Practical Ecommerce

Practical eCommerce Launches Pay-Per-Click Report Card

Practical eCommerce is excited to announce the debut “PPC Report Card,” a monthly feature that critiques the pay-per-click advertising campaigns of selected ecommerce businesses. “PPC Report Card” will join “SEO Report Card” and “Usability Report Card” as a regular monthly feature. For each of these features, readers request that their site be graded. Third-party professionals chosen by Practical eCommerce then select the site to grade, and write-up their critique for Practical eCommerce to publish.

“PPC Report Card” will be written by PRIME Visibility’s Senior Pay-Per-Click Strategist Greg Laptevsky, a seasoned pay-per-click professional who manages the pay-per-click campaigns of companies worldwide.

According to Laptevsky, “PPC Report Card” will consist of six categories:

  • Account Structure
  • Keyword Choices
  • Relevancy
  • Landing Page
  • Account Settings
  • Performance Testing

“PPC Report Card” will require businesses to share confidential pay-per-click management access with Laptevsky. There are several ways to do this, depending on the search engine. Additionally, Laptevsky will need
to review the actual keywords, ads and landing pages. This could have a minor effect on the advertiser’s pay-per-click costs and, perhaps, its quality or relevancy score.

But the value of a free review by a professional is worth it, in our view. And the suggestions offered up by Laptevsky could save both the site and our readers thousands of dollars in pay-per-click expense.


Pay-Per-Click Report Card

Account Structure: A-

Keyword Choices: B+

Relevancy: B+

Landing Page: B+

Account Settings: B

Performance Testing: C


If youre interested in Laptevsky grading your site, please email

Practical Ecommerce

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  1. Legacy User September 13, 2007 Reply

    Our intention is certainly not to nitpick. We'll grade sites only if the site owners want it, and the goal is to help readers improve their PPC efforts (and, perhaps, save PPC expense). Questions regarding pay-per-click advertising are among the most frequent that we receive.

    Thank you for the post.

    Kerry Murdock

    — *Kerry M.*

  2. Legacy User September 13, 2007 Reply

    This feature can also be referred to by what it actually is….

    "Watch us Nitpick other people's stuff"

    Also came up with a tag line for ya…

    "Hate hearing people nitpick about things in everyday life? Now you can hate it online!…Thanks PE!"

    — *Bill*

  3. Legacy User September 13, 2007 Reply

    Folks can respond quite differently to the idea of critique. Some, pay a fortune for it, other avoid it like the plague and can get down right cantankerous at the notion. Props to PE for adding a new feature that has some teeth and relevance to daily business. PPC is a thorny nest of passages to most of us. The only thing an ill informed beginner can be sure to do competently and quickly on their own is bleed money.

    Thanks to Kerry and the PE team for coming up with the idea and to Greg for running with it. Looking forward to the first blood-letting… (just kidding) I mean report card. I'd volunteer our shop, but only dabble with $5-10 a day.

    Good Luck,
    Brendan G.

    — *Brendan G.*

  4. Legacy User September 13, 2007 Reply

    Whoa…isn't this a huge case of blurring editorial lines? (Although kudos to the biz dev person that put this together.) Prime Visibility, an SEM firm, gets leads in exchange for free content for PE. Quite the reciprocal relationship though I'm not sure of the ethics.

    Will only self managed programs be reviewed? If the audited account is managed by an SEM firm, how will PV know of the agreement's terms and conditions? Perhaps the program has contractual limitations on the amount of time the SEM firm spends on it and thus may not be fully optimized. Or perhaps the program is relatively new or subject to seasonal effects? Will those details be published?

    PV & PE, you might want to rethink this one.

    — *Eric L*

  5. Legacy User September 13, 2007 Reply

    I think this can be as useful as it is intrusive. I mean c'mon after you give these report cards to the businesses, what do you think they will say when they get a "bad" grade…"Oh PE please help me my ppc campaign isn't working, and I keep spending money".

    Instead of trying to determine the relevancy of the landing page and many of the other criteria that seem to be the norm of the "PPC" world, lets look at the results! Not of the campaign, but of the keyword, term or phrase. And not to a click-thru, let's track that word to actual business (i.e. phone call, e-purchase, or submitted form). These are the true catalysts of business on EVERY level.

    Without any of the aforementioned outcomes there is no reason to do PPC except branding. I am just sick of companies trying to judge what is wrong with ppc and realize it is a science. You can learn to do it "the right way" and the advertiser has the option, pay somebody who knows what they are doing with a proven record of high ROI's or try it themselves and then let some tpa tell them they did it wrong just so they can get a lead.

    I am a website marketer out of Pittsburgh PA and love to trade banter with other Internet marketers around the web. Check me out at my NEW home (soon to be just Thanks and I hope I wasn't too harsh. I didn't mean to be. This is my passion. :-) Mike

    — *Mike M.*

  6. Legacy User September 14, 2007 Reply

    I would like to thank everybody for submitting their comments. I'm also excited about our new "PPC Report Card" and look forward to the first round of reviews.

    Let me address couple interesting points/questions raised by PeC readers:

    a. As most of you realize – PPC traffic is not getting any cheaper. The industry becomes more and more specialized, which means that business owners are spending either more time or more money to trying to keep their PPC efforts more profitable. "PPC Report Card" is meant to help point out common mistakes that happen in pay-per-click world, as well as suggest new strategies to improve ROI on their campaigns.

    b. The intention of these reviews is not to critique current PPC performance but rather suggest areas of improvement in the accounts reviewed. We will try to be as detailed as possible allowing PeC readers to apply suggested improvements to their own campaigns.

    c. We will discuss some basic optimization strategies as well as advanced techniques to reach audience on all levels.

    d. We realize that pay-per-click is as much science as it is art. Different reasoning drives business owners to do pay-per-click. During the course of the account review – we will try to learn as much as possible about advertiser’s business and consider the account performance & optimization from pure PPC standpoint as well as business logic.

    e. We will be more than happy to review self-managed accounts as well as accounts managed by SEM firms. If there are any limitations to the account performance such as management hours, seasonal performance, budget limitations, etc – we certainly disclose as much information as allowed by account owners to provide PeC readers with a complete picture.

    I look forward to our first PPC Report Card. Thank you.

    — *Greg Laptevsky*

  7. Legacy User September 19, 2007 Reply

    Some negativity here about a positive idea or what?

    So many accounts are poorly set up and run that disecting a few live examples and giving direction can only help all of us in the long run.

    Anyone on here that thinks they have nothing left to learn when it comes to PPC is sadly mistaken. I've been at it since 2001 and still find new ways to improve performance in client accounts on a regular basis. So I for one welcome any and all PPC dissection.

    If any of the naysayers don't like it, it's simple . . . don't read it!

    — *shane*

  8. Legacy User September 20, 2007 Reply

    Hi Shane,

    Thanks for your comment. I certainly agree that there is no such thing as a perfect PPC account and look forward to assisting PeC readers in getting their PPC efforts where they want them to be.

    Thank you,

    — *Greg Laptevsky*