- Online Marketing
This is a great article from Search engine Land about a topic of conversation I have with customers daily. A Must read if you are running your own PPC campaign.
When it comes to AdWords quality score, everyone knows from best practices that increasing this magic number is not only beneficial for rankings, but could lead to significant savings as well. But just how much savings would that be? And would it be worth dedicating your efforts to increasing it, or would it be more worthwhile to invest in other aspects of your account?
Ideally, you’ll want your keywords to have a quality score of 7 or higher, so anything with a score of 6 or below would be considered low. Find out what percentage of your keywords have a score of 7 or higher and which have a score of 6 or lower. Then, visualize this information in a pie chart where 7 or higher is “relevant” and 6 or lower is “irrelevant.”
Continue creating this chart on a regular basis to see whether you’re becoming more or less relevant. It’s a great way of visualizing the changes in your account and really simplifies the concept of quality score in a “black or white” kind of way.
Understanding whether you’re relevant is great. But even greater is finding out how much your “irrelevance” is actually costing you. I absolutely love this chart from ClickEquations, where you can see the impact of quality score on your Cost Per Click:
You’ll notice that at a quality score of 7, there is neither a discount nor a penalty. Discounts start above 7 and penalties, or CPC increases, start at 6 and below.
Notice the dramatic difference in increase between QS 4 (75 percent) and QS 3 (133.3 percent). Or even more dramatic, the increase from QS 2 (250 percent) to QS 1 (600 percent).
So what we’re seeing here is that you would get the highest impact from focusing on increasing the quality scores of 6 or below. Please note that this doesn’t mean you should ignore anything above 7. But you should start by getting those low quality scores to a healthy level first, so that at the very least you aren’t being penalized.
Here’s a list of 6 tips that could help you optimize and increase your quality score:
So, with these things in mind, is your quality score costing or saving you money? Do you actively work on improving it, or are you getting more value from other aspects of your account? Share your thoughts and comments below.
Embarking on a paid search campaign for your business is a great way of quickly generating sales and leads at an effective cost. You’re able to have (almost) complete control and visibility over what you spend, where you spend it, etc., but are there any other benefits to running a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign?
What a lot of advertisers may not realize is that PPC data can give you a huge amount of insight into your business and industry in general, and the more knowledge you have into your business, the better placed you will be to make decisions that can determine whether you succeed or fail.
Below are 5 things which PPC data can tell you about your business:
In my last post here at Search Engine Journal, I covered some points on how to effectively run an AdWords display campaign. In this post, I mentioned that even if you had the best display campaign setup possible, this traffic is still a lot less likely to convert versus search traffic and sometimes should be considered more as a branding exercise. Search can help you measure the impact of branding exercises with a surprising degree of accuracy.
One of the best indicators in today’s online landscape is the amount of brand searches a website receives on Google. To take advantage of this, simply create a brand-specific campaign within your AdWords account that records exactly how many brand searches are made each day. To ensure that your brand data is as accurate as possible, be sure to only use exact match, phrase match, and broad match modifier match types as these will ensure that no adverts within this campaign are triggered by generic searches.
By running a brand-specific search campaign, you’ll be able to quickly analyze daily search trends and determine whether particular brand marketing campaigns have resulted in an uplift in your brand searches on Google.
Have you done everything possible to ensure that the traffic you’re sending via PPC is highly targetted? Is your ad messaging accurate at describing your product/service? If the answer to both of these is yes and you’re still experiencing an extremely displeasing conversion rate, then the most likely cause of the poor performance is your website or landing page.
Paid search is a great way of identifying website issues, as the traffic you’re sending to the site via PPC should primarily be people that are extremely interested in your product/service.
Because of this, if you can’t convert PPC traffic, then you’re going to have a very hard time converting traffic from other marketing channels.
Your USP can be any feature of your business that makes you stand out from your competitors. Many online website owners will use USPs as a way of adding additional value to customers as an incentive to choose to deal with their business instead of a competitor, but the question is, what kind of USP will your audience respond to best? Well, you can use your PPC campaign to find out!
