OneCritical Excel Function for Faster, Smarter PPC Management

Why Learn Vlookups?

So, you’re a PPC veteran.  You’ve dabbled in quick Excel shortcuts that get the job done faster.  You know that =proper() will capitalize your ad copy, and that =LEN() will count characters.

But you have so many things on your plate that are way more important than learning new Excel functions.  Things due.  Now.

So why addlearning vlookups to your ever-growing list?  The truth is, vlookupsare actually game changers for PPC account managers. Learning them means you’ll spend less time bogged down with menial data entry tasks and more time on more strategic tasks – like keeping up with an ever-changing industry.

In Layman’s Terms

Let’s forget PPC for a moment.  Instead let’s imagine you’re managing a fundraiser for a local charity.  You have two lists: onewith6,000names and home addresses, and a separate list with the same names andtheir associated email addresses. How do you get the person’s name, home address, and email all in the same excel sheet?  The answer is vlookups.

Vlookups work like automated address books. You essentially“tell” them to associate the person’s name with the email address.  With vlookups, you can quickly and efficiently tell Excel what two unique things to associate together, and Excel will marry them on any sheet instantly.

PPC Applications

Okay, now putting that PPC hat back on, here’s what you, the time-conscious PPC-er can do with vlookups:

  • Reassign landing pages for a large number of keywords or ad copy
  • Compare data from different date ranges for numerous keywords
  • Combine data from two different reporting sources on one sheet
  • Check whether new keywords already exist in an account
  • Identify and troubleshoot discrepancies between data sources

Example:  Combining Data from Multiple Sources

Let’s say in order to analyze performance lifts around the holidays, you need to pull conversions for every day of the year, and there are two reporting sources. One conversion type is tracked through Adwords (tracking form fill outs) and the other is tracked through an external system (tracking phone calls).  How can both form fill outs and calls be pulled into the same sheet, by day?

  • Pull a report from Adwords, including a column listing the day of the year and total conversions for that day.
  • Label this report tab “Form Fill Outs.”
  • Pull a report from your call tracking system with one column for the day of the year, and another with the total calls for that day.
  • Move your call tracking report to the second tab of your “Form Fill Outs” report, giving it a sensible name like “Calls.” Later, you’re going to tell excel to associate a day of the year with the number of calls for that day.  But in order for excel to understand, the characters in 1/1/17 must match EXACTLY on both tabs; it won’t know that “1/1/17” is the same date as “January 1st” So first, make sure that the formatting of the dates matches exactly on both tabs.

Tab 1: “Form Fill Outs”

Tab 2: Calls

  • Click to your first tab that contains Adwords conversions.
  • Insert a new column directly to the right of the “Date” column, and label it “Calls.” You’re going to bring calls into your sheet containing  form fill-outs.  Now for the excel formula.
  • Enter into the cell below “Calls”:
    1. =vlookup(

  • Tell excel which item to reference. Like the address book example, you’ll want to tell excel to reference the person’s name and match it with another value. But in this case, you want excel to reference the date:
    1. Example: =vlookup(A2,

  • Tell excel what two items to match together (you want it to match the date with calls). Click to your second tab and click drag over all of the dates and call values, ending with a comma:
    1. Example: =vlookup(B2,Calls!A2:B12,

  • Tell excel to only to reference the exact date by adding“, 2, False)”
    1. Example: =vlookup(B2,A2:B75,2,FALSE)

 

  • Click “enter.” You should see the matching number of calls for that date in your excel sheet. Before you drag the formula down, make sure that every time you use the formula, it references the same cell range. Static the row using “$” (see below screenshot).
    1. Example: =vlookup(B2,A$2:B$75,2,FALSE)

Now on your first tab, drag the formula down for every cell in column B.

Now you should see, on your first tab, all of the corresponding calls and form fill outs in one place.  Well done, you’re a mater at vlookups!  With a little practice, you can apply this same process to save tons of time on your PPC management!

I Need to Be #1 for [Keyword]…

I’m on-boarding a new client. I’ve sailed through the introductions and pleasantries. I’ve noted several excellent points to consider while digging into the depths of my new client’s business. My mind is excitedly reeling through all the directions I want to explore with the campaigns. As I’m wrapping up with loose conversation to help learn more about each other to help secure a solid working relationship I’m hit with, “Oh by the way. I need to be #1 for [keyword]”.

It’s at this point I’m always thankful that I’m not sitting directly in front of an audience so no one sees my left eye starting to twitch. Despite the void of a visual I still feel bad because there is this brief period of silence (crickets in the background) while I’m taking a deep breath. How to I put this without unraveling the relationship we’ve just started?

Early on it was fairly easy. There was no Google. There was no Pay Per Click or analytic programs to speak of. Only organic rankings in a handful of Search Engines and directories. The answer was, “Well that is an awfully broad and competitive keyword. I can’t make any promises but I’ll sure do everything I can!”. As more robust, sometimes costly, platforms of marketing and analytic programs have been developed and matured the ‘I need to be #1’ game has changed significantly. Perhaps for the better.

Today the simple start of this conversation is, “This is an interesting twist to the conversation we just had. Would you mind sharing with me your history with this keyword?”. Over the years, I’ve heard a myriad of reasons why 1 or 2 particular keyword(s) are so attractive for various clients. All understandable. I’m not one to judge however after listening I’m generally lead to ask following questions:

  1. You mentioned you have X,Y,Z analytics program. Will I be able to look at this keyword’s track record in there or is there another way you measure this keyword?
  2. How about Adwords and Bing Ads statistics? I assume there is information available for this keyword in those interfaces?
  3. Have you had other sources work to achieve #1 position for this keyword for you in the past? If yes, When was this? Did you feel they were successful? If no, Why not?
  4. Your budget is $XXXX per month correct?

In asking these questions I am setting the tone for:

  1. I’m going to be doing my job and vetting out the statistical information revolving around this keyword.
  2. I’m going to specifically be looking into the time frames provided from previous attempts if available.
  3. If this has not worked out before I’ve had the client validate this so IF I need to educate why this isn’t going to work out this time either they won’t be as disappointed. They will at least know why this time.
  4. I’ve validated the budget so that if the budget becomes a barrier in the #1 request we can leverage that in the education process.

I’m not going to finish the conversation today. I really want to take a look now at what is going on with that keyword. Our conversation is then tabled with, “Ok I totally get that this keyword is very important to you. I want to spend a bit of time taking a look into this keyword and then I’ll schedule a time we can discuss how this is going to impact the directions we can successfully take for you and your campaigns”.

