Category Archives: Google AdWords

Development and optimization of PPC campaigns

Quite often I see various online campaigns that we should “optimize” because they do not achieve the results as they should or what they owners was hoping for. You could say that there is always the problem of maximizing the impact of the adwords campaign. In most cases the solution to this problem is, in theory, quite simple but at the same time it is quite tricky to apply in reality.

Depending on type of campaign(s), how many targeted countries there are, what is the budget for each of the markets (country) or for a particular product, if the budget is limited, do we have outlined an investment plan… – so much will be a different plan of optimization for PPC campaign. Every optimization has a few simple stages.

Optimization Stages

But first things first. Let’s say you are starting your first campaign. What’s the first thing you should do? Even before you put your first word or an ad in the AdWords system? Research and planning. This is so simple and above all a very important stage/phase which many of other agencies do not implement properly or in a correct way.

 

Research for PPC campaigns

Market research is the most basic stage before the “construction” of our campaign. At my lectures I always use a very simple comparison. What would you say if I asked you what is the most important “part” in the case of construction of the house? Many have responded to this question with “concrete walls”, “roof that does not leak”, “wife’s kitchen” and so on.

building_house

Although some of these parts of the house are very important (especially in the case of wife’s kitchen) many have not remembered that the most important part of the house is its foundations. The foundations are the ones to which everything else binds. If the foundations are not well-built then even if you have the best concrete walls in the world your house will look crocked. And we certainly do not wish for our wife to constantly complains about the inclined walls in her kitchen, do we?

We could say that, in the case of a online campaigns, research is of very great importance. For example, if you did not well explored all keywords that are being  searched on the search engines and that are relevant for your “offer” – you can totally miss targeting of your adwords (PPC) campaigns. And if you miss the target of your campaigns – you threw money in totally wrong direction.

Initial campaign research

Sometimes this stage can take a lot of time. The research is not just about keyword research but also about deals offered on the (client) website. Sometimes it is important to be “familiar” with the services and products offered on the website. If you know them, then you will know what kind of person would want to buy such offer/product. If you made enough effort on this stage and made research as it should be – then all the subsequent steps will be a lot easier.

 

Planning the online campaign

Based on the results that we get during the research phase we are making the advertising plan. This plan consists of several separate parts, where each one of them, in its own way, affects the final results of the campaign. Of course, one should be aware that sometimes we do not have enough information on which we could, with certainty, correctly predict what will happen.

In other words, sometimes the planning of advertising must be done with so-called “Best educated guess” – these are not predictions based on data that was not researched (because there are none), but based on our experience and knowledge in the field of marketing that we have collected over the past years. It should be noted that this predictions in most cases are quite accurate, but there are also times when they are not.

However, one should know that the planning phase is cyclically repeating in the process of optimization of digital campaigns – look at the last image in this post. Even in cases where our initial predictions were not entirely correct, we can use the specific data from active campaigns and use that data as basis on which we shall subsequently change plan of advertising.

Campaign planning

Planning stage may consist of planning the advertising time (day time, week, month…), what kind of campaign we shall use (search, video, mobile, display…), the structure of the campaign, projected advertising budget (taking into account competition and average price per click), provided budget for targeted markets (countries), deciding which metrics to be measured and so on…

Remember – no matter how it is made, it is still true that any plan is better than the plan that does not exist!

 

In the case of “wife’s kitchen” we could say that only wife knows the full plan which is changed at regular intervals (every week when she looks at the latest TV shows about house arrangement) and therefore it is the best (and easiest) to let the wife do all the planning.

 

Creating PPC campaign

Based on our plan we are starting with construction of the campaigns and their structures. This stage in the process is quite complicated and time consuming. However, it is time consuming only during this first set-up. If it is properly made by following some basic rules, such as the naming of campaigns, ad groups and ads, any subsequent changes are very easy and fast.

