Pump Up Your Paid Search

Jun 5, 2007 - 2:19 pm 1 by

Moderator: Jeffrey K. Rohrs, VP, Agency & Search Marketing, ExactTarget

Speakers: Brad Geddes, Director of Search Engine Marketing, Local Launch Ben Perry, Ph.D., Paid Search Director, iProspect Matt Van Wagner, President, Find Me Faster

Brad speaks first on dayparting/ad scheduling - changing your bids or displaying ads by time of day or time of week. These rules are not true for all businesses but this methodology may work for some.

Who should use dayparting? - Businesses who only want to advertise during business hours - Businesses who advertise based on a buying cycle - Advertisers who track ROI on a daily or hourly basis

This is relevant because you can understand how people surf by hour, by day of the week, or by day of the month.

Every business is different. From retail to dating to finance to travel, you'll see different conversion trends. There are huge differences between 4pm and 12pm in particular industries, like finance.

Case study: B2B finance lead generation site Conversions by hour: early in the morning, there are more conversions. But what about weekdays? Tuesdays are the busiest days, but Sunday is the second busiest day. 9am is a high conversion time and Sunday is a big day - so what do you do? Well, compare Tuesday hours to Sunday hours, and you'll see different kinds of spikes. Sunday evening is more active than Tuesday morning. Therefore, you need to look at a different picture and consider other variables.

You need to consider timezones also. EST is 3 hours ahead of PST. Find out where people are buying: is it national or international?

In this instance, the CPA dropped from $37 to $12 by doing time measurements and account reorganization.

Another example is for high end electronics - conversion rate by day of month over a 3 month average shows that the middle of the month is most active. But if you take each individual month and break them down, you see a different type of graph. Why are the conversion dates so different? High end electronics are based on the second paycheck. First paycheck goes to mortgage/rent. But the second paycheck is disposable income.

How can the engine help? Google has 2 options: AdWords ad scheduling basic and ad scheduling advanced. Microsoft adCenter has a Day Parting system - incremental bidding. Yahoo doesn't have anything yet.

Time sensitive offers - consider the following: Do you have a day of the week where business is slow? e.g. ad copy can say "25% off plumbing services if you call between 12-5pm on Friday. Serving the Chicago area." Or do you just want to beat the competition? "Monday Sushi Lunch special. Free edamame on orders over $10. Order before noon for free delivery." The use of the day in the ad helps connect to the searcher. Look how these ads convert and how they interact. Consider your conversion metric.

Ben Perry speaks next about campaign setup considerations.

The importance of proper setup: - Map out your account structure before touching the engine interface. Why? Makes life easier, improves quality score, and the big 3 engines have essentially the same structure. Considerations: - Ad serving, reporting ,ease of use - Don't mirror your site structure unless that is the best structure all around - Use as simple a structure as possible Also focus on budgeting. - Hitting your budget throttles your ad serving - You want to serve ads as if you had an unlimited budget - If you don't do this, you're paying too much per click because you're competing in a smaller set of volume in terms of impressions.

Focus on new engines. - Use Google's Website Optimizer to check new traffic sources Create a new landing page. Create an MVT test that taps into each of your main customer types. Send all traffic from a new source to that page only. Let the results tell you whether the source has value and to which customers.

Keyword Selection: - Buy tangential keywords carefully or not at all. Why? Search marketing works because of direct relevance. Contextual ads are usually a cheaper way to accomplish the same thing.

Match types: use broad match with negative keywords to reach maximum volume over CPA target Why? You can't predict the way people search. It gets you to an optimal volume state faster. However, this depends on good keyword selection and you must mine your data.

Another thing to consider is position - Think of ad position as a side effect of your ROI equation, not as a lever for driving the campaign. Why? There's nothing magical about position. Use it as a lever for driving the campaign makes you lose money. Calculate your bids based on your ROI.

Consider geo-targeting: Use it strategically. When targeting most of the country, use a national campaign as the base with geo-targeted overlays. You get a lot better results when you use a national campaign as a base and have these overlays. Why? Because only using geo-targeting leaves much volume on the table that it's worth paying for clicks that you cannot use.

The last person who speaks is Matt Van Wagner who talks about used fish, old socks, and a new attitude: implementing a dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) in a quality score world.

Google had this first, but Yahoo never really had it. Until they rolled out Panama, they didn't need it. Microsoft did DKI to the extreme.

What are the pros? - Improves CTR. - Improves quality score - It is the secret sauce that all experts use - Improves ad relevance. What are the cons? - Lose control of what your ad is going to look like. - Too complex to understand. - Decreases your conversion rate.

He shows a few screenshots, including a search on Google for "used underwear" and there is actually an ad result for "Used Thongs."

What is DKI? You have to understand it at a conceptual level before working on it on a tactical level. You have different words that you can customize ads to save time. You don't want to write a billion ads.

Yahoo says: reduces the number of ads you manage. Increase relevance, automatically includes the appropriate keyword because people can find bolded text well.

How does DKI work? DKI picks up the keyword - it picks up the keyword from your list rather than what the user typed in.

In Google: Headline: Buy {KeyWord: Gourmet Coffees} Description line: Save on {KeyWord: Gourmet Coffees}

How to control word casing for dynamic text: Syntax: keyword: starbucks coffee - all lower case Keyword: Starbucks Coffee - 1st word INIT (initial) CAPS, all lower case KeyWord: Starbucks Coffee - all words INIT CAPS KEYword: STARBUCKS coffee - 1st word caps, all other words lower case KeyWORD: Starbucks COFFEE - last word caps, all others initial caps KEYWORD: STARBUCKS COFFEE - all words all caps.

So for example, what if you're selling PPC campaigns? Use KEYWord: PPC Campaign What if you're selling "driving school in NH?" Use KeyWORD: Driving School in NH

Think twice before inserting Google dynamic text into the display URL. Google inserts the keyword from your ad group, not the user query. Google DKI inserts the keyword from your ad group, not the user query, so it picks up the world in your ad group that caused the match.

Back to the "used underwear" example, it's a very bad broad match.

With Yahoo Panama, there was a one to one relationship for keywords to ads. In Panama, there are options for dynamic text - you can control title and description. You can change default text and alternative text.

In Panama, you can choose to insert the keyword automatically.

Alternate text: - Always display for your title and/or description. - Creates optimal one ad to one keyword relationship. - Lets you control the word casing and grammar.

Microsoft went all out on Dynamic text - It has a full set of text insertion tools, word casing is in your control, there are a set of parameters available at the keyword level, and works with content ads too. The online help is also very good.

You don't have to remember syntax; it's all there for you.

In adCenter, you can do keyword {keyword} which will insert your keyword.

DKI works best when ad groups are tightly organized around things that are like sneakers (red, green, blue, white, Vans, etc - words that have many ways to describe it). It works best when phrase match is used, rather than broad. It also works best when one dominant word varies only by part number, size, color, model #, etc.

It is less successful in conceptual campaigns and where branding is more important than clicks.

Does it improve ad relevancy? Absolutely and absolutely not. Does it improve ad click-through rates? If you structure your campaigns right, CTR will rise. Does it improve your quality score? Not directly.


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