Category Archives: Google AdWords

Standard vs. Dynamic remarketing

In Google AdWords, remarketing option is available for years. Remarketing helps us reach people who visited your website. Previous visitors can see your ads while surfing the internet (Google Display Network) or while searching on Google (Google Search Network).

With dynamic remarketing, you can serve the ads to previous visitors, but the ads are showing products which those visitors have viewed during their visit.  Dynamic remarketing is available only for Display network.

To start with dynamic remarketing, you need to:

  • create product feed (.csv, .tsv, .xls, .xlsx) – in the feed you need to enter products or services that you want to show to the user. You can enter only certain product category, not all your products (for example, only laptops)
  • set up the remarketing tag with custom parameters – the remarketing tag set/collects a cookie and passes dynamic parameters to Google servers
  • dynamic display ads – create display ads that will show your products

Compared to standard, dynamic remarketing requires a little more technical work for your website developers, in order to everything works properly.

Also, it is important to note that the data in the product feed needs to change every time when a change occurs on the website. If product prices change every week, it is good to update the feed too. Otherwise, the user can see wrong data (wrong price, model etc.) in your dynamic ads or land on a 404 page.

After set up, AdWords will automatically create 6 remarketing lists that we can use for targeting.

dynamic-remarketing-automatic-lists

  • All visitors – all users who visited your website
  • Conversion abandoners – users who entered the shopping cart, but didn’t buy the product
  • General visitors – for example, users who saw product categories
  • Past converters -users who made a purchase
  • Product or service -users who saw a particular product i.e., visited the page of particular product
  • Searchers – users who used search engine on the website

But how dynamic remarketing works? User visits your website that contains remarketing code with custom parameters. Remarketing code collects all parameters and passes to Google servers. Google collects cookie ID and parameters (page type, total value, etc.).  Google uses item IDs from cookie (IDs of products that user viewed on your website) and connects with ID in the feed in order to know which products should be displayed in the ad. While surfing the internet, user will see dynamic ads that contain products that he viewed on the website along with product information (picture, name, price etc.). You can customize the ads, for example insert company logo, change background color etc.

dynamic-ad-example

 

Why use dynamic remarketing?

Compared to the standard, dynamic remarketing gives you the ability to better personalize the ads that are served to the user. The disadvantage is that the dynamic remarketing is a little bit more technical demanding to implement. Dynamic remarketing usually shows better results compared to the standard remarketing campaigns. But, to be sure, we suggest to test and compare the results.:)

Brand Campaign as measure of Brand awareness

 

This is not another typical blog post about whether it is better or not to advertise for brand words. This post talks about the brand campaign that was used to track “level of brand awareness” for one of our clients. This campaigns was also used to monitor the behaviour & appearance of new competition.

If you want to immediately see results and conclusion of this article – you can skip all this here

When we started with this client it was immediately decided that “brand campaign” will not be taken in calculation of the cost-effectiveness of AdWords campaigns. Of course, brand campaigns have very small CPC, which is why the average monthly investment to cover all brand queries is less than 3% of the total budget. In addition, from time to time we see emergence of new competition which is advertising for client brand keywords.

Main problem of this client is a large number of competition thru AdWords advertising. Besides for his brand keywords, they are also showing their ads for same/similar products. We can say that potential customers are seeing a large number of ads for different brands (competition).

In addition to the fact that competition is quite large, it is also growing very rapidly. Thus, on an annual basis we see growth in the number of competitors from 250% to 300% (see picture below).

Competition grow

We must not forget that in analytics we can no longer see for which keywords users have come to our website (organic, not paid channel). There are certain capabilities via search console (formerly webmastertools) to see the inquiries but not for a very long period of time (also, we recommend to link together analytics and search console).

In short, the facts are:

  • Less than 3% of the total monthly budget is necessary for brand campaign
  • Competition is showing their ads for best products as well as for our brand
  • 200-300% annual growth in the number of competition
  • Insufficient data in Analytics

Because of all the above facts, it was decided that brand campaign will be an indicator of own “branding level”. The concept is quite simple – if there is a decrease in number of searches for brand queries then brand awareness decreases, if there is an increase in number of searches for brand queries then brand awareness is growing. This is rather simple way of “measuring” – but, due to its simplicity it is just perfect if you want to immediately see the results (of your marketing efforts).

Before we look at some of the results it is necessary to note that adwords brand campaign is not the only “source” on the basis of which we are deciding on the level of brand awareness. It was one of the indicators.

 

Results of Brand campaign

 

The picture below shows us the number of impressions during the last two years (for a brand campaign). We will use this chart to show you certain information about brand awareness and competition activity.

