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Category Archives: Google AdWords

Use Google’s Bid Simulator To Estimate The Impact of Bid Changes on AdWords Conversions

Are you considering changing your AdWords bids but are worried about making the wrong choice? Wondering what would happen if you increased your bid from, say $1 to $1.20, and what difference it would make?

Adjusting bids based on traffic and conversion patterns is essential to optimizing your PPC campaigns, and all successful advertisers modify their Max CPCs regularly to reach their goals. AdWords has for some time now provided data on the impact of bid changes on impressions and clicks, but what anyone tracking conversions really wants to know is what the impact will be on sales or leads. AdWords advertisers can now make some more educated guesses using Google’s updated bid simulator.

How The Bid Simulator Works

The bid simulator works with your Search campaigns only by analyzing data over the past 7 days, taking into account information like your competitors’ bids and traffic you received. It then estimates how results might have differed if you used a lower or a higher bid. For example, you can estimate how many more clicks and conversions you might have received if your bid was 10% higher. If you track conversion values, the tool will also include that metric.

If your campaigns are limited by budget, the tool will not be available and it will also not work with auto bidding or Conversion Optimizer (CPA Bidding).

How To Use The Bid Simulator

You can find the bid simulator at the ad group or at the keyword level. In your AdWords account, go to your Campaigns tab and navigate to an ad group. Hover over the Bid Simulator graph icon below your Max CPC bid and click on it to bring up the tool and explore the different bid options.

Google will provide some metrics based on a variety of Max CPCs you could choose, or you can enter a different Max CPC you are considering by clicking on Use a different bid.

bid_simulator

Compare the current bid metrics to what your results would look like if you used a different bid and decide if the change in bid makes sense for you. For example, if after increasing the bd, the cost would go up significantly without a high enough change in conversions or conversion value, you might want to leave the current bid as is.

Keep in mind that the estimates you are seeing are just estimates and future results will vary, as search patterns are constantly changing and do vary week over week. Your competition is likely changing their bids as well on an ongoing basis.

Make sure to explore the available data when considering changes to your campaigns. If you do adjust bids, continue to monitor your conversion numbers, especially budget and ad spend if you increased your bids significantly.

 

YouTube Video Ads Best Practices

Google’s YouTube video ads are not just a branding tool for large advertisers anymore, they have become increasingly effective at driving direct sales and leads. If you have a YouTube channel, you should be testing video ads, which you can set-up through Google AdWords. In this post, I’ll share some strategies for getting started as well as best practices.

Connecting YouTube Channel To AdWords 

Your YouTube channel with existing video content can be re-utilized to reach massive numbers of potential users. Do you have videos that explain your key product benefits or testimonials from happy customers? Use this videos to share your message with highly targeted audiences. When thinking about which videos to promote, Keep the videos short – no more than 60 seconds, otherwise users will skip or tune out.

Before you can run video ads through Google AdWords, you will need to connect your YouTube channel to your AdWords account. Follow these steps:

In your AdWords account’s campaigns tab, click to create a new campaign +Campaign and choose Online video.

Link YouTube account

Click on the Linked YouTube accounts section on the left, then on +Link YouTube account and enter your YouTube log-in information. You will now be able to pick and choose from your video library.

YouTube Video Ads Best Practices

Targets


– Start with broad targets, such as “All topics” and “All interests” and let ads accumulate impressions and clicks. Once you have data on individual topics and interests, create new targeting groups and set higher bids for top performers.
– Set low initial bids (such as $0.05) and adjust based on results.
– Set-up a keyword based targeting group to reach users using YouTube search keywords.
– Stay away from demographic targeting, at least not on its own as the only target.

Ads/Videos

– Target all 3 recommended formats:

1. In-Stream
2. In-Search
3. In-Display

– Create multiple videos ads to test the effectiveness of different assets.
– Pause videos that do not meet target metrics, once you have sufficient data.
– Include call-to-action overlays. If ads do not perform, try alternate call-to-action overlays.

youtube call-to-action overlayRemarketing

– Set duration to 540 days for remarketing rather than 30 days.
– Create a remarketing target group to show videos to users who have previously visited your website.
– Create a display campaign in AdWords with text and image ads to target video remarketing lists that are automatically pre-populated for you. For example, you can target users who viewed specific videos or users who subscribed to your channel.

youtube remarketing lists

Keep in mind when evaluating video ads that the sales cycle could be a bit longer than what you’ve been seeing from your search campaigns. As with any campaign, monitor results, adjust and repeat!

