How to Benefit from Bing & Yahoo, but work only on Google

Bing Ads

The approach I have always taken wit AdCenter, now Bing Ads, is to do the minimum for it, which can still cover 80% of potential Bing Ads traffic.

What I suggest is to focus on optimizing AdWords campaigns. Then, on a regular basis, I export my campaigns from the AdWords editor as a CSV, remove all broad keywords, and import it into Bing Ads.

I remove the broads because Bing handles them differently than Google, and they are not worth worrying about. If my AdWords campaign is well optimized, most of its traffic should come from Exacts. Still, this is good for 80% of traffic. I should also point out that traffic from Exact match keywords produces a higher CTR which will improve your Bing Ads Qaulity Scores.

I then upload the campaign into Bing Ads via their editor or website, and its done. I repeat this step every few weeks, being mindful of deleted words/groups/ads since the import to Bing Ads won’t remove, but instead add. I recommend getting a simple visual basic script written to automate this process.

This approach let’s you benefit from Bing/Yahoo traffic without wasting too much time which is better spent optimizing your AdWords campaign.

Posted in Bing Ads, Pay Per Click | Leave a comment

What is a Bad Keyword?

You’ve done your keyword research, and your campaign is up and running.  Your campaign may have dozens to hundreds of keywords in it.  The keywords are slowly gathering statistics.  Now you are asking yourself, which of these words should I keep, which should I delete, and why?

Striving for a higher CTR is the reason why.  This reason is well known. Google rewards campaigns that get clicks.  If your ads don’t attract clicks, Google will slowly grind it to a halt.  Does this mean that any word that produces a low CTR needs to be removed?  Not necessarily. 

Ask yourself:

  • Can negative keywords be added to improve the relevancy of the search terms that are being matched to the word?
  • Can the ad be improved to achieve the desired CTR?

If the answer to both questions is no, then perhaps your keyword is too broad and you need to add longtail keywords that either came from its search terms, or from keywords that use it as a root.  For example, if your keyword is “lawyers” than you may need to use “real estate lawyers” or “lawyers in Atlanta” as your keyword.  In this case, the word ‘lawyers’ is the root.

Any Longtail Keyword will Achieve Good CTR by Improving Ad Copy

The more specific a keyword gets, the more targeted the searches get for the word.  If it is truly a longtail, and the searches are specific enough, than good CTR will be achieved if you can come up with the right ad copy to satisfy its searches.  However, if you accomplish the desired CTR by writing ad’s that are not reflect the desires of your clients, than the keyword is not for you.  You will get clicks, high CTR, good account history, but end up spending money on irrelevant traffic. 

The bottom line is that you should not lie in your ads for the purpose of achieving CTR, and if relevancy can not be reached through the use of negatives, then it could be a bad keyword.

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Quality Score – Think of What Makes Google Money

To better understand how CTR impacts quality score, it is important to understand what Google’s motivations are for rewarding advertisers who show more relevant ads.   Google says that the purpose of quality score is to show searchers relevant ads for the search terms they are looking for by rewarding advertisers who’s campaign’s show the most relevant ads for the searches that trigger them.  They say this is a mechanism to ensure that Google Searchers are served ads that they are more likely to see.  Click through rate (CTR) is a reliable metric to measure the relevancy of an ad to the search terms that are being used to find them.  The reason is clear.  Ads that get more clicks for a specific search term are probably more relevant to them since they are attracting the attention of the searchers.  This is good for the user, and it is good for Google.  Google is quick to remind us of this fact.

What Google is not quick to remind us of is that advertisers displaying more relevant ads, makes them more money.  The reason for this is clear.  With pay per click advertising, money is paid every time an ad is clicked on.  If an advertiser is able to produce a higher CTR for an ad than other advertisers competing for the position, Google earns more, and thus rewards the advertiser with a higher quality score so that he has an advantage over his competitors.  This advantage, however, is small in comparison to the extra revenue earned by Google for showing those ads at higher positions.

People often ask what a good CTR is for Google AdWords. There is no direct answer to this question.  I would answer that a good CTR is one that improves your quality score.  Because Google rewards advertisers that produce more clicks than competing advertisers for the ad slot, a good CTR is one that is better than the competition’s. Naturally, the further down the page, the harder it is to achieve a higher CTR because fewer people look at results down that far.  Because your competition is equally affected by this as you are, the CTR needed to improve quality score goes down with the position.