Here we can say that the basic concept is to make the best we can in the beginning only that we could later have the simpler job. Unfortunately, many at this stage “skip” those things for which they knew it would be good to do.

Campaign Creating

If the creation of campaign is not done in correct way then the whole campaign will suffer from inadequate performance but also from its subsequent optimization. Because optimization is greatly hampered if even the author of campaign can not navigate in the sea of ​​information, campaigns, ads and targeted phrases. This case is more evident if there was no plan (or proper research) during the initial setup of the campaign.

If we worked according to plan then even our wife can not say anything if we, for example, set the tiles with floral pattern in her kitchen (according to her plan) but since then she has changed that plan and now she requires the tiles with the modern pattern.

 

Data collection

The next stage is actually quite simple and relatively easy, provided that all the previous stages are made according to the rules. In this stage we are collecting information from active campaigns. This data is not limited only to data from campaigns but we also look at the data from statistical tools – tools with which you are monitoring your website (Google analytics).

Campaign data collection

It is very important to constant monitor how the campaigns are “acting” at this stage. Sometimes it can happen that we see totally unexpected behavior and results of the campaigns – at that moment it is important to immediately react and make changes to the campaign itself.

For example, depending on how loudly (and often) our wife complains about the tiling – we will immediately remove all the tiles with floral patterns.

 

Data analysis of online campaigns

Based on these data we are making conclusions as to whether the campaign was successful, what worked, what could be better and so on. At this stage, we try to pay attention to all “components” of the campaign. From targeted words & phrases through actual queries that have occurred to cost per conversion and return on investment.

Sometimes we reach certain results that were not in line with our expectations. If we do not see a real reason for that results then it is very important to re-examine all campaign settings and the plan itself. Sometimes it happens that we failed to notice certain facts during research stage.

Campaign data analysis

Analysis, if the initial stages (research, planning, development) are made according to some basic rules, is very simple. Otherwise, our analysis can come to all the wrong conclusions. Erroneous conclusions on which we must make decisions for future advertising.

We can say that only at this stage the real optimization is starting. However, one should bear in mind that optimization simply would not be possible without all the previous stages. For example, if you just recently took over PPC campaign (which was managed by some other agency) it was very important to first go through all the previous stages in order to see if the campaign was well made (planned) from start.

Analytics dashboard

 

Based on data analysis we are making decisions for future advertising – and for changes that needs to be done to campaigns. For example, if wife stopped to complain about the tiles in the kitchen (which we removed the day before) but now began to complain of too high ceiling for exactly 5 inches – then we know what to do next (optimize) 🙂

The whole process is repeating. Research, provided that it was properly done at the beginning, is not part of this process in the same sense. The research is still done but we might say that it is now part of the planning and preparation/changing (of the campaigns) stage.

PPC Optimization stages

For example, it is necessary to investigate (research) all queries for which our ads have triggered and then to exclude those that are not relevant to our offer. Or, let’s say that in the case of limited budgets we need to research what keywords are bringing/leading to conversions and then separate them to specific campaigns.

After we have changed the campaign according to plan (which was based on an analysis of data) we continue to gather new data from now optimized campaigns. All stages are now cyclic continuing over time.

In short, we could say that the whole concept of PPC campaign optimization is very simple, and that it could be summed up in just a few words:

 

Test – Analyse – Application – Test again

Although many will recognize this concept, unfortunately, many did not even try to apply it to their campaigns. Is it due to lack of time (personnel) or simply laziness – I do not know. But I do know that often happens that our customers ask us questions on just how we were able to raise revenue for the 20, 30 or more than 100%.

The answer is simple, you just have to know how to apply in the real world.

If you are interested in additional information about optimizing your campaign – feel free to contact us.

Gmail ads are now available to everyone

GSP ads (Gmail Sponsored Promotions) are now available on all AdWords accounts. So far, this form of advertising was in Beta version and it was necessary to require Google´s permission for GSP advertising. 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.

