Posts filed under 'PPC'

Prioritizing Brand and Non-Brand Keywords In Paid Search

The below diagram breaks out the distribution of keywords that drive the most sales from Head to Mid-tail to Tail. A few “Head” keywords will drive the majority of sales, these are typically your company’s branded terms like: Burton snowboards, Volcom, etc. Everything besides the Head keywords are non-brand keywords. Non-brand can be broken up into two sections: Mid-tail and Tail. “Mid-tail” is made up keywords that have a lot of queries but drive less revenue, keywords like: snowboard bindings and helmet. The “tail” is made up of the highly specific keywords that happen less often, keywords like: Red HiFi snowboard helmet and mens Capita Mid Life Zero Snowboard.

Brand versus Non-Brand Keywords

The columns in my diagram show the amount of revenue you can expect from each segment. Head terms are the most profitable because these people are already educated about your brand, know what they are looking for and where they are going to buy it from. The Mid-Tail keywords have the least amount of sales because these people are not sure what they want or where to buy from. They are in browsing mode. The Tail has less over all traffic from each keyword but in aggregate it is a very profitable.

Before trying to tackle Mid-Tail keywords, first focus on maximizing impression share of your brand keywords in the head segment. With all other non-brand keywords, build Tail campaigns with tightly themed ad groups and relevant text ads first. If you try to go after the Mid-Tail section of non-brand keywords before working on Head and Tail, you will end up with high CPAs and low conversion rate. You’ll be doing a good job of educating potential new customers down the road with Mid-tail, but based on their search query you can tell they just aren’t in buying mode.

Add comment April 2nd, 2012

Device-Only Targeted Campaigns In AdWords

With nearly 7 percent of all digital traffic in the U.S. consumed away from computers, your paid search ads need to be targeting both smartphone and tablet devices on top of desktops if you want to maximize your reach. Tablet users who visited e-commerce websites in 2011 spent 54% more per purchase than smartphone visitors and 21% more than desktop or laptop visitors, according to a report by Adobe Systems. It makes sense then to make mobile-only and tablet-only campaigns with separate budgets, bids and adtext rather than having a single campaign targeting all devices.

Create a report that segments devices and Top vs Other to see what the difference in click-through-rate is for tablets and smartphones when your ad isn’t in the top spot.

segment device report

You’ll probably find that click through rate drops below 1% when your ad isn’t in the top position for tablets and smartphones, so by having mobile-only and tablet-only campaigns, you can better optimize bids for those device specific positions.

Another reason to make mobile-only and tablet-only campaigns different from desktop targeted campaigns is to write adtext tailored to the devices, something like “…Shop Now From Your Tablet!” or “…Find A Store Near You On Your Phone.”

Google has ad extensions for mobile phones like location extensions and call extensions that boost click through rates and make mobile search ads very effective at driving in store traffic. Optimizing and reporting is easier when you have a mobile-only campaign.

Add comment March 19th, 2012

Organize Ad Groups By Ads Not Keywords

Ad text should guide the organization of ad groups and account structure, not keywords. Traditionally, people start their account structure by organizing their keywords into themes and then the keyword themes get placed into ad groups. At the very end they try to write ad copy for each ad group that will try to be relevant to all of the search queries that get matched to those keywords in the ad groups. But too often the keywords vary too much and you’re forced to either write generic ad copy that appeals to all of the keywords, or write targeted copy that is well-suited to some queries and poorly-suited to others.

They call them ad groups and not keywords groups because its the ads that should guide the structure, not the keywords. This means that generally the amount of keywords in an ad group is small because any single text ad needs to be relevant for every keyword in that ad group.

Ad Text Organized Ad Groups

Add comment March 5th, 2012

Using AdWords Filters For Optimizing Keywords

The filter function in AdWords is pretty powerful. Definitely should be one of the first steps in discovering opportunities and diagnosing problems. Here are a few of my favorites:

This one helps identify low hanging fruit. These keywords have great quality score, low CPA but just need a little increase in bid to get to a higher position so they can make more of an impact.

CPA is high, conversion rate is low and average position is also high. The bid unnecessarily high for these keywords. They’re not doing much for you so you might as well pay less for them.

These keywords are the bottom feeders. Really expensive and nothing to show for it.

Lots of clicks, high CTR and low conversion rate generally means that the ad does a good job of being relevant with the keyword but there is a disconnect when it comes to the landing page. Test different landing pages with these ones.

Lots of impressions and no clicks means these keywords are going to kill your quality score over time. Try different adtext.

Lots of clicks with a low quality score means these keywords are really expensive. Is it worth it?

2 comments August 23rd, 2011

Analyze Search Terms On Paid Search Landing Pages

Is the keyword you’re bidding on in AdWords a good match for the landing page you have chosen for that keyword? And if not, (after looking at low conversion rates or high bounce rates) what landing page would be better? One way to find out is to see if the visitor does an internal search after landing on that search page.
Navigate to the Content > Site Search > Pages in Google Analytics. Use an advanced segment to show only visitors from your Google AdWords ads. Click on one of the landing pages and then add a secondary dimension of keyword.
In the second column is the paid keyword someone used to get to this landing page. In the first column is the keyword the person used in your internal site search after landing on the page. Essentially visitors clicking on your AdWords ads are telling you with their search term what they want to see after clicking on your ad that you’re not showing them. This can give you insight into changing the landing pages that you have set up with your keywords. Pair keywords that you are bidding on with landing pages that people find after doing a search.