Test different advert variations against each other, highlighting different USPs in each ad. For example, you may be offering free delivery worldwide, but also have a “10% Off” sale running and be unsure what to highlight in the header of your website. To see which USP your audience likes best, highlight these points in one advert each, run these adverts against each other for a period of time (I’d recommend somewhere between a week and a month depending on volume), and then see which performs best in terms of CTR (Click-Through Rate) and conversion rate.
After this quick test has been completed, you’ll then have valuable information that can be used to dictate what content you highlight on your website, as well as other marketing campaigns. (More on optimising adwords ad text here, if you’re not familiar with the basics.)
There is a particular report under the Keywords tab within your AdWords report called a “Search Query” report (found by clicking the “Keyword details” button and then clicking “All”). This report gives you the ability to see exactly what users are typing into Google to trigger your PPC adverts.
You can use this data to gain insight into the most commonly used language and terminology by people who are looking for information on your product and/or services. Mimicking commonly used language and terminology onto your website could increase your website’s relevancy for users, and this can only be a good thing for your conversion rate!
Microsoft adCenter came to being in the summer of 2006. Generally speaking the advertising platform was greeted with open arms, but there were a few areas that were lacking.
One specific area of concern was how adCenter handled PPC ad rotation. There were no options, just a default “optimized” setting that displayed the ad with higher CTR more frequently.
Thanks to AdWords, savvy PPC advertisers already knew the benefits of being able to rotate ads evenly in order conduct genuine A/B tests for ad copy and to test KPIs other than CTR. Over the past six years there has been an overwhelming chorus of dissent towards adCenter for the lack of an ad rotation feature.
Finally, those voices have been heard. Even ad rotation is here!
The ad rotation feature is only available in the web interface or through version 8 of the adCenter API. That being said, it functions much as you would expect. At the ad group level, you have two options:
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
Not long ago, online marketing was a limited affair and was explored by already successful or adventurous businesses. Likewise, search engine marketing(SEM) was restricted to an elite few. However, things have changed now to a considerable extent and these two marketing mediums are no longer restricted with some few.
Search engine marketing, in particular, has seen triple-digit growth by gaining access to marketers as well as rewarding, serious streams from billions of users. It is a continuing and a bit complicated process in its entirety. However, these complications can be resolved by seeking expert services of an internet marketing agency. Search engine marketing is like an efficient way to bring in sales leads. It is almost a collective form of newspaper ads, yellow pages, direct mail, and classifieds rolled into a single pinch.
Search engine marketing is concerned with finding and submitting the most sought-after keywords to search engines such as Google and Yahoo! This is because by using these keywords, a business website can prominently figure in the search results, leading to credibility, market exposure, more customers, quality leads, customer satisfaction and better sales.
SEM can help a business to enhance its brand profile, acquire new customers, retain existing customers, gain industry exposure, increase web traffic, and generate quality leads and increasing online sales.
However, a business must ensure that its objectives are not killed with keywords by slicing and dicing. It is also important for a business to realize that managing rankings is a full-time job. Furthermore, it must also realize that a combination of search engines to successfully reach customers is the best way for it to gain market exposure in the long run.
Once a business realizes these facts, there is nothing that can come between it and success in the online world.
For many years, I’ve been participating in sessions/panels where I comment on PPC ad copy volunteered by an audience. As crowds tend to go wild for this type of session, in this article, I’ve decided to focus on some bad PPC ad copy and provide several fixes to improve it.
In this ad, I wouldn’t have focused on the company’s brand in the headline especially as it’s not a brand that’s well known. In this case, I would have let bigger names highlight their brand and focused my ad on the additional reasons to do business with my company like fast implementation, 24/7 phone support, etc.
For extra conversion bang, I’d ensure my ad benefits are reiterated in bullet point form on the landing page. Personally, I like 3-5 bullet points that are 4 to 7 words long. At least one of the benefits should be unique to your company/product/service (unique selling proposition).
