Profitable PPC Marketing Top Tips4 min read

Yesterday I spent a fantastic morning hosting a couple of round tables on Pay Per Click Profitability at an event organised by the Catalogue Exchange

For the benefit of those who were there, and those who weren’t I thought I should summarise the key points for future reference!

  • Adtext Testing

Firstly, don’t forget to test your adtext! PPC is not just about keywords!

If you’re testing adtext, make sure you set the ad display function to “Show ads evenly” (set at campaign level) otherwise Google will decide what your results are for you – and they’re probably not looking at the stats you find most important.

Once you have your best performing ad either pause the one that wasn’t so good – OR create duplicate versions of the good one so you continue the test. eg if you’ve got 3 versions of the good one and one version of the bad one your good ad will show 75% of the time. – Even better still, create 3 version of the good one, pause the bad one, and add another adtext to test!

Run your tests for as long as you need to to gather enough information the results to be statistically significant AND to minimise the impact of any outside interference – eg a catalogue mails, it’s valentine’s day, the pope dies.

When you start adtext testing, start with you most traffic rich adgroup, and iron our the big questions that you can roll out through the rest of your campaign. This might include:

– display URL with or without “www.”
– display URL in title case or not (IndiumWebManagement.co.uk vs indiumwebmanagement.co.uk)
– title case descriptions and titles, or not
– phrases that explain your business (online marketing agency vs outsourced online marketing)

You can also use adtext to test different landing pages against each other.

  • Content Network

First off – is it turned off or not for you? (campaign level setting)

Secondly – have you EVER looked at the results? Many businesses have never realised it’s there – and are spending 5-10% of their click budget on it – often with no return!!

The content network is a series of websites on which your ads are displayed by Google. They choose which websites to display your ads on by what keywords you have in that adgroup and what websites also have those keywords. It can be quite random!

If you take a look at the results and they are really bad, there’s no conversions – then turn it off.

If within the same campaign you’ve got an adgroup where content network is great (so you don’t want to turn it off) and an adgroup that’s not good for content network… then reduce the max bid for content network on the bad adgroup as low as you can. (to do this you may have to enable manual content network bids – google defaults to the same as your keyword default bid)

If you’ve got some conversions coming in and you want to tighten up what websites your ads are shown on, then you need to either run a report in your adwords account OR look at the information on the adwords account – if you’ve a LOT of data to get through it’s easier on excel!

The report is called “Placement performance”, you can run it at URL level or Domain level. Domain level merges all traffic from the same website, URL level reports on each individual pages performance. To keep it simple I suggest starting at Domain level and drilling down if and when you need to.

Online if you click on the “Network” tab you can see the Content: Automatic Placements results. And here you can make any amends you wish to make. You can see the URL level here if you select a domain and then click the “See URLs” option.

  • Quality Score

Are you aware of Google’s Quality Score? It’s the thing that, alongside how much you pay, determines where your ad appears. Put simply the better your QS the less you’ll pay to be in first position. It’s why you pay 2p per click on your brand name, but your competitors pay 20p per click on your brand name, but still aren’t in 1st position.

It’s allocated at a keyword level, and (broadly speaking) is believed to be determined by:

– that keyword’s click through rate (aka how much people who search on that phrase want you)
– how well the keyword relates to the adtext relates to the landing page (so the keyword “Sparkling water” with adtext that includes “sparkling water” linking to a page selling sparkling water is good!)
– the quality of your landing page/ website (see the google guidelines here)

To make all 3 of these work better – make sure your account is very targeted. So have a separate adgroup for each set of keywords. If you’ve got one campaign, with one adgroup, and more than about 50 keyword in that adgroup – you need to restructure, because it’s probably having a negative impact on your Quality Score, your Content Network performance, and any adtext testing you’re doing is not going to be very effective.

If anyone wants more information on any of the above – please get in contact

And you’ve not yet done any PPC – then request our free guide to getting set up with Google PPC

Becky Hopkin

As MD Becky works to ensure Digital Gearbox’s values are being lived, and that our customers are receiving the best service possible. A self-confessed Disney fanatic, Becky loves spending down time with her golden Labrador, Nala, and her young daughter, Emily.

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