Developing a PPC Bidding Strategy? The Basics Matter

Advertising mavens love to talk about strategy and of the nuances used to get things perfectly right. That’s great for academic discussions and perhaps a few white papers, but most people in the trenches want information that is going to help direct activity and produce positive results. This means taking a look at the basics and that is true for any PPC bidding strategy. The fundamentals are going to be extremely important.

Boiling It All Down To the Essentials

when all is said and done, a PPC strategy has at its core concerns for bids, keywords, and ads themselves. A PPC bid is most effective when the strategy puts an emphasis on conversion rate and also the profit that it is anticipated from each conversion. That is the bare bones of the bid, and it will play an influence on determining what the appropriate strategy for bidding is going to be.

Weighing the Options

The good news is that there is more than one choice when it comes to a PPC strategy. Here are the most common:

Ordinary CPC Bids

this will require a routine inspection of bids be sure conversion rates which are in a state of change have a positive connection to any bids that have been made. The CPC on given keywords are under the control of the advertising manager.

The Use of Auto – Bidding

It has the immediate benefit of producing maximum clicks. Auto bidding will also adjust the bids to be more cost-effective and make it easier to get less expensive clicks. This can help in situations where budgets have to be scaled down, and there is no tracking of anything beyond visits to the website. The only cautionary note is that auto bidding, while permitting less expensive clicks, can result in poor quality.

Deploying CPC That Have Been Enhanced

Google will play a proactive role with experiments on all the bids are placed. Google will do this by making changes influenced by the possibility of an ad conversion. These are particularly effective when time constraints prohibit the ability to routinely maximize the quality of any given bid.

Making Use of the Conversion Optimizer of Google

This is going to require having existing data but Google is in command here, setting bids that will maximize conversions. This is an option that is driven by historic data. Performance trends that are identifiable will work best with the Conversion Optimizer. Using this particular option is going to require regular observation of what is going on. It is not a smart idea just to set things up and walk away from it. If the situation doesn’t look good after a given period of time then it may be necessary to make use of manual bidding.

 Considering Bid Modifiers

the benefit of being able to adjust a bid based on time of day, calendar date, mobile device, and location cannot be denied. Bid modifiers have been an integral part of enhanced campaigns. These can be developed into a series of bid adjustments that can become fairly sophisticated as they are used. Some people are concerned that this may be making things a little bit too complex and perhaps little bit confusing. It can result in multiple combinations taking the place of one bid determining what will be paid for a given keyword. However, the concern over combinations assumes a high level of conversions that may or may not be there. It may sometimes be necessary to just trust the data and concentrate more on how to make the bid modifiers even more effective.

There Can Be Flexible Bidding Strategies As Well

AdWord flexible bid campaigns have also impacted the way that bidding is done. There is no longer one best way and “this way or the highway” approaches to bidding within the framework of a campaign have become ancient history.

There is no question but that more bidding option strategies will be coming along as time goes by. However when one strips through all of the terminology and explanations, the basics are what create fantastic PPC strategies that deliver great results. Goals, objectives, periodic updating, and best practices that include checking things to be sure there are no errors will always be important. An advertising manager should think of options such as bid modifiers and flexible bidding strategies as those components which will expedite what is already been decided. If the fundamentals are kept in mind, they can easily be molded into strategies that ultimately generate enviable figures.

CPA Bidding Can be Even More Effective for You

Google CPA bidding definitely has its good points but unfortunately the benefits can be very short-term. The bidding conducted will be useful but when the statistics are new then the bids have to be submitted once again. That can be the case with placements, landing pages, and any other data point that is within the given account. Data changes can disrupt things a little bit. Unlike landing pages, bids do not have a long-term life. Consequently, bids should be considered only something that will provide a brief positive result in the course of events. When that is recognized, more time can be spent on developing areas of long-term gain such as the ads, with a little less time spent on worried about bidding.

CPA Bidding Challenges

Yet that doesn’t mean that a PPC manager should just sit back and watch the clouds roll by. Whatever time is spent looking at CPA bidding should be as effective and efficient as possible. The chances for poor CPA bidding are fairly high. There are several reasons for this happening:

1. The conversion data is highly irregular and this shows up in both the keywords and in the ads. Situations can arise where there are hundreds of keywords but only a small percentage will register a conversion in a given period of time;

2. Google’s superior assistance can make a PPC manager get lazy. Account management best practices are tossed by the wayside.

