Think Twice about Your Brand Terms

There is nothing wrong with occasionally questioning some of the daily routine chores. We often get a better understanding and can even gain profitable insights. You probably wonder why it is important to bid on brand terms, particularly when your brand holds down the top spot in SEO. You are not alone; most PPC marketing managers question the duty from time to time. It seems sensible that a customer who is looking for your brand term will click through to your website. So, why waste good money on a wasted click? The visibility is already fairly high.

It is a cost sensitive question. No marketing manager has a sugar daddy and marketing budgets can be pretty tight. Those brand terms used in PPC are expendable if sales can be found elsewhere. They become quick victims of any budget cuts. Nevertheless, do not assume SEO is going to attract PPC traffic all of the time. It makes good sense to test the impact and not always work on a guess. Consequences of not bidding on those brand terms will differ depending on the degree of competition, and the client.

Brand Bidding Has Changed a Bit

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) has made an impact on brand bidding and you can test brands, and any audience driven product, in your PPC accounts. More is known about whoever is searching, and you don’t have to be as concerned about taking action on what a consumer is looking for. There is now sufficient data to know if a group of people are not serving a given ad; additional information gathering is not needed. Instead, the emphasis has to be on which ad will be presented to the buying public.

Let’s take a hypothetical brand, “New Product Communications,” which is a brand providing television, phone, broadband, and also mobile services to its customers and clientele. A traditional brand test would be an ad with the term “product communications”. An alternative would be to not show an ad and follow up by measuring what the impact of doing this might be in the final results. Qualifiers might include a given period of time, geo-targets, or an hourly approach to the test. The ad copy itself would remain the same in all cases.

That is yesterday’s test approach. Audience-led searches make it possible to ascertain if an existing customer is looking for “product communications”. The next step determines the kind of customer; if this person is television only, or perhaps just mobile services. The new information will make the display of a PPC ad based on brand terms more valuable for retention, upsell, customer acquisition, or all three.

Noting the New Value

Current customers will be able to see cross-sell messages instead of just available products only. Those who have the entry level offering can be exposed to upsell messages. Referral schemes are supported with site links and the customer service is enhanced. The value of the brand term becomes greater as audience data is employed to fine tune communication. It doesn’t stop here, either. Audience-led searches and RLSA can also be used with brand terms to include the exclusion of existing customers. Budgets then become more focused on purchases, announcing new product offerings without angering present customers who are not eligible for any discounts. A product specific ad, developed on previous on-site activity, can be shows to a prospective customer. Existing customers can be given the opportunity to have deep-links to the login pages of the account.

Testing This

Granularity and specificity derived from using RLSA can be crossed out with an on-off test to check on brand term value. Customer KPI will influence the strategy for brand terms in the PPC. Measurement will be essential because everything must be backed up by data. Clients will, no doubt, reconsider the value of brand terms in PPC with the new information. This will be helpful since CPCs are now increasing in use. Being as close to the audience as possible will drive desired returns. Brand terms will take on a greater role in delivering the goods. A smart PPC manager will take note of their value and think of them as more than just routine parts of the project.

You Can Fine Tune Your PPC Bidding Strategy for Better Results

A paid search has three essential elements: Bids, Keywords, and Ads. Bids have changed significantly in the last year or so. This development requires account managers to take a very serious look at bid strategy. As bids themselves have changed, the same is true for the tactics used in order to gain an advantage.

Simply put, the best CPC bid has an equation of conversion rate times target cost per conversion (Conversion Rate x Target Cost Per Conversion). Account managers would place historical conversion rate data by keyword on a spreadsheet, include with it a target cost per conversion column, and multiply both to get the right CPC for the account. That is all well and good, but now the decision has to be made as to the proper overall bidding strategy to use. The following are some options.