Add comment May 27th, 2011

AdWords Account Structure Flowchart

There are endless ways to organize the structure of your AdWords account. I put together this flowchart to help get the process started. Its easy to see how complex an account can be if you sell multiple products, in multiple locations, for products that all have different uses and seasons.

Click For Larger Version

Add comment May 14th, 2011

Keyword Discovery Using Customer Reviews

I took all the customer reviews from this drill on Amazon and plugged it into Wordle to get this visual representation of the most frequently used words:

If you already have a good handle on how people describe your product this might not be of much use but if you’re racking your brain to come up with more keywords after having exhausted other keyword tools give this a try.

Add comment April 11th, 2011

A Few Cool AdWords Automated Rules Examples

I’ve been playing with the new AdWords automated rules ever since it’s been released, here are some ideas I’ve come up with on ways to use it:

If you have an account with a lot of keywords you probably did a lot of work and research to get all those keywords in your account. But chances are there are a lot of them that aren’t getting a chance because their bid is below first page CPC, and you may not even know which keywords those are. Set up a rule to get those keywords onto the first page to see what they can do. On all campaigns set up a “Raise bids to first page CPC when…” rule.

For a big performing campaign, maybe a brand terms campaign where you always want to be on top, set a rule to increase bids every time your ads go below position 3 by choosing “Change max CPC bids when…”.

Then to optimize keywords based on conversions set up another “Change max CPC bids when…” rule so that if a keyword has a CPA that’s too high it gets bid down, (I also made it a rule that it has to have at least 2 conversions before I start bidding down, everyone deserves a second chance right?)

and if it has a low CPA it gets bid up.

Also for those keywords that just keep spending and never convert, set up a “Pause keywords when…” rule that says once a keyword has spent a certain amount and still hasn’t converted, it gets paused.

2 comments March 11th, 2011

How To Determine Your AdWords Budget

Your AdWords budget is a little different then a traditional marketing budget because it changes based on your average order value and your cost per conversion.
Think about it: if you got $50 for every $40 you spent, how big of a budget would you want to have? You would want to have the largest budget you could possibly have because the more money you spend, the more money you make right?!
Traditional advertising budgets spent on billboards, TV or magazines have no way of knowing how much money is being made back on your investment – hence the reason for having a budget.
Below is my AdWords Budget Calculator built in excel for calculating the sweet spot for your budget. Feel free to download it at the bottom of this post.
AdWords Budget Calculator
So the first thing you need to decide is how much a sale is worth to you – weather it’s the worth of one lead, the margin you make on a sale, or the value of a visit – I call it the average order value. Next, you determine your cost per conversion. This is derived by cost divided by conversions. If you’re just starting out you won’t know what this metric is in your AdWords account since you need to accumulate some clicks and conversions. But you can still use the tool to make a goal for your cost per conversion.
Once you start playing around with the calculator you’ll see the relationship between these metrics and your revenue. The more you can decrease costs to get that average order value to go up, and the more you can optimize your AdWords campaigns to get that cost per conversion down – the more revenue you make. Obviously no matter how large of a budget you have, at some point there won’t be enough demand, in the form of searches triggering your ads, to allow you to continue to make more money. This is where expanding your keyword lists comes in and the process starts all over again.

Download AdWords Budget Calculator

Add comment December 13th, 2010

Making Search Funnel Reports Actionable

I’ve been messing around with the new Search Funnel Reports in AdWords trying to figure out how to use the data that it provides. Here are a few conclusions that I’ve come to that I think are actionable.

Path Analysis
Under Top Paths in the left hand column, drill down to “keyword path (clicks)” under the dimension drop-down box. This will show you the keywords that people used to click on your ads and how many times that happened before a conversion. Different paths can mean different user behavior which can give you clues on things to change on your landing pages or site. For example:
1. Head Keyword to Tail keyword Paths: Are visitors able to easily find what they are looking for on the site? Maybe improve site browsing and site search would keep them from going back to Google to refine their search.
2. Tail Keyword to Head Keyword Paths: May mean merchandising problems. If you don’t have very much specific product for the keyword, include more general product on the landing page too.
3. Same Term Multiple Times Path: Maybe they are comparing you against other retailers with the same product. Urgency in the offers may help close the sale sooner.
4. Unrelated Terms Path: Is there enough cross selling on the site? – you like Nike shoes, you might also like Nike shirts.

So with these ideas in mind take the top 500 rows of Top Paths and export it into Excel. This is where the manual part starts. What I do is build out the spreadsheet so I have a column for each one of the example paths above, then I look at the path and put a number one in the column that matchs the kind of path (see the image below). Once you go through this and add up the amount of conversions each path has you can get an idea of where the PPC landing pages are strong or weak.

Assisted Conversions
If you want to go out on a limb and try some broader keywords, the search funnel report will help you see if those keywords are helping to get more people started in the conversion funnel. Keywords can be either introducers, influencers or closers. Instead of only giving credit to the last click closing keywords, you can give some credit to the broader introducer and influencer keywords that educated and lead the user to the sale, which is worth something. Using the Assisted Conversion report in AdWords can also help define which keywords fall into the three categories. Keywords that do a lot of assisting should be given credit by building an assisted conversion metric into the CPA calculation like below. The tricky part is deciding how much credit to give those assisting keywords. In my example I gave 30%.

Add comment July 30th, 2010

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

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