COVID Times Marketing - Who are selling and buying

Travel and Hospitality Industry are the worst hit. Many travel agencies have closed their operations indefinetily, because revenue generation has hit the bottom line. Travel industry which normally operates at their peak in Sepetember-March months every year looks frozen out this year with few signs of thawing though August is half past.Indian travel industry starts their marketing effort from June-July normally, but this year bearing a COVID impact there is very little action.

Some Positive signs of galavanizing this industry into action once again are:

  • Religious Tourism are showing the signs of opening up again. Many temples and shrines inviting tourists. People of Indian origin who had postponed their India visit earlier can't wait more beause it is mostly the domain of the older generation.
  • Domestic tours will start again, it may help travel agencies survive.
  • International tourism though looks a far off gamble, you may still target them because 3-4 months lead time is considered normal.
  • Strict adherence to Social Distancing, Sanitization and Safety assurance are the buzzwords. People want to come out again, but safety requirements has to be assured.
  • Vaccines and Drugs claiming to cure the disease has added an impetus to confidence in people coming out.
  • European Travel Industry has opened for european countries, it may spark off similar action in Asian Countries.

In a nutshell one may say though times are difficult one may adapt to the changing situation and can still earn by making some adjustments to their preferences and bend over backwards.

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7 Golden Rules for Google PPC Bootstrapping

Google PPC on Bootstrap is a challenging task, which can be rewarding too if your project succeeds. If you have too many projects and you don't know which ones to pursue and ones to drop it is better to bootstrap and let them prove by themselves which are profitable. I run few projects on minimal spent and have been successful in picking the right ones in the long run for more focus and calculate the right ROI and traction they will give to investments.
  1. Keep the Budget as low as Rs500. Just enough to kick your ads.
  2. Keep keywords limited to Highest probability Converting ones.
  3. Quickly identify Keywords which doesn't convert through real stats. You will be surprised, How many keywords which relates well with business and attracts relevant traffic still are poor in terms of converting. Filter them out ASAP.
  4. Keep the margin you earn through product or service as close to the Daily Budget as possible, so that even a single sale will give you break even
  5. Everytime you get the second sale immediately add the revenue earned to the Google Account.
  6. Let the Projects which could not earn for themselves die, the survivors you will find are burgeoning with profits for you.
  7. Start experimenting and expanding the projects which have More than Rs1500, account balance. You will find the business is growing by leaps and bounds.
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5 Box Clever Google PPC Ads Survival Strategy

They can increase performance, save your cost and Life!
  1. One step forward Two step backward

    When it comes to setting budget, be smart, economical and compliant with Google's recommendation. You know not following Google's recommendation may impact your visibility and performance. So when Google asks you to increase, just do it and then smartly bring it down again. You might be rewarded with overdelivery credit!
  2. A saucy Cocktail with All their Color

    When you have no clue why you are performing below par, just put everything they are claiming. You don't need to be even slimy, just a bit of smartness, like if they are approved by xyz, then you too can say Approved(by inhouse specialists!). A Small caveat, don't lose the trust, but offer a credible explanation that you do meet the standards and deserve their attention as much, by disclosing who the Specialists are and why they count.
  3. Split the Keywords into More Adgroups

    if x no of ADG didn't perform then 2x with same no of keywords in the campaign will increases the chance of your survival. If your adgroups contained 50 Keywords, break them into 20-25 each writing more specific ads around them.
  4. Double the number of extensions

    Extensions are often ignored. However, they are as much important as the Adtexts are. Doubling their number or ven tripling would give the system more varietes to choose from and hence will increase the chances of qualifying in the auction where it used to fail. In other words it enhances quality score and brings your cost down.
  5. Keep Experimenting with New Features

    Google keeps on rolling out new features and your competitors are just lazy adopting them. Actually they are goldmines, if you could master new features early, they are great source of good conversions. People who experimented with Display Network, Youtube, Mobile and nowadays Mobile Apps advertising, got rewarded and were far more sucessful than those who were stuck in Search Only.
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Adwords Overdelivery limit raised to 100%, Know Your Monthly Limit

Few months back Google increased the overdelivery limit for adwords ads to 100%. Many advertisers have started complaining that on odd days spend goes too far away from what they envisaged.

