Posted on | July 22, 2011 | No Comments
Using Impression Share (IS) as a metric at the current campaign level may not be as useful as we want it to be especially for campaigns with volumes of adgroups. I have tried to confirm it from Google reps if they are using some version of IS at the adgroup level and luckily got a “read between the lines” reply that they might be using one. Better yet one rep I’m working with dropped a hint that they may release the IS metric at the adgroup level.
This may sound impressive and will likely help the metric provide granular insight on adgroup performance.
Will an adgroup level IS be significantly helpful to you?
Posted on | February 19, 2010 | No Comments
Most Adwords managers are still losing sleep over how to either revive their “slapped” accounts or how to improve their current quality score – to shave off some valuable cost. Relevancy has become the most important factor among the 3 major elements (keywords, adcopy and landing page) of creating an Adwords campaign. Needless to say that your keywords must be relevant to both your adcopy and landing page. Easier said than done. How about if your building a campaign using keyword misspells? Keyword misspells used to be a great source of cheap longtail keywords pre-QS days. Some Adwords campaign managers attest to finding high CTR (matched with good match typing and adcopy) and even high converting keywords among the heaps of possible misspells.
Has the strategy of capitalizing on keyword misspells lost its luster? Has Google with all its might and armed with its gazillion worth of data finally figured out how to correlate some keyword misspells with the correct ones?
I have always made keyword misspells as part of my campaign structure whenever I build an adwords account – well not always. While doing a keyword search for the word “helmet” i came across it’s misspells: “helmit” and “helmut”. Digging deeper, and crossing my fingers that I would find enough search volume to warrant me creating a campaign for either of or both of these keywords. I tumbled into this data:
It had some decent search volume so I decided to make an adgroup for “Motorcycle Helmet Misspells” under the campaign “Misspells”. I used the same adcopy and landing page for the correctly spelled keyword “helmet”. Banking on more longtail keyword opportunities, and the fact that the client was selling merchandise for kids and teens, I capitalized on targeted keywords such as “kids motorcycle helmits” and “youth motorcycle helmits”.
Upon launching the new adgroup, I had mixed expectations on how Adwords would determine the relevancy of these misspells to both the adcopy and the landing page. As shown on the image above, the initial Quality Score score assigned was awfully low. I waited for a couple of days, hoping that after the Adbot visits my site a shift in the Quality Score will somehow materialize – it never came.
I left the adgroup to “dry” for a couple of weeks hoping that it will be able to redeem itself through building some historical data – especially on its CTR. Unfortunately though, misspelled keywords can take time to build some significant data since they are misspells to begin with. Fearing that both the low QS and low CTR (non-existent) would affect the account level variables i decided to pause the adgroup.
I have another case study to show on how confusing it gets with using misspells. This time another group gets a 7/10 score and generates traffic from the most unexpected keywords – not to mention a 2.45% CTR.
Google Adwords keyboard shortcuts – warp speed your archaic task of jumping from one tab to the other
Posted on | November 5, 2009 | No Comments
If you are not still aware of the Google Adwords shortcut keys, which is of great help, here are some of the them. Makes me think that the guys at Google, managing the Adwords project, are just human after all.
- Press “G” then “O”: Goes to All Online Campaigns
- Press “G” then “C”: Goes to Campaigns Tab
- Press “G” then “R”: Goes to AdGroups Tab (why not D?)
- Press “G” then “K”: Goes to Keywords Tab
- Press “G” then “N”: Goes to Networks tab
- Press “G” then “A”: Goes to Ads tab
- Press “G” then “S” : Goes to Settings tab
Table navigation and actions:
- Pess “J/K”: Next/previous row
- Press “X”: Select current row (shift+x for multiple rows) – got confused first time I used this
- Press “P”: Pause selected rows
- Press “N”: Enable selected rows
- Press “D”: Delete selected rows (just be careful with this one don’t want to be pulling your hair)
- Press “l”: Download (this I love so much)
Editing ad groups and keywords:
- Press “E”: Edit selected rows (this can be confusing too)
- Press ctrl+arrows: Move between editable fields (what happens when click the “side” arrows?)
- Press ctrl+s: Save changes (doh?)
- Press esc: Cancel edit mode (Instant “oh shit I made a mistake” button)
Sweet isn’t it? If your more of an interface guy rather than an Excel or Adwords Editor guy that is. Your metacarpals are now a little bit happier with less mouse clicks and the chances of hitting your coffee mug.
Google is giving away FREE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS STICKERS btw for those within US and CANADA (sorry guys).
