Google AdWords

Google New AdWords Expanded Text Format

Google has created a temporary opportunity for AdWords advertisers to have a competitive advantage by switching to their new Expanded Text Ad Format.  The new ad format results in a physically bigger ad, occupying a greater share of the search results real estate.  A larger ad is more noticeable and leads to higher click through rates.  I say this from experience, having implemented them with ALL of my AdWords clients.

What are expanded text ads?

Going from the standard text ad format to the new Expanded Text Ad Format gives you more text to work with, more than the previous standard text ads in a few important ways. The important differences are:

  • Two 30 character headline fields
  • An 80 character description field
  • Using your final URL’s domain as the display URL
  • Two path fields that can be used in the display URL

 

google-adwords-expanded-text-adsThe first two of these changes are the most significant, as the images above depict.  The New Expanded Text Ad on the left is clearly much larger and more prominent.  When you are the only ad format on the search results using the new format, your click through rates might jump as much as 30% to 50%.  Of course, this advantage only lasts as long as your competition lags behind in updating your ads.  Conversely, the disadvantage lasts as long as you lag behind.

I have been asked “Can you still use the old Standard Text Ads?”  Yes you can, but why?  As Google continues to tweak their search results pages, it become increasingly important to stand out, not to blend in with the other noise.

Overall the new ad format gives you almost 50% more space, 50% more opportunity to deliver a compelling message to your audience.

Google AdWords Optimization – Keyword Match Types

Once you have had your AdWords campaigns running for a few months, you should have enough data to start optimizing.  Using keyword match types can help you get more (or less) out of your keywords to improve your financial performance.  When you start your campaign and build your ad groups, ads, and keyword lists, I would strongly recommend sticking to the broad match keyword type, which is the default.  This will give you the most exposure and the most data to evaluate your performance.

For the purposes of some fictional examples, we are an online retailer of baseball gloves.  We are using Google AdWords to attract people to our site who want to purchase a new baseball glove.

Broad Match Keyword Type

Google will attempt to match your broad match keyword with as many closely related terms as possible, including synonyms of the words in your keyword phrase, and searches which contain some of your words.  A keyword such as baseball glove could potentially display your add for searches such as softball glove, baseball mitt, baseball gloves, baseball batting gloves, gloves for baseball.  A short keyword phrase, one, two, or even three words, may trigger your ad for the widest possible search terms.  The negative side is your ad may be triggered for searches you really don’t want, potentially costing you pay per click dollars or click through rates.  For example, the same keyword from above, baseball glove, could trigger your add for terms such as history of the baseball glove and how are baseball gloves made.

To use broad match keywords, simply enter the keyword without any other symbols or modifiers (which are used for other keyword match types).

Phrase Match Keyword Type

If you need a little more control, phrase match keyword match type eliminates a lot of terms by requiring that your entire keyword phrase is contained in the search term.  Using our “baseball glove” example, searches such as baseball player gloves, baseball golden glove winners, and gloves for baseball would not trigger your ad while searches such as baseball glove sizes, types of baseball glovesbaseball glove for kids, and leather baseball glove could trigger your ad.  

To specify the Phrase Match keyword type, simply put the double quote symbols at the beginning and end of the phrase, “baseball glove”.

Exact Match Keyword Type

The greatest amount of control is the exact match keyword match type.  It will also deliver, in most cases, the lowest amount of search impressions as it will only consider your ad for searches that exactly match the keyword phrase.  This match type is best used when your audience searches for a specific item, or when your product mix is quite narrowly defined.  Sometimes it can be useful to use the exact keyword match type when you are running a promotion or perhaps you have some specific traffic types that you want to drive to a specific landing page.  In our example, you could be running a promotion for Youth/Kids Baseball Gloves.  In this example, you might set up an Ad Group specifically to drive traffic to a suitable landing page with exact match keywords such as [kids baseball gloves], [baseball gloves for kids], and [youth baseball gloves].  You would not want to drive traffic to this landing page (which is all about Kids Baseball Gloves) for search terms such as professional model baseball gloves, so you would make the keywords very specific.

To specify the Phrase Match keyword type, simply put the square bracket symbols at the beginning and end of the phrase, [baseball glove].

Negative Keywords

Probably the least used keyword match type is negative keywords, but potentially the most valuable.  Negative keywords eliminate your ad from searches that do not have value to you.  In our example, negative keywords such as -used, -cheap, -secondhand, would all keep you from spending money on searchers who are not looking to buy a new baseball glove.  You can set negative keywords at both the campaign level (in the shared library) as well as the ad group level by using the minus sign before the words.

