Adwords Archive

Why and How to Use AdWords Editor

Posted February 1, 2016 By Callie

Most people when starting out in Google AdWords start by creating campaigns in the online interface. But to really be profitable in AdWords, to be able to fine-tune your campaigns and to be able to drive high volume, you’ll want to be editing your campaigns in AdWords Editor.

What is AdWords Editor? What are its benefits and how do you get started with using it?

==> What Is Google AdWords Editor?

AdWords Editor is a downloadable program that allows you to create and edit campaigns quickly. You don’t have to wait for a page to load every time in between creating an ad or adding keywords.

All the changes are done offline, then uploaded all at once. That means you can create hundreds of ads or add hundreds (even thousands) of keywords at the speed of your computer, then upload it all online rather than having to load pages in between.

Virtually all highly profitable AdWords professionals use either AdWords Editor, or their own versions of other offline programs. Very, very few successful marketers use the online interface.

==> Some of the Things You Can Do

Here are some of the things you can do in Google AdWords Editor that you can’t do in the online editor:

* Mass upload campaigns – You can upload a big spreadsheet of keywords, ads and bids with thousands of different data points. Creating this in the online interface would take months.

* Mass bid change – You can select any number of keywords or AdGroups and edit their bids all at once. No need to go into each AdGroup and change bids one at a time.

* Write multiple ads quickly – No need to click “Submit” after each ad. Just write all your ads at once, then submit them all at once and correct any errors all at once.

* Easy broad / phrase / match targeting – To change the match type in the online editor, you need to manually create brackets or quotes. In the offline editor, all you need to do is select all the keywords which have types you want to change and then change the type in a dropdown list.

This is just a small list of what AdWords Editor is capable of doing. There are many other smaller features that will help speed up your editing and increase your ROI.

==> Getting Started with AdWords Editor

First, go and download the editor at: http://www.google.com/intl/en/adwordseditor/

Once downloaded, install the application, then input your sign-in information.

Download all your data to your computer. Then download all your stats to your computer.

Once you’ve got all your online campaigns downloaded, all you need to do is make the changes you want to make, then click “Post Changes” to submit the edits.

Using AdWords Editor rather than the online editor is almost mandatory for AdWords success. It’ll drastically increase your speed and make it much easier to optimize your campaigns.

Use Keyword Spy Tools to

Posted January 31, 2016 By Callie

One of the fastest and most efficient ways to build a strong keyword list is to just “steal” your competitor’s. They’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars testing to find the best keywords and it can save you a lot of money if you just use their existing data.

How do you find data on your competitor’s keywords? What are some of the best tools on the market? Here’s an overview.

==> Tip: Use a Variety of Tools

Different kinds of tools get their data from different sources. Some sources (Alexa) do it through toolbar installs that gather data as users with their toolbar browse the web. Others buy data from ISPs (Compete) and still others scrape Google (SpyFu) for fresh ad data.

Each of these sources is going to tell a different story. They’re going to give you different traffic estimations, different keyword bids and different keywords.

There’s no such thing as a tool that’ll give you all your competitor’s keywords 100% accurately. Instead, try to combine as many different keyword spy sources as you can to get as complete a picture as possible.

Only pay for a source once you’ve gotten a sense for what it can do and believe that the paid version will pay for itself.

==> Compete.com

Compete.com is targeted primarily at large corporations and media buyers, but its free keyword spy tool is still one of the best on net.

Simply go to Compete.com, click “Site Profile” and type in the domain you want to spy on.

Compete will give you a list of their top five paid keywords and top five organic keywords. It’ll also give you an estimation of their traffic.

Yes, you only get 10 keywords without paying. But if you compile 10 keywords from 15 competitors, that’s 150 keywords that you know are already working for someone else.

Compete’s data comes from purchasing data from other companies, many of which are ISPs.

==> SpyFu.com

SpyFu offers not only keyword data, but also ad and campaign data. They can tell you how long your competitors have been running any given ad and how long they’ve been bidding on a keyword.

