AdWords new expanded ads: how to get prepared for the change – optimization tricks and strategies

expanded-ads

 

Google announced several AdWords changes during their 2016 performance summit last month, the most important one probably being the increase of characters limits with new expanded text ads.

Google has been working on this for years (the side ads removal in February happened for this reason) and this might be the biggest change since the creation of AdWords! Finally marketers will have a bit more space for their creativity and will be less frustrated by the very restrictive characters limit they had to deal with until now. But unfortunately such important changes usually don’t happen smoothly and there is a high price to pay for improvement… If you are part of an agency dealing with several huge AdWords accounts, you might need to cancel your forthcoming holidays and work your whole summer on new ads to be ready for the change. And if you are not an AdWords expert and you only run a campaign for your small local business, you might be lost and not sure where to start. The goal of this post is to give any advertiser tricks to get ready for that huge change as quick as possible so you have your campaigns updated and don’t lose deals when the new ads format rolls out.

But first let’s have a look at what is changing.

What are the new expanded ads characters limits?

The new expanded ads will now contain:

  • Two 30 characters headline (compared to one 25 characters headline before) so 60 characters in total, that’s more than the double amount of characters allowed!
  • One 80 characters description line (compared to two 35 characters description lines before), that’s 10 more characters allowed.

So the new ads will be allowed to contain 140 characters in total, that’s 47% more than the current 95 characters!

What are the benefits of this change for advertisers?

Google has announced that the new expanded ads will work better across screens, especially mobiles, and that this change was designed especially for today’s mobile-first world, where more and more searches are done on mobile devices.

With the number of characters expanded, there is no doubt that advertisers will get more visibility, and you can therefore more than likely expect a higher CTR.

When and how will this change happen?

Google didn’t communicate any exact date yet, they just gave a vague indication of “later this year”. That’s why we advise you to get ready as soon as possible, and we will keep you updated on how and when exactly the change will happen when more information is given.

It would be great if those new expanded ads could be somehow automated, as it was the case for Upgraded URL’s. When that changed happened last year, Google set up an upgrade option in the AdWords interface that helped advertisers along the way, simply copying their current destination URL’s to the final URL’s fields. That made upgrading pretty straightforward and advertisers with small and simple accounts were able to be ready for the update in just a few minutes and clicks through the AdWords interface (it was also very easy to upgrade through AdWords Editor).

However an automated system is unlikely to happen with the new expanded ads, as the changes here have more consequences and the whole ads structure will be changed with now 2 headlines and 1 description line. Things would certainly be easier if there was an automated option in the AdWords interface that could just copy your existing description line 1 and use it as your new second headline, and keep your existing description line 2 and use it as your new description line. But the problem with that would occur with the characters limit: your first headline would remain the same and only contains 25 characters while your second headline would contain up to 35 characters and might exceed the new 30 characters limit if you used them all, and your new description line would only contain the 35 characters of your previous description line 2, instead of the new 80 characters allowed. Besides that, you might not want to use a previous description line as headline, depending on its content. So we just don’t see a way for this change to be automated, and if it is somehow anyway, it won’t be a perfect solution. Extra work will definitely be needed on your side to make sure you take full advantage of the new expanded ads and you are not left aside and losing deals to your competitors that got prepared quickly and have created amazing new expanded ads while you were just waiting for the last minute…

Our only hope is that Google will give enough time to advertisers to get prepared for this update. We assume that as for any AdWords change there will be a transition period during the which you will still be allowed to use your old ads while writing new expanded ads and a deadline date when your old ads won’t be allowed to run anymore, therefore you will start losing deals from that date if you don’t have expanded ads ready.

How to get prepared for the change?

Depending on your ads messaging, we can think of 2 different options for a smooth update. Either you update your current description line 1 to become your new headline 2 (reducing characters to maximum 30 if needed) as outlined in previous paragraph, either your merge your current description lines 1 and 2 to become your new 80 characters description line.

If you are already using extended headlines (where your description line 1 is combined with your headline – your ads need to be eligible to appear at the top of the page and your description line 1 needs to end with proper punctuation) we would advise you to choose option 1. The first and only thing you will absolutely need to do for the update is to reduce your new headline 2 if it exceeds the 30 characters limit.