2 years Impressions

We shall look at impressions rather than clicks (although they are very closely related and have the same leaps and falls during observed months). It is very important that for a Brand campaign we have impression share as close to 100%. At the same time, we also do not have any lost impressions due to restricted budget or due to low ad positions.

Lost rank IS

In the upper chart we can see the first period of a few months where we had about 99.5% Impression Share but also at the same time we had lost IS due to rank (very small – about 0.5%). This is a sign that for our brand (keywords) there were competitor ads. After these few months (figure 1 in the picture) competition have calmed down.

Of course, we have quite raised our bids on our brand words, so it’s very likely that their CPC was quite big because of that. However, it is clear that they continued to advertise for our brand keywords (lost IS due to rank was never 0%).

Then came a sudden jump (number 2 in picture above) in lost IS due to rank. In that month we have seen the arrival of new competitors that have started to advertise for client brand.

Rise of CPC

For very short period of time we have seen an CPC increase of nearly 90% on our own ads/keywords because of these new competitors. After certain interventions in our campaign (raising the bids) their ads have dropped below first position.

Once again we see a big drop (of search impression share) at the end of the 3rd period. What we have noticed is that again there has been a large arrival of completely new competitors. These competitors have begun increasingly targeting our own brand keywords.

In this way, thru Brand campaign, we can very quickly and easily see when the competitors are advertising for our brand words, when new competitors emerge and so on.

Note: Our impression share for the whole period was over 99% and lost IS due rank was below 1%. From time to time we have still lowered our own bid (on our brand keywords) because we’ve seen that in return it reduces CPC while still keeping the first position of our ad. In addition, as shown in the image below,  we can see that the competition was advertising all of the time for our brand words.

Average position

Note: our bid to “our brand terms” was very high due to the situation in this segment (number of competitors). We were sometimes shocked to see how much money is competition willing to spend on clicks for someone else’s brand!

Automated rules

Tip: you can easily make automated rules to email you when your “brand terms” are not in first position – in that way you instantly see what your competition is doing 😉

 

Different types of campaigns and their reflection on number of impressions

 

Let’s go back to our impressions and what we can see when we had different types of campaigns (non-brand) active or paused.

First period of campaigns

During the first period (number 1), we had active display campaigns (besides web pages we had also specifically targeted Youtube placement) – we saw tremendous growth of impressions (for brand search terms). During the 2nd period we had active display campaigns BUT without targeting youtube placement. We see that there has been a slight decrease in number of impressions.

In 3rd period we once again had active youtube display campaigns. We immediately saw noticeable jump in the number of impressions.

Percentage of impressions

We can see that we had 20% less impressions during 2nd period. After activating youtube placements we had saw rise but it was still below 1st period levels (92%).

Note: Products sold by the customer are not seasonal – they are used throughout the whole year. Activation of specific types of campaign is clearly visible/related on the graph. If it came to seasonality then we would not see this kind of results (ups and downs) that correspond to the activation of specific types of campaigns.

Impressions second period

It is interesting that we have seen the greatest number of impressions when the client decided to advertise on TV (number 1). Also at that time we had active display and YouTube campaigns. During this period he had the most searches for brand queries in last 2 years.

But, it is also interesting to compare the 2nd period to 3rd period. The difference is that during the 2nd period we had active display campaigns, while during the 3rd period we had active only search campaigns. We can see a big drop of impressions during this 3rd period (in which we did not have an active display campaigns). After that period, we have again activated the display campaigns and although the improvement is obvious – it was not to the extent that was expected.

Note: we have warn the client of drop in number of impressions and that this is sign that his brand awareness is falling down. We have advised him to keep his display campaigns active all the time but he did not want to spend additional budget on it.

 

Brand campaign as measure of brand awareness – yes or no

 

Final results

Unfortunately, there is apparent decline in number of searches (impressios) for “brand” words when there are no active display campaigns. Here we can conclude that it is necessary to have a display (branding) campaign active all the time – because the competition is also constantly growing.

Therefore, it is necessary to constantly “keep” high level of brand awareness. It is necessary to keep high awareness levels of brand “existence” in potential buyers of your products/services.

We can see a lot based on the brand campaign. We can see how the different type of campaigns affected the brand awareness (number of impressions). In addition, we can see the behaviour of the competition (if competitors are advertising for your brand – you must have a brand campaign).

Obvious answer to question “can we use brand campaign as measure of brand awareness?” is – yes, we can.

