Julian Moskov :: My Online Marketing Blog

Assisting Role of Generic PPC – And How To Easily Measure It

Posted in Work by Julian on August 7, 2013

Ever wondered what contribution non-brand PPC makes to other channels further down the path? What the assisted revenue, or “halo” effect, exactly is? Here’s a simple report in Google Analytics that does precisely that.

Assisted Conversion Report

My example shows how Non-brand Paid Search delivered over £15,000 of assisted revenue, most of which then went on to convert via Direct, Organic and Brand Paid Search on last click. This data is very handy but also easy to get – I’ll show you how below.


How To Set Up The Report

You need two things: a custom Multi-Channel Funnel (MCF) Conversion Segment and Custom Grouping.

For the Conversion Segment go to the Conversions menu on the left, click on Multi-Channel Funnels and select Assisted Conversions. At the top you’ll see a Conversion Segments tab where you can select and create new segments.

To get just the assisted view, you need a segment that includes all assisted PPC activity, but excludes non-brand last click and brand assists, like in the screen grab below. You do need a solid naming convention in your account to make filtering your campaigns easy at this stage. You can choose to play with the “first click” options too or decide to include brand assists. But for now, this simple set up will produce the report above.


Custom MCF Channel Grouping

Additionally, you can create your own channel groupings so you can see brand and non-brand PPC separately in the list. Use the Custom MCF Channel Grouping edit function, below, to set those up.mcf-channel-grouping

Results – And a Note On Cookie Length

I typically see assisted revenue of 20% to 30% of the last click figure. This will change according to the cookie length window you select – which you can do in the “Lookback Window” box at the top of the report page. The range is from 0 to 90 days, but I tend to go for a short and sweet 1 day window. This lowers the revenue substantially but that way I trust there is a stronger connection between the consecutive clicks.

Hope that was useful! What kind of results are you getting?

Tagged with:


Posted in Babble by Julian on July 24, 2013

This Wordstream ad raised a smile!

Which Paid Search Management Platform?

Posted in Work by Julian on June 20, 2013

Having spent a few weeks logging in and out of the multiple AdWords, Bing and Facebook accounts under my wing, I thought there must be an easier way. A piece of software that lets me access all accounts in one place, do some automated bidding while I sleep and churn out scheduled reports with all the metrics I want. The good news is there are plenty of solutions – the bad news is having to pick one.

I didn’t want to launch a major investigation, so after brief googling I narrowed it down to the three vendors below. They seemed to cater for my needs and could work with my modest budgets. I rung up the sales teams and was promptly subjected to live demos, case studies and price negotiations, which is great. What struck me was that they were all good, could do the job, and ticked all the boxes:

ignition-one-review esearch-vision-review marin-software-review
Website Ignition One eSearch Vision Marin
Ad Platforms Covered All All All
User Interface Good Good Good
Automated Bidding Position, ROI Various CPA, ROI, Position
Testing Capability Landing page Various Just A/B
Reporting Options Good Good Good
Reporting Technology Pixel or GA Pixel or GA Pixel or GA
Set Up Fee £0 £0 £0
% of Spend Cost 2.5% 5% 3.5%
Minimum Monthly Fee £2,000 £1,500 £299

So which one did I go with?
costThe decision at the end was very straightforward – one of the few differences between the vendors was minimum fees. Here Marin was a clear winner, with just a £299 minimum fee, and still a competitive percentage of spend charge. Add to that a 21 day free trial and Marin’s good reputation, and the deal was sealed. Contracts were quickly exchanged and now I am on board.

Now, don’t get me wrong, all vendors seemed good enough, but I tend to prefer a contract with small commitments rather than big ones. And do read the offer I got as a guide, I am sure you can negotiate slightly different terms.

What about Kenshoo?
Kenshoo is widely regarded as the best platform around, with Forrester concluding that “Kenshoo is the only leader.” It is popular amongst bigger players and agencies, but this is where my issue with them lies: their fees are high and my budgets are low. For a smaller advertiser, I don’t think Kenshoo is cost-effective.

Any more alternatives?
Plenty to choose from, try Acquisio, Adobe, DC Storm, Coremetrics, and Search Laboratory.

A more detailed review
This was a quick and dirty comparison of three vendors. For a more detailed review, see Econsultancy’s 155 page (paid) report here and Forrester’s (even pricer) one here.

Watch Out For The Zebra

Posted in Work by Julian on May 8, 2013

Google Zebra UpdateAfter Penguin and Panda, yet another black-and-white furry beast to come out of Google is reportedly on its way. The name of the next search ranking algorithm update is unknown, but Zebra should easily see off competition from skunks and killer whales. So apart from a quirky name, what else can we expect from this upcoming update?

One possible area for Google to act on is social media, with its volume of signals that can improve quality of ranking. Social media is victim of spam just as any other online media and Google may act to discount signals from overly-optimised, unnatural accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

Another area that may be targeted is online retail, since Matt Cutts recently pointed out that Google “don’t want low quality experience merchants to be ranking in the search results.” How they would judge the quality of a merchant is anybody’s guess, but reviews seem to be the obvious choice. Additionally, Google might also check whether their recently published Search Quality Guidelines are being followed. Section 4.1.2 “Recognizing True Merchants” in particular lists a series of checks, such as availability of a returns policy, working shopping cart, physical address, delivery options, etc.

The update is expected to roll out towards the second half of 2013.

What happened? Did you get distracted by a squirrel?

Posted in Work by Julian on April 11, 2013

Rarely does a subject line delight as much as this one from payment portal Dwolla. They are right that I do get easily distracted, so I fell straight for this one and opened to have a look. Top marks to them for best practice – not only do they prompt users who abandon the signup process, but they also make it fun; squirrels must rank up there with chimps when it comes to raising a smile.

