Consider these reasons why a PPC campaign with an emphasis on brand keywords is important.

    1. Two Links are Better than One. It’s great to be listed at the top of the organic search result list, but who’s above you? When you bid on brand terms you can dominate search real estate by claiming the top two spots on the page. The paid search link is not likely to cannibalize the SEO link. In fact, the two links are more likely to work together to drive even more traffic to your site.

    2. Dominate the Competition. What happens when the competition buys your brand term and starts to show up above you? It can and will happen. Secure your space with a brand keyword campaign before your competition gets in on the game.

    3. Branding Matters. The largest and most dominant brands in any industry are asserting their presence by owning the top paid and organic search spots. This strategy can be successful for your brand too.

    4. Strategic Promotion. Paid search provides the opportunity for you to direct consumers to specific pages within your site. Use paid search to drive attention to new product offerings, promotions and special offers.

    5. Brand Keywords are Affordable. Typically bidding on brand keywords is less expensive than bidding on generic keywords. Lower CPC makes brand keywords affordable and effective.

    6. Brand Searches Indicate Intent. Consumers are most likely to search on product or service keywords during the research phase of the buying process. Once they’ve made their decision, searches shift to brand words. Position your brand to show up front and center when consumers are ready to purchase.

Is your brand running both organic and paid search campaigns? Looking for advice on how to maximize your efforts? Call Qiigo and let us help guide your brand with successful paid and organic search efforts.