Let the data dive begin!

This is where the ‘perhaps for the better’ comes into play. In the early beginning of marketing online there was little in the way of analytics so it was one of those throw it out there and see what happens. But you never really knew for sure if that was what was driving leads or not. It didn’t cost much but it did often take a lot of time. Now with the robust analytics programs available out there it’s much easier to determine if a keyword is productive or not which can quickly alleviate non-productive spend and non-productive optimization time.

There are a variety of things I’m going to look at in conjunction to the productivity, or lack of, for the requested keyword. I might hop in and it’s a total gem for this client. I might find that this keyword does nothing but burn money. But I’m not going to discard my new client’s request. I’m going to compile the information I need to revisit this with my new client. Some things I would look at are:

  1. Overall productivity of the keyword
  2. Location productivity of the keyword
  3. Time of day/week productivity of the keyword
  4. Campaign structure surrounding this keyword
  5. Search phrases surrounding this keyword
  6. Negatives used with this keyword
  7. Keyword Position

And I’ll do this in each channel individually. What works in Google Pay Per Click may not work anywhere near the same in Bing or Yahoo and vice versa. PPC may not work as well as Pay Per Call, etc.

Once all of the data is has been thoroughly reviewed it’s time to revisit the keyword request with the client. This is a great time to use join.me, GoToMeeting or another screen share program so the client can visually see exactly what you’re talking about as you explain why or why not this keyword request is realistic. Often times when information is shared verbally only it leaves room for things to be misinterpreted or construed inadvertently so it’s always a good idea to share visually as well.

It all comes down to what the data demonstrated and it’s important you educate the client thoroughly with the data. Rather than being #1 100% of the time for a certain keyword it makes more sense to be #3 with the exception of Wednesday and Sunday afternoons in Bing only from 1 to 3 PM where being #1 is most productive. Maybe it isn’t the keyword at all that is generating leads. Maybe it’s a search term(s) that has been firing off the keyword and the leads have been really coming via that search term so we turn that search term into a keyword.

There are a wealth of directions the end plan can go. It all comes down to the data, your ability to wade through the information and educate the client so that both you and your new client are productive and hold a successful long relationship.

 

Image Source: Pixabay

AdWords new expanded ads performance

With new expanded ads being live in AdWords accounts since 26th July, I decided now is a good time two months after to start analyzing results and see how they perform.

Several people have tried to analyze the performance of expanded ads at an early stage (only a few weeks after the new format was released), struggling to find clear tendencies and common ground. I thought maybe this lack of uniformity was due to early analysis and not enough reliable statistics.

So I decided to give it a go myself and have a look at the data for the last 2 months from various accounts covering different industries, hoping to be able to find some common ground. And I have to admit that was no easy task.

As advised I created new expanded ads in all those accounts as early as possible, letting them run along old ads to see how they perform in comparison.

Expanded ads first common impression

The first feeling I had generally speaking before starting my in-depth analysis was that new expanded ads were performing quite well with a higher CTR. I even ended up pausing old ads on a particular account as the old ads were bringing the CTR down: 0.20% CTR on old ads compared to 1.33% on new expanded ads!

But when I started digging out deeper, although I had the feeling that on some accounts the new expanded ads were shown slightly more than old ads, I realized that for a particular account (the one I mentioned above, which is the account of a company selling collectible legos figures) it was the opposite way around: 43756 impressions and 581 clicks on expanded ads and 87346 impressions (with impressions particularly increased on old ads for exact and phrase ad groups compared to broad) with only 179 clicks on old ads!

See impressions screenshots for one ad group in this account between new ETA and old ads:

expanded ads performance

old ads pefrormance

When I analyzed that account even further I also realized that the position on new expanded ads was lower than on old ads, with a similar CPC. So in the end in that account expanded ads were working better bringing more clicks with lower impressions and lower position. I have to say this account was quite a particular case as I haven’t noticed so much difference in impressions (from single to double!) between expanded ads and old ads in any other account.

When I encountered the first discrepancies between accounts, I decided to look at comparable statistics, splitting by brand/non brand, ad groups, and even match type (I usually create one ad group for each match type).

No common ground for branding

I analyzed the first branding campaign on a waste management company account and noticed that for brand terms, old ads seemed to perform slightly better (25% CTR on old ads compared to 23.03% on new ETA) – except for broad ad group where old ads were not shown at all. The positions were the same for old ads and new ETA and when I looked at the average CPC it seemed to be lower for new ETA in exact ad group, but then for the phrase ad group the tendency was the other way around.

So I had a look at another branding campaign for a company selling this time irrigation products. And I realized that the tendency I had noticed in the previous account for branding was the exact way around in this new account and that the CTR seemed to be higher on new expanded ads (with a higher position) than on old ones (18.21% CTR on new ETA compared to 11.88% on old ads). So I decided to go deeper and analyze this branding campaign by match type and although it was true that CTR was higher on new expanded ads in broad and phrase, the CTR was higher on old ads for exact ad group.

See performance screenshots for one broad ad group in this account between new ETA and old ads:

expanded ads performance

old ads performance

The only tendency that seems to appear in branding campaigns is the following:

Exact ad groups branding: old ads seem to perform better

Broad ad groups branding: new ETA seem to perform better

Phrase ad groups branding: performance seems to vary

No clear tendency for non-branding

I then decided to have a closer look at non-branding campaigns and see if I could find a tendency there.

When it came to non-branding it seemed expanded ads had generally speaking more impressions than old ones, with a higher CTR. But then again there was this particular account (collectible legos figures) were impressions were doubled on old ads, especially on exact and phrase ad groups (not so noticeable on broad ad group).

When I analyzed non-branding campaigns for the waste management company, the tendency was true: higher CTR on ETA, except for BMM ad groups. But then I analyzed non-branding campaigns for that company selling irrigation products: higher CTR on ETA for broad and phrase, but lower for exact.

I decided to have a look at non-branding campaigns for an adventure travel company: impressions were always higher on new ads, with a CTR here clearly always better (on broad, phrase and exact ad groups) on new expanded ads (up to 6% higher!).

See performance screenshots in this account between new ETA and old ads:

expanded ads performance

old ads performance

To sum up

After analyzing this 2 month data, I have to accept a fact: it is really hard to find a common ground in expanded text ads performance. Some branding campaigns might have a lower CTR on new ads, some others won’t. While it is true that ETA will perform at a lower CPC than old ads on some ad groups, it might be the other way around for other ad groups. New ETA might have a higher CTR on exact for some products, and a lower one on broad. Position might sometimes be better on new expanded ads…or not.

