Posts filed under 'PPC'

Keyword Match Type Parity

Using broad match as your keyword discovery tool will help you expand the keywords in your account and once you have found good performing keywords its smart to add them as phrase and exact match too. With the same keyword on broad, phrase and exact match, results can be segmented based on match type and optimization strategies can be implemented for each keyword.

With a big account its easy to lose track of keywords that are active in broad match but not exact or phrase. Vlookup is one way to do this and another is using Google Analytics.

In Google Analytics go to Advertising > Keywords and then in the upper right hand corner of the data table click the Pivot button. Then pivot by Match Type and for the pivot metrics you can choose visits and revenue to see how efficient they are.

Pivot data in Google Analytics

Download the report in CSV (to add more rows than 500 look for rowCount%3D in the URL and add the amount of rows you want after the D) and sort visits descending under the broad match column and then filter the exact match column to only show 0. Now you can see the keywords that are driving revenue in broad but not in exact. Add these keywords as exact for more insight and flexibility.

Add comment January 7th, 2013

Paid Search Device Targeted Keyword Parity Using VLOOKUP

It’s smart to build out separate campaigns targeted to mobile and tablet devices exclusively, as this can lead to much higher efficiency, but the problem is keeping all of these duplicate campaigns up to date with your desktop campaigns. You may add new keywords that perform well on desktop but neglect to add them to mobile and tablet. using the VLookup function in excel you can easily discover which keywords are paused or absent from one device to the next.

1. Download all  your active keywords from your desktop campaigns (for my explanation put the keywords in column A).

2. Download all active keywords from your tablet campaigns and put them in a second tab on the desktop Excel worksheet (keywords also in column A).

3. Add a third tab on the desktop worksheet where you paste all of the keywords from the desktop account in the A column.

4. On tab three In the B column use the VLookup function so that it looks like this: =VLOOKUP(desktop_keywords!A1,tablet_keywords!A:A,1,0). What this function is saying is – take the keyword in cell A1 from the list of active keywords on desktop and then look at all the active tablet keywords in column A – if you find it, put it in this column, if not put #N/A.

5. After the function is put into place in column B, you can see the keyword that exists on desktop in column A and if there is a #N/A next to it in column B, you’ll know its not active on tablet.

6. Now you can sort by #N/A and take add all those keywords to your tablet campaigns.

Add comment December 31st, 2012

Optimize Keywords With Top Vs Side Report

An ad that is shown in the top position usually has a much higher click through rate than an ad shown on the side. If you could get your highest performing keywords in the top position more often it can pay big dividends in volume and revenue.
How do you identify those keywords that aren’t showing up in the top position as often as they could and bid them to the top spot accordingly?

1. Download a keyword report for the last 30 days with the the Segment Top vs Side.

2. Create a pivot table with the data from the report and then build the pivot table like this.

This will allow you to see each keyword’s top and side metrics on one row.

3. Copy the new filtered table over into a new worksheet so you can add new columns and filters.

4. Make a new column Percent Of Conversions Top which takes the Total Sum Conversions divided by the Sum Of Impressions for Google Search: Top.

5. Make another new column Percent Of Impressions Top which takes the Total Sum Impressions divided by the Sum Of Impressions for Google Search: Top.

6. Now if you filter your new column Percent Of Conversions Top for greater than 50% and your Percent Of Impressions Top for less than 50% you’ll see the keywords that get more than 50% of their conversions from the top position but get less than 50% of their impressions from the top position.

7. Now if you take the difference between the Sum of Avg. CPC Top and Sum of Avg. CPC Other you will get the difference in (estimated) bid increase to get more of those impressions from the side to the top.

In the below screenshot the first keyword has 82% of its conversions coming from the top but only 28% of impressions coming from the top, and the difference between the average CPC of top and side is only $.07. So with a small bid increase this keyword could improve considerably.

Add comment December 17th, 2012

PPC Diminishing Returns

Paid search is subject to the law of diminishing marginal returns where the last dollar spent has a lower ROI than the first dollar spent because the most cost-effective keywords are always purchased first.

There are two constraints at work here: budget and search volume. With a limited budget you will bid on the highest returning ROI keywords first. When you have a high impression share on those keywords and more budget, you’ll start expanding into different keywords – inevitably you start bidding on keywords that have lower ROI. Revenue goes up but ROI goes down.

The challenge is to decide which is more important – more revenue or or more margin dollars. You can’t have both.

Add comment December 10th, 2012

Balancing Paid Search Volume And Profit

Quality Score, CTR, conversion rate, – all are a means to an end. The end for all paid search is profit. If you know what your costs of good sold is and what your cost per conversion is, then add them together minus your revenue and you can determine what your profit is. The trick is figuring out what the optimal balance is between volume and cost per conversion.

The more willing you are to have a higher cost per conversion the more volume you will do and the more profit you will make. But at some point there is a diminishing return where the extra cost per conversion is not made up with the addition conversions it brings.