You will also need to rework your current description line 2 and add extra messaging (filling the at least 45 characters empty space) to take full advantage of the new format, as the limit for the new description line is now 80 characters.

You might also want to rework your new headline 1 to add 5 extra characters, but this is just a small change and it can wait until later as your new ad will still look good without those 5 extra characters.

For those who don’t use extended headlines, we would strongly advise to use option 2 as you will keep the same ad structure and messaging and it will be pretty straightforward. You will just need to merge your current description lines 1 and 2 into the new 80 characters limit description line. Then you will need to think of a new 30 characters headline 2. You might also want to rework your new headline 1 to add 5 extra characters and your new description line to add 10 extra characters, but as stated above it can wait until later as your new ad will still look good without those extra characters.

In order to summarize:

Option 1: make your current description line 1 your new headline 2, and your current description line 2 your new description line:

  • Eventually reduce your new headline 2 so it doesn’t exceed the 30 characters limit.
  • Update your current description line 2 and add 45 extra characters.
  • Optional: add 5 extra characters to your new headline 1.

See with an example:

Current ad:

24/7 Accident Recovery

Reliable & Fast Recovery Service.

24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week!

New extended ad:

24/7 Fast Accident Recovery

Reliable Recovery Service

24 Hours a Day and 7 Days a Week. Call Us at Any Time and We Will Come and Help!

Option 2: merge your current description lines 1 and 2 into your new description line, and create a new headline 2:

  • Create a new 30 characters headline 2.
  • Optional: add 5 extra characters to your new headline 1 and 10 characters to your new description line.

With the same ad example as above:

New extended ad:

24/7 Quick Accident Recovery

Certified Professional Towing

Reliable & Fast Recovery Service. 24 Hours a Day and 7 Days a Week, Call Us Now!

 

Whatever option you choose, you can see that you will still need a bit of extra work to get ready for the update and your new expanded ads won’t be written in 1 hour, unless you only have a very small account with 10 ads. That’s why you need to get prepared for the update as soon as possible, starting today.

Another question that might cross your mind if you are dealing with several huge accounts with thousands of ads is where to start to be ready on time and make sure you don’t lose deals. You need to schedule and prioritize. Start with the top campaigns bringing the most leads/sales. Inside of each campaign select the ad groups bringing the more conversions and start working on them first, so that if you are running out of time and you are not 100% ready for the update, your top ad groups and campaigns will contain expanded ads and only secondary campaigns/ad groups will be left aside and you won’t lose your main deals to competitors. If you don’t have the time to create several expanded ads per ad group now, just create 1 for now, so that your campaigns can still run when the change rolls out.

Once again, don’t wait to get ready for the change, the earlier you start the smoother this huge change will happen for you. Allocate 1 hour of your time today to start thinking about it and elaborate your own plan of actions:

  • Depending on your current ads messaging, choose either to follow update option 1 or 2 stated above.
  • Run reports/download statistics and select your top performing campaigns, and top performing ad groups within them.
  • Select your current top performing ad within those ad groups.
  • Copy that data (the top performing ad, along with the ad group and campaign names containing this ad) in excel and start writing 1 new expanded ad, with the messaging inspired by your current top performing ad. Please make sure you add a formula to calculate the number of characters for each line in order to respect the new characters limit:

30 characters for headline 1

30 characters for headline 2

80 characters for description line

 

 

Images source: Pixabay

4 Ways to Keep Your Google AdWords Retargeting Campaigns from Turning Into a Disaster

retargeting-campaign-mistakes

Retargeting can be a highly effective method for filling your funnel and finding qualified customers. According to one study, retargeting campaigns can boost conversion rates by as much as 147%. However, retargeting campaigns do have the potential to backfire if you aren’t careful. At best, retargeting campaigns can have the highest ROI of any of your paid search campaigns, and at worst, poorly placed ads can offend your audience and be a PR nightmare. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your retargeting campaigns stay focused on the right audience for your business.