  1. Regular Bidding
  • You control the CPC for every keyword you designate;
  • This is going to consume time, because you will have to check the bids so they are effective given what can be changing conversion rates.
  1. The Enhanced CPC Approach
  • Google will utilize experiments on every one of your bids, decreasing or increasing the numbers based on how your ad might convert. Good results will cause Google to move from your default to an Enhanced CPC;
  • These work well on those accounts where bids are not regularly optimized.
  1. Auto Bidding
  • This gives the maximum number of clicks Google will derive from the daily budgets of your campaign. Bid adjustments will deliver less expensive clicks;
  • It works best for those accounts which have small amounts of conversion data. For example, the only statistics tracked are website visits from browsers;
  • It comes in handy if you have to cut back on budgets due to high lost impression shares;
  • Auto bidding could buy cheap clicks with poor quality. Store visits and telephone calls could drop as you lose the interested audience which came with high CPC keywords.
  1. Google Conversion Optimizer
  • Google can set the bids and allow you to generate conversions;
  • This will work in those accounts with reliable trends of performance. Business with seasonal fluctuations may want to think twice about this, because the Optimizer will have a negative impact on bids because of a few days of slow business;
  • You would be wise to record Conversion Rate and the CPA of your campaign before you use the Google Conversion Optimizer. That way, if after a few weeks the figures are not improving you can go return to using the manual bidding

Impact of Bid Modifiers

Account managers know how different situations will affect the keyword bids. Consumers using different mediums (desktops, smartphones, etc.) and will not have common conversion rates. Bid modifiers can help. You are able to fine tune your bids for time of day, week, or other criteria based on a percentage.

These will perform like regular CPCs in determining what they ought to be. You can quickly develop a good system of bid adjustments that reflect time of day or another criterion such as mobile devices. Control is always something to think about. Multiple overlapping bid adjustments may be necessary.

What About Flexible Bidding Strategies?

AdWords now permits flexible bid strategies which may have significant benefits for any campaign. You are no longer tied down to one form of bidding. It is possible to develop a bid strategy to be applied for those campaigns where it is needed, without having to create an entirely new campaign. You can bid one CPA target for a low value keyword, and quote another figure for a bid on a high value keyword. Additionally, in the same campaign, you can have a Top of Search Page bid.

You must know what goals you have, have a regular update schedule, and monitor activity to be successful on Google. This is true whether or not you decide to use flexible bidding strategies or bid modifiers. It is the kind of work and the amount of time spent on chores that have changed. It is definitely worth the sweat equity and you will discover that your bids become better, generating the right kind of results. It is certainly worth your while to think seriously about any changes to your PPC bidding strategy

CPA Bidding Can Help if You Let It

It is important to set bids but the benefits may be short-lived. All the bidding is useful until there is a change in data. You then have to start all over with new bids. The number of data changes can be a headache. The changes will not produce long term gains because keyword bids need constant revision. Still, the bids are needed. Long term gains are reserved for CPA bidding, in which a PPC manager spends less time on bids, believing an enabled system for CPA bidding will take care of things. That does not always happen. Mistakes can occur in a number of areas that will cause CPA bidding to fail:

  • Because Google takes care of bidding, there is a temptation to ignore the established best practices of account management;
  • The conversion data by keywords and ads is irregular. A small number of conversions may take place in a short period of time, but will have to be considered part of the year’s total conversion numbers. Consequently, if you want to erase any to increase conversions between fewer data points; you can’t.
  • The CPA bidding simply does not work. This can be due to human error or a reason lost in the data. Either way, the CPA bidding effort is not resulting in correct bids.

The good news is that the CPA bidding can be successful. It just needs the following acts of fine tuning.

  1. Call Extensions Can Be Used to Create Goals

Phone extensions are used as calls frequently converted into sales. These sales are over the phone and sometimes are put into the analytics to note the true revenue per conversion. The “Report Phone Call Conversions” option can be used. This counts calls as conversions for the sake of data. An alternative can be to disable the call conversion option, and use the option so as to note the calls instead as goals. CPA bidding, which beforehand may be going up, will return to designated goals.

  1. The Right Type of Keyword Expansion.

Adding more keywords and hoping that Google will sort things out is risky business. The CPA can rise and go unnoticed until things get out of hand. Should that happen, the keyword expansion strategy simply has to be altered a little. Adding more negative keywords can restore balance and allow the CPAs to go down to the right amount.

