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Top 3 Tips to Improve Adwords Campaigns

By Carver Koch

I encounter all sorts of issues when analyzing and optimizing Google AdWords accounts. Many of these issues don’t harm an AdWords account's performance much individually, but when multiple small issues work collectively they can negatively impact an AdWords account's performance on a substantial level. Here are the top 3 issues we encounter most in the AdWords accounts we analyze and how to fix them.

AdWords Issue 1 – Poor Account Organization

I can’t tell you how many AdWords accounts we analyze that have jam packed their entire list of keywords into a single ad group. A rookie mistake many make, but this can easily cleave your click through rate entirely causing cost per clicks to rise and ad positions to drop.

The reason for this is because the ads displaying for your keyword list aren’t always relevant to the keyword that triggered it. For example, if an advertiser sell jeans and shorts, they would not want an ad for shorts playing for someone searching for new jeans.

Now the question becomes, “I have an ad for jeans and an ad for shorts, why didn’t the right ad show?” The answer is, Google determines which ad to play based on its past performance and will more likely show an ad with a better click through rate than an ad that is clearly more relevant to the keyword that triggered the ad.

Solution to AdWords Issue 1:

The solution here is to split keywords into similarly themed groups i.e. jeans go into a jean ad group and shorts into a separate shorts ad group. This allows AdWords users to create ads specific to the keywords in each ad group, meaning the ad that shows will always be relevant to the keyword that triggered the ad.

Adwords Issue 2 – No Use of Negative Keywords

Many newcomers to AdWords don’t make use of one of the best features available to any AdWords advertiser – negative keywords. These are keywords advertisers DO NOT want their ads to show for. Even if an account is using exact match types, it’s still recommended that negative keywords are used. This probably the easiest way for any AdWords advertiser to increase overall click through rates!

Solution to Adwords Issue 2:

The solution is simple – just add negative keywords within AdWords campaigns! If a business offers absolutely nothing for free, simply adding “free” will prevent their ads from triggering for any search with the word “free” in it. Not only will this improve click through rates, but it also improve the overall efficiency of AdWords account budgets by not wasting money on irrelevant clicks.

Adwords Issue 3 - No Use of Ad Extensions

Not too long ago, Google added ad extensions as a way for advertisers to take up more real estate on search results. These ad extensions allowed advertisers to link to other webpages on site, include a phone number with the ad, or even show reviews with the ad. Since the release of ad extensions, Google has since started to factor their use into overall ad ranking, which determines where your ad shows up on Google search results and how much the cost per click is.

Now, if two AdWords accounts have the same exact ad rank and tie for placement, the AdWords account that makes best use of ad extensions will be chosen over the other.

Solution for Adwords Issue 3:

The solution to this is also very simple – make use of ad extensions. To do this, simply log into AdWords and navigate to the campaign you’d like to add ad extensions to and along the row of tabs there is a tab for ad extensions. Just under that row, select which ad extension you’d like such as location extensions to add locations, call extensions to add a phone number or sitelink extensions to link to other pages of a website. Adding ad extensions is a proven method to increase click through rates, lower cost per click and raise ad positions.



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SEO Success – Kitchen Remodeling in Philadelphia

In August of 2012, began optimizing long time customer and friend, Performance Kitchens. Brian Forman, the owner of Performance Kitchens, was very particular and very strategic with his decision to go after the kitchen remodeling market in Philadelphia and the surrounding townships.

We set out with this SEO in the pursuit of:

  • Kitchen Remodeling
  • Custom Kitchens
  • Kitchen Designs
  • Kitchen Designers

Now, after a combination of ongoing SEO enhancements, as well as some good fortune with Google's Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon algorithm updates, is doing extremely well for not one, not two, but all four of their phrases are in the top 4 rankings for Philadelphia. In a market as competitive as "kitchen remodeling", the odds were stacked against the site, but with the wonderful resolve of our client and our dedicated SEO team, the site is doing amazingly.

Since 2012, nearly 50,000 users have seen because of organic optimization. We created new landing pages for people to find and enter the site through search engines. We built links on relevant, interesting articles and sites about home improvement, kitchen remodeling, kitchen design, and general construction to add additional avenues for people to find the site.

Performance Kitchens SEO Results

Here is an actual screenshot of Performance Kitchens SEO progress and as you can see, it's been a steady uphill climb with surges every so often. Including a huge improvement in January 2014.

While we haven't locked down the national market for "kitchen remodeling" by itself, we have seen glimpses in the rankings of just their core phrases breaching the first page and then trailing back down. So we know it's possible, it's just a matter of time before we reach their overall goal of "kitchen remodeling" on the first page of Google.

"We couldn’t be happier with’s SEO effort on behalf of", says Forman. “In the past year alone, we have had $132,000 in business from the website. A great return on our investment."

We are genuinely proud of this optimization and hope this shines as a true example of our quality of work, and as a great example of what is possible when customers take pride in their website and put their organic optimization in the right hands.


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