Below is a graph showing where the sweet spot is – where cost per conversion allows the optimal amount of volume.

Balancing Paid Search Volume And Profit

If only paid search were as easy as deciding how much volume you want along with your desired cost per conversion. Unfortunately you can’t control how many people search using your keyword and of those how many click on your ad, but you can have this model in mind and constantly tweak bids in an effort to find the sweet spot.

Download the xlsx file I used to make the graph


Add comment July 16th, 2012

Same Keyword Sales

Retail stores have an important metric called “same store sales” which measures the percentage of change in revenue for stores that have been open for more than a year. This statistic allows you to determine what portion of new sales have come from sales growth and what portion from the opening of new stores. Although new stores are good, eventually there is a saturation point where more stores won’t be sufficient and growth will rely on growth of existing stores.

I think paid search should have a similar metric. Is the account growing because you are getting more efficient or are you just adding more keywords? New keywords are good but what money are you leaving on the table due to less than optimal use of current keywords because you’re too focused on constantly adding more? On the other hand, are you adding new keywords so infrequently that the potential for growth is limited?

Download two months of your account and do conditional formatting to highlight duplicates, then filter the keywords to see total revenue from new keywords month over month compared to same keywords.

Add comment July 2nd, 2012

Use Broad Match As Your Keyword Discovery Tool

Once you have organized your keywords into campaigns, one strategy is to triplicate each campaign so that you have one for each match type. When each campaign contains only one match type it allows you to break out your budget more effectively so that if the budget for those keywords are being throttled you can give the most budget to exact, less to phrase and the least to broad. It simplifies budgeting so that you can give the most money to the exact match keywords that have the best chance at converting.

What this strategy will also do is allow your broad match campaign to turn into your keyword discovery tool. Using search query reports in your broad match campaign you can discover new keywords to build adgroups around for your exact and phrase match campaigns to test. When budgets shrink, you can dial up the spend on driving sales through more relevant match types like exact and phrase, and dial down the spend on discovering new keywords for account expansion.

If you are working with a very large account that is constantly shifting budgets, launching products, and you have moving goal targets, triplicating campaigns for each match type can cause the size of your account to bulge but it’s the way to go.

Add comment June 4th, 2012

Paid Search Assists vs Conversions

When making decisions on changes to keywords based on conversion rate, cost per acquisition or any other sales metric, you may be hurting important influencing keywords that don’t get the last click but drive sales nonetheless. AdWords helps attributing credit where credit is due so that you aren’t too quick to bid down a keyword because on the surface it looks like it hasn’t driven any sales.

The Search Funnels report in AdWords can show you how much you should worry about keywords that are assisting in sales but not converting. Export the Assisted Conversions report and then filter out all last click converting keywords so that you only see the keywords that have never had a conversion but have had an assist.
Paid Search Conversions vs Assists
In this example there were 191 keywords with the last click conversion and 113 with assists but no conversions. 37% of the keywords might look bad from a last click conversion rate or CPA standpoint but were still vital to getting the sale. In this case any keyword that didn’t contribute a conversion or an assist should be bid down but all other keywords should be given their due credit and either bid up or kept around longer to see if they can drive even more.

Add comment May 28th, 2012

Engine / Network / Device / Method

Everyone agrees that content network ads should be separate from search ads in your AdWords account for good reason: the data of one network have no bearing on the data of the other network. Search is about an active consumer looking for information. Content is about advertising products next to content where the subject is related to your product.

I think there are other divisions just as big as content vs. search that should be separated out in an AdWords strategy. First, the device that you are targeting will cause a big difference in the results of your campaign. The motives behind a person using a mobile phone is very different from a person using a desktop computer. Targeting tablets separately will also allow for better targeting and results.

On top of network and device there are the different search engines and different methods of  advertising – brand keywords, non-brand keywords, product listing ads, display, retargeting etc. None of the data from any of these different methods should be lumped together in the same report either.

These differences are enough to cause very complicated reporting. Each Engine/Network/Device/Method requires its own analysis if you want to look at each segment in context and be able to make changes that positively affect one without damaging another. Below is a stab at visualising what this looks like when each engine/network/device/method is separated out with its own macro conversions, micro conversions and targets.

Engine Network Device Method

Add comment May 7th, 2012

Position Matters On Tablet Search Ads

Another reason to have device-only targeted campaigns – in this case for tablet targeting. I’ve seen this happen enough in my own accounts that I’ll bet the same is true with everyone: ads that are above the fold on tablets have a click-through-rate up to 10x higher than below the fold.

Tablet Click Through Rate

Take any existing campaign that is targeted to both desktop and tablets, change it to just desktops, duplicate the campaign and target the new campaign to just tablets.  This will allow you more control to bid for higher positions on tablets that you might not want to do on desktop. It will also allow for easier reporting for tablet performance.

Add comment April 11th, 2012

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Hi, my name is Zach Olsen, internet marketing professional, web entrepreneur & proud dad. Read more...

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