Search Advertising 101

Aug 20, 2007 - 6:56 pm 0 by

Session Overview: Paid placement is a form of search advertising that provides a top ranking in return for payment. Every major search engine offers a paid placement program. Learn what's available in this session that is especially geared toward beginners, with details on programs from major providers and advice on how to succeed.

Moderator: * Dana Todd, Founding Partner, SiteLab International, Inc

Speakers: * Dana Todd, Founding Partner, SiteLab International, Inc * Matt Van Wagner, President, Find Me Faster

Dana Not only am I your moderator but I am your first speaker. This is Paid Search 101. We want to help people learn more about it and love what you do.

Remember that training is ongoing 0- it's not just this conference. Take advantage of the free training out there. Have you read the Google training center? Lots of great information in here. Many things and tools inside the engines to help you out.

As you get into it, you'll find tips like bulk uploads and other things to make your life easier.

Paid versus Organic Quick aside - Yahoo Paid inclusion is one of the easiest buys you'll ever do. It's so simple - put in your pages and it feeds the organic. Flat fee based on category .15 or .30 per click. These pages will continue to turn and turn. Been watching it for several years and it's still performing well.

Above the fold most engines display mostly paid listings - paid inclusion, shopping ads.

How do you buy search? Some sites and feed programs allow you to buy direct but most offer an ad auction model. Used to be "paid more and got to the top." It was nice, you could buy the top and you only paid a penny more than the ad below you.

Not really still in play in the top engines. Hybrid auctions have become the norm. However, these are not as simple to automate and manage.

Google first introduced Quality in the way of using CTR to position ads - it no longer mattered that you were paying the most. Google then introduced Quality Score which counts many more factors including keyword and ad relevance as well as landing page quality.

How Much Should I Spend? Minimum should be at least $10 a day The system works well with more money. If you add more money, it increases your likelihood of success. Underfunding can be an issue.

Planning & Preparation If your budget is limited, spread it out. Week on / Week off. Put expensive terms in a separate campaign. Organize your campaigns and ad groups (Particularly in Google) Plan to obsess. Spend a few days deep into it and then you can relax.

Hybrid Auctions - Blind auctions don't allow you to see the competitive bids. - Quality Score = keyword CTR + relevance of ad text + historical performance + landing page score. If you have a low Quality Score, you must pay a higher minimum bid. Google is tinkering with the metrics still - so be patient and test. Poor Quality Score can be affected by a single poor landing page.

Process and Organization Building a campaign (Pre-Launch) Notice that copy editing is at the bottom of the list - it's there for a reason. Yes, it's important, but there are other more important things to do first. - Create Buckets - Fill Buckets -- Where do my ads go? Match types, network types. These answers will help forecast the budget. - Tracking - test it earlier because your site might be an issue - Copywriting - Finally do your ad scheduling -- Take advantage of seasonality to plan different messages. -- Get ads pre-loaded. - Turn it on when it's time.

Post Launch - Campaign Management - use the reports and tools to see how you're doing. - Expansion - Find success and grow it. - Optimization - weed out non performers

Let's talk about Buckets - "A collection of keywords tied to an action" - Give each bucket a budget and maybe even different ROI goals. - Examples (around bidding rules): Geotarget, Daypart, Hold #4, Top 3, Cost Per Acquisition -- Each bucket maps to a specific area of your campaign -- Then you can manage each bucket. Some will be thoroughbreds others will be quarter horses. -- Make the bucket mean something to you.

Keyword generation Where to get keywords? - Engine tools are generally the best but don't forget to look at your site. - Use your analytics to identify - If you have a brand, these terms will be cheap, especially if it's your brand. - You can compete on other brands. - You can fill out a form with Google to protect your brand terms Negative Keywords - VERY important - They can help you in broad match to minimize your exposure

Do not spread yourself to thin with too many keywords. 80/20 rules - 20% of keywords will drive 80% of traffic and budget will be 80% of budget on 20% of keywords.

Think about the sales funnel when picking keywords - start at the informational level (pc, computer), get more specific (laptop) and even choose product and model specific keywords (c215).