But, we are not talking that brand campaign should always serve to measure “brand awareness”. We have some clients where such campaigns are not required (for branding purposes or for profit purposes) – it all depends from client to client.

We recommend testing the “brand” campaigns and measure results in order to make the right decision on the merits of “Brand” campaign.

Customer Match – target email users using Google AdWords

In this blog post, we will describe important tips related to the initial set up of email lists in AdWords remarketing. Also, we will show initial results of Customer Match campaign for one of our clients, and the opportunities provided by such targeting.

 

Customer Match allows you to use a list of email addresses in the remarketing list.

Examples of email addresses collecting:
• collected email addresses from a customer who purchased products from your website
• collected email addresses from a customer  who registered on the website, applications or newsletters
• collected email addresses from a customer  who registered for the loyalty program, on the website or in physical stores.

Tip: try differentiating the list in a similar way as a way in which you have collected email addresses (website, newsletters, applications, brick & mortar) – that is, if you have a sufficient number of individual emails in each list. In future, if needed, you can target them differently.

 

The procedure of setting up a customer email list are detailed described on Google Support, so, we will keep on real examples and important facts.

All email list should be stored in a CSV format. It is important to check all email addresses for empty space(s) before or after, uppercase, and such. Google recognizes the difference between uppercase/lowercase letters and empty space (such mistakes often happens when users are using mobile phones). After checking and fixing email addresses, you are increasing the possibility of accepted email addresses. Since we reviewed all of our email addresses (for empty spaces, case sensitive, and obvious mistakes in writing), as picture shows, the format of email addresses was accepted 100%.

After checking our email lists in CSV was accepted 100% format of emails

From this customer match (email) list, Google is using only emails of users who are also logged into the Google Account (with that same email). That does not mean that these emails are exclusive to Gmail domain. However, in our experience, about 90% of accepted emails in the list are Gmails.

 

In our example, we used about 24,000 emails, of which Google accepted (found matching) for nearly 16,000 emails. It is 66% of all available emails.

You need at least 1,000 approved emails in one list to create the campaign, but we recommend a list of at least 10,000 approved emails. Google can serve ads on Google Search, Gmail or Youtube, only to users who are logged in Google account. Otherwise, a campaign might generate a very small number of ad impressions and clicks.

Of course, do not forget to exclude customer lists in all regular campaigns that contain the same target (keywords, Gmail, Youtube) to prevent double targeting.

 

Results of the Customer Match campaigns

The results are related to the period of 8 days, with 20,300 approved emails. We created seven search campaigns and one GSP campaign. Campaigns are created with the same settings and targeting as well as “regular” campaign.

 

Results of the Results of Customer Match campaigns

 

Campaigns achieved 459 clicks with average CTR of 17.61%, which is 40.51% improvement in CTR compared to the regular campaigns.

It is also important to note that 50.88% impressions and 68.63% clicks are coming from mobile devices. In comparison with the regular campaign, a percentage of impressions on mobile devices is 36.67% and 46.33% clicks.

Since users generally stay logged in to their Google account on their mobile devices, these results are not surprising. Therefore, it is important to have a well-optimized mobile web page, and, of course, a sufficient number of accepted emails.

 

User behavior from Analytics account

 

According to the data about user behavior from Analytics account, it can be seen that the bounce rate of 28.91% is very low, with 8.10 average number of pages per session. Compared to the regular campaign, bounce rate decreased by 22.8%, while the average number of pages per session increased by 9.65%.

 

Customer Match campaigns in comparison to regular campaigns

 

In this period, Customer match campaigns generated an 117% higher ROAS (return on ad spend), although it achieved a significantly lower nominal number of transactions.

Through GSP campaign, you can reach a larger volume of impressions compared to the search campaigns. Considering that users need to log in to their Google account to see their Gmail account, GSP campaign is showing higher impressions of ads. Therefore, we recommend (in the case of a small number of collected email address) to first start with the GSP Customer match campaign.

In our testing, GSP campaigns achieved the best results in comparison to other Customer Match campaign (12.18% Gmail clicks to website CTR compared to 3.55%), however, do not forget that the GSP campaigns are type of display advertising.

 

In conclusion, although Customer match requires a very large email list, which generates a relatively small number of ads impressions,  it’s worth to advertise through remarketing campaigns with targeted customer email list.

It is also possible to test:
• advertising specific actions intended for customers in the loyalty program,
• sharing of specific action for offline stores,
• special offers of new products, lines, brands, etc.,
• the opening of new physical stores with geographic targeting

So, follow our blog and our social accounts, where we will publish new tests and new possibilities offered by Google AdWords.

