Pay-per-Click Search Marketing for Practitioners 1/22/2011
Agenda Introduction to 360Partners Understanding Quality Score Factors that improve Quality Score Ad copy Creating ad groups Match types Negative and positive keywords Landing pages Conclusions 2
About Jim McKinley Grew up in St. Louis, Missouri Graduated with a BA in Business from Baylor University Major: Marketing Graduated in 1990 MBA from the University of Chicago Serial entrepreneur will skills in marketing Currently co-founder and principal of 360Partners Personal Married and have an 1-year old son Enjoy running, playing basketball and traveling 3
Online, direct response ad agency Different from a traditional ad agency “We do marketing with Excel not Photoshop” Specializing in online marketing Organic search, pay-per-click search marketing, and display advertising Founders have over 10 years experience in online marketing Over 35 clients across the United States Across a variety of industries Founded in 2005 26 employees Located in Austin, TX About 360Partners 4
5 360Partners has Clients that Span Across Many Industries Other clients range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies Deep Experience with Brands and eCommerce
Currently working with the Downloads group within Yahoo!
Questions for you What is your level of experience search engine marketing? What do you want to get out of today? 6
Objectives For This Course Goal is to teach you some basic theories and strategies about paid search Some tactics but that is not the major focus Want you to understand the “why” Based on understanding the theories, you will be able to evaluate tactics and spot problems Not going to try to teach you everything in four hours Paid search is like chess – can quickly learn the rules, but it takes a long time to master 7
Agenda Introduction to 360Partners Understanding Quality Score Factors that improve Quality Score Ad copy Creating ad groups Match types Negative and positive keywords Landing pages Conclusions 8
Original Search Engines Used a Straight Auction Model to Determine Ad Rank & Cost per Click 9 What issues could this cause?
A Few Really Expensive Terms Led Advertisers to Choose Cheaper, Unrelated Keywords 10
Quality Score Is Foundational To PPC Success One of Google’s big insights that have changed search Quality score is Google’s perception of the relevance of your keyword and ad to the search query The higher your quality score, the better your account will perform 11 One key to being a successful search marketer is focusing on having a high quality score
Quality Score Impacts Three Aspects of Paid Search Determines if your keyword is eligible to be a part of the auction for a given search query Affects how high your ad will rank Helps determine your actual cost-per-click 12
Google Uses Both Maximum CPC Bid & Quality Score to Determine Ad Rank 14
Google’s Quality Score is Calculated From 5 Primary Factors The historical click through rate (CTR) of the keyword and ad The historical CTR of the account The quality of the landing page Google’s perception of the relevance of the keyword and ads in the ad group Google’s perception of the relevance of the keyword and ad to the search query 15 Good search marketing focuses on the levers that improve these factors
We Are Going Into Details around Five Topics That Influence Quality Score Ad copy Ad grouping Match types Negative and positive keywords Landing pages 16
Agenda Introduction to 360Partners Understanding Quality Score Factors that improve Quality Score Ad copy Creating ad groups Match types Negative and positive keywords Landing pages Conclusions 17
Two Key Principals for Successful Pay-per-Click Search Engine Marketing Answer the specific question searchers are asking Remove any barriers or “friction” that prevent searchers from taking the action you want them to take 19
Answer the Question Searchers are Asking 20 … landing page answers the specific question using the searchers language. User enters a search query…. … ad answers the specific question using the searchers language… “Men’s Prescription Eyeglasses” “Men’s Prescription Eyeglasses for sale” “Men’s Prescription Eyeglasses” page of the website
Key Success Factors in Writing Good Ad Copy Answer the question the user is asking Use the same language/wording as the searcher Address features and benefits to the question the user is asking Set proper expectations Clients product or service What they will be seeing on the landing page Include a call to action Instruct the user what you want them to do next 22
