Monthly Archives: November 2009

PPC News Roundup for 11/6/2009

  • Ad copy is the first impression a potential customer has of your business, so it is an important part of your PPC campaign. As part of the SEM Beginner Series, the Microsoft Advertising Community stresses the importance of strong Ad Copy along with tips and tricks for writing successful ads.
  • You know how some people are so competitive, they have to be number one no matter what the cost? That might work in some arenas, but it’s not the best way to handle your PPC bids. If bidding your ads into a higher position doesn’t increase your conversion rate…you don’t need to be there! No matter how cool it makes you feel.
  • The RKG blog discusses the relative importance to your PPC accounts of quality score vs bids– and why focusing on quality score strategy may be a beginner’s mistake. “Get it right then move on”.
  • It’s a common thought that branded keywords convert better than non-branded keywords. While, this is usually true, Search Engine Land is asking, Should You Bid All Brand Keywords To The First Position? The post suggests that just because their branded doesn’t mean the first position is most efficient.
  • Looking for ways to revamp your emailing marketing? Search Engine Land is offering 5 Tips for Effective Email Copywriting. Some of the topics covered include: focusing on the subject line, mix promotional and informational, involve your readers, and make a clear call to action.
  • Hitting your clients’ goals each month is mission number one. But you need to stay within your allotted budget as well. Josh Dreller at Search Engine Land has written a helpful article on 4 ways budgets get off track and some tips for fixing them.

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Our Greatest Hits for October 2009

The page views have spoken! Below we have gathered PPC Hero’s four most visited, and hopefully most valuable, articles from October. Whether you’re a new or long-time subscriber you may have missed these insightful and helpful pay-per-click management tips. Enjoy!

Yahoo’s match types might seem a little confusing in the first place, but with the additional pressure of adding negative keywords (am I going to exclude relevant queries?!) things can get sticky. Carrie will help you implement negative keywords into your Yahoo accounts fearlessly.

Joe reviewed the new WordStream keyword tool– we can always use more tools to expand our keyword research horizons, and this one is handy- and free!

Do you know about Google Place Pages? If you’re not leveraging your ability to use local business ads, check into this option Amber explains- you’ve likely used Google local search results and Google maps, and your potential customers probably do too.

We all found that view-through column in our AdWords accounts: but do you know what the data means? It can be useful- not for everyone, but for advertisers using AdSense or display ads on content. Amber helps explain what it means!

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Google Launched Comparison Ads

This week Google began testing a new feature, Comparison Ads. The Google Comparison Ads tool enables searchers to compare multiple, relevant offers together on one search engine results page. While this new feature is still in the testing phase, that could give shopping search engines like Shopzilla and BizRate a run for their money.

While Google has strong metrics for assessing user intent, it is not always spot-on. The new Comparison Ads tool allows users to clarify exactly what they are looking for, and then view the relevant offers side-by-side. If a searcher is interested in your product or service, they are provided with a phone number (generated by Google) or can provide their contact information through a “Request Quote” link. It is a pay-per-lead model, so the advertiser is only charged if the number is called or if the quote request is completed.

In the example provided by Google, if a user searches for “mortgage”, Google will prompt the searcher to clarify if they are looking to “buy a home” or “refinance”. Once selected, the searcher is directed to a one-page view off all offers relevant to their search query If a search query interests them, then they can call a number provided or request a quote.

The Comparison Ads tool claims to boost the user experience in three ways: speed, transparency and privacy. First, the new tool will decrease user-time spent finding a relevant offer. The tool can serve relevant, specific offers in less than a second. Plus, all ads will be very specific offers, so there cannot be deception in the ad text, including gimmicky rates and savings. Finally, Google will keep the searchers personal information private from the advertiser, unless explicitly provided by the searcher.

If you ask me, this tool can be both good and bad for advertisers. I agree that it will enhance the searcher experience by providing relevant, transparent ads in a side-by-side view. Plus, many competitive industries would greatly benefit from a pay-per-lead system, as it will surely increase conversion rates and improve an advertisers return on investment.

However, there needs to be an opt-in feature for this tool if it were rolled out globally. What happens to pay-per-click advertisers that are purely volume driven? How would this roll out for ecommerce sites where browsing is encouraged? This tool can only benefit advertisers who are lead driven, as click volume will significantly decrease under this pay-per-lead model.

Right now Google has only made the Comparison Ads tool available to limited advertisers in the mortgage and refinance sectors. It will be interesting to see how this tool shifts the current pay-per-click model.

Do you think this new tool will help or harm you current pay-per-click campaign?

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Google’s New Ad Sitelinks & How You Can Get Them for Your Account

Google Adwords has implemented yet another new feature for Adwords PPC advertisers, and this time it’s pretty cool. The new feature is called ‘ad sitelinks’, and it allows PPC advertisers with high quality ads to add four additional links under their main PPC ad. This allows users easier access to deeper content of your website.

The sitelinks also provide advertisers with a good way of promoting seasonal services or products. Unlike organic sitelinks, the advertiser can pick and choose which campaigns get sitelinks and what those sitelinks are and where they link to. So they can be changed out as frequently as you would like.

