Adwords Power Tips – For Advanced Users

Adwords Power Tips

Adwords is an advertising tool (much like an ad network) developed and controlled by Google to help all sizes of online ventures to advertise their products on the Google Search Engine as well as millions of websites. You can setup an adwords account with a ad budget as low as $5. You want to make sure that you derive mileage worth the amount you put in. This can be in terms of direct sales or visitor traffic or branding. The Adwords system will allow you to trach the exact effectiveness of your campaigns. Below are some important power tips for Adwords users. Please come to the forums if you want to understand the basics or if you need any clarifications on any of the points below.

STEP 1 – KEYWORDS STRATEGY

# Flow of activity – This is the typical flow of steps you should follow while brainstorming and coming up with new keywords for your Adwords strategy.

1. New Campaign Start
2. Expanded Keywords List (brainstorm and make a big list)
3. Target Keywords (refine chosen keywords)
4. Group Keywords (make groups with matching ad copy)
5. Scrub Keywords (remove unnecessary keywords)

(a) Write and Tweak Ads
(b) Tweak Bidding Strategy
(c) Tweak Landing Pages
…back to (a) / 5

# Know your customer
– what problems are they trying to solve
– how would they search on a search engine
– what is their buying cycle? – searching for info? – ready to buy?
– put yourself in their shoes

# Know your product
– what is it?
– what does it do?
– define it accurately

# Check if customer has a geographically location based demand

# Keyword Variations to look out for…
– synon0yms
– plurals
– different verb tenses (example; learn to vs learning to)
– common misspellings (barbeque vs bar-be-que)
– hyphenated words
– adjectives (new, brand new, cheap, free)
– website names (camping.com)

# Keywords Tools

Top … Google Adwords , Yahoo Overture , Word Tracker
Others … Ask , Clusty.com , Google Suggest , goRank , Amazon , Thesaurus , LexFN

# Study the Keywords that your competition is targeting
– easy way … see HTML headers (keywords meta tag) in the source of the page
– use KeyCompete
– use Googspy

# Group Your Keywords
– A Keyword should have its own Group when a LOT of people search for it
– Sometimes even a hyphenated variant is possible to have their own group… example: self help and self-help
– keep its own group when a keyword means something different or specific

# Scrub The List
– remove irrelevant keywords that may bring in a separate undesirable audience
– terminate campaigns that are not profitable

Step 2 – ADS STRATEGY

# Try including the keywords in the Ad title if possible
– split search keywords into separate ad groups with the keywords in the title

# Send visitors to specific landing pages / matching the ad copy
– do not make them search around your site
– make customized landing pages for each ad
– match landing page keywords with ad/search keywords
– match the landing page headline with same searched keywords
– have a separate landing page for each ad group
– have similar page content but with separate headlines

# Split Testing Ads …
1. Create 2 versions of an ad for each ad group
2. Wait for each ad to get about 30 clicks
3. Compare stats / results of both the ads and delete the inferior ad
4. Create a new ad to compete with the winning ad, and go to 1.

# Tips to write compelling ads …
note: split testing every possible combo of ad copy is the key!
– help searchers get answers by including the question of what they are looking for in the ad copy. Example: What is … ? (as a headline)
– make it sound easy… “So xyz in minutes …” or “Do xyz in 3 simple steps…”
– make seasonal ads if applicable (example: for Christmas and summer)
– Benefits first … Features next
– Capitalization is important. Try these variants …
. cap only the major keywords in the title
. cap all the keywords in the title and nothing else
. cap every keyword in title and text
. cap all keywords in title, text and URL
– Give a “call to action”
– Ad copy should be clear and factual – but also fun!

# Ads Testing …

– headline Testing … change even a single keywords and test it
– show full URL vs just words … example: www.site.com vs site.com
– flip text in 2 descriptive lines

# How to get new ideas for ads …

– make it rhyme
– be part of a conversation
– vary choice of words
– see others’ ads to get ideas

# Do not use DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion) feature

# Do not use “&” and numbers to replace words

Step 3 – BIDDING STRATEGY

# Measure your performance regularly

# Key Question -> how much can you pay per visitor and still make a profit?
– know your average Revenue per sale / per order
– know your average Gross Profit per sale / per order
– know your average Conversion Rate (buyers) of your site

Example:
Average Revenues per sale = $100 (irrelevant in a way)
Average Gross Profit per sale = $50 ( that is, $50 is my manufacturing cost… $100 – $50)
Average Conversion Rate = 1%

Therefore, Average Gross Profit per visitor = $50 x .01 = $0.50
This is my break even CPC. I can bid anything up to this mark and make a profit.

Another way to represent this equation:

Say my Conversion Rate is 1%, which means 1 out of 100 people visiting my site purchase the product.