I feel they’ve missed a little trick here though. They might want to find out why I hadn’t finished singing up and a link to a survey or feedback form might’ve been a handy source of feedback. Yes, they will get a lot of “It was a squirrel!!”, but for me it was that they don’t cater for international customers. Something that they might want to take into account.

Click the screenshot to zoom.

Adobe Marketing Cloud: Video Ads

Posted in Play, Work by Julian on March 29, 2013

Cyber Currency Bitcoin Soars In Value

Posted in Play by Julian on March 26, 2013


Bitcoin is an exciting new virtual currency – about as exciting as a currency can get. It has been making news for a while, but exchange rates have soared just recently, from $15 in January 2013 to $70 in March. So I thought I dip my toes into the world of cyber forex and throw in my 2 cents.

What are Bitcoins
It is a digital currency based purely on an open-source, peer-to-peer Internet protocol and is now the most widely used alternative currency in the world with a market cap of over $700m. Bitcoin has grown up now – several financial funds are investing, governments have recently introduced regulations, and even a Bitcoin cash machine has been unveiled in Cyprus.

But where do they come frombitcoin-mining
Bitcoins are produced by “miners” who utilise computer hardware to run tasks which then result in a set number of Bitcoins produced every 10 minutes. Anyone can mine Bitcoins, but it is fairly intensive work for a computer – you need good hardware and cheap electricity to make it viable. Luckily, Bitcoins can also be bought from a trading desk, so us non-techies can have some too.

Where to buy them
There are plenty of websites, I’ve used blockchain and mtgox.

What’s the future like for Bitcoins

I have no idea, but I love to speculate!

Let’s start with the threats to the currency. Currently adoption is low and Bitcoins are just not practical; you can’t really buy much with them. (Having said that, you can buy a house.) But even if adoption improves over time, governments and central banks might try to intervene, especially if their own currencies come under threat. The FBI is already trying to understand how they can be used to launder money, a very viable option for those that have something to hide. Bitcoin theft is another crime, with several big cases reported, which can affect the value of the currency. But the most obvious threat comes from within – the current bubble is partly speculative hype and can burst, damaging trust and expectations.

Still, it may go the other way too. For starters, Bitcoins are not held within a particular bank, so they are safe from the authorities (note how this week a 20% “haircut” tax on deposits over €100,000 was imposed in Cyprus.) Being independent also helps to control inflation. In fact, Bitcoin supply is set in stone, with production rate decreasing over pre-determined periods, until 2140 when it will cease. Last, but not least, Bitcoins are clear of any political sentiment; it is a currency of “the people” and as such has a potential future as the neutral currency of the world. It is entirely possible that they will become moderately popular with savers and those that like their privacy.

I think it can really go either way – like a flip of a bitcoin :)

Online Marketing Shows London 2013

Posted in Work by Julian on January 24, 2013

The truth is that with so many marketing shows around London, I’ve lost track of which one was when. This is a shame as some events are really worth going to – for the speakers, the networking, or the free stress ball. So for 2013 I’ve made myself a handy list of all the events I visited or considered before and I’m sharing it in case you find it useful too. Feel free to point out in the comments anything I’ve missed. See you around and don’t be shy to say “Hi”!

January, 29-31
DCM Europe: Digital Content Monetisation

February, 18 – 21
SES London: Search Marketing

February, 26-27
TFM&A: Technology for Marketing & Advertising  Free Areas

March, 15
Distilled Link Love: Search Marketing

March, 18-19
#SMWF Europe: Social Media

March, 19-21
International Confex: Events Industry Free Areas

April, 11-12
Brighton SEO: Search Marketing
(not in London! but just down the road)

April, 23-25
Internet World Free Areas

May, 14
Digital Retail Masterclass Free Areas

May, 15 – 16
SMX London: Search Marketing

June, 26-27
Marketing Week live Free Areas

September, 11-12
ad:tech London Free Areas

October, 17
IAB Engage 2013

October, 28 – 29
Distilled Search Love: Search Marketing

November, 20
Content Marketing Show Free Areas

image source: distilled

Annoying Words

Posted in Babble by Julian on January 10, 2013

Annoying Words

The Metro recently ran an article on the most annoying words today with prizes going to the much overused “whatever”, “like”, “you know” and “just saying”; you can check out the article here Metro: “Seriously, there are literally millions of words that are basically annoying. Just sayin’”

Working in online marketing, I have also developed hatred for many industry-specific words. Here are 5 that always get me:

  • Incremental – often impossible to prove so!
  • Boutique agency – we can’t get many clients.
  • Strategist – surely most are actually tacticians?
  • A viral – seldom lives up to its name.
  • Insights – stating the obvious.

To add to that, there are also lots of cryptic phrases that suggest one thing but actually mean the exact opposite:

  • “We have been optimising your campaign” – they worked on other things.
  • “To implement, simply drop one line of code on your site” – you know what follows!
  • “CTR has been quite strong” – hides a financial catastrophe.

I am sure there are loads of more and better examples out there. What are your favourites?

PS: All this reminds me of the blurb used by social media people, neatly turned into a handy tool on this website http://whatthefuckismysocialmediastrategy.com/

Free Download: PPC Ad Template

Posted in Work by Julian on December 12, 2012

For those that work in PPC and have to change ad copy frequently, you know it can be a pain in the bottom. If you have multiple parties involved with the business / brand owner on one side, the agency on the other and you in the middle, it can be hard to create an ad everyone is happy with. The former doesn’t appreciate the copy limitations of PPC, while the latter may not fully grasp the brand’s desired language. The solution? Let everyone share the same screen. I’ve set up a spreadsheet which can be accessed and edited by all parties and it seems to be working like a dream.


You can check out the Ad Template by clicking on this link – feel free to make a copy and use.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: