Wednesday, September 10, 2014

AdWords Techniques You Are Probably Not Using But Should Be

I’m going to take you through some great AdWords techniques that many of you probably aren’t using but should be. I’ve chosen these five specifically because they’re less used by most and when implemented they will significantly increase your leads and sales. Some of these you may have not heard of before as they are quite new, others perhaps you’ve just been waiting for the right time to implement. That time is now, you’ve got to be trying things out as soon as they come out; you have to be living innovation.
Here’s what we’re going to look at:
  • Dynamic Remarketing
  • Review Extensions
  • Mobile Optimised Ads
  • Call Tracking
  • Attribution Modelling for Paid Search assists

Dynamic Re-marketing

What is it?
This product is only months old, rolled out in June 2013. It is one step better than regular Remarketing which allows advertisers to retarget visitors who have visited or interacted in some way previously with their site.
Dynamic Remarketing allows advertisers to now automatically create customised ads that are based on products that visitors were previously viewing on the website.
What Do I Need to get it Going?
  • Setup a Google Merchant Centre Account with a working feed that is linked to your AdWords account. (Details)
  • Update the GA (Google Analytics) tracking snippet
  • Create a specific Dynamic Remarketing campaign within AdWords
  • Use the dynamic ad builder tool to create image and text product based ads (see image below)
  • Customise campaign settings
Why you should be using it if you’re not!
  • Fantastic for retailers as you can actually show searchers product info they are interested in. It becomes less of a branded exercise.
  • Comes with five premade remarketing lists to segment users – more can be added.
  • Comes with premade ad templates
  • Results are stronger than regular remarketing. Google claims advertisers see CTRs as much as 450% higher than regular remarketing campaigns. PPC Hero claims that CPA’s are 78% lower with Dynamic Remarketing
  • Requires a Merchant Centre account with a functional product feed.
  • Need to keep your feed up to date as information is pulled in from there for dynamic ads.
Recommended Sources to read:

Review Extensions

What is it?
This is an extension that has been in beta but only just rolled out fully to all accounts in October. It allows advertisers to add on a line of text to an ad citing a positive article, award or ranking from a trusted 3rd part site. If you’ve seen a favourable article or mention of your site you can either paraphrase or quote these onto your ads.
How do I set it up?
Within AdWords, navigate to ‘ad extensions’ tab and then select ‘review extensions’. From there it’s pretty straight forward, you either quote or paraphrase the review and cite the source.
Below is an example of how it would look:

Why you should do this
The best form of marketing is word of mouth and this is as close as you can get to that. If you’re a pizza store and a major gourmet magazine favourably writes that you are the ‘best pizza store in town’, just under your ad, that’s going to be good for you, to put it mildly. The stronger the source the better it will be. Google claim that in aggregate they see a 10% lift in CTR for ads that carry this additional trust signal.
There is a large number of criteria or policies that this needs to pass before it can be approved, you can view thesehere. This will need to be approved manually by Google, so I’m not sure what the waiting time will be.
Also, you first need someone to say something good about you! I’m also curious whether this will be manipulated. Surely advertisers can and will pay for positive reviews on 3rd party sites (as they do already with unmarked sponsored posts) only to then use the review in these extensions? I'll leave that question open.

Mobile Optimised Ads

What are they?
This is something that is all too often overlooked in so many AdWords accounts. I’d bet if you checked your mobile & tablet traffic now in GA, it’s probably at least 20% of your overall traffic. It’s going to be similar as well for paid traffic for mobile as well.
It used to be OK to overlook this when you could opt out of mobile ads in AdWords and when it wasn’t costing you money, but not anymore. You are paying for these clicks, so get your ads mobile optimised.
From my own aggregate six-month data across clients in five industries, I found that mobile & tablet traffic accounted for 28% of overall traffic. When looking at just paid traffic, mobile and tablet accounted for 25% of overall traffic. This is only going to grow.
Optimising your ads for mobile means you need to:
  1. Make your ad text shorter, punchier and easy to read
  2. Use concise text links that will push users to the pages they want to see while on the go. This will often be ‘contact us’ or ‘find us’ pages
  3. Ensure you have location extensions and call extensions available – that’s what a phone is for, to make calls and they're also used as GPS's nowadays.
  4. Use a mobile display URL e.g.: or /phone
  5. Use mobile calls to action – e.g., ‘call now for a booking’, ‘find us now’, ‘buy from your phone’, or ‘shop on mobile site’
I'd recommend running at least one ad per ad group in tandem with other ads. You can preference this ad to be show on mobile, by selecting the checkbox.

Why you have to do this!
Case studies show that using mobile optimised ads has a strong effect on performance and conversion, here’s a few:
If you don’t have a mobile optimised website or at least a landing page, this is going to be a problem. You can show a great mobile ad, but once they get to the site, you’re just going to frustrate your customers, so this is a prerequisite.

