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Friday, January 4, 2008

Part 9 - Research and Analytics

Viewing the Webpage of Your Competition

There is much to be learned from other affiliates landing pages. We suggest that review your competition before you set-up any full-fledge marketing campaign. Your competition has likely already tested and refined their pages, especially those that remain under the same keywords for an extended period of time (see Watching Affiliate Ads).

On competitor web pages you will want to focus on headlines, the overall quality of the page, the products being reviewed or recommended, and the sales copy. These characteristics can give you a lot of insight into what is working for your competition.

Under no circumstances should you copy a competitor s website, you are strictly using this for your own research so that you can gain insight into what may or may not work on your own pages. Never directly copy a website as there are great benefits to building a unique sales page of your own.

You can also get an idea of other profitable opportunities based on the navigation within your competitor s websites. Are they promoting other industries or products?

Do they have links to other web pages? Successful affiliates are typically involved with product promotions within more than one industry, and by looking at what they are promoting may give you ideas for other promotions.

Note : When researching other advertisers ads, do not click directly on their paid ads within Google, Yahoo, or MSN. This is click-fraud and is costing those advertisers money (would you like it if your competition clicked on your ads?). Instead, right-click the ad, go to the properties, and cut and paste the webpage URL part of the link into a separate browser window. This is an example of an advertisement for Google Adwords and the highlighted url is how you can visit a webpage without committing click fraud.

Their Ads Are Better Than Mine

The highest ranked ads within Google are more than likely achieving a high CTR, and have a highly relevant landing page. If your ad is underperforming, take a look at the top paid listings. Take some tips from their ads.

What components are intriguing visitors to click?

Is there a call-to-action that is enticing the visitor to click on the ad?

Are they using a unique ad writing style?

Are they using a question in their ad description?

One reason why your ads may be getting a low CTR (less than 1%) is the fact that your ad is not unique. Do not copy your competitor s ad copy as it will not result in optimum CTR. Writing unique ad copy that uses call to action phrases and the Common Keyword trick will give you the highest CTR possible. If you do notice a decline in your CTR for a particular keyword, check to see if another advertiser has copied you. If so, you will want to modify your ad to make it unique.

Testing & Analyzing Your Data

You have performed some lengthy research, set-up a campaign, and are now receiving clicks to the website you are promoting. The next step of this process is to implement some sort of testing and/or analytics that you will be able to use to evaluate your campaigns performance and refine your campaign for maximum profitability.

As Internet marketers, we should try to clean or rinse our campaigns of components (keywords, web pages) that are underperforming and just costing us money. It has been said that 20% of an advertisers keywords bring in most of the sales, while the other 80% of the keywords are underperforming. If this is not 100% accurate, it is very close to the truth.

There are several different aspects to a successful campaign, and there are many things that you can refine to increase campaign performance. Are your keywords performing? What about your ads, are they achieving a high enough CTR? Is your web page converting, if not, is it because your merchant conversions are low? Is your squeeze page working? Is your sales copy effective?

There is no scientific approach to refining your campaign. However, there are some things that you can do to get campaign analytics which will help you when deciding which changes you should make.

Web page Effectiveness by tracking Merchant Page CTR

In this test we are going to use my-linker in combination with your Google Adwords account to determine how effective your webpage is at getting visitors to click-through your affiliate links.

My-Linker is a program that is exclusive to WealthyAffiliate members and allows you to analyze your merchant page conversions. My Linker counts merchant page conversions when your website visitors click on your affiliate links. You can set up specific campaigns within my-linker which enable you to build specific linking codes for your site and track how effective your web page is at persuading your visitors to visit the merchant sales page. The higher the merchant page click-through, the better job your page is doing getting the visitors interest enough to send them to affiliate sites.

By adding my-linker links to your web pages you will be able to determine exactly which keywords are generating merchant page click-throughs. This is a very important aspect to a successful campaign, because if your keywords are underperforming, they either need to be deleted, or you need to make your web pages more relevant to these keywords.

Note: Make sure that you include your Google Conversion Tracking ID or else My-Linker will work with Google Adwords. My-Linker will report exactly which keywords are prompting your visitors to click through to merchant pages, and this is very useful data that you can use to determine if a keyword is wasting your money.