3. The great unknown. Stuff happens and it may occur that poor reasons that are not easily identified will deliver an inadequate bid. They can be very frustrating but the unknown variables have to be kept in mind.

Some Minor, and Effective, Fine Tuning

A PPC manager should remember the axiom that less is more. What that means is that instead of making major changes in the bidding process, perhaps a few minor alterations can be done though achieve the intended results.

Poor tracking conversions can create their own nightmares. For example, ignoring mobile devices is going to cause a disparity in data. Google cannot be asked to be perfect when it comes to tracking; it is up to the PPC manager to make sure of that. If the mobile device is equipped with the proper conversion code, the CPA bidding is going to be better. As an overall rule of from the PPC manager should make sure that all tracking is as it should be.

Phone extensions as calls can be converted into sales but sometimes sales made over the telephone are not included in the analytics that determine the real revenue to be assigned to separate conversion statistics. Upgrading to a better campaign will allow for the use of the Report Phone Call Conversions option in the account

Checking the Keywords

CPA bidding is so efficient that sometimes it is taken for granted. Keywords are important, and it can happen that keywords are just added on a routine basis in the hopes that Google will take care of any problems. This can have a bad impact on the CPAs overtime. The CPA can gradually increase and the addition of even more keywords just makes matters worse. Fixing this kind of problem requires adding negative keywords into the mix. A long-term solution would be once again paying very careful attention to the search queries of any keywords that are being used.

Tests for ad copy are important but still some care has to be taken. Even Google’s default answering option can result in CPAs rising faster than desired. The CPA bidding process is not made to serve the needs of ads. If ads are to be tested in any CPA bidding campaign, those ads which are going to be forgotten should have the Google Optimize for Conversion option employed for the testing. Google will select those ads with conversion rates that are optimal and these will get the most exposure. The PPC manager must also have control over what is going on. This means indefinite rotations, careful review of the data, taking a look at the winners and removing any losers from the mix. To summarize it simply means in any ad testing the rotation setting for the test has to be good and all results must be carefully scrutinized

Best Practices are Important

By now it should be fairly obvious that even though CPA bidding takes a lot of the work off of a manager’s shoulders, it is no excuse for not staying on top of things. Best practices for account optimization still have to be followed. CPA bidding can quickly become ineffective extremely expensive if everything is simply ignored.

Sitting back and letting an automatic bidding system take care of things is tempting. What has to be remembered is an old adage of computer information systems: garbage in, garbage out. Google CPA bidding will change the bids based on the system inputs. If bad statistics, or ones not needed, are supplied then adverse consequences will follow.

Using Google’s CPA bidding is not a problem as long as you continue to work on the account and not neglect it. Bids are going to change based on data received. If poor data is inputted, less than optimal decisions will be the outcome. Best practices still have to be followed and a PPC manager must stay on top of things. Neglect leads to poor outcomes. It is really that simple.

Anyone Interested in Saving Some Money by Being a Bit Negative?

Advertising campaigns have to have a sharp eye focused on the budgets. Audiences have to be investigated and AdWords constructed from site URLs.  All are part of proactive strategies to build and cultivate a steady increase in the audience and visitors to the web location. Unique tactics are part of advertising and while everybody wants to think positive, there are few negative ideas that can save money and produce desired results. They revolve around the concept that Remarketing for Search is much more than a means of using search keywords for targeting audiences.

Remarketing for Search has been used successfully in the past to get in front of  specific audiences. There is nothing wrong with doing that, but a cost effective tactic is to go negative. By the way, “negative” in this context has nothing to do with being abusive or vulgar with the message. It is primarily a means of using Remarketing for Search in such a way that traffic is moved into an account for better focus and efficiency maximizing. It revolves around creating an audience in the shared library for a given URL on the website

No Need to Count a Paying Member Twice

It is really a waste of time and effort for any site to have pay per click ads show up in a search done by a paying member. Fresh faces are something that have to be encouraged and it is easy to do. The first page of the site, the one seen immediately after logging in, has an audience created for it along with audience exclusion for any search campaigns. What this means is that the ads are not shown to those who already logged in to the site before in the given campaign. The exclusion strategy can also work on those parts of a website that really are not profit generators. For example, if the website has a page talking about the management, it’s easy enough to exclude those who have visited only that page from seeing an ad in a campaign.

