Stop Writing Compelling Ad Copy

Does this image attract the audience I want to pay for?

You don’t want to pay for irrelevant clicks

The fact that you are reading this now means you found this blog title compelling enough to click on. It’s provocative, it’s coy, it may even be clever.

But it would make a terrible PPC headline.

The key distinction between paid search and organic search is marginal cost. Every additional visitor to my blog comes at zero additional cost, so I can afford to be cute with my blog headlines if I think it will increase my clickthrough rate. I want as much traffic as possible.

The incentive to lure in visitors with sexy or even misleading headlines is so great that there’s even a name for it: clickbait. How many of us have fallen prey to those headlines promising to tell us why Hollywood won’t hire that celebrity anymore, only to find ourselves clicking “next” through a series one-sentence breadcrumbs only to discover that we do not, in fact, care?

When the marginal cost per additional eyeball is zero, by all means be as compelling as possible. But when you have to pay for each click, you want to be very selective about who is compelled to click – and who is discouraged.

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By Kevin Frei at April 10, 2019

How to Spot a PPC Loser

When to call it quits with your paid media campaign

As I discuss in my post on declining ROI in a PPC campaign, a well-run campaign should experience diminishing marginal returns. But this post is not about squeezing every last drop out of a successful campaign. This post is about how to know when your campaign is a dud.

My rule of thumb is if the client has spent three times the Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) without a single qualified lead, that means further optimizations are unlikely to improve things enough to make the campaign profitable.

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By Kevin Frei at April 10, 2019

Ethical Digital vs Upwork

Round one… Fight!

Spoiler: Ethical Digital and Upwork are not in the same category

When people first encounter Ethical Digital, they often assume we are an Upwork for digital marketers.

If you are not familiar with Upwork, it is a marketplace of freelancers that was formed from the merger of Elance and Odesk. Its closest competitor is probably Fiverr.

Upwork is a wonderful tool that I have been using for years, but it is still essentially a high-tech Yellow Pages. Ethical Digital is something completely different.

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By Kevin Frei at April 10, 2019

Forget About Industry CPL Metrics

Scientific looking charts and graphs can mask fundamental misunderstanding.

Those industry averages tell you nothing

It’s tempting to want to compare your metrics to industry benchmarks, particularly when trying to justify your services to a paying client. To most of those clients, the metric they care about is the cost per lead, and there is plenty of research available online showing average CPL segmented by industry and channel.

These industry averages can be a useful way to start a discussion and see if your marketing efforts are in the right ballpark, but with so many variables that affect CPL the question is whether these benchmarks are more likely to help or hinder your ability to show value to your clients.

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By Kevin Frei at April 10, 2019

Keyword Match Type Confusion

Gulliver espies Laputa

A Critique of the Acquisio Study on Google Match Types

A few days ago Search Engine Land published the article “Google keyword match type tournament: Place your bets on Exact” by Marc Poirer, which details the results of a study on how match type affects various metrics in an ad campaign.

The catalyst for the study was a recent announcement by Google that “exact match close variants will begin including close variations that share the same meaning as your keyword.” Google included the following chart as an illustration:


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By Kevin Frei at December 2, 2018

What To Do With An Audience

Who Is My Audience?

As a business person, your audience is the reason why you have a business. These people could fall into any of the following categories:

  • Fits your customer profile
  • Could connect you with potential customers
  • Can add credibility to your business

These people could be past or current customers, sales leads, personal contacts, or anonymous visitors of your website or social media. Once you find out all the things you could do with this audience, your imagination will run wild with how you’ll identify these people.

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By Kevin Frei at November 21, 2018