Getting More from Your AdWords Budget

 AdWords Budget Maximization

If you have been running a Google AdWords campaign for over a month there will be enough historical performance data to optimize and maximize your budget dollars.  The key to effectively managing your budget is to start at the top and drill down to the detail.  If you try to start at the detail level, you will spin your wheels in too many places.  I would normally like to see a campaign running for about 3 months before make too many drastic changes.  If your business has high seasonality, you should base your important decisions on data gathered when it matters most.

Budget maximization is not only about squeezing dollars.  It should be viewed as finding the right places to spend your advertising budget, which means both increasing and decreasing the amounts spent.

Use Conversion Tracking

By running a campaign, you must have some marketing goal in mind that you want the traffic to your website to accomplish.  In most situations, this is purchasing a product or becoming a lead by filling out a form.  If you have identifiable actions such as these on your site, then you should be using Conversion Tracking.  This feature tracks your visitors arriving to your site through the click of an ad.  If they complete the desired action, they are a Conversion.  Tracking conversions shows how your advertising dollars are generating sales and/or leads and provides a cost factor per conversion.  This will be key data used in the following budget maximization efforts.

AdWords Supplies a Ton of Data

There is enough data in an AdWords account to drown away an entire morning of clicking, sorting, secondary dimensions, more clicking and more detail.  The key to not wasting your time and getting the most from your efforts is knowing how to spot the opportunities.  I am assuming you are running a fairly typical campaign, using the Google search network and Google display network, with text ads and image ads.  Also, within each Ad Group, you have multiple ad variants and a suitable list of keywords.

Begin at the top, at the Ad Group level and compare your performance across the board.  The key metrics will be conversions, cost per conversion, clicks, cost per click (CPC), impressions and click through rate (CTR).  This same set of key metrics and viewed at the campaign, Ad Group, ads, and keywords levels.  A conversion is the highest measure of commitment (an likely value) that a website visitor can make.  So any combination of high high conversions is a positive sign.  As long as the cost per conversion fits within your marketing goals, then the high conversion components of your campaign should be what you view as successes.  For the most part, these top performing assets can be left alone to continue performing well.  Where you want to focus your time is where you see high campaign dollars spent, and few conversions.  These are visitors to your website which are costing you dollars, but not returning value.  Dig deeper in these areas and look for specific ads with high dollars spent low conversions.  Also look for keywords generating high traffic volumes but not resulting in conversions.  Where this is happening, you are taking budget dollars away from other ads and other keywords that may perform better.  By simply pausing the campaign elements costing you money, you can retain the data, but free up the budget.  Don’t delete your low performers, just pause them.

Trading Budget $’s

stretching-adwords-budgetsWhen you set your budgets at the start of the campaigns, you had an idea of where the search traffic would come frsqueezing_cents_from_dollarsom and where your dollars needed to be.  Now that you have actual data, from actual search traffic, let the dollars guide you.  Unless you have other marketing goals not related to ROI, begin shifting dollars from elements that are simply driving cost to those that are generating traffic and conversions.  That should mean both shifting dollars, trading from low performers to high performers, as well as adding dollars.

Be prepared to look out side your AdWords and outside your digital media budget to compare the performance of your AdWords dollars to other marketing expenditures.

Adjusting CPC to the Optimum Level

When you first start your AdWords campaign, I strongly recommend you let AdWords automatically set your max Cost Per Click (Max CPC).  This will give AdWords the flexibility to apply your budgets to where the search traffic is happening.  As you become more familiar with your performance data, you will should see some areas of your campaign that are frequently maxing out their budget allotment.  If you do not have additional budget dollars to apply here, then you ca follow another tactic to attempt to get more clicks and conversions from the same dollars.  Begin to manually turn down the max Cost per Click.  If you are maxing out the spend, then that means there are more clicks to be had, but your budget is running out before the end of the day.  Adjusting the max CPC downward by 5% increments can tweak your way to higher traffic for the same dollars. Make the change, then let it run for a couple of weeks.

If your adjustment leads to higher traffic, be prepared to trim the max CPC by another 5%.  Be patient, don’t try to get there all at once with a 25% reduction or you may under price your way into traffic loss.  Once you reach a point where a 5% reduction no longer gets you more clicks for the same dollars, then adjust back on 5% increment.  You have found the line, go back.

