5 Must-Have Spreadsheets For Online Marketing Professionals

I_love_spreadsheets_hatAs an online marketing consultant and trainer for the past 15 years, I have used a LOT of online tools to help me do my job.

I’ve seen time-saving tools come and go in crazy peaks and troughs. I’ve also seen a few that have ridden the waves of consumer fascination to become permanent fixtures in the online marketer’s toolbox.

Below are 5 spreadsheet-based tools that I use myself or recommend on a regular basis:

1) Distilled’s MS Excel for SEOs – This Excel-based workbook is like a detailed instruction manual for SEOs on how to manipulate bulky data into logical form using Microsoft Excel. If you are an Excel wizard, you’ll love this tool. If not, you’ll probably need a week to wrap your head around the analysis, but it will be worth it – I promise.

2) HubSpot’s Blog Editorial Calendar Template – If you are a content curator or social media marketer, this template will save your life. It simplifies calendar-based content allocation and helps you prioritize content deadlines and build an annual strategy to meet multiple marketing campaign objectives.

3) Shimon Sandler’s PPC Campaign Kick-Off Template – this Excel template is quite a few years old now, but I still use it as a starting point when kicking off a new AdWords or Bing Ads campaign for a client. It helps you and your client to focus on the big picture objectives and build a unique campaign to suit specific requirements rather than implementing a cookie-cutter PPC campaign that needs tweaking to fit.

4) Google SEO Rank Checker Spreadsheet – a recent discovery, this customizable Google Docs template is all kinds of awesome. It includes a clever integration of ImportXML that allows you to collect at-a-glance keyword rankings on Google in real time.

5) Outspoken Media’s Link Building Spreadsheet – another Google Drive shared doc, this is a customizable template consisting of a gigantic list of link building strategies collated by Rhea Drysdale and her team at Outspoken Media.
————————————–

Sick of paying others to SEO your site? Download my Free SEO Lesson. No catch!

Share this post with others

Google AdWords Glitch Locks Out Account Holders

There appears to be a major glitch happening in Google AdWords right now that is preventing a large number of account holders in Australia and New Zealand from accessing their campaigns.

It all started about 8pm last night – I had my MCC account loaded and I tried to shift beween client accounts when I found I couldn’t get the campaigns to load. I tried to shift back to the client I was working on previously and found I couldn’t get their campaigns to load either.

So I tried several other client accounts, clicking on the campaigns tab – with the same result – a rolling *loading* icon, which eventually resolves to a blank screen where the campaign details should be (see image).

adwords fail

AdWords campaigns failing to load

So I logged out of my MCC account and tried to log in to an individual account, only to receive the same error. I could login to the accounts, but could not view any campaigns. I took to Twitter and asked if anyone else was having trouble and so far it seems as though only account holders in Australia and New Zealand are affected.

Google emailed an announcement this week, advising that account holders in Asia Pacific were being moved from Google Ireland to Google Singapore for billing purposes (can you say tax break?), so I have a sneaking suspicion that this outage is related.

But this is mission critical stuff – the only way for my clients to control their AdWords accounts right now is to remove their credit card details! At the time of publishing this post, it’s been 17 hours without campaign access to my client accounts and my clients are getting antsy. I have a good mind to demand all click costs during this outage be reimbursed to their accounts.

The other problem is that I can’t grade assignments of my PPC students at Search Engine College because I can’t see their accounts to grade them! I’ve tried contacting Google via Twitter and through the AdWords Support team, but I’m yet to hear back.

Regardless, I’ll be interested in hearing Google’s excuses for this one. I’ll keep tabs on the length of the outage and report back when I know more.

Are you having trouble accessing your accounts right now? Please leave a comment if you are.

Postscript: Paul from AdWords California was kind enough to email me (and comment on this post) to confirm the issue and let me know they were working on it. Thankfully, it was resolved about 2 hours after this post was published. Turns out it was simply a bug in the system. Not sure if they got it ironed out completely, because I had trouble accessing the Billing tab in my MCC account this morning, but at least I can edit client accounts now.

 

 

Share this post with others

Q and A: What are the upcoming changes to Google AdWords?

QuestionHi Kalena,

I’ve been hearing rumors that Google is about to roll out some major changes to AdWords. Do you know anything about this yet? I’m a bit nervous about it.

Thanks
Kylie

————————————–

Hi Kylie

Google announced some major changes to AdWords today – the main one being Enhanced Campaigns.

Basically Enhanced Campaigns mean that advertisers can now present consistent ads to people via multiple devices in the right context within a single campaign, rather than setting up separate campaigns for mobile/tablet users.

The focus here seems to be Google’s way of increasing the adoption of mobile advertising.

I’m still getting my head around the new functionality and will post an indepth article here about it soon, but if you’re interested to learn more in the meantime, here is a round up of articles about it:

More soon!

Share this post with others

Free AdWords Credit Vouchers for Search Engine College Students

Hey everyone

We were accepted into the Google Engage for Agencies program last month and as part of that status, we are now able to distribute vouchers for AdWords credit to all our Search Engine College students.

If you are a current or past student of Search Engine College and you would like to receive a Google AdWords credit voucher to the value of USD 75 – please contact me either via the in-course message system, or via our online Contact Form quoting your name, your student number and/or the date you signed up as a student.

There is a catch though – vouchers are only redeemable for new AdWords accounts or accounts that are less than 14 days old. If you are a PPC student, the voucher can be applied during the AdWords account set up process that you go through as part of your lesson material.

If you are not yet a Search Engine College student, never fear – sign up and you will be issued with a voucher at some point soon after your enrollment.

Happy spending!

 

Share this post with others

Match Types to Change in Google AdWords

When I first heard this news, I was incensed. Now I know that advertisers can opt-out of the changes, I am a little calmer, but still pissed.

Here’s the deal: Starting next month, Google is changing the way match types work in AdWords. From mid May onwards, misspellings, plurals and variations of your Exact Match and Phrase Match keywords on Google AdWords will trigger your ads. In the past, if you wanted your ad to appear for variations, abbreviations or misspellings, you would use Broad Match targeting. If you wanted your ad to appear for plurals or word stemming, you would use “Phrase Match” targeting. If you wanted your ad to appear only when searchers typed in a specific phrase/keyword, you used [Exact Match]. Now, by default, using Exact Match or Phrase Match targeting will ALSO trigger your ads for each of the described variations.

Despite Google calling this change *an improvement*, for all intents and purposes, this means Exact Match is dead. Yes, advertisers can opt-out of this so-called feature, but it is switched on by default, which means that new advertisers selecting Exact Match as a match type will wrongly assume their ads will only be triggered by exact matches of their keywords. It’s a pretty logical assumption! I don’t know about you, but I think that Exact Match should remain, you know, an EXACT MATCH. At the very least, they should change the match type to IN-exact Match so it is less misleading.

According to Search Engine Land, Google has already been testing the new functionality with advertisers and claims the change has resulted in a 3 percent rise in clicks, at comparable CPCs. In the same sentence, Google states that individual results will vary. No freaking kidding. Variations can account for a LOT of searches and for advertisers on a tight budget, this could spell disaster. Here’s an example: if you are an artist selling color prints of your artwork and targeting [color prints] as an exact or phrase match, would you want your ad to be triggered if someone types in *color printers*? No. But it seems this is a distinct possibility under the new rules.

With this move, it feels like Google is taking away some of the minimal control advertisers have over how/when their ads appear in their increasingly annoying quest to make more money for shareholders. I say hands off our Exact Match Google!

What do you think? Do you feel like the changes are reducing the control you have over your campaigns? Please add to the discussion in the comments.

Share this post with others