It’s important to focus on the features and benefits that resonate the most with your target audience. In this ad above, the company (Disney) encourages people to share baby pictures online. Many of the other ads for the same phrase (baby clothes) focus on discount offers, shipping options, etc. While it’s true people want to share pictures of their babies, they are probably not looking to paid search ads to do just that.
PPC’s sweet spot is toward the end of the buy cycle when shoppers are about to pull the trigger and buy. The offer in the ad above is geared towards the beginning of the buy cycle when stores are maybe trying to engage/establish trust with buyers. The folks at Disney should use this channel effectively and attempt brand advertising elsewhere.
Here are some quick ways to figure out if your company is targeting the right features/benefits:
In this case, the advertiser is trying appeal to many groups of buyers with generic ad copy. I typed in baby clothes and an ad for a company that “specializes in custom made graphics, clothing, unique gift ideas” came up in the PPC search results.
In general, ad copy that is specific to products and/or specific groups of buyers tends to convert better than generic ad copy. And the more specific, the better ads tend to convert. A big reason for this is that it’s easier to hone in on relevant keyword terms and include them in ad copy headlines and descriptions.
A good tip is to structure your ads along the same lines as your sites navigation and/or category or product pages.
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
These days, most business owners and entrepreneurs are aware that they need to incorporate the internet and its associated strategies to remain competitive and indeed, simply to remain in business at all. However, after years at the cutting edge of internet marketing and assisting clients from small business to multi-national corporate organisations, I am still surprised just how many of them consider their internet strategies to be separate from their business’ marketing strategy and, indeed their overall business plan.
Internet marketing does not exist separately to your other business lead generation and customer service models. It should co-exist and complement every other marketing exercise you do. Similarly, there is little point having a fantastic and highly effective lead generation strategy to your website, if you fail to pick up the phone when all your new clients call to buy from you. Believe it or not, I have seen this happen.
When it comes to devising your business plan and incorporating internet marketing as part of it, it pays to go back and revisit the basics in business, as these indeed are important. Revisiting the basic business formula will help you determine which online strategies to use.
The most basic aim of business – any business – is to make a profit. If yours doesn’t aim to make a profit, then it’s not a business, it’s a hobby or a charity. Simple as that. Notice I said aim to make a profit. Obviously not all businesses do make a profit.
I like to consider that business consists of five main elements:
As long as you concentrate on these five elements to your business, you should expect a profit at the end of the month. When we put them together, what we come up with is in effect the formula for running a successful business.
If we take the number of leads we get each month and multiply that by the conversion rate, we get we get the number of customers we have. Then, by multiplying this number by the average number of transactions they each do and multiply that number by the average number of dollars they spend, we arrive at our total average turnover. Then, by multiplying that number by the margin, we get our profit.
This is what that formula looks like:
Leads x Conversion Rate = Customers x No. of Transactions x Average Dollar Sale = Turnover x Margin = Profit.
By concentrating on and improving each of the elements to this basic formula, you will dramatically improve your eventual profit. How you go about doing that depends largely upon your own personal desires as well as the industry you are operating in. For instance, you may not enjoy door knocking, so don’t use this strategy to gain more leads. Similarly, you wouldn’t use TV advertising if you wanted to reach dog owners in your suburb. Nor would you consider using Google AdWords if you wanted to reach pensioners who played Bingo in your neighbourhood.
This is the formula you need to always keep in mind when planning, carrying out and monitoring your internet marketing strategy, that forms part of your business plan. Ask yourself how your internet marketing is affecting the number of clients placING enquiries, whether they buy from you and the amount they spend each time.