Identify Why Campaigns Aren’t Converting

Retargeting works best when it can identify and anticipate consumer browsing behavior, so it’s important to understand what the ideal journey to conversion will look like. You must also be able to anticipate any poor matches that you are likely to encounter as well. There are a variety of reasons that your ads might not be a good fit for the audience they reach, including:

  • Bad Product-Audience Fit – The audience you’re reaching might not be a perfect fit for your services. This is often the case where keywords can mean multiple things. Someone who searches for picture frames then gets hit with ads for eyeglass frames will waste your advertising resources and might annoy your audience.
  • Aspirational Searches – If your audience isn’t at the right point in their purchasing journey to make a commitment, your retargeting dollars may be wasted. They may be doing research and looking for information, without any intention to make a purchase yet. They may be looking for employment or education — for example, someone searching for “patent law school” would not actually be interested in finding a patent lawyer to represent them.
  • Inappropriate placement – Sometimes your ad placement isn’t a just poor fit — it’s offense. Serving ads for affordable vacation home rentals side-by-side with articles about a recent natural disaster in the same area, for instance, can trigger negative feelings in your audience and do damage to your brand beyond simple annoyance.

Unfortunately, the AdWords algorithm does not necessarily understand these contextual clues that what may seem like a good candidate for retargeting may actually be a poor fit for your business. Once you’ve identified potential reasons that someone would NOT want to see your ads, you can take action to avoid serving them retargeted ads.

Develop a Strong Negative Keywords List

Once you have a sense for why your retargeting campaigns aren’t resonating with your audience, you need to make sure that you minimize the instances where ads will be served in inappropriate circumstances. AdWords lets users compile negative keyword lists, which inform the AdWords algorithm about which search terms you do not want to have your ads served for. Keep in mind that including too many negative keywords can limit the reach of your ads and prevent people from seeing them, so building your negative keyword list should be done carefully.

We’ve compiled a list of common negative keywords below that every advertiser should be sure to add to their negative keywords list for retargeting campaigns.

Our Checklist of Negative Keywords for Retargeting Campaigns

  • death
  • obituary
  • terrorism
  • suicide
  • death
  • earthquake
  • tsunami
  • homicide
  • rape
  • war
  • bomb
  • murder
  • abuse
  • abused
  • accident
  • arrest
  • arrested
  • arson
  • assault
  • attack
  • avalanche
  • bomber
  • bombing
  • brutal
  • burglary
  • cancer
  • crash
  • crime
  • criminal
  • dead
  • deadly
  • die
  • dies
  • disease
  • drowned
  • drowning
  • drug
  • drugs
  • drunk
  • electrocution
  • extortion
  • fire
  • flood
  • floods
  • fraud
  • hurricane
  • kidnapped
  • kill
  • killed
  • killing
  • kills
  • manslaughter
  • molest
  • molestation
  • molester
  • molesting
  • murderer
  • pedophile
  • pedophilia
  • pimp
  • pimps
  • porn
  • pornography
  • possession
  • predator
  • predators
  • prostitution
  • robbery
  • shooting
  • shoplift
  • shoplifting
  • shot
  • solicitation
  • stroke
  • terrorist
  • theft
  • tornado
  • trafficking
  • tragedy
  • violence
  • violent
  • wreck
  • gun
  • weapon

Negative Keywords for Search Campaigns

And while we’re on the topic of negative keywords here is a negative keyword list you can use for your search campaigns also. It’s a good idea to review this and make sure this negative keyword list is appropriate for your circumstances.