  1. Address Any Data Problems

The tracking can be the source of difficulty. Mobile devices are becoming major players in the Internet marketing world, and need to have conversion tracking. CPA bidding cannot be tied only to desktop performance. By having the conversion code on the mobile site the CPA bidding gets better.

  1. Ad Copy Testing Has an Impact

You can accidently have your CPAs go through the roof with the wrong ad testing. Using the default ad serving option of Google, optimizing it for clicks, is the culprit. You have to implement the proper ad rotation setting. If you are going to test the ads in any CPA bidding campaign you have to either control everything or use “Optimize for Conversions” for the testing. The former has indefinite rotation. You pick the winners and drop the losers based on the statistical results. The latter recognizes a tendency to forget about the test ads. Using the optimizer option permits Google to select the ad with the best conversion rate and display it more than the others.

Best practices matter with CPA bidding. It can be very effective when properly used. Best practices for optimizing an account is essential; you cannot afford to get lazy and ignore that. You need to keep busy on your account, even though Google’s CPA bidding or the automatic system you happen to be using makes things easy. There is a reliance on the data supplied. Bad data goes in; horrible decisions come out.

An automated system can make your life easier and help you manage your account. But, best practices have to be followed all the same. Any manager who ignores the account risks having the CPA bidding go in a direction that is unanticipated, and produces bad consequences. Stay at the wheel of the account you are driving. Never rely faithfully on automatic pilot.

Negative Search Audiences are Money Savers

It is a given that you can develop customer bases with the use of AdWords. All it takes is having a remarketing tag connected to your website and then use the URLs which you have. Google Search will assist in providing an estimate of the audience size. Remarketing for Search is often thought of as a tool for using keywords to focus on various groups. This is true, but you can also create negative audiences by using Remarketing for Search. This permits traffic to be followed in your account so you can do a better job of optimizing and targeting. You can think about the following ways of doing this.

  • Dealing with Career Page Visitors

Every single page of your website needs to make money for you. You can block visitors who are only interested in the Career page you may have on the website. If the shared library you create has an audience which is targeted on the Career page link, it is easy enough to create exclusions for those visiting the Career page in any branding campaign you are conducting. It stops someone who is looking at the available positions, using branded terms, from seeing the ad you created. You can go so far as to prevent anyone who is looking at the Career page from also viewing any other current campaigns.

  • Blocking Current Subscribers

If you are promoting a service, it makes no sense to have current subscribers clicking on the advertisement. It means you will be paying for clicks from people who already are paying you. You want to get new subscribers. Remarketing for Search is going to be able to help stop this from happening. It involves generating an audience in the shared library for the URL your existing members will see when they login. You then take that audience and add it as an exclusion to the search campaigns you have. Anyone who is already logged in, who obviously is a paying subscriber, will not be seeing the advertisement of the campaign.

  • Stopping Those Who Have Converted Before

These are those people who have already responded to your call to action, and perhaps even made a purchase. If you’re looking for lead generation, it doesn’t do any good to have a person fill out the second lead. You want to get new people on filling out those lead queries.

You need to decide what you wish to do. There can be times where aggregate lead forms can be helpful, and these are situations where numerous lead form completions are not a problem. You can control the flow very simply. The URL can be modified to note what program a lead came from. This being done, you are able to block a visitor from a given campaign based on the program in which they have already done a conversion. You build the audience in the shared library for the particular URL a visitor receives after registering, and add the URL as a negative audience for any campaign which targets keywords related to specific program. Thus, only those who are not already a conversion are going to see the advertisement you designed.

If you have a website that is more in tune with general lead generation, it is possible for you to block any and all converters in every campaign. If someone has completed a lead form to get a free product or service, you can prevent that same person from becoming part of another campaign. You’ve got their information you don’t need anything more from them. It makes no sense to have them complete a second form.

As you are blocking these people you have to keep in mind again the importance of the budget. You do not want anyone who has already converted clicking that ad one more time, because it means money is wasted on the click. You want to be able to build an audience from new people, and that is a fundamental reason for negative strategies. Remarketing for Search is going to help you generate those negative audiences, and keep them from populating your figures on lead generation. It is going to result in campaigns that are more cost-efficient and produce the right type of results.

