If your brand is active in the PPC space, you’re always looking for ways to improve your ad campaign. The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing, so you need to keep your strategy up-to-date in order to succeed. There are quite a number of recommendations and advices online, these won’t be effective for everyone. Online marketing is not a one size fits all solution, but of course there are still general rules that apply; especially for Google AdWords campaigns.
The Art of Bidding
Google AdWords is a marketing tool that advertisers use to be seen by customers at the very moment that they’re searching on Google for keywords relevant to what you offer.You only pay for when the ad that Google shows to a potential customer is clicked on. This is widely known as PPC or pay per click advertising. Signing up is free, and you’ll actually receive up to $200 in credit from Google if it’s your first time. There are a few different ways of bidding depending on your goals.You can measure your customer’s actions through:
Best for driving traffic to your website. Costs are measured by cost-per-click (CPC) bidding, where you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your site. There are different types of bidding choices:
- Automatic bidding
You only need to set a daily budget and AdWords will adjust your CPC bids according to which would bring you the most clicks possible within that budget. This would come highly recommended if this is your first time with PPC.
- Manual Bidding
This is typically for intermediate and seasoned Google Adwords users. Bids can be set by you, which if done correctly is the optimal method.
- Enhanced Bidding
ECPC or Enhanced Cost Per Click gives you the flexibility to increase or decrease your bids by 30%. It uses historical conversion data to determine which searchers are more likely to lead to a conversion.
Best for ad displays where you pay for every 1,000 times your ad is served in Google. This is called CPM or Cost-per-thousand viewable impressions. It is not the suggest method, and has very limited placement on the Google Adwords Network.
For sign ups or sales and you pay for every conversion thru CPA or cost-per-acquisition. It requires existing tracking conversion data with at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days. Unless you’ve significantly optimized your landing pages for conversion, this is not the optimal choice.
For video ads only where you are able to evaluate how engaged viewers are with your video content and pay thru CPV or cost-per-view biddingMeasuring customer responses depend on your campaign. Is it to increase brand awareness, bring visitors to your website, or to buy your product or service? Once you know which action to focus on, you can start running a campaign and measure your success.
Your Track Record Matters
The AdWords auction happens at lightning speed, there’s not much room for error. There are three major factors being considered by Google when determining where and if your ad will be placed:
- Max cost-per-click bid for the keyword
- Your quality score for that keyword
- Your ad extensions and their relevance to the ad and keyword
Trial and Error
Any digital marketer knows the basics, and an intermediate one has learned by experimenting and testing multiple PPC tactics. While on this journey to discovering what works and what doesn’t, you should notice some options are not available in Adwords which are needed by seasoned marketers. This is where you need to look for a way around it and plan accordingly. Budget concerns also play a big factor when planning executable strategies for a campaign. Although AdWords offers different flexible options, there are still some that are not available. This creates a budget leakage that adds to the cost where it is not necessary.Rigorous testing is necessary to determine the most efficient Google Adwords strategies for your brand. In order to set targets, it is important to understand the purpose of your target audience’s intent in searching for information related to your brand. Once you understand the different types of intent, you’ll learn what’s best to focus your ad campaigns on.
The 3 Types of Search Intent:
- Informational – searching for information before the purchase decision, also known as the discovery phase.
- Branded – searching for your brand
- Commercial – getting ready to buy
While trial and error may earn you a strategy that you will grow fond of, time can only tell until when that stays the same. So if you’re looking for ideas on how to find other methods, here are 3 unconventional ways to boost AdWords performance that you might have not considered just yet. It may just deliver you the results you want.
This is where transitioning to manual bidding from auto bidding becomes important. Dynamic Remarketing allows you to retarget visitors who have visited or taken an interest in your offering while exploring your website.This is now available in AdWords where it saves you the time of customizing your ads to increase conversion rates. The best part is in knowing that you’ve established trust in your brand when results will show that a big chunk of your conversion rate comes from returning visitors.Remember the 3 types of searches from the previous discussion? Once your visitor has gone past the discovery phase, a second visit would mean your brand has created an impact that has brought that customer back and well on its way to the commercial phase. This means that they are now ready to make a purchase.It would be highly recommended to bid more aggressively for Shopping Cart Abandoners and Product Viewers as this is when they are on the final stage of their purchasing journey.
