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Friday, January 4, 2008

Part 6 - How to Optimize Google Adwords ?

Inactive Keywords

Now that you are familiar with bidding prices and how to calculate your Break Even Point, we need to talk Inactive Keywords. Google Adwords has made some recent changes and has implemented yet another hurdle that many Internet Marketers are experiencing.

It is a fact that with Google Adwords you can bid as little as $0.01 per click, but for Internet Marketers this will result in the keyword being set to Inactive for Search. This means that your bid price is not high enough for Google to display it in the search results.

Here is the confusing part. All Google Adwords accounts are different, and the minimum bid for a keyword is different from account to account. The reason for this is that the minimum bids are determined by your overall Quality Score and history. If you have always had good CTR and your keywords and web pages are relevant to your product, then your quality score will be high. For this reason your minimum bid prices could be much less than someone with a poor performing account.

If you implement the tricks that are spoke in this articles, your quality score will go up, and your minimum bid prices will ultimately go down. This will save you money.

For many keywords we are able to bid the minimum $0.01 while many other Internet Marketers have to pay up to.20 or.30 cents to activate their accounts. It is easy to do the math and realize that paying less per click increases your overall ROI.

Quality Score determines your minimum bid prices on keywords. The higher your Quality Score, the lower your minimum bid price will be for your keywords.

Optimization your Daily Budget

All advertisers have different budgets, which is why Google Adwords is a fair playing field. You have now learned that Google Ads are placed according to Quality Score, not simply bid price. Advertisers with small budgets can compete with the big players by learning tricks to increase Quality Score. Ad placement is not just based on bid price. If a keyword does not reach high Quality Score then the ad may be overtaken by higher performing ads. With this being said, it is important that you set your budget to something that you can afford.

We have mentioned daily budget throughout this guide, however we need to talk it in more detail here because there are tricks that will allow you to reach more web traffic.

When many people learn how Google Adwords works, they are never taught about budgeting. Here we will teach you some tricks that may answer some of your major web traffic questions.

If you have a real budget of $5 per day, this is the amount that you are actually willing to spend to reach web traffic. If you set your campaign daily budget to $5, chances are that you will spend less than this amount. Many marketers do not realize that if you set your daily budget too low, Google will not serve your ads with every search query that is made with your keywords. Most times you will never even reach your daily budget if you set it too low. For this reason we set our Google Adwords Daily budgets quite a bit higher so that our ads will be displayed as much as possible in the search results.

Here's a formula that works well. Set your daily budget 5x or 10x higher than your actual budget. If you are willing to spend $5 a day then you can set your campaign budget at $25. This will allow for your ad to be displayed in more search results. If your budget is too low, your ads will barely be displayed at all and you will most likely see little to no web traffic. Google Adwords also has a daily budget calculator that will recommend the daily budget for the keywords that you have chosen. If you set this budget 5x to 10x greater, you will be guaranteed to have your ad served in all search results.

When using this technique, you need to be sure that you monitor your account. Although we have never been affected by having a budget 10x higher than what we are willing to spend, in theory you could accumulate these click charges. It is very unlikely and we have never seen it happen, but we suppose it could. For this reason, you need to keep an eye on your campaigns at the beginning.

Do not use this trick with the content network turned on.

Earlier we spoke estimating web traffic and ad positioning. Each time you build an Ad Group you need to use the web traffic estimator to see what keywords are going to get the most web traffic. It is very important to monitor these keywords to make sure that they do not get too much unwanted web traffic. No one should rely on the campaign daily budget. If you are going to be successful in the Internet Marketing business then you need to log into your account multiple times each day to monitor progress.

If you are spending too much money on one term without results you need to lower the bid price for the keywords or even consider deleting it. There is nothing worse than having one keyword that isn't converting into sales burn a hole in your pocket.

The daily budget is calculated on an average 30 day period. If you set your daily budget to $5 you could end up paying more, however, over a 30 day period, Google Adwords will control your spending so that you pay approx $5 on average per day.

