Perfecting Paid Listings

May 5, 2005 • 10:00 am | comments (0) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Engine Strategies 2005 Toronto
 

Chris Sherman on this panel as the moderator, the speakers with him are Matt Van Wagner, Mat Kain, Yann Le Roux and Doug Bates (very nice guy, smart, and a forum participant). Basically, the reason I selected this session was because Doug Bates and also Matt Van Wagner. As Chris explains how the little green, yellow and red lights dictate the time they have remaining, I am writing this.

Matt Van Wagner was up first, he is from FineMeFaster. He said you will never actually perfect your paid listings, but you can get closer every day. He explains the concept of "connecting on longer phrases", where a large percentage were coming into their site on 3+ word phrases, but the majority of the words they were buying were 2 word phrases. So as you know, the longer and more specific the search term, the cheaper, the higher the CTR and higher conversion rates. The point he is making is to try to find longer keywords, by using the free tools (overture, google's keyword suggestion tool, and your web logs). He explained that his client sells BMWs but not motorcycles, so he put that in as a negative word and his costs go down and CTR goes up (less impressions). He expands on this concept and shows the he was able to save money using negative match. He then explains how Google and Overture Word differently; determining relevancy and positions, and content bidding. Google determines what matches are relevant, by CTR x CPC and closed bid bids influence position - but you have to make guesses. On Overture they do the same thing but they rank based only on CPC, they also have an "open bidding" system, your bid is exposed. Performance can vary by position; so its hard to say on a general level what rank to bid yourself into. He shows some of his excel spreadsheets. Overture/Yahoo gives you the ability to bid differently on Content versus Web search, Google does not. So what he does, is make two separate campaigns, one for content only and one for web search only. He sets his content bids low and search bids high. He also recommends to not use different naming conventions on Google versus Overture. What he does is on Google where they have campaign / adgroup, Car-Sport / BMW and names it the same way on Overture, Car-Sport-BMW. He showed how measuring conversions make a huge difference. Become process oriented to gain advantage, make improvements not changes, and plan, do, study and act.

Matt Kain from 24-7 Search, 247realmedia.com. He will focus on (a) "coverage", (b) "cost", (c) "yield", and (d) "optimization". (A) Keyword coverage, there are two related strategies; content to keyword and broad match refinement. Steps include; (1) Harvest "actual" search terms, (2) 1 Document = many keywords, (3) use source data for segmentation and creative templates and (4) feedback into P4P. Make sure to use negative matching and experiment a ton. They have an automated method to take 1 document and turn in 5 different keyword phrases ads to target those pages automatically. (B) Cost: It is important to look at the conversions of the keyword phrases, there are free tools to do this (Overture and Google have conversion tracking). He added that if you can also find a way to test different creatives and landing pages, that will further your campaign success. If you dont have enough data on a keyword phrase you can look at the conversion rate of the ad group, the specific product and the creatives to help you estimate the conversion rate of your specific keyword phrase, in a combination of the other 3 factors. This provides a "Weighted average of break even price per click". (C) Yield / Profit Management: Diminishing returns means spending more money will not always give positive results. Factors affecting yield; CPA, conversion rates, and so on. (D) Bid Optimization: Bid Gap Optimization, current rank is 2, test rank below and rank above for best ROI, finds the optimum gap (Rank 3). Also think about "Friendly bidding".

Yann Le Roux from Media Contacts, with a French accent. He will be basically talking about ROI tracking and bidding strategies. ROI Tracking: They have a proprietary data analysis platform, across all channels. They can data warehouse this data. Tips: Track ROI by individual keyword by engine, Track the true conversion value (deep traffic, sign ups, transactions, sales, rev) and understand and customize the post-click attribution window. Tracking online traffic, clicks or homepage traffic is not sufficient, when the web site is a brochure you need to use uniques or deep visitor measure (when you do not have sign ups or shopping). They combine different data sources and weigh them differently to build a better metric. Tracking online sales is very important. He also says its important to understand the "delay to action", [this is also called "latency reports" in most advanced analytics packages.] He will briefly not discuss some of the process of handling bid management. The process is far more important than the tools. Replicate the keyword selection across all engines to facilitate analysis and optimization. manage keywords separately by engine. Organize keywords into strategic categories, once you know they perform similarly. You aggregate conversion data across all engines and client, they put that information into one Excel spreadsheet and then plug in position, competitor bid, engine efficiency, value, keyword efficiency, ctr and cpc, and then send the data back to the campaign to optimize it for the future. Bid management tools: searchvision, bidbuddy, decidedna, atlas search, advertising.com and performics. There are pros to tools; keyword management is easier, single source of info for analysis and reporting and optimization is more frequent (1 - 6 hours). There are cons to tools; no tool does everything that we demand, optimization lagging begind human, and they still require considerable human involvement.

Last up is Doug Bates from Aderit Internet Marketing, he does a lot of PPC management. He will be going over a lot of the common things that are wrong with campaigns that he came in to fix. (1) Traffic must exist, no one is searching for the keywords you are bidding on. (2) Intense competition (room for ~8 players, 4-5 major ones). (3) Pricing & Margins (parity pricing or better / margins equal or greater). (4) Uniqueness (<5 direct competitors). (5) Credible, User Friendly Site (perfecting your site is as important as perfecting your PPC). Failure to Manage Bids; keywords have different values, ego bidding will kill you, track and act on historical profitability data, for any other purchase this big you'd have a purchasing agent. Keyword Research: Once and done keyword research, insiders can be too close to the subject, lots of people can't do good keyword research (lots of people bid on one word or so). Clients who did good research had these characteristics: large vocab, sales or direct marketing backgrounds, understand boolean logics, product experts, detailed oriented. The ones that did poor research were; average to lower computer and internet experience, minimal marketing background, minimal experience listening to customers, not detail oriented, prefer phone over emails (talkers not readers). No formal marketing economics; its not about a marketing budget, its about your marketing allowable. Marketing Allowable = (AOV * margin) - Fulfillment. Weak copywriting; for any other ad that you spent this much on, you'd hire a copywriter. Why is your marketing admin writing your PPC ads? Short text ads are deceptively simple to write. Ego copywriting: just because you think it's great doesn't mean it's good. No copy testing.

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