An AdWords Agency – 2008 – April
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An AdWords Agency

Systems & Marketing Solutions

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Archive for April, 2008

Ask not what position your ad is in but what position best serves your business

Posted by Bob Dumouchel in adwords position, bidding strategy, CPC, CTR, google adwords conversion report, web traffic

Friday, April 25th, 2008

“I want to come up first in Google”

This statement echoes in my head because 90% of the time it’s in the first few words of each phone call I get. This statement creates great conversations on the business, products, services, market areas, and other key elements of the marketing strategy. This helps us understand the businesses we are serving but it does not address the issue of search engine position.

I rarely address the “I want to be first” statement directly because it is fundamentally flawed and not in line with the real business objectives. Business people are by nature competitive they want to win and they want to be first. Being first serves our egos but it’s not necessarily the best place for your business.

Position counts but you cannot get so focused on one attribute of the game that you lose focus on the big things. Advertising needs to feed your business in balance with the budget and your ability to serve new business. We have seen examples of too much new business where clients have had us throttle back to give operations a chance to catch their breath. In other cases we reduced the client’s position bids because being first made the sales unprofitable. If it costs $100 to generate $50 in gross profit you do not want to do that too many times.

Golden Rule of Positioning #1: Position your ad as high as necessary but no higher

We like to look at this from a business objective standpoint, so we often ask clients how much is a new customer worth to your business? This is often a thought-provoking question that creates a great dialog. If the client decides that a sales lead is worth $100 then the process becomes one of finding the maximum number of leads that you can generate with a cost at or below that number and within budget. There is a relationship between the cost of the lead and the quantity of leads you can generate. In most situations the more leads you generate the high the cost per lead since you are getting into less qualified traffic with lower response rates or you are paying more to be in a higher position.

Another limiting factor in this game is the budget, and yes, everyone has one.

There come times in Adwords Management when the daily budget is regularly stopping ad delivery because there is more traffic than money. In these cases the last place you want to be is first because your marketing goals just changed. The goal in this case becomes getting the cheapest clicks possible resulting in the most visitor per dollar.

Like many business decisions position is a ying and yang challenge with position, click through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and budget. The general rules are:

    1. The lower the position the higher the CPC
    2. The lower the position the higher the CTR
    3. The more visitors the more business
    4. The higher the CPC the fewer the visitors
    5. The budget ends the game

The problem is that these statements are not 100% correct although they are generally true. Did you see how I talked out of both sides of my mouth at the same time? Higher position does not always create a higher CTR and a more visitors do not always create more business. What you have to do is find the right balance for your business and then consistently execute that strategy. A healthy web site has a good balance between its direct, referral, paid, and organic with a steady growth.

Does This Ad Group Make My Campaign Look Fat?

Posted by Rob Dumouchel in adwords, google

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Google Adwords can be a beautiful yet dangerous mistress… her seemingly targeted traffic, easy going daily budgets, and conservative broad matching. As you get to know each other and start to build what you think is a trust-based relationship, she slowly goes completely crazy. Like bad movie psycho girlfriend crazy (I’m looking at you Ben Stiller). Make a wrong move and she’ll set your wallet on fire with bad content network traffic, ridiculously liberal extended broad matching, and possibly throw all your clothes out the window onto the lawn because she caught you messing around with Yahoo Search Marketing.

You know Adwords isn’t perfect but she’s the best you can get. Sure there’s other fish in the sea, but that MSN chick has a lazy eye and a handlebar mustache… and who knows where those skanky banner ads have been.

Since you can’t buy your Adwords account flowers, what can you do to keep the romance alive?

Do What You’re Told!

Adwords holds all the cards in this relationship so don’t push your luck. Adwords tells you to use small focused ad groups yet you insist on a bucket. Adwords tells you to match the landing page to your ad and you send traffic to the home page. She tells you to not leave your socks on the floor in the living room… no, wait that’s my girlfriend… well you get the idea. You could make your life a lot easier if you just did what you were told. Adwords tells you how to do it right, listen!

Ask Questions

Have you ever screwed up big time with your special lady friend, and now she won’t talk to you? Seeing as you’re not even sure what you did, it’s time to do some reconnaissance with her best friend to figure out what just happened. I’m kind of like Adwords’ best girlfriend for a living.

My company gets a lot of calls from people that have been running their own Adwords Campaigns and the basic gist of most conversations is “what the hell happened to my account?” Adwords will tell you if you just ask the right way. A Search Query Report can call attention to huge amounts of waste due to the occasionally faulty logic of extended broad matching. Or a good Placement Report will show a few sites that are impressively unrelated to your business are sucking up lots of money through the content network. Adwords is full of lots of good data; you have to figure out how to turn it into information.

Put Some Effort Into Your Relationship

To be successful at anything you have to put some work into it. Keeping an Adwords Account up and running seems deceptively simple, and it is if you don’t want the best possible return out of your spending. Make plans for a date with your Adwords account on a regular basis. Light a candle, add some keywords, put on some make out music, look for inactive keywords, freshen your ad copy, look at your account from top to bottom and see what you can do to make it over. If that doesn’t work, talk about your feelings… chicks dig that.

Try Not to Talk About Money

I’m not saying Adwords is a gold digger… she’s just very opportunistic when it comes to your declared assets. Adwords has some settings that are supposed to be fun and easy and are labeled with cool words like “automatic” and “optimizer.” When Adwords wants to automatically optimize something for you, run for your life! Features like the budget optimizer are a way of getting you to fess up to how much you’re willing to spend and then taking it from you.

With a little work you and your Adwords account can be happy together for a long time, but if all else fails send Google Flowers… you never know :)

Expanded Broad Match Speaks German Now Too? Scheisse!

Posted by Rob Dumouchel in adwords, broad-match

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Break out your Google-hosen, Adwords speaks German. Today I am impressed/worried about how smart broad match is becoming. I was reviewing a Search Query Report when I can across this: “arbeit von zu hause.” I might have been a linguist in a past life, but I’m not bidding on German keywords in this campaign.

It’s fair to say that broad matching isn’t the most beloved Adwords feature for a lot of Search Marketers. Personally I kind of like broad match, it is not without purpose. I find it inspirational. You can get a clearer view of how people really search… the creativity of the general public with a blank search box is not to be underestimated. It helps me find good new keywords and lots of negative keywords too. Plus I think you’re pretty conceited if you believe you can sit in your office and conjure up every possible combination of words that will drive profitable traffic to your web site.

On the one hand I’m impressed that Google made a multilingual leap that was correct. It’s not like the phrase is off topic, it’s dead on, but how did Google put this together? Are they using translation software somewhere? Did somebody else bid on this in an ad group containing its English counterpart and Google connected the two…? I mean seriously, it’s another language. The organic results are all in German.

The part that I am worried about is what happens if they are making poor translations. English isn’t an easy language to start with, a lot of the meaning of words in our language and others is based on context. Does this mean in the future I’m going to have to translate half of my search query report and figure out if it’s good traffic? Are my negative keywords going to look like this: tton-i ap seo-yo, sa bai di mai, ta mina pengar…

Well I guess this is just one more thing for me to keep an eye on! At least it looks like being a quintilingual Military Intelligence analyst is going to pay off after all :)