SMX Live: Best Practices With Google's New Ad Features

Mar 8, 2011 - 11:50 am 0 by
Filed Under SMX West 2011

Live Blogging Coverage SMXBelow is live coverage of the Best Practices With Google's New Ad Features panel from the SMX West 2011 conference. This coverage is provided by Keri Morgret of Strike Models.

Disclaimer: The coverage is brought to you in real time, using a custom live blogging tool. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments for inclusion into the live coverage. During the live event, live notes will auto-scroll with newest entries at top. After the session is complete the archive version will have the oldest entries at the top. We ask you to please excuse any typos, as these are live notes.

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Keri Morgret: 8:54:13 am
Good morning! We're getting ready to start the first session block of SMX West.
Keri Morgret: 8:54:59 am
click for full size
Keri Morgret: 8:56:21 am
Matt Van Wagner is starting us off by asking a couple of quick questions about how many of us use Macs vs PCs, and how many are attending their first SMX conference. A lot of new people here. Welcome!
Keri Morgret: 8:56:54 am

SMX Boot Camp Track

SMX Boot Camp: Keyword Research & Copywriting For Search Success
The first step to success with any marketing campaign is to know your message. With search marketing, that means knowing the search terms that are being used by your target audience. And though it sounds obvious, it helps to actually use those words in your web pages! This session covers the importance of textual content to search engines and how with some forethought, you can create HTML title tags and body copy that works to generate search traffic which also pleases your human visitors.

Moderator: Debra Mastaler, President, Alliance-Link


Christine Churchill, President, KeyRelevance

Industry Issues Track

Social Signals & Search
It’s no longer theoretical. Both Google and Bing say that they factor social signals into their ranking algorithms for “regular†search results. Who you are socially, your authority, the authority of those who talk about you (or your company) all play a role. This session looks at how social signals are currently being used with search.

Moderator: Danny Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief, Search Engine Land

Q&A Moderator: Jim Yu, CEO, BrightEdge


Mike Cassidy, Director of Product Management, Search, Google
Paul Yiu, Principal Group Program Manager, Bing Social, Microsoft

Local Search Track

Local Search Tactics
With Google reporting that nearly 30% of all queries have some type of local intent, local search is no longer just an alternative to online yellow pages. Evolving from simple business information pages that might show up on maps, businesses now have an array of tools to help improve their rankings in a wide variety of local search services. Panelists in this session discuss the current important relevance and ranking factors that any business concerned with interacting with local customers should be focusing on.

Moderator: Greg Sterling, Founding Principal, Sterling Market Intelligence

Q&A Moderator: Max Thomas, President & Founder, Thunder SEO


Benu Aggarwal, President, Milestone Internet Marketing
Mary Bowling, Director of Search Engine Marketing, seOverflow
Bruce Clay, President, Bruce Clay, Inc.
Charles Dyer, Director of Business Development, Microsoft
Andrew Shotland, Proprietor, Local SEO

Paid Search Track

Best Practices With Google’s New Ad Features
Google has breathed new life into the text-based AdWords format, introducing an entire new lineup of ad formats. These include AdWords video ads, AdWords sitelinks, local AdWords, product AdWords, comparison ads and more. They’ve also added modifiers, extensions and other features that aren’t always easy to use or understand. This session explores how to take advantage of these new features, integrating them into your existing AdWords campaigns.

Moderator: Matt Van Wagner, President, Find Me Faster

Q&A Moderator: Joseph Kerschbaum, Client Services Director, Clix Marketing


Jerry Dischler, Director of Product Management, Google
Mona Elesseily, VP Online Marketing Strategy, Page Zero Media
Brian Lewis, Vice President, Engine Ready
George Michie, CEO, Rimm-Kaufman Group
Keri Morgret: 8:58:57 am
Hastag for this session is #1d1
Keri Morgret: 8:59:58 am
Jerry Dischler from Google is leading us off.
Keri Morgret: 9:01:08 am
click for full size
Keri Morgret: 9:01:31 am
I'll get the grease off the iPhone lens and get slightly better pictures next time.
Keri Morgret: 9:02:15 am
Google -- wants to fill their users needs, and that takes many forms. Jerry leads the new ad formats group. 10% of queries with ads have at least one new ad format available.
Keri Morgret: 9:02:59 am
Testimonials: CTR up 60% for sitelinks, improved performance.
Keri Morgret: 9:03:46 am
Ad Sitelinks improves the CTR and conversion rates of your highest quality ads. The slide shows examples of the Sitelinks formats.

