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Posts Tagged ‘Google AdWords’

Display Network Do’s & Don’ts

Posted by Ryan in adwords expert, PPC

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Display Network Do's & Don'ts

The dictionary defines a double edged sword as “something that has or can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences.”

Depending on how it’s utilized, the same could be said of the Display Network based on the settings that are in place. Today’s tip involves some do’s and don’ts to help give you the benefits of Display Network advertising while avoiding the unfavorable end of the double edged sword.

DO

Make Remarketing Part of Your Strategy

The reality is that amongst visitors going to your website for the first time, the vast majority will leave the first time without doing business. Remarketing is an excellent way to re-engage these visitors and has been proven to be an excellent and cost-effective source of traffic. The cost of this traffic is typically much lower (25%-50%) than regular search traffic and is highly effective in engaging past website visitors and helping to build brand name recognition.

DON’T

Over Advertise

While Remarketing is an excellent way to engage visitors, you don’t want to alienate these people by forcing your ads down their throat. The good news is that there is a way to easily control this.

– Go to Your Remarketing Campaign
– Select Settings
– Scroll down and find Advanced settings
– Select Ad delivery: Ad rotation, frequency capping

Display Network Advanced Settings

– Click Edit next to the section that says Frequency capping

Display Network Impression Capping

Typically, the balance we find that works best between helping businesses build brand name recognition versus people getting tired of seeing your ads is to have the frequency capping in the 3-5 range. This in turn helps us control how often each individual user is seeing your ads

DO

Check which websites your ads are showing on

It is good to know what sites your Display Network ads are showing for quality control purposes. For example, if you are running a Remarketing Campaign, this will show you the other websites that are visited by people who have been to your website. One example of how this could be utilized is that you could set up a Managed Placement Campaign based on the websites being visited from these people. One example of this is if you run a carwash, there is additional value in local news & weather websites.
Another critical area to look at is the traffic volume coming from visitors who arrived from Mobile Apps. This is an area that is very capable of undermining Display Network Performance which leads us to our next point.

DON’T

Let Mobile Apps Destroy Your Budget

One pitfall you will want to avoid is letting the Display network burn through most of your money on mobile apps. Display Network traffic from apps has a track record of poor performance. Thankfully, this traffic is easily excluded by doing the following:

– Choose the campaign you want to work on
– Go to the Display Network tab
– Click on Placements

Display Network Placements Tab

– Go to bottom of the screen where it says Campaign Placement Exclusions
– Click the +Exclusions button
– In the box labeled “Enter one placement per line”, enter adsenseformobileapps.com
– Click Add placements

This will help ensure that your Display ads are showing on other websites and helps avoid the issue of being wasted on mobile apps.

Improve Your Click through Rate & Quality Score Part 2

Posted by Ryan in adwords, adwords expert

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Last week, we explored improving the Click through Rate (CTR) to drive the Quality Score with a focus on reducing impressions. The other way to approach this is to increase the amount of clicks coming in through AdWords. There are many theories on how to increase the clicks, but only one that almost everyone agrees on.

The concept is simple and straight forward but complicated to implement. Make the headline about the search query and think of this as a conversation. The search query is what the person asked, your ad headline, and to a lesser extent the body of the ads is what you say in response. The search query is simply the words formulated by the person and submitted to the search engine. It is “in their words” what “they are interested in”. If you want a person to respond to your ad or page content the golden rule is to talk about what they are interested in. This may seem easy but trust me it’s not!

Applying this concept starts with separating keywords into smaller Ad Groups. By doing this, the number of variables connecting to your ads is smaller. The goal of this process is a one word to one ad relationship, but the maintenance cost of that can get out of hand quickly. Once you throw in the complications arising from broad match keywords and quality score, variations place a complicated problem on your hands. This is made even more complicated when you consider the matching changes that Google made for close variants.

The common-sense answer to this is to break the keywords into very tight groups of keywords where the variation in keywords will not impact the response to the search. In other words, we want keyword groups that you would write the exact same ad for. This creates more ad groups resulting in different challenges. For example, split tests will lack the volume needed to get meaningful results, so a different testing strategy must be formulated but that is for another tip.

In this process, start with your highest value keywords that have the lowest quality scores, and you will get the maximum return on your time investment.

Improve Your Click through Rate & Quality Score

Posted by Ryan in adwords, adwords expert

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Quality Score and money are the same thing so it is worth paying attention to this number. The bid in AdWords is money times quality score so quality score really is your money. The single biggest attribute in the quality score is the CTR (Click Through Rate) so it’s worth paying attention – assuming you like your money in your bank account rather than Google’s.

