|Exam Name||:||Search Advertising Advanced Exam|
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|Updated On||:||June 27, 2017|
|PDF Download Mirror||:||Adwords-Search Brain Dump|
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Jennifer Slegg is a longtime speaker and expert in search engine marketing. When she isn't sitting at her desk writing and working, she can be found grabbing a latte at her local Starbucks or planning her next trip to Disneyland.She regularly speaks at Pubcon, SMX, ClickZ and more, and has been presenting at conferences for over a decade.
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There are currently over 3.4 billion internet users around the world, and as online store owners we want to reach as many of them as possible. There are two main advertising platforms that help us get there, Google AdWords and Ads. But is one better than the other?
On the outside both platforms are competing for your business, however practically speaking leveraging between the two is the key to increasing your reach, maximizing targeting options, optimizing mobile advertising and getting the best ROI for your eCommerce business.
Understanding the fundamental differences between them is the key to seeing if there is a winner in the AdWords vs battle. Put simply, the main differences between the two can be explained as follows: helps new customers find you, while AdWords helps you find new customers. Let’s dig deeper…
Compared to all social platforms, has the highest number of monthly active users in the world, making it one of the digital advertising top dogs. helps merchants find potential customers based on the interests and online behavior of users.
Here’s why this newcomer has won over advertisers:
Advantage 1: Fantastic ROIs
The ability for advertisers to stretch their budget while maintaining a good return on investment, is one of the key advantages of Ads. It’s affordability — which varies between scope, messaging and objectives — and campaign performance factors offers small businesses one of the best online marketing value-for-money options out there with big return potential.
Advantage 2: Detailed Audience Segmentation
The scale or level of detail present in a set of data, or granularity, of far exceeds expectations. With active users accounting for one fifth of the world’s population, gives advertisers a global market at their fingertips. However, it’s their segmentation, the ability for advertisers to target this available market based on their interests, beliefs, ideologies and values, that sets it apart.
Their market filtering, ‘lookalike audience’, match data to users who have consumer behavior that matches your stores existing customers. In other words it finds you potential shoppers based on the interests and behavior of your current shoppers, allowing you to connect with customers in a way that businesses have never been able to before.
Advantage 3: Highly Visual
Ads are designed to be seamless with people’s newsfeed content. This is a huge advantage for advertisers as these visually appealing ads create inspirational messaging which is enticing and compelling. Unlike most PPC campaigns and AdWords search ads, is inherently visual and remains so.
Paid Search (Google AdWords)
The largest PPC (pay per click) platform, AdWords, coined the term “paid search”. This involves concentrating text ads and targeting keywords to feature when potential customers are searching. Simply put, with AdWords you are paying for the potential of finding new customers based on search phrases and keywords.
With over 3.5 billion daily search queries AdWords gives online stores an unparalleled reach to potential customers searching for services and goods. AdWords advertising options is split into two types: search and display. The former allows you to bid on phrases and keywords to target audiences actively searching and the latter, letting you display banners and ads on websites around the internet.
What does that mean from an advertising strength point of view? Here’s a breakdown:
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Advantage 1: Ad Format Variety
Through the years AdWords PPC have evolved to include ad extensions, user reviews, site links and location targeting — all providing customization and control to advertisers that are unparalleled. Add to that their industryservice specific upgrades — on everything from rich visuals and interactive date — AdWords offers a format to suit any online store, designed to bring more targeted traffic.
Advantage 2: Unprecedented Audiences
The audience volume that Google offers advertisers is by far the most superior and with its continued advancement, this will only increase. They are the search world leaders and dance circles around their closest competition. This audience scope is what makes this PPC platform the most popular and widely known globally.
Advantage 3: Equal Opportunities
Despite what you believe, it is not advertisers with the largest budget that ‘win’ on AdWords. This is mostly because of Google putting so much emphasis on the quality of the advert rather than how much is spent on the ad. Another rewarding factor is relevance, which means if you become an expert at creating optimized high-quality ads you will be rewarded. Yes, some keywords and phrases will cost more than others, but the quality and relevance will determine how much you have to bid – essentially equaling the playing field.