Gmail ads

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). There are several types of Expanded ads.

GSP ad types

You can choose between four GSP ad types in AdWords Ad Gallery. The first ad template contains only an image ad. The second one contains a photo, title, descriptive content and call-to-action button which leads on a web page with specific offer (Destination URL). The third ad contains more than six products / services, and each of them has the ability to target specific website URLs, special call-to-action button and the title. However, there is no possibility of creating descriptive content. The fourth ad allows the possibility to create your own Expanded ads in JPEG, .JPG, .PNG, .GIF, or .ZIP .SWF format. For each template, there are various specific restrictions in the number of letters and the size of the pictures. For each template, there are distinct limitations in the number of letters and the size of pictures.

Targeting methods of GSP are similar to targeting methods of display campaign. The targeting method can be set based on age, gender, language, geo, device, topics or affinity of users, and keywords or domain targeting. Keywords targeting for GSP works like the broad match in display campaigns. Domain targeting isn’t placement targeting. Domain targeting is based on received emails in Promotions tab, which means that email should contain the target domain. Domains should be placed under the Display keywords targeting because it belongs to contextual targeting.

GSP specific metrics

GSP specific metrics in AdWords are:

  • Gmail clicks to website: Shows clicks within the Expanded ads that link to a web page (ie. Destination URL).
  • Gmail forwards: Shows sent ads as an email to another person.
  • Gmail saves: Shows the number of saved ads in the inbox as a message.

The system of charging per click for GSP ads differs from standard ads. System charges only first click on the ad, but not the rest of clicks, including all arrivals to the website. For instance, if you advertise 6 different products, you will only be charged for the first click on Collapsed ad. If a user decides to click on several different products (ie. Call-to-action button), all arrivals to each landing page are free.

As with all other campaigns, it is recommended that you group targeting in specific ad groups, and also create separate campaigns for GPS advertising, to ensure better control over costs and campaigns optimization.

The biggest advantage of GPS advertising is more space for creative titles, messages, descriptions and possibility of use multiple URLs, pictures, and call-to-action buttons.

If you are interested in setting up and running the GSP (Gmail Sponsored Promotion) campaign, please feel free to contact us.

Increase revenue – advertise best performing products

No matter which channel is used for advertising, everyone wants to know which products are the most profitable. Analytics gives you insight in a number of sold products and revenue, but there is one more option for increasing profit.

To access best selling-products data you need to set up proper E-commerce tracking. Product data performance is available in Analytics Conversions report – E-commerce – Product Performance as can be seen in the image below. For a larger amount of data select websites best-performing products for a longer time period (at least 6 months).

analytics - product performance

To find out for ourselves how profitable is to advertise specific products, we decided to advertise 100 best selling product in the last 6 months. Products were divided in separate ad groups with specific features of each product ads. Ads performance analysis showed which features create the greatest response. During the first month of advertising, campaign indicated extremely positive results.

adwords - campaigns

With 16.58% CTR (click through rate) campaign was on the second place. For only €0.22 CPC (cost per click), ads were at great 1.3 position. There is a pretty big chance that competition will also advertise for some of best selling products which could result in higher CPC. We strongly recommend to control your ads performance on a daily basis and raise bids to keep ads positioned higher. The campaign had 5 conversions and 808% ROI in the first month of advertising from €52 investment and €10 cost per conversion. The campaign had € 471 revenue of total € 7 700 revenue.

analytics - revenue

 Return on advertising spend (ROAS) was 1 389.51%.

analytics - roas

Products advertising example:

Product advertising

The above image shows the perfect example of specific product advertising and which ads are optimized for that type of advertising.

Customers search products by name if they want to know more about the product, or if they already decided to buy a specific product. Customers don’t always see the difference between organic search results and paid ads so it is important to have your ads above organic search results.