With this data, you can pretty much tell what your competitors have tested in the past that has worked and what they’ve tested that hasn’t worked.

Not only will this give you a good keyword list, but it can save you a lot of time and money by not testing things that have already been proven not to work.

==> KeywordSpy.com

KeywordSpy is one of the old school, simple and direct keyword spy tools.

Just type in the domain you’re looking for data on and it’ll show you a list of the keywords they believe they’re getting traffic from.

Generally you’ll need to type in quite a few domains into KeywordSpy to get a meaningful keyword list.

These are three very popular keyword spy tools online. There are many more – some paid and some free. Try to find two or three tools that really fit your style and consider paying for one tool if you really find that it gives you the data you need.

Start with Profits, Then with Volume

Posted January 30, 2016 By Callie

One of the most sure-fire ways to make sure you’re profitable is to start with highly targeted campaigns containing only your most likely to be profitable keywords. Once you prove the campaigns’ merits, then you move on to broader keywords.

==> What Your Starting Campaign Needs To Look Like

Your starting campaign should contain mostly proven keywords with moderate competition. You might have a sprinkle of highly targeted unproven keywords, but try to stick with proven keywords. “Proven” keywords are basically keywords that at least one competitor has run successfully and profitably.

You’ll primarily be bidding on exact match keywords. Exact match keywords almost always convert higher than phrase and broad match, because you can specifically target people in the perfect mindset for buying your product.

The goal is to sell just to your most likely buyers first. Yes, the volume will be low. Your profit margins might also be low, as you’ll be paying higher CPCs with exact match and proven keywords than if you were doing more fringe keywords or broader match types.

But by starting with this narrow, proven range, you drastically increase your chances of building something that makes money from the beginning.

Once you’ve proven the concept behind your campaign, how do you scale up your volume?

=> Scaling Up: Stage 1

The first step is to enable syndicated search results. That means your search results will appear on other websites (e.g. AOL.com) that have search engines but use Google’s search data for their results.

This will pretty quickly boost your traffic by about 20%. Make sure you track the referrers on your conversions so you know whether or not this traffic actually converts.

The next step is to enable phrase and broad matching. Generally, you’ll want to bid a little bit less for phrase matching and a lot less for broad matching. If you’re bidding $0.27 for exact match, you might only bid $0.17 for phrase matching and $0.11 for broad match.

=> Scaling Up: Stage 2

Once you’ve tried syndicated search and loosening your match types, assuming you’re still profitable, you should be getting a lot more volume. But you can still take it even further.

Scale up by adding more keywords. Add keywords in “sideway” niches and markets. Add keywords that target the same type of person who buys your products, but might not necessarily be a dead-on relevant keyword.

If you’re targeting the dating market, for example, instead of using keywords like “dating” you might try keywords like “what to do when I’m bored” or “how do I find love.”

Finally, expand your traffic by porting your campaign over to Microsoft AdCenter. Now that Bing has taken over Yahoo’s search traffic, they consist of over 30% of the web’s searches. Not a small market share by any means.

Start by making sure your campaign can actually make money. Then expand your reach and keywords to get as much volume as possible.

Quality Score 101: What Does Google Look For?

Posted January 29, 2016 By Callie

Quality Score is one of the most important yet least understood aspects of the Google AdWords equation. Part of the reason why Quality Score is so poorly understood is that Google provides only very basic information about its formula.

Fortunately, over the last few years Google has become a bit more open. Marketers have also pooled their collective experiences to figure out what really makes up a high Quality Score.

Without further ado, here are the top factors that affect your Quality Score.

==> Landing Page Quality

This is perhaps the number one thing that trips marketers up. In order to succeed in Google AdWords, not only do you need landing pages that convert, you also need landing pages that actually provide quality content to the user.

Your landing page will be evaluated first by an automated bot, then by a real human being.

In addition to good content, your landing page should be well designed. It should address whatever question the user came to your site to have answered.