There is a Daily Budget feature in every campaign. While setting up daily budget you actually tell Google How much you want to spend on any day. However, web traffic does not remain static over time, rather it varies widely across your chosen keyword/topic/interest... candidates. To comply with it Google used to allow your ad to go past your daily budget, so that it may survive the occasional surge in traffic. Earlier it used to be only 20%. Now this is upto 100%, which means Google can spend upto Rs200, if your Campaign Daily Budget is Rs100.

Impact on Advertisers

Advertisers need not panic. Google while delivering more than your daily budget also takes into account the monthly limit, which is Daily Budget x 30.4. So, Google's system while giving you extra exposure on some day always calculates, the deficit and gaps in scheduling to make up for it. That is to say overdelivery algorithm is designed to keep monthly spend within the limit of 30.4*DB and if by any chance it goes past it, Google won't bill you for that. Those clicks are free! So, if you are using ad scheduling limiting exposure of your ads Or to say your daily budget doesn't get consumed because of time limits you have set up or opting out of some days of the week or you are a casual advertiser who turns his campaign on and off manually, you are more likely to see your daily budget getting breached, on odd days. For advertisers, who keep their ads turned on for most of the time, Google won't find gap within Monthly Limit and real monthly spend & so this behavior is unlikely.

Advertisers should calculate 30.4 x Daily Budget, figure and actual expected spend, like if you don't run ads on sundays then you are expecting a total spend of only 26 x DB. Say, your DB is Rs100 & you don't advertise on Sundays & expecting a total spend of Rs2600 only. However, Google will see the limit as 30.4 x 100 = Rs 3040. To not get piqued at the end of the month, just equate the two, 2600 = DB x 30.4, So, DB = 2600/30.4 = Rs85.53 . Hence, if you set up Daily Budget as Rs85.53 with 4 Sundays in a month, you will see effectively a spend of Roughly Rs100 everyday. Happy!

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How Internet changed the Fundamental Laws of Economics

There is a law in economics which you must have learnt in school days. Perhaps still being taught, why bank's rate for keeping your money with them can't be zero. The law is deduced from three kinds of motives why people would keep money with them rather than in bank and why incentives like interest are required to make them keep it in bank. The law formulated long back when internet was not even in the wildest of imagination among the best of world's economists. Internet made it possible, keeping money in banks won't limit its liquidity and thus nullified the motive ascribed for keeping cash for transactions, which actually is better if it remains in bank. This Law seems done for in the internet era, where it is now possible to reverse the motive and fearing reversal in rate of interests Banks will give you lower interests for Fds for longer duration. You can sense what is in store.

There is another law which every student of microeconomics, studies. It is called the Law of diminishing Marginal Utility. This Law says if I have two umbrellas the first one has greater utility than second one, which can work as a spare or for some other purposes which are of lesser significance than first one. So Marginal Utility of second one is lesser than first one and successively third, fourth etc will have diminishing successive marginal utility. There is an exception associated with this law and this is it is not applicable on a drunkard, who tends to enjoy every successive glass of wine more than the previous one. Just like a drunkard enjoys every successive drink more than the previous one, if you serve data about something of interest it seems to have similar impact. More data you share with your client More they demand! The greatest gift of internet based advertising for businesses is that it can generate great amount of data relevant to their business. You will find the impact of data sharing that you have generated is so great that it can effectively countervail the impact of law of diminishing utility. You can see it clearly in international Arms market, Saudi Arabia who already has state of the art Thaad missile defence system from USA, is going for S400 by Russia which is a similar product. Why? because both are dependent on Data fed to them which are different. Same is the case why India and many other countries have aircraft of so many makes, when they all promise to serve them the same. Answer lies in they have been marketed using trustworthy data which makes each of them unique. We are living in the age of abundance of Data, each of us generate and has appetite to consume. Let us drink in some data with our customers all the time.

