The Portent Blog


25 Mar, 2010

Google AdWords ReMarketing – Everything You Need to Know

By Elizabeth Marsten

It’s so new that there was bubble wrap on the account when I unwrapped the new “Audiences” tab. If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s the newest toy being made available in AdWords- Remarketing on the Content Network. Remarketing is not a new concept, the idea of basically, trying again with a potential customer… Read More


24 Mar, 2010

MSN AdCenter Match Types Can Determine Your Ad Position

By Elizabeth Marsten

Recently I was able to ask some more specific “PPC nerd” questions of an AdCenter rep and got to really drill down into match types, the way the keywords are “locked” together, ad position and how it’s been changed since Bing came online. For those that don’t know, AdCenter keywords are unique for match types… Read More

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marketfish PPC

19 Mar, 2010

Why Paid Search Rocks and Email Lists Do Not

By Elizabeth Marsten

Once in awhile someone throws down the gauntlet and you just have to accept. In this case, a former Portentite went on to MarketFish, an email marketing list company in Seattle, claiming that in comparison, paid search is a lesser beast. While I would never throw away a marketing opportunity (we are a full service… Read More


21 Dec, 2009

How to: Set up and Track Product Extension Ads in Google AdWords

By Elizabeth Marsten

Product Extension Ads isn’t the newest tool on the block from Google AdWords, but it most certainly is pretty cool. Especially if you have a Google Base Merchant Center account with product feed. The Help Center stuff at Google is a wall of explanatory text, but I still found myself emailing the reps asking for… Read More


30 Oct, 2009

Dear Yahoo, Please Stop Showing My Ads for EVERYthing

By Elizabeth Marsten

Dear Yahoo, While I admit that I was pretty annoyed with the Google session based keyword searches, I have to say that Yahoo has them beat. Ever since they advanced “advanced” matching that’s been taking over in PPC accounts, keywords that used to see 3,000 impressions in a month are now seeing 3,000 within a… Read More

Internet Marketing

28 Sep, 2009

Shout-Out: Hanapin Marketing’s $16,000 SEM Sweepstakes

By Michael Wiegand

Our good friends over at Hanapin Marketing – you know, the folks who run the PPC Hero blog – are running a pretty amazing SEM Sweepstakes right now. They have some great prizes available, including: (3) Paid Subscriptions to SEOMoz (1) 3-Month Subscription to ClickEquations (a neat bid management tool that we use at Portent)… Read More

broad-session-based PPC

23 Sep, 2009

Dear Google, Please Give Me Back My Money

By Elizabeth Marsten

Dear Google, I was going through my search query reports the other day and noticed that more and more I am seeing these broad match (session based) results. Interesting. I know that there is no opt out button for this and like my fellow SEMs am in a bit of an annoyed snit, but since… Read More

adsense-fail-burn-money PPC

22 Sep, 2009

AdSense: Sometimes, Relevance Gets FUBAR’d

By Ian Lurie

And now, a comedic interlude courtesy of Google AdSense: That FOREX trading banner showed up at the top of yesterday’s post, 10 Surefire Ways To Burn Money. If I’m the advertiser, I’m clicking ‘exclude’ in AdSense right now. Of course, most folks never even check their reports. Which is yet another great way to burn… Read More


2 Sep, 2009

Did Google Earn the Fail Badge or did the Advertiser?

By Elizabeth Marsten

Periodically you’ll see a post where someone has collected “epic fail” (and not just on the Fail Blog) screenshots of ads gone wrong. The serious plane crash news article next to the banner ad for discount tickets on the same airline that crashed. The diet pill flash banner across a forum for recovering anorexics. A… Read More


27 Jul, 2009

Simplify PPC Reports

By Elizabeth Marsten

After attending a Stratigent workshop with Jennifer Vessenmeyer called “Pimp your Reports” it got me thinking about PPC reporting and how I could be “pimping” my own reports. I don’t mean throwing so much data together that no one will ever read it like a house bill nor exporting something out of AdWords and handing… Read More


18 Jun, 2009

AdWords Bid Simulator Update

By Elizabeth Marsten

As we all already know Google AdWords has beta testing the AdWords Bid Simulator feature since late May/early June. So what’s new since then? I’ll show you: Previous screenshots of the new feature have not included this Cost versus Clicks graph, which gives you a nice visual on how your estimated stats will look like… Read More

killer ad copy PPC

5 Jun, 2009

Writing Killer Ad Copy…and not getting arrested

By Elizabeth Marsten

As promised, my presentation from the SMX Advanced session Writing Killer Ad Copy. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. And you’ll completely re-think how you write ads. Keep in mind that this presentation was created for advanced paid search specialists. The purpose of the session was to get people thinking “outside the box.” My job was to… Read More


28 May, 2009

Writing Killer Ad Copy: SMX Advanced Seattle Speaker

By Elizabeth Marsten

That’s right, yours truly is on one of many SMX Advanced panels this June 2 and 3rd in Seattle, dedicated to organic, paid search and internet marketing tactics. In particular my panel is on the paid search track for “Writing Killer Ad Copy- The Interactive Edition.” After the conference, I’ll post my presentation here (or… Read More


21 May, 2009

MSN AdCenter Content Network Reports

By Elizabeth Marsten

This week as part of the MSN AdCenter Spring Upgrade a new feature was released that’s been a long time coming: Content Network reports! Ever wonder what those mystery “Microsoft property sites” are? I sure have. I asked an AdCenter rep once and got a “we don’t know either” answer which I found pretty unsatisfactory.… Read More

pvv PPC

8 May, 2009

New Predictive PPC Tool: Paid Search Return Estimations

By Michael Wiegand

The Paid Search Problem Let’s be honest. All too often, starting or optimizing a paid search campaign is a guessing game. You make obvious changes to your keyword list, rewrite some ads, and setup a new landing page – but for the most part, it’s like a Jackson Pollock painting. You throw a bunch of… Read More

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