Blocking Tactics

Blocking can also be used for those visitors who already converted in a lead generation strategy, where a completing a second form for leads would not make any sense. Face it, that is comparable to attempting to sell the farm once again to someone who has already bought it. The blocking prevents a visitor from filling out yet another form and being a redundant lead generation. It means that the overall campaign strategy can be a bit more selective. Those people who already signed up for a given program don’t need to be part of the figures of the same campaign twice. Blocking of those who have already converted doesn’t need to be limited to one campaign; this can also extend to other campaigns. It can be important for any web site that is more of a general lead generation platform.

Blocking isn’t a means of arbitrarily cutting people off. Rather, it is a way to prevent redundancy from occurring accidentally. It is negative in the sense that a person does not have access to the campaigns. On the other hand, if this individual has already converted or is a paying member it doesn’t make any sense to keep going after the same information again and again. The generation of leads in particular can benefit from a little bit of negativity.

This is also a way of using something in a different way to reach a cost efficient result. PPC specialists have used Remarketing for Search and are familiar with it. The negative approach is primarily a means of taking what is already known and making optimal use. One of the savings is in time. Instead of spending precious moments thinking of a new way of doing things, what is already used and appreciated is being utilized. There is no major learning curve that results.

This is a little thinking outside of the box that can be very useful when it comes to audiences and lead generation. Granted, this is not something that will promote repeat business but there is little utility in preaching to the choir. It also encourages looking at the website and determining what pages are money makers and focusing attention on them instead of the low producers. To put in plainly, there is a serious opportunity to generate positive numbers by going negative.

Estimated Total Conversion Packs a Profitable Punch

Advertisers who use conversion tracking in AdWords now have a better tool to get a more complete understanding of the conversions that are the result of using AdWords. It is called Estimated Total Conversions and permits an advertiser to not only see daily conversions such as online sales, but also new conversion types that occur including calls and cross-device conversions.

We know from market activity that consumers don’t stand still for very long. They are all over the board and they are connected to any number of devices with which to shop. That is great for business because it means that a person isn’t restricted to walking into a store or using a PC to make a transaction. At the same time, it can be a maddening experience. The same consumer that starts a purchase on a mobile application could easily finish it on a tablet. This can get very confusing particularly during holiday shopping seasons. What is great about estimated total conversions is that it offers the opportunity to better understand consumer behaviors with some insights that are derived from such activity. It can clearly have a positive benefit for measuring the results of any campaign, or period of activity.

Here are just some of the ways that estimated total conversions will be helpful:

  • Knowing the mobile and its value. It’s common part of the conversation among advertisers just how powerful mobile applications are in principle. Estimated total conversions allow your advertising people to know in fact the full impact. For example, a campaign can be started on mobile devices with various advertising used. With the help of estimated total conversions activity what wasn’t known before, such as a purchase that started with the use of an iPhone and ended on a PC, becomes available data. Having this information will allow for decisions that could include working with a budget to better show Return on Investment (ROI), or even making subtle changes to any mobile bids:
  • Allowing for a second consideration of any desktop/tablet bid. Make no mistake about it, the ROI which is derived from AdWords is going to be changing as activity, including conversions, attributed to AdWords gets more focused attention. This can allow the advertising department to readily consider the cost per acquisition (CPA) of either a desktop or tablet based on the information derived from the conversions. Any positive changes in CPA will allow for new opportunities that were not considered before, including larger positions and volumes due to increasing the bids.
  • Solid bang for the buck. Advertising is always going to be concerned about how the money is spent. As much profitable sales figures as possible have to be squeezed somehow out of the message being delivered. The total value of any investment in AdWords advertising can change noticeably once the conversion figures are seen more clearly. This is going to allow for better focus of scarce dollars. Rather than being forced to do a shotgun effect to see which is best, the conversion figures are going to allow for a more rifled approach. The advertising department is consequently spending more in areas where possible success is more clearly defined. This is thanks to conversion figures that the estimated total conversions will allow to be seen.