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Conversions in Mobile Era - Web Forms have had their Day!

Web Form Conversions are declining. That is the news which you either experienced or heard from your online marketing staff. Business Leads doesn't come the way it used to. Most people before contacting you have surely checked your web presence on at least two devices. So, mobile targeting is something you need to focus on. Here I must clarify mobile targeting doesn't simply mean ads on mobile. Even if someone is on desktop, if you don't have something for his mobile you are missing something.

Web Tracking and Conversion Figures are partially correct

The way businesses used to happen have changed considerably. First it changed in favor of online. That is why we considered everything online trackable. It laid the foundation of analytics and conversion tracking tools. Measurable ROI became the benchmark of online investment. Things changed with proliferation of different kinds of devices accessing web more conveniently. Desktops still rules the roost among all devices and we still consider it first deciding upon the layout of a webpage. However, a large part of decision making is influenced by mobile and other handheld devices which can serve you a webpage on the fly. No matter whether travelling, running, cooking or watching TV. If suggestion comes for spending a holiday somewhere, someone in the family is quick to look into details then and there and make an influence. Same is true with in an office. People are changing devices back and forth before coming to any conclusion & major part of it are not tracked!

Google claims, it extrapolates mobile data into All Conversion column, which you must take with a pinch of salt, but dismissing it altogether may too not be a wise idea given the fact Google owns Android platform which is used by a very big percentage of mobile users. So, we may assume Google knows which PC connects with which mobile and perhaps is capable of mapping and pairing them with clusters of devices used in decision making. Perhaps! Google too insists it is good for you if you believe this data. Its a Grey area and for those who are bogged into conversion data on dashboard its a bad news. Whole thing is too fuzzy.

You rather need to analyse things in larger perspective now. Just analyze it like other advertising program where you don't track outcome directly. To judge the success of ads you must look into the impact it generated on your overall business, ignoring what dashboard figure says.

Web form vs Mobile Forms

Forms served on mobile devices should be brief, intuitive and one which requires less typing, only then you can ensure they are not ignored. Also, make it limited to 3-4 fields max.

Form fill ups are still the most important part of conversions and gives you valuable insight about your prospects.

So, pull up your socks and give your mobile website a little bit more attention, everyday.

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Horizontal & Vertical shift in Google Ads

Google removed Right side search ads some 6 months back. With this the game of search changed a lot. This escalated the bids to new levels and all of a sudden the metrics like lost impression share and relative CTR started looking relevant. In fact every metric which you dismissed as junk on dashboard needs to be analyzed for refinement opportunities. Google's Webinar a while back announced gradual roll out of features like demographic bidding and complete device wise targeting and bidding on search. So, competition on search won't be limited to the vertical space, it has many dimensions and more to come in future.

Changes in Adtexts

All of you must have gone through new format of ads. Display Url has two vacant fields. Since you can't change first one which defaults to TLD of your Final Url, the fun of writing seems gone for good. So, the format would only be Probabaly, it has been done to keep ads along the line of Organic result's url structure, which shows breadcrumbs, like > Category > Subcategory. I'd suggest you to always keep the spirit of change in your mind while writing ads.

People advertising on Bing already are familiar with continuously running two lines that Google has introduced now. Only thing to keep in mind is that Two Headlines sometimes become too long and Google Truncates them at many places. It has been observed that truncation of headlines on Desktop are quite common and truncation of texts below headlines are common on mobile devices. So, keep them a bit shorter, to avoid it.

Some precious Valuetrack Parameters

Set up your Tracking Template with valuable tracking parameters, like {adposition}, {devicemodel} and {Random}. Analytics , utm freaks tend to overlook adwords tracking features, but adposition and random are unique parameters that can be tracked only through adwords. The Random number tagging will help you identify & match the url with other metrics and present it side by side analytics data.