Posted on | August 19, 2009 | No Comments
I was partly confused and a little bit shocked by the latest statement made by Google’s Chief Economist , Hal Varian , on the how conversion rates don’t vary much by position. On the regular Adwords newsletter Inside Adwords:
“We have used a statistical model to account for these effects and found
that, on average, there is very little variation in conversion rates by
position for the same ad. For example, for pages where 11 ads are shown
the conversion rate varies by less than 5% across positions. In other
words, an ad that had a 1.0% conversion rate in the best position,
would have about a 0.95% conversion rate in the worst position, on
average. Ads above the search results have a conversion rate within ±2%
of right-hand side positions. “
Now if this made you feel that all those time checking Google Analytic’s Keyword Position Report was a waste of time, I can’t for sure empathize just yet. However it kind of vindicates my position that the better metric for adcopy testing is still CTR rather than conversion rates. This maybe trying to prove a distant relationship between an effective adcopy and ad position but remember that an effective adcopy triggers a better CTR.
A better CTR with a good Ad Quality (QS) can provide your ad a better ad position/placement. Last time I remembered, the reason why everyone is improving CTR, Bids, and Ad Quality is to get the top ad positions which posits into better CTR in hopes of converting better. Does this mean that we don’t need to chase ad positions anymore? Lets be happy with our current ad position since conversion wont vary much – stop spending more since the results will relatively be the same?
I’m not really sure what this statement means for the existing PPC strategies. Now that given a similar Ad , having 2 different auction positions or ad positions will relatively generate the same level of conversions.
Cleaning up a PPC campaign: Why asking a client to increase the ad spending budget would be the last thing you would suggest..
Posted on | June 23, 2009 | No Comments
So it’s your first time to get a client? He/she wants you to make some recommendations to improve the campaigns performance. Panic starts to sink in. You basically know what to do as you have done this a couple of times with your previous work. Instinct tells you to check the Adwords overview table. AHA! Upon rolling your mouse over that small box beside the word “ELIGIBLE” you read ” try a budget of $2++/day to increase….”. That should be it! With a grin, you happily email the client your “findings”.
WHAT!? That would be the client either shouting at you while rolling his/her eyeballs not believing what you just said or your reaction to the client deciding to discontinue your consultancy.
Earlier tonight a friend who was quite new to “cleaning up” existing campaigns wanted to verify if this was a sound “recommendation” for his client. The client also wanted for him to check into previous data on conversion and check if whether the Adwords report matches the data reflected on the Google Analytics report. One of the first things he noticed was the lack of GOALS set on the Google Analytics profile which could have provided some data on any possible conversions. Without a moments hesitation he creates a mock transaction to see where the process ends – in order to identify the thank you page. Then he proceeds to create a GOAL using the thank you page as the primary goal.
Happy with what he has done, he laments on how the client could have been so careless on forgetting the creation of a GOAL. Feeling “yoda-like” for the time being I tried conjuring some smart ass wit on teaching him some fundamentals.
One often forgets that before any CPC, Bid, Budget or Conversion can be optimized one needs to look into the more fundamental stuff.
Look you will.
Fundamentals such as defining the KPI’s we want to measure and how one will measure it using the tools available.
Going a little deeper. Are the mechanics for measuring these metrics properly in place? So I told my friend if he could take a look at the “thank you page”. Suggesting to him 1) Look for the Adwords conversion snippet and 2) Look for the Google Analytics snippet. With an ounce of arrogance he would have summarily dismissed this whimsical suggestion and would even found this insulting. “I’m no newbie” he might even think.
BUT WAIT! Where the hell is the Google Analytics snippet? So even if he had added a GOAL on the analytics profile and possibly promised the client that data will be collated after a given period. Guess what? No goals will been recorded. The exercise would have been useless.
Appreciating the kind words of wisdom I have imparted, while grinning like a 2 year kid, I slightly tormented him with a follow up question: “What else will you check to make sure you now have the appropriate mechanics?”. While looking at the conversion snippet , probably he was thinking if it was a trick question or maybe I was just feeding my ego (yes, partly true).
Ten minutes passed by, as I was half way through watching the latest episode of Entourage, he tells me that he cant seem to figure it out. Going back to my “yoda-like” state I asked him what he thinks the Google ID is for?. He quietly ponders and momentarily pauses to give me a grin as if to say ” you cruel SOB”, smiles and does that right thing.
Grown have you.
Oftentimes its just the little things that can make the difference. Fundamentals that most of us often take for granted – like snippets. Having the correct snippets that is.
Posted on | February 3, 2009 | No Comments
One of the more important metric I have considered for Landing Page optimization has been the Exit Rate or the number of visits that have directly left the site without going through any other pages. Compared with Bounce Rate , were a visitor might have decided to visit other pages on the same site, Exit rate is more definitive on how a visitor immediately left the site. Whether the visitor left the page for not finding what he/she initially was looking for or was not “emotionally” engaged on the content, one can only surmise.
