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Adwords (PPC) Best Practices
 

Adwords (PPC) Best Practices

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A quick look at Google AdWords (PPC) Best Practices.

A quick look at Google AdWords (PPC) Best Practices.

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    Adwords (PPC) Best Practices Adwords (PPC) Best Practices Presentation Transcript

    • (C4) Digital C4 LLC Adwords (PPC) Best Practices www.digitalc4.com Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) This reference guide on maximizing Google Adwords (PPC) provides best practices that are culled from from our own experiences in delivering results. It’s important to note that there are many measurement tools and PPC analytics that can be used to determine the success of a program, and while collectively they all have a certain level of importance, at the end of the day it’s all about driving qualified traffic and converting that traffic to sale. a lead or sale Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) Adwords (PPC) Best Practices BUDGET Establish your budget. Since there are no defined rules for calculating your optimal budget, there are a few factors that will affect the size of the budget required to optimize your ROI from Search Engine Marketing: • The number of keywords – The more GENERIC keywords, the greater your budget. • Days-of- Days -of-week and time-of-day display – A campaign that runs 24/7 requires a higher budget than one that time-of- shows ads only during certain hours. • Geographic display – A campaign targeting several countries requires a higher budget than one limited to one country or to only a few cities. • Search- Search -only campaigns vs. search plus content sites campaigns – Running a campaign across search engines and Google content partner sites requires a higher budget than a campaign focused on search alone. • The type of service or product you offer – Products or services that are relatively inexpensive, have only one decision-maker, and are either tactical (B2B) or impulse (B2C) purchases will benefit most from an aggressive search marketing campaign. Those that are big-ticket, involve several decision makers and are strategic (B2B) or infrequently purchased (B2C) benefit less from SEM campaigns, although there are exceptions. For these types of offerings, the best approach is to start with a modest campaign and carefully track your results to determine whether more aggressive spending would be worthwhile. • Your goals – How many leads or sales do you hope to gain from a Pay-Per-Click campaign? Higher goals require a larger budget or alternatively you may have high traffic /branding needs; for which high budgets should be deployed. Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) Adwords (PPC) Best Practices ACCOUNT STRUCTURE/KEYWORDS Account Structure. The structure of the account Misspelt keywords. It may be important to include some should be a logical one, defining all parent levels as common misspellings of your popular branded terms in campaigns and sub levels as ad groups within the campaign to capture potential untapped traffic. This is campaigns. Campaigns can also be categorized based useful when your website does not come up well on on targeting and budget allocations. branded, misspelled terms and your competitors are running PPC ads. logical Organize your keywords/phrases into lo gical groups. Keep your ad groups manageable. This Match types. Broad match can trigger your ad on number may increase when targeting niches with long semantically similar keywords, toppled order of words tail keywords, i.e. keyword phrases that are composed and sometimes on the keywords which are only broadly of three or more keywords. related to your actual keyword. This is the default match, so for keywords which may trigger your ad erroneously, Develop your keywords/phrases. Examine multiple you should resort to using either exact or phrase match. sources to determine keyword lists, including your existing website content, industry trade publications, Negative keywords. While doing keyword research it’s competitors’ websites, relevant blogs and the Google advisable to keep an eye on ‘similar’ looking phrases and Adwords keyword suggestion tool. These sources will terms which might not be relevant to the help you to develop an effective list of keywords and services/products offered by the client. Each ad group phrases to use in your SEM campaign. should have its own set of negatives if required, or negatives at the campaign level. Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) Adwords (PPC) Best Practices AD COPY Write good ad copy. Google frowns upon the use of shorthand (such as “4U” for “For you”), excessive punctuation (NOW!!!) and superlatives ("best," "No 1," etc.). Keep your ad copy humble but compelling. For example, use “the affordable option” or the most specific functional benefit you can factually tout. Differentiate From Competitors: Make your ads pop! You may need to put in some research hours here to know exactly how you differ from your competitors, particularly the good. Once you know use those points in your ad copy pop. In headlines, you can increase your click-through rate by using dynamic keywords meaning that the exact term the click- keywords, searcher used is actually inserted into your ad. The syntax for this on Google Adwords is {Keyword: product name} where “keyword” is the term your prospect searched for, and “product name” is the default term to use in the ad if the search phrase is too long to serve as the ad text. Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) Adwords (PPC) Best Practices AD COPY (cont.) Be Wary of dynamic ads Using them with tiny ads: Landing Pages that correspond to your ad copy budgets, a small product range, and with short tail terms can be hazardous as it increases CTR by hazardous, • It is essential that the visitor is directed to the most specific flashing the searched term in the headline. Higher page related to the keyword or product they clicked on CTR is great if you’re converting. Just be cautious. • Use an effective "hook" (offer/coupon code/discounts) to keep the prospect on the site Creating Compelling Ad Copy • Use the same ‘hook’ in your ad copy to ensure both the ads and the landing pages are in sync • Ad Text should be relevant to the specific Ad • Information should be brief and to the point to capture the Group and correspond to the searcher’s intent prospect’s attention and encourage them to move further • Compelling keywords focused on headlines and into the sales process descriptions is a must since it can impact click- thru rates of your ads Test variations of your ad copy. Write at least two different • You should try and express incentives and value ads that send customers to the same landing page, then in propositions of the ad group effectively Google Adwords turn on ad optimization so that your more • Decision point: The call-to-action should be effective ads are being shown more frequently. After 2–3 included in the descriptions weeks, check their performance; if one ad is clearly generating • Make sure the "display URL" is the shortest a higher CTR as well as higher conversions than the other, possible URL and has a keyword in it, if possible delete the lower-performing ad and replace it with a new one to • Use clear, precise sentences, not just keywords test. Continue this process until you’ve found a set of ads that • Include product USP to differentiate from perform well—but keep monitoring, because performance competitors might change depending on a variety of factors, such as your ad competition. Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) Adwords (PPC) Best Practices CAMPAIGN PARAMETERS Define your campaign parameters. Campaign parameters include geography, time/day and search/content. Google provides a ‘campaign settings’ page, where you specify these and other parameters for your Adwords campaign. First, determine your geographic target. Do you want your ads displayed in one or several countries (or cities)? Second, set the time of day during which you want your ads to display. For global campaigns, this should be set for 24-hour display. For localized campaigns, you may want to adapt the display times, but don’t set your ranges too narrowly—few people work strictly 9 to 5 anymore, and both B2C and B2B prospects may be searching in the late evening or the early morning hours. Content Network: Decide whether your ads should display only on search pages or across the Google content partner network as well. Content partner sites tend to trigger lower click-through rates compared to searches, but can still be a valuable asset to your PPC campaign. For aggressive campaigns, content sites should always be included; for modest or test campaigns, search pages alone may be the best approach. If you’re not sure what you should do, start your campaign with both search and content; you can always change these settings later on, once you’ve run the campaign for some time and have sufficient data to analyze. Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) Adwords (PPC) Best Practices LANDING PAGES For optimal results, you will want a targeted landing page for each ad group that contains the relevant information and keywords. Unless your home page contains all the elements of a well- designed landing page, visitors will be left wondering, “What am I supposed to do now?” Best practices suggest sending them to a landing page that explains why you (and no one else) have exactly what your visitor came to look for in the first place. Then give them a clear call to action that transforms your visitor into a lead or a buyer ("contact us for more information;" "download our white paper;" “buy now and receive an instant rebate” etc.). Use ad verbiage on your landing page. It not always possible but if it is you should use similar messaging on your landing page that you used in your ad. Doing this will give the visitor the sense of familiarity, like this is where they intended to be. You’ll increase your chances for conversion by doing this. This could create the need to develop many landing pages but if conversions are your goal it will be worth it. Test alternate landing pages - one page is not always good. Once your ads are optimized (i.e., you have two ads that perform nearly equally well), point each ad to a different landing page. Test different amounts of copy, types of copy, landing page designs, contact form/no contact form, and different offers. Keep testing until you have a landing page that clearly outperforms alternatives at converting visitors into leads. Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) Adwords (PPC) Best Practices TRACKING AND MONITORING Consider conversion tracking. Google Adwords provides a conversion tracking code that can be easily incorporated into your landing pages and they provide instructions on how to implement this. Ultimately, the goal of Search Engine Marketing is to produce results in the form of leads or sales, not just clicks. Tracking these conversions is a critical component of optimizing your search marketing campaigns. Monitor Tweak, Monitor, Tweak... There’s a lag of several hours in the reporting of clickstream data, so it will take a few days to get a good sense of your campaign performance. Analyze results every week for at least the first 6 to 8 weeks. When analyzing results, determine which keywords are generating the highest number of clicks and which are generating the highest conversion rate. Apply the 80/20 rule: about 20% of your keywords will generate about 80% of your clicks. Start by improving your results for these high-value keywords, and optimize the less-frequently searched terms later. Optimize your keyword bids. Although the top three ads displayed on a search results page get the best click-through rates (CTRs), these are also the most expensive positions. The bottom two ads on the search page (positions 7 and 8) get the second-highest CTR. To optimize your budget, bid for the top three positions on terms where you get the highest conversion rate (regardless of CTR). For terms with a high CTR but low conversion, bid for the bottom three first-page spots (positions 6–8). It’s highly unlikely that you’ll have terms that generate a lot of clicks with no conversions, but if you do, drop them—they have a low return of investment and are not worth keeping. Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) Adwords (PPC) Best Practices HANDLING KEYWORDS MOBILIZATION and HISTORY RETENTION (QUALITY SCORE) A keywords Quality Score is influenced by its relevance to the ads in its ad group. If you move a keyword to an ad group with more relevant ads its Quality Score may improve. Similarly, the Quality Score may decrease if the ads are less relevant. In addition, moving a keyword to an ad group with more relevant ads can improve a keywords click through rate (CTR) going forward. This, over time, will improve its Quality Score. Landing page quality is another Quality Score factor. Moving a keyword to an ad group with a different landing page can also change its Quality Score. Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) Adwords (PPC) Best Practices STRATEGY FOR BRANDED TERMS We already rank well organically, why am I bidding on my branded terms? This common question needs revisiting from time to time. Lets look at the three main reasons why people continue to spend money on branded terms. Brand Infringement/Protecting Your Space Increasingly more competitors are bidding on branded terms since the policy for bidding on branded terms and trademarks was adjusted by Google in May of 2009. Bidding on your own branded terms protects your ad space and allows you to defend your brand. Competitors will often use tactics like creating ad’s that say “Don’t Use XYZ Brand’s Product – Use Our Brand’s Product”. It’s important that you don’t let your competition walk all over you. If you haven’t noticed this happening just do a brand search. If you’re a company that has a well-established brand you’ll undoubtedly see this. Smaller brands want to make up ground and will often resort to any tactic to gain traction. It’s important to play the game, just make sure you take the high road. Taking the low road is short term thinking. Think long term, act in the short term. Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) Adwords (PPC) Best Practices STRATEGY FOR BRANDED TERMS (cont.) User Behavior Though many people may never click on paid search ads and only click organic, other people are the opposite; they’re situation based decision makers. The evolution of universal search is changing the SERP into more of a menu. There are videos, tweets, paid search, organic search, local business ads, images, news, etc. With all these options, its critical that your brand is one of the options on this menu. Paid search is a guaranteed way to get placement. A recent case study released by Google featured a test designed to measure the incremental lift from having paid search ads. The findings stated that when the advertiser turned off their paid search ads they lost out on 67 percent of the clicks that they would have received if both paid & organic search were being utilized. Paid and Organic results, when both share top ranking spots, work harder for your brand than either of them alone. Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) Adwords (PPC) Best Practices STRATEGY FOR BRANDED TERMS (cont.) Impact on Brand Awareness Many studies have demonstrated when both paid and organic search listings appear together in top spots, an increase in brand awareness occurs. The more times a consumer comes into contact with your brand the better. As a consumer becomes more aware of your brand the trust level goes up as well as the potential for that consumer becoming a lead or opportunity for your brand. Basically, brand affinity, brand recall, and purchase intent all increase when brand ads appeared in the top sponsored spots in unison with top organic spots. It may be unfair to ask brand owners to buy paid search listings for their own terms; however, these reasons make a compelling argument. Weve tested turning on and off branded ads before for clients with varying results. It’s important to test with each brand. Performing these tests each time should yield the similar results but there are no guarantees. One last thing to mention here, many advertisers rely on their branded paid search ads to justify any non-branded spending, but that’s another discussion. Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995
    • (C4) Adwords (PPC) Best Practices Have a question about Adwords or PPC in general? Have some best practices of your own you’d care to share? Email us at Marketing@DigitalC4.com. Digital C4 LLC - World HQ 4804 NW Bethany Blvd, STE i2140 Portland, Oregon 97229Adwords (PPC) Best Practices – July 2012 503.351.8995