23 Best Practice Example: Set Proper Expectations of What You Want User to Accomplish on Landing Page
25 Mistake #1: Not Using the Language of Your Searchers
26 Practice: What’s Wrong With This Search Query?
27 Mistake #2: Letting Competitors Give Searchers Information about Your Company
28 Practice: What is Wrong With This Scenario?
29 Mistake: Setting the Wrong Expectations in Your Ads
30 Practice: What is Wrong With This Scenario?
31 Mistake: Not Matching Your Landing Page with Your Ad’s Call to Action
Some Tactical Things to Consider When Writing Ad Copy Don’t try to filter users via ad copy There are exceptions to this Make the ad easy to read Capitalize Every First Letter of Every Major Word Experiment with short benefits – Allows users to see more Experiment dropping the www. From the URL string Experiment with “bonus” text on Google Locations Ratings Google checkout “URL Stuffing” Display URL does not have to be the actual URL of the site Can experiment “stuffing” an additional feature or benefit Numbers and symbols are good Attract attention – make you stand out Save 50%.... $100’s of savings. Save now – visit us! Preference (if applicable) end ad with an “!” 32
Agenda Introduction to 360Partners Understanding Quality Score Factors that improve Quality Score Ad copy Creating ad groups Match types Negative and positive keywords Landing pages Conclusions 35
Ad Groups are the “Hidden Art” in Paid Search Done right, they can give you the platform to write brilliant ad creatives Allows you to easily track performance of very specific themes or concepts Difficult to do correctly Extremely monotonous and time consuming 36
Tightly Themed Ad Groups Allow For Customized Ad Copy & Higher Click-Through Rates (CTR) 360Partners Observations: Ad groups that are small and well structured perform best Tightly themed ad groups allow for customized ad copy Example Ad Group That is too broad 37
360Partners Recommends Spending Additional Time Formatting Your Ad Groups Into Tight Themes 360Partners Best Practice Ad Groups should contain 10 – 15 keywords each High volume terms should be separated into unique ad groups The more granular the ad group, the easier to manage Implications: Increased visibility into performance Higher quality scores, lower costs, higher conversions Greater ability to increase volume while maintaining cost efficiency 38 Ad Group Keywords Online Medical Billing Medical Billing & Coding Medical Billing Services
Agenda Introduction to 360Partners Understanding Quality Score Factors that improve Quality Score Ad copy Creating ad groups Match types Negative and positive keywords Landing pages Conclusions 39
Google Utilizes Three Primary Match Types for Keywords 40 *Note* Google is experimenting with other variations of match types but these are the basics
Discussion: In What Circumstances Would You Use the Different Match Types Exact Phrase Broad 42
Many “Lazy” Search Marketers Overly Rely on Phrase and Broad Match 360Partners Observations Easy to set up a few keywords and “let Google do the rest” Cast a very wide net Question What are the disadvantages of this strategy? Example Analysis of Spend by Match Type 43
Three Major Negative Implications of an Over Reliance of Broad & Phrase Match Google limits the number of impressions you will receive for a specific search query Example: if you have “running shoes” set to broad match you may only get 30% of the impressions on “Nike running shoes” Has a negative impact on quality score Ads by definition are less targeted (have lower click through rates) Google perceives a lower degree of relevance Google rewards those that do the work Difficult to track the efficacy of specific search queries I.e. if you broad match “tennis shoes” and are matched to 1,000 different variations, which one is performing? Not performing? 44
360Partners Recommends Most of Your Spend to be Used on Exact Match Ideal is 75% of spend (long term) is on exact match May have to use more broad and phrase when you get started Use broad and phrase match to catch misspellings, and as a “farm system” 45
Agenda Introduction to 360Partners Understanding Quality Score Factors that improve Quality Score Ad copy Creating ad groups Match types Negative and positive keywords Landing pages Conclusions 46
Search Engines Do Not Always Successfully Match Search Queries With Keywords When Using Phrase and Broad Match 47 Why is this bad?
Being Matched to the Wrong Search Query Can Hurt Performance Drive up costs Getting 100’s or 1,000’s of clicks from non-relevant search queries can destroy your budget and returns The story of the $20,000 Google pen Negatively Impact your quality score Click through rate Google’s perception of the relevance of your ads Google’s perception of the quality of your landing page 48
360Partners Recommends Seeking to Block Two Types of Search Queries High spend, low results search queries Terms that are generating a lot of clicks but very few actions or revenue on your website High impressions, low click through rate Impressions are not costing you money because no one is clicking on your ad However, these terms are lowering the click through rate on your account and thus, lowering your quality score 49
Google Allows Search Marketers to Block Search Queries Using Negative Keywords 50
Example: How Negative Matching Types Work 51 Source: www.ppchero.com
360Partners Also Recommends Adding Performing Terms Into Your Exact Match Campaigns Terms that are producing results or appear to be highly relevant Add them to existing ad groups or create new ones Excellent way to improve quality score and performance over time 52
Agenda Introduction to 360Partners Understanding Quality Score Factors that improve Quality Score Ad copy Creating ad groups Match types Negative and positive keywords Landing pages Conclusions 54
Discussion: How do landing pages impact the performance of your campaign? 55
Principles for Good Landing Page Design Skim-able and Scan-able Important elements above the fold Guide the eye to the point of action Limited exit points (i.e. hyperlinks) Attention-grabbing headline that answers the question “WIIFM” (What’s in it for me?) Clear call to action Clear value proposition (What value do you offer, what makes you better than your competitors?) Benefit-oriented language (Focus on benefits for the consumer, “We” versus “You”) High-quality, relevant images (users often engage best with faces) Prominent button with a clear call to action (avoid “submit”) Privacy and security assurances Match the language on the page to the search query 56
Example of a Quality Landing Page 57 Repeats the search query Call to action “What’s In It For Me” Minimal number of fields Video, form and button all appear above the fold Prominent button Page is simple, uncluttered, & easy to digest
Bad Example #1: The Overly-Long Form 58 Itty, bitty text at the top says nothing about the service. Why should I fill all of this out? Call to action is tiny Only 4 fields are required – why so many extra fields? How do I submit this thing? Oh, there’s the button!
Bad Example #2: Word Glut 59 Very text heavy. Who wants to read all this? Summarize it in a few points. “Learn More” button blends in too much What are you supposed to do on this page? Should you click here, or here, or here? With a simpler design, a call to action, and a prominent “Learn More” button, the course of action would be clearer
Bad Example #3: Too Many Options on the Page 60 Page is filled with links: upper navigation links, middle of the page links, right side navigation links. Where do you start? Download button gets lost, even though it is brightly colored and animated
Bad Example #4: What’s the Benefit? 61 This had nothing to do with their business. What do they do exactly? This a very generic description of the service. What makes it distinct? What unique benefits does it offer? Besides phone number, there is nothing to do on this page. Users will probably exit. They need something to interact with.
Bad Example #5: Homepage is the Landing Page 62 User must navigate through huge list on the homepage to find their category. Why not direct them to a specific page?
Agenda Introduction to 360Partners Understanding Quality Score Factors that improve Quality Score Ad copy Creating ad groups Match types Negative and positive keywords Landing pages Conclusions 63
Summary Quality score is one of the foundational elements of good search engine marketing Activities and tactics should focus on increasing quality score Ad copy that matches user intent Tightly themed ad groups Match type strategy that allows for success Adding positive and negative keywords Optimizing landing pages for high conversion rates 64 Questions?