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Google Adwords Rules of Thumb
google adwords rules of thumb
sem_scotty




msg:1115876
 7:58 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

i'm putting together a doc for rules of thumb (or general guidelines) for adwords PPC based on my experiences, and i'm also interested in others' input.

things such as ad copy, bidding, etc.

i'm not looking for guidelines from google - more like rules of thumb from SEMs.

i've had trouble locating something along these lines on WW - anybody have a resource they can point me towards, either on WW or otherwise?

thanks!

 

jtara




msg:1115877
 8:09 pm on Feb 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

ALWAYS include a call to action. Just what do you want the viewer to do?

Buy. Compare. Join. Read. Find Out. Solve. Learn. Meet. Sell.

By being explicit, you filter out at lot of non-converting traffic.

The first step, of course, is to KNOW what you want the viewer to do. Do you? I think a lot of advertisers don't.

jbmac




msg:1115878
 6:02 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I think this is a great idea...I just wish more people would start throwing out some ideas.

ronburk




msg:1115879
 6:23 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Rule of thumb: never pay more than a nickel per click

Why? It forces you to learn to write better copy to get listed higher, instead of just upping your bid.

Do I ever pay more than a nickel a click? Sure, there's always situations where that's warranted, but all else being equal, I'll start very low and try to make my ad copy beat the competition instead of trying to beat them with my bank account.

The Google advertising system will be happy to teach you how to write good ad copy -- if you let it, instead of just reaching for your checkbook to make up for poor copy.

sem_scotty




msg:1115880
 6:40 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

unfortunately, for many of us, paying $.05 per click is not even an option.

poster_boy




msg:1115881
 6:51 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

On-topic:

- Utilize match types. Great way to divy up traffic into very different performing segments with very different values.

- Utilize negative keywords. Great way to limit undesired traffic.

Off-topic:

Rule of thumb: never pay more than a nickel per click

That's a great way to get zero impressions in most competitive verticals. If you can't make tons of money paying above a nickel, I'd suggest working less on your copy and more on your site conversion.

sem_scotty




msg:1115882
 6:55 pm on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

to keep this thread going, some from me:

• Top position doesn’t always mean best performance. Sometimes #2, #3 or even #5 or 9 (on competitive keywords) work best.
• A high number of clicks doesn’t necessarily lead to a high number of conversions.
• Ad copy has a very strong effect on conversion – copy that is too “clicky” can attract the wrong crowd. Managing expectations is very important.
• What works one week/day/hour won’t necessarily work the next.
• When a campaign is new, establishing history is essential to the short AND long-term success of that campaign. A high CTR is key.
• Searchers (and therefore PPC ads) behave differently according to day of the week, time of day, etc.
• Sometimes your bid can affect the level of costs for the entire competitive mix. In other words, decreasing your bid can decrease the bids of advertisers overall, therefore leading to a lower CPC over time.
• Positioning vs. certain competitors (not just positions) can affect performance.

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1115883
 1:57 am on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

...i'm not looking for guidelines from google...

Cool thread sem_scotty.

OK everyone. Let's pretend for a minute that I am not a Googler. And yes, I know some of these are repeats - but hey, they're worth repeating. ;) I couldn't resist the chance to mention a few of my favorites.

* Be very targeted rather than general - every step of the way.

* Send the user to the most appropriate page on your site.

* Think like your potential customer. Meet their needs.

* Forget you are an expert on your business for a while. What would your customers search on to find you?

* A few brilliantly chosen and highly targeted keywords are worth more than a thousand randomly selected ones.

* Use Ad Groups to your advantage, to advertise in a very targeted way.

* Negative keywords are your friends.

* Shop in the first 100 or so search results for negative keywords.

* Don't expect your account to run itself. Manage the heck out of it.

* Read this Forum daily. Read the AdWords Help Center as often as you can force yourself to do it. ;)

AWA

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1115884
 2:29 am on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh wait, right after

* Don't expect your account to run itself. Manage the heck out of it.

I should have added:

Test! Test! Test!

AWA

(Wow, that edit button goes away quick!)

PhraSEOlogy




msg:1115885
 12:46 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

edit_g put together a nice post on this subject.

[webmasterworld.com ]

skibum




msg:1115886
 4:30 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Make sure the exact keyword you are buying appears in the text of the landing page if you want to have the lowest possible minimum bid.

lgn1




msg:1115887
 5:06 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

That's a great way to get zero impressions in most competitive verticals. If you can't make tons of money paying above a nickel, I'd suggest working less on your copy and more on your site conversion.

I disagree. Paying a nickel a click forces you to workon getting the best CTR and conversion, and also makes you look for the hundreds or thousands of less competitive keyword combinations in your market.

Once you have refined this, then its time to increase your bidding.

You don't learn to play blackjack, at the $500 minimun per hand table.

sandpetra




msg:1115888
 5:13 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Back to basics - make sure your landing pages download fast, the site's accessible + usable.