Google vs. Comparative Performance Stats
Here are a few comparative stats on things that matter: reach, targeting, mobile and ROIs.
As you can see each platform has reach, targeting options and mobile advantages, however, the ROI’s are neck to neck.
The bottom line is, that both these platforms perform well and do so in areas where the other doesn’t. To get the most exposure for your store, with the best ROIs, you should be balancing between the two as they complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Learning to harness the power of both these advertising giants, capitalizing on their abilities and matching them to specific business objectives will turn you into a traffic driving superstar.
Have questions? Comment below.
: Nicole Blanckenberg
Nicole is a content writer at StoreYa with over ten years experience and flair for story telling. She runs on a healthy dose of caffeine and enthusiasm. When she's not researching the next content trend or creating informative small business content, she's an avid beach goer and coffee shop… View full profile ›
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Getting a new customer is not easy, but it can be done. Before you break out the bubbly to celebrate, however, you will want to know how much money you spent to actually get that new customer. Talk about a complicated undertaking! As an accountant and former CFO, I have gone through this exercise with clients and former employers, but tackling it in my own company has been a real eye-opener.What every business needs to know is that understanding your costs has more to do with aligning your margins than it does with profit. In our company, understanding what it costs to bring a customer in the door ensures we can truly calculate the cost of a project. If we just calculate profits using the cost of the product or service, we will have a gap in our metrics. After all, we do not want to spend more money bringing in a customer than we actually make on the sale.Understanding Buyer BehaviorIf we could truly understand our buyers’ behaviors and predict the future, I think I could retire early. To correctly understand how much it costs to bring a customer in the door, we evaluated the following costs:Lead generation: For us, leads come from 3 main sources, some with significant expenditures and some that do not:–Client and partner referrals. We generally considered these to be free, unless we sent them a gift or referral fee.–Website. Obviously, there are costs associated with running a website, including hosting and web development. We also have to ask the question, “How did the lead find the website?” At Fourlane, we use Google Adwords, search engine optimization and email marketing to get customers to come to our site. All of these efforts contribute to the cost of a sale.–MarketingPR spend. We also spend money with a PR agency to help write and place articles on our website and in industrytrade publications (online and print) that we hope will drive more customers to our website. Our social media team concurrently helps keep our name in the mix. Can we attribute these directly to a sale? Not usually, unless a prospect specifically says, “I saw your article here” or “I received your newsletter,” but because we are spending money to attract customers, we need to attribute some of these expenses to customer acquisition.Other costs attributed to customer acquisition: After analyzing our leads, we had to break down the other obvious and not-so-obvious costs associated with sales.–Sales team. Our website directs leads to either call or email our sales team, who then respond with more information, a quote and the engagement letter when the customer is ready to start a project.–Miscellaneous costs. We cannot forget the extra factors that contribute to sales, such as the cost of developing and maintaining our CRM. Without this, we would not have the data we need to truly understand the cost of customer acquisition. Similar to other companies, we also pay for email marketing software, GoToWebinar and other tools that contribute to the costs.The FormulaAfter better understanding where our sales come from, we had to look at what people are buying to get an idea of how that much time the sales process for that product takes, and what it costs. Here’s how we broke it down:Acquisition cost for consulting projects is comprised of:-X% of marketing costs (lumping together web, PR agency, pay-per-click ads for consulting and misc. costs)-X% of sales personnel costs (average amount of time a salesperson spends on a software sale + commission)The percentage is tied to the percentage of sales for that line of business.How to Calculate Your Customer Acquisition CostsSo, you are probably wondering whether you should go through this process. Other than just wanting to know, you may want to determine the cost of customer acquisition if you are trying to bring on investors or are about to sell your business. Another reason companies may do this is to ensure they are getting the most bang for their marketing spend.Figuring out the costs of acquiring customers is complicated and multi-faceted. Here are 4 steps to get you there:1. Involve the right people. Accountants should not be doing this in a vacuum. Sales and marketing folks need to explain their expenditures to ensure they are in the right buckets and nothing is missed.2. Know your buyers’ behavior. With all the right people in the room, create a flow chart of how your new customers find you and what you are doing to keep current customers. Walking through this process will ensure nothing is left out of the calculation. It can also be a creative way to evaluate what is working and come up with new approaches to gathering customers. It is important to do this for everything you sell.3. Develop the formula. Your formula may look exactly like mine; it may not.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
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Chances are you're underutilizing your Google AdWords search query data.