Of course this new feature isn’t available to all Adwords advertisers. Google is being fairly vague when they say their new ad sitelinks are “available to ads that meet our quality requirements”, but do not go into any further detail than that.

To find out if your PPC account qualifies for the new sitelinks, simple go into your Adwords account, click on a campaign, click the settings tab, and scroll down to the ‘networks, devices and extensions section.  If the sitelinks are available to you, there will be an additional ‘ad extensions’ option under this category. Simply click the edit button to add your sitelinks.

sitelinks

I think having the sitelinks is a great way to take users directly to a contact page or form page if that is your lead type. A few of my clients do qualify for the sitelinks and I’ll be adding them into today. My advice is if you do qualify, be sure to add tracking to the additional links so you can track data separately for the sitelinks to see if they’re actually helping.

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How to Fine Tune Your International Campaigns in AdWords

You always need to exercise caution when utilizing broad match in AdWords. This almost goes without saying, but I said it anyway. The scope of queries matched to each broad match keyword has grown over the past couple of years, especially with the introduction of Google’s expanded broad match. Today, I will spin a cautionary tale about casting a wide keyword net within international waters.

First, I’ll describe what I found within one of our AdWords campaigns. Since one of our client provides international service, one of our campaigns was targeting a wide range of countries. As we were targeting a wide range of locations, the ‘All Languages’ setting was chosen as our default setting.

Overall, this international campaign worked well. Each month we generated a good number of leads with a cost-per-lead below our target CPL. However, good campaigns can always perform better. As part of our on-going optimization strategy we ran a search query report in order to find new keywords to add to our account as well as find new negative keywords to improve our traffic quality.

Upon running a search query report, we found quite a few search queries that weren’t even in English (but all of our keywords are English). Here is a short list of search queries that matched for the term “hydraulic pump repair:”

accident barrage hydrolique dans le monde
accumulator hydraulisch
accumulator rexroth
acheter vendre verin hydraulique pour fendeuse
aeroquip
yollu vana hidrolik
apparatuur of systemen hydraulisch druk
ñlkmhftgtgtr rexroth
bobina rexroth 12v
bomba linear de pistões axiais vickers
camion hydraulique
camper hydrolisch
groupe hydrolique
groupe idrolique
grszesio chydra?lik
havayla çal??an hidrolik
haydrouliekbedrijven
hitroli ciftarafl?silindirliftler
hydrauliek onderdelen
hydraulische steuerung
hydraulisk klippebord
hydraulisze agregat
idrolique a villeneuve de marsan
karakteristik fluida hidrolik
la pompe hyd cabire
le nom de huile de frein hidraulique
macam macam hidroulik
matériel professionnel pinc idrolique
ogloszenia hydrallik wroclaw

The reasons these queries were a problem is three fold:

  • The most important reason is that these terms were not converting into leads
  • Our ads and landing pages are not targeted to these languages
  • The point-of-contact for our client doesn’t speak these languages so communication issues could arise easily

So, why was this happening? This was happening for a few different reasons:

  • Within this campaign, our language setting was on “all languages”
  • We were targeting broad match keywords
  • We were targeting a wide range of countries in a single campaign

Remember, location targeting is set at the campaign level. When targeting an international audience you you should keep few a things in mind:

  1. When targeting a specific country, you are targeting the Google domain extension for that particular country. For example, if you’re targeting Canada, your ads will appear on www.google.ca. However, your ads will show only for a certain user if your language settings match their user preferences.
  2. Also, your ads will appear according to IP address as well. If someone is located in Canada but they use Google.com for their search, your Canadian-targeted ads will appear here as well.
  3. The language settings are important when targeting an international audience. Each Google user sets their own default language. If no language preference is set, the default language for that specific Google domain is chosen.
  4. For example, if you target Spain but your selected language is only targeted to English, more-than-likely most your traffic is coming from users with an IP address in Spain who are using Google.com. However, if you add Spanish as a targeted language, then you’ll receive traffic from Google.com as well as Google.es.

And this is why we were seeing so many different languages in our search query report: we were targeting numerous countries with numerous languages. Now that’s some expanded broad match!

We are optimizing our international distribution by employing these tactics:

  • Running a geographic report in AdWords and creating campaigns for the countries that are currently generating the most leads with the lowest CPL. And we’ll eventually create campaigns for each country we want to target.
  • For now, our language setting will be English. We want to maintain a good Quality Score and displaying English ads for foreign keywords may hinder our score as the keywords aren’t in the same language as our ad or landing page.
  • Also, we’ll target phrase match as opposed to opening up the broad match flood gates.
  • Yes, Google does provide a translation tool so we could create ads in specific languages but for now, we want to have more control over our messaging. And I’m uncertain as to how accurate these Google translations are. If they’re anything like Babblefish, I’ll stay away.

In summary, casting a wide net within international waters can generate mixed results and you need to pay attention to the details. One of the most important aspects in AdWords is that you can control everything (your settings, at least) so make sure that all of your campaigns, whether they are domestic or international, are as focused as possible.

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