The benefit of estimated total conversions will be seen most quickly in the area of retail trade. In this sector of the economy where the fickle behavior of consumers cause migraine headaches, the conversion figures are going to allow for better decisions being made. Some companies are already beginning to see the benefit and are able to maximize sales derived from mobile applications.

The consequence is a more efficient use of scarce budget dollars. Spend optimization is not yet a real science, but thanks to understanding cross device conversions, money can be spent more advantageously than ever before.

A retail company that uses total estimated conversions information is going to see the benefit when November and the Christmas shopping season comes around. Retail places its orders in the fall and plans its advertising campaigns in the months leading up to Black Friday. The cross – device conversion figures will prove invaluable when it comes to developing the bids and assigning money to advertising efforts. Retail margins are notoriously thin. Proper use of the estimated total conversion figures will make those numbers a little bit fatter.

5 Ways to Conquer a PPC Campaign

No matter how the strategy is designed for an AdWords account campaign, there are going to be revisions made. The market and consumer tastes change, many times without warning. It is an understandable temptation to make radical changes to better adapt, but it might not really be necessary. Within existing campaigns there are points of light where immediate figures can be generated that increase the bottom line. Account managers must be willing to look back a moment before just surging forward.

  1. The match matters in search advertising. It does happen that particular match types are going to get priority. In looking over the campaign an account manager must be certain that the matches used in the campaign are the best possible. If they are, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. A broad match with a little variation can increase keyword exposure and gain traffic. Query search reports can help determine if positive keywords that have been modified have given desired results. These are alterations to the campaign, however, and not massive overhauls.
  1. A tool that can be used effectively and draws from what is already there are Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs). These will create a campaign based on existing website content instead of keywords. Granted, there may be a virtual library of keywords already created, but the DSA gives the opportunity to determine if there is other traffic out there to be exploited. This does work, by the way. Google advertisers experienced as much as 10% more clicks when a DSA effort was included in the AdWords campaign. It increases positive exposure but there is a caveat attached. Only relevant pages of the website should be included; sales really aren’t generated from the About US page of the website.
  1. Nothing said thus far should be meant to infer that keywords no longer patch a punch in AdWords campaign. They do and new keywords drawn from existing site content can add a little more zest to a paid search campaign. It’s a case of using what is there instead of exploring the unknown to see what might generate buzzing traffic. Besides, testing new keywords will cost scarce dollars. A remarketing list for search ads, RLSA, will focus not just on keywords but the audience as well. A change in setting will allow concentration on a target group of people who have previously been to the website. New and generic keywords can be then be used on these return customers to determine success. Positive figures will then justify making the use of the new keywords to the general consumer public.
  1. Bid multipliers can refine the pool of those searchers being enticed so that only the interested are looking at products or services which are being offered. Location, Device, Audience, and Time of Day functionalities ought to be employed. Those cities that have performed should be investigated, and these urban areas may be quite different than originally anticipated. Those that deliver the best figures can then have bids increased. Repeat visitors should be added to the audience with subsequent bid increases. This makes sense because such consumers are already familiar with the company products and/or services. In fact, those who have already made purchases should be in the mix and there is an opportunity to develop brand loyalty. The time of conversion rates are when bids need to be increased. The time when the ad position drops ought to be noted as well, because it may be a key time and a bid multiplier can be used to prevent being outbidded.
  1. Whenever practicable, ad extensions should be used for their beneficial impact of the rate of click-through. Image extensions and sitelinks would be the focus. Image helps a product stand out and is a great click persuader. Enhanced sitelinks can help land the search account on the all-important first page of search results.

Optimization and refinements are a part of being in the world of e-commerce. Meeting the challenge of competition doesn’t mean the account manager should make highly dramatic changes that risk not producing results. A more tempered approach is to use existing content and greater focus on existing data, including previous visitors and buyers. It means a more mature strategy that responds rather than reacts. That has optimal chances of producing desired sales figures.

