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Archive for Google AdWords’ Category



Percentage Increase / Percentage Decrease…

AdWords Editor is a great piece of software.  One of the things it lets you do is to increase bids by any given percentage at a keyword level or an ad group level, so if you wanted to increase your bids on 1000 different keywords by 20% in one go, it is a piece of cake.

BUT – what if you don’t take a backup, then increase bids by 20%, upload your changes and then change your mind?

How do you change your bids back to exactly what they were?

Here is a wee spreadsheet I knocked up that does the calculation for you…



And for those of you who have a Google account and don’t want to much around with Excel or Open Office, here is the online Google Docs version :-

Google Docs Percentage Increase / Percentage Decrease spreadsheet.

Please bear in mind that I am very far from being an expert in MS Excel, and while it does work the other way round (getting back to the original bids after decreasing by a percentage) the wording is a bit confusing i.e. a decrease of -25% actually means an increase of 25%.

NB – this spreadsheet can also be used for a multitude of other uses e.g. if you accidentally change all the prices on your eCommerce system by a certain percentage and want to get back to exactly the original prices…

Maybe a similar spreadsheet exists to this exists elsewhere on the internet, but when I searched on Google I was not able to find one within 15 minutes so I created my own.

If anyone finds this useful, please let me know!


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A Beginners Guide To PPC / Google AdWords

In a perfect world, you will have an amazing web site that everyone talks about, and which gets tons of ‘free’ traffic from Search Engines, Social Media, and from people who have bookmarked your site.

In the real world, you’ll probably have a web site which is fairly new and is not getting a huge amount of traffic yet.

This is where Pay Per Click (PPC) comes in.*

There are 3 major Search Engines in the UK & Ireland.

Google (roughly 90% of the market)
Yahoo (roughly 6% of the market)
Bing  (roughly 4% of the market)

Lets ignore Yahoo and Bing for the time being, and concentrate on…

Google AdWords

In a nutshell, Google AdWords gets you new customers through your web site by targeting people searching for your product or service. It also allows you to easily measure your Return On Investment.

If you have a reasonable level of technical knowledge, and fancy setting up your own Google Adwords campaign – Don’t. Please read (at least twice) – Google AdWords For Dummies by Howie Jacobson.

Then find a free voucher code for your new AdWords account (There are millions of these floating around, and you should be able to find one for at least £50, meaning that your first £50 of clicks are free).

You can do all this yourself, but if you do not have the time or the patience to set up your own Google AdWords campaign, then just pay someone who knows what they are doing…

How do you get the right person to set up your AdWords campaign?


  • Are you qualified?
  • Can you refer me to satisfied clients of yours?

Now, I know I am biased (because I am qualified Google Advertising Professional), and it is true that someone might not be qualified, and still be the most talented Pay Per Click specialist in the entire world – but on balance, I would chose someone with the qualification.

If you get someone who knows what they are doing to handle your campaign, then you can skip the rest of this article!

If you still want to have a bash at it yourself, then….. (After reading ‘AdWords For Dummies’) have a look at the following tools:-


* Update – you can stop reading the rest of this article and have a look at the updated Top 20 AdWords Tips *

Make sure your web site is as good as it can be.  The Website Optimizer link above can help with this.  Simple changes to your web site can increase ‘conversions’ by 100%!

e.g. Make a contact form much more user friendly, and you can get twice as many leads from the same Pay Per Click spend!

Make sure you measure everything!  Set up and *use* Google Analytics on your site (as well as AdWords reporting).

If you have an eCommerce site, make sure your shopping cart passes data to AdWords and Analytics.  This way you will be able to see (almost) exactly what your return on investment is for individual AdWords adverts and keywords, and which traffic sources are worth most to you.

You might find that on average that :-

  • A visitor from Bing is worth twice as much to you as one from Google (though this is unlikely).
  • A visitor from Pay Per Click adverts is worth twice as much as one from the natural (free) Search Engine results.
  • A visitor who searched for “Yellow Widgets” is worth 70% more than one who searched for “Blue Widgets”.
  • Someone from the Republic of Ireland is worth 30% more to you than someone from the UK.

This type of data is invaluable in helping you to increase your profits.  It is also extremely useful to know these things before starting ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ for your web site.

*Even if you are getting a lot of traffic already from other sources, this doesn’t mean that you can’t make more profit by using PPC as well!

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Another Satisfied AdWords Customer…

From Cairns Office Design – ( Office Furniture Belfast )

We started using PPCNI in October 2009. We have since received a fantastic return on our very small investment. We are now receiving really valuable new enquiries from our website on a weekly basis. The process from start to finish has been very simple, informative and above all started to bring results within 2 weeks of starting our first Google AdWords campaign.‎

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Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam

As part of the Google Advertising Professionals program, you are required to take the “Google Advertising Fundamentals Exam” every 18 months. owner Jordan McClements retook the exam today, with a test score of 95% (required score 85%), and maintains his status as a, ‘Adwords Qualified Individual’ or ‘Qualified Google Advertising Professional’…

For anyone that is thinking about retaking this exam again soon, my advice is that it is not too difficult if you are managing accounts on a day to day basis, but it *is* worth spending an hour or so going through the ‘AdWords Learning Center’ to refresh your memory on some of the stuff that Google want you to regurgitate verbatim….

If anyone has any other questions or comments about this exam / professional status, please leave a comment on this blog post..


*Update* – 6th April 2010 – I have just had another look at my ‘Google Advertising Professionals Company – Company Summary’ page, and it is now saying that my exam does not expire until January 2012!  This contradicts the official Google advice on the subject that I read fairly recently…  So, until they change their mind again, it looks like the Google Advertising Fundamentals exam is valid for 2 years!

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AdWords Vouchers for Qualified Google Advertising Professionals In 2010

What is the situation with these?

I wish I knew.

For some reason, Google are being very secretive about them.

Here is a email I got from AdWords support when I asked the question:

Thank you for your email. The situation will be re-reviewed in the new year
and new promotional credits will be sent to those who are eligible.  I
would recommend you contact us when you need the new promotional credits
and your current credits have expired and we will be able to assist you.

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Which Is Better – ‘Google Search’ or ‘Search Partners’?

When running a Google AdWords ‘Search’ campaign, you are automatically opted into their ‘Search Partner’ network.

I have tried and failed to find a definitive list of just who these ‘Search Partners’ are.

It does say on the Official Google AdWords help that :-

“Our global Search Network includes Google Maps, Google Product Search and Google Groups along with entities such as Virgin Media and”

Another major one is AOL.

But, should you opt out of the search partner network?

From what I have seen so far, there is usually very little difference in conversion value/cost.

In a few cases I have seen, the Search Partner network has been working significantly better than Google Search – but this is not all that useful to know, as you can’t opt out of ‘Google Search’ and stay opted in to ‘Search Partners’ !

Here is one example which has had a *lot* of conversions over a period of time:-


But as always, this may vary for different campaigns, so don’t just take my word for it, but keep an eye on your Adwords reports and make adjustments as necessary.

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