Make the Most of a Paid Search Account!

Optimizing the AdWords account you establish is going to take a lot of your time. You’re going to be analyzing data, making decisions on the account based on that analysis, and essentially do what you can to get the most out of the account. It all becomes routine after a while and changes become rather minor fine-tuning efforts. Nevertheless, you can score some fairly easy points by doing a little bit of new activity. You can think of these as wins that do not require an awful lot of effort. A nice surprise is that there is more than one way to get some fast and easy positive results.

  • Experimenting with Match Types

Advertisers will use particular match types, which they utilize more frequently than others. It is essential to have a match type that is best suited for a given campaign. You can do a little experimenting by adding effective keywords in exact match types. Exact match keywords will not have the same cost per click as a phrase match, and you need to have a separate bidding strategy for each.

A modified broad match will allow a controlled exposure of your keywords. You can add terms which are producing desired figures, or might generate increased traffic volume. A smart idea is to review the query reports, and make changes which will add good keyword variations into any campaign.

  • Dynamic Search Ads Are Useful

You can have a campaign based on website content with dynamic search ads. You don’t have to use keywords, and the headline to your advertisement is created dynamically. from the search query. You will be moving away from the keyword list you already constructed, and the dynamic search and is going to allow you to

notice any other traffic that may prove useful. The next search ads have been proven to increase clicks and conversions if they are used in AdWords accounts. They are not difficult to set up at all. Be selective regarding those pages that are going to be scanned, to avoid having your advertisement show up on a random search query.

  • Don’t Ignore Ad Extensions

The ad extensions are going to help your click through rate. Using them will improve the click through rate and also magnify your position on the search results page. Site links and image extensions are two types of extensions you ought to consider seriously. Taking advantage of the description functionality permits you to have at least four additional advertisements for a page, and that helps you gain preeminence on any search result. Image extensions will let you use an image of the service or product you are promoting. It accompanies your ad and allows your marketing tool to stand out. This is going to allow you to prequalify and promotes desired clicks.

  • Add New Keywords

You do not have to use the old standards all the time. If you take a look at the content of your website, you may discover there are pages where you don’t have sufficient coverage from the paid search campaign you are conducting. You can actually have a fresh pair of eyes take a look at the content, so that any personal bias in favor of given keywords is nonexistent. A solid benefit of new keywords is fresh blood being added to a campaign that may be losing its punch. You can use a remarketing list for search ads (RLSA) campaign to help. RLSA focuses on both the keyword and the audience. You can use new keywords to create a campaign, and then alter the settings so that they are only shown to a target audience that is looking for one of your particular keywords.

  • Optimize Bid Multipliers

Advertisers are now able to set bid multipliers based on location, audience, time of day, and device. It is essential to maximize any opportunity that bid multipliers provide. The preferred audience would be those people who have visited your website before. This will allow you to increase your bid, since they have already become familiar with your website. An even narrower focus would be on those people would make purchases from your website, and they may still be interested in your products.

Time of day has to consider those times and days that show the highest conversion rates. Increase your bids during those time slots. You also can take a look at the performance at given times and add a bid multiplier if it looks as if you are losing ground during certain hours. The Dimensions tab is going to help you find out where geographically you are experiencing your highest conversion rates. You are then able to increase bids in those areas to improve your figures. If you are not taking into consideration mobile devices, you should start as soon as possible. You can take a look at performance based on tablet or smartphone, and make some adjustments to the mobile bid. The periods are going to be very important, and you should increase any bid adjustment based on increased performance.

Estimated Total Conversions will Help with Conversions

It is commonly accepted that AdWords is fantastic for any online marketing campaign. Google has done everything in its power to help business reach out to potential customers. Conversions are extremely important and you need to have a means of determining how well, or how poorly, you are doing. Estimated Total Conversions is one means of getting a better idea. This tool will permit you to take a look at the daily conversions, like online sales, and also different conversion types such as balls and cross device conversions.