There is no clear tendency and it is all relative to each single account.

Maybe it is still early to try and analyze new expanded ads, and more than likely their performance will change again as more and more advertisers start using them and certainly when Google will get rid of old ads forever.

What I do recommend is that you perform your own analysis, but don’t forget to segment by branding/non branding, match types, ad groups etc as new ETA might perform very differently for each segment. And if you notice as I did that for some accounts new ETA already perform way better than old ones, don’t wait to pause old ads and do that now. The most important thing right now is to monitor performance and if you see a sudden decrease in performance after implementing ETA go deeper in your account and try and find out what is working or not. As always in PPC it is all about testing, testing and testing again.

Some good news to end

The good news is that Google might have heard the complaint of several account managers that were probably struggling to create a high amount of new expanded text ads, as they extended the transition period during which you can still create and edit old format ads. The initial deadline of 26th October has now been extended to 31st January 2017, so that advertisers have 3 more months to create expanded text ads and test them along old ones.

 

Images’ source: Google AdWords Editor

Google releases campaign groups in AdWords

Earlier this month Google released a new feature that makes it easier for advertisers to monitor the performance of their campaigns against their advertising goals: campaign groups.

What are campaign groups?

Campaign groups allow advertisers to aggregate data from separate campaigns based on a common theme. It allows them to select campaigns that share a same objective and group them so they have a quick look at performance, what works and what doesn’t.

Let’s say you just created 2 new separate search and display campaigns for the coming Christmas season. It would be interesting to create a campaign group for them as they have the same goal.

How to set up campaign groups?

Campaign groups are available in the AdWords interface, on the left menu:

campaign-groups

 

Once you click on the button to add a campaign group, you are redirected to a page where you can:

  • Name your campaign group.
  • Select the existing campaigns you want to add to this campaign group.
  • Select a performance target: you can choose clicks or conversions.
  • Eventually select a specific date range to view more accurate projections. If you choose this option you can then select the number of clicks or conversions you want to receive, the budget you want to spend, the average CPC or CPA you want to reach.

campaign-groups-set-up

 

You will then have a quick glimpse of your current performance and what you may achieve by the end of the campaign period.

What are the benefits of campaign groups?

  • With campaign groups it is easier to monitor performance across multiple campaigns.
  • You have a quick glimpse of how your campaigns perform relative to your goals. Of course campaign groups are not to be compared to some powerful third party tools but they allow advertisers to have a quick access to that data without having to create pivot tables or export data in separate spreadsheets (therefore saving some time and energy).
  • The set up is simple and you will have access to monitored performance in minutes.

 

Images’ source: Google AdWords interface

9 Creative Ways to Make Your PPC Ads Even Better

creative-ppc-ads

The basics of creating PPC ads isn’t hard to learn. But developing AdWords campaigns that make the most of your ad spend can require practice and a little ingenuity. Experimenting with creative ways to make your ads resonate better with your audience can increase conversions and help your AdWords campaigns make a bigger splash. Here at Webrageous, we constantly strive to find fresh ways to boost campaign performance. Here are 9 techniques that you can test out in order to give your PPC campaigns a unique twist to boost performance.

1. Leverage Emotion

When crafting the perfect PPC ads, it can be easy to become so focused on technical details such as keyword choice and ad length that ad copy ends up sounding stilted and unrealistic. Lighten up your language and experiment with funny or emotional copy for your PPC ads. Using wordplay or clever references can help catch your audience’s eyes and make your brand more memorable. But be tread lightly — what one person might find hilarious might be offensive to others, so err on the side of being good-natured and .  

2. Use Color to Tell Your Story

Colors have powerful emotional connections to certain ideas and feelings. Many marketers experiment with color theory to increase conversion rates and convey ideas to their audience more effectively. For example, blue tends to evoke a sense of loyalty, trust, and dependability, which is why it is a favorite logo color for financial institutions and enterprise software developers. By contrast, shades of red evoke excitement and boldness, making them an effective choice for brands that want to impress a sense of action, adventure or playfulness — such as Coca-Cola and Nintendo. Try switching up the color of your CTA buttons or links to see if some colors resonate more with your audience than others.

3. Create Images that Pop

Display ads often use boring stock photos, but many consumers have seen these kinds of run-of-the-mill images so frequently that they glaze right over them. Splurge for higher end stock photos, or, depending on your product, take your own photos to make your display ads stand out from the crowd. You can leverage color here as well, by choosing images that predominantly use colors that correspond with the emotion you want to convey.

4. Pose Hypothetical Examples

Subtle clues that show that you understand the point of view of your customers can be an effective way to click with your audience. These might touch on their pain points, such as “Struggling to find the perfect fit?” or “Tired of searching for new car?” They could also be aspirational, like “Your dream home is waiting.” Using concrete examples helps your audience recognize their pain points and realize what success can look like more readily These cues can push them towards exploring your business as a solution.

5. Use Countdown Timers to Inspire Action

There’s nothing like a little pressure to spur a prospect who’s on the fence to take action. Putting a time limit on your PPC ads creates a customized “discount” for viewers. Fortunately, Google offers an AdWords widget that lets you easily add countdown timers to your ads. The timer displays an expiration date for the offer, creating a sense of urgency to compel prospects to take advantage of the offer while it lasts. The timer also defaults to the time zone of the viewer, so you can customize ads to feel completely current and relevant.

6. Use Data-Driven Qualifiers

Use concrete numbers and examples help quantify the value you’ll bring to your customers. Giving real data points will give your business’ ROI more weight and credibility. There are a number of metrics you can play with, from the number of years you’ve been in business, to the number of units you’ve sold, or the turnaround time for your services.

7. Go Hyper-Local

While you might want to target a relatively large geographic area overall, tailoring your ads to smaller regions can be an effective way to connect with your audience. Many A/B tests have proven that consumers prefer ads with more customization, and geographic customization is a relatively easy way to craft ads that resonate with your audience.

8. Leverage Awards and Honors

Shopping online requires a bit of faith on the buyer’s part and a little credibility on the seller’s. Try highlighting any industry awards, honors or distinctions that your business has received in your PPC ads. Calling these out can go a long way to assuring prospects that your business is worth their time and money, especially for goods or services where quality and recommendations are traditionally significant factors in making a purchase.