It should be noted that contrary to popular belief, opt-in pages are not banned by Google. But if you want to use an opt-in page, make sure the opt-in page itself provides valuable information.

Having a poor landing page is one of the fastest ways to get a “Poor” quality score. However, just a good landing page isn’t enough to get a high Quality Score.

==> Click-Through Rate

Your click-through rate is the second most important thing to pay attention to once you’ve got your landing page handled.

Keep in mind that the more people who click per 100 people who see an ad, the more money Google makes. It only makes sense then that the people with a higher CTR will get higher positions and thereby make Google more money.

Always split test your ads to try and get the highest CTRs possible.

==> Historical CTR of Display URLs

If Wikipedia decided to start running AdWords ads, their Quality Score right off the bat would be much higher than a no name website.

If an advertiser with a high Quality Score stops advertising for a while then comes back, the same will also be true.

Google doesn’t just consider your immediate CTR, but also the display URL’s historical performance.

==> Relevance of Keyword to Ad

Even if your CTR is high and your landing page is good, if you’re showing up for unrelated pages Google still won’t rank your score highly.

Relevancy counts. Google’s goal is to give the search users exactly what they’re looking for.

These are a few of the most important factors that Google looks for. Of course, Google’s formula contains hundreds of smaller variables that they haven’t disclosed. But if you focus on just mastering your landing page, your CTR and your relevancy, you’ll cover the most important bases.

How you sort your AdGroups and put your text ads and keywords inside them can make all the difference between a successful campaign and a total dud.

In this article, you’ll learn why is AdGroup sorting so important and what is the optimal way to sort your AdGroups.

==> Why Is AdGroup Sorting So Important?

The easiest way to think of AdGroups is as groups of keywords. You take one group of keywords and tell Google what ad(s) to display for that group of keywords.

AdGroup sorting is critical because it’s not just your keywords or your ads that matter. How you match up those keywords to those ads is also critical.

If you have too many keywords that are too different in one AdGroup, your ads won’t be targeted enough. People who see your ads won’t feel like you’re talking to them, but speaking generally. That’ll result in lower CTRs and lower ROIs.

One beginner mistake is to put all or way too many keywords in one AdGroup. This will almost always kill your CTR.

==> What Is the Optimal Way to Organize Your AdGroups?

In an ideal world, the most optimal way to organize an AdGroup would be one keyword per AdGroup.

That would allow you to write the most targeted advertisement that’s possible for that keyword. Every single keyword would have the best possible ad. Your CTRs would be much, much higher than if you had many keywords grouped in a single AdGroup.

However, that may not always be possible. If you have five thousand keywords and you need to write two ads for each keyword, that’s ten thousand ads. That’ll take months to write.

The ideal grouping would instead be one keyword per AdGroup for small campaigns; and for larger campaigns as many keywords per AdGroup as it takes to make the campaign realistic to build, while still keeping keywords grouped only with highly similar keywords.

For example, these are keywords that you can pretty safely group together:

* SAT Scores
* Improve SAT Scores
* Better SAT Scores
* Get 1400 SAT

These are probably keywords that you shouldn’t group together:

* SAT Reading Test
* Study Tips
* Improve Reading Comprehension
* Get Better Grades

Keep your AdGroups tight. Write highly targeted ads. In addition to getting higher CTRs, it also gives you a nice bonus: you’ll be able to put the exact keyword in your ad. This will cause that part of your ad to be bolded in Google’s search results. This will further increase your CTRs.

How do you sort your AdGroups in this manner? If you have a campaign with more than 100 keywords, you’ll pretty much have to use a spreadsheet upload. It’s very hard to do large campaigns any other way. Even AdWords Editor will be too slow for large campaigns when you’re doing one keyword per AdGroup or near one keyword per AdGroup.

The Impact of Quality Score on Ad Position & CPC

Posted January 27, 2016 By Callie

Your Quality Score has a big impact on both your ad position and your CPC. This in return will have a big impact on your ROI at the end of the day.