Down to the Keyword Level

Managing your campaign at the Keyword level might meant that you have a lot of spare time.  For a sizable campaign, you might have upwards of 1000 keywords.  Trying to manage too much detail at tool low of level can leave you chasing the data instead of using it to guide you.  At the keyword level, i recommend that you do the following:

  • set the date range to 3 month or more
  • sort the keywords by conversions
  • pause the keywords with high media cost, low click through rate, and zero conversions

Using Google AdWords and Google Analytics Together

We will discuss how to use these two powerful tools together, to gain more insights into your traffic generations campaigns.  This will be found in a future article.

Conclusion

Every campaign has something to gain by reviewing and looking for opportunities to improve the performance.  Use the AdWords performance data to guide you to the elements most needing your attention.

 

Responsive Website for txdeerhunt.net

An existing customer called us up and wanted to be more aggressive marketing their Texas Whitetail Deer Hunting.

The project included developing a Google AdWords campaign and a fully responsive website based on our “Mobile First” approach.  The site design, content strategy, layouts, and image galleries were all optimized for mobile.

See more in our Portfolio.

Responsive Website for Bear Down Outfitters

We have just launched the new BearDownOutfitters.com, a custom responsive website for a Saskatchewan Black Bear outfitter.   This client was in need of a brand new website, from scratch, and came to us because of our ability to get other outfitter websites ranked well on search engines.  We also worked with the client to put together a Google AdWords campaign.

The Return on Google AdWords

Google AdWords Return on Investment (ROI)

An effective, and efficient advertising program needs to satisfy two important tests to prove it has a strong Return on Investment.  The first test is does it generate results (usually measured by “leads” or “sales”) and the second advertising test is can you prove the results with data, with conclusive dollars and cents data?  Regarding the first test, Google AdWords delivers result on multiple levels.  The first level of results is that with every click, as every click delivers traffic to your website.  By using the Conversion Tracking tool in AdWords, you can also track the results further, from visitors to visitors who fill out a online form (leads) or complete a shopping cart transaction (sales).   The second test (can you measure it), is satisfied by the extremely detailed report features inside Google AdWords administration area.  You can view your campaign stats by keywords, by ads, by geography, by date range, any measure you need to properly evaluate the Return on Google AdWords.

What gets measured…

“What gets measured gets done”.  The old adage applies to AdWords.  When you attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of an offline advertising program, such as newspaper ad or a print magazine, there is very little to directly connect the data points and measurement of outcomes if very difficult to attribute to a specific activity.  Yes, I do still believe offline Marketing is effective and helps drive brand awareness and brand perception, and can actually stimulate consumer/buyer activity, but measurement is imprecise.  With the direct link between dollars spent and the results data in AdWords, there simply is no question as to whether you are producing a positive ROI with your program.  It is directly possible to measure and improve your return on investment in AdWords through the use of optimization tools based on results data, and then to point your efforts where improvements in your AdWords performance are most likely.

Unlike almost any other marketing program, AdWords does not require a minimum spend or force you to spend even when there are no results. You only pay when a user clicks on your ad, which takes them directly to your site. You can adjust, pause, or stop your campaigns at any time.

To get started with Google AdWords, and get $100 of advertising FREE, visit our Managed AdWords Campaign page.

AdWords Reach is the Online World

Google AdWords Reach = The Whole Planet

You can have it all, the whole planet that is, using Google AdWords.  But do you want it all?  I have said many times AdWords is the most effective advertising tool I have ever used.  I don’t mean the most effective online advertising tool.  I mean the most effective advertising tool, period.

One of the critical measures of an advertising program is it’s ability to reach enough people with your message to have an impact.  With Google AdWords, your reach can extend to the entire Google network, which is the entire world, at least the entire online world.

If your target market geography does not include the entire online population, Google AdWords campaigns can be configured to reach your geographic market, in a relevant, accountable way.  You can target your campaigns by neighborhood, city, province, or country, or choosing a central point and surrounding area.  This way you can match the reach of your ad campaign to your market area.

To get started with Google AdWords, and get $100 of advertising FREE, visit our Managed AdWords Campaign page.

Free Google AdWords Setup

Netnotic Marketing is offering a promotion from November 15th, 2013 to the end of January 2014. We will eliminate our fees to set up a Google AdWords account for you. This is a savings of $500 to $1000 at the front end of the campaign.