Google AdWords invented quality score, but this concept is used by most PPC platforms.  There are variations in how different platforms adjust acceptable CTR by position.  Those that do not adjust by position, essentially reward advertisers with quality score who are willing to pay for higher positions.  Facebook PPC, on the other hand, does not adjust acceptable CTR for ad position.  However, ad position in Facebook holds a very different significance due to the behavioral differences of Facebook users.  A typical Facebook user will scroll down the page, and scroll a lot.  Thus they are exposed more equally to ads in all positions.

This is why historical CTR is the biggest factor.  Landing page relevance is used to determine quality score when a campaign is new and there is no history.

Just remember, with Pay Per Click, Google Gets Paid Per Click.

The Higher the Click Through Rate, the more clicks, thus Google get’s paid more.

 

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SES London 2012 Keynote by Avinash Kaushik

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Avinash Kaushik kicked off the London SES 2012 Conference with an eye opening presentation on how we need to think Avinash Kaushikdifferently when it comes to online marketing today.  He barely scratched the surface on several key issues faced by internet marketers today; touching on each issue just enough to open our eyes to how we now need to take a different perspective with our approach to managing online marketing campaigns.  He explained to us that we need to take full advantage of the control we have with internet marketing that lacks with traditional forms of advertising.  With internet marketing we are in control. The way we influence is not by shouting at people (TV, Radio, Print), but is by having conversations.  This is done by driving optimal traffic to where it belongs with data, and opening the doors for conversation with the use of social media.

Know which metrics matter

The marketing sales funnel is like the animal food chain.  Each step of the sales funnel could be compared to the next species on the food chain, devouring the one that came before it.  Disruptions to any of these steps propagate down the line, all the way to the paid conversion.  We need to stop looking at metrics of the past, metrics that Avinash dubbed as “lame.”

 

Lame Metrics New “Awesome Metrics”
Clicks Loyalty
Page Views Time since last action
Visits Conversion Rate
“Touches” (people touched) Number of Days and Visits from an action
Emails Sent# Unaided Brand Recall
Number of Press Reports Released Economic value
Likes, followers, "The latest flair of the month” Task Completion Rate

 

The new, “Super Awesome” metrics represent how a combination of “lame” metrics interact with each other.  Instead of focusing on page views, focus on user loyalty.  User loyalty is a combination of page views and other “lame” factors.  Every “lame” metric possible needs to be tracked, regardless of how insignificant it may seem. On its own it may look worthless, but combined with other metrics, it could become a gem.

Optimize for Users That Don’t Convert

Web analytics software enables us to look at click paths to identify points in the sales funnel where users are dropping off.  By optimizing for these users we are giving attention to those who would not otherwise convert.    googleanalytics_conversions

Value needs to be given to micro conversions. Examples of micro conversions are qualified leads, email/blog subscriptions, and catalog requests. Macro conversions are the goal.  They are sales which produce revenue. However, total economic value is  determined by the combination of the many micro conversions with the few, or the one macro conversion.

Influence & Evolve to Win with Social Media

If a person values the “lame” metrics (listed above), than they look at social media as yet another channel that can drive business.  The reality is that social media provides much greater opportunities.

Incorporating social media into a marketing portfolio presents an advertiser with new metrics to gage social participation.  Giving economic value to these micro conversions gives an advertiser a clearer view which levers deliver which economic value.

  1. Conversion Rate – Audience comments Per social Contribution
  2. Amplification Rate – “Forwards” per social contribution
  3. Applause Rate – “Positive Clicks” Per Social Contribution
  4. Social Economic Value – Sum of Short & Long Term Revenue + Cost Savings of Social Contributions

As of recently, Google started displaying social media results along side search results.  This means that if a website comes up in a search result, it will be more visible to the searcher if the searcher’s friends have +1’d their site.  This is giving us first glance into the future of search; a future which will display results based not only on its relevancy for the search terms used, but also on the social interaction of the result.

Understand More (be less wrong) with “Intelligent” Attribution Modeling

As a company grows, it ads new marketing channels to its portfolio, and advertises more aggressively. The result is an expanded reach which then opens up the doors to new challenges.

Answering the question of who gets credit for a conversion when that conversion came from multiple campaigns over time is a difficult one.  The only clear answer Avinash was able to give on the topic is that there is no clear answer.  Every business has a unique way that it needs to use to approach multi channel conversions.