2 line format averages 30% CTR increase. One line format has 17% average lift of CTR.
Keri Morgret: 9:04:36 am
Best practices:
For one-line format, they can only show short sitelinks.

Enter in ten links, they (google) can choose best links for the query.
Keri Morgret: 9:04:52 am
Next: seller rating extensions.
Keri Morgret: 9:05:38 am
17% average increase in CTR with rating extensions. Many advertisers report increase in conversions. Really helps with small businesses that people don't necessarily know.
Keri Morgret: 9:05:56 am
Encourage your users to rate your business.
Keri Morgret: 9:06:17 am
Product ads: 6% average lift in CTR with text ad product extensions.
Keri Morgret: 9:06:55 am
Product listing ads. 100% average lift in CTR. This is a comparitive ad format that is Google-target. Same feed (that you submit) used for organic and PPC.
Keri Morgret: 9:07:29 am
They do this because it can be hard to enter your thousands or millions of products into ads. This is easier to get your ads shown.
Keri Morgret: 9:08:24 am
Location extensions. When a user clicks on the plus box, they'll see a map displaying nearby store locations, and a search box they can use to move the map and display listings in a new location. They have single and multiple location options.

6% average lift in ctr.
Keri Morgret: 9:09:17 am
Phone extensions. Good for mobile users. Two options: pure call tracking and click-to-call.
Keri Morgret: 9:09:41 am
You can enter in vanity telephone numbers in phone extensions, including toll-free numbers.
Keri Morgret: 9:09:55 am
Their call tracking uses Google Voice.
Keri Morgret: 9:10:34 am
Last is a new format. Media Ads - Rich information before the click. Designed for entertainment. MediaAds shows your trailer and other things.
Keri Morgret: 9:11:36 am
Best practices recap.
1) Add 10 ad sitelinks per campaign.
2) Use "all products" product target to maximize availability
3) Upload ad specific phone numbers, icons, and URLs into Google Places
4) Optimize your ad text to take advantage of longer top headlines
5) Separate out your mobile campaigns.
Keri Morgret: 9:12:22 am
Top ads recently changed. In certain situations you can have a longer headline on top. 5.7% increase in CTR when this occurs. Make ad a sentence that ends in punctuation will help this to show.
Keri Morgret: 9:13:10 am Screenshot and discussion about the top ads mentioned below.
Keri Morgret: 9:13:53 am
Mona Elesseily is up next.
Keri Morgret: 9:15:10 am
She works for an agency, has been in agency-land for over 10 years.

What she's covering:
1) Local Extensions
2) Phone Extensions
3) Sitelinks
Keri Morgret: 9:15:37 am
She's showing a screenshot of the campaign settings level. This is where a lot of the settings are made.
Keri Morgret: 9:17:01 am
I can't get good pictures of the presentation with my iPhone camera with the lighting in the room.
Keri Morgret: 9:17:32 am
You're not charged if someone clicks and expands the map, but you are charged if they go to your site.
Keri Morgret: 9:17:40 am
Phone Extensions
Keri Morgret: 9:18:19 am
Advertisers pay when the ad is clicked and the phone call is placed.
Keri Morgret: 9:18:46 am
Phone extension data. Limited. No ROI data. Call Metrics will be a new feature with a little bit more information.
Keri Morgret: 9:20:12 am
Mobile Advertising tips.

1) Create separate mobile campaigns. You get targeting options, can target a specific device, etc. Same idea of separating content and search campaigns.
2) Go for top positioning
3) Users use shorter terms for queries on mobile, use shorter terms in keywords.
Keri Morgret: 9:20:25 am
Sitelinks screenshot.
Keri Morgret: 9:20:42 am
Determined on per-industry and per-ad basis.
Keri Morgret: 9:21:35 am
You can highlight products, helpful if people don't know your whole product line.
Keri Morgret: 9:22:54 am
You can highlight sales, new product lines, important web pages (choose with highest margins, conversions, and bottom-line good information -- not what your boss wants!).
Keri Morgret: 9:23:40 am
Some sitelinks uses call to action. "Request demo" "Free 30 day trial"
Keri Morgret: 9:24:34 am
Limited information back from Google on your performance.
Keri Morgret: 9:25:05 am
To track individual sitelines, you can do some advanced parameters and track via Analytics. Didn't get details here.
Keri Morgret: 9:25:41 am
Sitelinks tips