If my product sells at $100 and costs me $50 to manufacture, it gives me a margin of $50 that I can use to bid and do my PPC campaign.

Therefore, I earn $50 per 100 visitors at a 1% CR (Conversion Rate)
or, 50 cents per visitor… ( $50 / 100 )

So, this means that I can bid up to 50 cents to get each visitor to my site.

=>  Profit Margin X Conversion Rate = Break Even CPC

in this case:  $50 X 1% = 50 cents  (also called value per visitor)
so if my CR doubles to 2%, then => $50 x 2% = $1  (doubling my value per visitor or my max CPC bidding ability)


# Measure Conversion Rates and bid pricing for each Ad Group individually
– do not club them together
– value of each visitor varies per Ad Group => you need to track at the Ad Group level
– This will avoid underbidding on keywords/groups that are converting well and overbidding on keywords/groups that have a lower conversion rate.
– Make separate XLS tracking sheets for each Ad Group and use the Google Tracking that is provided for.

# Important Explanation of above, via an Example:

Lets say we have 2 Ad Groups for the product above selling at $50 margin –
Group A has a conversion rate of 5%
Group B has a conversion rate of 1%

This means that if we by chance club these two Ad Groups together, we will get an average conversion rate of 3%
That means we can bid up to $1.50 for each visitor

Now, if we were to separate out the 2 groups …
Group A at 5% CR => max bid can go up to $2.50 per visitor
and
Group B at 1% CR => max bid can go up to $0.50 per visitor

By, clubbing them together – we are not taking the advantage of the fact that I can spend more for GroupA visitors (more than $1.50 ..up to $2.50), and that I am overbidding for Group B visitors (bidding as high as $1.50 which I should not be crossing $0.50). So, I am effectively underbidding for the better performing GroupA and overbidding for the lower performing GroupB. Simply put – I have more CPC money that I can use for better performing Group A and lesser CPC money that I should be using for lower performing Group B. Both ways, by taking a merged Group – I am reducing the number of visitors to my site in one case – thereby losing sales, and in the other case I am overpaying for visitors to my site – thereby making a loss on each sale.

# Obvious keywords tend to be very competitive
– kinding specific keywords pays of because (a) you get a higher conversion rate due to narrow specificness, and (b) lower bid prices due to lesser competition

# Use Google’s inbuilt tracking feature for each Ad Group
– use Google Analytics for other aspects of tracking (example: lead gen etc)

# The focus should be to get a better CTR and a better optimized Landing Page

 

Example:

 

 

  Case

 

  CTR 

 

CPC

 

Payout per 100 Google Search Result Views

 

 

  My Cost Per 100 Visitors to  Site

 

 

  Case 1 

 

 

  5% 

 

10c

 

50c  (5nos x 10c) 

 

 

  $10  …to send 100 people Google  shows 2000 ads (5%)

 

 

  Case 2

 

 

  1%

 

 

40c

 

40c  (1nos x 40c)

 

 

  $40  …to send 100 people Google shows 10,000 ads (1%)

 

 

What is relevant for Google and its algorithm reflects this, is that it will optimize to better performing ad – that is, the one that earns it more per 100 views. The “Payout per 100 Google Search Result Views” is what is important to them and us. So, in Case 1 – Google earns 50cents every 100 searches and in Case 2 it earns 40cents for every 100 searches. What is my eventual cost to get 100 visitors to my site is not relevant to Google, and in the above example Case 2 is paying $40 to get 100 visitors (having a much lower CTR) and Case 1 is paying only $10 to get 100 visitors (having a much better CTR). But, this is irrelevant to Google although relevant to the advertiser as he uses this to measure his profits. Google, is concerned with the amount it earns per search – not the amount you pay it eventually for each visitor to your site – because your ad CTR could be very low.

So, Case 1 earns more for Google even though the CPCP is much lower –
but because the CTR is much higher, thereby effectively earning more for Google on a per 100 search basis / or on a per search rate basis. Because if this, Google adapted the Quality Score measure which will accordingly push better performing ads higher up in the ad display tower.

This is Google’s Logic – “The better CTR your Ad has, the lower CPC you can bid to go higher as your ad is performing better for Google … thereby earning them more on “Search Views” and therefore they let you pay proportionately less per click for a higher position as your CTR is higher – therefore earning Google more money”.

# The secret is to work your way to the top without paying for it.
– how? … with a better CTR and a better Quality Score (which also includes on-page factors)

# Better CTR Tips …
– Divide keywords into highly targeted groups
– Include keywords in the copy of the Ad (preferably the Title)
– Keep Split Testing your ads for improving your CTR on an ongoing basis

# Advanced PPC Tactic
Since higher positions get 2 to 10 times more traffic (and clicks) and when you are just starting out, your Ad does not have a CTR set by Google, its a good idea to bid higher to get on the top – thereby getting you a good CTR and then you can gradually drop your max CPC. You are getting a better CTR by virtue of your position and max CPC offer … your CPC will auto drop with your high CTR and you can thus effectively position yourself higher up at a lower cost. That is, when newly starting out – bid high, get placed higher giving you a better CTR and thus dropping your max CPC automatically much below your max CPC or high entry bid price.