It helps to have such figures, because of the dexterity of the modern consumer. A person may use a smart phone to find a product, and then use a tablet later on to make a conversion. Business activity is not limited to one device at all. The value of Estimated Total Conversions is made clear during major shopping seasons, such as Christmas. You are given a better opportunity to find out about consumer behaviors and that can give you an edge over the competition. The following are some way to make best use of Estimated Total Conversions for your advertising campaigns.

  1. Get Results from Mobile. Mobile devices are not a fad. They are here to stay and you have an opportunity to shape campaigns which will take full advantage of these devices. It’s becoming a common occurrence that those marketing campaigns which start using mobile devices begin to see conversion rates not known before. The conversions will come from various sources. As mentioned above, people will begin on one mobile device and then make a full conversion on another. Cross device conversions will show total estimated conversion rate of nearly 10%, and mobile initiated conversions are well into the double digits. Managers who see this are able to react quickly to get a better return on investment keywords. Budgets are being allocated and mobile bids adjusted to optimize the use of the mobile devices. Bids for those parts of an account that are favorably impacted from smartphones or tablets are being increased, resulting in better volume figures without sacrificing quality.
  2. Review the Desktop/Tablet Bid You Created. The return on investment you achieve from AdWords is going to change as you see more conversions being associated with AdWords. This is going to require that you review your cost per acquisition for desktop and/or tablet, which is the result of cross device conversions. Do not hesitate to do a recalculation. Your cost per acquisition may have significant changes due to the cross device conversions. Consequently, you have a chance to explore possibilities where your position can be increased as well as your volume simply by raising your bids.
  3. Prioritize Your Spending. As the number of conversions increase, you can expect the value of the AdWords investment to noticeably change. It can be any other medium such as digital channels or perhaps off-line media; you have to put your money where it has the best effect. The Estimated Total Conversions are going to give you information which will help you develop better budgets and get more out of your investment in bids. Cross conversions will result in increased total conversions within the AdWords universe. A better understanding across channels is there with the Estimated Total Conversions.

We suggest with the above that Estimated Total Conversions is more than just gathering interesting statistics. The data that you are able to view can be highly usable tools to use on your campaigns. You have an opportunity to fine tune bids, and perhaps look at how mobile devices are producing impact.

Anyone who does not use or underestimates the value of mobile devices is heading for failure. People are doing more and more searching and shopping with their smart phone or their tablet. It permits the consumers to make conversions wherever they happen to be. You have a unique opportunity to increase the value of your conversions as you better understand the mobile devices.

The challenge is that cross device conversions can be difficult to track. The Estimated Total Conversions will permit you to get an idea of what is going on. That information trickles down to the rest of your campaign, as you seek ways to increase your return on investment and get the conversion figures you are hoping to receive.

4 Ways To Make the Most of the PPC Component

You are given a major Internet marketing opportunity you must exploit. Google AdWords and other cyberspace networks allow your business the opportunity to reach out to target audiences all over the globe. You want to take advantage of mega traffic, and that is why you are putting large sums of cash into your PPC advertising budget. But even though the Internet is a land of opportunity, there is no absolute guarantee you’ll be highly successful. You still have to be concerned about return on investment and take steps necessary to optimize all of your efforts. You can do that with a number of options.

  1. Get the Right Tracking Software

Do not just get any software package off the shelf to track your PPC conversions. This really does not save any money and causes some serious problems. Investigate the software and not just look for the keywords. More details such as days and hours when searchers are busy on the Internet or the location of these people is going to be important. All the details need to be in real time.

The PPC tracking software should be able to do data analysis every day, as well as any computations needed. The ability of the software to do this is going to save you incredible about the time. Furthermore, you are able to get information on PPC activity, which you can analyze almost immediately. You also have the ability to better control direct linking campaigns and those campaigns you have designed for landing pages.

  1. Tracking of PPC Conversion

It helps to have a clear understanding of PPC conversion tracking. It helps you better measure return on investment, in addition to being able to notice data on leads and sales generated by the website you have. The PPC conversion tracking software permits you to track the lead to a given advertisement and a specific keyword. This allows you to better plan your PPC budget and maximize revenue in the bargain. Always keep in mind your bidding strategy must target those keywords that produce traffic that ultimately converts. If you not able to get those conversions, both money and time resources are being poured down the drain. Do not hesitate to get rid of any keywords that are not producing sufficient conversions. Retaining bad ones is draining money from an already tight PPC budget.