One of the most valuable reports available to PPC advertisers is the Google AdWords search query report. It allows you to see the searches people type into Google before they click on your ads, providing a window into searcher intent, and insight into their specific needs and requirements. Although it's easy to passively scan through the report to look for any glaring blunders, or any obvious keyword opportunities, a more strategic approach to search query analysis can yield massive benefits to your PPC campaigns, SEO rankings, and overall website performance.
Below are 7 practical strategies for making effective use of your Google AdWords search query data.
1. Optimize Your Keyword Bids
Knowing which search queries and perform better than others allows you to adjust the bids of your keywords to better reflect their performance. However, if you have an extensive long-tail keyword strategy, chances are most of your keywords will receive a relatively small number of clicks, making optimisation difficult. However, by assessing the performance of different themes within search queries, you can identify which types of words within search queries tend to perform better than others, and adjust all keywords for those themes accordingly.
For example, if you are a travel agent, and you find that searches which contain the word 'kids' or 'children' perform significantly better than searches which contain the words 'cheap' or 'discount' (see image below), you can push your 'kids' and 'children' keywords, pull back your 'cheap' and 'discount' keywords, and be confident that this is likely to have a positive impact on campaign performance. Even though your individual keywords may each not have enough data to justify a reliable or significant bid change, by using theme analysis you can draw reliable and significant insights from your search query data at a macro level, and make powerful changes to your campaigns at a micro level.
2. Expand Your Negative Keywords
Search queries also provide an excellent opportunity to highlight searches which have a lower than average conversion rate, poorer than average ROI, or are just completely irrelevant and don't convert at all. If you have a lot of search query data, simply comparing the performance of different search queries will probably uncover a few ideas for some negative keywords.
However, chances are, a large number of your search queries will be unique, so looking at them individually will be very time consuming and unreliable. Again, theme analysis can be incredibly powerful here. If you can identify that searches which contain the word 'weather' tend to covert extremely poorly (see image above), or do not covert at all, then adding the word 'weather' as a negative keyword will likely have a positive impact on the performance of your campaigns.
If you simply looked at each search query individually, it might have been difficult to spot that searches which contained the word 'weather' perform poorly, so theme analysis can be extremely useful in extracting reliable and powerful insights at a macro level, which can be used to improve your campaigns at a micro level.
3. Expand Your Long-Tail Coverage
Despite Google AdWords being around for over a decade, most PPC advertisers are still missing a big opportunity to connect with the specific needs and demands of searches, and are failing to recognise the specific preferences being entered into search queries on Google.
For example, not all people looking to book a holiday in Fiji search Google for 'Fiji holidays'. They often specify their origin (e.g. 'fiji holidays from melbourne'), their travel period (e.g. 'fiji holiday specials spring 2013'), their hotel preferences (e.g. 'fiji resorts with beach view'), their family needs (e.g. 'fiji holiday packages with kids'), or their desired duration of stay (e.g. 'fiji flights and hotel 10 nights').
Catering for all these specific preferences and search themes can be quite complex, especially if there are thousands or millions of potential keyword combinations, but there are a few techniques to help make the most of your search query data and create practical, manageable, and effective long-tail campaigns:
A combination of these techniques can quickly turn a basic Google AdWords strategy into one which is more tailored, relevant, and targeted to a wider range of different searches.
4. Tailor Your Ad Messages
You will also notice your search query report also shows which ad group each search query matched to. This is incredibly useful. Take a look at your top search queries, and then take a look at the ad messages which are currently showing in those ad groups. Are they are relevant, tailored, and engaging to the search query as they could be?
For example, if you find that search queries such as 'fiji holidays 2013' and 'fiji holidays 2014' are being matched to your generic 'fiji holidays' ad group, and a rather generic 'Fiji Holidays' ad message is being shown, you can create separate ad groups with keywords and ad messages tailored to fiji holidays 2013' and 'fiji holidays 2014'. Even if you can highlight only a handful of popular searches which could benefit from their own ad groups and their own tailored ad messages, doing so would likely have a significant positive impact on your campaign performance.