After tagging you would get valuable adposition data reported as 1t1, 1t2 for above organic result appearance and as 1o1, 1o2.. for below organic result ads. You know how helpful these data are these days! With proper tagging you would also know how ads perform on different device models.

Top Content on Display

A hidden control for display ads. You must have noticed this tab in Display Campaigns under setting tab. It is meant for changing the bid of placements you have opted for. Name of the tab is not intuitive. However, in one shot you can change the bid of all the "managed placements" in your campaign to a 10%, 20%, 30% higher bids than automatic placemets and hence improve the impression share on the placements you have selected compared to those which system has automatically selected for you.

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Fix for Responsive Design of Blogger Designer Template

It is very Important to know that Designer templates like Popular "Simple Template", has no Wrapper element in their CSS, so it is futile to look into the solutions offered using them at many places. Also, You won't be able to detect and use css elements via Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox element inspectors, for what has been rendered. I would discuss important issues only.

Problem with hyperlinks, Landing on different Page Or Home Page

Many bloggers are using mobile template which has in built feature to append the urls with ?m=1, forcing the browser to open mobile version of the page. However, it creates its own problems. Instead of writing ?m=1 at the end of url, it writes something like resulting into, you being landed upon the Home Page instead of the page you wanted to land on.

To fix it, find this piece of code

if (screen.width <= 699) { document.location = "/?m=1"; }

in your template and replace it with:

if (screen.width <= 699) { document.location = document.URL + '?m=1'; }

Responsive Design without using Mobile Templates:

Many Bloggers have come out with solutions about this issue. Most of them are using wrappers and containers for resizing according to device width. However many templates including this one (Simple), I am using don't have wrappers. Good news is in fact these templates are Responsive by default. You don't need to write many media queries parameters for different width sizes. Just a very simple tweak does the trick. Simply, find the following code in your template:

body {
min-width: $(content.width);
.content-outer, .content-fauxcolumn-outer, .region-inner {
min-width: $(content.width)
max-width: $(content.width)
_width: $(content.width)

Change it to:

body {
min-width: $(device.width);
.content-outer, .content-fauxcolumn-outer, .region-inner {
min-width: $(device.width)
max-width: $(device.width)
_width: $(device.width)

With this simple tweak, you get the Responsive Design which adjusts according to the device width and you don't need to do anything. After doing it, you get the desired dynamic width adjustment and only other thing is to make your other size elements Fluid. Fluid means simply remove static size elements in pixel and start writing in percentage term. (PS: Although it is a good starting point to make your template responsive, keep experimenting till you have fixed every issue with responsiveness).

I've added following piece of code to limit the width of the blog,spreading too far. Just find .content-inner in CSS, and alter it like this:

.content-inner {
padding: 10px;
margin: 0 150px 0 150px;


Also, add a little piece of code like this one in CSS:

@media all and (max-width: 900px){

.content-inner , .columns {width:100%; margin-left:0 !important;margin-right:0 !important;}
#header-right {float:left}
#crosscol {
width: 80%;

Implementing all the above, You would exactly have website like mine. I need to work on Header and footer too. So, it is still not right time for saying Goodbye to the mobile template.

After coding for responsiveness, you may opt out of mobile template version of your blog. You will get a single Responsive Version of CSS which is compatible across every device. Cheers!

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Keywords are Curate's Egg, Make the Most of Them

Keywords are at the center of managing a search ad campaign.

You can further divide them into Exact, Phrase and Broad. They Provide targeting precision in the same order. Broad gives you really broad coverage of search queries, you need to block the bad part of it on routine basis. No matter how old and tight your campaigns are they will keep on surprising you. To a lesser extent same is the case with phrase too, however we can guess its bad part with reasonably good accuracy. Those who live and breathe exact matches find it too costly, sooner or later.