How does Quality Score affect ad position and CPC?

==> How Quality Score affects Ad Position

While Google hasn’t revealed their exact formula of what makes up Quality Score, few would contest that there’s a direct correlation between ad position and Quality Score.

In fact, a good shorthand formula to go by is:

Ad Position = Max CPC x Quality Score

Of course reality is a little more complicated than that; but in essence that’s how it works.

If you have a good Quality Score, your ad will rank higher for the same bid. If you have a lower Quality Score, even if you’re bidding a lot of money you might not get a good ad position.

==> How Often Your Ad Shows

It’s important to note that in addition to ranking, your Quality Score will also influence how often your ads show up.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you search for your keywords your ads show up, but at other times they’re nowhere to be seen?

That’s because Google rotates ads in and out. They rotate your ads out so that other ads can get a shot at getting clicks and so Google can determine which ads are actually generating them the most revenue for their impressions.

If you have a low Quality Score, you’ll be rotated in less often and get less impressions. In fact, if you get a low enough Quality Score your ads just won’t show up at all.

==> How Quality Score Affects CPCs

The lower your Quality Score, the more you’ll have to pay for clicks. The difference can be astronomical.

Someone with a Quality Score of 10 might pay 15 cents for a click that someone with a Quality Score of 7 might have to pay 25 cents for. Someone with a Quality Score of 3 or 4 might have to pay as much as $0.50 to $1 to even get any traffic.

It’s easy to underestimate the effect that Quality Score can have on your volume and ROI. But the difference between 15 cents and 30 cents is a 100% increase in ROI. That’s not even counting the increase in volume.

==> How to Apply This Information

The moral of the story is to pay close attention to your Quality Score. Your Quality Score is more important than your bid, your CTR, your landing page, etc. It affects your whole campaign in many ways.

If you ever come upon a junction where you can choose between profits now and Quality Score later, it almost always pays more to choose Quality Score.

That might mean putting more time into making your landing pages high quality. It might mean cutting converting but low CTR ads. In other words, it means at times putting Google’s earnings and customer satisfaction above your own short-term profits. Make Google happy and in the long run you’ll make more money.

How to Use Mass Spreadsheet Upload

Posted January 26, 2016 By Callie

One of the fastest and most efficient ways to create campaigns is to use the mass spreadsheet upload method. If your campaign has over a hundred text ads or over a thousand keywords, it’ll simply take too much time to create it in AdWords Editor. The spreadsheet upload is the answer.

==> What Is the Spreadsheet Upload?

The spreadsheet upload involves creating all your text ads, AdGroups, keyword lists, match types and bid amounts in an Excel spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet is then copied and pasted into Google AdWords Editor. AdWords Editor will parse all the data it receives, let you know of any errors and put all the text ads, keywords and AdGroups in the appropriate places.

Then all you need to do is correct any errors and click “Post Changes.” Once the changes go live on the server, you might get another few errors that you need to correct. Then you’re done!

Even the load times between switching tabs in AdWords Editor can add up when you get in the range of hundreds of keywords and text ads. The spreadsheet upload method can remove much of this lag time.

Here are a few tips for making the process easier.

==> Constructing Your Spreadsheet

To figure out exactly what fields AdWords Editor needs, go to:

Data > AdGroups > Add/Edit Multiple AdGroups

Look at all the columns of data that AdWords needs for you to copy and paste from a spreadsheet. Create these columns in your spreadsheet program.

Repeat the process for your keywords by going to:

Data > Keywords > Add/Edit Multiple Keywords

Then do the same for text ads by going to:

Data > Text Ads > Add/Edit Text Ads

Once you’ve done these three steps, you should have a spreadsheet with all the values you need to plug in. These values will include text headline and descriptions, destination URLs, keywords, match types and bids.

==> Tips for Creating Text Ads

When you’re creating your text ads, if you want to create two ads per AdGroup so you’re split testing ads, just select your whole AdGroup list and paste back into the spreadsheet right below all the existing AdGroups.