Avinash went over the simplified approaches that companies frequently use when dealing with multi-touch conversion analysis.

  • First Click Takes All – This strategy gives all of the credit for the conversion to the first campaign that sent the user to the site.
  • Last Click Takes All – This strategy gives all of the credit for the conversion to the last campaign that sent the user to the site.
  • Equal Credit – This strategy gives equal credit to each campaign that sent the client to the site before he converted
  • Time Decay – This strategy gives credit to each campaign, but the least to the touch point that delivered the conversion the furthest back, and the most to the touch point that is the most recent.

Each of these models have flaws.  The “time decay” model is the least flawed.  Finding the perfect model for a business requires painstaking analysis.  This analysis is often wrong, but still less wrong than the alternative.

When producing a model, it is important to consider as many variables as possible.  The analysis is only more complete with more data.  Avinash showed the following graphic in his presentation, representing just some of them.

 

variables_analysis_multi_touch_conversions

To understand how many of your clients come from multi touch conversions use Google Analytics.  Google provides us with an easy to understand multi-channel conversion visualizer.  It is a powerful tool to visualize the interplay between channels.

google_analytics_multi_channel

As Avinash put it, in order to win with attribution modeling you need to:

  1. Understand
  2. Test
  3. Be Less Wrong

Multi Channel Portfolio Optimization

Avinash raised an interesting question.  What would happen to a companies’ PPC search campaigns if all social media efforts were turned off?  What would happen to a companies’ display campaigns if all PPC search campaigns were turned off? He was in no way seriously suggesting it, but used it to provoke some thought.

Understanding the dynamics between different marketing channels is key in being able to determine the right mix.  Perhaps social media isn’t directly producing many sales on its own, but removing it would impact the results of other marketing channels.  In this case, social media needs to be given value for the assistance it is giving those channels, and perhaps, deserves more resources and optimization to produce better results elsewhere.

Conclusion

Avinash’s presentation brought up many more questions than those answered.  He made us aware of challenges that we did not fully understand.  It is now up to us to to find our own solutions to these challenges, as very few internet marketing solutions have a “one size fits all” answer.

Avinash helped me realize that though marketing is divided into many different departments, and those departments are divided into campaigns, which are then divided into other even more granular layers; their performance and optimization needs to be done by looking at the whole.  We often go into granular details to be more thorough in our work.  We often forget from looking so closely that we need to step back and see how each granular point may be effecting the other’s and thus the big picture.

Posted in SES London Conference & Expo - 2012 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Annoy Your Clients with Remarketing

Remarketing to users who have visited your site has proven to be an effective way to turn the visitors into conversions.  I have seen great results form remarketing using Google’s Display Network.  The best results come from remarketing to users who have shown buying indications.  However, once the user buys, remarketing to them can annoy them.

In the past two weeks, I have purchased a flight with Israel Air to Eilat, as well as passes to the SES Conference in London.Remarketing to Buyers  Now every Google Display Network site I visit has these two competing with each other for banner space to show me ads for two products I am very well aware of.  Imagine how effective a telemarketer selling long distance service would be if they called back the same clients they already sold to, asking them to buy the same product again.

Remarketing to users who have bought before isn’t always a bad idea and annoying to them.  Remarketing is a very effective way to up-sell.    It is also a quite effective way to cross-promote different products, and advertise upgrades to existing products and services.

Posted in Display Advertising, Remarketing | Tagged , , | 1 Response

Mt. Hermon – Northern Israel

It snows in Israel.

20120211-211632.jpg

Photo courtesy of Tal Zohar

Posted in Off Topic - Not SEM Related | Tagged | Leave a comment

SES London Conference & Expo

I am very excited to attend the SES London 2012 expo in 10 days.  They have sessions covering a wide range of topics in the categories of SEO, PPC, Mobile, and Social Media.  With every session I attend, I miss out on another two.  They created a phone application which let’s me browse through the program, and schedule my time there by selecting the sessions I would like to attend, and automatically adding them to my calender.  They also schedule sessions for the same topics consecutively.  Since my focus is on PPC, I will be able to see most topics covering PPC, but miss out on most of the rest.

Posted in SES London Conference & Expo - 2012 | Tagged | 1 Response
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