CTR is clicks divided by impressions so to move this number you need to increase clicks or reduce impressions. More your CTR and your quality score will follow. Impressions are the number of times your ad showed in the search results. The CTR is how Google converts the billions of impressions they make each day into cash that they enjoy. They make impressions but they sell clicks and the CTR is their efficiency rating; it’s easy to understand why they think this is important. Pay attention to what Google thinks is important and they will reward your account with lower cost and more traffic.

Regularly Conduct an STR

Start by looking at the searches that your keywords attracted and look for ones that probably do not create value for your business. You do this by running an STR (Search Terms Report), formerly known as Search Query Report (SQR), this is a detailed list of the searches that matched your keywords. This would probably be the end of this article if life was really that simple. The reality is that Google often gives you less than 10% of the searches and most of what they report are the ones that got clicks. At the bottom of these reports you will see a line that reads “Other Search Terms” and this loosely translates to the searches Google does not tell you about. The STR is a great source for negative keywords but hardly the end of this process.

str-page-example-11-21

Keyword Planner

The next valuable tool in this process is the keyword planner. This is a tool from Google to help you build out your keyword list but you can download the data and use it to expand your negatives. There are more than a few problems with this tool but it still good for negative keyword research. Just like the STR you download the list and look for patterns to improve your negatives. One of many problems with this is that the data is not really very accurate because it is rolled up to these keywords and the STR compared to this will show you how this really is two very different sources of data.

keyword-insights-11-21

Conduct Searches

Conducting Searches is old school but it still works and is probably the most accurate of the tools commonly available to everyone. In this you conduct a search for your major keywords and look for results that are not related to your business. Then look for patterns you can use to get rid of these pages. This helps push your thinking on the negative keyword list and that is the key to reducing the impressions.

Negative Keywords

You must be careful with negative keywords because they can be silent killers of your traffic. So, they can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Negative keywords are expressed as broad, phrase, and exact just like positive keywords but the match logic is not the same. Broad negative keywords will not jump to plurals, stems, and synonyms like a positive keyword. The only thing a broad keyword will jump to is a different word order. You see giving the negative the same attributes as a positive would negatively impact Google’s earnings and as they say in Vegas “The house always wins”. The phase and exact operate just like the positive keywords before Google got more liberal in the matching rules in 2015.

Our goal in tips is to be short, direct to the point, and immediately actionable; so, we are going to limit this to the discussion of reducing the impressions. If you get rid of impressions, you really do not want your CTR will make your money worth more. In another tip we will cover ideas for improving the click part of the calculation.

Add an Ad Extension Today

Posted by Ryan in adwords, adwords expert

Monday, November 14th, 2016

There are several available additions to your ads beyond the 140 characters and spaces known as Ad Extensions. Ad Extensions can be used to supplement your ad copy and give you an extra opportunity to show extra information about your business to potential customers. The usage (or non-usage) of ad extensions is one of the factors Google takes into consideration as they determine your ad rank.

An ad extension gives your ad more prominence on the search results page, improves your visibility, and gives visitors more opportunities to reach your website. AdWords shows one or more of your extensions with your ad when it calculates that the extension will improve your performance, (however a specific extension is not guaranteed to show 100% of the time). You are charged as usual for clicks if the ad itself or one of the extensions is clicked on.

There are a few different objectives that having ad extensions can help you meet.

Drive Phone Calls

• Call Extensions: This is used primarily for mobile searches and gives people a button which will help drive phone calls. On a desktop device, the call extension will add your phone number to your AdWords ad.

buscot-v2

Find Your Business Location

• Location Extensions: This is used to help your customers find your nearest location. For Location Extensions to work, your Google My Business page needs to be linked to your AdWords account.

ice-cream-parlour-11-14-16

Spotlight Various Parts of Your Website

• Sitelink Extensions: These extensions add links to other pages on your site. The below ad shows an example of what these sitelink extensions look like.

sitelinks-11-14-16

Below is the documentation from Google themselves on the required steps for adding ad extensions to your AdWords account.

google-documentation-11-14-16

The implementation of ad extensions tend to lead towards higher click through rates, which presents you more favorably in Google’s eyes when Quality Score is calculated. In addition, the extensions will help give additional information in for your prospective customers.