Campaign performance showed that customers search for products by their name. For that reason it is necessary to advertise for the specific product and not only for general terms. Don’t forget to advertise for misspellings and typos. Familiarize yourself with product features and highlight them in your ads. Create different ads for one ad group and test their performance. That is the only way to find out which product feature result in sales.

 

Importance of initial Google AdWords campaign setup

In this article I will briefly refer to one case with which we have met. It is about the client who more than a year ago decided we should set up his AdWords campaign and be in charge of it for few months. After these few months it was decided to disconnect clients AdWords account from Escape MCC (for us every client is the owner of his AdWords account and can at any time “disconnect” from us).

Recently there has been a re-cooperation with the same client where we got access to the same AdWords account that we have previously set up (more than a year ago). After a short overview of all settings in AdWords campaign but also overview of all the results that are achieved in that time we came to the conclusion that there could be some improvements. However, we were pleasantly surprised with the achieved results of this campaign during that year in which we were not involved.

In short, below you can see some information for this client who advertises on different markets (countries). The period in which we did not have access to the campaign is between July of 2013 until mid-September of 2014.

 

AdWords change history

The image above shows a report from the Change History. Here we can see who was, and if, doing any changes on the campaign itself. What we can see is that there were not too many changes on the actual campaigns during this time. Campaigns were active in the way we had it set up during initial set-up.

 

adwords results 2013-2014

 

On the picture above we see the results which the campaign achieved during this period. If we consider that it was advertising in several foreign markets where competition is strong, we can conclude that the campaign had very good results. Very low cost of clicks (around 0.35€), big CTR but also good average position that was held during that time just shows how the campaign was well set-up & managed at the very beginning.

 

analytics results of campaign 2013-2014

 

Data from the Analytics only confirms that all campaigns in this AdWords account were well set from the beginning when it comes to targeting users and targeting specific keywords and/or phrases. These claims are proven with data from bounce rate, number of pages viewed per session and the average duration of visits per user – all of these data are better than average data for the entire web page.

 

How the Adwords campaigns behaved over time?

First of all let’s look at how the cost-per-click price ranged during this time.

 

cpc adwords campaigns 2013

 

As we can see, for the first 6-7 months, price was stable around 2.55kn (0.3€), in the second period price moved upwards and was about 3kn (0.4€).

 

ctr adwords campaigns 2013

 

The above graph shows that the CTR (click-through rate on the ads in regard to number of showed adds) initially went up the for first 3-4 months but then stabilized at slightly below 10 %, which is not bad.

 

position adwords ads 2013

 

The graph above shows the average position. Initially it was increasingly improved and nearly come close to the position 2 but then rose and stayed a little under 3.5.

We can conclude that after first six months the client lost an average position that he had. Also, cost per click went up after first 6 months. The good thing is that CTR remain almost the same during entire period. In conclusion, if we consider that there was done almost nothing on this campaign during this period – the achieved results are excellent.

 

Can we make even better AdWords campaigns?

We can, of course. Maybe not for double improvements but some improvements can be expected ;). It should be noted that the AdWords system actively changes over time and new things are introduced that can help us in the management of the campaign and achieving results. Further pictures show very briefly what happened when we took over the campaign.

 

cpc adwords campaigns 2014

 

Immediately visible was a reduction in the price of clicks on the entire account. This was achieved by additional structuring of specific campaigns and redistribution of the budget.

 

position of adwords ads 2014

 

At the same time, besides CPC reduction, we managed to achieve better positions. Now it is at an average position of 2.

Data on CTR was not put in as it moves generally the same as before, so there are no excessive changes.

As it can be seen, the proper initial setup of the campaign, as well as its “initial optimization” of at least first 2-3 months can lead to such a campaign which we can “forget” for the next year 😉 . Of course, we do not suggest that you completely forget your AdWords campaign – it has to be checked regularly.

How are your campaigns settings? If you are not sure – you can always contact us if you want an audit – overview of the campaigns.

