Common Sense PPC Targeting

I’ve been managing a lot of PPC advertising lately, mostly AdWords but also Bing and Yahoo through Bing Ads. I’m good at it and I enjoy it (even though my interests are more holistic).

Not to toot my own horn but part of what makes me good at it is common sense; common sense seems to be lacking in Internet marketing.

Common Sense PPC Targeting Exclusions

Over and over I have noticed this but it is hard to quantify…until now:

My employer asked me to improve the CPA on our nationwide ‘E-Commerce’ AdWords campaign. I thought about places that were less likely to convert (a common subject to ponder in paid search marketing).

Recollecting my time in a town on the Mexican border, I thought about how hand-to-mouth life there was and how people obtained things through asking family and friends, not by searching the web (which was exasperating for me). I waxed philosophic on how no one there was concerned with online sales (“webpage design” was searched much more often than “website design” if that tells you anything).

Anyway, it occurred to me that exceptionally poor communities have a below average statistical interest in expensive websites, and therefore e-commerce websites.

I then went to Wikipedia and looked up the poorest counties in the U.S. both by household income and per capita income.

What follows is a combined list of the: a.) per capita; and b.) household income; poorest counties in the U.S. (as per Wikipedia, which is good enough for me). I added all of these counties as ‘locations’ to exclude from Google AdWords.

  • Adair County, Oklahoma
  • Allendale County, South Carolina
  • Apache County, Arizona
  • Bee County, Texas
  • Bell County, Kentucky
  • Bennett County, South Dakota
  • Benson County, North Dakota
  • Big Horn County, Montana
  • Breathitt County, Kentucky
  • Brooks County, Texas
  • Brooks County, Texas
  • Buchanan County, Virginia
  • Buffalo County, South Dakota
  • Bullock County, Alabama
  • Calhoun County, Georgia
  • Calhoun County, West Virginia
  • Cameron County, Texas
  • Casey County, Kentucky
  • Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
  • Charles Mix County, South Dakota
  • Chicot County, Arkansas
  • Cibola County, New Mexico
  • Claiborne County, Mississippi
  • Clark County, Idaho
  • Clay County, Georgia
  • Clay County, Kentucky
  • Clay County, West Virginia
  • Clinton County, Kentucky
  • Coahoma County, Mississippi
  • Concordia Parish, Louisiana
  • Conecuh County, Alabama
  • Corson County, South Dakota
  • Costilla County, Colorado
  • Culberson County, Texas
  • Cumberland County, Kentucky
  • Dewey County, South Dakota
  • Dimmit County, Texas
  • Duval County, Texas
  • East Carroll Parish, Louisiana
  • Elliott County, Kentucky
  • Evangeline Parish, Louisiana
  • Floyd County, Kentucky
  • Glacier County, Montana
  • Greene County, Alabama
  • Greene County, Mississippi
  • Guadalupe County, New Mexico
  • Hamilton County, Florida
  • Hancock County, Georgia
  • Hancock County, Tennessee
  • Harlan County, Kentucky
  • Harmon County, Oklahoma
  • Hidalgo County, Texas
  • Holmes County, Mississippi
  • Hudspeth County, Texas
  • Hughes County, Oklahoma
  • Humphreys County, Mississippi
  • Issaquena County, Mississippi
  • Jackson County, Kentucky
  • Jackson County, South Dakota
  • Jefferson County, Mississippi
  • Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi
  • Kalawao County, Hawai’i
  • Kemper County, Mississippi
  • Keya Paha County, Nebraska
  • Knott County, Kentucky
  • Knox County, Kentucky
  • La Salle County, Texas
  • Lake County, Tennessee
  • Lawrence County, Kentucky
  • Lee County, Arkansas
  • Lee County, Kentucky
  • Leflore County, Mississippi
  • Leslie County, Kentucky
  • Letcher County, Kentucky
  • Lewis County, Kentucky
  • Luna County, New Mexico
  • Macon County, Alabama
  • Macon County, Georgia
  • Madison County, Idaho
  • Madison Parish, Louisiana
  • Magoffin County, Kentucky
  • Martin County, Kentucky
  • Maverick County, Texas
  • McCreary County, Kentucky
  • McDowell County, West Virginia
  • McKinley County, New Mexico
  • McPherson County, South Dakota
  • Mellette County, South Dakota
  • Menifee County, Kentucky
  • Menominee County, Wisconsin
  • Mingo County, West Virginia
  • Monroe County, Arkansas
  • Morgan County, Kentucky
  • Navajo County, Arizona
  • Noxubee County, Mississippi
  • Oregon County, Missouri
  • Owsley County, Kentucky
  • Pemiscot County, Missouri
  • Perry County, Alabama
  • Perry County, Kentucky
  • Phillips County, Arkansas
  • Presidio County, Texas
  • Pushmataha County, Oklahoma
  • Quitman County, Mississippi
  • Randolph County, Georgia
  • Reeves County, Texas
  • Rolette County, North Dakota
  • Roosevelt County, Montana
  • Russell County, Kentucky
  • San Juan County, Utah
  • Searcy County, Arkansas
  • Shannon County, Missouri
  • Shannon County, South Dakota
  • Sharkey County, Mississippi
  • Sioux County, North Dakota
  • Starr County, Texas
  • Stone County, Arkansas
  • Summers County, West Virginia
  • Sumter County, Alabama
  • Sunflower County, Mississippi
  • Tallahatchie County, Mississippi
  • Tensas Parish, Louisiana
  • Thurston County, Nebraska
  • Todd County, South Dakota
  • Tunica County, Mississippi
  • Wade Hampton, Alaska
  • Wayne County, Kentucky
  • Webb County, Texas
  • Webster County, West Virginia
  • Wheatland County, Montana
  • Whitley County, Kentucky
  • Wilcox County, Alabama
  • Wilkinson County, Mississippi
  • Willacy County, Texas
  • Winn Parish, Louisiana
  • Wolfe County, Kentucky
  • Woodruff County, Arkansas
  • Zapata County, Texas
  • Zavala County, Texas
  • Ziebach County, South Dakota

