Getting Back to Basics with Paid Search (and Wedding Receptions)

While planning my wedding reception over the past several months, I have found myself relying on a trusty old friend to get me through… Excel.

Guest lists, song lists, budget, menu, table diagrams, the list goes on… every last detail lives in Excel. The data has been sliced and diced, segmented in a hundred ways, and analyzed for potential negative outcomes. I have to say, this whole process has served to remind me that sometimes the most basic of tools and the most fundamental of skills can provide the most value.

Overwhelming Project #1: The Menu


Vegetarians, no-red meat eaters, no-shellfish eaters, no-fish eaters, no dairy eaters, no alcohol consumers, pregnant guests, low-carb dieters, low-fat dieters… you get the picture.


I created a diagram in Excel, arranging menu items into all potential categories (red meat, contains dairy; shellfish, contains alcohol; low-carb, contains soft cheese). This allowed me to see potential overlaps, so that the pregnant vegetarian and the lactose-intolerant meat-eater have items that they can both enjoy.

Key takeaways

Really taking the time to create a diagram is well worth the effort.  In PPC Management, whether you are creating an AdWords account structure, working on a new keyword expand, or developing ad copy for several ad groups, it is extremely important to look for areas of overlap and areas in need of expansion. You might have ad groups that warrant additional negatives to cut down on overlap, or ad groups that need more customized ad copy in order to really appeal to users.

Overwhelming Project #2: Table Arrangements


Guest A cannot sit by Guest B. Guest B must sit with Guest C. Guest A is Guest C’s long-lost love. Not really, but you have relatives.


I created a mock-up of every single table, and tried countless combinations in order to come up with the perfect fit. Yes, a few guests ended up in Siberia… but no one will make anyone else cry (I hope).

Key takeaways

It’s extremely important to be flexible and not view one way of doing things as “the right way.” Experimenting with new headlines in your ad copy, dividing keywords up a little differently than you’re used to, breaking segments out into their own campaigns – these are all valuable tests that could provide interesting and unexpected results.

Overwhelming Project #3

The Reception… it’s this weekend. Wish me luck!

Sarah Dahlin About the author
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