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.
Archive for PPC
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
This is what I mean…
Not only will this keyword strategy give you ideas of how to expand your keywords, it will also give you insight into how much these new keywords will cost if you started to bid on them seeing how you can see their avg. cpc in the report. You may stumble upon a few words that fit just right and are cheap.
In AdWords make the following report: 1. Report Type: Click Campaign Performance. 2. Settings: Set Weekly visits, set the date range for a few months and select all campaigns. 3. Advanced Settigns: Add the following Columns: Impression Share, Lost IS (Rank), Lost IS (Budget), Conversions, Conv. Rate, Cost/Conv.
That’s it – once the report is made export it into Excel. In Excel sort by Campaign so that you can see the increase or decrease in impression share week to week for each campaign. Now we can cover the what, why and how.
Start off by looking for campaigns with low impression share and then look across at the Cost/Conv column. If Cost/Conv is within your accepted range for these low impression share campaigns, then you are leaving money on the table by not maximizing your impression share. Likewise, if impression share is high for certain campaigns and their Cost/Conv is high, you might consider decreasing impression share.
With these initial insights look at the Lost IS (rank) column and Lost IS (budget) column. These two columns will tell you why you have low impression share. If Lost IS (budget) is high, this means your ads are not showing as often as they could because your campaign budget is being tapped. If your Lost IS (rank) is high, this means your keyword bids are so low to the point that your ads aren’t appearing.
The campaigns with low Cost/Conv and high Conv. Rate are you hero campaigns. These should have as much impression share as possible. Give them unlimited budget (why limit it? As long as the ROI is worth it you should push these campaigns as far as they’ll go) and give their keywords higher bids. Google has a bid simulator built in for giving you an idea of how much traffic will result in your bid, but don’t worry too much about it, set a bid that seems right and then test how it performs. You can adjust it once you see the results.
The campaigns that are in-between need a little more time and effort. This is where you’ll dive into individual adgroups and keywords to discover which ones are causing the bad Cost/Conv and low Conversion Rate. Decrease bids on the losers and increase bids on the winners. Click through your ads to see if the keywords you are bidding on match the landing pages you are giving your visitor. Try different keyword match types.
This PPC bid optimization strategy allows you to prioritize your efforts so that you increase the biggest winners and get rid of the biggest losers first. Once done, go back the next week and see your results. I like to make my changes all in one day and then leave it alone for a week instead of making little changes day to day which makes it harder to recognize causation.
1. You will hurt you click through rate due to less targeted ad copy. look at these two examples for the query “Gibson Acoustic Guitar”.
Where one is only bidding on the broad match of Gibson Guitar, the other is bidding on the longer phrase Gibson Acoustic Guitar. Not only is the former ad more targeted and therfore more likely to get my click, its quality score will be better due to keywords in the ad text which will save money and give it a higher ad position.
2. Conversion rate will improve. Take a look at the landing pages for both of the previous ads.
One is showing me exactly what I was looking for, Acoustic Guitars, and the other shows me both electric and acoustic which means it is not inline with my intent so I will most likely bounce.
3. Better bid management. Let’s say that you have your adwords accounts set up so that each one of these long tail products are organized by category and theme. This way if there is a seasonality element or if something goes on sale you can easily increase your bids for just that product segment and keep all the rest of your campaigns running at the same cost. This means you can be more nimble and cost effective with your inventory.
So that’s the why long tail keyword management is better than just using broad match head terms, here’s the how:
1. First start by running a Search Query Report in AdWords and find all the keywords that are trigging your ads that you arn’t currently bidding on that make sense. Orgainze these keywords into themes that you can build campaigns around. In this example’s case, one campain set up for general acoustic guitars, another around Gibson guitars and another around Gibson acoustic guitars.
2. Expand on that list with this long tail key word tool to figure out all the permutations of those keywords.
3. Also use modular ad text. Meaning don’t make the second line flow over into the third line on the adtext, make them seperate sentences. This will help you mix and match adtext on the fly so that if acoustic guitars go on sale you can easily swap out one of the lines and replace it with something like, “Now 20% Off, Buy Now!”
Monitoring these keywords takes more time and more effort to set up, but in the long run means a much more effective PPC marketing effort.
The “spend/budget wk” in-cell graph was made using Sparklines and a tutorial on how to make the interactive line charts can be found here. (You can download the Excel file below and play around with it too.)
I’m going to walk you through how to use this dashboard and hopefully discover some insights along the way:
Going counter-clockwise through the report allows you to dig deeper into what is going on and hopefully make some actionable insights.
