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How Machine Learning Can Finally Solve “(direct)/(none)"

Urchin, later acquired by Google, invented an amazing way of measuring campaign performance by using last non-direct click attribution and first-party cookies. The solution was perfect—for earlier times:

  • People used mostly one device.
  • Smartphones were rare.
  • Advertisers avoided mobile apps and browsers because user experience was, at that time, horrible.

In most cases, the assumption that users converted on the same browser and the same device as their first site visit was fair.

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teamwork

You wouldn’t hire a brain surgeon to treat your heart condition. Different conditions require different specialists. It’s the same for search engine marketing. SEO has a role. PPC has a role. And, like holistic medicine, they work best when tightly integrated. 

Easier said than done. Too often, marketers find themselves managing multiple agencies or internal teams, each of which is trying to accomplish their goals. The result is an inefficient, ineffective strategy.

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Microsoft Ads 101: Get Up and Running in Minutes

Google is the biggest search engine ad platform in the world. But Microsoft Advertising has potential advantages, including lower CPCs and less competition on Bing.

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Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads: Optimizing for ROI

With Google processing over 70,000 searches every second and Facebook being a hub for 2.7 billion monthly active users, Google Ads and Facebook are obvious choices for PPC campaigns.

But is one better than the other? Are the optimization processes for both similar? What about A/B testing?

These are the questions optimizers need answers to before they can really reap the benefits of two very powerful advertising platforms.

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Is Click Fraud Devouring Your Ad Budget?

Click fraud occurs when a pay-per-click advertisement is clicked on by a user with malicious or disingenuous intent. Click fraud first came to light in 2005, when several major cases were taken to court.

However, it continues to poison marketing campaigns—and find its way into more and more courtrooms. Juniper Research estimates that click fraud cost advertisers $42 billion in 2019.  

In a time when advertising budgets are being cut and many businesses are facing economic uncertainty, putting every ad dollar to good use goes a long way.

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UX Mistakes

Do you use Google Ads? For many businesses, it can be one of the most cost-effective channels for driving leads and sales. If you do it right, that is.

Google estimates that for every $1 a business spends on Google Ads, they receive $8 in profit. And yet, even with those potentially impressive margins, there are six common mistakes that lead to lost revenue.

If you’re making one or two of these mistakes, you’re needlessly burning money.

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Facebook A/B Testing

Having a well-thought-out plan for A/B testing Facebook ad campaigns is essential if you want to improve your performance reliably and consistently.

And the more you test, the better. A study of 37,259 Facebook ads found that “most companies only have one ad, but the best had hundreds.”

A/B testing Facebook ad campaigns can get complicated quickly (and easily produce invalid results). Spending the time upfront to perfect your testing process and structure will go a long way.

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How to Use Negative Keywords (Especially Broad Match)

It’s said that, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In the case of Google Ads, it’s a bit more like, “a few hours of research is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Negative keywords are easy to overlook, but they can be critical to finding your target market with PPC.

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PPC Targeting

If you’ve ever thought about running a PPC campaign for the first time, there’s a good chance you wondered which PPC channel to use.

The PPC targeting options that Facebook has available are different from Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Twitter, and an abundance of other PPC marketing networks.

Where do you begin when there are 72+ PPC options for you?

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Want to Reduce CPA? Try Machine Learning–Driven Retargeting.

The way we do retargeting is restrictive.

Creating a tailored, personalized campaign is often done with micro-triggers: Did the user spend more than X minutes on the site? Did they view more than Y pages? Did they add to cart? Are they visiting on mobile?

All of these data points personalize the messaging for retargeting campaigns.

But even a talented campaign manager can juggle only so many variables. Eventually, you end up with tons of segments that are difficult and time-consuming to manage. 

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What’s on my mind

Hi, I'm Peep Laja—founder of CXL. I'm a former champion of optimization and experimentation turned business builder.

I do a lot of thinking, reading, and writing around business, strategy, and optimization. I send a weekly newsletter with what's on my mind on this stuff.

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