  1. Pay Close Attention to the Landing Page

Those PPC advertisements you have created are to direct consumers to exact pages where search terms can be located. Making sure that happens is going to increase conversion rates. You do not want visitors to go shifting through a number of pages trying to find what they need. They will not do that. Instead, they will touch down on the landing page for a split second and then leave. An opportunity is lost whenever that happens.

The landing page, properly constructed, encourages visitors to take action and make a purchase. The marketing copy on the landing pages gives the enticing message. Do not try to get an academic piece on your landing page. Instead, that copy ought to be concise, easy-to-read, and written so that a person quickly understands it and is exposed to the right type of content. The moment the consumer lands on your page, he or she should have an idea of what is being sold and any benefit to be derived from the purchase. Do not overload the landing page with navigational options; a strong message should be right in front of the viewer’s eyes. Testimonials are great way to persuade a web browser to take a closer look at what you are offering.

  1. Titles and Descriptions

Do not ignore the titles and descriptions you use. These speak directly to the Internet consumer, and ought to give a good description of either your service for your product. The right words are going to encourage the visitor to click your link and take a closer look at what you have to offer. It also means that someone who is looking for something else is not to bother clicking on your add. That is important all by itself because a wasted click still means a cost for you. Be specific with those words and sentences. They attract the best type of leads and help with return on investment. The importance is sufficient enough to have a professional writer prepare the copy.

Watch Out for Keyword Trouble

A PPC account can be a beehive of activity. There are so many things to work on and that increases the chances of human error. Nobody wants to make mistakes but they will happen. Several account mishaps are more prominent than others, and need to be kept in mind. Accidents will happen but these shouldn’t occur on a routine basis.

1. Ineffective Negative Strategy for Keywords

It is all about traffic, and you want to get rid of the bad traffic with negative keywords. What you should be doing is rerouting instead of just putting up roadblocks. You do not want bad traffic to simply go elsewhere in your campaign. You can review the negative keywords and their relationship to other campaigns and ad groups. A shared negative list permits you to service a number of campaigns at once.

Pivot tables can be useful in implementing those negative keywords in your PPC campaign. You might want to use the tables to get a better sense of the performance of given topics across the account, amassing the queries from the campaigns conducted. A table would be created by tabulating the campaigns and ad groups which respond to a specific consumer query. If a query appears to be common in a large number of campaigns and ad groups, you then do some adjustments and funnel the specific query to the pertinent ad groups, making certain the consumer will see the proper ad and land on the right landing page.

2. Ignoring Aggregates

Forgetting about aggregates is a mistake because these figures reveal information that positive or negative keywords are not able to do. The analysis is made easier if keywords are kept in tightly defined campaign structures and ad groups. Modifiers can be observed for their impact, so that not just physical descriptions of product are used (e.g. instead of just evaluate the performance of “white coat” and related phrases, you can consider those keywords and/or queries that are looking for inexpensive coats. Do these do better or worse than the ordinary?). Taking a look at any modifying words or phrases permits you to have an insight into the behavior of consumers. If you are able to look at your more productive words, you have a better chance of responding to user behavior. This can permit you to make changes to the landing pages or the ad copy.

3. Continuing to Use the Same Keywords After They Have Served Their Purpose

You can get too comfortable with standard keywords, because they can deliver diminishing returns over time. A number of problems can arise, including keywords with substandard performance, phrases that generate minuscule traffic, or spending a lot of money and not reaching desired performance.

Keywords that cannot drive heavy traffic may not be crisis situations, but are like leaky pipes that slowly drip water. There will be a price to be paid in efficiency. Taking a look at performance over an extended period can pinpoint difficulties. Even if the keyword does not cost a lot, if conversion rates are too low it may be time to take it out of the campaign. Those that drive hardly any traffic are not really worth having around. If performance goals aren’t being met, it is time to trim back.