No matter which of these extensions is applicable to your business, this is one quick step to make your ads stick out better today than they did yesterday.

Update Your Keyword Matching Settings

Posted by Ryan in adwords, adwords expert

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Today, our focus is going to be on keyword matching settings. To get the most efficient performance out of your ads, you can choose various keyword matching options to get the ideal balance between the Quality and Quantity of Traffic. Adjustments to the keyword matching settings can help improve Conversion & Click through Rates which in turn can help improve the Return on Investment you are getting out of your AdWords account.

The order of keyword match types by highest to lowest volume is as follows:

Broad, Modified Broad, Phrase, Exact

However, there is also an inverse relationship between the highest volume of traffic by match type and the highest quality of traffic. The order from highest to lowest quality is as follows:

Exact, Phrase, Modified Broad, Broad

For example, let’s say you sell acoustic guitars and that you are running a Google AdWords account to help drive business. The default setting for any keyword options is Broad Match. While this has the highest volume, it also has looser matching which means that this is vulnerable to matching you up to lower quality searches. A broad match can jump from singular to plural, stems of the words, order of words, and synonyms. We have even seen it jump languages! For example, the broad keyword of Acoustic Guitar would match up with all of the below searches.

broad-match-11-7

By changing the keyword matching type to modified broad (+acoustic +guitar) it starts to refine which searches you are matched to. The + sign next to the words is a required to convert this to modified broad. For words with the + qualifier in front of it, that word must be in the search. However, the order in which they show up for is not yet relevant.

modified-broad-match-11-7

The next step for tightening your keyword matching settings would be to convert your keywords to a phrase match “acoustic guitar” as noted by the quotation marks. This requires that the word Acoustic Guitar is shown in this order however you can still have words before or after this within the search for your ads to show up.

phrase-match-11-7

The most qualified keyword matching version is exact match which is denoted with square brackets. However, this match type is also going to get you the lowest volume of traffic. In this case, the only time the Search Query will show is for a search for your keyword only.

exact-match-11-7

While this is a change that can be made very quickly, this has the poten
tial to have a very positive impact on the quality of traffic and overall performance of your AdWords account.

Are Your Ads Getting The Right Rotation?

Posted by Ryan in adwords, adwords expert

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Today, let’s check in on your campaign’s ad rotation setting. Proper ad rotation is crucial to getting a valid split test from multiple ads in Google AdWords and the default value may not be in your best interest. If one of your ads is not getting a fair rotation in the test, it will not be clear how much it can contribute to your success. This is where the picking the right rotation setting becomes important.

From the Campaigns tab in your AdWords Account with a campaign selected:

Make sure that your campaign is set to All features (shown below):

AdWords Campaign Settings

Scroll down and find Advanced settings for Ad Delivery, Ad Rotation, and Frequency Capping:

Adwords Ad Rotation Settings

In most cases, our recommendation on this setting is the “Rotate indefinitely” setting but the other settings have their value as well, so we will discuss them all.

Optimize for clicks is the default that Google recommends and that makes perfect sense for Google or for the advertiser who does not want to spend the time to do the testing properly. For Google, this improves the click through rate and that optimizes Google’s revenue. For the advertiser that wants to save time, it does the test and moves on quickly. However, Google is very quick to move on this optimization and many, including us, believe that they move too quickly.

Optimize for conversions is a setting we are often fans of but only under certain conditions. You need to have enough conversions that the system can do this optimization and typically this is about 30 in a month. At the Ad Group level, few businesses have the volume required for this setting.

Rotate evenly is a lazy person setting that runs the test for 90 days and then optimizes the ads. This allows you to set up a test and it will automatically conclude and set the winner. While we are not huge fans of this, it is useful if AdWords is not something you work on all the time. By using this setting, if you fail to get back to the test after data is collected it will go to the optimized ad at 90 days.

Rotate indefinitely is our go to recommendation and clearly Google disagrees with us. Google’s recommendation on this setting is clear “Not recommended for most advertisers”. They never qualify why they do not recommend this setting but at one point they removed the option from the system. This action resulted in a huge protest from smart advertisers that resulted in Google bringing the feature back. We recommend this because it forces the test to run until we call a winner, not Google. In many small businesses, the data never reaches a valid level and this setting indefinitely gives us multiple ad delivery. We think that Google’s is thinking with their wallet not yours and clearly this is best for their revenue.

In closing, this is not an area that you need to visit frequently but it is a setting that all advertisers should understand.