This is exactly what I did when I first become involved in the world of internet marketing to grow my own business. My first experience with pay-per-click (PPC) marketing was during my efforts to ramp up bookings for my corporate magic business. At the time, I was using the traditional methods to market my business and reach my target market, such as the local print directory for Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, visits to agents, sending out flyers as well as anything else I could conjure up to generate bookings so I could feed my family and pay the bills. My marketing efforts were having a small impact on my bottom line, so much so that I wasn’t able to survive. Then I came across the Yahoo Search Marketing Platform and everything changed. Within a month of putting ads up on the search engines my business was profitable! Almost immediately I began generating a steady flow of enquiries and bookings and best of all I didn’t need to knock on doors or lick stamps. All I needed to do was wait!
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
Another great article about the nature of PPC advertising being far more important than just getting new consumers into your website.
Ten years ago a business could thrive by focusing on organic search engine optimization. My rule of thumb then was that organic rankings garnered roughly 80 percent of the clicks on search result pages while paid listings garnered less than 20 percent. A smart SEO strategy seemed to outweigh a smart pay-per-click advertising strategy.
A lot has changed in 10 years. Google’s propensity for changing organic search results has hurt many smaller retailers that relied exclusively on SEO for traffic and revenue. As a result, many of these retailers have started shifting more of their marketing dollars to PPC as they seek a controllable flow of traffic and revenue.
At the same time, Google has implemented a brilliant strategy — called “Quality Score,” which I addressed at “Pay-Per-Click Advertising: Six Metrics that Drive Performance” — to reward retailers to make their ads increasingly relevant to shoppers. Furthermore, Google conducts many of its own tests to find the optimal layout, formatting, and labeling of its paid ads to blur the line between organic listings and paid listings.
The result is that while retailers should still be able to generate more total clicks via their SEO efforts — versus their PPC efforts — PPC is rising dramatically in its importance. The traffic and revenue retailers can generate by optimizing and scaling the performance of their PPC marketing is higher than it’s ever been, and that’s a big deal that no retailer should ignore.
I recently asked several of my pay-per-click managers to analyze Google’s “top vs. side” report — I wrote about that report previously, at “For Google AdWords, It Pays to be on Top” — to calculate an average click-through rate for PPC ads when they show on the top of the search results page. Here are the results from six merchants they surveyed:
Those click-through rates are likely as high as a merchant would expect from many of his or her organic, page 1 rankings. By the way, they are for non-branded search queries on campaigns that are well run and profitable over many months.
Clearly, PPC can send a lot of traffic relative to organic listings. But is it profitable traffic? Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. When it’s not, many retailers blame the inherent nature of PPC for campaigns that they perceive to be unprofitable. But I always advise to check your perceptions.
Since PPC has the potential to send a lot of traffic quickly, it can expose fundamental flaws in an online retailer’s business or marketing strategy. If your prices are too high, your campaign isn’t managed well, your website’s usability stinks, your products are out of season, or the buying cycle for the products you sell is long or complex, then of course PPC won’t perform optimally. Try addressing those issues before deciding that PPC can’t work for you.
In addition, there are circumstances when smaller retailers should consider adjusting their expectations for their PPC campaigns. Quite often the expectation for a PPC campaign should be a steady flow of profitable traffic that results in a high return on ad spending. There are times, however, where retailers should think more like bigger retailers — if they hope to become one.
Larger retailers treat the first sale they make to a new customer as an invitation into their customer’s home. Once they get that first sale, their marketing machine goes to work, and they focus on increasing the lifetime value of that customer. They use a combination of email marketing, loyalty programs, and on-site personalization to generate repeat business from their customers in a way that changes their economic model for PPC.
If smaller retailers pay $30 in PPC advertising fees for every $40 in related PPC sales, they may conclude that PPC cannot be profitable for them. If over the course of a year, however, they can generate an average of $500 in sales from customers acquired through PPC, the entire profit picture would change drastically. Suddenly the retailer would be in a position to throttle up its PPC budget in a way that could support significant ongoing revenue growth.
Today was another first for me, after the announcement of WebVisible closing their doors after a 10 year run, and the official announcement from their CEO posted on Tech Crunch.
