AdWords Success Tip: Prioritize Your Campaigns

AdWords Success Tip: Prioritize Your Campaigns


Working with Google AdWords you quickly learn: It is one thing to create and monitor the activity of a campaign. It’s another thing to know what actions to take based on the data you collect. You’ll see AdWords Success when you learn to Prioritize your Campaigns.

Out of my own frustration, I researched and came across a system to analyze and improve campaigns, turning what used to be a drudgery into a relatively easy and enjoyable task.

It’s called the Growth-Share Matrix, created by the Boston Consulting Group in the early 1970s. Applying their matrix, I came to understand that all AdWords campaigns fall into one of four categories:

Stars:  The campaigns that are both profitable and popular.

Workhorses: The campaigns that are very popular, but generating little money – or you’re losing money on them.

Puzzles:  The campaign with a low cost-per-click for one of your most profitable products, on which you get to the first spot with little trouble, but after weeks, there are zero impressions.

Dogs: This campaign is unpopular, and on the rare occasion that you do get a click, it’s at such a high cost you don’t make any money on the conversion.

AdWords Success Tips

Click here to download a PDF of the chart

How to Prioritize your AdWords Campaigns

In the end, you want a portfolio of Star campaigns. Here is a step-by-step process to follow:

First, identify your Star campaigns.

  • What aspects of this campaign are working? The URL?  The Headline?  Is it easy to show up in the first position? Take the best elements of your Star campaigns and apply them to poor performers.

Next, let’s tackle the Workhorses.

  • If you are on “Automatic bidding,” switch to Manual Bids and lower them.  With all other aspects of the campaign being equal, you may have a good click-through volume at a lower cost.
  • Look at the quality score.  If it’s below 6/10, you could likely raise it for a lower CPC.
  • Cut Bad Keywords!  If you’re using a keyword with high cost-per-click, consider cutting it completely.

 Time to solve the Puzzles.

  • People like what they see when they actually SEE this ad.  Is there an opportunity to increase impressions by adding more keywords & ads?  Think about other search terms being used for this product or service and consider them.

 Consider Letting the Dogs out.

  • Can anything be changed to save this campaign?  Is it worth saving?  If the low performance is impacting the account overall quality score, consider pausing it indefinitely or deleting it altogether.

Once you have sanitized your campaign portfolio using this method, you’ll need a plan to monitor, evaluate and improve campaign performance going forward.  We recommend categorizing campaigns by their performance at least once a week.  Over time, you’ll find it’s very easy to identify the campaigns in seconds!  If your time is limited, always attack campaign improvements in this order:

  1. Dogs
  2. Workhorses
  3. Puzzles
  4. Stars


 Keep at it and within weeks you should see better performance on all your campaigns. Little by little, you’ll end up with a portfolio of Star Campaigns!

Lucid Business Strategies

 Lucid Business Strategies helps people like you build and grow a revenue stream throug Google AdWords.

email for info or call (586) 254-0095.

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4 Reasons Blogging is Better for Business than Twitter

4 Reasons Blogging is Better for Business than Twitter

Blogging compaired to TwitterWhat am I, crazy?

Am I suggesting that you stop with the 140-character thing and get back to writing articles? Don’t world communications revolve around Twitter?

To answer the first question, there was a Waylon Jennings song some years back titled, “I’ve always been crazy, it keeps me from going insane.” Enough said on that one.

Now the other two: It’s true that the general public in entranced by Twitter and its usefulness in smack talk about famous people and bringing down nasty political regimes.  But it’s not the strongest platform if you’re serious about establishing authority and relevancy – two factors Google includes in the search engine results page (SERP) equation.

Your blog is the real foundation for your content and social media strategy. Here are 4 reasons why:

1)      Twitter is popular because it is easy and immediate. As for its relevance – well, a 3rd grader could do it. Blogging takes time, thought, research, and planning, and if done correctly, requires that you continue over long periods of time, with consistent frequency.

2)      Old articles are valuable and often read years later because they rank well in the SERPs for the keywords on which they are built, and add to your authority. Old Tweets… well, forget it, because everyone else will.

3)      Most blogging platforms give you some form of analytics – you’ll see just how many people are reading your posts, which posts garner the most interest, and a host of other factors that can help you build stronger relationships and more business.

4)      As Adam Singer of Future Buzz says, “Everyone on Twitter is looking for the next big thing to link to. Wouldn’t you rather be that big thing instead of merely another person pointing at it?

Think about blogs and tweets in terms of food:  A tweet is a snack. But your customers want a full-course meal. They want to be engaged, they want something interesting enough to satisfy their hunger. You simply cannot give them that in 140 characters.

 The Take Away:

Blog first, then tweet. Write your very best content – content that proves you know your stuff, content that compels the reader to engage, to think, to act – then tweet the link, and include it in your next e-newsletter (you do have one, don’t you?). Do it consistently and over time you will see results.

Yeah – Crazy like a fox.

Lucid Business Strategies


Lucid Business Strategies helps people like you grow your online relevance, authorship and revenue.
email for info or call (586) 254-0095.

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The Flip Side of Google AdWords “Automated Intelligence”

The Flip Side of Google AdWords “Automated Intelligence”

AdWords Pay-Per-Click ServicesBe careful when you let Google do the thinking for you in pay-per-click!

Last week, one of my Google AdWords clients ran through their entire ad budget within a few of days. That might be fine for some campaigns, but in this case, the plan was for those dollars to take them through the entire month.

When I received the “low balance” notice from their AdWords pay-per-click account, I had one question:

What is Going on Here?

The first thing I do when there is unusual activity in an AdWords account is check the account balance. The best information about what’s happening with an under-performing, over-performing, or just downright confusing AdWords campaign is right there, under the Billing tab.  And sure enough, the balance had fallen to a whopping $0.01!