Starting with the graph in the upper right, you can switch between any of the metrics at a higher up account total level. Lets say you’re looking at the cost/conversion view and notice that cost/conversion has been around $8 for a while and then in the last few weeks it has risen to $9 and above. Let’s see if we can figure out the reason.
Moving to the next graph to the left, you can set the first drop down to highlight a particular campaign and then in the next drop down you can choose which metric you want to focus on, in this case I want to look at Avg. CPC to see if any campaign is going up in cost making the cost/conversion go up. Flipping through the different campaigns I can see that they are all pretty even except that the Fishing Boat campaign jumped up in Avg. CPC over the last few weeks.What happened?
Leaving the first dropdown highlighting the Fishing Boat, I can now switch between the different metrics associated with the Fishing Boat in the next drop down. It looks like impressions have been going up, possibly to seasonal demand, and clicks have been going up right along with it together showing CTR maintaining at that same 3% range. But when impressions and clicks went down again, presumably after demand has fell off in July, you can see cost/conversion start to jump higher and higher.
Is it possible that bids were increased to keep up with demand but as soon as demand fell off, those bids weren’t decreased at the right time to adjust for that change in demand? Insight – try lowering your bids!
You can also see conversion rate drop a percentage point from the beginning of July to the end of July for the Fishing Boat campaign. Is it possible that many of the keywords that convert well during the peak of impressions at the start of July don’t work as well towards the end? Look in AdWords for bad performing keywords.
Have you noticed that the Sail Boat campaign has the 2nd lowest Avg. CPC, highest conversion rate and the second highest amount of conversions? This campaign is kicking butt! Is there more you could do to maximize it, ad more keywords, up bids, etc.? Take a look at it’s landing pages, what is it doing that the others aren’t?
Below the graph on the left is a Cost and Budget chart. As long as your cost/conversion is at an acceptable amount you want to make sure you arn’t hitting your daily budget. In this screen shot you can see that the Fishing Boat is getting close so you may want to increase it’s budget.
In the next chart over you can see the total conversions and total cost/conversion. Although the Fishing Boat campaign has the highest amount of conversions it also has the highest cost/conversion. The powerboat account has the lowest amount of conversions and the highest cost/conversion. It might be a good idea to go back to the upper left data graph and look at the different metrics around Powerboat to see if anything can be improved.
Here’s the Excel file for the PPC Dashboard, feel free to download and play around with it yourself and let me know what you think!
If you sell ballerina shoes, for example, bidding on the broad term ballerina shoes will result in your ad showing for the most random search querys such as: “name of ballerina wearing red shoes in that one movie.”
So you may decide to you phrase match, as in, “ballerina shoes.” Impressions will go down, cost-per-click will go down, but your click throughs should go up as you’re reaching a more targeted audience. Run another Search Query Report in AdWords and you will see traffic coming from querys like: ballerian shoes pictures.
Obviously you don’t want your ad appearing for people looking for pictures. So you can choose Exact Type, as in, [ballerina shoes]. This way you’re only getting people searching for those two words in that order. Impressions and CPC will go further down but click thoughs should still go up (relatively) and conversions should also go up since you’re getting an even more targeted audience.
Now take a look at this (PDF):
Searches with 5+ words have increased an average of 10% year over year. People are using more words in their querys which means your exact match bid on [ballerina shoes] will be missing a lot of potential customers since using only two words in a search query is down 5% year over year.
New strategy: Keep your exact match bid going on [balleria shoes] since the your average cpc on those keywords will be lower. Then keep the broad match keywords but load up on the negative keywords. Run Search Query Reports and look for all the words that don’t have to do with your product and add them to your campaign as negative words: -images, -free, -download, etc.
This way you can keep out the unrelated random searchers but keep attracting the people getting very specific with their search querys.
The first step is creating a “keyword universe”
- Think about what words your customers use when referring to your product/service.
- Use a keyword tool to get a list using those initial keyword ideas. Google’s keyword tool and the SEObook keyword tool work great.
- You can also have Google go through your site and come up with more ideas.
- With that list expand it with common misspellings, plurals and abbreviations.
Now, all of these different keywords can be used by customers at different stages of their buying cycle. With some analysis you can understand to a degree what the customer’s motivation may be.
Learning Stage: the customer is gathering information. They use broad keywords like TV.
Shopping Stage: the customer is comparing products, brands and features.They use a little bit more refined keywords like Plasma TV or High Definition TV.
Buying Stage: the customer is ready to buy. They will use exact keywords of model numbers like Sony BRAVIA 46″ 1080p HDTV.
Is this strategy fool proof? No. But utilizing your web analytics to measure the success of certain keywords will allow you to see those keywords that are catching people too early in the buying process. If a lot of people are bouncing quickly, they may be too early in the buying process.