Gmail Sponsored Promotion ads – best way to conversions

GSP ads are somewhere between the email and display advertising because the ads are created in display campaigns and show up within the Gmail platform.

More information about GSP ads can be found in this article. In second part of this post we shall show some results from one of our clients. Interesting about this case is that we started very broad targeting (interests) and then, after some time, we started to optimize.

 

How do GSP ads look like?

GSP ads appear in email form above received emails within the Promotions tab (Collapsed ad). After clicking on the ad, the user opens an ad that looks like an email (Expanded ad). After clicking on the call-to-action button in the expanded ad, the user is redirected to the landing page.

 

Collapsed ad example

collapsed ad

 

 

Expanded ad example

gsp ad veliki

 

GSP campaign results

We targeted customers within the GSP campaign based on different interests. For a start, we decided to advertise only one category of the client offers to see how does GSP campaign behave and how profitable it is to advertise through the GSP ads.

 

podaci - AW

 

6.91% CTR refers to the number of clicks compared to the number of impressions and do not represent the real CTR. If we calculate the ratio between the number of sessions and the number of impressions we get a 1.15% CTR which is quite high CTR considering that it is still a display campaign (average display campaign CTR is 0.20 – 0.30%).

 

podaci - analytics

 

Image above shows a significant difference between the clicks and the sessions. When someone clicks on an AdWords ad, the click is immediately recorded in the AdWords statistics. The Session is recorded only after the user was redirected to the landing page. 17,938 times users clicked on collapsed ad and 2,984 clicks on call-to-action button redirected users to the landing page.

Average cost per click was 2 RSD (0.02 EUR). Search campaign had twice as high cost per click – 4 RSD (0.03 EUR).

 

analytics gsp blog

We should also keep in mind display campaign’s main purpose – branding. But, the main results were this: 88 transactions, 111,977 RSD revenue and 272% ROI! Those were very good results for this type of AdWords campaigns. Do not forget – Testing different targeting can help finding the best audiences. Separate different targeting in different ad groups for easier control over the ads and cost per click.

 

Interesi - klikovi

 

Users who are interested in cooking and beauty generated most of the clicks and conversions.

 

Interesi - konverzije

 

Different targeting and more ad variations help in testing the best ad variation and users interest. GSP ads are dynamic and a large number of data is collected in short time. So, in short time you can see whether GSP ads are profitable or not. Also, some advice: to keep users attention, frequent ad change is a must.

Try GSP advertising and find out are they suitable for your business.

 

Snip, snip, snippet – useful and simple

 

Six months ago, Google introduced dynamic snippets as automated ad extension that displays the categories based on the content of landing page that match the user’s query. Because advertisers couldn’t affect what the dynamic snippet showed, Google has now introduced a new extension that gives the option of choosing specific characteristics of products or services that will be shown within the ad. This extension is called structured snippets.

example of ad with snippets

Structured snippets can help improve the CTR, and as such are indispensable in AdWords campaigns.

 

How to create structured snippet?

This extension can be found under the tab ‘Ad extensions’ in the drop-down menu ‘View’ as ‘Structured snippet extensions’. Structured snippet can be created on three levels – account – campaign – ad group, and the advantage of displaying has lower compared to higher level.

creation of snippet

 

When creating a new structured snippet, first thing you need to do is to choose one of 12 pre-defined headers:

  •   Amenities – facilities included with the product or service
  •   Brands – brands from the range of products
  •   Courses – list of courses and lectures
  •   Degree programs – programs for the acquisition of knowledge
  •   Destinations – destinations where product or service is
  •   Featured Hotels – hotels involved in a particular offer
  •   Insurance coverage – outcomes covered by insurance
  •   Neighborhoods – specific city or district in which company operates
  •   Service catalog – a list of services offered by the company
  •   Shows – plays, films, exhibitions, etc.
  •   Styles – styles of products or services
  •   Types – general header that can be used for companies whose business do not meet the headers listed above.

 

Choose those headers which can highlight the best features of the product or service. AdWords offers 3 examples for each header. Once you decide which header you are going to use, it is necessary to fill ‘value’ fields with categories or characteristics for which you have 25 characters. Fill at least 3 categories, while the maximum number of ‘value’ fields is 10.

value fields (categories)

When displayed with ads, minimum one category can be shown (advantage have categories in order of entry in the value field). The maximum number of categories shown depends on the number of category characters, and the size of the screen on which the ad is displayed.

Other possibilities when creating new structured snippets are choosing a mobile phone as a preferred device, setting start and end date for each snippet and making schedule for snippet displaying.