So, if you have a product or service which appeals to people of higher socio-economic status, consider using this to exclude PPC advertising in that area.

Conversely, if you have a product or service that appeals to the less affluent, consider using this list as a starting point for targeting…that is, if you trust Wikipedia.

OSX Software for SEO, Automation & Development

After you update your OS, the surest way to know that everything will work right is to make sure you have all the software that is likely to be used installed.

This is a long list, and most of it is command-line software but you’ll like it because it’s mostly “package management,” “task automation,” and “version control,” and “virtualization” software.

Package/Dependency Management: Installs stuff for you (like homebrew)

Task/Automation: Builds and tests stuff for you

Version Control: Let’s you change/update/revert software easily

Virtualization: Let’s you install software on a “virtual machine” so you can run Windows/Linux software on your Mac (also lets you install software on a ‘virtual’ computer which greatly reduces the risk of any software/malware/problems hurting your computer.

Follow the step by step instruction in this awesome tutorial:

Install (or Update)

  1. Install ‘Git’
  2. Install ‘Homebrew
  3. Install ‘RVM
  4. Install ‘XCode’
  5. Install ‘XCode Command Line Tools’
  6. Install ‘XQuartz

Additionally Install (in this order):

  1. Install ‘Node.js‘  (includes NPM)
  2. Install ‘Yeoman‘(includes yo, bower, grunt)
  3. Install ‘Compass‘ (includes Sass)
  4. Install ‘Virtual Box
  5. Install ‘Vagrant

Recommended (all available from Get Mac Apps) :

  1. Install ‘Sublime Text 3
  2. Install ‘Gimp‘ (open-source bitmap graphics editor, a PhotoShop alternative)
  3. Install ‘Inkscape‘ (open-source vector graphics editor, an Illustrator alternative)
  4. Install ‘The Unarchiver‘ (make and open archive files easily)
  5. Install ‘Alfred‘ (fantastic productivity shortcut application)

Last time I updated my OS, it ‘broke’ everything so don’t rely on anything you already installed to work after you update.

Almost all of those have clear, simple directions (either a copy and paste command line prompt for Terminal or a ‘click here to download’ button).

If you have any problems feel free to send me questions.

Follow all the directions and you should be fine.

Auto #Hoffsome Photobombs Ain’t Awesome

I pity the fool at Google who picked David Hasselhoff over Mr. T.

I’m a big fan of Google, they usually put a lot of work and thought into everything they do. Their Betas are better than most company’s finished products.