What keywords were costing my client so much money?

I headed over to the Search Terms Report – the place in AdWords that shows you the exact search terms people entered that caused Google to show them an ad.

The client was advertising for participants in an study about ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), but much to my surprise, the keywords driving clicks to the site were things like, “add songs to your ipod,” “adding lawn seed to soil,” “add reminder,” and just plain “add” – all ranging from $5 to $36 per click.

Why people searching for how to add songs to an ipod would click on a link to an ADHD Study is a question for another day. Suffice it to say that the monstrous costs per click and the number of clicks from these bad search terms wiped out my client’s budget in a heartbeat, all because Google decided that “ADD” was a suitable synonym for ADHD, and showed my client’s ads to people searching with those terms.

As a Google AdWords Certified Professional, I know when it’s the right time to call Google directly, and this was clearly it.

I knew exactly what the problem was – my campaigns were set to “use close variants” of my keywords. Google is pretty forgiving and willing to return credits for these types of mistakes, so long as you take the steps necessary to avoid it happening again. Realizing the potential of more ADHD-related keywords improperly attracting searches including the word “add,” I changed the settings so that the campaigns run only for the exact spelling of my keywords – no close variants. Google agreed to credit the client’s account.

The Lesson Learned: Think about & research what words Google might consider as a synonym or “variant” of your keyword before starting, or you might be out of cash before you know it!

Lucid Business Strategies


 Lucid Business Strategies helps people like you SPEND LESS and EARN MORE through pay-per-click marketing programs.
email for info or call (586) 254-0095.

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Macomb County Businesses Honor Retiring Champion Ron Current

Macomb County Businesses Honor Retiring Champion Ron Current


Ron Current

When Ron Current retires as Vice President of the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry on April 11, 2013, the face of business and industry in Macomb County will change dramatically.

“My company would literally not exist today if it weren’t for Ron Current,” says Jeff McElyea of Lucid Business Strategies. “There are easily dozens of other Macomb County business owners who can say the same thing.”

Chamber membership doubled over the course of Ron’s leadership. Many members joined and blossomed as a direct result of Ron’s dedication to promoting everyone he meets with unfailing zest and sincerity.

Jeff McElyea

Jeff McElyea

“Ron championed the Chamber BRAG™ (Business Resource Alliance Group) Networking & Referral program, and gave me free rein in the development and fulfillment of the training and program management,” McElyea says. “As a result, my business has grown exponentially, and the BRAG Groups have generated millions of dollars in sales between member companies. Ron has been the driving force behind every bit of the program’s success.”

Members and friends of the Chamber will gather at Dave & Buster’s on Thursday, April 11 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. to honor Ron’s accomplishments and contributions to the community.  Register online at the Chamber website. To contact Ron directly, call (586) 731-5400.


Lucid Business Strategies


Lucid Business Strategies is building a GREAT company that helps other people build GREAT companies.

Learn more about our strategies and services on the Lucid website or call us at 586-254-0095

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Website Liability: Get Smart on Security

Website Liability: Get Smart on Security

website SecurityWith ownership comes liability, whether the thing you own is a house, a car, or a website. Yes, as the owner of a website, you assume liability – but it’s not something to fear.

Just as you take steps to keep your wallet, credit cards, and keys safe, you should keep the computers used to update and manage your website free of viruses and other cyber-threats, and manage the security of your site as well.

Here are a few basic tips, learned through bumps & bruises in my years as a web professional, which can help you be a smarter, safer website owner:

Smart Tip #1:  Any computer used to maintain your website should be a paragon of security.

Any computer used to access your web files needs to be protected – if they’re not, spyware can track your password entries, infect your web files, and more. If you update your site at the office or on a computer at home, or if you have employees who do it on their desktops or laptops or tablets, take the necessary steps to make sure they are ALL protected. Contact your IT professional about virus protection, spyware, malware, and all-around network security. If you don’t have an IT professional, check out the free versions of SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes, or contact us for a qualified referral.

Smart Tip #2:  Keep an eye on “form spam.”

If you have a contact form on your website, you’ve probably received spam messages in your mailbox from your own website asking you to “buy Rolex watches online,” or “shop Pharma supplies.” Maybe they’ve asked you to consider someone with poor grammar for SEO content copywriting services.  Or you might receive blank forms with no data submitted – which may seem the most harmless of all – but is actually the most dangerous.

When form spammers are able to get their “crud” through your form, they make it known to other hacker communities that your website is vulnerable.  Hackers send malicious code through your contact form – which will come across to you as blank – attempting what the tech people call a “PHP Injection” or a Code Injection.  If you have received blank forms, you may already be infected.  Call your web professional – or me – if you think this has already happened.

Smart Tip #3:  Keep your website version updated!

Upgrades are a regular part of any technology, including websites. A website is just like your computer virus software – it needs to be updated or upgraded regularly to be safe from the newest “bad stuff” that hackers sit around and create all day. Fixing a hacked website can cost more than the original build, not to mention the damage to your reputation, your hosting account, your domain, and your sanity. Talk to your web professional regularly about security and version upgrades for your website. This should be done annually at the least to repair any new vulnerability or “holes” hackers might exploit to ruin your website and your good name.


The safety of your website is just as critical as the safety of your family, your home, and your credit cards. Steps for protecting your website from hackers and the malice they intend are relatively quick and simple, and best addressed before the damage is done.


Get a Free Secure Site Check Today

Call Lucid’s team of web pros for a free security scan on your site  586-254-0095.

Lucid Business Strategies

Lucid Business Strategies is building a GREAT company that helps other people build GREAT companies.

Learn more about our strategies and services on the Lucid website or call us at 586-254-0095

Read More