This will create a duplicate of every AdGroup. Then sort by AdGroup name and you’ll have two of each AdGroup to write ads for.

When you’re writing ads, it often helps to create three columns that tell you the length of the text you’re writing. AdWords allows you to have 25 characters in your headline and 35 characters in description 1 and description 2.

In Excel, the formula for calculating length is =LEN(cell). Just put that formula in the three cells next to the text ad cells so you know how many characters you have left as you write the ads.

To wrap up, the spreadsheet method will make it much faster to write ads, edit keywords, compile AdGroups and do just about everything you need to do in a really big campaign.

How to Fine-Tune a Campaign

Posted January 25, 2016 By Callie

Success in AdWords isn’t just about setting up a profitable campaign. It’s also about fine-tuning a working or near-working campaign to improve its ROI.

Often times campaigns won’t be profitable right from the get go. If your campaign is losing 30% from day one, there’s a very good chance that with some fine-tuning you’ll be able to make that profitable.

Here’s how to fine-tune your campaigns.

==> Kill All Super-Low CTR Ads and Keywords

When you’re building campaigns, you need to look out for both your own wellbeing and Google’s wellbeing. If your CTR is too low, that means Google isn’t making a lot of money from their traffic. Eventually that’ll result in a low Quality Score and could drag down your whole account.

If you’re getting 200 clicks a month from 200,000 impressions, a 0.1% CTR, and those 200 clicks are profitable, should you keep them?

Probably not. You won’t be making enough money from the 200 clicks to justify dragging the overall CTR and Quality Score of the rest of your account down.

Anytime you have super-low CTRs, even if it’s profitable, it’s usually better to kill it to preserve your account.

==> Mass Increase or Decrease Bids by Position

Usually you want to be aiming between third position and fifth position. Anything at second position and higher gets a lot of clicks that cost a lot of money – usually browsers rather than buyers. Below number five and you’re not getting seen and may have very low traffic.

In AdWords Editor, you can sort by average position. Sort your ads this way and highlight all the ads that are showing up in first or second position.

Along the very bottom of the interface, select “Advanced Bid Changes.” You can then decrease the bid for all the selected keywords by percentage or by dollar amounts.

Select any keywords ranking five or lower and increase their bids in the same manner.

==> Track All Conversions and Deactivate Non-Converters

Make sure you’re tracking all your traffic. You should know exactly which keywords are converting and which ones aren’t.

As a rule of thumb, spend twice your payout on any one keyword or group of keywords before deactivating it.

If you get a $20 payout from an affiliate product, be willing to test up to $40 in traffic on a group of keywords before deeming them non-converting and deactivating them.

Be systematic about tracking your traffic and taking out keywords that don’t convert.

==> Split Test Ads

Always have two versions of your text ads running. Run each text ad until you have statistically significant data on which ads are getting higher CTRs and conversions, then delete the worst ad and create a new one. Then repeat.

These are some of the most important things to do to fine-tune a campaign. Deactivate low CTR keywords. Increase and decrease your bids to keep your ads running between third and fifth position. Track conversions and split test ads.

Finding and Selecting Profitable Keywords

Posted January 24, 2016 By Callie

Perhaps the most important element in all of Google AdWords is your keywords. A mediocre ad with a killer keyword list will convert far better than a great ad to a mediocre keyword list. To succeed in the AdWords game, you need low-cost keywords that convert at strong ROIs.

So how do you find these keywords?

==> Start with a Broad Keyword Base

Start by brainstorming all the different kinds of base keywords you could bid on. For example, if you’re promoting a guide on how to get better grades, you might start your brainstorming with:

ACT Scores
Get good grades
Study tips
Read faster
Increase comprehension
Improve retention
Improve IQ

So on and so forth. Start with as broad a list as you possibly can. This should give you all the “conventional” keywords that all your competitors will also be bidding on, as well as a fairly large list of unconventional keywords that might have less competition than other keywords.