  • About
  • Affiliate
  • Affiliates
  • Analysis
  • Articles
  • Associates
  • Bargain
  • Budget
  • Career
  • Careers
  • Cheap
  • Cheaper
  • Cheapest
  • Class
  • Classes
  • Close outs
  • Closeouts
  • Colleges
  • Community
  • Complaint
  • Complaints
  • Consultants
  • Consulting
  • Course
  • Courses
  • Create
  • Define
  • Defined
  • Definition
  • Definitions
  • Developer
  • Developers
  • Diagram
  • DIY
  • Do it yourself
  • Download
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Error
  • Essay
  • Example
  • Examples
  • Fake
  • Free
  • Hack
  • Hacks
  • Hand made
  • Hire
  • Hiring
  • History
  • Hobby
  • How to
  • Inexpensive
  • Info
  • Information
  • Interns
  • Internship
  • Internships
  • Interview
  • Jobs
  • Journal
  • Journals
  • Laws
  • Lecture
  • Lectures
  • Libraries
  • Liquidation
  • Low budget
  • Low cost
  • Magazine
  • Magazines
  • Metrics
  • Naked
  • News
  • Newsletter
  • Obituary
  • Photo
  • Photograph
  • Photographs
  • Photo
  • Picture
  • Pictures
  • Porn
  • Preventing
  • Problem
  • Problems
  • Profession
  • Publication
  • Quotation
  • Quotations
  • Quotes
  • Recruiter
  • Recruiting
  • Regulations
  • Repairs
  • Replica
  • Research
  • Researches
  • Researching
  • Resume
  • Resumes
  • Review
  • Reviews
  • Rules
  • Safety
  • Salaries
  • Salary
  • Sample
  • Samples
  • School
  • Schools
  • Sex
  • Shortcut
  • Specifications
  • Specs
  • Stats
  • Studies
  • Success story
  • Template
  • Tip
  • Tips
  • Training
  • Tutorial
  • Tutorials
  • Universities
  • University
  • Used
  • Value
  • Video
  • What are
  • What is
  • White paper
  • White papers

 

Understand Context and Define Industry-Specific Negative Keywords

Context is incredibly important for successful retargeting campaigns, and understanding all of the potential scenarios in which someone might be served your ads is key. In addition to these general negative keywords, you may have to find industry-specific negative keywords. For some industries, pinpointing keywords that have potentially problematic use cases is critical to retargeting success. For instance, it’s important for airlines to avoid serving retargeting ads on articles about recent plane crashes, so keywords like “plane crash” should be added to your negative keywords list. Building a comprehensive list of negative keywords that are specific to your industry can be challenging. If you’re working with a PPC manager or consultant who has experience in your industry, they may be able to draw on past experiences to help you build out a list of industry-specific negative keywords more quickly and efficiently.

Utilize Site Category Exclusions on Display Network Ads

Sometimes going keyword by keyword isn’t enough to ensure that your ads are served appropriately. To make sure that your ads are only shown to the right audience, you can use site category exclusions to eliminate categories of websites that you are sure you don’t want your ads to be associated with on the Google Display Network.  This helpful feature lets you turn your ads off for broader categories of websites. This could include those with content on sensitive topics, such as death and tragedies, or with content that has been designated for mature audiences only. To adjust your site category exclusion settings, go to the “Display Network” tab of your AdWords dashboard and select “+Targeting.”

Refine Retargeting Campaigns with Webrageous

Webrageous’ team of PPC experts has experience managing the challenges of running successful retargeting campaigns. We can bring our expertise and experience to your campaigns and help you ensure that your campaigns won’t suffer from poor fit or inappropriate placements. Contact us today to learn more about our no-risk 60-day trial for PPC management, and we can start transforming your retargeting campaigns today. 

Image Source: stevepb via Pixabay

6 Tips for Improving Call Rates for Google AdWords

PPC call rate
Getting potential customers to reach out to your company with a phone call can be a critical step in the sales process. If you’re running
call-only ad campaigns or want to boost the number of call conversions you get from your existing PPC campaigns, improving you call rate for your Google AdWords campaigns can be an effective way to persuade your audience to pick up the phone and call your business. Whether you’re already following our best practices for running call-only campaigns, or if you’re just getting started with optimizing your PPC campaigns, these six tips for improving call rate will help take your AdWords campaigns to the next level. 

With the shift to mobile it is more critical than ever to optimize for calls. Users don’t like to fill out contact forms on smart phones if they can avoid it. And if you are pushing calls your overall conversion rates will increase. Take a look at some recent results for a personal injury attorney. You will see how calls are driving over 90% of their conversions. Users are presented with the option to fill out a form or call. While the cost per lead will seem high for many people outside of legal advertising these are very good numbers for personal injury advertising.

