There’s a universal truth worth acknowledging: most people do not think in words. Words are conventions to relay the thoughts that are present in our minds. Words may be how we communicate in daily life, but they are merely the vehicle by which we express the concept of our thoughts to others. A similar process of putting our thoughts into words is analogous to how we communicate with a search engine. We all think differently and we all ask questions differently. By taking time to understand how our audiences may communicate with search engines from the very beginning, we can establish meaningful keyword lists that convert. (Credit – Geddes, 2014)
Search provides an incredible amount of data that can be interpreted and acted upon. Quite often we see accounts that have a one size fits all approach, which vastly underestimates or seizes the potential within a business. We take a very analytical view of the account and establish if the maths and logic are sound and aligned with your corporate goals. It may be appear easy to steer the ship – but it may not be necessarily going in the right direction for your business.
It may not be new earth shattering news – but we have seen seismic growth within companies who invest in their mobile strategy. We have a strong mobile background at Search Acquisition XYZ and understand this channel particularly well. Getting your mobile strategy right is essential and is only going to grow in importance and opportunity for the foreseeable future. With the increasing amount of mobile users and mobile shoppers, this channel could make or break your strategic growth plans.
Through taking time to understand the elementary basics of search behaviour and intent, it is possible to align multi campaign and multi channel device strategies. The user search process can be segmented, analysed and tweaked under the right guidance. Search can be simplified to a primary method of users searching for an answer & solution.
Every search result has three parties trying to reach their goals; the search engine, the user, and the advertiser. It is important to examine and clearly understand each party and their specific goals. Once identified, and understood, we push them hard in conjunction with each other to ultimately deliver a successful and profitable paid search strategy.
Understanding user intent is the fundamental principle of search management. By segmenting your data this allows directly actionable strategies. There are generally 3 types of search queries people make:
1.Transactional. This is where the user has the motivation to purchase, such as tickets, a product or a service. These users tend to be at the latter stages of the buying funnel- the low hanging fruit.
2. Informational. This is where the user needs information, such as the best restaurant in town, train times, or ideas for Christmas. Typically, these users are in the early awareness stages of the buying funnel.
3. Navigational. A situation where the user needs assistance in navigation to a specific website or destination. The user may be looking for company x, yet also interested in seeing the same offerings by company y.
Every business has a user journey and a number of steps their users go through before converting into customers. For example, which touch points or search terms are better for awareness and micro conversions, which search terms are best for the final interaction and purchase? How have these touch points assisted the purchase funnel and decision making process? How can we capitalise on users at the purchase intent stage? How many site visits does it take to convert? How do I best use attribution models to help drive macro sales conversions? There are so so many questions that can be asked of analytics data and aligned with paid search data under the right management.
Understanding the buying funnel and the many questions within it has a considerable impact on the development of a profitable search strategy. Although the data is there, we often see accounts where all areas aren’t aligned or pulling in the same directions.
One of the first important steps is to set clear objectives of what you want to achieve with your paid search campaign, and are there areas within the account that can have specific objectives set. More often than not, the best managed search campaigns are those with very tight and clear objectives of what the account is working towards. Objectives may include building brand awareness, driving enquiries, growing loyalty, or primarily, growing sales.
To use search effectively, it is important to understand the business goals you’re trying to achieve and the data that is most relevant to those goals. Once clear objectives have been established, it is important to establish how measurements of the strategies and tactics will be recorded. These are numbers that you’ll look at day-to-day, weekly, and monthly to understand how the paid search strategy is performing for your business.
Building a well thought out keyword list can be a very powerful way to reach potential customers. Ask yourself, ask your customers, “how would I search for my businesses products or services and what would I expect to see and why?” There can be dramatic differences in search performance for the almost identical keywords and discovering these key performers and capitalising on them, is critical to paid search success. Attention to granular detail within the search terms area can often yield substantial rewards. This may also be integrated with a dynamic search strategy.
Implementing a well-planned account structure is often a key foundation to building success. Account structure can directly influence the relevance of your ads because it determines how your keywords, ads and landing pages are associated with one another. It is also important to consider how search engines understand the different themes in your account, and therefore, how your ads are targeted. A well planned account structure can effectively save you money by reducing wasted spend in your account and help all round account performance.
Ad Rank is a score that’s based on bid, the components of Quality Score (expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience), and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats.
