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  • Tim 4:47 am on August 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    What About Bid Management? 

    We believe good a bid management tool can be an important part of paid search campaigns.  But it isn’t The Answer.

    Many companies have been convinced that all they need is some bid management software and they’re good to go. We disagree. Some bid management software and tools are very good. Others aren’t.

    The biggest challenge for any bid management software or tool is being able to utilize enough information about a specific business and AdWords account to make the best bid decisions all the time.  Doing that requires being able to take into account all relevant data and information that could impact each and every bid decision

    No tool can do that now.

    Humans with some basic technology and more information can make better bidding decisions, even in extremely large accounts. Hard to believe maybe, but we’ve seen it done firsthand. Our tech comes from an agency that manages an 8 million keyword account without any bidding tool.

    There are other easy ways to boost performance and fix issues:

    Believe it or not most accounts contain ad text spelling errors, even those of big, reputable, brand-name companies.  The problem is, advertisers aren’t even aware of these mistakes. Fixing them is easy if you know about them. If not, it’ll probably be your customers who will see them first.

    Another common issue we see is broken URL’s in active ad text.  In this case advertisers are paying when their ads are clicked on and searchers are never arriving at their site. Again, the problem is awareness. Advertisers simply don’t know this is happening and can lose sales and waste money until the issue is detected. Sure, advertisers could have people manually crawl through and check all of their ad text and test the URL’s in all of their ads every day. But for any account of reasonable scale this can be extremely expensive and time consuming.

    The point is, there are a lot of other ways to move the needle in search campaigns aside from constantly tweaking bids. We think simply enabling the apps we’ve built and adhering to basic best practices will make a pretty big difference. We started off as an affiliate using these apps for ourselves. And they were pretty good to us…

     
  • Tim 4:46 am on August 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Better Visibility = Better PPC 

    The reason we build Syracusa is pretty simple: AdWords is complex and clunky and it’s time-consuming and difficult use. On top of that, existing software and tools just aren’t very good at the overall management of paid search campaigns. So rather than trying to build another interface on top of AdWords- which usually results in one mediocre interface sitting on top of another- we avoided that. And rather than automating something that’s extremely difficult to automate- overall campaign management- we avoided that, too.

    Our technology and people come from a paid search agency that manages an 8 million keyword account without any algorithmic bid management software or tools.  It works. By making smart bid adjustments when necessary and doing  everything else very well (with the help of some really good technology) we believe smart people can outperform SEM software.So we took some very sophisticated technology- an internal agency platform meant for professional analysts- and we rebuilt and redesigned it to work for the average person or company running an AdWords account.

    Rather than pretending to do everything or allowing you to “manage” your entire AdWords account by clicking a few buttons, we built a product that requires you to do a little bit of manual work. It’s essentially a batch of applications or tests that run daily and present a very clear picture of the status of an AdWords account. They flag mistakes and configuration issues. They give you important trend information. They show you opportunities to not waste money or to take advantage of favorable conditions to make more money by making some simple adjustments. Overall they’re a pretty good diagnostic tool.

    Part of the reason the apps work so well is that they run independently. They each do one thing and do it very well. They’re simple to activate and remove and they present you with a clear version of the data you need to make decisions and manage your account. They’re also passive, meaning that they don’t actually make changes to your AdWords account.  You have to do that.  But we’ve surrounded them with enough help content and contextual information that you can easily understand the relevant data and make all the tweaks yourself. You many even learn a bit more about AdWords in the process.

     
  • Tim 4:45 am on August 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Why Syracusa? And who needs another tool for AdWords? 

    Why Syracusa?

    Siracusa was the internal name for our project when we first got started (how that happened in the first place is another story for another time). Somehow it stuck. So we embraced it. And maybe we’ve watched too many Coppola movies, but the last thing we wanted was a feud with the Sicilians who owned siracusa.com so we changed the i to a y and launched at syracusa.com.

    And who needs another tool for AdWords?

    We think just about anyone who uses it does. No matter how hard Google tries to make AdWords friendly and appealing and functional for local merchants and massive companies alike, it’s never going to succeed. That’s not a cheap shot at Google; it’s simply the reality of managing a service that’s as necessarily complex and has as many features and settings and metrics as AdWords has. And it needs all of these things in order to work as well as it does.

    Which is how it brought Google about $20 billion in revenue in 2010, which was slightly more than the GDP of Estonia in that year (and Estonia had a pretty strong finish: http://finweek.info/estonian-economy-gained-speed-at-the-end-of-2010/)

    So even if AdWords isn’t a finely tuned machine that’s ideal for the needs of both neighborhood shops like Buzz Coffee and behemoths like Starbucks, it’s bigger and better than anything else out there, and for most companies operating on the web if used correctly, AdWords is the most powerful and targeted sales tool they’ve ever known. And while Google would like you to believe that it’s easy to make money by simply advertising your product or service with AdWords, anyone who’s used it knows that isn’t the case.

    1) Understanding the bizarre and complex universe of AdWords:  Terminology, concepts, bidding, match types…there’s a whole universe to get your head around if you truly want to master Google’s auction specifics and achieve maximum efficiency for the money you spend. When you think you’ve learned it all, or at least gotten a handle on it, it just keeps changing- new features, new things to automate, new metrics to pay attention to, new technology available, large-scale changes in search behavior emerge.

    2) Knowing exactly what the hell is going on in your AdWords account, and knowing how to fix it or make it better. Good luck. Just finding what you’re looking for might require more patience than you have.  There isn’t enough time in the day to keep track of everything that matters even if you could find it easily.

    That’s why search agencies, SEM software, bidding tools and the like exist. They’re supposed to make managing AdWords accounts easier and more effective, and some of them do. The problem is, none of them do everything you’ll need them to, and not only that, most of them overlook some of what we’d consider basic best practices, simple ways to improve AdWords performance and run better campaigns.

    (Of course, you could go it alone and educate yourself- Brad Geddes’ book is only 552 pages solely dedicated to understanding AdWords- but then depending on your industry you might be competing against professional analysts who are AdWords Certified, which doesn’t mean they’re geniuses, but it does mean they passed a test focused completely on AdWords that’s probably harder to pass than the Oklahoma State Bar Exam: http://oudaily.com/news/2010/sep/15/97-percent-law-graduates-pass-bar-exam/)

    So how can we help? By offering you a tool that’s designed to make managing your AdWords campaigns easier. It’s called Syracusa. It works alongside existing tools and technology, and it works for AdWords accounts both large and small. Even search agencies are using it.

    Try it for free and see for yourself: https://www.syracusa.com/users/sign_up

     
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