Generating A Knockout Keyword List

You already know the importance of keyword research to the success of your projects, but sometimes arriving at the right keywords can be a real struggle. After all, these are the words that real readers type into the search box to get their favourite search engine. It is also the words that the search engines use to determine how to rank your site. If you find yourself struggling to choose the right keywords, make sure you are aware of the tools that are available for you to use.

The Company’s Website:

The first place to start digging for keywords is on the company’s website. Look at the website and see what keywords are already in place. For example, if you are trying to pet food for Mars, then some of your keywords would include Pedigree, caesar, and Chappi. A quick look at the website yields more keywords including food and treats, feeding a dog, and Breeder’s Club. If the site has a sitemap, it can be a gold mine for ideas. It is vital to make this list as long as possible. A great way to do this is to write them down in an Excel programme dedicating a line to each possible keyword. You are making no judgements at this point.

Think Like Your Users:

The next step is to think like your users. Not everyone calls everything by the same name. Therefore, it is essential to include all the variations on your list. For instance, some people may buy dog food for their animal, while others may buy puppy food for the exact same animal. If possible, talk to dog owners and watch the words that they use or read some dog forums and see what words people use.

Use Tools:

The next step is to use tools that the different search engines provide to expand your list even further. There are many tools available and some of the best include:

FreshKey (freshkey.com) allows you to search Amazon, YouTube, Google, Bing, Google Marketplace, Wikipedia, YouTube and eBay in one simple search. Then, you can search by the number of users that use that keyword phrase within each programme, This programme also shows you which words are hottest right now.

Soovle (http://soovle.com) allows you to search Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, Answers, YouTube, Bing and Yahoo. This programme is free, but produces tremendous results. Slowly type your possible keyword into the search box and ideas will even appear as you type. For example, by typing dog food into the box, the programme generates dog food commercial, dog food challenge, dog food prank, and dog food lid among the thousands of choices.

Ubersuggest (http://ubersuggest.org) offers users the option to search images, news, shopping, video and recipes. Enter a keyword and the programme will generate thousands of suggestions. For example, by typing dog food into the box, the programme generates dog food reviews, dog food recalls, and dog food brands.

WordStream (http://www.wordstream.com/keywords) offers users the option to search many keywords. Entering our dog food term generated a list of almost 20,000 keyword terms including wellness dog food, dog food recipes, and solid gold dog food. The best part of this tool is that it will also help you group your keywords, and create list of negative keywords to use. Remember that in many cases, if you are conducting PPC campaigns, using negative keywords can be very effective.

The advantage of using various tools including those provided by Google and Bing is that you can greatly expand your list because each programme chooses different dynamics to test.

When you follow this approach to selecting keywords you literally develop a list of thousands of possible keywords. Then, you are ready to use the keywords in the right way in your PPC ads or blogs to generate outstanding results.

6 Top Secret Stops to A Successful PPC Campaign

If you have ever gone on a long trip, then you know the importance of having a map. You will want to study which towns you need to pass through along the way, and know what you can accomplish in each of those towns. It is no different when planning a PPC campaign. You need to understand the roadmap so that you can get to your final destination of the best campaign ever.

1. Set Your Objective :

Just like when you are leaving on a road trip, you need to know where you are going. Most people head either to gathering leads or getting sales, however, you may have a different goal. The most important thing is to know where you are headed or you may drive around in circles and get know where.

2. Find Your Customer’s Pain :

The most successful products are created to solve a problem that the customer has at the moment. Stop and figure this out. It is important to identify this point before proceeding down the road.

3. Create A Story :

The next step is to create your landing page. The landing page should show the customer exactly how the product solves the customer’s problem. It should have an introduction that grabs the audience’s attention. It should have some building action. Most importantly it should have a strong call-to-action.

4. Create Your PPC Ad :

Now that you have identified the purpose of the ad, how your product solves the problem, and the landing page, you are ready to create the ad. Remember that you need to use powerful words in the headline and the image on the ad should speak volumes. Try to show your customer the benefits of your programme in your ad.

5. Run Congruence :

Congruence is a simple element, but one that is often overlooked. Every element of your PPC campaign should support the other elements. Make sure that they go together, including words, logos, and colours. You want to build the trust of the customer and one way to do that is to keep everything congruent to help ensure them that they have arrived at the right place.

