Archive for the ‘PPC’ Category
Google is testing a new look for AdWords ad that features the inclusion of domain names next to the ad headline, separated by a vertical line. Here’s what it looks like:
AdWords has seen quite a few tweaks and tests this year. Back in January, Google began lowercasing display URLs and testing related PPC ads, then followed up in February by increasing the length of AdWords headlines, reverting ad backgrounds to yellow, and then in March we reported on spaces on display URLs.
Tweaks Traffic Estimate Algorithm
Google just announced that it had made an adjustment to the algorithm it uses to provide traffic estimates in AdWords. The change, the company says, should improve stats for estimated clicks, cost, and ad position.
While Google doesn’t share much in the way of how the algorithm has been adjusted, Dan Friedman writes on Google’s Inside AdWords blog, “One of the most common uses of traffic estimates is to evaluate potential keywords and decide whether you should add them to your account. Traffic estimates are also useful in determining if your bids and budgets are appropriate for these new keywords.”
“In order to determine if you’re setting an appropriate target bid, try entering a few different values in the Max CPC field the next time you use the Traffic Estimator,” he adds. “Look at how these different bids affect your statistics, and then decide which bid gives you the best return on investment. You can use the same process for trying out new budgets.”
The change to the algorithm is currently live, and affects AdWords accounts all over the world.
As we all know, the Google AdWords platform is an ever-changing machine that keeps all of us advertisers on our toes.
One area where there has been significant change in the last few years is with Google’s myriad of bidding options. There’s Max CPC, Enhanced CPC, and Conversion Optimizer.
Each bidding option carries a distinct set of pros and cons, but what is more important is that they all have unique effects on your account performance. When this is most obvious is when you switch from one bidding option to another. Here’s an overview of what you can expect when updating your AdWords bidding options.
Max CPC to Automatic Bidding for Budget
All AdWords campaigns are set to Max CPC bidding by default. From there you can begin to add on increasingly more complex features.
The first such option is one designed to get you as many clicks as possible within your budget. This is loosely referred to as “automatic bidding for budget.”
Other things you need to know:
- This bidding option is strictly designed to increase click traffic. It doesn’t take conversions into consideration.
- You set a CPC bid limit at the campaign level. This bypasses your ad group or keyword level max CPC in order to generate more clicks.
- Because this feature is dependent on your budget, make sure you double check your campaign budget before you switch to this bidding option. If your budget is set too high, you run a high chance of spending too much money.
Max CPC to Enhanced CPC
Enhanced CPC is the newest kid on the block, but is definitely an interesting feature. Enhanced CPC uses your conversion data to modify your bids to increase the likelihood of conversion.
Google has launched Instant Previews on AdWords ads.
You may recall when Google launched Instant Previews for search results. These let the user click the little magnifying glass to get a visual preview of what the site will look like before they click on the result itself. The whole thing really made it clear that having an attractive design could only benefit you in the Google user interface.
Now the same thing applies to your ads’ landing pages.
“Now, we’re bringing the same benefit to ads with Instant Previews for Ads,” writes Google’s Dan Friedman on the Inside AdWords blog. “Starting today [on the 25th, actually], the Instant Previews icon will appear next to ads on Google.com allowing users to preview the ad’s landing page. With Instant Previews, your customers are able to quickly preview a page to see if its content matches what they’re searching for.”
“By allowing potential customers to preview your site before they arrive, Instant Previews helps you get even more highly-qualified traffic to your site,” he adds. “Even better, Instant Preview clicks are free of charge — you’re only charged if a user clicks through to your actual landing page.”
Landing pages are obviously very important to the conversion process, so if you didn’t have an effective landing page to begin with, you weren’t going to have much luck in your search marketing. The Instant Previews should only serve to emphasize that very fact.
Many advertisers use Google AdWords as their major PPC network. However, in addition to using AdWords for getting paid traffic to your site, it can also be used for SEO. Here are some ideas how you can use AdWords for SEO.
