Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The most important adwords report I never knew about

For the last 3 months we have been running and testing a variety of google adwords campaigns for WizeHive.

We had done some variations of the ads, turned things on and off, and thought we had a good handle on what we were doing.    Over the last few weeks I've really started digging in the last few weeks trying to understand every piece of data.

Since we are positioning our applicant manager product for foundations one thing we found was that the search term "Scholarship Software" provided a large # of hits but not a large payback so we turned it off for now.   

Yet, I kept typing it into google and it kept coming up.   We spent hours trying to figure out where this keyword was.     It wasn't until this morning based on an exchange with Google that I realized that there was a report called "Search Query Report" under their Reporting section on adwords that may be one of their most important reports.

I had see the keywords showing up in Analytics and/or the other Adwords reports but did not realize they do not show the exact keywords that were typed; but rather the keywords that were triggered.

For instance, we paid for an ad and a click when someone typed "federal subgrant policies."   We paid for another when someone typed "free money management software."  Neither have anything to do with WizeHive.    Using this report I can now either add negative keywords to reduce or eliminate these odd searches or I can change from "broad-matched" keywords to phrase and exact matched keywords.      Either way they will significantly reduce our expenditures and probably increase our click through rates.

If you are doing any adwords work I would urge you to find and study this report.   I'm glad I did now but wish I had known about it a few months ago.

Friday, December 25, 2009

SCVNGR gets $4M Funding

SCVNGR, one of our DreamIt 2008 companies closed $4M in funding from Google Ventures at a very healthy valuation. These guys have grown from the 3 of them that took part in DreamIt just 2 years ago into 40+ people on pace for $5M in revenue. Read more about it here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How to get hired or not...

So business is crazy busy as we grow our web based collaboration tool, WizeHive and I know I need help. Administrative help, marketing help, sales help, SEO help, etc. I also know that since I oversee most of the administration and logistics for DreamIt Ventures I'm going to need some help there too as the fall roles around to deal with accounting issues and the like.

So Sunday morning I decided to run an ad on craigslist focused on finding some help. The focus on the ad was my need for administrative help but I left the door open for folks with all sorts of different talents to apply since I could use help for WizeHive, DreamIt and a few other things I'm involved in.

The ad worked well, I've gotten about 300 emails so far and a great mix of talent. The range of responses is so great I thought I could share so do's and don'ts if you are applying for a job or know someone who is. These are all from the responses I got the last few days.

First, with hundreds of other emails and a 3 page to do list I can't spend a ton of time going through a first pass on the 300+ applications so my first goal is to quickly sift them into categories. Categories I've made up are essentially good, maybe, probably not and no. So my first goal is within a very short amount of time, probably about 30 seconds, to categorize each response into one of these categories. Then I will go through and rank those in the good and contact them first, then go through the maybe's and contact them second...and if I haven't found who I'm looking for I may go further.

So what puts things into these categories. There are some gray areas but here are some real answers based on what i received.

Lets start with what gets moved to the no pile really fast:

Call me: It is hard for me to believe but I probably have 10 to 20 emails that do not include a resume, include very little info but instead say "I reviewed your job posting and I can really help you. My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. Please call." Sure, buddy, I've got hours to spend talking on the phone to people I know little or nothing about. Next.

Attach a resume only: I probably have another 5% to 10% that attach a resume and send it to me. No cover note or anything to give me the impression that they even read the job description and feel they are qualified. So my inclination before I even look at the resume is that they are going into the no pile and I don't think I've looked at a resume that convinced me to change my mind.

Spouse's email: OK..maybe there is a legit reason for this but why do I get an email from Joe Smith from Mary Smith's email address. I'm in a tech business and I want tech savvy people. What does it say about them if it comes from their spouse's email address? Actually I had a funny exchange today because I sent a quick "Thanks I"m looking at the resumes and I'll get back to you" blast to all the people I received resumes from and I got copied in on an email between the spouses accidentally forwarding the emails around. I knew it wasn't for me when there was a big "I LOVE YOU XXX" at the bottom of the note (or is that how some people try to get jobs?)

AOL email address: OK...this isn't an absolute no but come on. I've probably gone from AOL to something to comcast to Gmail over the last 10 years. How tech savvy do I feel about someone still using an AOL email address. Not a definite "no" but a bad first impression. Sorry AOL.

So...what gets me excited? Who has done a good job and is in my top category?

When I posted the jobs I did not use my name and I also used an anonymous (craigslist) email address, but I did mention WizeHive and DreamIt. There were 2 out of 300 that spent enough time to check the sites to see who was posting and then wrote a personalized email to me by name. Do they get the job? Don't know...but they are in my top category almost out of the shoot. All other skill sets being equal I am looking for someone who shows creativity and initiative and it doesn't get much better then that.

There are another batch, maybe 20 or 25, where the people did almost as well. They checked into DreamIt and WizeHive sites, took the time to learn a little about the businesses, and shared with me in one way or the other that they took the time to check things out. This does not automatically get them the prize, but it sure puts them ahead of generic responses.

So in general, if you really want that job take your time to sell yourself. Do your homework and tell them how you are going to help THEM, not what you are looking for... It certainly would have a much higher chance of success then the other way around.

Well, enough blogging time, back to the resumes...