Keyword Buying 101: A Look into the Wonderful World of Paid Positioning
On Adviso's internal blog, we are used to very "tactical" posts on relatively advanced topics. It will be different today! I take advantage of in-house training to address the purchase of keywords in general. Those less familiar with the Adwords universe, this is for you!
There is no need to get bogged down in the flowers of the carpet, several words can be used to designate the ads contextual to your searches on Google and other search engines:
- Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Paid search
- Paid positioning
- Paid referencing
- Purchase of keywords
However, two elements are important to distinguish: search networks (ads on search results pages) and content networks (ads on sites, blogs, etc., ex: RDS.ca).
B. Quality Score
The quality score of Adwords is a big buzz word, so you better know what it is!
The quality score is a factor that determines:
- The minimum bid for a keyword
- Ad position (in conjunction with auction)
The quality score is determined by:
- The click-through rate of the word, ad group and account
- Consistency/relevance between keyword, ad and landing page
Here are the networks we use most frequently. (Information based on our experiences in Quebec). Not sure which network to choose? Test! The results differ depending on the industries.
- Google- 85%
- MSN – 8% (Less expensive than Google, excellent conversion rate for certain industries
- Yahoo – 3% (Less expensive than Google)
- Klix – 3% (Large content network in Quebec)
3. The PERKS
Other than cost, what is the biggest difference between organic and paid SEO? Control.
PPC is fantastic for product launches and tightly managing its conversion cost !
4. THE LIFE CYCLE OF A CAMPAIGN
A. DEFINITIONS OF OBJECTIVES
It sounds obvious and simple, but it's the first question we ask every new customer.
When setting goals, take the opportunity to set up your performance monitoring metrics. Don't just settle for visits, always try to implement a conversion tracking system. Are you an e-commerce site? Make sure you can count sales from your keyword buying campaigns!
B. CREATING THE ACCOUNT STRUCTURE
The structure of a keyword buying account is perhaps the most determining factor in the future performance of your campaigns. This is a very strategic step. Too simple a structure and you run the risk of receiving a lot of irrelevant impressions. Too complex a structure and you risk wasting a lot of time managing your campaigns.
Very often, when we take over an existing account from a client, the redesign of its structure is necessary to reach its full potential. What's important to understand are campaign-specific and ad-group-specific settings. Here is a table from Google for this purpose:
C. DEFINITION OF ADVERTISEMENTS AND KEYWORDS
The next step is defining your keywords and creating the ads. For your keywords, the easiest tool to use is Google's Keyword Tool, which has just added a long-awaited feature: the number of searches per keyword!
More information on the types of targeting.
D. PERFORMANCE MONITORING
Campaign monitoring should be done continuously. Testing (ad and otherwise) is key to finding the winning recipe !
The management of paid positioning campaigns is characterized by an important duality: even without experience, it is very easy to launch a first campaign. However, very advanced knowledge is required to optimize a campaign to its full potential. Please take into account that the following tactics are only a basic and not an exhaustive list of strategic approaches.
A. LANDING PAGESWhy?
- Most important element for conversion
- Enter the quality score equation
- Clear reminder of the message (the visitor must be reassured in 0.5 seconds!)
- Use of text (avoid the use of images for your text content)
- Presence of call to action (what should the visitor do?)
- Test, test and test (A/B or multivariate)
- This is the message!
- The most important element for click-through rate
- Enter the quality score equation
- Concise (there is not a lot of room!)
- Use of keywords (if the searched word is in your ad, it will be in bold) Consistency with the search word (make sure you have very specific ad groups!)
- Using a call to action (what should the visitor do?)
C. KEY WORDS
- Without keywords… no ads!
- When you define your keywords, a good idea is to find words that reach your potential customers through their buying cycle (Recognition, interest, reflection, purchase)
6. SUCCESS FACTORS
Want to increase your conversion rate? Reinforce the consistency between the keyword, the ad, the landing page and the messages across your different advertising mediums.
From experience, I know that if I let an account stagnate for several weeks, its performance will gradually decrease. Internet users are bombarded with information, if your ad does not stand out, it will not be clicked! Do not hesitate to use your campaigns to highlight your various marketing campaigns (promotions, branding, new products, etc.)
C. PERFORMANCE MONITORING
As Jean-François Renaud would say, "At Adviso, we are obsessed with conversion!" ". Don't be surprised if tracking is a recurring theme! Want to maximize your return on investment? Keyword conversion tracking is essential!
Paid positioning is a fascinating discipline with endless possibilities! It brings better ROI than banners and is much more controllable than organic SEO.
The future is also very bright:
- Landing page testing tools are increasingly available (think Google Website Optimizer)
- Content networks are becoming more flexible (Google now allows you to choose specific site sections, e.g. the business section of the NY Times. Also, Google has joined MSN in offering demographic targeting options. )
- Video ads are coming soon! (Google and Yahoo experimented with video ads on their search results pages earlier this year)
Consult Adviso's paid positioning services.