Optimize Google AdWords to promote calls

1. Think Beyond the Ad and Optimize Your Website for Calls

Improving call rate involves more than just adding a phone number to your PPC ads. Your website and landing pages should also be optimized to prompt customers to call you. Conversion rate experts assert that reducing friction to finding information drives higher conversion rates. If improving your call rate is the priority for your marketing efforts, be sure to make it as easy as possible for customers to find your phone number on your website. On our own website, we follow this practice by placing our phone number at the top of our homepage. This makes it easy for new clients to quickly make contact with the Google AdWords experts at Webrageous. 

webrageous call rate

2. Leverage Click-to-Call Ad Extensions

One of the best ways to garner more call conversions is to focus on mobile PPC. Because many mobile PPC users don’t have to switch devices to make a call, mobile is an ideal channel for improving your conversion rate. In particular, the Click-to-Call Ad Extension makes it dead-simple for smartphone users to call your company with a single click. According to Google, adding a call extension to your mobile ads can increase conversions by 6-8% on average. If you’re running mobile PPC ads but aren’t using this valuable extension, you are likely missing out on potential customers.              

3. Match Your CTA to Your Call’s Goal

Your language should echo the action you want your audience to take. Using phrases like “call now” or “speak to an expert” in your ad copy gives a clear message about the action you want your viewers to take. In addition to using language that will trigger the right action, your CTA should express the value of the call to the caller. Call conversions can represent a larger commitment on the lead’s part than other conversion types. They require the individual to commit to speaking with your company directly and immediately, rather than at their own pace. Make sure that your CTAs give some context as to what a prospective customer can expect from the call. Are you offering more general information about your business offerings? Or should prospects call only when they’re ready to make a purchase, or to ask for pricing information? Craft your CTA to make sure that your audience will know what they’re in for when they decide to call. That clarity will help convince them that making the call will be worth their time.

4. Know Your Audience’s Schedule

Digging into your audience’s behaviors is an effective method for improving call rate. Be sure to consider the best time to call from the perspective of your customers. To get a sense of your customers’ preferred times for calling, dive into your CTR and conversion data in Google AdWords. You can also use that information to A/B test what times and days your audience is most responsive.

To ensure that your audience truly converts, you need to have someone available to pick up the phone when a potential customer calls. For example, if you see an influx of calls during your office lunch hour because people are calling in on their lunch hour, consider putting someone on phone-answering duty to intercept any potential customers who call during that time.

5. Focus Ad Spend During Optimal Calling Hours

Boosting your PPC call rate is only one part of the campaign equation. Call conversions are inherently more time-sensitive than other forms of PPC conversion. Once you have a good sense of when your audience is most responsive, focus your bidding strategy on serving ads during the “hottest” times of the day and week for your target audience. Scheduling your call-focused campaigns to bid more (or exclusively) during times that you’ll be able to answer calls is key to running a successful campaign without wasting ad spend. You can use AdWords ad scheduling functionality, also known as dayparting, to focus your bids on the hours that you know you’ll be ready to receive calls.

6. Get a Good Look at Click-to-Call Metrics

Do you know which ads are getting you the most calls? Which ones are falling flat? Part of refining your call conversion strategy is keeping a close eye on what works and what doesn’t work. Be sure to take a data-driven approach and make sure that you’re tracking the right metrics to gauge the success of your call-based campaigns. Understanding what information is vital to the success of your campaigns can make or break PPC campaigns. This analytical approach is where PPC management firms like Webrageous can truly make an impact on your campaign. Our PPC experts have extensive experience analyzing AdWords metrics and performance.

Taking Your PPC Call Rate to the Next Level with Webrageous

If you’re aiming for a higher call conversion rate and aren’t seeing results on your own, we can help. Webrageous specializes in optimizing PPC campaigns to give our clients the best possible results for their advertising dollar. Contact us today to learn more about how Webrageous can give your call-based PPC campaigns a boost and help you see real returns from your campaigns.

Header photo credit: Flickr, Steven Lilley

How to Target Mobile PPC in Google Adwords

mobile ppc devices

If you had any doubts about the value of advertising to mobile device users, it’s time to start believing in mobile PPC. Tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices have become indispensable assets for both businesses and consumers. Traffic through mobile devices is taking up a larger and larger market share of PPC traffic. Mobile has now surpassed total desktop traffic, inching up to 51% of total media consumption in the US in 2015.