3 Solutions for Managing Keyword Match types

  1. All Match Types In the Same Adgroup

    An age old practice in adwords. Soon after finishing up with Keyword List, break them into Three Parts: [kw], "kw" & kw, then & there. If you remember, we used to set the bids too using asterix after them. You can bid on them in decreasing order starting from highest for exact and lowest for broad for the same keyword. Earlier, no matter how many times you have added the keywords, Google consolidated the stats for them and assigned same Quality Score irrespective of the match types. However, things have changed now and all are treated differently. There are reports that it is no more the most restrictive type which will reflect the stats, actually broad may compete with exact and phrase for same query. So, this technique though has the merit of simplicity, there are some caveats associated with it.

  2. Different adgroups for different match types

    Maintaining different adgroups for each match types allows you to add negative as exact in broad and phrase adgroups. So you go like this Phrase Adgroup will have Exact as negative and broad will have phrase as negative. In this way you will have traffic for each adgroups which does not interfere with each other and so you can set bids according to priority. This method achieves everything except for segregation of budget.

  3. Different Match types in different Campaigns

    To allocate different Budget which are allocated to each type you need to segregate them into Campaign. I had talked about penumbra match type, for brand keywords. However, no matter what match type you added Google blocks all the queries around it and it spills over to many keywords. So, to keep tab on them it is better to put them into different campaigns now. Also, keeping different match types in different campaigns will give you better ROI, because there is nil chance your bad keywords eating into the share of Good ones. So, if you are dealing with account that has limited number of keywords and accuracy matters the most, it should be implemented.

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The Best Way to Track Adwords Conversions

You can track adwords conversion in many ways. From Thank You Page tracking to import from analytics, to tracking via Tag Manager. There are different ways, and each has its own merit.

Thank You Page Conversion

Its the oldest and the simplest way of tracking conversions. You just have to download the code from your adwords account and paste it on a hidden page of the website, that is displayed only after completion of a process, you consider useful, like form submission. Though there are other new methods, I still prefer it. It doesn't make your other pages code heavy, its greatest merit. So, if it can be installed it should be your first priority. For websites which doesn't have too many kinds of form submission, it is still the best way to track conversions.

On Click Conversion Tracking

If you want to track clicks on some links or your website points to some third party payment gateway, where installing the code is not possible, tracking click on button is your best bet. For this again, you simply need to download the relevant code, from your adwords account, which is easy, and tag the links after a, like a YOUR ON CLICK CODE href="" with relevant tags. It will start tracking your onclick conversion. However, if your HTML Link contains Target_blank element, this method won't work. That is to say, if your links open in a new window, this method won't track it. Also, if it results into button freeze in some browsers then again you shouldn't install it.

Goal Imports from Google Analytics

This is preferred by Google analytics freaks. There are several caveats associated with it. One, very often it fails to give real time figures. What it gives are corrected after sometimes. Misleading enough, if you are on adwords dashboard. Two, Most often advertisers mix it with other kind of conversions, polluting the dashboard figure. Why not keep analytics limited to GA account. It looks nice, while analyzing it there, but messed up when mixed with Adwords Dashboard. I love to see adwords data inside analytics but hate to see its data on adwords dashboard. Just keep few metrics like bounce rate on adwords dashboard. No need to clutter it with too many imports from there.

Conversion Tracking via Tag Manager

You need to create an account in and download the container code from there. Once you paste it all across your website, you can manage what to track via a configurable dashboard. You can load conversion code via it and it is compatible with many services apart from adwords like analytics, linkedin etc. So, no need to paste code again and again on your website. Simply get some ids like conversion id, label id etc and configure it through web interface. It is very beneficial for tracking form submission if you have different kinds of forms across the website at different places. It can identify forms easily if you are using standard html coding and has <form></form> element, otherwise you may have to tweak it further and let it sniff through some class and other ids. It does make it a bit complicated but its worth attempting. Again, don't forget to tick off the option for validation, otherwise your subsequent pages won't load till all values are passed via this code. Don't go for too much accuracy, because page load time has to be your priority. When this was launched I didn't recommend it to anybody because of this issue only. However, it has the option to deactivate. You can easily track link clicks via this too, even if your link opens in a new window. In this way it gives you maximum with minimum efforts.

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