In this short article I will try to explain in as simple terms as possible how to improve your pay per click campaign at Google and even though Google and Yahoo and MSN are not friends this will also apply with them (on top of this MSN also offers demographic targeting).
1. Keep daily budget as high as you can
The daily budget determines how often the ad is shown for the keywords. Set the budget high enough so that ads don’t turn off during the day.
The Google PPC algorithm:
What really determines your ad visability at Google looks a little like this “[ MAX BID * KEYWORD CTR * (AD GROUP CTR or AD COPY AVERAGE CTRS or something to this effect) * POSSIBLE A CAMPAIGN WIDE CTR * POSSIBLY SOME CAMPAIGN OR ACCOUNT AGE FACTOR * (A LOCALIZATION FACTOR APPLIED DEPENDING ON WHERE THE SEARCH ORIGINATED)] = RANK SCORE”
You can read more about Google new PPC algorithm here: http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/061110-085425
2. Improve the ad’s position
Trying to simplify Google AdWords algorithm this is the deal; The ad’s position can be improved by increasing cost-per-click (CPC), refining the text or having a high click-through rate (CTR).
3. Refine keywords to target specific audience
a. Choose specific keywords for the product or service – General keywords generate the most impressions but often result in the fewest number of clicks. Eg. companies that sell football equipment, should not choose the keyword ‘football’, because the ads could appear to people searching for subjects unrelated to the product, such as football matches. Instead, choose more specific keywords like; ‘football gear’, ‘football boots’ and ‘football clothing’.
b. Use keyword variations – People use different spellings of keywords so include spelling variations, plurals and common misspellings in your list of keyword.
c. Change keyword matching options to widen/narrow focus – Specify which type of keyword matching option you want to make the ads appear.
The options are:
Broad Match: just enter the keywords, such as ‘football boots’ (Google uses Tennis balls in their sample, or was it tennis shoes?)
The ad will appear whenever users search for ‘football’ and ‘boots’, in any order, and even if the query includes other terms, such as ‘football clothing and boots’.
For Google, broad matching also utilises expanded matching in which it analyses the keyword list, ad text and daily Google search queries, then shows the ads for other relevant terms and variations (such as ‘football shoes’) even if these were not included in the original keyword list. (Expanded matches can be stopped by adding them as negative keywords or by changing broad match keywords to exact or phrase matches.)
Phrase Match: include quotation marks around the keywords, eg. “football boots”
The ad shows when users search for ‘football boots’, in this order. The ad would appear for ‘Reebok football boots’ but not for ‘boots for football.’
Exact match: include brackets around the keywords, eg. [football boots]
The ad appears when users search for ‘football boots’, in this order and without any other terms in the query. The ad wouldn’t show for ‘Reebok football boots’ or ‘football clothing and boots’.
Negative keywords: include a hyphen before the keywords, eg. ‘-blue’
If the keywords are ‘football boots’ and your negative keyword is ‘–blue’, the ad will not show under the search ‘blue football boots’
4. Target audiences geographically
Languages, countries or regions can all be targeted separately.
5. Improve ad text
• Make sure to include targeted keywords. Do some research, refine, research, refine and so on….
• Be very clear in your messages.
• Focus on what makes the product or service unique.
• End with a call-to-action.
6. The ad links
• Use links to send people to the relevant and useful landing page and don’t be afraid to do some A/B testing. Use third party analytics to messure your conversion rate and ROI, I reccomend IndexTools.
• Monitor the conversions; track how many ad clicks convert to purchases, sign-ups, page views, leads etc…
The most important part is always to remember that a well managed PPC campaing is a full time jop and for it to work well you need to compine competitive analysins, indepth keyword resarch, refining and professional web analytics. I do not reccomend using Google to monitor Google and you can’t monitor MSN and Yahoo with GA.