Save Money with Google AdWords

Growing a business usually starts with a great idea, building something, marketing, sales, and execution. Focusing on saving money on digital ad spend becomes a chore once everything is setup and running, statistically enough data has been generated, and if your money saving activities have a higher return than other business tasks. Of course, everybody would like to make the best decisions in PPC from the get go, but information is sparse and things are dynamic. Following PPC tasks should be applied periodically, at least monthly, being general best practices:

Axe the Poor Performers
Pause or delete poor performing keywords. Keywords with a high cost of acquisition and no conversion are a waste. Check if they should move over to the negative keywords.

Grow List of Negative Keywords
Check the search term reports, if your keywords are actually relevant to your product.
Negative keywords can be defined at the account, campaign, and ad group level, with different match type settings. There are always surprises in this report, i.e. wasted money.

Adjust Keyword Match Type
Similarly, a match type too broad, can pull in too much irrelevant traffic and waste money. Consider adjusting keyword match type from modified broad to phrase to exact, trading in depth of specificity against breadth of exposure. [Note: this is time consuming and only recommended if you know for sure.]

Adjust Keyword Bids
For manually managed keywords with high bids and clicks, consider if a second position bid would yield the same benefit. [clicks * conversion * (profit – cost), use bid simulator]

Re-organize Ad Groups
Expert opinions for the number of keywords per ad group are from 20 to 50, depending on context. If too many keywords are part of an ad group, it is harder for the creative of the actual ad to be specific. Smaller ad groups allow for a more specific creative, and people click more on highly specific ads than generic ads with no particular proposition.

Branded Name Campaign
Create a campaign only dedicated to your company name. These are the highest converting campaigns because people are already searching for you. Protected brand names also have no competition (meaning traffic is cheap). Google disallows protected brand names as keywords, unless you are the owner of it.

Target Anything
You can make a PPC campaign more specific by targeting it by demographics (age, language, etc.), geographic area, devices (mobile, iPhone, tablet, etc.) and such. Also the ad campaign can be throttled to specified hours, to save money.

Use A/B Testing
The Google AdWords A/B testing tool allows to set aside a percentage of traffic for campaign experiments. After enough data is collected, Google will show which version of the campaign generates better results.

Revise Landing Pages
A/B testing can also be used to optimize landing pages. But before doing that, it should be audited if it matches the advertised content, and if it loads fast. Snappy landing pages that are highly specific to the ad content yield a high quality factor which saves money.

Use Remarketing Campaigns
Build remarketing lists and advertise to those who already had exposure to your content. Click throughs are much higher resulting in higher quality score which saves money.

Use Ad Extensions
Enriching your ad with site links, addresses, call buttons and such, a viewer is more likely to click on your ad, thus increasing clicks and raising quality.

 

 

 

Think of these practices as eliminating waste, to achieve a more productive state of growth.

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Targeting Existing Customers with Google’s New Customer Match

In September 2015 Google introduced a new way of remarketing to already existing customers by way of uploaded email addresses.

This feature, called Customer Match, is described at  https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6276125?hl=en.
You find it under Shared Library / Audiences / +Remarketing List, see image below.

You upload a list of email addresses of customers for targeting them with ads while they are logged in and searching on Google, in GMail, or YouTube.

Targeting existing customers in essence tries to convince the same people to spend more money with you, as opposed to finding new customers.

Some useful scenarios for configuring the targeting criteria of Customer Match are:

  • terms related to the customer’s original transaction for cross selling
  • terms of the customers original transaction for repeat selling
  • searches for competitor names and products as a friendly reminder that you are also open for business and ready for the competition
  • high performing keywords for your business

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 9.30.49 AM

Google has extensive privacy protection measures of the uploaded emails, e.g. emails are hashed so they cannot be stolen during transmission.

In summary, Customer Match is yet another channel of Remarketing thanks to Google’s ubiquity.

 

More References:

  • http://adwords.blogspot.com/2015/09/Google-brings-you-closer-to-your-customers.html
  • http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/09/28/adwords-customer-match

 

 

 

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Your Online Marketing on Autopilot

Paid search is all about optimizing the match between actual search queries and paid for keywords. Even if you are a master of the English language and have an broad vocabulary, it might still not be in tune with how consumers search for your product or services. Words with multiple meanings as well as broad match options might attract irrelevant searches and waste money.

Analyzing your search queries in relation to cost and conversion should be an iterative process and lead to identifying new negative keywords at the campaign level as well as candidates for new search positive keywords that are missing. Keywords in the long tail, entire phrases, are very beneficial, because they are specific and most likely cheap to bid for, if competition has not picked up on them.

There are many tips and tools to automate reports. For example, this post contains a basic Search Query Report for Google AdWords.

If you are looking into automating your AdWords account management or just want to save your time by outsourcing this to an experienced agency, Sunsprinkle LLC can help you.

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Maximize Profit for Given Budget

This post explains the difference between a fixed and a shared budget while using flexible bidding strategies.

Assume you are in a competitive market with high overall demand and you start a campaign with a fixed daily budget.