Split Testing Ads

Split testing is not a new concept, but it is one of the most powerful methods of optimizing your ads. To split test, you need to set up multiple ads for the same ad group. The great thing about multiple ads is that Google gives you statistics for each ad (CTR, Clicks, and Impressions). This is very useful for comparing ad writing tricks and refining your Ad Groups to get maximum CTR performance.

In this example both of these ads have the same descriptions, but have different titles.

The data from these two ads will determine which is most effective in getting the attention of potential purchasers.

Split testing can save you time and money. We have implemented man split testing campaigns and immediately noticed great increases to ROI & CTR. As we have already mentioned, higher CTR greatly increases your Quality Score resulting in lower CPC and higher ad positioning. Below are some of the most effective split testing methods.

So where do you get the search keywords for your ad? There are four places that might help you find them:

  • Logfiles : Examine your site's logfiles. How are people finding your site now? What words are they using? What search engines are they using? Are the words they're using too general to be used for Google Adwords? If you look at your logfiles, you can get an idea of how people who are interested in your content are finding your site. (If they aren't interested in your content, why would they visit?)
    In fact, if you use Google Analytics to measure your site web traffic, you'll find a category called Keyword Considerations that automatically tabulates the keywords that people have used to find your site via Google and other search engines.
  • Examine your site : If you have an internal search engine, check its logs. What are people searching for once they get to your site? Are there any common misspellings you could use as an AdWord? Are there any common phrases you could use?
  • Brainstorm : What do people think of when they look at your site? What keywords do you want them to think of? Brainstorm about the product that's most closely associated with your site. What words come up?
  • Imagine someone goes to a store and asks about your products. How would they ask? What words would they use? Consider the different ways someone could look for or ask about your product or service, and if there's a set of words or a phrase that pops up over and over again.
  • Glossaries : If you've brainstormed until wax dribbles out your ears but are no closer to coming up with words relevant to your site or product, visit some online glossaries to jog your brain. The Glossarist links to hundreds of glossaries on hundreds of different subjects. Check and see if it has a glossary relevant to your product or service, and see if you can pull some words from there.
  • Keyword tools : Google's competitor Yahoo! has its own advertising network called Overture, and it offers a tool to test potential advertising keywords. Browse to the KeyCompete , Search Term Suggestion Tool , Keyword Research Tool , Free Keyword Tool , Keyword Academy , and take a few of your ideas for a spin.

Optimized Ad Copy Test

When setting up a campaign there is an option to allow Google to optimize the serving of your ads. With this option turned on, Google will display your better converting ad more frequently. This allows you to write more than one ad, and the best performer will be displayed more than the others.In the example above, the correct box is selected which will allow Google to optimize your ad serving. If you really want to split test ads to find out which is working better, you need to turn this option off.

Non-Optimized Ad Copy Test

This is the true test of CTR & CPC. Do you want to know which ad is performing better, and which ad CPC has been set lower from a higher quality score? Not allowing Google to Optimize your ads will allow you to truly test which ad is actually performing better because each ad will be displayed equally. Typically you want to allow for a total of 200 clicks before determining which ad is the better performer.

Both tricks can be used to determine different tests. If you want to determine which adcopy is performing better, you need to disable optimized ad serving.

Optimized ad serving will display your best performing ad to your potential customers and in many cases increases your ROI. Both tricks can be used for different purposes and it is important that you understand the differences. Many marketers simply leave optimization on because it is the default option when building a campaign, while many do not even know what its significance is.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Most of the time, users click on ads with titles and text that closely match what they're looking for. Lazy advertisers who want to take advantage of the ability to match the user's query in their ad title or ad text can use dynamic keyword insertion. The format is {KeyWord: Alternate text }yes, you need to include those squiggly brackets (called braces). So, if this is placed in your ad title and the user types Red Cactus, Red Cactus will be your ad title.