==> Narrowing Down Your List

Once you have your big of keywords, the next step is to narrow these down to just a select few to run.

Start by looking through the traffic stats in the Google Keyword Tool. Ideally, you’re looking for keywords that have enough volume to make it worth your time to optimize, but not so much traffic that the traffic is untargeted.

In other words, you probably don’t want to bid on “grades” or “reading,” even if there’s high volume. You also don’t want to bid on keywords like “How to get better grades in 4th grade in Arizona” because the volume just isn’t there.

Also take a look at the estimated CPC in Google. Don’t actually take these numbers at face value, as these numbers are based on what you’d need to bid to get first position.

You usually want to be between positions three and five, so your actual bid will be much lower. But the estimated CPCs will give you a very good sense of which keywords cost more and have more competition, and which keywords are cheaper to bid on.

==> Finalizing and Refining Your Keyword List

Compile your final keyword list. Try to start with a small keyword list of just the keywords you think will be most likely to convert. Bid on these keywords with an exact match bid. Target only Google and not the rest of the syndicated search network.

The goal is to aim for the highest possible ROI keywords first, so you can verify that the campaign can actually be profitable in the best case scenario.

Then once you’ve proven profitability, broaden your keyword base and experiment with phrase and broad match. Split test the syndicated search network traffic as well as Google traffic.

Track carefully, so you know what kinds of keywords, match types and syndicated search engines convert and which ones don’t.

Those are the basics of compiling a successful keyword list for Google Adwords. Start broad, then narrow down to your final list. When you bid, start with just the keywords most likely to make money, then gradually make your way to broader keywords.

Copywriting Tips for Higher Click-Throughs

Posted January 23, 2016 By Callie

All else being equal in an AdWords campaign, the marketer with the higher click-through rate (CTR) will get more clicks, get cheaper bids and earn more money in the long run.

How do you write your copy in such a way that people feel inspired to click on your ads? Here are a few tips.

==> Keyword in Title

Anytime you have your keyword in the title, the keyword is bolded. This brings more attention to your ad.

However, often times the keyword is too long to be included in your title. Or your title can only hold just the keyword. For example, if your keyword is “New York Coupons,” you might just use “NY Coupons” and then use the rest of the space to create a compelling title. Only “coupons” will be bolded, but that’s good enough.

==> Mirror Your Competitors

Start by looking through all your competitor’s ads. What’s working for them?

If all your competitors are using just one ad style, it might make a lot of sense to at least split test copying that style.

==> A Few Effective Headline Strategies

There are a few time tested AdWords ad styles that tend to work pretty well in most markets. If you have trouble coming up with ideas, try one of these proven formulas.

* The Shocking or Controversial Statement

A headline that’s highly controversial or shocking can really draw in the eyes and therefore clicks. A headline like “Is SS Stealing Your Pension?” might be a high click-through headline for social security related keywords, for example.

* The New Discovery or Fact

Headlines that reveal interesting facts or new discoveries often work very well. For example, the “negative carb” diet worked well because of all its “burn more calories than you eat” types of headlines.

* The “Read Before You Buy” Headline

If you’re bidding on specific product names, try the “Read This Before You Buy [X]” headline. If you don’t mind ticking some people off, the “Is [X] a Scam?” headline also works very well.

* The Strong Benefit Statement

Finally, there’s the good old benefit statement headline. That’s basically where you tell them loud and clear what they’ll get by using your product. It’s old and used often, but it’s popular for a reason: it works.

==> The Call to Action

How you tell people to take action could make a big difference on your CTR.

AdWords doesn’t allow people to use words like “click here” in their ads. However, you can use words like “visit now” or “see inside.”

Generally, adding one of these calls to action at the end of your ad will increase your CTR noticeably.

Getting a high CTR will help you get more clicks, a higher ROI and a better Quality Score. Try some of these tips to help increase your overall CTR.