Every time an ad competes in the auction, the search engine will calculate real-time measurements of expected CTR, ad relevance and landing page experience that, together with the bid and other factors, to produce an Ad Rank score. It is Ad Rank, not the Quality Score estimates you see in your account that determines where your ad appears on the page or whether it appears at all. Through understanding components of Ad Rank, it is possible to increase ad position and reduce costs at the same time and not just increase ad rank through unnecessarily raising bids (and costs).
Securing a targeted click is just the beginning and the start of the conversion journey. The quality of the user journey once the visitor lands on your site is paramount in driving conversions. The importance of Conversion Rate Optimisation cannot be underestimated or under stated. A higher conversion rate will result in a better return on investment (ROI). It is also a much more cost effective way to convert a higher percentage of existing traffic than simply acquire more traffic to over compensate a poor conversion rate. Landing page optimisation is big business for successful PPC campaigns. For example, Google factors in the quality of the landing page in determining Quality Score. We have seen dramatic differences in landing page success and fully recommend this is area of primary focus.
Flexible bid strategies give you automated bidding exactly when, where, and how you want it across multiple campaigns or ad groups.
For example, by applying the “Maximise clicks within target spend” strategy to your lower priority keywords, for instance, AdWords automatically optimises their bidding whilst you retain manual bidding control over your most important keywords. Similarly you can apply the “Target search page location” strategy to important keywords across your campaigns to increase the likelihood that your ads show as much as possible on the first page of Google Search. Target CPA can also a powerful and advantageous bid strategy when applied thoughtfully and strategically.
We have seen some significant results with flexible bidding strategies, but they aren’t suitable in some situations or conditions. Rather, we have found that to get the best out of such tactics, a deeper understanding is needed and applied.
It is essential to care about CRO (conversion rate optimisation) and LPO (Landing page optimisation) for a number of fundamental reasons. Firstly, a high conversion rate means a better return on your investment (ROI). It is also much more cost-effective to convert a higher percentage of the visitors you already possess than to attract more visitors to compensate. In addition to improving your ROI, optimisation can help to defend against the limited attention span of your average visitor by giving them what they want before they tire of looking for it and clicking a competitor’s ad. You don’t want your visitors to move on.
It’s crucial to understand, however, that optimization is about getting more of the right kind of customers—not just blindly optimizing the conversion rate of a given page or campaign. It’s worth stressing that it’s highly damaging if the people you’re acquiring are the wrong fit for your business. Keeping the focus on optimizing to find more customers who will love your product is fundamental and will enable you to grow thanks to word of mouth.
With Mobile app installs campaigns, it is possible you focus your entire campaign on getting more potential customers to download your app. Once you select the app that you want to promote, we can help you develop a strategy to increase app installs for your business. As an additional benefit of app installs, more downloads could substantially improve your app store rankings, resulting in greater numbers of people downloading your app.
Mobile app installs campaigns are available on both the Search and Display Networks. It is further possible to drive a mobile app promotion campaign to drive app downloads using TrueView on Youtube.
Automated rules let you make changes in your account, as the name suggests, automatically, based on the settings and conditions you choose. You can alter your ad status, budget, bids, and more. For example, if you want to boost your keyword bid any time your ad falls off the first page of results, you can set a rule for that. In addition, you can use automated rules to trigger emails, without taking any other action, when specific conditions occur.
Although quite an old feature of Adwords, we find automated rules are often under used but may still play a role in advanced ways if combined effectively. They are worth considering in the account tactical decisions.
We have spent a lot of time researching and testing Google AdWords scripts and each have their merits and can be extremely powerful. We have an in house script resource which can be invaluable in tailoring scripts to suit specific business needs.
Russell Savage and Frederick Valleys are the pioneers in Adwords scripts – (credit where credit it is due). We have learnt a lot from their public scripts and apply their thinking in a more tailored way to each specific business we we work with.
The Google AdWords Application Programming Interface (API) is designed for developers representing large, tech-savvy advertisers and third parties. The Google AdWords API allows developers to build applications that directly interact with the Google AdWords server. With these applications, advertisers and third parties can more efficiently and creatively manage their large or complex AdWords accounts and campaigns.
The API is flexible and functional — you can use it to build an application that meets your needs. Using the API, you can:
Automatically generate keywords, ad text, landing pages, and custom reports.
Integrate AdWords data with your inventory system to manage campaigns based on stock.
Develop additional tools and applications to help you manage accounts.
The AdWords API SOAP interface is supported by all popular programming languages, including Java, PHP, Python, .NET, Perl, and Ruby.