Play around with Microsoft Ad-Labs "funnel tools" if you get a chance - they show the funnel and you can see what people are doing.

Google's research tool is great - you can find negative keywords, keyword cost and trend data. The seasonality tool is great for identifying where I can add more budget.

Control ad distribution by using match types. - Broad match Tennis shoes" might get racquets, ladies shoes. - Phrase Match - all colors and sizes will show -- Negative keywords will help narrow. - Exact Match Other Management Options - Days, time - Age, Gender - Geotarget - Country

Values & Goals - it's about math! What is your campaign worth to you? If you don't do anything now - start somewhere - use rule of thumb to figure out lead cost and revenue potential of a lead. It's fine to start like this but you have to stay at it and get better over time. Assign a dollar value

A simple way to go about measuring: Gross Margin * Conversion Rate = Breakeven CPC

Tracking is a must - Analytics - free is good. Get a tool that's good for you. - Ad-Serving - different tools - Tracking Software with bid mgmt - Offsite tracking - coupons, promo codes - Post-Click behavior - track with cookies, review lead funnel, lifetime customer value (can tie it into SalesForce) Building the Ads - Creative text is critical - Use the keyword in the title and/or description - Must pass editorial review (even if it's automated) - Choose appropriate landing pages - drop - Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) - The typed query will populate title of ad keeping it relevant to the searcher. -- Search prefers uninterrupted logic. -- Google automatically bolds your keywords. Rollout - Map it out on a calendar -- Rollout -- Reporting -- Testing -- Promotions -- Budget changes - Change your creative monthly - Dayparting - time of day, day of week. - Overlay expected seasonality - Housecleaning - check everything quarterly. Budgeting - Technology is not perfect! Why? It has a hard time managing smaller budgets - err on the side of caution or Google may correct down and under deliver you ads. - Be careful with Yahoo daily budget - it can get out of control. -- Daily budgeting + credit card = charge every time your budget runs out. Managing Bids - 20% of your bids probably need to be managed daily. - Bid mgmt software does help - great at managing workflow. - Use search engine tools - Atlas, Keyword BidMax, Omniture, SearchRev, and Performics. - Get rid of low performers! Optimize and Maximize - Expand the buy - if it works, expand it. - Optimize ROI/ROAS -- Keep "probationary buckets" - SEM for Cross Channel Support -- Use search for measurement of other ad channels - TV, direct mail. -- Re-target using bah

Don't be afraid to start small! Reinvest a portion of the profits! Leverage the engines, but don't believe everything. Beware "rep speak" Provide enough resources, people and money to be successful.

Matt is next to talk about match types and keyword analysis…

Matt Dana is an amazing energy source - she just delivered a day worth of data in 40 minutes, you had no idea what she just did.

This area is pretty complex. The deeper you go, the better you get, BUT the more confused you get. - Balance deep dives with applicable information - Do not set it and forget it. - Manage changes in business, changes in technology, changes in engines

Set a strategy that allows you to get better every day

Case Study: Pets We Loved - Challenge - Cash strapped small business - Logs -- 60% searchers were dog related -- 70% of purchases were cat related. - Recommendation -- Remove dog keywords -- Focus on cats -- Re-launch focused dog pages

Getting Better You have no advantage in your ads There is some advantage in bidding strategy What you do with information will drive your strategy. Track performance, make adjustments, be methodical. - Don't change for the sake of change. Set goals and work towards them.

Keyword Match types Broad - Phrase - Exact - Negative Standard - Advanced - Excluded

Broad - Buy pug dog - any phrase that contains those terms will be matched. -- Beware expanded match for implied meanings - Check web logs for weird terms - Run "Search Query Performance Report" - Brings in a lot of traffic you can learn from to add and subtract terms. Phrase Match - Words must appear in order - nothing in between - but ok outside - A little more specific - tailor it. Exact Match - Exactly what it says - nothing but the words.

If a campaign moves from Google to Yahoo about 1/3 will be dropped. Why? Well, Yahoo matches differently and will group terms together.

