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

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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.

10 Common Misconceptions About PPC

PPC misconceptions

There’s no question that PPC advertising is a lucrative space right now; the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that search ads accounted for over $9 billion in revenue in the first half of 2014– that’s almost 40% of total Internet-based revenue. Unfortunately, many would-be advertisers hold misconceptions that don’t just prevent them from reaching their PPC potential, but can actually cause them to lose money on their PPC campaigns. Before you dive headfirst into PPC advertising, here are 10 common misconceptions about PPC that need to be cleared up.

1.      Anyone Can Run and Manage a PPC Campaign Easily

Getting started with PPC is deceptively simple — setting up an AdWords account and getting your campaigns up and running can seem like it’s just a few clicks away, and bids start at just a few cents per click. But just because it’s easy to get started doesn’t mean that it’s easy to manage PPC campaigns. Adwords and other PPC platforms have a huge array of features, functionality and settings that can make or break your campaigns if they’re not properly calibrated, and launching into PPC when you don’t know what you’re doing can leave you with wasted time, lost budget and a lot of frustration. PPC is about more than just launching campaigns and using tools — great results require strategic thinking and the ability to think about PPC as one channel within your advertising strategy as a whole.

2.      If You Ads Aren’t in the First Position, They’re Worthless

It’s true that CTR drops significantly for ads in positions below number one. But you don’t have to break your budget to push your ads to the top of results every single time. In many competitive industries, especially the legal and insurance industries, highly sought-after keywords carry CPCs of over $100. In fact, in these cases, advertisers can actually maximize their ROI by aiming for the top three ad positions, rather than focusing solely on #1. Adjusting your ad position strategy to maximize profit can be a much wiser move than simply racing to the top of the page.

3.   High Bids = High Ranks

While high bids are one way to increase the visibility of your ads, simply increasing your bids and your budget isn’t a scalable way to improve your PPC results. Your bid isn’t the only factor Adwords uses to determine how and where your ads will be served. Your Quality Score, which is how Google determines how relevant your ads are to the keywords to which they’re matched, plays a significant role in determining the position of ads for any given search. In many cases, a high Quality Score can give your ads a bump in position more effectively than raising your bids will do. By focusing on increasing your Quality Score, you can help keep your ad spend manageable while enjoying higher positions for your ads.

4.      PPC Takes Too Long to Produce Results

Getting a PPC campaign from zero to full-speed doesn’t happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to wait weeks or months to see any results for your efforts. While realizing the full potential ROI of your campaigns usually takes at least a few months, you’ll still benefit from increased visibility and brand awareness soon after you turn on your first campaign.

5.      You Don’t Need PPC if You Have Good Organic Rankings

SEO and PPC are two distinct ways of driving online traffic, and it can be tempting to think that good SEO is enough. However, their respective costs and benefits mean that you shouldn’t neglect one for the other. Google’s SEO algorithms change frequently, which can mean that a site with great organic rankings one day can plummet the next. If your business depends on web traffic to thrive, relying solely on SEO ranking is an inconsistent, unreliable way to ensure traffic. Additionally, having good organic rankings makes your site a great candidate for PPC, as SEO contributes to your Quality Score and can help you get better ad rankings for your ad spend.

6.      PPC is Too Expensive

While enterprise-level corporations can funnel millions into their PPC campaigns each month, that doesn’t mean that PPC is prohibitively expensive for smaller companies. The average CPC for keywords on Adwords is between $1 to $2, and many keywords cost only a few cents per click. Since Adwords allows advertisers to control their daily budget for various campaigns and keywords on a granular level, PPC advertisers enjoy a great deal of flexibility when it comes how much, when and where they spend their advertising dollar.

7.      Never Use Broad Match Keywords

Broad match keywords get a bad reputation — they tend to be expensive, and because they’re so broad they carry the risk that the traffic they’ll bring won’t be a great fit for your business’ needs. But savvy advertisers know that using broad match keywords can be a powerful tool in your advertising arsenal. Analyzing data from broad match keywords can help you identify more specific keywords that might be a better fit for your campaigns, and they can often bring good-quality traffic as well. We often recommend using broad match modifier, which lets you get some of the benefits of casting a wide PPC net, with a little more focus.

8.    Bid Only on Long Tail Keywords

As an extension of refusing to use broad match keywords, some novice PPC advertisers maintain that long tail keywords are the only way to go. Because they’re so pinpointed and often have very low CPCs, long tail keywords can have great CTRs and great conversion rates for a low cost. But by the same turn, if you rely solely on long tail keywords, you’ll miss out on a lot of high-quality traffic that can come from broader keyword strategies. Long tail keywords can be a cost-effective means to capture great leads, but to build PPC campaigns that are scalable and sustainable, you’ll need to diversify your keyword strategy to include a variety of keyword matching techniques.