 

Snippets’ impact on ad performance

Structured snippets are one of the factors when calculating Ad rank. Results shown for the snippets are actually results of ads that snippet were displayed with, since they aren’t clickable.

These extensions were added to the client’s campaigns to see their influence on the ad performance. In one account ads were shown 12,939 times, along with the 8.29% CTR.

total results of the campaign

From the total number of impressions, ads with snippets were displayed  2,253 times, and in these case ads have achieved 11.41 CTR%.

results of ads that appeared with snippets

Based on the results, conclusion is that snippets have an impact on increasing the CTR of ads with which they are presented. In this case we are talking about 37.64% increase of CTR (note that the overall CTR includes CTR of ads displayed with snippets, so CTR of ads shown without snippets is lower than shown).

The reason for higher CTR on the ads with snippets probably lies in the additional information about products and services shown in snippets (also, the ad looks “bigger”) that encourage users to click on the ad to find out more.

 

The latest news coming from Google is that from now on two lines of structured snippets can be shown with the ad. So, best thing to do is to create a larger number of snippets 😉

2 snippets in one ad

 

As the structured snippets can be displayed along with other extensions make sure that you don’t repeat the same information in different extensions. Add structured snippet to your campaigns and use those characteristics (information) that are the most important for customers.

For additional explanation and instructions for creating of snippets you can watch video shown below:

90% bigger revenue thru budget & campaign optimization

 

It was spring of 2015 when we got a client who was actively advertising their accommodation capacities of their tourist facilities through their Adwords campaigns. After we did an audit of those campaigns, we immediately realized that there are many opportunities for improvement. We are not going to write here what exactly did we do to improve to improve the campaign, but we are going to write, among other things, how a better budget allocation  may affect the increase in revenue for over a 90%!

But first things first. AdWords account had a total of 13 active campaigns in 2014. Of these 13 campaigns, 9 of them were the classic “search” (on Google search engine results page) and 4 of them were display campaigns (on websites and portals). One of the first things we noticed during audit is that all search campaigns had a very low search impression share.

Small IS

Search campaign ads were losing their impressions – ads were not showing because of insufficient daily budget but also for targeting very low position of ad placement (search Lost IS – rank). In addition, the search campaign did not have a good structure and because of that some of the most important inquiries (according to number of conversion) were “losing” their (daily) budget. Because of that they would stop running during the mid-day.

Because of that we decided to give special attention to the allocation of the budget when planning optimization of those campaigns.

It was also interesting to note that during 2014 the campaigns had only 825 targeted words and phrases that had at least one impression. This is a very small number given the “nature” of client offer. In addition, search campaigns had only 2% CTR and average position of 4.8.

During the 2014 adwords campaigns have lead to 205 transactions and the total revenue of 1,530,429€

2014 transactions and revenue

Based on the audit of clients Adwords campaigns we came to the main factors that needed to be “repaired” to get better results:

  • optimization of the distribution of the available budget
  • campaign structure optimization
  • optimization and targeting of potentially better keywords and phrases

Based on this, we made a decision (and in light of the limited budget) to reduce investment in, or completely stop, display campaigns and all their budgets to be transferred to search campaigns. The display campaigns in 2014 accounted for some 30% of the total investment.

 

Results of optimization and distribution of budget

 

Note: we look at the entire period of 2015 although the optimized campaigns started in early April. We are doing this because it is much easier to compare the 2015 data with data from 2014.

The number of campaigns has grown to 35 – all campaigns were search campaigns. This is an increase of nearly 3 times!

During 2015 search campaign had a total 3911 targeted words and phrases that have had at least one impression (this is achieved thru proper silo structure of words, ad groups and campaigns, which is one of the main chapters in our PPC Academy) – an increase of nearly 4.5 times!

Search campaign CTR grew to 10.6% and average ad position now stands at 2.8. In other words, CTR increased by 5 times & ad position by almost double!

Position and CTR improvement

Also, there should be noted that we had about 50% less clicks on AdWords ads in 2015 (in comparison to 2014). This is because of targeting potentially better keywords and phrases.

The lower graph shows that the results have begun to appear within a few months after our takeover of AdWords account.

Transactions in 2015

Increase of transactions by 77%

Revenue in 2015

Increase of revenue by 90%

Such good results are not only attributed to the budget transfer  (from display campaigns to search campaigns) but also to the optimization of the search campaigns.

Of course, we do not say that we should always pause the display campaign, because it all depends from client to client and his  required goal (of advertising campaigns/actions). But sometimes it’s much more cost-effective, especially in the case of a very limited budget, to only activate those campaigns that give us the greatest return on investment.