This is a guest post from Johnathan Dane, Founder of KlientBoost.
Have you ever thought your Google advertising account should be performing better?
You may be following the advice of many that say that the more time you spend in your account, the better.
But what if it’s all backwards?
What if it only takes you 10 minutes a week to improve your Google advertising performance?
If your Google campaign performance hasn’t been improving month over month like the table below, then keep reading.
It’s about to get interesting. Let’s get started.
If you’re running any type of display or remarketing campaign, you might find that your display ads are showing up on websites, apps, or even video overlays that aren’t performing well.
Overall though, you might be decently happy with your display performance, but always wondered if it could do better.
To start the “performance pruning”, see which Automatic placements either have a cost per conversion that’s too high, or better yet, which placements are actually bringing in sales (not just conversions) by equipping your Google advertising Final URLs with ValueTrack parameters.
This will then help you get more conversion volume out of those specific placements when you extract and target them exclusively through a new campaign.
Search term reports are such an important part of regular Google advertising maintenance that it’s not uncommon that some people do this more frequently than brushing their teeth.
When looking at your search term report, get as close as possible to making sure your search terms and keywords have no discrepancies between them.
In other words, your Added / Excluded column from your search term report should have the green “Added” label going down the list for as long as possible, just like this:
When that happens, you can make your ads specific to not your keywords, but your search terms and see higher click-through-rates from your efforts.
Let’s say you look at your search term report and find your search terms and keywords don’t match. The first thing you should do is extract your search terms with the most impressions and create what are called Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs).
Just like the name implies, SKAGs are ad groups that only allow one keyword per ad group, that then have corresponding ads that are extremely specific to that keyword.
Did you know that the last keyword and/or ad clicked always gets to lionshare of conversion credit?
What if there were seven other touchpoints (impression and ad clicks) that happened before the final conversion? Wouldn’t you want to know what helped assist that conversion?
I know I would.
If you don’t care, there’s a good chance you’ll pause keywords and placements that don’t get the conversion credit. But, when you do, you’re strangling your account at the same time, without even knowing it.
Let’s take a look at your Google advertising attribution.
Inside your account, go to the top of your Google advertising interface and click Tools > Attribution.
Once you’re there, take a look at the Time Lag report on the left side. Here, you can see how long it takes people to convert from either first impression, first click, or last click.
This will help you make your nurture and/or retargeting campaigns more of a priority to test.
Are you a local, statewide, nationwide, or even an international advertiser?
No matter how big an area you’re targeting, every geographic hill, slope, mountain, and valley performs differently. The same thing goes for individual states and cities.
And, because you can’t target people who live on just a hill (yet), the next best thing is to understand the performance of each state or city that sees your ads.
As you can see above, the state of New York may be costing more per conversion than others. So, you may want to add in negative bid modifiers at the state level, like this screenshot shows.
You can then drill even deeper and create new campaigns with state level campaign targeting, and give bid modifiers to individual cities within that specific state to get your closer to your cost per conversion goals.
You can take it even further and start utilizing city specific ad copy and landing pages with area code specific phone numbers, to appear more local to visitors and increase your conversion rates.
As I’m sure you’re already aware of, Google advertising doesn’t allow you to separate devices in their own campaigns like they used to.
These days, you have to group desktop and tablets together in the same campaign. And while Google may say that both those devices perform similarly, there are thousands of Google advertising accounts out there that say something completely different.
Here’s the truth: Desktops and tablets will never perform the same way.
I’m not just speaking from a conversion rate standpoint, but also from a sales standpoint.
When Google told the world that devices don’t matter, but user context does, they certainly never thought of every single industry, but more so of a blanket band-aid that would apply to “most advertisers”.
Believe it or not, there are some workarounds you can use to get desktop, tablet, and mobile campaigns in their own campaigns and still target the search and/or display network.
But first, let’s look at how we find current device performance differences within your account.
First, go to Segment then Device in the dropdown.
As you can see in the screenshot above, our mobile devices are giving us the lowest cost per conversion while tablets are sucking it up and being the most expensive.