Here’s part of the note sent to employees:
It is with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that today, December 27, 2011 is the last day of operation for WebVisible. I know this is a shock and has come abruptly. Even with all our efforts to recover throughout this past year, we found ourselves in a position in which the debt load of the company was simply too much to overcome. Our bank foreclosed on its loan which means they are taking over the company’s assets and collecting all remaining payments. As a result they have forced the company to shut down….This happened quite suddenly, and the timing could not be more unfortunate…As of today there are no employees left at WebVisible, including myself and therefore there is no one to handle anything for you.. This is like a bad movie, I can’t imagine a worse scenario for shutting a company down and laying everyone off, the only concession I was able to get from the bank was to wait until after Christmas. As the CEO I apologize that I have not been able to do more to avoid this event and this timing.
We are still trying to get confirmation from the company, and will update when we hear back.
In an attempt to gather more information I did a search for the company name on Google, I was shocked with the paid results. I know shouldn’t be shocked, but if you look at the cost of the webvisible keyword today you might be shocked…Prices up to $9.54 a click, from the previous rate of 10 cents a click.
I have attached the SERP to this post for you to see just how aggressively other companies like Orange Soda, Netsertive, Hellogeo, visiture, and more are going after the Webvisible customers that were just left hanging in the wind.
If you are a business owner, or marketing professional that has been impacted by Webvisible shutting down, please don’t just jump to another company, spend your time doing research…don’t make an emergency buy.
If you are in need of transitioning your Search, Social, or Display campaigns please call Chris today at 720.427.3707 and I can help you through the process. I work for the largest provider of local paid search in the United States, a company that has more than 37,000 active customers, and has run more than 700,000 campaigns to date.
Ever wonder what the most expensive PPC keywords are? The graphic below seems to answer that very well.
Being a small business, especially one that is just trying to get started online, can take a lot of investment of both time and money. So many small businesses get involved in AdWords because they know it will bring them traffic. Perhaps they’ve heard of PPC working for others or maybe they received a $100 coupon from Google for AdWords Express.
Regardless of what convinced them to give it a try, most times these businesses only have a small budget for online advertising and want to stretch their ad dollars as far as possible.
While I’ve always been intrigued by the different and seemingly unending array of research tools that are available, I was recently drawn back to Google’s Insights for Search since they released their snazzy Real-Time Insights Finder as part of their new Think Insights Trend & Research Hub.
Although Insights for Search definitely won’t replace your Google Keyword Tool or Traffic Estimator, it does some things fairly quickly that can offer useful knowledge when feeling out a new topic for advertising.
But let’s take a brief step back for a moment. Every Sunday night this fall, I’ve been turning off the football game and becoming addicted to.. err.. secretly watching the ABC show “PanAm”. I know, I know, but cut me some slack! Apart from the ever gorgeous Christina Ricci, the show prominently features the vintage uniforms and luggage bags of the once beloved airline.
When I initially went searching to see if the blue Defiance bags were available to purchase or just props for the show, I found a lot of resellers were already cramming the AdWords market.
What if you’re a reseller or affiliate that wants to sell a product based upon a recent pop culture topic but don’t have a lot of capital to get going? Insights for Search could actually help you out quite a bit in deciding where your dollars would best be spent.
Insights for Search allows you to compare searches over time and filter down through its taxonomy of advertising categories by locale. For this example, I used searches on the brand name vs. items in the Apparel category.
This lets you know the percentages of overall searches for the keywords you enter that that belong to your category of choice and also lays a timeline of peak interest. This will give you that data as recently as 2 days prior.
While this might not be groundbreaking news and is information you can get from mining other sources, there is something appealing about the immediacy of the drop-down segmentation coupled with the way you can see the data as a trend without Excel.
However, the Regional Interest that this toolset provides is what’s most intriguing. Those of you who use Google’s Keyword Tool exclusively know that you can only drop down to the country level for location info and while the Google Search Estimator lets you drill down further, unless you’re looking up something very popular or very broad, you still don’t get a clear view by region.