A typical use of this format is a large list of products that you don't want to create separate ads for; you want users to see something better than a generic title. Here's the problem with dynamic keyword insertion. Even factoring in the ad rank boost you get from the higher CTR that generally comes with matching the user's query, the return on investment of ads using such matching is ofteneven usuallylower than if you use a manual ad title that is slightly less Pavlovian in its appeal to searchers. You do pay a penalty in terms of ad rank when you write ad copy that filters out some prospects, but it's often worth it to pay that penalty.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion is a trick that many Google Adwords advertisers are not aware of. This trick allows the keyword to be dynamically inserted into the title or body of your ad.

If you have a large group of keywords that are relative, it is possible for you to include each keyword in the ad without writing multiple ads. Dynamic Keyword Insertion will allow you to do this.

marketing ebook, marketing guide, marketing resource, marketing techniques

Above are some keywords that you could use Dynamic Keyword Insertion with. When someone searches for a particular keyword and the search term is within your ad, all instances of the keyword are bolded. This has a significant impact on the overall CTR of your ads and will contribute to a higher Quality Score.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion is an effective solution to dynamically alter your ads to target a visitor s search. Here is how it works: When you use this format within your ad, each keyword from your Ad Group will be inserted into the ad dynamically.

{ KeyWord:Default Text}

The first part of the phrase is the word KeyWord , this inserts your keyword capitalizing the first letter of each word. This is followed by a : then by the Alternate Text. If a user searches a key phrase that is too long to fit within the ad, the default text will be displayed instead.

You may also use keyword which will keep your keywords lowercase, and Keyword which will only capitalize the first letter of the first keyword.

When using Dynamic Keyword Insertion, this is what your ad setup will look like.

When a search is done for any of the keywords on the previous page this ad will be displayed using the exact search term within the title of the ad. If the search is longer than 25 characters, Marketing eBook will be displayed as the default title.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion is a great method of getting a high CTR, however it does have some negative effects on an ad s overall Quality Score. Since it is the lazy person s method of hyper-targeting a campaign, Google gives advertisers who use Dynamic Keyword insertion a lower Quality Score.

We use Dynamic Keyword Insertion, and it works very well. With this being said, once you have collected some data about your best performing keywords you may decide to build ads specifically written for the keyword and remove the keyword from your Dynamic Keyword insertion Ad Group.

We know that you are probably thinking that the Dynamic Keyword Insertion function could save you a lot of time, but you are only partly correct. By using Dynamic Keyword Insertion you will be building ads that will reach a very high CTR, as the keywords will be bolded in each of your ads. However, when it comes to overall Quality Score, Google does not give points for ads that use the Dynamic Keyword Insertion technique, therefore lowering your ads overall score.

You can build the exact same ad with or without Dynamic Keyword Insertion, but the ad without will be positioned higher in the search results while achieving a lower Cost per click.

Run Better Tests

Go into the "edit campaign settings" area of your account, for any given campaign. The default method of rotating ads is set to Google's advantage. Google will start crowding out the ad that gets fewer clicks (a lower CTR) and start showing your high-CTR ad more often. That puts more money in its pocket, but it doesn't allow you to run the test evenly to measure through to your revenue stream to be sure which ad is truly the "better performer."

To ensure even ad rotation, uncheck the "show better-performing ads more often" box. Incidentally, the even ad rotation continues to be an underused feature of Google Adwords. You can use it to test more than ads. If you have two or three alternate landing pages, you can send your Google Adwords web traffic to them equally from a given group of keywords just by setting up more than one ad for an ad group, with identical ad copy, and changing only the destination URLs associated with the ad.

If you have tagged each ad URL with unique tracking code so your analytics package knows what's going on (or are using Google's Conversion Tracker), you should be able to compare the conversion rates on these landing pages without having to use any fancy content management tricks on your site. An example would be testing the home page against a tailored landing page, or a category page showing a selection of choices against a page describing a single product in depth. Don't guess, test.

Run Smarter Reports

You don't need to sign up for Google's Analytics service, or buy Webtrends Enterprise, Omniture SiteCatalyst, or other high-powered analytics services, to get useful tracking of your clicks right through to a sale. Google's entry-level Conversion Tracker gives you plenty of information if you set it up right. It's fairly similar to most analytics software in that you have to install the correct JavaScript code on your site and sometimes customize things to pass through revenue data, if desired.