9.      The More Keywords You Target, the More Traffic You’ll Get

More keywords means more matches, and more traffic — right? It’s important to keep in mind the fact that quality of keywords is far more important than quantity of keywords. While you can use up to 20,000 targeting items (including keywords) in a given ad group, Google reports that most advertisers find that having between five and 20 keywords per ad group is the most manageable and effective range. Using too many keywords, or using keywords that don’t fit well with your business, will only drive up your advertising costs without giving you high-quality leads.

10.      PPC is Click Fraud and Brings Irrelevant Traffic

Click fraud, which involves people or automated scripts clicking ads to drive up advertisers’ costs, is a common fear among advertisers. Fortunately, Google takes fraudulent and malicious clicking behaviors seriously, and has a series of safeguards, from automated anti-fraud algorithms to dedicated investigation teams, in place to prevent advertisers from becoming victims of click fraud. When executed correctly, PPC campaigns are one of the most transparent forms of advertising; advertisers can review and analyze their conversion rate and the ROI of their campaigns at a much more granular level than with offline advertising channels.

Building Smarter PPC Campaigns with Webrageous

There’s a wealth of advice about PPC practices on the web, but wading through the sea of information and finding the knowledge you need to run better campaigns can be daunting. By working with Webrageous to develop and manage your PPC campaigns, you’ll gain access to years of hands-on PPC management experience and knowledge. Whether you’re just getting started with your first campaign or are looking to revitalize existing ones, Webrageous can help you optimize your PPC campaigns and maximize your ROI. Contact us today for a free PPC consultation.

 

Yahoo Gemini Isn’t a PPC Gamechanger. Here’s Why.

yahoo-gemini

In February 2014, Yahoo launched Gemini, a marketplace for mobile and native advertising on the Yahoo network. But while Yahoo has been a big name in tech for years, since its launch two years ago Gemini hasn’t exactly been making waves in the digital advertising industry. Here’s why Yahoo Gemini hasn’t been a game changer to PPC space, and what you should know if you’re considering launching ad campaigns via Gemini.

Yahoo Gemini: What is It?

Gemini is Yahoo’s mobile and search advertising marketplace. It allows advertisers to put brand-sponsored content in front of viewers in a way that’s optimized for mobile devices. Gemini’s focus is on native mobile advertising. Gemini display ads in a format that is more or less seamless with the look and feel of the site the ads appear on. As a result, Gemini isn’t quite a direct competitor with AdWords. Yahoo Gemini doesn’t replicate all of AdWords’ functionality. Instead, it realizes Yahoo’s new mobile-first strategy.

With around 550 million monthly users, Yahoo is an often overlooked advertising platform for reaching prospective customers. And since Yahoo’s advertising partnership with Microsoft (via Bing Ads) has been faltering in the past few years, it would seem that this segment of online traffic is wide open for advertisers. So why hasn’t Yahoo Gemini changed the digital advertising game?

Gemini is Not Integrated with Other Yahoo Advertising Products

While Tumblr and Flurry are somewhat integrated with Gemini, not all of Yahoo’s advertising offerings are accessible through Gemini.  As a result, Gemini doesn’t provide a strong, centralized portal for accessing Yahoo’s overall user base in a variety of formats. This decentralization can pose a problem for smaller businesses with more limited resources for digital ad management, since it requires them to manage ads on the Yahoo network from multiple places. For business owners and smaller companies who don’t have dedicated PPC managers, dedicating extra time to managing multiple advertising channels — especially less sure-fire ones like Gemini — can be a dealbreaker.

Yahoo Has Less Traffic Than Google

At the end of 2014, Google had a whopping 67% of all US web traffic, while Yahoo garnered only about 10%. Lower overall traffic means that Yahoo simply has a smaller audience to offer advertisers. Oftentimes, PPC advertising ends up being a numbers game; serve your ads to a large enough relevant audience, and you’re sure to get a few bites. Unfortunately for Yahoo, their lower traffic translates to a less lucrative advertising space. However, for those advertisers who do end up running ad campaigns on Gemini, the less-competitive space can lead to lower CPCs as well.

Want to Give Gemini a Try Anyway?

Still want to give Yahoo Gemini a shot? We recommend copying existing ad campaign details from an existing AdWords campaign, instead of building them out from scratch in Gemini. You’ll also want to adjust your bids for Gemini, as the platform tends to have a lower average CPC than AdWords. Ultimately, giving Gemini a test drive won’t do any harm, but if you’re working with a tight budget, the biggest risk will be in taking away critical resources from AdWords campaigns that are likely to perform much better.

Diversify Your PPC Campaigns with Webrageous

When all else is said and done, experimenting with different platforms such as Gemini and Bing Ads can be a good way to find untapped audiences and diversify your advertising strategy. But since there’s no centralized ad management platform or service to help you manage all your digital ads from one place, adding a new ad service like Gemini to the mix can be a time-consuming endeavor without a guaranteed payoff. For many companies, the potential for the small bump in business that might be gained from managing Gemini campaigns is likely not worth the effort, especially if they’re managing their own PPC campaigns.