Again, the broad match generator and 10% clicks rule are great techniques to practically and efficiently carry out targeted expansions. If you can prioritise your campaign expansions by using search query data to your advantage, even a little goes a long way.
5. Build New Landing Pages
By looking at the most popular searches or themes in your search query report, you can highlight which searches would likely benefit most from the creation of tailored landing pages, should you choose to do so. For example, if you are a Fiji travel agent, and found that a large number of people searched for 'fiji hotels with spa in room' and 'fiji hotels with balcony', you can decide whether it's worth creating tailored landing pages to cater for these specific needs.
By looking at your search query data, you will also probably notice a large number of search queries which seem relevant, but for some reason are failing to convert or generate a good ROI. These grey-area search queries present another great opportunity for tailored landing pages, allowing you to determine whether the search query is, and will always be, a poor converter, or just needs some extra help with a more relevant and focused landing page. Use your search query data to drive your landing page strategy.
6. Focus Your SEO Strategy
Until now, we've primarily focused on just the PPC benefits of making effective use of your Google AdWords search query data. But the benefits of effectively utilising your search query data also expand into SEO. If you can identify searches or themes which are both relatively popular and have a good conversion rate, these would be ideal candidates for SEO optimisation.
For example, if you find from your Google AdWords search query analysis that searches which contain the word 'kids' or 'children' perform much better than searches which contain the word 'cheap' or 'discount', you can adjust your page titles, descriptions, website content, and linking strategy accordingly.
If your SEO strategy is focused on searches or themes which have a decent search volume and are most likely to convert, your conversion rates and number of conversions from organic searches are likely to increase. And if you're in a very competitive industry, where getting any visibility in the organic search results is extremely difficult, use your AdWords search query report to identify searches or themes which have a slightly smaller search volume, slightly less competition, but still convert very well.
If you can rank for high-converting but generally overlooked searches such as 'fiji holidays kids eat free' or 'fiji hotels with free wifi', this could deliver a higher return on your SEO investment than trying to chase after trophy phrases such as 'fiji holidays'.
7. Better Understand Your Audience
Last but not least, your Google Adwords search query report provides a great way to research your target audience and better understand their needs and requirements. What are they searching for? What are their preferences? Are they knowledgeable and well informed? Are their demands changing? If you can better understand your target audience, and better keep in touch with how their needs are changing, you can evolve your campaigns, website, and business to better adapt and grow with these changes.
A well executed AdWords Search Campaign can take your business to the next level.
However, if you’ve been running AdWords Search Campaigns for a while now, but feel as though your results aren’t improving – this blog post is for you.
That’s because today, we’re going to take a look at the tactics that you can use in order to improve the performance of an AdWords Search campaign.
We’ll go through a variety of strategies that you can put into action, some of which will most likely be new to you.
By the end of this post, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and confident, thanks to some new knowledge you have acquired on how to improve your Search Campaigns.
Pick better keywords
This is probably the most basic improvement that you can make to a search campaign, but it’s not something that you should overlook just because of that fact.
Remember, the fundamentals matter.
It’s often taking care of the fundamentals that can allow you to achieve a 226% increase in conversions for your campaigns.
If you don’t pick the right keywords, or don’t know how to pick the right keywords – you’re not getting the fundamentals right.
And, that can have a wide-reaching and negative impact on your campaigns.
So, how can you go about picking the right keywords?
First, you need to understand intent.
I’ve covered intent before.
Essentially, intent relates to the mindset of someone typing in a given keyword.
So if I was selling ‘dog food,’ and I wanted to catch people who wanted to ‘buy’ dog food, a good keyword to target would be ‘Buy dog food.’
Keywords like this are often referred to as keywords with ‘Commercial intent.’
That’s because people are already in the mindset of buying something here – I just need to get my product in front of them.
Here are examples of other keywords signaling ‘Commercial intent.’
Commercial intent is not the only kind of intent.