But what if you want to determine the return on investment on ad copy you're testing, as opposed to which keywords or groups of keywords are performing better? Many users aren't aware of how powerful the advanced reporting is in Google Adwords. Go to the Reports tab and, once on the Create Report page, select Text Ad Report. You can then select a time frame and limit the report to the campaigns you're interested in.

Finally, you need to customize the stats shown in the report. Conversion-related data isn't included by default, so you need to bring up the whole range of available report elements (under Advanced Options: Columns, further down the Create Report page) and then click some additional boxes to add them.

Run the report and view it either online or in your preferred downloadable format. Quite simply, if you've made enough sales off the groups of keywords in question, you should see comparative data showing exact cost-per-conversion numbers for ads you've been running head to head (no fancy tracking codes required on your destination URLs). If you determine that one ad is significantly better than another in its ultimate revenue generation effect, you've made the most important discovery you can make about ad performance, and next, you'll want to delete the nonperforming ad and perhaps run new tests. You'll also want to attempt to learn lessons from the test, which is easier if you've been testing certain elements of your copy based on industry theories and your own hypothesis.

Sometimes, these tests are amazing. I ran a test on one product a new ad competing with the old for the month of April 2006. Both generated about 600 clicks. The old ad generated 11 unique new customers at a cost of $9.73 per customer. The new ad generated zero transactions, so we're still waiting on that cost-per-acquisition figure as it is currently at "infinity"! 110...on 600 clicks! That's statistically significant to say the least. Goodbye to the new ad.

This helped us confirm that our call to action in the old ad, relating to free shipping and available inventory, was working well. Unfortunately, Google Adwords doesn't give me suggestions for how to explain to a client that I wasted his cash testing a "great new ad" that turned out to suck. Maybe we can chalk it up to "branding."

Control Your Ad Positions

You can now tell Google Adwordskeyword by keywordto show your ads only in certain positions in the advertising area of the search engine results page. This is available in Advanced Options under Edit Campaign Settings.

Let's say you want your ad to show up only if you can be no higher on the page than ad position 3 and no lower than 6. Enabling the ad position control provides a drop-down box in "keyword settings" for every keyword. The default is "any position," but if you say to show your ad no higher than third position, and no lower than sixth, Google simply doesn't show your ad if your ad rank forces you outside these positions. Be careful with this one.

Essentially, what it's telling the system is to keep your ads turned off unless your positioning criteria are met, so you could see sharply reduced ad impressions if you use the feature. This feature won't adjust your bid for you, so this is not "classic" bid-to-position functionality that is available with some third-party bid management tools. It looks like Google is testing the waters on this feature, including the revenue impact, in order to decide whether to implement a more robust set of bid management options.

For now, Google still has no bid-to-position feature and no day-parting feature. Advertisers seeking such exotica need to investigate third-party options or custom programming on their own through the Google Adwords API. Keep in mind, though, that the existing bid system is easy to use because it has an automatic bid discounter, and it subjects your ad delivery to whatever budgetary parameters you specify. Frequent (several times daily) bid changes are overrated, especially given that your ad rank is not solely dependent on your bid.

Don't Be a Slave to Automation

Google has been brilliant about automating editorial functions. If you're new to some of the legal and policy issues, the process can be daunting. One example is the automated ad copy checker that kicks in when you enter a new ad. Sometimes, the system identifies a misspelling when in fact you're using a niche term that's relevant to your region or industry.

Other times, a potential trademark violation comes up, such as using the word "enterprise" in your ad copy (which is the name of a rental car company). If you're not in the rental car business, it's highly unlikely that your use of a common word constitutes any kind of violation. You should politely appeal to Google in the box provided. Usually, your ad is approved within 48 hours.