9. Reduce Perceived Risk

Sometimes, prospective buyers are simply looking for reassurance that your business is a “safe” investment. This is especially true with high-dollar goods and services, such as realtors and lawyers. As with calling out any public recognition your business has received, making offers in your PPC ads that can help build trust with potential clients. Offer a money-back guaranteed trial or a free trial of your services can draw more conversions, as users will see such an offer as a way to reduce risk.

Finding More Creative Solutions for PPC Ads 

To truly get the most out of your AdWords campaigns, your best bet is to A/B test a variety of techniques and discover what works best for your audience. If you’re looking to develop stronger, more creative PPC campaigns that perform more effectively, Webrageous can help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn more about the results we’ve delivered for other companies, and to discover what we can do for your business.

Image Source: Pixabay

AdWords new expanded ads are now live!

 

It happened sooner than expected while no account manager was really aware of it: you have now the ability to create new expanded ads in AdWords.

How to create new expanded ads?

As you probably know already, those new expanded ads 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 before!
  • One 80 characters description line (compared to two 35 characters description lines before), that’s 10 more characters allowed than old ads.

You can now create new expanded ads directly through your AdWords interface. If you go on the “Ads” tab on your AdWords account and choose to create a new ad by clicking on the red button “+ AD” and you then select “Text ad” in the drop-down menu, this will automatically give you the opportunity to create a new expanded ad as you can see in the screenshot hereunder. If you want to create an ad with the old format instead, you will need to click on the option “Switch back to standard text ads”.

Create Expanded Ads AdWords

Google has also released a new version of AdWords Editor for the occasion, and if you download the latest update of Editor you will be able to create new expanded ads straight away (I have to say that Google really made a huge effort here to make it easy for account managers as you usually need to wait a few weeks or even months for any new change to be supported in AdWords Editor). Once the latest version is installed, you will see “Expanded text ads” listed under the “Ads” menu as you can see in the screenshot hereunder.

Create Expanded Ads AdWords Editor

What is the deadline to create new expanded ads and what is going to happen during the transition period?

We are now in a transition period where you can still create and edit old AdWords text ads until 26th October. After that date, you won’t be able to create or edit those old ads anymore, so it will be mandatory to use expanded ads if you want to change messaging or create new ads. However, it doesn’t mean that your old ads will stop showing after 26th October, they might still run for a while along new expanded ads (no extra information has been given yet about what will happen to old ads after 26th October, except that you won’t be able to update them anymore).

What is sure is that if you do create new expanded ads now, you can still keep your old ads running along with them, and I would advise you to do that so you can test new expanded ads and see what could be improved.

When should you create your new expanded ads?

Even if you technically can wait until 26th October to create new expanded ads, I would advise you to start creating them now and as soon as possible, for several reasons:

  • If you are an account manager dealing with several accounts, you might need to rewrite hundreds or thousands of ads. This is not going to be done in one day. If you start now, you will have the time to come with a plan and a schedule, which will make things smoother and less stressful that if you leave everything until the very last day.
  • As stated above, if you create new expanded ads now, you can also keep your old ads running during that transition period and take advantage of that period to test your new ads, as it might need time and lot of adjustments before your new expanded ads work as good as your old ad texts.
  • A lot of advertisers will leave creating new expanded ads until September or so, as we are now in a transition period where both old ads and new expanded ads are allowed to run along each other. Which format do you think will get the more attention between the new expanded ads with their 140 characters and the old ads with their 90 characters? That’s right, now is the right time to get your expanded ads ready and gain advantage over your competitors who are not using them yet!

What are the best practices to write new expanded ads?

Here are a few tips to create new expanded ads:

  • You should take advantage of the new full characters limit. Don’t just use your former description line 1 and use it as headline 2. You should rethink your entire ads and write new versions, creating deeper messages. Try and focus on needs and benefits, including concepts important to your customers that will make you stand out among your competitors.
  • You should focus on the headlines as they will appear in blue and be the most viewable part of your ads. Write your most important messages in your headlines. You should particularly focus on headline 1 as there might be a line break between your two headlines, especially on mobile devices, or your headline 2 might appear on same line as headline 1 but be truncated (during the tests a lot of users already complained about that and Google advised to limit both headlines to 33 characters maximum to be sure headlines are not truncated, which is a bit extreme!).
  • Use the path fields and add your top keywords to display URL to make it clear for users that they will end on a relevant landing page.
  • Mobile preferred ads are no longer supported with new expanded text ads, so you should use messaging that speak to users on all devices. You can also choose to add a mobile specific URL, so if you have landing pages that are best optimized for mobiles, don’t forget to use that feature.
  • You should create multiple versions of expanded ads and test them. Remember how it took you years to figure out what messaging was working best in your old ads? You are back to square one now, and you should start A/B testing different versions of your new expanded ads.
  • You should keep your old ads running along with new expanded ones, and not pause your old ads directly. As stated above the current transition period is ideal for testing. Keep your old ads running so if your new expanded ads don’t perform as well at the beginning you have time to adjust and test between different versions of expanded ads to see what works best.
  • You should check your ad extensions and update them if necessary. Now that you are allowed more characters in the new expanded ads, you might add messages that you were before using in your ads extensions because you were limited by characters in old ads. You therefore have to make sure that the message you now use in your new ads don’t repeat in your old ad extensions.

What about display?

Following the release of new expanded ads on the search network, Google has also announced that a new ad format will be ready for display soon: responsive ads.

As for the expanded ads on the search network, the new responsive ads on the display network will have more characters:

  • Two headlines: the first headline will contain up to 25 characters and the second one 90 characters (compared to only one 25 characters headline before). That’s 90 characters more.
  • One 90 characters description line (compared to two 35 characters description lines before). That’s 20 more characters allowed.

 

Those new responsive ads are rolling out at the moment, if they are not available in your account yet just be patient a few more weeks.

 

Images’ source: Google AdWords interface / Editor

Price extensions for mobile ads: AdWords new feature

price-extensions

Google has just released new ad extensions: price extensions.

What are price extensions?

They are new extensions that advertisers can use in their AdWords mobile ads. It allows them to easily and quickly show prices for different services or products.

What are the price extensions’ requirements?

  • They are only available on mobile ads for now (so you need to have a mobile friendly website).
  • You need to set up a minimum of 3 price extensions and a maximum of 8.
  • Your mobile ad needs to appear in the top ad position (otherwise it won’t be eligible for this new extension).
  • They are only available in English at the moment.

How to set up price extensions?

Just as other ad extensions, price extensions are easily set up in AdWords.

They can be set at account, campaign or ad group level.

You will find them in the ad extensions tab, under “Price extensions” in the drop-down menu.