Step 4 – LANDING PAGES

# Elements that make a good Landing Page…
1. The Headline matches the Ad Copy
2. Focus on one specific action only … that is – “the most wanted response”
3. Have no distracting navigational links
4. Short Copy
5. A Prominent Call To Action … example – a subscription form /or/  a Checkout

# Notes …
– Even just changing the headline to match the ad copy can produce good results. You can have multiple landing pages, each with customized headlines.
– Do not direct users to the homepage
– Users coming in from Ads are very fickle. Speak to them first and directly!
– Keep no distracting links like – Contact Us, FAQs, About Us, etc
– Make a new design template if required

# Building Effective Landing Pages
– Identify your Audiences and Segment your Ads
– Group Ads into Ad Groups
– Define your “most wanted response”
– Define your visitors path … and make copy that is based on that
– Define your Message
– Design the page
– Include Elements like …
. buy now button / sign up form
. a link to your Privacy Policy
. company logo
. headline that speaks to the visitor directly
. a quick explanation of the offer above the fold
. an image of the product offered
. a simple form with 1 to 3 fields at most
– Do NOT include elements like …
. navigation menu
. links to other pages like “About Us”
. distracting and unrelated images
. small text (nothing less than 10pt)
. no links like “click here to subscribe” or “click here to read more”. Let the user scroll to read the content – as scrolling to read content is better than clicking and waiting for a new page to open.
. complex forms to fill up

# Two Important Points…
(1) Headlines must match the Ad copy
(2) All critical text and information should be kept ABOVE the fold. You should draw the user into reading below the fold.

# The copy should be just enough for the user to execute the Call to Action step.

# For Free Products -> Keep copy short (users dont like to read too much)

# For Selling Products -> Keep copy long (explain the full product to users)

# Test your Landing Pages (Split Test etc)
– Test Headline
– Test Product Image and Caption
– Test Sub-headline
– Test Body Copy and Bullet Points
– Test wording of the Sign Up button …example: “Click Now – Its Free!”  vs  “Click Here to Subscribe”

# Google matches the content of your Landing Page for your Quality Score

Step 5 – ADVANCED TACTICS

# For CTR –
position matters more than the Ad Copy as users are more likely to click on the top ads – independent of the quality of the Ad.

# The Money Loop
When you first start out Google has no history of your CTR or Ad performance, and Google assumes that the CTR of your Ad will be average. This is the key, because … if your Ads are doing well, Google thinks your Ads will continue to do well and therefore they will continue to do well. So the trick is … To temporarily boost your campaign when you are just getting started. Pay a very high CPC when you start out (this is temporary). This will position your Ad high up without Google knowing any historic CTR. So now, because your Ads are higher up, you establish a higher CTR. After doing this for 1 or 2 weeks, you can safely start to lower your CPC (taking advantage of the established higher CTR). So, start out strong when you start a new CPC campaign.

# Use Keyword Rich Domain Names if possible for better CTRs

# Divide & Conquer …
– Keep fine tuning your ads for better performance (CTR and Quality Score)
– “Control Group” – establish
– Keep glancing through your Keyword list every week
– Divide Keywords into Groups and keep forming new groups.
. Keep Brainstorming
. Think outside the box
. Come up with new Ad Groups and new Keyword Groups
– Use … Thesaurus, Wiki, Competitors, Log Files, Related Products, Ebay, Amazon

# Turn Content Ads Off
– why? Because, people searching on Google behave dramatically different than people browsing a content website. If you want Content Ads – make separate campaigns for them. Never mix Search and Content Ads

# Go Global with your Campaigns
– targeting languages
– targeting countries (the country specific URL search string end part is, for example:   &gl=us  or  &gl=uk  or  &gl=in
– to find competitors in a foreign market (example Mexico), conduct a search in Google and then add for example &gl=mx (Mexico) to see ads that then come up in the results.

# Site Targeted Ads …
– You can choose sites for your ads instead of Keywords
– This is CPM advertising and not CPC!
– You need to set your Max CPM
– Strategy: Start out by bidding far less and closely monitor your conversion rates to ensure that your campaigns are profitable
– Try AOL  and Ask.com

# The Adwords Optmizer Tool (required? is it a paid tool?)
– Helps you update Ads, turn off Ads, expand Ads
– cuts down your maintanance time
– it will send you an alert as soon as its time to optimize and Ad Group. So you know its time to boost your CTR
– You will no longer have to go through all of your Ad Groups to manually check which Ad Groups are outperforming the other

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