Above all - give clickers exactly what they are looking for (see above for targetting ad copy!) - and back + forth.

Also, don't forget to pray for results from whatever god you talk to!:)

JollyK




msg:1115889
 5:27 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

This has been alluded to, but I think it needs pushing:

Make SURE the landing page SELLS your product/service. The user should get to the landing page and find it immediately obvious why they were sent there. If they have to search around your landing page for a "buy now" or "apply now" or "get this widget now" then you may have wasted your money on that click.

CTR is great, but if the landing page doesn't convert, it's a waste of money.

I'd also reiterate what AWA and others have said: test, test, test, and refine your copy. Use words that capture the imagination, like "luscious lingerie" or "wacky widgets." Try different things, depending on your site and target audience.

KNOW your target audience. What kind of people want your product or service? What are your successful competitors doing? Instead of just people who buy widgets (everyone needs widgets, right?), think of targeting different groups, like early adopters "The latest in widget technology -- Be the first! Get it now!" or techie types "Acme Z48XP - Get High Availability Widgets" or, heck, even stay-at-home moms "It's tough being a mom - you deserve a widget! Get one here!"

Okay, those probably won't fit because I just made them up here, and if I were going to put them into an Adwords ad, I'd have to refine to fit the length limits and add a call to action, and stuff, but the point is, narrow things down, target different words and groups, refine your copy, and don't be afraid to test different things.

Also, it's kind of a pain, but I'm all for having several different landing pages depending on the ad and the targetting. They may all end up buying a "blue widget," but the guy searching for "Acme Z48XP" is probably going to want to see technical specs, while the early adopters may want to know more about why this widget is better than the v1.0 widget.

Go a little bit afield, too.

I've had pretty good luck with an ad where people are searching for a particular service. Lots of places SAY they provide this service, but when you look in the fine print, there are all sorts of restrictions so they really don't provide that service at all. My ad comes up when you search for this, and basically tells those people that what they're looking for doesn't actually exist, so they should try my service instead. :-)

I had another one where I targeted "Green widgets scam" and "green widgets ripoff" and the ads were like "Get a free trial and find out for yourself." :-) That one can backfire, of course, but it worked for this one.

I think it may have been Perry Marshall that once said, "No one who ever bought a drill wanted a drill: they wanted a hole." In other words, people aren't looking to buy X, they are looking for something to provide a solution for them, to fill a need. If you can figure out what the need is, and address the need, (and, of course, show that you just so happen to have a product that fills that need), you're closer to making the sale. I try to think about what it is that people really want when they search for "blue widget prices" and give it to them or promise it to them in the ad copy.

And I make really sure to do negative keywords for "free" and "reviews" and "sucks" (unless I'm targeting "sucks") and anything else that I don't want my ad to show under.

I am by no means an Adwords guru making millions or whatever (not even close, more's the pity), but I have been playing with Adwords for a couple of years, and have made quite a bit more than I've spent. Definitely take what I've said with that in mind.

Oh, and I also agree with the "never pay more than 5 cents a click" but I'd moderate it to "TRY really hard to never pay more than 5 cents a click." It is incredibly difficult in certain fields, but I've managed to find 5 cent keywords in the most surprising areas. See above: how many people deliberately buy ads for "their product: ripoff?" :-) That might not work for you, but then again, something similar might.

JK

sem_scotty




msg:1115890
 6:11 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

a few more from me:

• Bidding is most definitely not the only major variable/lever.
• Include a compelling offer in the ad copy.
• If selling on price, include that in the copy.
• Include a call to action such as “act now” or “buy now”.
• Create a sense of urgency when appropriate.
• When a campaign is new, establishing history is essential to the short AND long-term success of that campaign. A high CTR right off the bat is key.

JollyK




msg:1115891
 7:43 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

• If selling on price, include that in the copy.

Agh, yes, I'd like to second that one as well. I've found that if I include the price, and they still click, it converts better than people who click and then see the price. Particularly for items over a few hundred dollars.

JK

ispy




msg:1115892
 8:42 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't think paying a nickel a click is an option. Those who bid higher will always stay at the top due to the easy clicks from curious browsers which keeps their click relevancy % above the lower ads. For this reason an ad with excellent copy will never move up to the top on its own. In addition, unless there is a significant incentive customers will buy from the ads at the top of the page. The reason, people being in a hurry and not having the time for informative comparison shopping, and the fear surrounding internet sales many people have which make people gravitate to what they perceive as bigger established stores where "everyone else" is shopping and which seem safe (the ones at the top). A lot of people are actually herd animals and Safeway is great for many reasons, not all of them being pricing.

JollyK




msg:1115893
 9:22 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

ispy, you can pay a nickel a click if you can find keywords that no one's bidding on. (Or that very few people are.) :-)

jtara




msg:1115894
 9:23 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Safeway is great for many reasons, not all of them being pricing.

Good point. And this is exactly why I put pricing in my ads. I advertise widgets as an affiliate of the biggest widget-seller on the Internet.