1) Shorter headlines convert better
2) Relate to products or services
3) consistent tone with ads/services
Keri Morgret: 9:26:28 am
Mona has written a column for SearchEngineLand with a lot of information.
Keri Morgret: 9:27:54 am
Now up is Brian Lewis. He'll be talking about Google Product Extensions.
Keri Morgret: 9:29:33 am
Back a moment to Mona. Her article on Sitelinks.
Keri Morgret: 9:30:15 am
Product extensions may be shown with an ad. It's signified with a plus sign. Generally shown more for kws with a high click volume.
Keri Morgret: 9:30:56 am
Think about merchandising. You have images, how to best showcase these in SERPs. Need to pay attention to this.
Keri Morgret: 9:31:38 am
Showing new format (out for six weeks) of product extensions without images.
Keri Morgret: 9:31:54 am
Product extensions are available in about six countries, being rolled out in more places over time.
Keri Morgret: 9:32:14 am
Your products must be shippable throughout the US.
Keri Morgret: 9:32:49 am
Prices must be fixed. You can't have auction items. You can have different prices for different volume.
Keri Morgret: 9:33:10 am
Must be able to process payments securely.

No paid clubs or website memberships. You can't force someone to register on your landing page.
Keri Morgret: 9:33:28 am
No joy for affiliates. No redirects, no affiliates, back button has to be functional on landing page.
Keri Morgret: 9:33:35 am
No gambling, drugs, or body parts.
Keri Morgret: 9:34:01 am
Extensions show on desktops and tables, but not smartphones, display network, other search network.
Keri Morgret: 9:34:32 am
Before extensions, you were tied to a single landing page. For generic keywords, like custom pens, you had a lot of guesswork figuring out where to take the user.
Keri Morgret: 9:35:01 am

CPC basic
Click on headline, picture, one other thing.
Not charged when click on plus sign.
Keri Morgret: 9:35:44 am
Setting up:
1) create a google merchant center
2) log into Google Merchange Center and add your Adwords customer ID to your account.
3) missed this
4) missed this
Keri Morgret: 9:36:02 am
He has a one-hour presentation he's cutting down to 18 minutes, so he's going quite quickly.
Keri Morgret: 9:36:15 am
Lots of ways to submit data for merchant feed.
Keri Morgret: 9:36:57 am
There are seven things required (fields that need to be filled out).

Product name/title
product ID
landing page link
image link
condition (new, used, refurb)

Keri Morgret: 9:37:12 am
Recommended: upc, mpn, weight, product type.
Keri Morgret: 9:37:56 am
The report can segment out by click types (in adwords)
Keri Morgret: 9:39:51 am
Option helpful parameters.

Allows advertisers to override the product URL when the product is shown within the content of Product Ads.
Keri Morgret: 9:40:20 am
Adds the keyword to the destination URL for tracking.
Keri Morgret: 9:40:37 am
Used if you want your product in G Products but not in Google Product Extensions
Keri Morgret: 9:41:05 am
Advertisers suggest which products should show for specific kw phrases.
Keri Morgret: 9:41:31 am
Their observations:

Ads with product extensions made up 11% of total impressions.
Keri Morgret: 9:41:45 am
Ads w/ product extensions -- CTR was almost double
Keri Morgret: 9:42:24 am
Ads w/PE- Position about the same.
Ads w/PE- Average CPC was 8% higher
Conversion rate similar, but they have a small data set for this.
Keri Morgret: 9:43:09 am
Seller ratings. Good because:

Your ad stands out
Lends credibility
Google shopping: can impact your ranksings
Keri Morgret: 9:43:26 am
Several companies provide ways for your customers to leave your reviews.
Keri Morgret: 9:44:02 am
Seller ratings:

There must not be an existing ad extension plus box or sitelinks on the ad.

