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Theresa Zook
PPC-obsessed, voracious reader, and given to occasional ranting about almost anything.
PPC-obsessed, voracious reader, and given to occasional ranting about almost anything.
Theresa's posts

Words Are Your Friends

Google Drive is a tidy, text list of documents and images where I can see up to 20 file names at a time. It's simple to find the document I need.  Compact, and easy to navigate.

Naturally, Google is getting rid of it.

The simple, useful document list is being replaced with a picture-based "app" version of the program that shows (even on my giant monitor) no more than 10 items at a time. If a document I want isn't one of the last few I've opened, I have to scroll and scroll and scroll, waiting for unneeded "previews" to load, and then guess, based on the truncated document titles, which picture represents the document I want.

Because seeing the names of the documents I have created is--what--an impediment to finding the right one? 

You know what?  I'm actually literate. I know lots of words and use them frequently. I don't find things like a document name all that scary. *

Was the "preview" of the content of each document added because text-based webpages are too easy to read on mobile devices? (I haven't actually tried to access the new program on my phone yet, but I have a ghastly premonition that it will display one document "preview" at a time. In a world where mobile is forecast to "rule" the near future, making mobile access to programs slow and irritating seems a bit counterintuitive.)

Preview? Seriously? Does someone on the team actually think I'm going to know which of my 50 spreadsheets is the right one based on a preview of what the first tab looks like? 

Do they do these things just to annoy me, or is my frustration just an added bonus for them?


* If this change was implemented because others have difficulty, then I have to say that I, personally, do not support that sort of thing. Naming your documents so that you can find them again isn't rocket science--any reasonably upright biped should be able to master the skill. 

Making the world dumber so people don't have to think--oh, just don't get me started.

Okay, now I'm sad

One  problem with being a very small agency is that there's no adoring crowd to cheer or buy you a celebratory ice cream when you make a big win.

For instance, what if you increased a campaign's keyword bids as much as 100% with a vague idea that it would improve performance?

(Daring, yes, but I was wearing red socks that day and red socks always make me feel adventurous.)

Three weeks later, I'm looking at the initial results of this test. Cost-per-acquisition is down by around 66%. Conversion volume is up over 1000%.

I call that a win!

Where's my ice cream?


Yes, okay, it's largely a testament to how much room for improvement there was in this new-to-me account but I can't help but give myself some credit.

It goes back to something I say again and again when talking to prospects, to current clients, and even to other account managers.

Test it, try it, take a chance. 

It takes courage to succeed.

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Where I'll Be This Week

I plan to spend a fair amount of time poking around in #Google 's just-released Consumer Barometer.  I've only had a chance to take a quick look so far, but there are some good insights there.

#tcsummit,#tcsummit2014 Anyone there?

Dear Google+

Yes, sometimes I put a link in my G+ posts. I do not want that link to create a huge graphic image that buries the words and ideas I am sharing.  

It annoys me quite a bit when the interface automatically generates an image-dominated link that is so distracting that most people see the link and nothing else.

Sometimes the link is just reference. Sometimes it's an add-on thought to the rest of the post. Mostly, the link is not the point.  What I have to say about the link is usually the point. 

So, you know. Stop doing that.

Thank you,

Dear Google

I realize that a ton of your advertisers are small or inattentive businesses that just accept "default" campaign settings (regardless of how appropriate those are for their purposes) and, for those people, forcing close variant search query matching on Phrase and Exact match keywords will make no difference at all.

However, a lot of your large and successful_ and profitable accounts are tended to by professional account managers who prefer to have the choice of whether they want their ads triggered by the keywords they selected or those keywords plus some random, machine-chosen set of "variants" that may and/or may not be profitable or appropriate. 

Also, in case it has escaped your attention up until now, removing options and choices from the internet's (currently) dominant advertising engine does not make you popular.

You want to be popular, don't you?  Sure you do--we all do.

Yours, with aggravation,

See: for the relevant announcement.

So, what up with THAT?

Over on our Google+ business page, I'm rearranging our Circles (and what a slow, boring process that is) and abruptly I get a red error message telling me that I've added the maximum number of people to circles for the day and that I can't add any more until tomorrow?

I guess I can see a limit, to prevent people from circling the entire world or something--but on business pages?  And why such a low limit? I'd move about 40 of the 60 "circled" entities I wanted to move.


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Philly Marketing Labs is hiring again?  Those guys have clients coming out their ears these days. :D

There are times

There are times, not infrequently, when it seems like the techno-world is leaving me behind. Not because I'm not trying to stay caught up, but because so much emphasis is put on things I don't actually care about.

Take #music  . When I look at a new tech-toy and wonder if I should buy it--the major selling point on the packaging always seems to be around easy access to listening to music. Every gadget, gizmo, and app out there these days professes to hand you access to twenty thousand tunes so you have have all your music all the time, everywhere you go, every second of your life. 

Now, I like music. (Well, aside from a few types.)  I've spent thousands of hours of my life listening to music. But I don't feel the need to listen to it playing every second of every day. 

I seem to be the only person who feel that way, though. Every time I turn around, people are talking about what they listen to while they work, while they work out, and while they commute.

What's up with that?

I have two theories:

#1 - We have finally over-televisioned and over-movied our society to the point where most people assume that life is supposed to come with a sound-track.

#2 - People listen to music constantly for the input it provides to their brains--to distract themselves from the fact that they're not actually thinking most of the time.

Thoughts? Objections? Criticisms? Arguments?

Not Appy

I'm sorry--I've been squelching this reaction ever since the "livestream" when we were shown some (although not all) of what's been in recent AdWords development.


"_Over 80% of downloaded apps are used only once and then deleted_"

The solution?  Make more apps--with ads! ^

I know the world is app-happy these days but surely common sense will kick in eventually? 

Surely I'm not the only one who realizes that if 80% of users access an app once, then remove it from their device, this means that the app had no ongoing value to them? And that nothing the app-maker does is going to change that fact?

If I want a recent weather report, I'll access it frequently during a week and am willing to do so via an app. If I want to look up an obscure line of poetry or find the exact jacket my niece wants for her birthday? I do not need an app for that.

There's a whole, big huge difference between installing & keeping an "app" for things you might want to do over and over (view local restaurant menus, movie theater listings, etc.) and things you only need to do once--or once in a blue moon.

The article uses hotels (the new pizza) as an example--but what percentage of us travel to new places so often that we want/need instant access to hotel listings around the globe? A very small percentage of the total population. And while, yes, getting an app in the hands of these people could be very useful to them, it's not really something that any larger population is ever going to care about. Most people, if they bother to d/l an app for their once-a-decade trip, will use it, then lose it. 

Memory for any device is finite and while devices today have a level of memory available that would have astonished us in 1995, it's also true that today's software programs require a comparatively huge amount of memory to function efficiently. ^^

Plus? The internet changes all the time and last month's hot website is this month's 404. Using the internet comes with no expectation of permanence. People are not going to leave apps on their devices unless they plan to reuse those apps in the reasonably near future. 

Do us all a favor. Whatever your business is, don't make an app for that unless over 50% of your customers come  back for more of your product or service within 30 days.  


^ Okay, that's not what the article says  if you actually read through it all--but it's the first impression it gives.

^^ My own smartphone is determined to hang onto, and constantly update, a whole raft of programs and processes that I don't remember authorizing and am not at all sure I want running.  At times, these suck down a lot of memory.

Disclaimer:  All numbers, percentages, and statistics are purely imaginary unless quoted from some other source that's more reliable than I am.
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