Now let’s say for a minute that your tablet performance is just as good as your desktop performance (like Google says it is), but your mobile performance sucks.
You can quickly add in what’s called a negative bid modifier between 1 and 100%.
If you never want to target mobile devices, then you can set a negative bid modifier of 100%.
Just like keywords, ads, and landing pages perform differently, so does Monday compared to Thursday, and Saturday compared to Wednesday.
Inside your Google advertising account, you can see this day of the week granularity in a snap. Just head over to Dimensions -> View: Day of the week.
Having these kinds of numbers doesn’t mean that you should stop advertising on Thursdays (because it has the highest cost per conversions). But, it could mean that you should start considering “day of the week” bid modifiers like we did for our devices earlier.
Some industries tend to be very predictable in their weekly trends. If your company falls into a category like that, then take advantage of the control you have and get more aggressive with your bids on great performing days, and taper back on the not so great-performing ones.
Just like we saw how your days perform differently during the week, so do your hours within the day.
And, just as we can create bid modifiers for 24-hour day targeting, we can also take advantage of the same thing with bidding blocks of hours within a certain day of the week, to break it down even further.
If you already have the data and insight that allow you to use this type of granular bidding, then definitely do so.
You might even find that Google or other bidding platforms are restricting how many bid modifications you can make on a daily basis. If that’s the case, I suggest you try using Brainlab’s 24 hour bidding script that allows you to take it one step further, and then some.
Now before I let you go, please keep this in mind:
“With great control, comes great responsibility.”
Having access to all of this data is great, but only if you can be actionable with it to improve your performance.
I see time and time again that people spend countless hours trying to tweak and prune things with modifiers, rules, and even scripts that change bids depending on the weather.
While all of this is great, most of it becomes entirely obsolete as soon as you have a landing page test that improves your conversion rates by 50%. When that happens, all the things you’ve put into place need to be redone.
One thing that will always help you out, no matter your goals, is to extract and target things in a granular fashion that makes sense.
Use the dimensions tab and its reports to your advantage and keep on making progress
This is a guest post from Casey Carey – Head of Marketing, Adometry by Google.
Over the past few weeks, there has been a significant amount of discussion regarding attribution models. At this point, you may be curious about how data-driven attribution, or any attribution model for that matter, fits into your marketing organization’s priorities.
If you watched the Preakness or Kentucky Derby recently, you may have noticed many of the horses wearing blinders, a marketing measurement metaphor if there ever was one. In a sport with such a small margin for error, these eye covers play a vital role in helping the horses maintain focus on the path ahead rather than what is taking place on either side. Unfortunately, for years many marketing organizations made decisions with a similarly narrow viewpoint with the idea being, let’s look at each of these things individually and then compare results at the end. Often this was done out of necessity more than desire, but the byproduct was typically a combination of poorly-optimized campaigns followed by disappointing results and difficult questions from stakeholders across the company.
Marketers are rethinking how to best engage audiences during a period of rapidly shifting consumer behavior. By now it should be clear that the “customer journey” is no longer a straight line or predictable path to purchase. In fact, roughly 65 percent of all revenues come from multi-touch conversion paths, the majority of which involve impressions across multiple channels. Intuitively, marketers know customers are engaging with the brand across channels, but the vast majority still lack the ability to monitor and measure the impact of these interactions holistically. This causes a disconnect between what channel-specific reports say they contributed to revenue versus what actually occurred.
One common barrier for many organizations when attempting to adopt data-driven attribution methodologies is a feeling they are trapped by existing investments. Sometimes this takes the form of data trapped inside vendors’ proprietary reporting systems, other times it might be internal processes or change management issues obstructing anything from rocking the proverbial measurement boat. In either case, the result is marketers receiving multiple versions of the “truth” instead of a united picture that allows them to analyze and optimize their marketing mix using data-driven methodologies that take these variables into consideration.
Luckily, platform providers, like Marin, are opting to build an open ecosystem in which data can be incorporated from a variety of sources—including site and ad analytics as well as e-commerce data—to enable customers to make informed decision based on the entirety of data available.
