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.

Nine Reasons Why We Love AdWords (And You Should, Too!)

adwords

If you’re considering PPC advertising for your business, it is more than likely that AdWords will be one of the strongest tools in your arsenal. With over 3 billion queries per day, Google offers a huge potential for serving PPC ads across a wide variety of industries. Google has a strong incentive to make their advertising platform effective and user-friendly, and we consider it one of the best platforms available to PPC professionals. Here are nine reasons we love using Google AdWords for our PPC campaigns, and why should you love AdWords, too.

1. AdWords Ads Have an Engaging Format

Organic search results are limited to a text-heavy format. This means that there aren’t many ways to make your organic search results stand out from the rest. AdWords offers a range of ad formats that are flexible and engaging, from static graphics and photos to videos. Location and call-only extensions also provide compelling information that makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact your business by integrating features like maps and click-to-call buttons into your ads.

2. AdWords Results are Measurable

AdWords gives you measurable results for your ad campaigns. This makes it easy to understand the ROI of your campaigns, and to drill down into the specific successes of various campaigns and keywords. You can focus your efforts on the keywords, formats and audience segments that give you the best results. With organic search, measuring and controlling the conversion rate for those pages can be challenging, if not impossible. AdWords also offers the benefits of easy-to-parse analytics dashboards that are updated daily, giving you an easy way to stay on top of campaign performance.

3. AdWords Give You Budget Flexibility

One of the features that makes AdWords such a powerful tool is its ability to accommodate a range of budgets. You can easily adjust your ad spend to anticipate and react to campaign performance over time, concentrating your ad spend on high-converting keywords or allocating a portion of your budget for more experimental campaigns. You can also utilize flexible bid strategies to automate your bidding strategy to maximize CPC and meet other PPC goals. However you choose to manage your budget, AdWords lets you optimize your campaigns to get the most bang for your budget by offering the ability to control their ad spend on a granular level.

4. Faster Results than SEO

Organic search results can be a challenging field to control. Google’s SEO algorithms are complex and ever changing. Even if you’re doing “everything right” when it comes to SEO, it can take months for your web pages to rank in search results. Google generally approved in about one business day, so you’ll be able to start serving your ads to viewers almost as soon as you start running campaigns.

5. Flexible Time Management

For many of our customers, the goal of PPC campaigns is to drive call-based conversions. As a result, they want to increase the likelihood that people will see their ads during office hours. AdWords gives advertisers control over what time of day their ads are shown. This is especially important for certain industries, such as the legal industry. Additionally, flexible advertising time management can be beneficial for any business or industry by allowing them to target less expensive time slots.

6. Granular Targeting Options

With such a massive pool of browsers using Google around the world, it’s important that advertisers are able to focus their ad campaigns on the viewers that are a good fit for their business. AdWords offers the best targeting options for PPC ads. This ensures that advertisers are more likely to reach their target audience while minimizing the amount of irrelevant users who see their ads. Advertisers can adjust variables such as locations, keywords, placements, and device to pinpoint users that fit their buyer personas more precisely.  

7. Remarketing

The benefits of remarketing are measurable. Studies have shown that ad viewers who are engaged in remarketing campaigns are up to 70% more likely to convert. Many advertising outlets offer a single opportunity to capture a prospective customer’s interest. But by leveraging remarketing campaigns, you can put your ads in front of the same viewers again and again. Remarketing with AdWords let you stay connected with your visitors on world’s biggest display advertising network. 

8.  Time-Saving Campaign Management Tools

Managing PPC campaigns can be a time-intensive endeavor. The platform has a variety of built-in tools to help you manage your campaigns more efficiently. Tools like Keywords planner, Adwords Editor, and the Merchant Center help advertisers tap the full potential of AdWords while saving time and remaining efficient in their campaign management activities.

9.  Great Customer Service

For problems large and small, Google has a customer service team at the ready. Their services include a weekday help hotline and a 24/7 online chat line. For advertisers who spend more than $10,000 monthly, Google offers dedicated AdWords representatives to walk you through ad management and advise you on the best way to run your campaigns.

Webrageous and AdWords

AdWords is a powerful platform for running successful PPC campaigns. It can also be a challenging tool to learn to use. To take advantage of the full potential of your AdWords campaign, consider working with Webrageous to managing your PPC campaigns. We have years of experience managing high-performing pay-per-click campaigns. We work closely with our AdWords representatives to ensure that our clients always see the best results possible for their advertising goals. Contact Webrageous today to learn how we can help you harness the power of AdWords and reach your PPC goals.