FixVsFlexBudget

 

Fixed Budget, Flexible Bidding Strategy (1->2)

The lower curve in the figure shows how profit scales as a function of cost per click (CPC) for a foxed budget. The law of diminishing returns means that as the cost of PPC advertising goes up, profit margins go down. Maximum profit is at point 2, then it  declines with increasing bid. Google introduced various flexible bidding strategies, see next screenshot. A bidding strategy optimizes bid levels for a specific goal. It can be set at the campaign, ad group, or keyword level.  These new bidding strategies are an alternative to the well known focus-on-maximum-clicks, focus-on- maximum-conversions or the manual bid management strategies.

Flexible Bidding Strategies

Flexible Bidding Strategies

For instance with ‘Target return on ad spend‘ you could work your way to the point of maximum profit, possibly moving from point 1 to 2. This strategy requires conversion tracking being set up and specification of the value of a conversion.

 

Shared Budget, Flexible Bidding Strategy (1->3)

However, if your fixed budget keeps you from reaching overall higher profits, that means you are not spending as much as you could on particular campaigns.  Google AdWords introduced the concept of the ‘Shared (Flex) Budget’ in May 2013, see figure below. That combined with one of the flexible bidding strategies  can maximize total profit; let Google figure out how the budget is distributed in real time to reach the maximum number of impressions. This allows you to go from point 1 to 3 and maximize profits even more for a given daily budgets.

Google Shared Budget

Google Shared Budget

Maximum Profit (4)

That state is reached at point 4. You can find out if you are close to maximum impression share by looking at the performance metrics called ‘Impression Share’ of each campaign and also at the aggregate level. Say if you are at 50% impression share due to your budget and scheduling parameters, you know that increasing your overall budget could get you more impressions. That is, in an ideal world you are moving from point 3 to 4, the point of maximum profit that your organization can handle.

To summarize, Google AdWords can be configured to achieve maximum profit for your organization. A flexible bidding strategy and a shared budget can be combined to achieve this automatically. As long as your impression share is less than 100% of your target market, you can increase the total daily shared budget until you approach the total global profit maximum.

Disclaimer: the PPC bidding landscape is dynamic and changing. Other factors like landing page quality, keyword score, keyword breadth, match type etc., which also impact PPC effectiveness, have not been considered here.

Contact us to find out how you can maximize your potential with Google AdWords online marketing.

 

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Google AdWords Changes 2014

This week Google made sweeping announcements of new AdWords features that will roll out over the next few months. The changes are gradual and optional, i.e. they don’t force anyone to change what they are doing, unlike the forced upgrade to Enhanced Campaigns in 2013. Nevertheless the impact of these new features cannot be underestimated and will be far reaching for the Paid Search advertising industry. Theses changes reflect the reality that more and more of our life happens online which then influences our physical life offline.

Jerry Dischler, VP, Product Management of AdWords, summarized the changes in his blog at  http://adwords.blogspot.com/2014/04/sharing-latest-adwords-innovations.html

The announcements were grouped in three areas:

1. Mobile Apps targeting for Everyone

New features targeting easier mobile app installs and consumer retention on already installed apps expand the reach of PPC advertising into the ever growing audience of apps. This reflects the trend of mobile apps becoming more prevalent in every day live and Google wants to be center stage. Android is the most popular mobile OS, but it is far behind Apple’s iOS in generating revenue. AdWords will support ‘deep linking’ into mobile app pages as a new type of landing page.

2. Estimated Total Conversion for Everyone

This is a huge deal. Google is committed to estimate online as well as offline conversion of ad AdWords dollars. Offline conversion specifically means in-store purchases. Businesses with a storefront location will have actionable information on how well their AdWords campaigns convert from online and mobile to in-store purchases. To make this work, the retailer has to exchange customer data on purchases with Google. Not sure if the burden is on the retailer or on a third-party data processing agency that reads credit card transactions behind the scenes and anonymizes them. The feature being an ‘estimate’ means the data cannot be complete.

3. Enterprise Class Tools for Everyone

Google AdWords is complicated to operate. Management of large accounts need extra tools, software and services to handle the workload. Up until now, only “enterprise” customers, meaning those with a large spend, could afford the extra cost. The following high-end features will be added to AdWords and made available to any size account: (i) bulk editing campaign, (ii) advanced reporting (multi-dimensional analysis, think pivoting in Excel) without export/import of account data, (iii) continuous bid optimization for maximum conversion (just like in Marin Software or Kenshoo, both high-end products), and (iv) live experiments of new campaigns, i.e. run a fraction of a campaign with test settings and see what happens, just like in A/B testing.

 

To summarize, mobile apps are given more attention in AdWords [Google has to find ways to make more money than it did from Google Play alone]. For advertisers this opens up new opportunities, cheap lead generation with little competition while the race to mobile app ads is heating up. Total conversion tracking means online marketing will become more predictable and accountable, thanks to consumer tracking online and offline [somewhat a privacy concern for consumers]. Thirdly, a host of new ‘enterprise class’ features will make the Google AdWords platform more competitive and attractive to anyone who wants to advertise online, regardless of budget.

I am personally thrilled that Google leveled the playing field once again. Online advertising on AdWords is becoming more effective in every relevant way.

These announcements of April 22, 2014, can also be seen here.

 

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