Savvy Advertisers are Adopting Mobile-First PPC Strategies

For some industries, focusing in on mobile PPC can help them tap a customer base more effectively. Desktop PPC ads can be prohibitively expensive, with some highly-sought after keywords costing over $100 per click. Additionally, with such a high amount of total online traffic going through mobile devices this year, advertisers who only use desktop PPC to promote their business can miss out on as much as half of potential customers. Many of our customers, especially law firms, are finding that their mobile PPC campaigns have a higher conversion rate and a lower CPC than desktop ads. By focusing on mobile PPC campaigns, they can avoid paying high prices to reach their marketing goals faster and more cheaply.

Targeting Mobile Users with Google AdWords

Because mobile advertising is a relatively new space, building a game plan to target mobile devices users can seem like a daunting endeavor. Here are a few tips for targeting mobile PPC users effectively with Google AdWords.

Focus Your Bidding Strategy on Mobile PPC

Unfortunately there’s no “all-in on mobile PPC” button on your AdWords dashboard. That doesn’t mean you can’t focus your ad spend on mobile devices, however. By using Bid Modifier, you can effectively push your ads towards mobile traffic and away from desktop viewers.

Use Bid Modifier to push your mobile bids close to the maximum limit of 300% to increase the amount of airtime your campaigns get on mobile PPC. You may also want to consider increasing your bid for location-specific ads, as mobile device users are likely to make location-based queries.

Optimize Ads for Mobile User Habits

In addition to adjusting your AdWords settings to serve more mobile ads, you should also adjust your new and existing ad copy and layout to work better for mobile users. While there are many ways to optimize your campaigns for a mobile format, here are key three things that you will absolutely need to consider.

Using Ad Extensions for more effective mobile ads.

Google has a wide range of AdWords extensions available. From “call now” buttons to built-in maps to your location, these plugins are the ideal way to pack valuable information into a small space. Using ad extensions can help you improve your conversion rate on mobile ads, and are customizable enough to work in a variety of situations. For more how to leverage this powerful mobile advertising tool, check out our article on how to use AdWords ad extensions effectively.

Optimize Your landing page layout for mobile.

Unless you’re relying solely on the “click to call” ad extension, your ads most likely link to landing pages. But if you’re simply directly mobile users to desktop-ready landing pages, you may not see great results from your mobile ads. The best mobile landing pages are short and cleanly designed, so they look great on smaller mobile screens. Any links or buttons on these pages should be clear and big enough to easily press with a finger. As with desktop landing pages, you may have to A/B test a few different layouts before you find one that works well for your customer base.

Edit your CTA for mobile-optimization.

Mobile users often conduct web searches in a different context than desktop users do. They may be searching on the go, in a loud environment. They are more likely to be looking for location-specific results. Mobile users also have the advantage of being able to call businesses without switching devices.  Adapt your CTA to anticipate their actions and react to their circumstances. You may want to test location specific CTAs (e.g. “Download your guide to Boston landmarks”) or device-specific CTAs (“Call us now to get your quote.”) to find out what works best for mobile audiences in your industry.

Cut down your landing page copy.

Additionally, laptop and desktop screens can handle lengthier landing pages, mobile screens are smaller and require shorter messaging. While you might be able to get away with a few extra sentences here and there on a desktop landing page, lengthy copy won’t increase your conversion rate for mobile PPC. If you’re converting existing campaigns for mobile PPC, be sure to cut down and rewrite copy to get your message across quickly and succinctly.

Taking on Mobile PPC with Webrageous

Developing a mobile-focused strategy can be a winning move for improving your PPC campaign returns. By working with Webrageous, you can make sure you’re getting the most you can from your mobile PPC campaigns. Our team of PPC managers has extensive experience working with mobile PPC campaigns, and can help you tap into the mobile-facing potential of your advertisements. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you target mobile with Google AdWords.

Image Source: Blake Patterson, Flickr

5 Metrics You Should Always Monitor in AdWords

adwords-metrics

If you’re already running AdWords campaigns, you know that Google makes a huge amount of data accessible to you surrounding the performance of your campaigns. While it can feel overwhelming to wade through a dashboard full of numbers and metrics without purpose, learning to parse your AdWords dashboard effectively can give you a wealth of insight into how your campaigns are running, and what you can do to make them more successful.

