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Articles in The 'cost-per-click-(CPC)' Tag


July 15 2010

Leveraging Google Base and Your AdWords Account

by Gerard Tollefsen

If you are running a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign with Google AdWords and you sell products through your website, incorporating Google Base in your marketing mix is a wise decision.  For one thing, Google does not charge a fee to submit your products and the visitors you attract from your Google Base listings within the organic search results are not based on a PPC model, in other words, free traffic!  When doing a search on Google, you can easily see the Google Base listings, also known as “Shopping Results”, within the organic search results in the middle of the page.

However, when you have active AdWords and Google Base accounts, the advantage of synching your accounts is that within the Sponsored Links section, you have the opportunity to have an image associated with your PPC ad (see screenshot below).  This can provide an excellent competitive advantage by “pushing down” all other ads on the right hand side of the search results page to accommodate your product image.  Unlike the Google Base “shopping results” within the natural listings, you do pay for clicks since it is technically your PPC ad, but your cost-per-click (CPC) rates are not any higher than a regular text ad.  You get the benefit of added real estate on the page for your sponsored ad, providing more information about your product and showing an image, all without having to pay additional CPC rates.

It is important to set up an optimized feed within the Google Base account and provide as much detail as possible about your products.  Simply supplying the minimum information needed to participate in the Google Base program will not ensure your PPC ads are accompanied by information from your Google Base feed.  Google has a list of required “attributes” for the minimum information required for a data feed to be approved.  In addition, there are “recommended” and “optional” attributes that can enhance and optimize your feed.  To give your PPC ads the best chance to display your Google Base product information (specifically an image and price) you should create a data feed that incorporates all of the required and recommended attributes.  Do not stop there, however, and also include as many of the optional product attributes as you can so your Google Base data feed is fully optimized.

July 15 2009

Natural Progression of Campaign Optimization

by Gerard Tollefsen

An important aspect of running a successful Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign is to identify strengths and weaknesses of the campaign and optimize based on relative data.  There is a natural progression to this optimization process and it’s important to avoid knee jerk reactions if you do not see stellar results right out of the gate.  Here are some ideas to consider when first launching a PPC campaign and what to look for when optimizing the campaign moving forward.

  1. Unless you already have a targeted audience or demographic in mind, it is always good to cast a “wide net” when first launching the campaign.  Be sure to conduct keyword research on popular search terms that are related to your business and identify the low, medium and high cost-per-click (CPC) terms.  To gain the greatest potential audience for your ads, set the match type in your campaign to broad match.
  2. Once your campaign has been active for a few weeks (timing may vary depending on how many clicks you generate at the start of your campaign and your budget) take a look at which keywords are converting and which are accruing multiple clicks without conversions.  Isolating the campaign or adgroup with the lowest performance can be a first step in the optimization process.  If you see your click-thru rate (CTR) is low, this could be an indication that your ad copy is not effective in attracting qualified visitors.  Test different ad variations with different calls to action.  If your click-thru rate is acceptable and your conversions are low, this could be an indication that your landing page needs work.  Test different landing page designs, adjust content and message; even moving images can make a difference.
  3. Be sure to analyze your keywords that are eating up a large portion of your budget without a return on your investment.  This could be a signal your campaign needs negative keywords.  Negative keywords can help limit your ad delivery on broad match terms that are relative to your business, but may also be associated with something completely different than your product or service.  For example, I have a client that sells Corona paint brushes, but I want to make sure the ads are not being displayed if someone is searching for Corona beer!
  4. If you find the “wide net” strategy cannot be implemented because of your budget, look to adjust the match types of your keywords.  Test both phrase match and exact match types for your keywords to limit your ad delivery.  This helps keep your daily spends in check while still having your ads delivered to highly targeted search queries.
  5. Converting keywords should also be optimized to ensure that you are gaining the highest return on your investment (ROI).  Review the average position of your keywords within the sponsored listings.  You may find that you can maintain a high conversion rate at a slightly lower position.  This can help bring down your cost per conversion, thus freeing up more budget to allocate to important keywords where the competition requires a slightly higher bid.

There are many ways to optimize a campaign but keep in mind there is no “standard operating procedure”.  Let the campaign data be your guide in the optimization process.  There is no better way to achieve success in your PPC campaign than to analyze your strengths and weaknesses and make smart decisions based on what the data tells you.  Stay the course and optimize with your main goal in mind.

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