Articles in the Campaign Optimization Category

Learn how to optimize your PPC, display, social media and remarketing efforts with help from our SEM team. From big-picture strategy ideas to the granular tweaks that will help you to improve your campaigns’ performance, our campaign optimization blog posts will provide you with the information you need to improve your ROI and drive qualified, converting traffic to your website.

September 27 2010

More Opportunities for Testing

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Those of you who are familiar with Google Website Optimizer (GWO) know the importance of testing your online marketing efforts.  Testing really is the best way to know whether or not proposed changes to your website are going to have a positive or negative impact on your bottom line.  If you haven’t tried a GWO experiment, I would highly recommend it.  For more info on conducting an experiment, you should read the blog post 6 Critical Steps for Starting you Google Website Optimizer Experiments.

The world of website testing is continuing to develop, which is great.  All online marketers should be testing their online marketing initiatives, whether it is elements on their website or keywords within their campaigns. Google AdWords has followed Google Website Optimizer’s lead and is now offering another way to conduct tests; this time with your AdWords campaigns. This new program, called AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE), will enable you to test changes to your bids, keywords, and ad groups before applying those changes to all auctions for which your ad could appear. 

For example, if you want to measure the impact of increasing a keyword’s bid, you can easily accomplish that without having to test all auctions.  With ACE, you have the ability to select the control / experiment split for your changes. You can choose 50% control / 50% experiment, 60% control / 40% experiment, and so on.  Similar to GWO experiments, ACE runs the experiment or test seamlessly with the existing campaign set up.

This tool can be found within the settings tab for your campaigns, and since you can set the experiment splits and the start and stop dates, you lower the risk of testing new ideas.  If you want to test increasing a keyword’s bid without ACE, the new bid would be applied to all auctions.  The problem is that even if the results were good, it is difficult to be 100% positive that the results were not due to other contributing factors.

So, next time you are thinking about making changes to your campaigns and would like to test the results first, look into using ACE.  It may help you to determine whether or not this change would be beneficial.

July 7 2010

Conversion Tracking

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While running an internal campaign for mobile website development, I stumbled upon an issue that I can imagine many people are having besides me.  The issue is conversion tracking when a user is not filling out the form on the page that you are sending them to. 

In this case, we are driving visitors to our mobile landing page development form and requesting them to fill it out.  After a user clicks on the ad and is driven to the landing page and doesn’t fill out the form, but performs another action on the site, would that constitute a conversion?  Any visitor that comes from a cpc ad and completes any action on a website (not necessarily the one you wanted them to do) and has conversion tracking code implemented, will show up as a conversion from the original cpc source. 

So if you’re targeting a user to complete a sale, and they fill out a form for a newsletter, then your Adwords account will still show a conversion.  Adwords conversion tracking won’t follow a user around your website (unlike retargeting that will place a cookie on the browser), so any action that has conversion tracking will capture that as a conversion.  One way you can verify what conversion is being completed is to set up goals within Google Analytics.  By cross referencing your cpc campaign with your analytics account, you can find out who completed what goal and attribute the goal to the conversion.  If you use both of these tools in-conjunction, you will be able to pinpoint with accuracy where your conversions are coming from. 

May 5 2010

Knowing the Value of a Conversion

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Do you know the value of a conversion? It may seem like a basic question, but there are many factors to consider.

For example, ecommerce advertisers may determine the actual value of a conversion as the purchase price of an item. If a person buys a $100 widget from your site, then the value is $100. But in the real world we know there are other expenses incurred including overhead, shipping, etc.

If you are participating in online advertising, a way to calculate a value of a conversion is to look at Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). ROAS is simply dollars sold divided by dollars spent.  It means how many dollars you are getting back for every dollar you spend. Going back to our widget example, if an advertiser spent $20 for advertising on that widget, the ROAS would be 5. 100/20 = 5.  For every dollar you spend, you are getting $5.

Return on Investment (ROI) is another way to calculate a conversion’s value. The formula for ROI is (Revenue — Spend) divided by spend. This is a way to determine what percentage of spend you are getting back as profit. If you spent $20 on advertising a widget that sold for $100, to calculate ROI take ($100-$20)/20 * 100 = 400%.  ROI should be as high above 100% as possible. Also, remember to take the lifetime value of a customer into account when examining the value of a conversion.

Regardless of how you measure your success, the important thing is that you are taking steps to track and improve results. Making sound decisions on what efforts are working and not working will surely help to boost your bottom line.

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