Price extensions set up

To create a price extension you will need to add:

  • A header (clickable title, up to 25 characters).
  • A description (up to 25 characters).
  • The actual price.
  • A final URL (the landing page related to the extension – the same landing page can be used for a set of ad extensions).

What are the benefits of price extensions?

  • They give extra information to potential customers with minimal work. You don’t need to include your price in your ad anymore and you can use that extra space to focus on other unique selling points in your ads.
  • They are one click away to conversions: when users click on your price extension, they are redirected to your website straight away.
  • They are easily set up, updated and can be used for special offers.
  • They are flexible and customizable.

 

Images source: Pixabay

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 Display & Retargeting Campaigns from Turning Into a Disaster

Retargeting and display campaigns in general can be highly effective methods for filling your funnel and finding qualified customers. According to one study, retargeting campaigns can boost conversion rates by as much as 147%. However, display and 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 Display campaigns stay focused on the right audience for your business. One of the best things you can do to prevent ads from showing up next to a newspaper article about the next massacre you might want to add the negative keywords for Display.

One of the biggest things you want to prevent is your ad from showing up in places like this:

 

or even worse….showing up here

any questions? I didn’t think so!

Develop a Strong Negative Keyword List

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/display campaigns.We can’t guarantee it will prevent your ad from showing in the every inappropriate circumstance but we can promise that it will help.

Our Checklist of Negative Keywords for Retargeting/Display 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
  • ISIS
  • ISIL
  • Islamic State
  • kidnapped
  • kill
  • killed
  • killing
  • kills
  • massacre
  • manslaughter
  • molest
  • molestation
  • molester
  • molesting
  • murderer
  • pedophile
  • pedophilia
  • pimp
  • pimps
  • porn
  • pornography
  • possession
  • predator
  • predators
  • prostitute
  • prostitution
  • robbery
  • sex
  • 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

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.” this is a good place to review a variety of settings for your display campaign. Scroll down past this first image and in the second image you will see some really great settings you may not be aware of:

okay great so now you know where to get started to find where you can exclude certain categories of sites. if you scroll down even further you will see site category options.

if you don’t see site category options you will need to add it. Here is how:

then here is what should appear under site category options and the options checked in red are the ones that we recommend turning off:

you’ll notice I’ve taken the time to turn off some of the worst offenders. If you take advantage of all of these tactics outlined above you will be in much better shape to avoid advertising in a place that could bring you some very unwanted publicity! while we can’t guarantee you won’t show up advertising somewhere you don’t want to I think this will prevent  showing up in the worst placements about 99% plus of the time.

Identify Why Campaigns Aren’t Converting

There are other things you can do to improve a nonperforming retargeting campaign. 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.

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.

Refine Display & 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.

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.

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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

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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.

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How to Optimize a “Limited by Budget” Campaign

limited by budget campaigns

Whether you have been running AdWords campaigns for a while or you are new to PPC, there’s a good chance that at some point you’ve seen that bright orange “limited by budget” notification on your AdWords dashboard. But what you might not realize is that you can use these budget notifications to your advantage to keep your PPC campaigns running smoothly. Here’s what you need to know about “limited by budget” campaigns and how you can adjust them to maximize their performance and optimize your ad spend.

What does “Limited by Budget” Mean?

Google AdWords campaigns may receive “limited by budget” designation whenever your budget is lower than Google’s recommended budget daily budget for a given set of keywords. This could mean that your budget is too low to serve your ads at all, or that it is too low to serve your ads more than a few times per day. While it’s easy to assume that Google is simply trying to convince advertisers to spend more money on advertising, these notifications can be a helpful performance indicator for your campaigns. For instance, if you’ve set your budget for a campaign to $200 per day and the CPC for one of the most popular keywords in that campaign is $50, you might be maxing out your budget each day after only four clicks. And unless your conversion rate is incredibly high, you probably won’t see great results from that campaign.

Optimizing Your “Limited By Budget” Campaigns

You can still run successful campaigns that are technically limited by budget. However, using these built-in notifications can be a useful technique in your advertising toolbox. By using “limited by budget” notifications as indicators of campaigns that need may need some tweaking, you can optimize your ad spend and improve your campaigns overall.

In some cases, the quickest and easiest fix for “limited by budget” campaigns is simply to increase your budget allocation for that campaign. However, most of us don’t have an unlimited ad spend, so making the most of our budgets is a priority. Here’s how to optimize your campaigns to ensure you’re getting great results within your existing budget.

Use Metrics to Cultivate Your Keyword Strategy

One of the first things you should do with “limited by budget” campaigns is to investigate why your campaigns are hitting budget limitations. Determine if there are a few keywords that are sucking up most of your budget. Some industries — especially the legal and insurance industries — can have extremely expensive keywords that might be eating up your entire daily budget after just a few clicks.

Once you’ve found the keyword culprits, you can take action to keep them from derailing your PPC campaigns. If they aren’t performing up to par, determine why; are they so expensive that you max out your budget after just a few clicks? Or are you getting plenty of clicks, but for keywords that aren’t relevant enough to your services to lead to a conversion? You may want to adjust your bid or pause keywords that take up a lot of impressions, especially if they aren’t converting well.

Break Budget-Hogging Keywords Out of Campaigns

Sometimes budget limitations are caused by poorly segmented campaigns. High-ticket keywords can bring your business valuable potential customers, but oftentimes they take attention away from cheaper keywords with relatively lower traffic, such as long-tail keywords, that might be just as important for driving a healthy lead flow. Consider creating separate campaigns for these “budget hogs.” This also helps to ensure that your ads also get some airtime for less expensive keywords that may be a better fit for your advertising goals.

Build and Manage Your Negative Keyword List

Building a healthy negative keyword list is another important aspect of optimizing “limited by budget” campaigns. By cultivating a list of keywords that you don’t want to target, you can ensure that when your ads are served, they’re reaching the right audience. Making sure that your ads are a good fit for the viewers that AdWords serves them to can help decrease your average CPC and improve your conversion rate overall.

Be sure to revisit your negative keyword list on a regular basis to make sure that it is comprehensive and accurate. Consumer search behaviors can change over time, so you may need to add or remove negative keywords from your list over time.

