Advanced Paid Search Techniques

Aug 20, 2008 - 8:24 pm 0 by

How can you best tap into long tail terms? Are there targeting techniques you're overlooking? This session examines these and other techniques to help you get more out of paid search.

Richard Zwicky, Founder & CEO, Enquisite

Matt Van Wagner, President, Find Me Faster
Christine Churchill, President, KeyRelevance
Thomas Bindl, Founder & CEO, Refined Labs GmbH
Andy Atkins-Krüger, Managing Director, WebCertain Europe Ltd

Christine starts out with her presentation
Landing Page Faux Paux: 10 Mistakes That Can Cost You Sales

Technical Headaches
Broken Page Elements

  • Are all page elements working properly?
    • Broken forms
    • Database-driven dynamic elements. Is it slow? Does customer leave because it looks broken?

Customer Contact Loops Broken

  • Can the customer contact continue?
    • Missing phone number
    • VOIP phone number reliability
    • Form submissions working?
    • Form-2-mail – is anyone reading the mail?
  • Slow servers can cause customers to assume things are broken, and the competition is only a click away.

Things that can break when you’re not looking

  • Check for things that break over time
  • Rendering issues may cause site to render incorrectly in different browsers
  • Rendering is typically tested rigorously when launched, but not when amended
  • Broken links on landing pages can also lower customer confidence

Ad page existence often doesn’t get tested thoroughly after minor site updates

  • Since landing pages are often not a part of the main navigation, they can incorrectly get removed (404 error) or placed behind a login
  • Mass rewrite rules have unanticipated consequences for landing pages.

Site redesign/relaunch doesn’t include the ad pages

  • Site gets republished to server without the landing pages.

Communication Confusion The landing pages doesn’t include the user’s keywords

  • Keyword resonance
    • Reinforcing the keyword used by the customer adds confidence
    • Improves CTR
    • Improves stickiness
    • Improves landing page quality score
  • Lack of keyword resonance will lead to poor CTR performance and wasted PPC spend when the customer bounces immediately out of the site.
  • The landing page doesn’t reflect the ad message
    • Watch out for inconsistent messaging
      • The landing page appeal should reflect the ad copy
    • Choose your appeal (cost, experience, availability, etc.) an d reinfore appeal on landing page
  • The landing page is not persuasive

Analytics matters Failure to include/maintain conversion tracking code

  • PPC conversion tracking allows better management of PPC accounts
  • Make sure conversion code for all PPC campaigns are included
  • Check conversion code to make sure it’s still there
  • Failure to maintain analytics instrumentation
    • Using analytics is key to measuring PPC performance
      • Identify conversion funnel issues
      • Track ROI
    • Analytics code often missing or poorly maintained on landing pages


Matt Van Wagner

Negative Keywords: The strong force behind PPC Campaigns

Why you need negative keywords
Save money

  • Reduces unproductive clicks charges
  • Reduce ad impressions, improve quality score and lowers CPCs

Improves campaign performance

  • Improves conversion
  • Improves user experience

How to use negative keywords
Boxing Out eliminates costly clicks. You want to make sure that words you don’t want don’t get shown – your campaign becomes invisible to “bad words” in searches.

Boxing In – use negative keywords in broad and phrase match if you have that keyword in exact match. You can pay less because it is a longer-tail phrase. Example of Wood Ceiling, Wood Ceiling Panels, and Faux Wood Ceiling Panels. You want to use Faux as a negative keyword in the first two groups so that you drive traffic to the third ad group.

There are three negative match types

  • Negative broad
  • Negative phrase
  • Negative exact

Negative broad works differently than you may expect (no stems, plurals, and other stuff I missed)
No limitations on number of negatives
Apply at campaign/ad group levels
Important for content campaigns
Tip! Don’t forget the (-) sign when editing online, you don’t need it in the offline editor. Can lead to confusion

I have incomplete notes for Yahoo and Microsoft – use at your own risk, and look at the network for the correct information.

“excluded” keywords
For advanced match only
missed rest

Has interesting implementation
Negative is sort of like broad match, but not quite – need to add plurals, misspellings
Maximum 1022 characters (1k total)

Cascading negatives (missed explanation)

Evaluating Negatives

  • Keyword Discovery for negatives– similar to positive keywords
    • What is the real volume?
    • What is the real impact against your keywords?
  • Be selective about negatives
    • Contain your impulse to add randomly
    • Implement in batches, measure impact
  • Document your negatives
    • Why did you choose it?
    • What impact did you expect to have?
    • If it didn’t have an impact, try others.
  • Focus on high payoff words
    • Even 100 keywords are a lot to manage
    • Create a hierarchy of importance

Best practices

  • Add negatives conservatively
  • Be selective
  • Think portability


Thomas Bindl
Mastering Google AdWords

Analyzing log files
Log files are good for SEO and paid search
You can get the following information:

  • Keyword searched
  • Rough position
  • Country
  • Language
  • Exact date and time
  • Geolocation

He explains a log file and how to analyze it.

Using dynamic parameters

  • {keyword}       which keyword triggered the click
  • {ifContent:Content}      Content Network
  • {ifSearch:Search}         Search (network)
  • {creative}         Which AdText triggered the click
  • {placement}     Which website triggered the click (only for site targeted campaigns)

Shows example of a landing page URL.

Measuring broad match

  • Don’t measure what you wanted, measure what you got
  • Add {keyword} to every landing page URL
  • Compare value of {keyword} and “q=” referrer
  • Assign tracking values to {keyword}+”q=”referrer

Example: books -> buy cheap books.

Going from broad to exact

  • Analyze results of bought vs. delivered
  • Positive ROI goes into phrase match
  • Negative ROI goes into negative keywords
  • Positive ROI goes into exact match
  • Negative ROI goes into negative keywords
  • Profit margin goes up


Andy Atkins-Krüger spoke about international paid search advertising, but I was not able to see the slides well and take good notes.


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