If you manage Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising for your company or clients, it is likely that one of your goals for the new year is to improve advertising efficiency. However, improving paid search advertising efficiency can be difficult. If you manage one or more Google Adwords accounts, it is likely that you know first-hand how difficult and time consuming it can be to attain even a 10% or 20% improvement. But I believe there is an easy way to nearly guarantee improvements in ad performance.
The key is to focus on MSN search ad performance. Unfortunately, many advertisers either totally ignore MSN advertising, spending their entire ad budget on Google, or loosely manage their MSN account with the result being minimal traffic and poor ad performance.
As part of my responsibilities, I routinely review account performance for clients with our managed service plan. As part of this review process, I have identified many accounts with impressive MSN ad performance. As an example, local advertising for plastic surgeons and lawyers show MSN ad performance as good as or better than Google in terms of conversion performance. The MSN click volume for these clients sometimes equals that of Google and oftentimes is at least 50% of Google click volumes. As far as conversion performance; cost/conversion of MSN ads is often better than that of Google.
A few clients have recently inquired about the latest Google API updates in response to an email alert they received from Google. The email alert indicated that the following API versions are being sun-setted:
ClickSweeper has already been upgraded to the latest Google API (v201109). We have also completed an MSN API upgrade.
With these updates completed, we are now planning to add a number of new features to ClickSweeper PPC management software, next year to further enhance the power and usability of this tool.
A new feature introduced in November is the Managed Service subscription model. The PPC Managed Service subscription provides both manual and software management components giving you the highest level of ad management. The Managed Service subscription includes the following service:
- Account performance review
- Campaign and keyword optimization
- Keyword bidding strategy tuning
- Google & MSN account synchronization
Our Managed Service subscription provides many of the same benefits you would receive from an ad agency, but at a lower price. Additionally, it provides added flexibility by allowing clients direct access to their account and the ability to make updates at anytime. If you are a corporate marketer or e- merchant with a decent budget, this is a perfect solution. If you are an ad agency with limited SEM in-house expertise, this is an affordable outsourcing PPC package.
Position based bidding is a common approach used by many search marketers today. While this strategy can provide greater control over ad placement and exposure, targeting a specific position in Google SERP through Google AdWords does not always guarantee the desired result.
In an effort to assist advertisers, Google provides 1st page bid estimates as a guide on where to start bidding in order to maximize an ad’s potential. According to Google, while the 1st page bid estimate is not a guarantee of ad position, a bid that is lower may result in missed ad opportunities. For example, ads with bids below Google’s 1st page bid estimate may be displayed on the 2nd page of search results or only appear on the 1st page for limited time periods. In reality, since ad position is a function of many factors including Quality Score, bid amount, budget and user and advertiser behavior, bidding lower than the 1st page estimate can still result in a first page ad position and conversely, bidding above the 1st page estimate may not always result in a top ad position.
The primary goal of ClickSweeper’s Analytics based bidding is to extend visitors’ time on your site while improving conversion performance. This is accomplished by promoting keywords that result in longer site visits and demoting keywords that produce shorter site visits. In order to use Analytics keyword bidding successfully, it is important to know how site visit time and bounce rate are calculated.
How is Site Visit Time calculated?
ClickSweeper’s Analytics based bidding optimizes keyword bids through an analysis of Google Analytics keyword data; site visit time, bounce rate, and Analytics conversion data. When a visitor lands on a site and browses multiple pages, a time-stamp (arrival time) is recorded on each page. Site visit time is calculated by aggregating the durations across pages i.e., calculating the difference between the last and first time-stamp within a visitor session. One thing to note is that the time spent on the last page is not included in the calculation because there is no ‘next’ time-stamp available within the site. For example, if a site visitor viewed only one page and then exited the site, the visit time recorded would be zero regardless of the actual length of time he or she stayed on the page. This characteristic explains why you sometimes see 00:00:00 site visit time in the Analytics data. The same logic applies to bounce rate. A one page website’s bounce rate would theoretically be 100% because a PPC landing page is always an exit page.
Google and MSN support mobile marketing through the inclusion of sponsored search advertising viewed on smartphones and tablets. They also allow web marketers to review the impact of mobile marketing by providing site traffic statistics that identify the source of clicks by device. From this data, you can see the percentage of traffic coming from mobile devices.
Knowing that mobile users are likely to see your search ads, what can be done to optimize for mobile performance?
Ad copy will display differently based on the size of screen of the viewing device. Think screen size of your desktop vs. your smartphone. What may display well on a desktop may look too busy on a smartphone screen. In many cases, smartphone users will use ‘click to call’ without even visiting the site.
Additionally, industry data suggests that people may not mind reading 5 lines of text on their desktop but will see it as a challenge from their smartphone. Most important, the typical 10 sponsored search ads per SERP (search engine results page) does not carry over to ads per SERP viewed on a smartphone. In reality, ads with a ranking below 3 have almost no chance of being seen by smartphone users.