Use Ad Scheduling to Stretch Your Budget

Another data set to examine on your “limited by budget” campaigns is when you are maxing out your daily budget. For some high-traffic keywords, you may be hitting your budget limit early in the morning. This may negatively impact your campaign’s efficacy because in some cases PPC ads demonstrate better performance at specific times of the day. Additionally certain times of day may be more competitive, driving up the cost of ads. By scheduling your ads to run during time periods that are less expensive, you can stretch your existing budget further. This can be a useful tactic if you are running call only ad campaigns, especially if you have a specific time range in which you would like prospects to call your business.

Optimizing Your PPC Campaigns with Webrageous

Managing successful PPC campaigns isn’t always a quick and easy process, but it can bring great returns if you can devote time and resources to running your campaigns well. Whether you have limited time or a limited budget, effective, affordable PPC campaigns do not have to be out of reach for your business. Webrageous can help optimize your campaigns to perform well with the budget that you have, and ensure that you’re getting the best results possible from your PPC efforts. Contact us today to learn more about how our experience and expertise can help you reach your PPC advertising goals.

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How to Prevent Overbidding on PPC Keywords

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Keeping your PPC ads in the top position can have a huge impact on the success of your PPC campaigns overall. The average CTR for PPC ads drops significantly between the first three positions, so to make sure you’re getting the best results from your ad spend, it’s important to aim high by bidding enough to ensure that your ads win the best positions.

However, there is such a thing as bidding too high, and overbidding can be a major drain on your advertising budget. By taking steps to ensure that your bidding strategy is aggressive enough to keep your ads in high-performing positions, but not so aggressive that it eats up your budget too quickly, you can help stretch your ad spend and improve the performance of your campaigns in the long run. Here are a few tips to avoid overbidding for your PPC keywords.

Improve Quality Score to Lower CPC

In order to ensure that viewers find their ads valuable, Google doesn’t always simply give the top ad positions to the highest bidder — Google also takes into account Quality Score, or how relevant the content of the ad and landing page is to its corresponding keyword. Your Quality Score can impact the amount you spend on your campaigns, as advertisers with higher Quality Scores can pay less for a bid and still have their ads show up in a higher position than advertisers with low Quality Scores.

There are a number of ways to improve your Quality Score, from optimizing your ad and landing page copy to target specific keywords to restructuring your campaigns into smaller, more focused segments. Ultimately, understanding the factors that Google takes into account when calculating your Quality Score and continuously working to improve the quality of your campaigns is the best strategy for improving your Quality Score and lowering your CPC.

Set Your AdWords Budget Under Your Actual Budget

Did you know that AdWords campaigns can cost more than your set daily budget? In order to increase ROI of campaigns, Google allows daily budgets to be exceeded by up to 20% of your set budget. And while Google has some safeguards in place to keep this from adding up to a huge overspending in the long run, if you’re making changes to your campaigns frequently, such as turning them on and off, you’re likely to overspend. If you’re worried about overbidding, lowering your budget for high-cost campaigns can help keep your ad spend in check.

Focus on PPC Keywords that Actually Convert

One of the biggest budget drains on your PPC campaigns is paying for ads that don’t convert. In many highly competitive industries, scoring top ad positions for lucrative keywords can cost tens or hundreds of dollars. But the highest-cost keywords won’t always be the best match for your business, and oftentimes more targeted keywords will garner higher CTR and conversion rates.

Instead of bloating your bids to chase those high-cost keywords, dive into your AdWords dashboard and determine which keywords have performed best for you historically. Focus your bidding strategy on scoring the first position for keywords that you have had a good conversion rate for to make sure that your ad spend is ultimately doing what you want it to do — bring in new customers.

Understand How Bid Stacking Can Affect Your Campaigns

AdWords’ Enhanced Campaigns feature allows advertisers to use bid modifiers to adjust their bids based on time of day, location and other factors. While this feature can be a powerful tool to help you control your ad spend at a more granular level, it can also lead to overbidding if you aren’t careful. If a search matches several criteria that you have set, the bid modifiers will “stack up” and might end up costing you far more than necessary. For instance, if you have a modifier set to bid 100% more than usual for searches on mobile devices and 50% more than your base bid for searches after 9pm, then a search conducted on an iPhone at 10pm might end up costing you 150% more than your base bid.

Bid stacking can be a useful technique for scoring competitive spots without setting your baseline campaign budget too high, but it’s important to monitor how these bid modifiers are working for your campaigns very closely to ensure that they’re not wasting valuable advertising resources.

Don’t Rely on Automatic Bidding

Automatic bidding can seem like a tantalizing option, promising moderately good PPC results with a minimal amount of time and energy investment. Automatic bidding can be an effective tool for managing campaigns, but when advertisers rely on it too heavily it can lead to overspending on underperforming campaigns. Manual bidding takes more work to manage effectively, but gives you more control over how and where your advertising dollars are spent. As a result, you can avoid overbidding and ensure that your ad spend is allocated effectively.

Manual bid management can be a daunting task, especially for inexperienced PPC advertisers, or small business owners who don’t have much time to manage their advertising campaigns. Fortunately, by leveraging the experience and expertise of dedicated PPC managers such as Webrageous, manual bidding can be a manageable practice even for organizations with limited time or budgets.

Leverage Webrageous’ Experience to Decrease Overbidding and Optimize Your Campaign Results

Want to get your bidding strategy into better shape? The PPC experts at Webrageous have years of experience managing AdWords campaigns and helping our clients realize better results from their PPC advertising efforts. We can give you more control over your ad spend by managing your campaigns for you and honing in on the best strategies for keeping your ads in high-performing positions. If you’re ready to stop overbidding and start getting more out of your PPC campaigns, contact Webrageous today.

“Always Be Testing” An A/B Testing Rule To Improve Conversion Rate

a/b testing

There’s an often quoted saying in the advertising world, coined by John Wanamaker, a famed early 20th-century advertising tycoon: “I know that half my ad dollars are wasted, I just don’t know which half.” Wanamaker’s words still ring true for PPC advertisers today. Developing high-converting PPC campaigns can seem like guesswork, and sometimes advertisers can feel like there’s no guarantee that their ads will perform well until after the fact.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic button on AdWords to optimize your ads and boost your conversion rate overnight. Nevertheless, improving conversion rates is a priority for many search marketers. And while there’s no secret formula to that will guarantee a high conversion rate, improving ad performance can often be achieved with A/B testing practices that follow the simple rule of “always be testing.” If you can commit to making A/B testing a regular part of your PPC campaign management, you’ll be rewarded with better CTR and conversion rates.

