Reading Time: 4 minutes
The continued quest in the Pay Per Click world of writing a good and targeted ad within the allotted 70 characters is not an easy one. It is widely practiced concept of writing an ad not only to attract searchers to your business/web site, but also to deter those that are not targeted to your desired audience- keeping in mind clicks are far from free. I have written in the past, not all traffic is good traffic in the PPC world.
Recently a client of mine was getting a substantial amount of clicks and responses to the call to action of his site- phone call traffic- but those phone calls were mostly of poor quality. A tactic was chosen to modify the ad to let the searcher know up front the minimum cost of the service at hand, as to confront that searcher (potentially) before the per click charge was realized. This made a significant difference in the quality of caller, because we were able to educate the searcher to what he/she was getting into with the facility at hand.
That is, the ad itself, not the landing page, stated what the minimum cost was as to get in the door. This promotion of up front facts supports the no nonsense approach that works more times than not. We are looking to promote clicks for those not scared by the ‘sticker shock’ of the price- a way to potentially modify behavior in our favor and lower costs at the same time. In this instance the time of taking that un-targeted phone call traffic was also costing money.
It may make sense and work for you in your marketplace. Use this idea particularly with any competitive advantages you may hold and highlight those things. You can reach the searcher before they take money out of your wallet and put it into Google or Yahoo’s.
Let Webconsuls reduce your spend with tools and methods like this. We’ll put it into practice for your businesses unique needs.
Reading Time: 2 minutes
New Research suggests that Pay Per Click campaigns can positively affect branding. In the words of the linked article, ‘Turns out that search lifts brand metrics, particularly when paired with other media. Better yet, post-click lift in search metrics is off the charts, perhaps finally validating my branding effectiveness ‘.
Get you name out there as a goal, while simulanteously achieving your Web Site goals- whether it be defined as sales, leads or phone call traffic. Brand awarness, especially in your targeted and/or local community can be a significant source of traffic (of all kinds, including walk-in and referral).
The article by Payperclickuniverse, adds that ‘brand lift’ occurs after the click is made, sending the searcher to your web site- according to their research. And this makes sense in our experience. How are you catering to your niche, market and locality? What differentiation is made, and how are you marketing and identifying that to you client base?
If these questions are difficult to answer- visit the one stop shop of all things internet marketing, Webconsuls.com
Reading Time: 3 minutes
The Google AdWords ‘local business ad’ is one of the forms you may choose to create for your keyword listings. If your business is localized to any extent, this is probably very helpful. To take it a step further, if your business takes ‘walk-in’ traffic and/or has a brick and mortar presence, then this functionality is a must.
If you have ever done a Google keyword search where your query included a location, you may have seen this type of ad appear. Underneath the sponsored results but before the organic results, a google map will appear with points on the map representing local results for your query. An easy example would be local pizza restaurants- a business-person is traveling and doesn’t know the area well. He or she is looking for a good pizza for dinner, but wants one in walking distant to the hotel. That person can look at the map to see the closest match and how to get there.
The ad itself as has a description for a tag line like normal PPC ads. The business web site, physical address and phone number can all be included, making this a very useful tool for businesses in a community.
Need help setting up and creating a local business ad for your Google AdWords account? Don’t even have an AdWords account? Either way Webconsuls can help, its what we do.
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Analyze Your Ad Performance
–Ads Diagnostic Tool Are your ads showing for a particular search? Find out with this tool.
– Ads Preview Tool See your ad on Google without accruing extra impressions, and preview your ad as it appears to users in other geographic locations.
– Disapproved Ads Find out which ads have been disapproved and why, (editorial status).
– Conversion Tracking Define campaign goals and then pull data to determine which ads are the best at helping you reach those goals.
– My Change History Browse changes you’ve made to your account since January 1, 2006.
When it is all said and done, your ad performance is what determines your minimum bids for keywords for positioning, or in other words- the above analysis is how to make your campaign as cheap as possible by being efficient and relative according to Google.
Contact us at Webconsuls for more information and feel free to add to this topic if you have additional notes.
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Google AdWords has in a beta test a bidding tool called Smart Positioning. The function of this tool aims to place your ad in the most cost-effective position each time it’s displayed. Here are Google’s words in how it works.
How Smart Positioning works.
Here’s an overview of what happens when your campaign is opted in to Smart Positioning:
1. Smart Positioning calculates incremental CPC’s to evaluate the effects on cost and click through rate that would be associated with a higher position for your ad.
2. Once our system determines the incremental CPC for putting your ad in a higher position, it compares the incremental CPC to your maximum CPC bid.
3. Your ad is placed in the highest position possible, as long as both the actual CPC for that position and the incremental CPC are less than your maximum CPC bid.
So essentially, this Google AdWords tool attempts to give its advertisers the best position given recent click data and the bid landscape. It then actually changes the max CPC in the account to reflect the bid it deems most ‘efficient’.