Webrageous has the dedicated resources and the experience needed to run campaigns across multiple advertising platforms. We can run PPC campaigns more efficiently than any individual business could on their own. As a result, we can manage campaigns across multiple outlets for you to ensure that you’re getting the optimal results from your PPC campaigns. With Webrageous, you can explore and experiment with innovative and potentially lucrative PPC channels without feeling like you’re wasting your time. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you optimize your PPC campaigns now.

“Near Me”: How to Optimize Your PPC Campaigns for Local Search

local search results near me

While the Internet is a powerful tool for reaching a worldwide audience, one of the best ways for businesses to leverage digital advertising is to think locally. As the use of mobile devices becomes more prevalent, the ability to serve location-specific PPC ads is more relevant and beneficial to your business than ever. Google searches that include the phrase“near me” has nearly doubled since last year, and increased 34 times over since 2011. Most of these location-focused searches for goods and services come from mobile devices, making locally-focused, mobile-optimized PPC ad campaigns a great bet for businesses looking to grow their lead pool and reach a more focused audience. Whether you’re looking to boost business in a specific geographic area, or you simply want to take advantage of the browsing habits that many mobile searchers have adopted, running local search campaigns can be an effective way to increase your lead funnel.

The Benefits of Optimizing for Local Search

By optimizing your ads for “near me” searches, you’ll be able to improve the overall performance of your PPC ad campaigns. As many as 78% of local mobile searches result in an offline purchase. By focusing in on this highly active segment of PPC traffic, you’ll be able to decrease your wasted ad spend by reaching searchers who are primed for a purchase, and increase your CTR and conversion rate significantly. You’ll also be able to gauge where your business is most in-demand based on ad performance. This information allows you to hone in on specific markets and optimize your advertising efforts to where they’ll make the most significant impact. Convinced that it’s time to start honing in on local searches with your PPC campaigns? Here are some of our top tips for optimizing your PPC ads for local search.

How to Optimize Ads for Local Search

Use a Custom Blend of Localized and Nationwide Campaigns

If you’re using AdWords, setting up ad campaigns to target specific geographic locations is a relatively quick and simple process. However, the exact techniques you use to set up your campaigns may differ depending on your goals and how you want to manage your campaigns. The simplest way is to set up straightforward location-based ad campaigns. This type of campaign allows you to pinpoint very specific locations — such as neighborhoods and zip codes– but their granularity also requires a larger time investment and more careful maintenance. For businesses who are targeting a single location or small set of locations, this can be a very effective method. But if you want to cast a larger geographic net, managing a multitude of local campaigns may be overwhelming, especially if you’re managing your own campaigns. Another option is running nationwide ad campaigns and using location-based bid modifiers to adjust when and where your ads show up. However, this method gives advertisers far less specific control over their campaigns overall. For some businesses, a combination of both techniques can provide a good mix of granular and more generalized ad campaigns.

Be Precise with Location-Based Keywords

Your keywords should reflect the location you want to target, which can be as specific as you like. For instance, “Manhattan legal services” will help you hone in on an even more targeted audience and “New York legal services” would. Experiment with city and neighborhood names (and variations) to find what searchers are looking for. Additionally, make sure that your location information is correct and consistent. One study showed that having mismatched or incorrect location information for your business online can negatively affect the performance of your campaign overall.

Leverage Multiple Landing Pages for Multiple Locations

If you’re focusing in on more than one location, make sure that your landing pages are customized for the correct location. Customizing your landing pages by location helps to reinforce and confirm your brand’s relevance people searching for local businesses. Even simply swapping out bits of landing page copy to reflect the viewer’s location can have a big impact on your conversion rate — and going the extra mile and offering even more geographically specialized content can help improve ad performance even further.

Optimize Your Advertising Assets for Mobile Search

With over three-fourths of all location-based searches being conducted on mobile devices, optimizing your landing pages to be mobile-friendly is a critical part of ensuring that you don’t just get clicks, but conversions. Up to 40% of mobile browsers are likely to bounce if they land on pages that take more than just a few seconds to load, so your assets absolutely must be mobile-ready if you want them to perform well. Take the time to mobile-optimize your ads, landing pages, and any other assets that are a part of your digital marketing funnel to help keep prospects interested and moving towards a conversion.

Take Advantage of Location-Based AdWords Extensions

Be sure to take advantage of mobile ad extensions for AdWords — Google’s locationbased ad extensions allow you to display your business’s address, phone number, and map location and lets viewers see how close your business is to their location. Google reports that these extensions can give your ads as much as a 10% boost in CTR.

Getting from “Near Me” Searches to Conversion with Webrageous

Maintaining local search ad campaigns can be time-intensive, but running effective location-based PPC campaigns will help you attract more local business and take advantage of the growing trends in the mobile search habits of consumers. Webrageous can help you get the best results from your local search campaigns by setting up and maintaining your geotargeted campaigns. Our team of PPC experts has years of experience optimizing digital ad campaigns across a variety of industries and can help you hone in on potential customers that are searching for businesses like yours online. Contact us for a PPC consultation and we’ll get you started on the path to better advertising results today.