Thus, if you are like many advertisers and see mobile traffic becoming a significant percentage of your overall site traffic, you’ll want to customize the campaign based on the type of device it will be viewed on. This approach will allow you to optimize ad copy, identify a dedicated landing page and assign a different bid price and bidding strategy for each campaign. If you use PPC management software, you can also assign specific bid management goals for each campaign.
To learn more about optimizing your campaign spending by bidding strategy, visit us at ClickSweeper!
In the world of paid search advertising, Google leads and MSN follows. As a result, MSN campaign development typically follows Google’s campaign structure. If an MSN campaign is created by copying and pasting from a Google campaign, the standard copy operation would also copy Google’s keyword maximum CPC to MSN’s keyword maximum CPC.
If you are an experienced SEM consultant, you know this is not an optimal approach. If you are running campaigns in Google and MSN, the following tips should help you set MSN bid prices for optimal performance.
First of all, it is important to understand that there is a difference of minimum bid price between Google and MSN. Google’s minimum bid is $0.01 while MSN’s minimum bid is $0.05.
Of course, the most important factor in determining bid price is keyword competitiveness of the sponsored search. Imagine a scenario that is not all that uncommon, in which more than 10 advertisers are competing for the same keyword. This level of keyword competition will result in an escalation of the bid price quickly in only a few days.
Another important factor to consider when setting the MSN bid price is whether the campaign is Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C). Google search has a lot more advertisers than that of MSN in the B2B market. MSN has a good search volume and quality audience, as well as Google’s, in the B2C market. In this case, MSN’s bid price is often as high as and sometimes higher than Google’s.
Considering these differences between Google and MSN, my recommendation is to set the MSN initial bid price range from 100% to 25% of Google’s. You can determine the optimal percentage by checking on the number of advertisers between search engine pay per click ads.
If you are managing multiple campaigns on both MSN and Google, a PPC management software tool such as ClickSweeper that allows you to copy campaigns from Google to MSN and set MSN bid price as a ratio, may also be helpful.
Santa Clara, California September 1, 2011 – Varazo, Inc., an innovator in pay per click management software, announced the release of ClickSweeper 3.0 enhanced with campaign management features and report generation.
ClickSweeper’s new campaign management features allow users to easily create new campaigns for both Google and MSN simultaneously. Once a campaign is created, users can edit campaigns directly from the ClickSweeper edit screen.
ClickSweeper 3.0 also provides users the ability to easily copy campaigns within and between accounts, providing significant time savings. With this feature, advertisers can copy Google campaign to MSN in a few minutes along with bid price adjustment. Since MSN’s bid price range is lower than that of Google in B2B market, you can copy Google keyword bid price to a ratio of 1:0.75 or 1:0.5 to MSN’s.
Another use of Copy campaign is copying Google campaign to another Google account. This feature is useful for agencies that manage many accounts in the same market.
If the reason for using the tool is to save time in managing multiple vendors, then this release adds a reason to use ClickSweeper. We offer a product training and demo for new features. Call us or email us to sign up for training.
Google has recently rolled out its Product Listing Ads to all US advertisers. This is good news to advertisers as, according to Google, people are twice as likely to click on a Product Listing Ad as a standard text ad in the same location. Product Listing Ads makes it easy to show the most relevant products from your Google Merchant Center account to potential customers searching on Google.com. Below is an example of how Product Listing Ads are displayed.
If you are an e-merchant who utilizes AdWords but don’t yet have Google Merchant Center account, we think it is it is worth serious consideration. A Google Merchant Center account is essentially a shopping comparison site, with the important advantage that it can be a great resource for generating quality traffic for free. You can create a Google Merchant Center account at http://www.google.com/merchants/.
Entrepreneur Magazine highlights the benefits of ClickSweeper pay-per-click (PPC) tool in recent review article.
Deciding if you need a pay-per-click (PPC) management tool and then determining which tool is best for your business can be time consuming and frustrating. Luckily there are groups, experts and organizations to help you through the process. Entrepreneur Magazine is one great source of information for businesses on a wide variety of topics. They recently published an article on the challenge of selecting a pay-per-click (PPC) management tool, including a detailed review of three of the most popular tools; ClickSweeper, WordStream, and Clickable. As is true with most products, no one PPC management tool is right for every business. According to the reviewer, ClickSweeper offers flexibility, affordability and a comprehensive bid management tool. Following are the advantages that Entrepreneur Magazine sees with the ClickSweeper tool.
- Supports Google, Yahoo and Microsoft
- Four automated bidding strategies (prioritize keyword bids on cost, ad ranking, number of conversions, or return on investment)
- Analytics (manage bids, ad copy and create performance alerts)
- Reporting functionality (easily track keyword performance)
The author closes by saying ClickSweeper is a logical next step if you are outgrowing Google’s Adwords tools.
In addition to what the Entrepreneur Magazine article had to say, the team at ClickSweeper is constantly listening to their market and customers and responding with new features. Their latest release is due out next month and will include advanced campaign management features giving users the ability to easily set-up, manage and monitor multiple campaigns. To find out if ClickSweeper is right for your business, visit ClickSweeper.com