The last challenge mentioned is fairly easy to analyze. There are keywords that will generate traffic but not result in conversions. The words and phrases could be too general and not be in line with the intentions of the search. They also might be mismatched in relation to the landing pages or the ad copy. You have to be mindful of the keywords and assess performance. You can do the assessment at a given point such as spending more than your CPA goal, or after a given number of clicks have been performed, or perhaps even a combination of both. This is not an exact science but you should have some system developed so that any problem does not become severe over time.

4. Using Targets Which Are Too Broad

Even though broad match keywords are great for identifying excellent queries and analyzing search behavior, you have to be prudent. You may overstep by accident and get too much information that doesn’t provide a lot of help. Queries which seek only information are common and need to be removed with more than just common negatives.

So much goes on in these campaigns it can be easy to ignore what is hidden in plain sight. Taking a look at the above is going to help you maintain the budget as well as produce better performance figures. Keywords have a certain life span to them. After that, they start to fade and you have to remove them. Broad match keywords have to be able to produce the right information. If you keep an eye out for these all too frequent missteps that occur in a PPC campaign, you’ll see your efficiency increase as what keywords you use are more productive.

You Must Be Willing to use Other Options

Digital marketing will perhaps always be in a state of some change or another. This is pretty much an accepted truth, and the history of the various platforms show this. Paid search is becoming a little bit more intricate, and requires flexibility on the part of account managers. Strategies have to be adjusted to reflect both new developments and rising opportunities. It is a bit sad but some account managers continue to use what they think are good strategies. They really are not, and they are costing money and not producing results. Here are a few examples of PPC practices that create problems.

  1. An Overreliance on DKI

Dynamic Keyword Insertion by itself is a good strategy but account managers may overuse it. DKI is used for creating and text, but sometimes it is employed as more of a timesaver. It is an easy solution that can cause some serious problems. An account manager can accidentally bid on misspelled keywords and bid on branded terms by mistake. DKI is a sturdy work horse, but it is not a game changer. It is better to develop ad groups that concentrate on particular themes. This allows for more coherent ads that have keywords more related to the product or service.

Ad customizers can be used and these are just as good if not better than DKI. You can tailor your advertisements to a product brand and model, product pricing, and even have a countdown functionality with a call to action that persuades users to make early purchases.

  1. Overusing the Search Network of Google

There is no question that account managers should initiate PPC efforts using the Google Search Network. Yet, using Google for everything deprives you of a chance to explore other possibilities. There are other options you may use which are highly effective. They include:

  • Google Shopping. It permits you to display on the SERP images of the product you’re trying to promote. The results can be extremely impressive.
  • Bing Ads Search. What is nice about this option is it follows a format that is close to the search marketing of AdWords. You will get lower volume, but that is balanced by less expensive CPCs.
  • Remarketing. This sometimes is an afterthought but it is highly usable. You can have ad campaigns which reach out to people within your site in the past, and are more likely to do business with you. Remarketing is also rather easy to establish.
  • Google Display Network. This can reach millions of sites. You can easily use it to promote your brand, and connect with top of the funnel consumers.
  • Yandex/Daum/360/ and other Search Engines. If you are using Google exclusively in Russia, you are ignoring its major search engine which happens to be Yandex. Google is very well known, but it is not the primary engine for a number of countries. You’re missing out on a large pool of consumers if you do not take a look at the popular search engines in various large foreign markets.
  1. Ignoring International PPC Practices.

It is a natural mistake to use domestic PPC campaign strategies in foreign markets. This has some major challenges, because Google Translate is not going to pick up on dialect. That can be a very serious shortcut in a country like China, which has distinct dialects spoken by millions of people.

Cultural diversity is something that must be taken into account with foreign campaigns. Some nationalities are willing to bargain, and others might not. Your campaign has to understand the nuances of the people whom you are trying to approach. This means developing an international PPC campaign focusing on the targeted population.