1 For Keyword Research
The most valuable use of AdWords for SEO is to research keywords. Keywords are the basis of any SEO campaign and even if you are an expert in your niche, you should always research keywords simply because users frequently search for quite unexpected keywords and keyphrases you as an expert will never think of. Needless to say, what matters most for high rankings is which keywords your target audience is searching for, not which keywords you as an expert think are most popular in a particular niche.
In order to find what users are searching for, you need a keyword research tool. It is true that there are many special (free and paid) keyword research tools but Google AdWords Keyword Tool is light years ahead of them all.
It is simple to use AdWords to research keywords. You can either enter the URL of your site or put in some seed keywords, the tool will then automatically generate a whole bunch of suggested keywords. Look at the results and shortlist all the keywords that seem relevent and have a decent global search volume.
You may want to rank well for ALL the generated keywords, but its best to focus all your efforts on a selected few. The idea now is to find keywords that are relatively easy to optimize and yet have a decent search volume. These would be the keywords with the least compitetion in Google. Go to Google.com and enter each of your short listed keywords (one at a time). It is best if you search for the exact phrase, so surround your keyword with double quotes. Note how many web results there are for each of the phrases. Now that you have collected the ‘Number of web results’ for each keyword, calculate competition ratio by divding it’s ‘Global search volume’ by the ‘Number of web results’. The keywords with the higher ratios are the easier ones to optimize.
You can now start a SEO campaign for your keywords however you’ll see next, it might be much wiser to start an AdWords campaign instead.
2 To Ensure that the Keywords You Have Picked Convert Well
After you have picked your keywords, you need to verify if these keywords really work for you – i.e. if they convert properly. No matter how precise you’ve been when picking your keywords, if you don’t test them in practice, you can never know for sure if they work well or don’t. You can pick lucrative keywords with high global search volume and low levels of competition and still end nowhere.
The latest news to keep you ahead of the competition in managing your paid search advertising…
Is it Time to Rethink Bidding on Trademarks?
You can now bid on competitor’s trademarks on Yahoo and Bing; meaning you can get an instant boost in traffic and conversions. But, this doesn’t mean you should. One PPC marketer recently lost in court to the tune of $292K plus legal fees for doing this. Protect yourself from lawsuits.
adCenter Quality Score Coming Soon
Similarly to Google AdWords, each keyword will have a quality score on a 1-10 scale with sub-scores for keyword relevance, landing page relevance, and landing page user experience to aid in optimizing performance.
Top Slots on AdWords: Even Longer Headlines
Remember how Google now moves the Description Line 1 of your ad to the headline if it appears in the top 3 results and ends in punctuation? Now, all description lines that Google is confident are complete phrases will be moved to the headline when appearing in the top 3 spots. Improve your CTR and ROI.
Google announced the launch of a new ad format for AdWords today – the Media Ad format. These ads allow advertisers to place emphasis on video from the search results page. The new format works a little differently than the traditional AdWords concept, however.
“To start, Media Ads isn’t targeted like typical AdWords ads on Google.com,” explains Google’s Dan Friedman. “With Media Ads, you don’t pick any keywords — the targeting is completely automated. When someone enters a search on Google.com that our algorithms determine is directly related to your movie title (most commonly the title and variations on it), we automatically display your Media Ad at the top of the search results page. Our research shows that when someone searches for a movie title on Google.com, they’re most commonly looking for a trailer. With Media Ads, we’re able to help you ensure that those users find exactly what they’re looking for.”
That’s funny. I’m usually looking for a showtime or an IMDB listing (yes, I could go directly to IMDB, but you gotta love that Chrome omnibox, particularly with Google Instant enabled).
“The second thing that’s unique about Media Ads is the way you pay,” says Friedman. “Unlike typical AdWords ads on Google.com, you don’t enter any bids for Media Ads.
Instead, clicks on Media Ads are charged at a flat rate. This simplified pricing model makes it easier to budget for your Media Ads campaign and to know exactly how much an interaction is going to cost.”