But given enough time, any company makes a mistake.

Today, I’m sad to report an egregious—and potentially fatal—error in judgement by the people in charge of Google+, and more specifically the Google+ Auto-Awesome Photo Tools. You can preview the post announcing this foolishness on the Official Google blog.

Mr. T says "it's April, Fool"

I Pity The Fool

Who in their right mind thought that David Hasselhoff would be better as the first celebrity for honorary photobomb status than Mr. T?

If you ask me this is an unforgivable oversight.

This is a travesty!

It’s the beginning of the end; it’s all downhill from here.

Google Even Featured #Hoffsome on Their Homepage

Even a company as mighty as Google, that should have quality control practices in place, still chose to feature “Auto-Awesome Photobombing” by David Hasselhoff on its homepage. No mention of Mr. T at all.

How does such a mistake happen?

The Beginning of the End

Surely a gaffe this significant is fatal even to a company as mighty as the big G…as it should be, if you as me. Such a lapse of judgement is a #Hoffsome mistake. I don’t know about you, but I’d much prefer to have my pics photobombed by the greatness of Mr. T.

Sign the Petition

If you agree, sign the petition below (AKA comment) to voice your support for Mr. T.

Data-driven digital marketing on a shoestring budget

A DIY guide to making the most of Google services through data sharing

This post expands on a short presentation entitled ‘Making the most of Google Services through data sharing’ I will be giving at the Web Analytics Wednesday Meetup in Columbus, Ohio on February 19, 2014.

The primary reasons I use Google services are low cost and staggering reach.

Most of the tools mentioned are free and the others can be setup—initially, at least—for less than $100 (their current evergreen AdWords introductory offer is ‘Spend $25 and get an additional $75 credit’).

In the presentation I touch on utilizing GTM, GA, GWT and AdWords but there are other tools that I regularly use in conjunction with those.

Those include:

  • Google Trends
  • Google Consumer Surveys
  • Google+ Local (aka Google Places)
  • Google+ (‘profiles’ for people, ‘pages’ for businesses)

All of the tools above are free.


Analytics Checklist

These are ordered by the order you will come across them if proceeding top to bottom, left to right (not by importance)

Admin Settings

Google Analytics Admin Interface
  • Account

  • Data Sharing
    Share with other Google products
    AdWords Linking
    Link to AdWords Account
  • Property

  • Link to Webmaster Tools
    Yes
    Enhanced Link Attribution
    Enable
    Session Settings
    Change default: Campaign Tracking 6 months => 24 months
    Organic Search Sources
    Add duckduckgo.com
  • View

  • Timezone
    (set)
    Default Page
    (set if applicable)
    E-Commerce
    Enable if applicable
    (On)Site Search
    Enable if applicable
    Goals
    IMPORTANT:Configure Macro (and possibly Micro) Goals
    Content Grouping, Segments, Custom Alerts, Scheduled Emails, Shortcuts
    As appropriate

Reporting

GA Custom Report Import Gallery

In the past, I have published compilations of links to custom report templates that I found useful so I would have them in a single location for easy reference.

Thankfully, that is no longer needed as Google now offers a gallery of custom reports that can be imported directly

  • Import From Gallery

  • Occam’s Razor Awesomeness
    Creme of the crop from Avinash Kaushik
    New Google Analytics User Starter Bundle
    Grom the Google Analytics Team
    Justin Cutroni’s…everything
    View all by him and import whatever might be relevant

There’s a fair amount of overlap between these (and some like those analyzing the number of keywords in a query are antiquated now that the majority of search is encrypted) so I recommend importing them all and cherry picking the ones that you like the best.


References

Data Layer Specification Draft:

www.w3.org/2013/12/ceddl-201312.pdf

Track Keyword Ranking as an event

cutroni.com/blog/2013/01/14/a-new-method-to-track-keyword-ranking-using-google-analytics/

Rename the Global Object
Renaming the Global Tracker in GTM

developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/advanced

Prevent data loss with remarketing tag

www.blastam.com/blog/index.php/2013/04/google-analytics-remarketing-tag-concerns-solved/

CRM integration
Universal

groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/google-analytics-data-export-api/l7-b5FoyW5Q

Async

cutroni.com/blog/2009/03/18/updated-integrating-google-analytics-with-a-crm/