- Google Merchant Center Account linked to your AdWords account.
- Update the GA (Google Analytics) tracking snippet
- Create a specific Dynamic Remarketing campaign within AdWords
- Use the dynamic ad builder tool to create image and text product based ads (see image below)
- Customize campaign settings
Pros and Cons
Dynamic Remarketing comes with five pre made remarketing lists to segment users and an option to add more templates according to your campaign needs. What’s nice about this tool is being able to target visitors according to their level of interest.It will offer recommendations with the best mix of products for each ad combining the most popular product with the visitor that’s viewed your site the most. It is also integrated with real-time bid optimization where AdWords calculates the optimal bid for each impression.If you do not have a Merchant Center account with a functional product feed, you won’t be able to use this tool. You would need an updated feed for AdWords to pull out information for dynamic ads. Over all, that’s about the only challenge of Dynamic Remarketing.Companies who have used it have proven positive growth in revenue like Netshoes that grew theirs around 40% during the Christmas season.
Reviews are always a reliable way to build trust in consumers and grow a brand’s reliability. Review extensions are one line reviews displayed with an ad from 3rd party sources that can be a positive article, award or ranking. The more reliable the source, the more powerful your ad becomes.
- accurate and current reviews
- credible, third-party source
- unique, substantive reviews
Pros and Cons
This extension allows you to build trust to potential customers even as a brand that they just found for the first time. But this does not mean anyone can just claim a review and add it to their ad. Google is quite strict with the approval process and have certain requirements that should be followed.It’s a specific and tedious process, but proves to be worth the time and effort when the rules are met. Approval is said to be manual so it may take a while to get approved. Google has reported that advertisers using this extension saw a 10% increase in CTR (click-through rates).A good comparative example for review extensions is shown in the table below.
Mobile Optimized Ads
Mobile has become the man and his way of life. 80% of people leave home with their mobile device in hand and 61% use their mobile to search for information daily. 7.3 hours is dedicated to mobile web time while 8 hours to mobile applications.So with this information in mind, optimizing ads in mobile is a trend that every marketer should consider. People on the go use their mobiles while waiting for the doctor or on the train or waiting for a meeting to start. It is during this time that most consumers stumble on brand that they find they like and would like to get back to later when they have more time.
It is important that you have a mobile optimized website or landing page. It’s going to be tricky for customers to get to know your brand if they are unable to browse your website on their phone. You may have won the first spot on the search results, but it defeats the purpose if potential customers can’t find the information that they are looking for in your site.
Mobile ads show on mobile browsers or within applications as:
- Text ads
- Image ads
- App promotion ads
- HTML5 ads built with Google Web Designer
- App promotion ads
- Image app promotion ads
- Video app promotion ads
- TrueView for app promotion ads
- Call-only ads
Pros and Cons
As there are more people on the go, this allows you to reach more potential customers. Mobile displays are smaller compared to the desktop version so searchers are more likely to click on the top results instead of digging deeper. This makes your ad campaign totally worth it. The challenge is getting the bid, which means bidding more to get the top spot.Mobile ads are significantly cheaper than web display ads. To maximize your campaign, make sure display texts and banners are clear and readable. It is recommended to display shorter texts that are direct to the point and meaty. Remember that mobile displays are smaller than desktop versions, so instead of cramming in a lot of information, focus on the important details. People on the go are on the first phase of research mode, give them something worthwhile to discover.Also include your city/location to avoid accidental or irrelevant clicks. 50% of clicks from mobile ads are mostly accidental or what is known as fat finger taps.Together with your mobile campaign, integrate it with location extensions and call extensions. After all, mobile devices are for phone calls, are they not?
Quarterly Analysis on Campaigns
Your quarterly analysis for your campaigns give you the right amount of time to measure if any of your campaigns tanked or were successful. This is also the best time to set the next milestones you want to achieve for the next quarter.
After studying the numbers, the next step is in planning for the next campaigns. Create an action plan where you can:
- Improve CTR
- Improve conversions
- Reduce cost
As trends in the digital sphere change, the best strategy is to consult with a strategist directly from Google. No one will be as knowledgeable than a person from the company itself where you run your ads.Ask for an account strategist to be assigned to you. It’s like calling customer service and asking for a supervisor, someone with more in depth knowledge about the subject who can give you real advice on how best to plot your campaigns.