I have been asked by many clients ‘how can I be sure my search engine marketing campaign is performing?’ While there are a number of ways to determine the success of an internet campaign; one important metric to pay attention to is the bounce rate. The bounce rate refers to visitors who get to your page, but quickly leave with little to no interaction.
There are many factors that can contribute to bounce rate. Some visitors may click on the ads accidently; we are all guilty of this. These accidental clicks do not necessarily reflect on the effectiveness of the ads, due to the fact that it is attributed to human error. However, confusing or misleading ads can lead to many visitors clicking on ads, but a large abandonment rate. Another cause of a high bounce rate can be searchers who do not find what they are seeking. According to FutureNow, it is necessary for a website to have relevant content in order for a user to ‘move forward until found’ and visit additional site pages. For example, if you are an advertiser selling T-shirts, you may not want to use slang keywords such as ‘tees.’ By utilizing this keyword, you run a great of risk of having your ads associated with golf-related search results. The Google content network can be a valuable resource when used correctly; however, when general keywords are used and targeted across all relevant search pages, you may see your bounce rate rise exponentially.
So, how can the bounce rate be lowered? Here are some suggestions to not only decrease the campaign bounce rate, but also improve the quality of your visitors.
– Review your ad copy to ensure that your ads are not misleading or confusing to potential searchers
– Utilize Google Analytics to determine trends in which the bounce rate has increased or decreased
– Identify individual keywords that have an exceptionally high bounce rate. According to Blogsessive, a bounce rate between 20% and 50% is acceptable.
– Consider adding negative keywords to your cost per click campaign to reduce the amount superfluous clicks and irrelevant searches
– If using the Google Content Network, select specific topics and sites of interest pertinent to your product or services
By paying attention to your bounce rate, you can not only improve the quality of visitors to your site, but also the amount of conversions generated.
When creating a search engine marketing campaign, many advertisers spend a majority of time selecting keywords relevant to their products and services, but very little time, if any at all, on creating a branding campaign. A branding campaign utilizes the company name, website and/or trademarked terms as keywords. A branding campaign can help create a ‘buzz’ about your company. For example, when creating a branding campaign for ABC Company Washers and Dryers, you would want to select keywords that highlight your company’s core products and services; some potential keywords could be ‘ABC Company,’ ‘ABC Co.,’ ‘ABCcompany.com’ ‘ABC Company Washers’ or ‘ABC Company Dryers.’ Not only are branding types of keywords and phrases helpful when creating an online presence, they are often significantly less expensive and lead to higher conversion rates.
Another useful tactic when creating a branding campaign is to utilize your competitors’ keywords with your ad group. By using the Google Keyword Tool and entering your company name you can indentify related keywords and other businesses within your industry. According to PPC Hero, if you decide to create a competitor campaign, do not use dynamic keyword insertion within your ad copy. Using dynamic keyword insertion will cause the words entered in the search query to appear in your ad headline. The process of bidding on your competitor keywords is completely legitimate and search engines will not punish you for doing so. However, you must not use competitor branded keywords within your ads.
Using both branding and competitor campaigns not only creates brand recognition, but also, legitimizes your company by occupying more real estate within the search engines. It is recommended to conduct the occasional search to see if there are competitors bidding on your company’s keywords. Remember if you aren’t bidding on your keywords, someone else will.
Anyone who has ever run a Google AdWords account understands the importance of the Quality Score, not only at the keyword level, but also with the campaign as a whole. Recently, we had a meeting with Google and I learned some of the perceptions that I had about the quality score were not entirely accurate. The following are some myths and the facts surrounding the Quality Score.
One common myth is that changing the keyword match type of your search terms from broad match to exact match will increase the quality score. This is not true. According to Google, the Quality Score is calculated using only data from queries that exactly match your keyword. While keyword types are effective at further targeting your audience, they do not influence the quality score.
Many advertisers have the impression that having their ads show up in higher positions will improve their Quality Score. Google uses several different factors to determine an advertiser’s Quality Score, and it is not possible to, in essence, buy a better Quality Score. In fact, if an advertiser has their ad displayed too high on the search results page, they could damage their click through rate (CTR). The CTR is the amount of clicks divided by the amount of impressions; therefore, if your ad is displayed an excessive amount, and there are no clicks, you will drive down the CTR. It is best to test different cost per click bids to adjust positions and analyze the campaign data to determine the best position for your ad.
While having a high CTR is important, this alone will not automatically equate to a better Quality Score. Quality Score is determined by multiple factors such as historical keyword performance, webpage load time, ad/keyword relevance and ad/search query relevance, just to name a few. Keeping all these elements in mind, it is possible have a high CTR, but a low Quality Score.
Some advertisers are worried that if they optimize their Google Adwords account, that they will lose their account history. Luckily, the keyword, ad text and landing page history will all be preserved. While the visible history of the account may be erased, the historical performance of the Quality Score remains intact. Google fully encourages advertisers to test different campaign methods to determine what will work best. If after testing, your previous ad performed better, you can change your ad without worrying about damaging or erasing the Quality Score.
It is important to keep in mind that the Quality Score is determined by a multitude of things; therefore, a poor quality score may not be caused by one element. Try to review several Quality Score campaign elements to further determine causes. By reviewing your campaign components, you can not only improve your Quality Score but campaign performance as well.