Your business must have at least 30 unique reviews and a rating of four stars or above for reviews to show.
Keri Morgret: 9:44:41 am
Quality product images
Optimize feed
Review SERPs to be sure G is showing best products
Use optional parameters
Implement seller ratings
Keri Morgret: 9:45:13 am
Keri Morgret: 9:46:37 am
George Michie is now up. He's speaking a little slower, and my wrists are thankful. This laptop is a little hard on my wrists compared to my old laptop.
Keri Morgret: 9:47:13 am
Product Listing Ads is his topic.
Keri Morgret: 9:47:37 am
Showing screenshot of product listing ads.
Keri Morgret: 9:48:47 am
Some of the stuff we originally saw in organic search relating to universal search, diversity in results, etc. is now showing in paid search.
Keri Morgret: 9:49:40 am
Having a plus box increases CTR. Expansion rate of plus boxes is tiny. This is in the experience his firm has had.
Keri Morgret: 9:50:07 am
Value of plus box extensions seems to be increase in CTR.
Keri Morgret: 9:52:18 am
He lists a few of his wish-list items for Google that would help people better find what they wanted.
Keri Morgret: 9:53:08 am
Noted that because product listing ads take up a lot of room and push other ads down, so they must be getting a good return for google.
Keri Morgret: 9:54:32 am
As more people are competing in the product extension space, CPC has gone up compared to when G first started with this.
Keri Morgret: 9:55:01 am
He does feel it still makes sense for advertisers to use product extensions.
Keri Morgret: 9:55:26 am
You don't see PLA on head terms / general searches. Only when you get more specific searches that you see the product listing ads.
Keri Morgret: 9:56:06 am
He's seen as many as five PLA show up on a query. Expect to see a lot of play as g is fixing out for each query what's going to maximize user involvement and profits.
Keri Morgret: 9:57:09 am
He shows a summary of PLA requirements that is similar to what Brian showed earlier.
Keri Morgret: 9:57:42 am
You can set up tracking parameters to link product categories to AdGroups.
Keri Morgret: 9:58:09 am
Screenshot of setting up Product Listing Ads.
Keri Morgret: 9:59:24 am
One "AQd" per AdGroup which will be chosen by Google from the category based on user search.

Granular tracking is problematic, but help is on the way "in the next few weeks" Jerry from Google mentions.
Keri Morgret: 9:59:50 am
Jerry's pen is busy writing down notes as speakers mention things they wish existed.
Keri Morgret: 10:01:23 am
Management Tips:
Use promotional copy if you can. "Free shipping" "20% off" really help CTR.
Bid PLA AdGroups individually.
Set initial bids higher than AW bids for product specific KW to gain traction.
Use negatives like with broad match
Use all the product targeting capabilities that Google offers
"All Products" It's a catch-all that's good but problematic.
SKU/Commodities typically perform better than unique products (cameras vs shirts)
Keri Morgret: 10:02:53 am
Doesn't work as well for something like unique t-shirts or something only available from one place.
Keri Morgret: 10:03:44 am
Link to their research
Keri Morgret: 10:04:38 am
1. Do PLAs cannibalize traffic from AdWords?

Doesn't look like it. CTR on product-level AW ads didn't drop after launch. No sig change in CTR in cases where both appeared together.
Keri Morgret: 10:04:59 am
Is quality of traffic the same as text ads?

On the whole, yes. Conversion rate slightly higher, average order value slightly lower.
Keri Morgret: 10:05:47 am
Do PLAs drive teh same quantity of traffic as "competing" text ads?

Relative position matters, but in general, PLAs drive about half the volume of competing text ads.
Keri Morgret: 10:06:55 am
PLAs can add 5% to the adwords top line profitably.
None of these are replacements to the cord AdWords program.
Keri Morgret: 10:08:37 am
Q&A time.
Keri Morgret: 10:10:14 am
Interesting question about amount of effort for doing these fancy things with adwords versus ROI.
Keri Morgret: 10:10:43 am
Jerry points out that some of the effort does overlap, and cleaning up your product feed in general can help with PLA.
Keri Morgret: 10:12:13 am
click for full size
Keri Morgret: 10:12:57 am
click for full size
Keri Morgret: 10:13:02 am
Panel can't think of too many examples where a service would work for extensions.
Keri Morgret: 10:15:31 am
Google: expecting to provide finer-grain targeting, should be sometime this year, not in next couple of months.
Keri Morgret: 10:16:09 am
And that's a wrap for the first session of SMX!

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