If I want to catch people who are researching dog food, so that they can find the best one, I could target the keyword ‘best dog food.’
With this keyword, I have the chance to grab someone’s attention, educate them and move them along the ‘funnel,’ eventually persuading them that I have the ‘best dog food.’
Such keywords are worth targeting, because they’re cheaper – but you’ll need to frontload a lot work that leads to visitors turning into customers.
Download this cheat sheet of 4 simple tactics that’ll improve the performance of an AdWords campaign.
In any case, here are some other keywords people might type, when doing research.
Additionally, below is a good overview of the types of intent that surround search terms.
As you probably know, the Google keyword tool can be used to come up with effective keyword ideas.
I’m not going to go through how you can use the keyword tool, as odds are you already know how to do that, if you’re reading about how to improve a campaign.
So, let’s just examine what you can do differently.
One thing that you can do is to enter in a ‘keyword’ that is coupled with a phrasekeyword that signals intent and then edit the settings of the keyword planner to only show ‘closely matched keywords.’
If I was selling tables, the keyword is ‘tables’ and then the intent phrasekeyword is ‘buy.’
Upon running the search, I’m presented with some highly relevant Ad Groups that have the capacity to return a positive ROI. That’s because a lot of them are keywords that resemble ‘commercial intent.’
Remember, there are other ‘commercial’ intent keywords that you can couple your core keyword with.
It doesn’t have to be ‘buy tables’ – it can also be ‘discount tables,’ for example.
Change the Match Type
Another way that you can improve the performance of a search campaign is to change the ‘Match Type’ of your keywords.
On a very basic level, there are three Match Types that you can select.
Exact Match –
Phrase Match –
Broad Match –
If you find that your campaigns are generating a lot of clicks, but no results, it may be because you’ve picked a ‘Broad Match Type’ for your keywords, when you should have picked an ‘Exact Match Type’ – or at the very least, a ‘Phrase Match Type.’
If you’re new to AdWords and you don’t have a lot of money to spend, then picking ‘Exact Match Type’ is often a good idea. By choosing this Match Type, you’re given a lot of control over the keywords that can trigger your ad.
If you can afford to experiment with the other Match Types, but nevertheless want to practice caution, there are a few actions that you might want to consider, to ensure that your campaigns still generate a healthy ROI.
The first is the use of ‘Broad match modifiers.’
As you can see from the description above, using a ‘Broad match keyword’ opens your campaigns up, so that a huge number of keywords can trigger your ads.
While this represents a massive opportunity to get in front of a lot of people and also discover keywords that generate a high ROI, it can also be expensive.
A ‘Broad match modifier,’ though, allows for you to take advantage of the features provided by the ‘Broad Match’ feature, while also providing you with a little bit more control.
With Broad match modifiers. you’re telling Google that a certain word or phrase must appear in the search term, for the ad to be triggered.
The image below should help you get a better understanding as to how a ‘Broad match modifier’ works. The use of a ‘+’ sign denotes what the ‘modifier’ is.
Negative Match Type represents another way that you can gain more control over your ad spend, especially while you run experimental campaigns.
With Negative Match Type, you’re picking keywords that you don’t want to trigger your ads. You generally pick these keywords, because you know that they’re not going to produce a good ROI.
For example, you might pick the keyword ‘free.’
In doing so, you’ll ensure that your ads will no longer appear if ‘free’ is included in the search term.
When picking keywords for Negative Match, keep in mind that concepts, such as ‘BroadPhraseExact match’ still apply to your Negative match keyword.
Here’s a great explanation, from WordStream –
It’s important, therefore, that when you pick your ‘Negative’ keywords, you also pay attention to their ‘Match Type.’
The inclusion of Negative keywords is what contributed to this law firm reducing their ad spend 58% year over year.
You can find keywords that you should be setting to ‘Negative match,’ by going through your ‘Search Report.’
As you go through your report, you should be able to single out keywords that are costing you more than they’re making you.
Once you attain a lot of experience with AdWords, you’ll be able to come up with negative keywords right away.
In such instances, you can add Negative keywords to the keyword planner, so that they don’t appear in your keyword suggestions.