6. Arrival :

You are now almost ready to arrive at your final destination, a successful PPC campaign. Never rest on your laurels, but continually be testing to see if there are minor tweaks that you can do to improve your campaign. You always need to be testing new ads in the hopes that one will top your current top ad.

The truth of the matter is that the PPC marketer never truly arrives at their destination. By following this roadmap you are ready to begin the journey that has no end.

 

4 Factors You Must Consider When Creating a Landing Page

The landing page is one of the most important things that you will create. The page needs to promote your product, without being sounding like you are selling. Therefore, before you write your next landing page, make sure to consider if it is reliable, factual, informative and accurate.

1. Reliable:

Only include information on your page that is reliable. This encourages the potential customer to trust you. If you break that trust, then you have broken a relationship that is nearly impossible to rebuild.

2. Factual:

You know that you have the best product in the world, but do not tell your customer that. Instead, give your customer the facts and allow them to find out for themselves. When presenting these facts make sure to explain to the potential customer why that fact is important.

3. Informative:

Pack your page with information. Each sentence should tell the reader something new or explain a concept in more detail. This is especially vital because the more information there is the more Google will like the page. Thus, the more customers will see your page. Secondly, the more information you pack onto the page, the more the potential customer will want to share it with their friends.

4. Accurate:

The information on the page should be accurate. It is never wise to lie about your product. The information on the page should sell the product without you needing to lie to the customer.

When you are creating your landing page, make sure that you keep it reliable, factual, informative, and accurate. You want the customer to become your lifelong customer and to find the information so great that they will want to share it with their friends.

4 Steps to Raise Your Quality Score

The higher your quality score, the less you will need to bid on a PPC keyword. In addition, the higher your quality score, the lower the cost of conversion. When you have a higher quality score, your return on investment instantly goes up. Therefore, it pays dividends to raise this number. When looking to raise your score, make sure to consider these four areas.

Keyword Research:

The most successful quality scores starts with great keyword research. While major corporations can afford to go after the most sought after keywords, most people with smaller budgets need to look at long-tail keyword opportunities. For instance, if you are trying to sell shampoo, instead of using shampoo try using a particular brand name, product name or target people in a certain geographical location.

Keyword Organisation:

After you have discovered what you think are the right keywords, then see how you can effectively group them together. Using grouped keywords allows you to target your PPC ads to the targeted audience and will raise your quality score.

Refine Always:

You already know that PPC advertising is a very competitive field. Therefore, you should always be looking to refine your current ads to produce better results. You should always be trying to create a new ad that will be more effective than your current ad.

Optimise:

In the past, there were many theories about where the keywords belonged on a landing page. Now, instead of worrying about where the keywords are placed, it is much more important to offer viewers of the landing page, information that is reliable, factual, informative, and accurate.

Following this procedure allows you to raise your quality score. In return, you will pay less for your keywords. You will also enjoy a higher click through rate. The best news of all is that you will have a higher return on investment.

3 Ways to Create a Keyword List

Google earns over $32.2 billion dollars each year in advertising revenue from Google AdWords. Therefore, it is vital to choose the correct keywords so that you are winning as many bids as possible. In order to build your keyword list, it is vital to consider three important factors.

Relevant

Your keywords must be relevant to what you want to accomplish. For instance, if you are selling shampoo, then bidding on keywords about dog food will not do you any good regardless of how low price they are. Instead, bid on keywords like shampoo, but don’t forget to also bid on brand name keywords like Hair Expertise Ever Pure by L’Oreal.

Exhaustive

Now, that you have started forming your keyword list, it is important to keep adding to it. A great way to do this is to add locations to your keywords. For example, buy shampoo in London. These keywords are usually cheaper than the exhaustive keywords that are found around the world.

Expansive

If you are going to be successful you need to constantly be changing your keywords. Just because a keyword works today, does not mean that it will work tomorrow. Therefore, always add to your list.

Choosing the right keyword is vital to your success as a PPC campaigner. Choose the right keywords and you can produce high click-through rates. Remember that your list should be relevant, exhaustive, and expansive for the best results. Never rest on your laurels, but keep trying new keywords for the best results.