Note – measurement of any conversion was not set in the account. Unfortunately, in order to measure conversion properly, it would be necessary to make certain demanding changes to the client website that would entail high costs that are not in his annual investment plan.

Good AdWords campaign – but no results?

Sometimes we encounter situations in which we made all that is needed ​​in clients Adwords campaign but, simply put, in the end the results are non-existent. What many forget is that the AdWords system exists to bring the “appropriate targeted” users to your website. We bring “potential” customers who are interested in an offer that your web page shows them – will then these “potential” users convert into “true” customers does not depends on us. Converting users into customer depends only on you – and your website.

 

Design is one of the most important things on the website. The design must always be focused on what is the main goal of the website – getting new clients. If the user finds your page for the first time and if  “at first sight” it is not clear what your web page is all about – then you’ve probably lost him right away. Some of the things to watch out in web design are:

 

  • simplicity of orientation – the user always has to know “where he is” on web page and how to get to what he wanted to find out
  • transparency – the website must be clean and clutter-free
  • sometimes “less” is actually “more” – do not overwhelm users with unnecessary information, give him only what is necessary and what will interest him (the same can be applied to offers – do not immediately show him all the offers that you have – instead give him yours best 3 or 4 offers with the ability to see other offers if he is interested)
  • emphasizing what you want the user to do – for example if you have a web shop, you might want to highlight in other colors button for “purchase”
  • emphasizing of your advantages/additional benefits for users – similar to the above text, only here we mean all those advantages that you have over the competition (like price or free shipping)
  • consistency – make sure you whole website follows a specific “theme”

 

These are just some of the things to watch out for when you design a website. But apart from these, it would be good to keep an eye on some technical things (for example was there incorporated one of the analytical tools to monitor how users behave when they get to your website).

Using Google Analytics, we can see how much time users spend on your website. In addition we can also see how many users are abandoning your web page immediately as they found themselves on it. These data can show us how well the website is made and if it “immediately” conveys the right message what this web page is about.

 

bounce rate of analytics channels

 

As we can see in the picture above, we can immediately see how users behave when we divide them by channels from where they came (direct, organic & paid channel). So right away we can compare which of the channels is better and which is not so good. In addition, one should be aware that today we see more and more users who use their cell phones and tablets in surfing the Internet.

 

mobile users in analytics

 

In the case above we see that approximately one third of all users come from mobile devices (for that client). However, if we look at some data about those users, we will see that they are generally worse than the “desktop” and “tablet” users. It is very important that in these day and age you have a website that is compatible with cell phones – responsive website!

 

Check your webpage for opportunities for improvement

 

One of the important things is the speed of the website – its loading time or, should we simply say, the speed of downloading it in our browser. There can be found various studies that show if your website does not load within the first 4-6 seconds – you will lose majority of your potential users who will not wait for web page to fully load.

 

Page load time by device

 

There are several services in which you can check the “speed” of your website, we suggest a tool from Google itself, which is located at this link. The good thing is that you immediately get suggestions what you should change on your website to make it go faster.

 

Speedtest of web page

 

In addition, it would be very helpful to monitor users during the process of buying things/services. From where most of them enter the system of purchase (shopping cart, booking system, etc.) or on which of the steps most of them give up and leave the process. Sometimes, it happens that already on the first step most of potential customers give up and leave. Check out all the steps, see what can be changed on the website (every individual step in buying) or even remove some of the steps to improve the conversion of users in customers.

 

Funnel visualization

 

These are just some of the things that clients should look out for and are related to the behaviour of their website. For all other information, I suggest you contact some of the SEO or web agencies that will make a detailed analysis of all the shortcomings of your website.

Our mission is to bring to your website, thru advertising campaigns, the most relevant users (those who are interested in your offer), but it is not our task to transform them into customers. It is the task of your website, and that’s the reason why it must be correctly made​​.

 

If you want to check how your AdWords campaign is made, ​​as well as other information about the “success” of the campaign – contact us.