  1. Keyword Cramming

There’s a real temptation to have numerous keywords in the campaign ads. That was deemed necessary in the past but is no longer usable. Close variant keyword matching means there is no reason to stuff the text with lots of keywords. You can easily find yourself with poor quality scores, which result from terms that have low search numbers.

Identity-based targeting is going to be more effective. You can target a market with certain criteria and demographics. This can allow you to be a little bit more sophisticated, and have campaigns that are focused towards consumers more likely to buy.

  1. Decisions Centered on Quality Score Figures Only

Quality scores are important but like everything else mentioned so far, overuse is going to cause problems. CPA and conversion rates ought to be consulted when decisions are being made. A given keyword may indeed have a low score, but that same phrase might be producing good conversion numbers. You can use quality scores as a backup evaluator. Low quality scores might also mean reassigning keywords to a different ad group.

Taking a Close Look at the Performance of Your Display Network

The automatic placements history on your Display Network can be a nerve wracking moment of truth. Not too many people like to do it because it may call for some serious house cleaning. It usually is a monthly chore where you change bids, make exclusions, update the negative lists, and move to managed all of the converting placements. That is well and good but now and then all you see is scarce cash floating away. You can’t count on using brand recognition and awareness to be accepted on a routine basis.
Instead, what you have to do is due optimization and cleaning that goes far beneath the surface. If this is backed up by an attribution model you can depend on, you can actually snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. This strategy will allow you to prove your clients that you are providing good value. A little bit of detective work can help you get a better idea of the root of any Display Network performance problem. Here are some things that you can do.

1. Is It Good AdSense Placement or Are You dealing with Clickbait?

You are searching into the realm of bots, and shady blackhat SEO is one of many techniques used to deceive bots. AdSense has a method to connect the targeting you use to placement garnered from the GDN. Any number of websites can be created to trick a bot into believing it is providing superior placements, but nothing more than an online invalid click generator is happening. This little bit of mischief causes problems in those industry groups where CPCs can be highly competitive. The legal profession and insurance are just two examples of where the deception causes problems. Here is where you can spot the devious deeds, and they can be noted because patterns start to form.
The Content and Domain Name. If you discover there appears to be a pattern in the domain names servicing, by all means look at the websites at the same time, and as you compare them side-by-side look for features that are too similar to be quite incidental. This can come in areas of content, structure and logo. This kind of treachery has the objective of taking your clicks and stealing your cash.
CTR Performance That Is High. This is a major red flag because the Display Network is not where higher than average CTRs are generated. This is particularly true on those automatic placements you have set. A rule of thumb is that anything that goes over 10% is a warning sign. Don’t forget about the impressions and the numbers generated. Placements that register two impressions and producing a CTR figure of 50% might not be a problem.
Ads Appearing On the Website. Your website may be intended to ride with the PPC marketing of given industry groups. If that is true do not be surprised that your competition is going to place its banners there as well.

2. Challenges Dealing with Click Fraud

Look carefully at the invalid clicks and invalid click rate information provided by AdWords. You might discover the invalid click rate is more than half of the clicks your campaign has received. You can expect the bounce rate is also going to be unusually high. Google does a good job at detecting this, and your billing section is going to show the invalid click numbers that your account is generating.

3. Dealing with Real Traffic and Bots

CTR filtering can effectively point out those bots which are intentionally designed to click ads. However, there also are those platforms that attract real traffic to worthless content. This can run into some very serious problems where groups of websites that have the same content and keywords used by your campaign are being employed. This constitutes a strain on your budget, and can drain away your money. It takes a close look but you can find out if your display figures are being affected by what amounts to piracy on the high space.

4. Attribution Modeling Helps

You can build an attribution model to make sure that the efforts expended on your campaign are given proper justification with hard figures. Multi-Channel Funnels has a feature called Top Conversion Paths. It generates a report with data necessary to attribute real value to all of the efforts on the Display Network. It helps if you do work with Excel and the Custom channel groups to get the value figures you need.
There is no need to go looking through the haystack as you seek possible Display Network issues. What was mentioned above can give you a good sense of where problems might be, and permit you to make the necessary changes without burning gallons of midnight oil. Don’t be surprised if some of the issues are hiding in plain sight.