My tip of the week this week is: Get organized! It may be back to basics, but in auditing some existing campaigns and launching my own new ones recently, I’m reminded of the importance of organization to the success of a PPC campaign.
Smart organizational techniques should apply to many aspects of a paid search campaign, starting with the fundamental structure. A more highly organized campaign will contain themed groups of keywords with highly relevant ad copy and drive traffic to a specific landing page. Be clear and specific in your campaign and ad group naming conventions so that you’ll know later on what’s inside. For example, use “Brand Term misspellings” instead of “Brand Terms 2.” Not only will it be easier to track, but a well-organized campaign will have a high relevance factor to gain you a better quality score and thereby lower your costs. Be organized about your targeting, too. Create mirror campaigns with different geo-targeting, for example, so that you can more easily evaluate what works where.
Once a campaign is set up, plan and organize your optimization and testing strategy as well. Test one thing at at time, not 5 at once, and allow your changes enough time to provide you with enough data to make intelligent performance decisions.
Have more ideas for how to organize a PPC campaign? What’s your best tip? Please share in the comments!
Today Yahoo! Search is unveiling a new feature called Search Pad. This seems like a cool and useful tool, especially when doing more extensive research like planning a trip. Information can be saved across multiple search sessions and saved to a unique URL. I also like the interactive features such as publishing the saved info to Facebook, and sharing with friends who would then be able to edit. Here is Danny Sullivan’s review on Search Engine Land also, noting it’s usefulness but questioning whether this feature is a “game changer” in the industry.
What do you think of Search Pad? How would you use it? Will it prompt you to use Yahoo! Search more often now?
Whether it be through search, display, social media, or mobile marketing, if you are targeting Hispanics online, this MediaPost article is a must-read with some great data: 10 Things You Should Know about U.S. Hispanics.
When managed well, a content-targeted campaign can be a fruitful compliment to your paid search campaign – from a perspective of both conversions and visibility. I recently wrote about how to use negative keywords to optimize on the Google Content Network. For this week’s tip, I thought I would follow that up with how to use Google’s Placement Performance Report (PPR) to optimize content campaigns. Here are three ways that I use the PPR (lucky you, 3 tips in one!):
- To identify sites to exclude – Find and exclude sites that are above your spend goal without a conversion.
- To extract more narrow themes – Pull the sites which are your top converters and browse through them. What are their main topics? Try testing a more targeted ad group around those more specific themes, narrowing your keywords and tailoring your copy. For example, you own a bike shop in Denver and your original content campaign is broadly themed around bikes. You discover in a PPR that some of the top converting placements are blogs with content on cruiser and commuter bikes (as opposed to mountain bikes, competitive road bikes or triathlon bikes). Try testing an ad group with more tightly themed cruiser bike keywords and copy to target other similar sites to the ones where you’ve already seen success.
- To isolate top-performing sites – When you see placements that are converting exceptionally well for you, try separating these out into a placement-targeted campaign. That way, you can better control your bid and test tailored ad copy specifically for that high-performing placement.
If you’re new to this report, you might also want to refer to the Placement Performance Report Best Practices in AdWords Help.
Have other tips for optimizing a content-targeted campaign? Please share in the comments!
This morning I read this refreshing MediaPost blog reminding us about how search is, after all, about people. I’ve noticed lots of industry people who, I feel, overuse words like “traffic” and “click volume.” Exactly to the point of this article, it still sometimes seems odd to me. It takes all the personality and human interaction out of the process. It’s like driving on the highway and saying ’that Subaru just cut me off’ – the Subaru didn’t, but the guy behind the wheel did! Let’s try to remember to refer to the “searchers” that are behind all this traffic and click volume once in a while. And these searchers are individual people reading and clicking on the ads that you wrote and navigating your website. Try to write ad copy with an individual person in mind. Try to think of each person when choosing ad placements. Try to remember that your data is simply telling you how these people are interacting with your ads and your site. That way you’ll more effectively target the people you are trying to reach through your pay per click campaign, rather than just driving traffic.
Optimizing for the Google Content Network can be tricky, even for a PPC pro. I’ll assume that our savvy expertSEM readers know the basics of setting up an AdSense campaign and how it’s different from search (such as creating separate campaigns, choosing a few tightly themed keywords, using custom bids, etc.). Knowing that a content campaign is targeted by matching the keyword theme to website content, it makes sense that negative keywords in content should be considered differently than in search. For example, re-think competitor brand terms as negatives in a content campaign, since a relevant placement might compare and review different brands. Now, for this week’s tip, I’ll pass along something new that I learned recently about negative keywords:
Negative keywords in a content campaign are also collectively interpreted as a theme. It’s true! Negatives should be chosen carefully and used sparingly. Whatever you do, don’t copy your extensive and random assortment of search negatives into your content campaign. To optimize on the Google Content Network, optimize your ad copy for the best click through rate and use placement performance reports for click and conversion data before adding negative keywords. Check out AdWords Help to read more about optimizing with negative keywords in content.
If you are not already using Google Insights for Search, you simply should be. This is a great resource at campaign launch as well as for ongoing optimization. And three new features were added this week:
- New data sources – you can now pull from Google News, Image and Product search data in addition to traditional web search
- Category suggestions – helpful to inspire out-of-the box thinking, you can now enter your keywords and see other categories that might be applicable
- U.S. Metro data – you can now see data at the metro level, which of course is very useful for geo-targeting.
I’ve already added my top keywords to my iGoogle homepage so I can easily stay on top of what’s going on with my PPC campaigns.
Have you already started using these new features? Have a story about how they helped your campaign? Let us know in the comments.
Earlier this week, the Yahoo! Search Marketing blog announced three developments in targeting options: demographic targeting, enhanced zip-code level geo-targeting and ad scheduling, available at the campaign and ad group levels. But before you get too excited, understand that these changes are wrought with issues.
Remember that back on 2.20.09, Sam noticed the location displayed next to PPC results and wrote about the inaccuracy of how Yahoo! was establishing location – sometimes by information in a searcher’s Yahoo! profile. Knowing the location data is inaccurate to begin with, I am leaving my geo settings as they are for now. Also, with that in mind, how accurate can the demo targeting be? I’m skeptical.
As far as the ad scheduling goes, time of day and day of week scheduling has certainly been long-awaited. However, bids can only be adjusted up or turned off completely. One way around this is to determine what your bids are for your slowest period, such as evenings or weekends, and turn bids up from there. That way, you stay live 100% but don’t waste spend with high bids when you don’t have to.
Lastly, for any word-nerds reading this, targeting is spelled wrong (with an extra t) in the interface. The other issues may take some time to fix, but this I’m surprised they haven’t corrected already!
Are you brand new to Google AdWords? Did you know quality score was complex, but don’t remember exactly how it’s calculated? Think you know it all already? Get a refresher in the basics of Google pay per click (PPC) advertising with this Inside AdWords video. Google’s chief economist, Hal Varian, explains how the AdWords keyword auction is unique in that the top position doesn’t necessarily go to the highest bidder. Make sure you have the 3 ad quality score elements dialed in, and you’ll pay the minimum amount necessary for your ad’s position. After watching the video, let us know in the comments what the takeaway is for you!