One Google Analytics report “inconsistency” has bothered me for sometime now and this is with regard to which data should be referenced with regards to the actual exit rate of a particular page.
On the “Content” menu of the GA interface, you will find the “Top Content” submenu, were one will be able to see the pages that generated enough pageviews. Now on the initial table one can see the initial Metrics: Pageviews, Unique Pageviews, Bounce Rate and Exit Rates with the corresponding pages.
If you click on any of the pages, this will lead you to a summary of the metrics indicated on the initial table. On top of the page you will see 2 drop down options: 1 for analyze and the other for content . Opting to check the navigational summary on one of the pages (Page A), I was quite surprised why I was getting a higher exit rate compared to that shown on the initial table. At first I admittedly committed a mistake by not comparing the right data as I was comparing the exit rates from “PAID TRAFFIC”. Apparently one will also notice that the “All Visits” Exit Rate is way below the one reflected on the “Navigation Summary” data.
The initial data showed a 49.78% Exit Rate while on Page A a higher, 69.70%, exit rate was recorded. On the second item listed (Page B) on the initial table, you will also notice that the exit rate is at 54.94% while the navigation summary report for Page B shows a 76.51% exit rate.
Apparently I had 2 problems to solve: 1) How to track the exit rates and navigational summary data of Landing Pages that came from PPC, and 2) How to reduce this variance in exit rate by understanding either the proper metrics involved or something else.
For problem one the easier solution will be using segmentation via “paid traffic”, as shown on the initial table, but the data becomes “diluted” later on as you dig further into the navigation summary. The content options listed on the drop down shows the aggregate data for all traffic to a selected page and will not distinguish between organic or paid traffic.
My basic solutions, though I am not 100% sure, is this:
Adding a unique parameter to the destination URL, this was the old school way of tracking traffic coming from PPC when Google Analytics and Google Adword’s auto-tagging was not yet around. The thing is, Google Analytics will document each of the destination URL separately which will enable one to track them individually. Makes sense?
I’ll post the conclusion on the 2nd part of this document.
Posted on | January 9, 2009 | No Comments
For some years now social media initiatives have played a “minor” role in most of the online marketing initiatives that we have done. We readily admit we are still leaning towards SEO and PPC for most of our campaigns and have been gearing towards improving Landing Page performance and Web Analytics implementation.
One can only digest so much new information from a very dynamic and rapidly growing field such as online marketing. We have so far delimited ourselves to social bookmarking for content we have released and the usual profile building on the more popular social media sites such as Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter. Results have been good but not as impressive as most expected.
What we think so far:
1) It really takes time to build a good “following”, were you need to network with people who have some level of interest with the services or content you provide. I have seen various tools were one can grow his/her Twitter followers to a thousand in just a matter of 2 days.
Who doesn’t want three thousand followers anyway? Probably its just another number’s game type of campaign in hopes of converting a small percentage of your followers into actual leads.
Will this work? We sure hope it does but we still follow people who have somehow engaged or have shown interest on our products. Hoping that this will bring in “targeted” traffic.
In one campaign, we diligently monitored thru Yahoo Sideline people who have interest on a particular product. Interest as we have defined it later, will be relevant discussions (like tweets) aligned with our product.
Example: We profile all twits that have the keyword “water tanks” and exclude some irrelevant keywords. Every 30 mins. or so Yahoo sideline will show twits that discussed anything about “water tanks” (just an example). We then read thru them and filtered which one we can follow – in hopes that they will follow us back.
Results: After a few weeks of implementing this strategy, we only got 30 followers so far. Bummer.
One follower did inquire about our services and 1 conversion is good enough for us – for now.
Probably we will need to test creating a similar profile on both the 3k follower list and with the current strategy we have to see which campaign can provide a decent number of conversions.
2) If you don’t have a person knowledgeable on the subject matter, the whole campaign will simply not work. Posting new articles and typing in short “tweets” will simply not be enough.
One 2 similar cases, our clients wanted us to handle the discussion on their respective tweeter accounts. We insisted that this will not be a good idea as we probably don’t have enough knowledge nor do we know the appropriate semantics.
Then came in the questions, the technical questions. So will installing a solar panel run a 220v volt appliance? We simply Googled it and responded to the twit just to hold the fort. What if the client was a stock broker or a real estate agent? What do we know about cost averaging and stuff? Just Google it?
Social Media is primarily a tool for interaction and engaging other people. Consultants can only manage the “direction” and the technical needs of the campaign , a little content maintenance maybe, but interaction should remain with the people represented. It doesn’t take much to correspond even. Right?« go back