PPC News Roundup for January 21, 2011

Groupon might have rejected Google’s offer to buy them, but that didn’t stop Google from getting into the deal-of-the-day market. Waving the surrender flag isn’t really Google’s style. Mashable broke the story last night that Google has confirmed “Google Offers,” aka—the Groupon Clone, as Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land notes. Google Offers is obviously in the testing phase right now, but check out Sterling’s article for the details about Offers and his speculations about if it can succeed.

Google announced it’s new and improved ad preview tool this week. Using this tool allows you to see how your ads appear in various locations, no matter where you are. The tool now specifies whether or not an ad is triggering in those respective locations. In addition, this is a great way to avoid manually previewing your ads because it saves on your campaign’s impressions and clicks. You can also distinguish by device, be it computer or mobile. Google never ceases to amaze us by constantly supplying enhancement tools for our arsenal.

According to Jack Marshall of ClickZ.com, the English Office of Fair Trading launched an investigation into Handpicked Media’s use of Promoted Tweets. Apparently, the company did not disclose to their audience that they were sponsoring Tweets through various micro-bloggers and others, and this is against English trade law. Due to the international nature of social media and its use as a paid advertising system, this raises caution flags for all social media paid advertisers, as what you do in one country in terms of paid ads on a social network might not translate overseas.

Do you have a startup? PPC Blog’s Geordie brings us 10 quick tips for growing your startup through the Google search and display networks. Adwords can help to generate buzz about your business and attract as much attention as possible from testers and potential investors. Geordie outlines a plan for your startup’s paid search plan throughout each vital stage. He says that a lot of startups recognize the value of SEO in the beginning stages of the startup, but fail to incorporate a PPC budget from the beginning. By putting aside some budget for paid search, you can hit the ground running.

Think you’ve exhausted all of your conversion options? Try using the Google Website Optimizer. As Ken Lyons at Search Engine Journal reports, GWO is an easy (and free!) way to test your landing pages against each other and to find out which ones work best for your campaign. This is just another step in the ever-growing importance of landing page research, and something that you will be sure to want to incorporate into your own marketing plan.

Competitor analysis is a critical part of any type of marketing, and PPC is no exception. However, it’s important to focus on collecting the right information so you don’t waste time on things you can’t use. George Michie of RKG put together an insightful Q&A about comparing your numbers to competitors’ numbers. As he artfully points out in the article, it is easy to get caught up in trying to collect a lot of information about what your competitors are doing with no guarantee that it will actually provide you with useful insights.