Most people don’t have time to sit down and pore over stacks of data, so paying close attention to the right metrics will let you get the information you need to run your campaigns well without wasting valuable time. Here are five of the most important metrics that you should always monitor in AdWords, and how they can help you make your PPC campaigns more successful.

CTR (Click-Through Rate)

Your CTR, or click-through rate, is one of the basic building blocks of AdWords analytics.  Because CTR only measures how many clicks your ads receive, it doesn’t paint the complete picture of how your campaigns are performing. However, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore your CTR. While CTR isn’t very useful for determining overall conversions, it is an important indicator for whether your ads are reaching the right audience.

Successful advertisers treat CTR as a litmus test for whether their ad copy is on-point and if they’ve chosen the appropriate keywords. Oftentimes, a drop in CTR can be a sign that it’s time to freshen up your ad copy or rethink their keyword strategy.

Conversion Rate

CTR  is a useful metric for knowing whether your ad copy and keyword strategy is up to par, but your conversion rate is an important metric because it tells you what happens after that first click. Whether a conversion means filling out a form on a landing page, making a purchase or calling your business, measuring how many of your viewers “convert” to qualified leads or customers helps you understand the overall success of your PPC efforts. Your conversion rate can tell you how well your advertising campaigns are truly reaching potential customers.

A good conversion rate is proof that your ad spend is leading to real profit, and thus that your investment in PPC advertising is (literally) paying off. If your CTR is high but your conversion rate is low, you may need to consider reviewing your landing page, or examine whether your ads are reaching the right segment of your audience.

CPC (Cost Per Click)

Paying close attention to your CPC, or cost per click, helps you allocate your budget more effectively and ensures that high-cost keywords aren’t eating up your ad spend too quickly. In industries such as insurance and legal, where competitive keywords can be extremely costly, ensuring that your cost per click stays reasonable is an important safeguard against overspending for ad placements.

Managing cost per click can be a fiddly business, as the baseline cost per click can vary dramatically for some keywords depending on the time of day, your Quality Score, and a variety of other factors. Many advertisers opt to have their campaigns managed by PPC management firms like Webrageous or use automated bidding tools in order to maximize their cost per click.  

Cost Per Conversion

Just as CTR is a weak metric without the context of your conversion rate, CPC can be much more valuable if it is considered alongside your cost per conversion. Cost per conversion indicates what the cost of acquiring a conversion or new customer is. A healthy cost per conversion should correspond to the overall value that a conversion brings. For example, an online clothing retailer selling $5 pairs of socks would not want to pay $50 per conversion, but for a lawyer that $50 conversion may result in thousands of dollars income in the long run.

Cost per conversion gives you insight into the ultimate value of your PPC campaigns. Just as with conversion rate, examining your cost per conversion can help you understand the real financial benefit that your ad campaigns are bringing to your company.

Quality Score

While Quality Score can feel a little more mysterious than other metrics, it impacts everything from how much you pay for ads to how good their placement is, so it’s a critical metric to monitor in AdWords. The other metrics we’ve discussed have to do with how your audience views and reacts to your ads. Quality Score is an important indicator of what Google’s algorithm thinks of your ads. And since Google is the gatekeeper of ad performance, making sure that your ad copy, keyword strategy and landing pages live up to Google’s standards can help you get the best results for your campaigns.

Whenever you make changes to your campaigns — especially if you make changes to your ads and landing pages, make sure that you double check your Quality Score. Making changes to copy and layout can have a significant impact on your Quality Score, which can ripple through other aspects of your campaigns and bring down performance quality.

Running Data-Driven AdWords Campaigns with Webrageous

PPC is a fast-moving, ever-changing advertising medium. As demand for online advertising continues to rise and the tools used to run campaigns become more sophisticated, being able to monitor and interpret key metrics for your ad performance can have a huge impact on your advertising success. By using metrics to drive your advertising decision-making process, you’ll be able to react to any changes and make PPC decisions based on data, rather than blindly making choices that may or may not improve your campaigns.

Webrageous has been running data-driven PPC campaigns for our clients for years, and we can give you more insight into your AdWords metrics to help you run your advertising campaigns more effectively than ever. Contact us today for more information on running high-performing AdWords campaigns with Webrageous.