 

The Benefits of Using a PPC Agency

PPC agency

When it comes to getting serious about your PPC strategies, should you opt for an in-house manager or a PPC agency? Many companies opt to manage their own PPC initially. But as campaigns gain momentum, it usually becomes clear that they need to dedicate more resources to their advertising efforts.

Deciding whether you should hire someone to join your company full-time to manage PPC or work with an agency can be a challenging decision to make. Having a dedicated, in-house PPC manager may seem like the ideal solution. But for many companies, opting to work with an agency can be a better resource for optimizing PPC campaigns. If you’re weighing your options and considering whether you should hire an in-house PPC manager or use an agency, here are a few key things to keep in mind.

1. PPC Campaigns Don’t End After Office Hours

The major perceived benefit of having an in-house PPC employee is that the person managing your campaigns will be available at all times. In reality, this assumption doesn’t always hold true. Employees often have set hours and don’t work weekends, even if your campaigns continue to run after hours. Additionally, even the most dedicated employee will eventually need to take vacation days or sick days. If you’ve focused all your PPC management in a single person, your campaigns will have to adhere to that person’s schedule.

With an agency you don’t need to worry about these things. Agency representatives can be on-call around the clock, giving you all the attention that an in-house employee would give. While it can be cheaper to hire a PPC manager in-house, the amount of experience and expertise you gain from working with a PPC agency far outstrips the value of a single employee.

2. Exposure to New Ideas Breeds Better Campaigns

On one hand, being able to focus in on a single company’s campaigns can seem like the ideal approach for optimal results.  However, it’s easy to get stuck in a creative and strategic rut when you’re managing your own. By not managing multiple accounts, PPC managers aren’t exposed to new ideas as easily. Even if they are exposed to new ideas, they don’t know if they work or not until they try them on your own campaigns. Many organizations lose valuable ad spend experimenting with new ideas on their own. 

At an agency, we try new products and features from Google on one or two accounts first and see how they perform. This allows us to adequately test new features before we advise our clients on how to use them. Because of the volume of campaigns we manage, we have a large bank of experience to draw from and can bring a fresh perspective to your campaigns on a continual basis.

3. A Safety Net Against Change

In-house PPC managers can hold a lot of important knowledge about your particular PPC processes and needs. But what happens if they quit tomorrow? Even planned, relatively short-term absences can have an impact on your campaigns.  Who will manage your campaigns if your sole in-house PPC manager is out sick or on an extended vacation? 

At an agency, you’ll always have someone else ready who is sourced, trained and prepared to take over. With many accounts at Webrageous we crosstrain our account managers on multiple accounts. In general, we have two people working on the account and are familiar with the account’s particular needs. That way when one person leaves on vacation, someone else can take over. If your agency account manager quits tomorrow, your accounts will go through a seamless transition to their new manager.

4. Tap the Insider Knowledge of a PPC Agency

If you’re considering hiring a dedicated PPC manager, chances are you don’t have expert-level knowledge of the PPC industry. But without being an insider to the world of digital advertising, it is very hard to know the questions to ask of a candidate. It can be very easy to hire the wrong person in-house. Hiring someone who doesn’t have the required experience to be successful can spell disaster for your PPC strategy at worst, and cause delays or wasted money at best.

PPC agency professionals can dedicate much more time and resources to staying up to date on the latest PPC strategies and trends. Because of our intensive work with platforms like AdWords, PPC agencies are often able to optimize campaigns more quickly and effectively. When you work with an agency, you’re working with a team of experts with a proven track record of success.

The Benefits of Webrageous

Convinced that a PPC agency might be a good fit for your advertising needs? Webrageous has an experienced team of PPC managers ready to help you transform your campaigns’ conversion rate. For qualified clients, Webrageous offers a 60-day, risk-free trial of our PPC services. If you’re ready to start getting the most out of your PPC campaigns, contact Webrageous today and we’ll walk you through our process and show you how big of an impact we can have on your advertising strategy.

 

Top 5 PPC Management Sales Scams

ppc management sales scams

Managing PPC campaigns that are budget-friendly and high-converting can be a challenging endeavor. This is especially true for business and individuals who don’t have a PPC advertising background or a dedicated marketing team. For many small businesses looking to take advantage of the benefits that PPC campaigns can bring, opting to work with a PPC management firm is an effective way to harness the power of PPC advertising without having to take the reigns for themselves.

However, choosing the wrong PPC management company won’t just leave you at square one — it can actually harm your business’ reputation and cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in wasted advertising spend. Want to make sure your PPC manager is the real deal? Here are the top five PPC management sales scams to watch out for to make sure that your campaigns are in the hands of experts, not scammers.