Yahoo Match Options Standard Match - Behaves like Google phrase match giving you more specific control. Advanced Match - Broad attempt to drive traffic. - Will use plurals, misspellings and words in your site.

Negative Match - Prevents ads from showing on searches you don't want them to show. - Engine Specific Negative -- Nice about Google - you can use as many negatives as you want. Careful not to blindly cut and paste between ad groups. • Can be applied at keyword and campaign level. -- MSN negative limits to 1022 bytes at ad group and campaign level -- Yahoo limits to 50 words • Lives in the administration tab - tough to find. Organize Your Campaign - Better than it used to be. You can build a campaign for all 3 networks at once. - All use campaign/ad group orientation to make it easier to setup. - Come up with better organization and name your campaigns -- Easier to manage ongoing -- Makes more sense -- Make campaigns and groups specific - Review any existing campaigns - clean them up. - Don't be afraid to start over. How do we make it sing? - CTR = Clicks / Ad Impressions - Remove non-performing terms and improve CTR Tune your keyword list - Look at logs and reports - get rid of words that don't apply - it's easy so do it! Writing Great Ads - Look at various writing styles -- 1st person -- Trusted authority - "uses quotes" -- Price Appeal -- Convenience - Call 800 -- Get information - Medical Alert Guide -- We're different from "Them" - Look at competitors ads and what they are trying to sell - are they being clever or stupid? - Which is best - who knows? It depends who clicks and converts. - Use the ad preview tool instead of searching in Google because they will start to show ads specific to your search behavior. Cannot tell ad success until we have a good sample size. Don't move too quick. Don't measure on CPC and CTR - measure ROAS and ROI instead. - "Is the Phone Ringing" What determines ad position? - Ads with Highest As Rank Score wins - Ad rank score = (Max CPC Bid) * (Q score) - Caution -- focus on CTR and conversion and don't obsess over quality score. - Play around with bids can let you find the volume of traffic and price. Search versus Content Network - Search: Search Engines Results Page (SERP) -- Search on an engine results in ad display - Content: Random site showing ads -- If you're spending more or as close to same between content and search - take content offline and watch your ROAS. Demographic Targeting - MSN allows this type of targeting - works well with dayparting. Time of Day Targeting (Dayparting) - Tools exist to allow you to bid up and down your ad by time of day, day of week. - Noon to Two PM -- Google - local time zone only -- MSN - noon to two in every time zone.

Q and A Q - can you talk about techniques for conversion tracking? A - Dana - Online tracking can be done with something as easy as Google Analytics. Likes DoubleClick tracking tool which follows a term or user and can reduce the overlap. Tags the lead form or conversion page to see how far along the path someone got. You want it on the completed action. A2 - Don't be misled into only buying brand or company terms.

Q - Example of how page "yield maximizing" works? A - Dana - It's a black box thing. You can't see what the competitor pays but it will look at which ads they feel will be clicked. A2 - The top spot will always yield the most clicks. It can get pricey so you have to decide if it's worth it.

Q - How much should I budget for click fraud? A - No good answer. The latest numbers indicate show that some percentage of your traffic may be suspect. A2 - Not much risk in small keyword markets. There's not much you can do anyway. However, if you're feeling exposed Q2 - How much should I budget if I want to use an agency? A - Dana - % spend, keyword, fixed fee A2 - Matt - Doesn't like % of ad spend models because your incented to spend more. Look at the marketplace and how much attention it will take to manage campaign. If it's small and slower, you should pay less. Monthly budgets can run anywhere from $500 to $10's of thousands. A3 - Dana - Disagrees with Matt on percentage of ad spend. Research shows that model can work if you measure it out. A4 - Matt - Check out agencies, get reference checks. Maybe a small firm will provide some mind share. If you're getting started - have someone come in to do an assessment and put together a starter campaign for you - it will pay for itself. A5 - Dana - triage or cleanup a campaign and give it back to client as a one off. Works to get the campaign working right and gives the client a leg up.

Provided by Steve Krull of the Krull Group.


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