Articles in The 'AdWords' Tag


May 6 2009

Maximize Campaign Performance with a New Bid Strategy

by April Nelson

So your AdWords campaigns have grown into architectural masterpieces -structured with multiple, tightly-themed ad groups each containing precise keyword lists that have been expanded, scrubbed, and polished over time.  You are rotating 3 or more versions of ad copy concurrently, removing the impression-cannibals and replacing with fresh ads — always aiming to improve upon click through rates.  Now what?

To make even more of an impact, consider layering on Google’s Conversion Optimizer as part of your overall bid strategy.  Conversion Optimizer is a feature provided by Google that allows you to bid using a max CPA (cost per acquisition or lead) strategy.  This setting is applied at the campaign level.  Google will optimize your campaign performance for the best possible ROI.  CPA bids are set, but you are still charged on a per click basis.  The tool calculates a CPC bid, working back from the max amount you are willing to pay for a conversion, and also using historical conversion data to determine the likelihood your ads have to convert. 

Conversion Optimizer should be considered for campaigns:

  1. Generating conversions on a regular basis at a similar rate
  2. With a Minimum of 30 conversions over the last 30 days (required)
  3. 2 weeks minimum recommended conversion tracking history

Be aware that it is possible to exceed your max specified CPA. Changes to your website and ad copy should be made cautiously during the early stage use of Conversion Optimizer.  These types of changes can have a huge impact on your conversion rate.  If the actual conversion rate turns out to be lower than the conversion rate predicted by Conversion Optimizer, your actual CPA may exceed your maximum CPA bid. 

As with any new strategy, tracking results after changing from manual bidding to Conversion Optimizer is critical.  The chart below provides a snapshot comparison of campaign performance for a 10-day timeframe running Conversion Optimizer versus manual bidding. 

trackingresults

If we were measuring success by click through rate or cost per click, our test would appear to be a failure.  However, our goal with this client was to maintain a consistent lead flow at a pre-determined cost per lead.  With the implementation of Conversion Optimizer, we saw just under a $6 decrease in the cost per conversion over the first 10 days of use……translating to 14 additional leads for our client.

Don’t overlook your top campaigns for bid optimization!  While a manual bidding strategy is necessary for establishing strong positions and click through rates, a CPA bid strategy powered by Google’s Conversion Optimizer can be ideal for taking established campaigns to the next level.  Although campaigns may continue to convert at a respectable rate, you may be missing out on volume by not leveraging this free tool.

April 21 2009

Using Demographic Exclusions to Improve Click-through-Rates

by April Nelson

If concentrated visibility in front of a segmented demographic is one of your PPC goals, Demographic Exclusion is the vehicle that can help get you there.  Age and gender segment exclusions are just one of the tactics that the top search engines are providing advertisers with to help refine their PPC campaigns.  Options for targeting vary by engine.  Check out Katherine Bennett’s recent post for more on the details.

Google has been rolling out similar features at a higher rate since their acquisition of DoubleClick was solidified.  With more demographic data available form a higher volume of publishers, Google is able to offer smaller advertisers (budget-wise) the opportunity to target their core demographic with a minimal cost of entry.  While higher budgets will get you more visibility, it is possible to be effective with modest budgets as well.

Demographic exclusions can be implemented quickly and easily, from a technical perspective.  However, it is important to know your audience and even to have solid evidence to support your exclusion choices prior to implementation.  Have you profiled your customer base?  Reviewed demographics for the websites you are advertising on? Be sure to do your due diligence before testing.

Campaign-ClientName

To adjust your demographic settings in AdWords, select the campaign (available for content only at this time) and click “Edit Campaign Settings”.  On the Edit Campaign Settings Page, Demographics are located within the Networks and Bidding section.  In the example below, we have excluded all known users up through age 34.

Comparedaterange

After two weeks, we saw Click through Rate increase by 175%. See below for a comparison as shown in AdWords Account Snapshot report.

Comparedaterange

Although ads within this campaign received fewer impressions, we have eliminated known unqualified users from clicking our ads.  From here, we can refine our Click through Rates even further by segmenting into gender-based ad copy.  One option is to set up a duplicate campaign, each targeting either Male or Female users.  Ad copy should reflect the audience being targeted.  For example, an ad targeted toward Males for Mother’s Day gifts could be:

Browse Thoughtful Gifts
Get Your Wife What She Really
Wants For Mother’s Day This Year!
www.ClientSite.com/MothersDay

A Similar approach should be taken with display ads.  Use male-themed images to attract your male audience and female-themed images to attract your female audience. 

If you have not checked it out already, I highly recommend taking Demographic Exclusions for a test drive.

April 24 2007

Google AdWords New Preferred Cost Option

by MoreVisibility

According to Google’s blog, InsideAdwords, Google has released a new feature for their advertising platform. Advertisers now have the option of designating an average CPC (cost-per-click) or CPM (cost-per-impression) bid called preferred bidding.

In the past, advertisers had to continually monitor their campaigns to manually adjust their bids to reach an average CPC. The preferred cost feature option could possibly help advertisers control the cost of their advertising dollars by allowing them to specify an average CPC or CPM.

With the new feature, you can simply input the amount you want to target for your bids. Google will automatically work to bring you bids as close as possible to your specified target amount throughout the campaign. As Google adjusts your bids, the position of your ads may fluctuate to reach your target CPC or CPM bid. This new bidding strategy option can be accessed from within the campaign level of an account. However, if you do not opt in for this feature, the existing maximum CPC model will remain enabled. What impact do you think this new pricing system will have on the management of your campaigns? Let me know what you think by posting your comments.

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