Why A/B Testing is Important

It can be hard to know how your audience will respond to your brand before you serve them any ads, and what you think will work best might not actually give you the best results when your ads are in action. Only about 22% of companies are satisfied with their conversion rate, meaning that nearly 3 out of every 4 marketer’s PPC campaigns are regularly failing to resonate with their audience. Fortunately, the digital nature of PPC ads gives marketers the ability to tweak and test new versions of their ads in an instant, and to run different versions of their ad simultaneously. By serving different ad variations to segments of your customers, you can find out which variations your prospects will respond to, and you can hone your message and presentation to better fit with their needs and expectations.

Oftentimes advertisers are obligated to make decisions about their PPC campaigns without having a strong foundation of evidence to support those decisions. What color should your “Download” button be? How do you select search ad copy that will garner the highest CTR? Every aspect of your campaigns has a wide range of variations from which you must make a selection. A/B testing allows you to make decisions about your PPC campaigns based on data gathered from real reactions from your prospective customers. When the results of A/B tests control the flow of your ad campaigns, you’ll be able to make better decisions based on the data you’ve collected, rather than subjective feelings and opinions.

How A/B Testing Can Improve PPC Campaigns

A/B tests can improve your CTR and conversion rate significantly, and savvy companies are wising up to the benefits  Both large and small companies can benefit from A/B testing; for example Google ran 7,000 A/B tests in 2011. It should come as no surprise that companies that are serious about advertising invest heavily in A/B testing. By leveraging A/B testing strategies to gain better insight into the preferences of your audience, you can hone in what converts best, from ad copy and messaging to landing page layout and design.

Well-tested campaigns can lead to measurably better advertising initiatives than their un-tested counterparts. In one instance, SAP was able to boost their conversion rate by over 32% by changing the color of their CTA button. Businesses with over 40 landing pages converted up to 12 times more leads than those with only 1-5 landing pages, and that’s no coincidence — testing multiple variations of your advertising and marketing materials allows you to see what works best and invest more of your ad spend in materials with a proven track record.

A Good Testing Strategy is a Continuous One

A common mistake made by novice search marketers is that they treat A/B testing as a one-time event. They run tests briefly, take a look at their results, then run their campaigns indefinitely based on those assumptions. But testing once isn’t enough. High-performing PPC campaigns are those that are carefully and actively managed. Consequently, A/B tests must evolve with your campaigns. And even if your campaigns are doing well right now, constantly testing and experimenting with your ad campaigns can keep you ahead of the curve in the long run.

Another important aspect of A/B testing is to make sure you let your tests run long enough. If you run A/B tests for a day or two and make assumptions based off the results of those flash-in-the-pan tests, you aren’t likely to see a big difference in your conversion rate. You need a larger data set to really understand which advertising materials perform the best. Marketing experts suggest running A/B tests for at least a week to ensure that you have enough information to make informed decisions about your campaigns. Your ideal test runtime may vary but, as a general rule, the longer you’re able to run tests, the better results you’ll see.

Always Be Testing with Webrageous for Better PPC Conversion

As the PPC advertising field gets more and more competitive, marketers are developing more sophisticated strategies than ever to stay ahead. 85% of search marketing professionals focused on improving their conversion rate with A/B testing this year. If you’re not using it as a tool to improve your campaigns you’re not being competitive enough.

Managing high-performing PPC campaigns and effective A/B testing strategies can be time and resource-intensive. Here at Webrageous we have a dedicated team of PPC campaign managers who can identify and manage your highest-converting AdWords materials to help you improve your conversion rate. Contact us today so we can help you achieve better results from your PPC campaigns.

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What To Do When Your PPC Campaigns Stop Getting Results

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Love it or hate it, PPC advertising is a continuously changing landscape. Ads that converted well last month might flop this month, and it isn’t uncommon for previously successful campaigns to start to degrade as time goes on. Active maintenance is your best bet against poor PPC performance. If your PPC campaigns have stopped getting results, there are several strategies you can use to boost your conversion rate and revitalize your campaigns.

Strengthen Your CTAs

A common problem with underperforming ads is that they don’t include a strong call to action. Make sure that your CTA is strong, clear and specific. Getting specific with your CTAs is can make a huge difference; ad viewers are used to seeing (and ignoring) the same generic ads over and over again, so your ads must provide something unique to get attention.
For example, simple CTAs such as “Click Here” and “Download” are short and concise, but they don’t compel readers to take action. The best CTAs help the reader understand what they’re getting when they click. “Download Free Whitepaper” or “Sign Up Now” are examples of stronger CTAs that that will resonate with readers.

Test New Ad Copy Regularly

Even ad copy that once performed well can lose its luster over time. It’s a good idea to keep testing new ads continuously, even if your existing ads are performing well. Studies have shown that companies with many different landing page versions generate up to 12 times more leads than their competitors with only a few landing pages. The reason? More personalized landing pages have greater appeal to viewers across a wide audience, and allow businesses to test many different messages to find the ones that work the best.

To capture this high conversion rate, try diversifying your ad copy and testing new versions on a regular basis. You’ll be able to target your campaigns for a wider audience, and get a better idea of what messaging works best overall.

Run or Optimize Your Mobile PPC Campaigns

In the past, we’ve advocated for mobile PPC campaigns as an effective way to get the best performance out of your PPC ad spend. As mobile devices take up a larger market share and buyers make the shift from desktop to mobile browsing, it’s more important than ever to activate and optimize your mobile PPC campaigns. If your PPC campaigns are starting to lag, turning on mobile can help you reach a larger audience and connect with prospects that you might have been missing out on.

If you are already running mobile PPC campaigns and aren’t seeing the results you want, you might want to check to make sure that your campaigns are optimized for mobile performance. From writing mobile-specific ad copy to leveraging mobile ad extensions for better conversion rates, learning the nuances of mobile PPC management ensures that your campaigns yield the best results possible.

Adjust Your Keyword Match Strategy

Broad keyword match can be a great tool for reaching a wide audience, but that wide audience can also encompass viewers who aren’t a good fit for your business. If you’re relying heavily on broad keyword match but don’t have a high CTR, explore other keyword match options to help you hone in on a more precise audience.

Using broad keyword modifier match and leveraging negative keyword lists are two ways to make broad keyword match campaigns work more efficiently. These keyword match methods help your ads reach a more tailored set of viewers. As a result, you’ll waste less of your ad spend on viewers that aren’t interested in your business at all.

Optimize Your Ad Positions

Research has shown that the drop-off between the top three ad positions on Google AdWords is significant. In many cases, the conversion rate below the third position can drop to nearly 0%. If you’re not monitoring your average ad ranking closely, you might be paying for ad positions that don’t get any play. Because the performance of lower ranking spots can be dramatically less than the performance of top spots, ensuring that your average ad position stays in the top three positions is critical to having a high CTR.