They do NOT have the best prices, but they are well-known, convenient, and have deep stock. Some other affilities avoid prices, and tout 30% off, great prices, etc. I put the price in the ad, and negative keywords for "cheap" etc. If they are price-shopping, I want to scare them off. They are not going to get the best prices from this store.

Here's the price. If you don't like it, go away. Please.

ikkyu




msg:1115895
 9:27 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Anyone putting their telephone # in their ad? Is this something that is advisable or not worth it?

permie




msg:1115896
 12:58 am on Mar 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

- Use a domain name that includes your most popular key word. (People can see that you must provide what they are looking for just by looking at your domain) My CTR is 5 to 10% for the last year.

- I never pay more than the minimum bid. (Due to the high CTR I generally rank at number 1 to 3 depending on how much money my competitors are throwing at google).

- I use geo targeting so that my ads are only shown in countries where my site converts well.

- I rank number 4-6 in google for the phrase I target in adwords. However, I still get a large percentage of my clicks from this phrase due to adwords.

oddsod




msg:1115897
 5:15 pm on Mar 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>Negative keywords

Hmm, I always wondered: How do you figure out the negative keywords for your campaign?

vanillaice




msg:1115898
 5:33 pm on Mar 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

One way I figure out negative keywords is use the keyword tool, and go down the list and see what wouldn't fit.

If i'm selling monitors for the computer for example, i'd do searches for like 'computer monitor' with the keyword tool with synonyms checked off, and just look down the list to see what i'm not selling. I'd probably see harddrives, cpus, motherboards, etc. Those would all go on my negative keyword list.

Also, 'monitors' may bring up other stuff. Heart monitors, etc. You can also use the overture listings for basically the same thing. Hope this helps

Rollo




msg:1115899
 6:10 pm on Mar 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why? It forces you to learn to write better copy to get listed higher, instead of just upping your bid.

Adwords doesn't work like that. I think you must be confusing it with something else.

Anyway, here's a rule of thumb... ANALYZE IT

You can check in many instances whether its worth it to use adwords using simple calculus with contraints such as minimum cost per click (solver in excel can handle this type of analysis easily). You'd be surprised in how many instances that the optimal expenditure is zero, meaning you're likely to loose money with an adwords campaign.

poster_boy




msg:1115900
 8:14 pm on Mar 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Paying a nickel a click forces you to workon getting the best CTR and conversion, and also makes you look for the hundreds or thousands of less competitive keyword combinations in your market.

* Setting pricing constraints on yourself (especially at a nickel) before fully knowing: the bidding landscape, performance - both CTR and conversion - per position, pricing trends and the quality of your competition, etc. is being cautious to a fault. Price is a big weapon in your arsenal - especially if your customer flow is optimized. Experiment to learn. Then, use the weapons available to you.

* Achieving ROI is relatively easy. Maintaining ROI while achieving hyper-growth is tougher. The latter is much more effectively achieved with a variety of pricing strategies - not just one.

* You don't need to be forced to look for "tail" keywords. You should add these keywords at all times - with your "head" words running at any CPC.

Once you have refined this, then its time to increase your bidding.

* The original poster that I was responding to stated his/her rule of thumb as: "never pay more than a nickel per click". Starting at a nickel is one thing, staying there to prove a point that you're a good copywriter is another.

jenkers




msg:1115901
 9:39 pm on Mar 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

- get a rough idea of what your competitors are bidding (or how much its going to take to do what you want in your niche)

- be very specific in your terms and ads so that your keyphrases are highlighted in the ad title / text

- monitor your results and keep testing

- keep an eye out for parked domains with adsense on that match what you are doing

ju2ltd




msg:1115902
 1:12 am on Mar 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Structure structure structure. Grouping sponsored keywords into tightly themed groups so that you can write highly relevant ad copy.

Use the Keyword Tool to add negative keywords.

Run competing parallel ad groups with different ad copy.

And manage the campaign closely.

[edited by: eWhisper at 3:45 am (utc) on Mar. 5, 2006]
[edit reason] Please no URL or Self Promo drops. [/edit]

eWhisper




msg:1115903
 3:47 am on Mar 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hmm, I always wondered: How do you figure out the negative keywords for your campaign?

[webmasterworld.com...]

Note: You can also use the new site spidering keyword tool and look for suggested keywords which are not related to your offer.

eWhisper




msg:1115904
 3:49 am on Mar 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

My Rule:
Test everything

ad copy title
ad copy descriptions
ad copy display url
keyword ctr
keyword conversion %
keyword exposure by position
different landing pages
etc..

Shak




msg:1115905
 8:22 am on Mar 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

some great advice thanks.

2 I would like to add.

1, work backwards from your CPA to work out how much you can afford to pay for click, lead, sale and lifetime customer, very different in B2b > B2c markets ;)

2, Use phrase match and broad match wisely, very good ways of gathering all the niche search terms bringing the visitor to your site, Google doesn't share this but quite easily done 90% of the time by getting this data from the referrer string.

Shak

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