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Google-AdWords-Certified-Individual

 

Do you need more information on Google AdWords.  Check our page Google AdWords

If you are ready to take advantage of the Promotional Offer, complete the form on our Contact page and we will be in contact, or call us directly at 306-371-4595.

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The AdWords Relevance Factor

Google AdWords to connects with your market when it’s a most relevant time.

Your ads are being placed when decisions are being made. AdWords shows ads to potential customers during their active searching mode, when they are searching for what your business offers. 89% of consumers making in-store purchases have conducted online research prior to purchase.

When a person searches on Google, they are seeking out information on products they intend to purchase. They are often in an active buying mode. They may be looking for the following:

  • a local source for the product
  • an online source for the product
  • pricing information
  • product specifications
  • product reviews

When searches occur which are not related, or are not relevant, to what you sell, your ads do not appear.

By using Google AdWords you can have your ads placed alongside search results letting them choose you as a source for the product or the information.

Optimizing Your AdWords Account

Google AdWords offers both the ability to create a basic and well performing advertising campaign as well as a set of advanced tools that can really fine tune your campaign for optimized performance.  It is the best Pay Per Click search advertising tool there is.  It takes time and diligent effort, but the payoff in traffic, leads and sales is there.  I have found that following a careful process of analysis and optimization can often double the ROI on a Google AdWords campaign.

Have you already heard enough and are you ready to get started with AdWords? Then visit our Managed AdWords Campaign page.

Here are a few of the key componentss to address in optimizing a campaign.

Keyword Bidding

Keep in mind that in addition to being the best search engine, Google also is the best at optimizing their way deeper into your wallet. When you first create your AdWords account, I recommend that you choose an automatic billing setting, which Google will happily recommend. Their recommendation is a good place to start, but a week or two into your advertising campaign you should view the keyword reports and look for opportunities to get more for your money. Have a look at your daily budget in the billing section. If you are maxing out your daily budget, then you are missing on some clicks. Go into your campaign setting and lower your max click bid by 10%. Using the same campaign budget dollars, you should see a few more clicks as your bids will be adjusted downward slightly, few cents for each click. Also keep a careful eye on the average position of your impressions. If you start slipping below position 3.5 then your ads in a poor performing place and adjusting your bids downward will not be in your best interest. If your average position is above 1.5 then you are most definitely bidding higher than you need. I have found the optimal range to be anywhere from 2.7 to 1.6.  In a future blog article we will discuss an advanced technique, individual keyword bids.

 

If you need professional assistance to set up you AdWords campaign, we have Google Certified AdWords Professional on staff.

 

Reviewing Opportunities

As I mentioned before, Google knows how to optimize their way deeper into your wallet. One way they do this by presenting you with Opportunities to improve your AdWords account performance. Often this is in the form of additional keyword suggestions to add to your campaign. Review their suggestions carefully to make sure that what they suggest is relevant and important to your marketing strategy. They have the biggest and best database of search traffic and keywords. Somewhere in their data vaults is the combinations that will help you get more clicks on your ads. This makes you more productive, and makes Google more money. You both win. But review the keyword suggestions from Google carefully. You need to ensure that what they suggest is what you want. Don’t just blindly accept a new batch of keyword recommendations (sometimes 100 new keywords at a time). You may only find a few are appropriate to your AdWords campaign and your business.

One Ad is Good, Multiple Ads are Great

Besides having the best search database, Google is great at A/B or split testing.  This is a method of comparing results between several options in the same situation, and then selecting the best performing combination. This is built into Google AdWords, but you need to give it the material to work with. This is done by writing multiple ads for your campaigns, for the same set of keywords. This combination of ads and keywords is known as an Ad Group. Initially Google will display all the ads in your ad group equally, then, using your ad performance (click through rate), it will display the better performing ad more frequently. I recommend that for each ad group, you write a minimum of 3 ads. You need to ensure that the ads are somewhat different from each other, swap the 2nd and 3rd lines and change the heading, for example, to create a variation of an ad.

Improve with Testing

Within your AdWords account, everything is tracked and reports can display your results on many dimensions. Never change anything blindly. Always make record of what you change and then review your results  in a week and see if your changes have had the effect you wanted. Don’t be afraid to test an idea. If your test fails (it does not drive increased traffic) then all it cost you some time. Failed ideas are almost free in AdWords as if there are no clicks resulting, then you are not charged.

Are you ready to get started with AdWords? Then visit our Managed AdWords Campaign page.