From a measurement standpoint, this is invaluable and allows marketers adopting data-driven attribution methodologies, such as Adometry’s, to seamlessly incorporate or “operationalize” attribution insights into day-to-day decision-making workflows. This not only solves the a major data consolidation challenge but also completes the promise of data-driven attribution—trusted measurement that provides not just feedback on how you’ve done but also offers guidance on how you can improve moving forward.
No one is saying this is easy. Marketers faced with consolidating data from a non-trivial number of channel-specific sources and analytics tools know that this takes time and commitment. If you’re struggling with where to get started, these 10 Tactics for Building an Effective Attribution Management Program will help. Attribution is a marathon, not a sprint. But there’s no time like the present to get started.
Did you know? Only about half of businesses carry out some sort of attribution.
Marketing attribution is the practice of determining the role that different channels play in informing and influencing the customer journey, and subsequently allocating partial value to different touch points which have influenced a sale or another desired outcome.
There are many different attribution models, each with their own merits – the most important thing is picking a model that fits your business. Consider:
While it can be complicated to make attribution a part of your marketing process, the business motivation is very clear: to justify marketing spend, to build an understanding of the customer journey and audience behavior, and to use this understanding to optimize the media mix.
When marketers implement attribution, they often get immediate insights that allow them to better adjust their budgets, moving money away from poorly performing channels and toward better ones. This allows for a better strategy across the entire path-to-conversion.
To learn the basics of marketing attribution, download our guide.
Although paid search still commands the majority of digital advertising spend, online marketers find themselves having to follow consumers through an always-on, multi-channel world. In this highly competitive landscape, the path-to-conversion is anything but linear, and the ways in which consumers engage with brands is gaining complexity. For instance, a customer may have viewed a display banner, clicked on a paid search ad, and was retargeted on Facebook prior to converting on an iPad.
Keep in mind that the click-path above wasn’t even possible three years ago. The degree to which media is fragmented today makes attribution incredibly challenging. So how would an online marketer value each of these touch-points and subsequently develop an effective bidding strategy to maximize performance across their entire marketing program?
This is exactly the problem that Marin Software has solved. Today, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Adometry, a leading attribution company. Through conversion and revenue data integrations, advertisers using this joint solution will be able to:
And because Marin has certified the integration process with Adometry, our mutual clients will be able to take advantage of these industry leading capabilities without incurring any additional costs or disruptions to service.
So there you have it, Adometry + Marin = A win for online marketers.
We love our mobile devices, and according to our recent study of mobile paid search, we love searching on them. In looking across our client base the trend was unanimous, mobile search is up, way up.
In the U.S., we saw ad clicks from mobile devices increase 132% during 2011, and by the end of this year mobile will comprise 25% of all paid search clicks. Similarly, in the UK mobile ended the year with 15% of all clicks in the UK. And, even though it’s not as significant a percentage, mobile clicks in the Eurozone more than doubled in 2011.
Things get even more interesting for marketers when looking at the differences between smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Generally (UK was the sole exception), smartphones carry higher CTRs and lower CPCs, but the lowest conversion rates. Tablets beat desktops in CTR and CPC, come close to trumping desktops in conversion rate, and edge all devices out in cost per conversion.
So, what’s this all mean?
Mobile devices are not only changing the way consumers search and shop, but how marketers advertise. The immediate response by advertisers is to devote more budget to mobile search (we project ad budgets will fall just a bit short of click volume in 2012). However, down the road as savvy marketers adapt to mobile search scenarios, click to call, location-based promos, and integration with social will all become common place. Furthermore, attribution becomes a much larger issue, particularly in a scenario where a mobile search directly leads to an in-store sale. Who gets the credit?
How do you foresee search marketing changing with the increased adoption and use of smartphones and tablets?
For years, marketers are used to evaluating online marketing efforts with last click attribution, meaning they only care about the click that directly results in a conversion without thinking about other possible consumer “touchpoints” before or even after the conversion.
Cross channel reporting/attribution has become a hot topic among digital marketers as more advanced and comprehensive tracking technologies made available. In today’s market, cross channel measurement becomes more and more important for an organization to build a seamless integrated marketing mix that maximizes the impact on consumers.