1.They Guarantee You #1 Placement

By now you probably know that the first ad position generally has a much higher CTR than subsequent positions, so that top spot can seem like a great target for your campaigns. Some PPC managers will promise their clients nothing but #1 ad placement. However, a company who claims they’ll keep your ads on top is likely trying to scam you. While getting top ad placement can seem like a great idea, sometimes it can cost more than it’s worth to maintain. A good PPC manager will encourage clients to adopt a solid PPC strategy that leverages lower positions (as well as #1!) to garner solid results — without costing a fortune.

Additionally, great PPC managers know that CTR isn’t the only metric that matters to your campaigns. Look for PPC companies who will work with you to set realistic goals that will make a positive impact on your business, including conversion rate and cost per conversion. When a PPC manager understands your business goals, they’ll be able to craft campaigns that get you there.

2. They Don’t Keep You in the Loop

If you ask a PPC manager exactly what they’re doing to deliver the best possible results for your campaigns, they should give you a concrete (and detailed) answer. They will be able to explain why they’re allocating your ad spend the way they are, and how they developed your campaign strategy. And they should never keep your campaign status and performance a secret. PPC “experts” who keep their clients in the dark about how their campaigns are performing often aren’t experts at all.

Another important quality to look for in a good PPC campaign manager is a collaborative attitude. A good company will ask you for input on the keywords ideas. You’re the expert in your own industry, and PPC experts know that insider knowledge is critical for successful campaigns. If your PPC manager doesn’t seem interested in both keeping you informed and keeping you involved in your own PPC campaigns, you probably aren’t going to get great results from them.

3.    They Don’t Talk about PPC Campaign Goals and ROI

A well-planned PPC campaign should have concrete goals from the start. But just as scammers often promise too-good-to-be-true ad placement, they also tend to avoid setting realistic campaign goals because they know they won’t be able to deliver. A good PPC company will always ask you about your advertising goals. If a PPC manager is chomping at the bit to get your campaigns up and running without discussing your short and long-term goals, they might not have your best interests in mind.

Another telltale sign of a PPC scammer is a failure to focus on budget. PPC experts know that advertising budgets can vary greatly from one client to the next. They also know that a successful PPC campaign doesn’t have to be an outrageously expensive one. PPC companies should be willing to work with their clients to set realistic budgeting goals to ensure that their campaigns yield the best ROI possible, without breaking the bank. PPC managers who don’t ask you about your budget up front might be trying to scam you.

4.   They Don’t Give Suggestions to Improve Landing Pages

Experts know that PPC campaigns don’t exist in a vacuum of bids and keywords; successful PPC campaigns depend on considering every step in a prospective customer’s journey towards conversion. A good PPC company will always suggest some improvements to your campaigns beyond your keyword strategy. They’ll look at your landing pages and your ad copy, and give suggestions on how to improve those assets. PPC experts often have a wealth of advertising experience to draw from for every aspect of a digital ad campaign. If your PPC company is not open to advising you on how to improve your prospects’ experience from start to finish, they might not be the experts they claim to be.

PPC managers should be able to see the big picture of your business and your advertising goals to help you make the best decisions possible. Don’t let PPC scammers convince you that fiddling with your bidding strategy and suggesting a few fresh keywords is enough to revamp your PPC campaigns. A good PPC manager will bring a holistic, strategic mentality to your campaigns to help give your advertising strategy an all-over facelift.

5.  They Don’t Share Past Successes with You

Scammers lie about who their clients are. They will proudly name big companies like Nokia, Nike, Disney and an array of Fortune 500 companies, but if you ask them to put you in touch with satisfied customers, they’ll always come up dry. Good PPC managers are proud of the work they do, and maintain a degree of honesty and professionalism so that even former clients should be happy to provide positive feedback on their work.

A PPC manager might not be able to hand out every client’s contact information to anyone who requests it, but they should be able to offer concrete case studies and customer stories that illustrate how they approach building and maintaining PPC campaigns. It shouldn’t be challenging for a high-quality PPC manager to provide proof of successful campaigns they’ve worked on in the past.

Getting the Real PPC Deal with Webrageous

At Webrageous, we strive to provide the best possible PPC campaign results to all our clients, whether they’re new to PPC or more experienced advertisers looking to take their campaigns to the next level. We work with our clients to create customized PPC campaigns that help them achieve their unique business goals more effectively. Contact Webrageous today for a PPC consultation and we’ll walk you through our PPC management process from end to end.

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.