Study your data
Studying the data produced by your campaigns can lead to insights that can turn an average campaign into an incredible campaign.
It helps to install a conversion pixel on your site, if you want to really get some insights when studying your data.
That way, you’ll be able to figure out which keywords are driving the best conversions, as well as a lot more.
If you want to set up ‘Conversion tracking’ on your site, AdWords provides an interactive feature that will take you step-by-step through the process.
You can find it here.
It also helps to pair your Google Analytics account with Google AdWords.
In doing so, you’ll be able to tell what people are doing after they click on your ad, but before they do something that counts as a conversion.
To link the two accounts, you need to log into your Google Analytics account and then click on ‘Admin.’
You then select the ‘Account’ and the ‘Property’ that you want to link with your AdWords account.
Then, click on ‘New link group’ and link the two accounts.
By linking the two accounts, it will be easy to find out which keywords are driving the most engagement. For example, you’ll see which keywords are causing a high bounce rate.
You’ll also be able to identify keywords that don’t necessarily lead to conversions, but do lead to people spending a lot of time on your site.
As a result of having this information, you’ll be able to make changes to your site and your campaigns that can improve conversions.
You can also use the ‘Reports’ tool, provided by Google, to gain insights on how you can adjust your campaigns.
Using the Report tool, you can pick the data that you want to analyze.
There are a number of things that you can study and will help you improve your campaigns.
The first is the ‘location data’ for your campaigns.
If you find that certain locations are driving more conversions that anywhere else, it might be a good idea to raise your bid for that location. If you do so, you’ll be able to capitalize on the opportunity that you have discovered.
Keep in mind that you will need to have conversion tracking enabled to monitor conversions.
You might even want to see what times your Campaigns or Ad Groups are converting the highest.
If you find that your campaigns do particularly well during a certain time of the day, then it might be beneficial to raise your bid just for that specific time of day.
You can do that by clicking on the ‘Settings’ tab.
You then need to select ‘Ad schedule.’
What you need to do is to create an Ad Schedule.
You have two options here. You can either use the data from your report, or you can study the data provided automatically by Google.
If you want to study the data automatically provided by Google, click on ‘Schedule details’ and then click on ‘Hour and day of the week.’
You’ll then be able to study the data and find when your ads are driving the most conversions.
Once you’ve found a certain time, you then need to create an ‘Ad schedule.’
You can do that by clicking on ‘+Ad Schedule.’
Select a campaign and input the times when you found that this particular campaign was converting highly.
‘Save’ the Ad Schedule.
You then find the campaign and click on the adjacent section within the ‘Bid Adjustments’ column.
In doing so, you’ll be able to make it so that this specific campaign raises its bids during a certain hour of a certain day, ensuring that you can capitalize on any insights discovered.
This furniture company managed to increase conversions by 5%, as a result of raising their bids on Mondays.
Previously, their ads would have a low position, despite high conversion rates. Raising bids, just for that day, ensured that they benefited from great conversion rates, while still controlling their ad spend tightly.
Use the Opportunities tab
You may also want to check out the ‘Opportunities tab.’
This tab provides you with a section where Google has come up with ways that you can improve your campaign.
Such suggestions often include different keywords that you should be targeting, as well as the improvements that you might experience, when making adjustments to the bids for your ads.
I think it’s worth mentioning that although this tool can provide you with some useful insights – you should carefully evaluate the information provided.
That’s because the suggestions made often rely on you spending more. Combing through the data yourself can often result in you finding better ways to optimize your campaigns.
AdWords Search Campaigns are relatively easy to set up.
Knowing how to improve the performance of a campaign, however, can be somewhat of a challenge.
After reading this post, you should now have a comfortable sense of how you can assess your existing campaign and make some improvements.
That might include adjusting the ‘Match Types’ of your keywords.
It might also include creating some custom ‘Reports,’ so that you can find golden nuggets within the data that you can use to make a campaign more effective.
You may even want to check out the ‘Opportunities’ tab, to see if Google has automatically provided some insights.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you do something to improve the performance of your campaigns.
Your AdWords campaigns will most likely be better off as a result.
Do you have any experience with improving the performance of an AdWords campaign? If so please share your thoughts below.