Sale Conversions using Google Sale Conversion Tracking data

Many programs online allow you to append your Google conversion tracking code to their URL so that you can track sales. The conversion code is dynamically passed to the order page, so that when someone purchases the product a conversion is tabulated within your Google account.

You can also email merchants and ask them to put your conversion code on their order confirmation page. Typically the merchant will only do this for their high volume affiliates, but it is definitely worth a shot regardless of how much web traffic you send to a merchant page.

Google Sales conversion tracking allows you to track your sales right down to the keyword level. If you have conversion tracking in place for sales conversions, you will find that 20% of your keywords bring in most of your sales. You can quickly weed out underperforming keywords or make the appropriate changes to your web page to make it more relevant and convert better.

Note : If you are using my-linker to track your merchant page click through rates, you will not be able to determine the difference between sales and leads on the campaign summary page. To determine exactly which keywords are generating sales, leads, or both, you need to build a report in the Reporting section of your Google Adwords account.

Under the Advanced Settings choose to add Sales Count and Leads Count. This will split up the conversion data and show you exactly which conversions were sales, and which were leads.

As you can see above, building a custom report will help you determine which "Conversions" came from leads through my-linker, and which were actual sales.

Tweaking Ad performance using A/B Split Tests

Split testing ads is very easy to do within your Google Adwords account. What you want to do is build 2 ads within an ad group that have different ad text, but has the same destination and display URL s. When split testing ad groups, you will want to make sure that your Campaign settings have Ad Optimization turned off.

This will allow each of your ads to run 50% of the time, because if this setting is on, Google will serve your highest performing ad most of the time. For testing purposes, we want a true 50/50 split test to take place so we can determine which ad is performing better. Once you can determine that an ad is performing better (getting a better CTR) you ll want to scrap the loser and replace it with a new ad. At this point a new split test will occur. We suggest that you continually split test ads until you reach maximum CTR for the keywords within the adgroup.

Note : You should use different ad writing tricks for each ad.

Effectiveness of a Website using A/B Landing Page split test.

There are two reasons you would want to split test landing pages: to test sales conversions and to test merchant page click-throughs. Both of these tests will give you an idea on how effective your landing pages are performing and will indicate which landing page styles are the highest performing ones.

To test conversions you will need to set-up 2 different Clickbank accounts. You will build one landing page using the first clickbank account linking code, and one landing page using the other clickbank account linking code. You will then want to build and adgroup and two ads with the exact same ad text, but different destination URL s. You will also want to have your ads served equally ( Rotate ) so that each page receives an equal amount of web traffic.

By having two Clickbank accounts, you will be able to determine which page is converting into sales at a higher rate.. Without having access to conversion tracking through a merchant, this is the most effective way to determine which landing page is converting better for you.

Based on your results you can perform several different tests, and make different modifications to your landing pages to increase your conversions. By focusing on landing page conversions, you will be able to increase your overall campaign profitability.

Merchant Page Click-throughs

One of the most important actions that an affiliate needs a visitor to perform on their page is to click-through to the merchant pages after reading the information. If your visitors never visit the merchant pages, then you will never make a commission, thus why it is very important to keep an eye on this.

To track merchant page click-throughs, we have buildd a program called My-Linker (mentioned earlier), that will allow you to build specific campaigns where you can insert your Google Conversion Code, thus tracking merchant page conversions.

You will need to insert the code that is generated by my-linker in place of your affiliate links, and then you will be able to track which keywords are producing the highest merchant page conversions, and which ones are underperforming. This detailed information will give you insight into which keywords are performing and will give you an overview of how effective your landing page is at getting people to following your links to the merchant page.

Our Thoughts on Analyzing Data

In this section we ve spoke some great tricks that you should consider implementing when trying to refine your campaigns and optimize your campaigns for cost-effectiveness. By performing just a few of these tests, you will be able to determine which landing pages work and why, how well you pages are converting into merchant click-throughs, and through trial and error you will be able to build much more efficient campaigns.

We suggest that you adopt testing into your day-to-day activities. You will not only benefit from it in the short-term, you will be building maximum profitability and save yourself thousands of dollars in the long-term. We have wasted tens of thousands of dollars over the years on keywords and landing pages that simply do not produce, and if you can limit these through testing you can keep this money in your pocket.
This is Part 9 of 9, last part, Success for you with Google Adwords, Bookmark this with bookmark below, Add this !

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