I hate to always be the cynic, but with my history in working with one of the major search engines, I know that ‘helpful’ tools may or may not be as helpful as they are described, but they always work in the favor of the search engine.
Here are some things that make me question the tool and therefore whether I will use it or not in the long run.
1. Since my bids can be changed without my specific knowledge, I am dissuaded.
2. Because Google is providing this ‘help’ to multiple advertisers in competition with each other on the same keyword, I can see a problem developing; either the tool won’t be very effective or certain advertisers will be favored and/or others hurt.
3. Google only provides help in ways that increase revenue as I stated earlier, so I cannot see this costing me less, but quite the opposite.
In conclusion of this early evaluation of a new bidding tool, albeit before it is in wide use, I prefer a bid to position model where I am paying the least possible for a particular position and I have real expectations on my cost and display position. When things can be open ended, Google can take advantage of the account without having to defend their actions. I know what their defense would be when you finally reach a customer service rep- ‘in the terms and conditions it clearly states we can raise your bids’.
I am out.
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Google AdWords does provide a way internally to get suggestions for keywords in your marketplace, its called the Keyword Tool. This tool is found when drilling into the account at the ‘keyword’ level. This means you have clicked past both the Campaign and Ad Group levels to display your keywords and ads.
This tool is free to AdWords users, so great right. Well in the past not as much because depending on what you gave the tool as a starting term for more suggestions, the tool spit out those suggestions from most general (least useful) to specific. Furthermore, the only information associated with these suggestions was 2 simple horizontal bar graphs detailing, ‘advertiser competition’ and ‘search volume’. So hopefully your are following me in that no numeric data was given whatsoever.
Now Google has expanded the tool to return suggestions with ‘approximate search volume’ for the last month and ‘approximate average search volume’ with an actual value. Practically speaking, your campaign has only to spend a predetermined amount any way, so its not as if one regularly finds him or herself adding up search volumes, but it is nice to quantify what Google used to shove into a half inch blue bar.
When it comes down to it, we need to have all the necessary keywords in the PPC account regardless of search volume because we need to target what it is we have deemed necessary in achieving our projected goals. That is, we do the best we can with what we can in the given market with a given budget for a certain business model. But I can say it is significant that Google’s Keyword tool is a bit more useful, and frankly it is nice to see Google sharing any real data with us at all. I’m sure tired of getting email replies that might as well have been some fraction of a bar graph. But Google must be listening to the people to some extent in changes as little as this one.
Reading Time: 4 minutes
What is Pay Per Click ‘Quality Score’ and how is it calculated?
Quality Score is a dynamic variable assigned to each of your keywords. It’s calculated using a variety of factors and measures how relevant your keyword is to your ad text and to a user’s search query, according to Google.
About Quality Score
Quality Score influences your ads’ position on Google. It also partly determines your keywords’ minimum bids. In general, the higher your Quality Score, the better your ad position and the lower your minimum bids.
Quality Score helps ensure that only the most relevant ads appear to users on Google and the Google Network. The AdWords system works best for everybody—advertisers, users, publishers, and Google too—when the ads we display match our users’ needs as closely as possible. Relevant ads tend to earn more clicks, appear in a higher position, and bring you the most success.
For calculating a keyword’s minimum bid (PPC only, not content network or content targeted ads):
- The keyword’s historical click-through rate on Google
- The relevance of the keyword to the ads in its ad group
- The quality of your landing page
- Your account history, which is measured by the CTR of all the ads and keywords in your account
- Other relevance factors***
Unfortunately, that is all Google will tell us, partly to avoid people gaming the system and partly to be less accountable. The ability to control earnings this way (in my estimation) will keep Google (and Yahoo in their shadow) from ever completely erasing the veil.
All we can do is play by the rules and put ourselves in the best position to pay the least for the desired position. This includes rotating ads, writing the most direct ad, and having the site back both of those points us with our “call to action”, or what we are looking to have the user/searcher do. This must be done clearly, easily and within the top fold of the landing page.
Reading Time: 2 minutes
The following linked article from The Register accuses Google’s AdWords, namely the ‘automatic matching’ feature to be untargeted and an outright waste of funds in most instances.
In short, automatic matching weakens the parameters and rules of defining ‘targeted’ in PPC terms. If I sell Adidas shoes, the articles explains, I don’t want to come up for a search on slippers. That would simply be a waste of money. I would go as far to add that in today’s world of short attention spans, anything not directly or literally an Adidas shoe is not targeted enough- let alone slippers.
Pay per click is too reliant on the ‘conversions to dollars spent’ ratio to allow for any more leniency than exactly what I typed in. Again, attentions spans generally don’t allow for it. Additionally, if the search term in question is on the general side where this rule may not directly apply, then the traffic itself will be of the browsing type not the converting (purchasing, buying, targeted lead) type. So in this case my clients probably aren’t interested in the 1st place.
But that is a whole different argument in itself.