The South African Weather Service on Friday warned that citizens should expect another afternoon of stormy weather across the country. The service on Twitter…
One of the most frequent questions clients ask me is: “How am I doing compared to my competition?” Owing to the fact that many clients don’t understand the intricacies of AdWords, the smart (and totally not facetious) answer is usually: “How long is a piece of string?”
The beauty of AdWords lies in the kinds of keywords you’re bidding on, how much you’re bidding, what match types you’re using to capture those words, what negative keywords you’re using, what kind of ad copy you’re writing and the landing pages you’re sending traffic to. Those are a lot of data variables that an account manager doesn’t usually have access to — it’s proprietary client information.
While looking out for the Jones’s isn’t the optimal strategy in the Pay Per Click space — knowing where you’re going wrong can save you time and a lot of un-pulled hair. Small and medium business owners especially don’t have the time or the inclination to run their own AdWords accounts — they prefer to concentrate on their own business practice and rightfully so.
US-based PPC company Wordstream recently launched its Performance Grader tool for free to AdWords users. It’s designed to help millions of small and medium advertisers on Google quickly figure out how they’re doing on AdWords compared to other advertisers within a similar spend bracket.
By allowing the performance grader access to their AdWords data, the performance grader acts as an AdWords data aggregator, allowing advertisers to compare their accounts to “the competition” in their budget subset. Where I’m seeing the obvious value in such a tool is that helps to educate advertisers on where the problem areas within their account are. It’s effectively a peer report card for their AdWords account.
The Performance Grader takes into account aspects like:
What excites me the most is the “PPC Best Practices” scorecard which indicates whether or not the account is opted into such aspects as conversion tracking, geo-targeting (essential for small and medium businesses) and usage of ad-extensions like site-links and business phone numbers.
Without having used this tool myself I can safely vouch for the education factor with regards to learning about best practices — where I feel the tool falls short is in the actual interpretation of the data and the application of the findings. The trend is there, but it’s early days yet.