Attribution Modelling

What is it?
This isn’t actually an AdWords technique at all, it’s actually a report in GA. No, I’m not tricking you, because in a way this is a ‘technique’ you can use to find more conversions that your AdWords campaigns are driving that you never knew about, so effectively it will bring your AdWords campaigns more conversions.
Attribution modeling is one of the more complex topics in Web Analytics, but also a fascinating one. It's important to realise that in regular Analytics reporting, the way GA attributes conversions is on a last touch model. This means that whatever traffic source was the last one to bring that visitor to your site before they converted is the one that is attributed with the conversion.
Let’s say you searched for a black widget, clicked on a paid ad and came to my site, you loved what you saw, but you had to run out and pick up the kids before you could buy. The next day you search again for that black widget and you find my site in the organic results and remember you loved it, so you click the ‘SEO listing’, come to the site and buy. The GA funnel will look like this:
When I look up my conversion data in GA at the end of the month, I’ll see that Google organic is attributed with that conversion. Hey! No fair, it was really an AdWords click that triggered the interest here! Surely AdWords deserves some credit?
So of course, there will be many channels in every conversion funnel and not always will it be so clear cut that AdWords was the main driver. Some users may have clicked an AdWords listing very early on in the funnel path and only later on really became more interested because of another channel. The point here is that, we should really be taking into account every time an AdWords click was part of this funnel. It’s really going to make your reporting prettier and your clients love you.
So how do I get this info?
In GA, go to Conversions --> Attribution --> Model Comparison
The blue bubbles show the steps to take to set up, the orange ones show the data points that are important to make deductions. They are explained below:
  1. Choose which conversion you want to analyse. You can look at all conversions in aggregate or select a specific type such as e-commerce transactions.
  2. Select ‘last AdWords Click’ model
  3. You can also add in other models (at a later stage)
  4. The AdWords report can be selected if you want to drill down and see the assisted conversions per each campaign.
  5. In the 'Last AdWords Click' model you have 787 conversions and in the 'Last Interaction' model you have 696 conversions. This means that a regular AdWords report does not consider the other 91 conversions where AdWords was involved in the funnel!
  6. Looking at Organic search 103 – 86 = 17, therefore 17 of these 96 assisted AdWords conversions, were attributed to SEO. You can do the same calculation for the other channels as well.
  7. The same analysis can be done with actual product revenue, if you have e-commerce tracking setup (which I don’t in this case )
  8. As a %, when we include these assisted conversions, we see that there were 13% more conversions coming from AdWords then we usually report.
This is quite amazing. You clients are going to be very happy with you, when they find out that your AdWords ads are actually assisting or influencing 13% more conversions then you previously mentioned.
Side note – 'GDN impression sharing':
We can go deeper with this as well on the display network. Often this is one of the big areas where it is really hard to show value from campaigns. Of course, we know that these are primarily for branding awareness, but ultimately all campaigns should drive conversions down the line.
Attribution modeling allows us to see if clicks from display campaigns is driving conversions in other channels, so that is helpful. But we can take it one step further with 'GDN Impression Reporting'. This allows us to now see whatimpressions on the GDN drove conversions on other channels.
Setup for GDN impression sharing
Unfortunately this doesn’t come out of the box yet and you need to set it up if you want this data. Here’s what you have to do:
  • Request Google add you to their whitelist
  • Update the GA snippet on your site (the same as in standard remarketing)
  • Link AdWords and Analytics
  • Edit permissions in GA
Attribution modelling is a complicated topic. The ‘last adwords click’ model is a controversial model’ and if you want to get an overall picture of your actual channel attribution of all sources then this will totally distort the true picture. This is only an interesting model where you are just interested in seeing the worth of AdWords in driving conversions through other channels
Recommended resources to use:

Call Tracking

What is it?
I never cease to be surprised at the number of non-e-commerce companies, mostly small business that are spending thousands on AdWords monthly and the only goal metric they are tracking is 'contact form sends'. If you’re selling a service and most of your customers are calling you and your spending thousands of $ per month on AdWords, spending some of that budget to track those phone calls and improve your overall campaigns is going to be worthwhile. You may end up finding out none of your leads are coming from AdWords!
You probably guessed, but call tracking works by placing a dynamic phone number on your website. When a user comes into your site they are served a specific phone number, which when called will track back and send information to GA. You can get all sorts of session information which is attributed against the channel and even against the AdWords campaign from where the user came. This allows you to easily compare costs against conversions within AdWords.
How is this set up?
This is a pretty simple setup because it all works through a third party. Every vendor may have have a slightly different setup process, but it will be somewhere along these lines:
  1. Find a vendor which suits your needs and price
  2. Add the code to your site + call tracking extensions in AdWords (is available)
  3. Install the AdWords or GA functionality to view reports
Who should be doing this?
Sites that shouldn’t do this are sites that don’t sell products or services over the phone, such as pure online e-commerce sites, affiliate sites, informational sites etc… Most business that sell services or larger ticket products really should have call tracking. You can only know so much without it. Benefits include being able to tell which:
  • Channels your customers are coming from. Am I wasting my time on Facebook?
  • Paid search campaigns drive leads. Should I advertise more purple or black widgets
  • Pages on your site drive the most conversions, should I change other pages which aren’t?
  • Etc. etc... Really it will give you mounds of data you can use.
  • There’s going to be setup and ongoing fees including phone line fees
  • You have to deal with a third-party vendor which could be a good or a bad thing
  • Development – you’ll need to add the code
  • Having a dynamic number means you won’t have one business number, but many. This can be confusing for customers.

Hope it helps you lot..!!

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