CTR and Keyword Match Types

Knowing the difference between keyword match types and how to effectively use them can greatly increase your overall Quality Score. The goal of Defeating Google Adwords is to teach you how to build effective advertising campaigns that will outsmart your competitors. You will pay less, experience better results, and increase your ROI.

Few marketers know how to effectively use match types. In this section examples will be used as much as possible to simplify the explanations of the techniques. The first thing that you need to know are the definitions of the match types that Google Adwords allows you to use for your Ad Groups. These definitions are directly from Google.

  • Broad Match - This is the default option. If you include general keyword or keyword phrases-such as tennis shoes-in your keyword list, your ads will appear when users search for tennis and shoes, in any order, and possibly along with other terms. Your ads will also automatically show for expanded matches, including plurals and relevant variations. Broad matches are often less targeted than exact or phrase matches.
  • Phrase Match - If you enter your keyword in quotation marks, as in "tennis shoes", your ad will appear when a user searches on the phrase tennis shoes, in this order, and possibly with other terms in the query. In this case, the search can also contain other terms as long as it includes the exact phrase you've specified. For instance, our ad will appear for the query red tennis shoes but not for shoes for tennis.
  • Exact Match - If you surround your keywords in brackets-such as [tennis shoes]-your ads will appear when users search for the specific phrase tennis shoes, in this order, and without any other terms in the query. For example, your ad won t show for the query red tennis shoes.
  • Negative Keyword - If your keyword is tennis shoes and you add the negative keyword -red, your ad will not appear when a user searches on red tennis shoes.

There is more that you need to know about keyword matching options so let s dive right into things. Using broad, phrase, and exact matching options for each keyword or phrase within your Ad Group will dramatically increase your CTR and Quality Score. In order to explain this in detail, an example will be used:

Keyword: Tennis Shoes

If you use the broad, exact and phrase match types for this keyword phrase you will reach higher CTR because the impressions that are calculated for the word will be divided among the 3 match options.

Tennis Shoes, Tennis Shoes , [Tennis Shoes]

If a user searches for Buy Tennis Shoes , then your phrase match term will most likely be triggered. At this point only your phrase match keyword will have an impression calculated for it (and hopefully a click too). If a user searches for Tennis Shoes , then your exact match [ ] term will be triggered and it will have an impression calculated for it.

If a user searches for Shoes basketball tennis soccer your broad match term may be triggered and an impression would be calculated.

According to the above examples, 3 impressions have been calculated, one for each match option. Now let s compare this to if you were only using broad match option for your keywords.

Using the same keyword above, you would now have 3 impressions for Tennis Shoes. So why does this matter? Using broad, phrase and exact match options for every keyword in your Ad Group will separate the impressions among the 3 keywords thus giving each keyword the chance for a higher CTR. Higher click-through ratios (clicks / impressions) for each keyword will improve their overall performance.

In this example we only have one unique keyword Tennis Shoes, but by using broad, phrase, and exact match Google calculates the statistics for each keyword separately, thus spreading out the impressions among the 3 match options.

Each keyword bid and position is calculated separately from other keywords and this trick will allow you to reach higher positioning at a lower cost. Having a high CTR also helps your overall Quality Score.

Use all three match types for every keyword that you include in your Ad Groups. Using this trick will dramatically increase your CTR. We recommend using a maximum of 25 unique keywords per Ad Group, however when using Broad, Phrase, and Match type options you will end up having 75 Keywords. This is fine as you still only have 25 unique keywords.

Using the Google Content Network

We warn our members at Wealthy Affiliate to turn off the Content Network when they are first starting out. This is the biggest mistake that can be made when starting out with Google Adwords, as 70-80% of your web traffic will come from this source, and you will lose money. However, if you have experience with Google Adwords and have campaign data, you can leverage the Content Network to increase your profits.

For those of you that are still wondering what the content network is, we will give you an overview of how it works, and why it is a bad idea to start out with the content network activated.

The content network consists of a large network of publishers (essentially web site owners), that display Google Ads on their web pages. Based on the pages content, Google will serve the most targeted set of ads.