Make sure that you adjust your bids to keep your ads in the highest positions possible, without overreaching your budget. Finding a balance between the right price point and the right amount of exposure can take some practice, but it pays off in the long run.

Review Google SEO Updates

Algorithm updates from Google can have a huge impact on the performance of your AdWords campaigns. Keeping up with Google’s near-constant updates to how their algorithm measures the overall quality of web pages can be a frustrating challenge when it comes to perfecting your SEO strategy, but it can also influence PPC ad campaigns since those algorithm changes can affect your Quality Score.

If you’ve experienced a sudden drop in PPC performance and a decrease in SEO ranking, it might be worthwhile to check to see if you’ve missed a recent Google update and adjust your SEO and PPC strategies accordingly. As a general rule, keeping tabs on what changes Google is making to their search network can help you stay ahead of the game.

Partner with Webrageous to Keep PPC Campaigns Active and Stay Ahead

Ultimately, strong, healthy PPC campaigns require regular maintenance to keep them performing at their peak. By keeping a watchful eye on your campaigns, you’ll be able to learn the signs of a lagging campaign and make adjustments to bring your conversion rates back up to the levels you want.

The PPC management experts at Webrageous have years of experience working with successful PPC campaigns. We dedicate time and resources to our clients campaigns to give them great advertising results without having to spend hours managing their own campaigns. If you’re still stumped on how you can jumpstart your PPC campaigns, call us for a consultation — we can show you how our PPC campaign management services can help you achieve optimal results for your advertising efforts.

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5 Tips to Supercharge Your Remarketing Campaigns

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When used correctly, remarketing can be a powerful tool for advertisers, allowing them to track and engage prospective customers multiple times throughout the buying cycle. According to some advertising experts, consumers are 70% more likely to convert when exposed to remarketing campaigns. However, remarketing campaigns that aren’t well-managed can come across as pushy and may even drive traffic away from your site. Here are a few best practices for remarketing that can help you fine-tune your campaigns to convert more effectively and give you the results you’ve been aiming for.

5 Tips to Supercharge Your Remarketing Campaigns

1. Adjust Frequency Caps

Frequency caps ensure your ads will not be shown to a given users more than a set number of times in a specific timespan. While many consumers have indicated that they don’t mind remarketing ads, people don’t like feeling like they’re being followed around the Internet. Even the best prospects can turn sour if they’re constantly inundated with your ads. Over-serving PPC ads can cause brand overexposure and turn people off of your brand.

Many remarketing experts recommend capping your ad frequency to show ads no more than 2-3 times per day. However, there’s no magic number when it comes to setting a frequency cap, and what works best for you may depend on your specific product and industry. You can play around with your frequency cap until you feel like you’ve hit a sweet spot, although that may take some time and energy. Webrageous can help you manage your remarketing campaigns and hone in on what will what work best for your business.

2. Segment Your Audience

Audience segmentation lets you organize your visitors into categories based on behavior. For example, you may want to segment your audience into those who are first-time visitors and those who have made past purchases. This segmentation allows you to focus on specific groups of users and serve them tailored advertising materials.

A big advantage of segmentation is that you can provide a more personalized brand experience to your prospects. For instance, ecommerce stores can serve ads that offer free shipping to visitors who have abandoned a shopping cart on their site as an incentive to return and finalize their purchase. Additionally, segmentation can give you better insight into how your advertising campaigns are performing over time, by giving you a broader scope of understanding about how people interact with your brand online.

3. Customize and Test Ad Copy

To best leverage your lists of segmented visitors, invest some time in writing better ad copy. Single-touch PPC ad copy tends to be relatively generic because it must appeal to a broad audience and convey as much information as possible in a single interaction. With remarketing campaigns you can take advantage of having multiple points of engagement with a single viewer and provide more personalized, specific copy.

Personalized or not, no one wants to see the same ad copy over and over again, so to use AdWords’ ad rotation settings to help ensure that your ads feel fresh to repeat viewers. You should also write copy for different segments of your audience; if people are looking at specific products, ads that remind them of those products can be an effective conversion tool. A/B testing different versions is a good ad writing practice that will help you get a better sense of what messages resonate the most with your audience, and how to improve your ad campaigns in the future.

4. Set You Ad Spend Wisely

Not every visitor to your site will be a qualified lead. It’s quite common for prospects to view your ads several times before they take action, and depending on your buying cycle it may take months for someone to convert. Furthermore, most ad campaigns generate a percentage of traffic that isn’t a good fit at all– someone might have clicked your ad accidentally, or intentionally left your site after a few seconds when they realized they weren’t interested in your services.

You can optimize your ad spend to focus on visitors who are more likely to convert. For instance, if someone visits your product or services page, they might be closer to conversion than someone who only visited your homepage. You can adjust your ad spend to spend less on site visitors who bounce from your site very quickly, or allocate more of your budget for visitors who visit specific pages that indicate that they may be closer to converting than others.

5. Take Converted Visitors Off Your Remarketing List

If your ads are doing their job well and getting conversions, your next move should be removing customers from your remarketing list. Serving ads to existing customers is a big mistake for several reasons. It can be annoying for your customers. More importantly, it digs into your ad spend by wasting impressions on viewers who have already converted. Fortunately, you can take some steps to prevent this waste of resources.

There are several techniques for removing converted prospects or customers from your remarketing campaigns, from setting a burn pixel to creating a “negative audience” segment in your remarketing audience segments. Whatever approach you take, this ensures that your ad spend is going towards prospects, rather than existing clients, to help you maximize the effectiveness of your advertising dollar.

Optimize Your Remarketing Campaigns with Webrageous to Stay Ahead of the Competition

As advertising technology advances, the ability to track and engage with prospects more effectively over time is becoming an important aspect of optimizing digital advertising efforts. As a result, one in 5 marketers now has a budget for remarketing. If you’re not using remarketing with Google Adwords, you might be not be taking full advantage of your digital advertising capabilities.

Finding the perfect settings for your retargeting campaigns can take some time to nail down. Webrageous can help you manage your campaigns and handle optimization for you, letting you find that sweet spot for remarketing without spending hours or days adjusting your campaigns to get there. Working with our team of PPC specialists lets you spend more time working with customers and less time fiddling with your campaigns to find them. Contact Webrageous today to discuss your remarketing goals and see how we can give your PPC campaigns the boost they need.

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