Theoretically, this web traffic sounds highly targeted. Realistically, this web traffic is coming in the form of Arbitrage sites, and other bulk, low quality web traffic strategies. This web traffic simply does not convert the same way that search network does, and it is recommended that you have this turned off initially (especially in the product testing phase).

How to make Content Network web traffic convert

To be profitable using the Content Network you need to find a product that has high ROI. If you can get conversion data you will have the ability to determine which keywords are converting into sales. You can then use these keywords within your content network campaigns at a lower CPC. With this being said, it is not always possible to determine which keywords are converting into sales unless you own the product and can include your conversion codes on the sales page. If you do not know which keywords are converting for you, then we recommend keeping the Content Network turned off. You can waste thousands of dollars with the Content Network turned on, and in many cases beginner marketers do not know this. If you choose to use the content network, you can use same ad tricks that we have already spoken about.. The WOW factor has been proven highly effective to grab the attention of content network web traffic.

Search Network

The Content Search Network consists of sites that have added the Google Search functionality to their page or have their own independent search function. The Search Network is typically higher quality than the Content Network as people are getting your results in the same way as they would if they were searching a particular subject within Google. The main difference is that the search does not originate from the Google Search Engine.

Content Network

The Content Network is the lowest quality form of advertising within Google Adwords. The reason for this being that the Content Network is essentially a group of people with websites that get paid to put your ad on their webpage, also called Google Adsense.

Often times this web traffic is driven from low quality web traffic sources (bulk web traffic) in order for these Adsense Publishers to turn a profit. The Content Network can be a valuable asset to certain products/services campaigns, but the CPC must be set to a much lower price. We suggest that you set the bid anywhere from $0.01 - $0.05 if you are going to give the content network a try.

Setting Content Bids

Since Google's Content Network is not nearly as targeted as Google.com web traffic, it will not convert as well. If you set your bids the same for the content and search networks, you will find that your advertising cost will be very high, with a majority of that (70-80%) coming from your Content Network web traffic. Because of this, Google has recently added new functionality to their Content Network to allow you to bid on the content network separately. Unless you have significant conversion data telling you otherwise, you should not spend anymore than $0.05/click on the Content Network. If you are new to Internet Marketing, you should avoid using the Content Network until you feel comfortable with Google Adwords and Internet Marketing in general.

Control Your Content Bidding

Some advanced advertisers might want to use custom programming to separate clicks from Google's "content partners" from clicks on the same keywords emanating from the search network. I prefer to use established analytics packages that do this. At the very least, you need to understand that most "content targeting" clicks are worth significantly less to the average advertiser than most clicks originating from a web search.

In Edit Campaign settings, make sure you enable "content bidding" if you have "content targeting" enabled. Then set different bids on content, ad group by ad group. If you're bidding around $.50 on a set of keywords, I'd recommend bidding $.15$.20 on content, or even less. The only way to know for sure is to use sophisticated analytics.

Control Your Geography

During campaign setup, you're offered "location targeting options." For existing campaigns, you can edit these settings. Specify countries and territories, regions and cities, or custom. Whatever you do, don't show your ad to the whole world unless that's your intention. Using custom geography, you can even target a radius of a few hundred miles, or a geographic "shape," if you're handy with the tools, which are now easier to use with a WYSIWYG-type interface on a map.

Boo-yah! This functionality works fairly well subject to the limitations of mapping users' IP addresses to exact locations. It's currently available in about 15 countries. Even national advertisers may find this highly useful, running campaigns in several dozen major metropolitan areas and adjusting their bids upwards in some of them to reflect the cities that are most responsive in terms of sales conversions.

A lot of these features can be a downright blast to use, especially for junkies. Don't forget your goals: acquiring new customers and communicating with them effectively and consistently. Ultimately, it's about customers, growth, and profitwhatever those concepts mean to you and your business. Many of the most advanced features have the effectwhen boiled downof causing you to buy too much media, or too little. Keep that in mind as you build and refine a campaign that runs consistently in an optimal range.

This is Part 6 of 9

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