Business Bolts Guide to Google AdWords Search Network

business bolts adwords guideI’m excited to announce that I am featured in a new book on Google AdWords titled “Business Bolts Guide to Google AdWords Search Network.” The book covers how to get more traffic and leads from the AdWords Search Network. It includes basics of the system as well as optimization techniques and tips that will help you maximize profits.

Over a dozen experts were interviewed and their tips are featured in this comprehensive guide. Learn from the industry gurus how to make your campaigns a success.

You can get a book sneak peak with top strategies from 15 AdWords marketing experts in this article and you can now buy the guide on Amazon.

 

Should You Try Google’s Display Campaign Optimizer?

If you’ve been running Google AdWords display campaigns that are generating conversions, you’ve probably seen a message that some of your ad groups are eligible to use the Display Campaign Optimizer (DCO). But should you really enable it?

display campaign optimizer

DCO is Google’s tool that promises  to find you more conversions by working with your CPA goal. It adjusts your bids based on historical data and finds additional relevant placements to maximize display conversions. DCO requires a minimum of 15 conversions over the last 30 days and works best with a Target CPA bid.

Before you enable it in eligible campaigns, keep in mind that the Display Campaign Optimizer works best in campaigns with a lot of conversion data, not just the minimum required 15/month. Also, CPAs tend to go up when you enable it. It’s best for advertisers who:

  1. Want more traffic and are not as strict with what websites their ads will show on. You could be showing on websites you did not add to your placements, as DCO finds new placements for you that you did not specifically target.
  2. Are OK with a CPA increase. If your CPAs are so low that you can afford to pay more for each conversion (congratulations, by the way!), give DCO a try.

Usually the first few days you’ll likely see a rather high CPA increase while DCO learns and adjusts, and CPA tends to come down gradually over the next few weeks. If you decide to test it, I recommend committing to ~2 weeks. CPA should come down and stabilize a couple of weeks after enabling it.

To enable DCO, click into an eligible Display campaign and ad group. Next, navigate to the Display Network tab and click on + Change display targeting. Scroll down until you see Targeting optimization (Display campaign optimizer) and select the checkbox next to Get more conversions.

display campaign optimizer enable

As always, monitor your account to check that the change in traffic falls in line with your goals. If your conversions are up and CPA is still acceptable, consider enabling DCO in additional ad groups. If CPAs are too high after a couple of weeks, disable CPA or try it in a different campaign and ad group.

Win Free e-copies of Advertising on Google: The High-Performance Cookbook

Readers would be pleased to know that I have teamed up with Packt Publishing  to organize a Giveaway of Advertising on Google: The High-Performance Cookbook. And 3 lucky winners stand a chance to win e-copies of their new book. Keep reading to find out how you can be one of the Lucky Winners.

5849EN_0Overview – The book offers over 120 practical recipes to set up, optimize, and manage profitable AdWords campaigns.

How To Enter?  –  All you need to do is head on over to the book page and look through the product description of the book and drop a line via the comments below this post to let us know what interests you the most about this book. It’s that simple.

Deadline – The contest will close on July 31, 2013. Winners will be contacted by email, so be sure to use your real email address when you comment!

 

If you wish to buy the book online, we are currently offering the following discount codes:
  • eBook ( 20% discount ) – MREAG20
  • Print (23% discount ) – MREAG23

Any questions, feel free to email me.

Advertising on Google: The High Performance Cookbook

I am excited to announce that after a long year of work, my book Advertising on Google: The High Performance Cookbook was published today. The book is a step-by-step guide with practical tips and lots of examples and screenshots to help you run effective Adwords campaigns.

5849EN_0You’ll learn how to:

  • Set up your Adwords account and track results beyond the click
  • Create relevant keywords and write compelling ads
  • Run reports, analyze, manage AdWords, and troubleshoot performance
  • Implement display strategies, including remarketing
  • Optimize performance for maximum ROI

I’d like to thank my publisher, Packt Publishing, for proposing this project to me and for moving it forward. If you have any feedback or comments, please feel free to email me.

Upgrade Your AdWords Sitelinks with Additional Details

AdWords recently updated their sitelink policy to allow for optional sitelink descriptions that are unique to each individual sitelink. The additional text can help you win more ad real estate and allow you to further pre-qualify your visitors.

In order to use enhanced sitelinks, you’ll need to upgrade your campaigns to enhanced (if you have not already).

In your campaign management tab, go into a campaign you wish to edit. You can also go into a specific ad group if you wish to create sitelinks unique to an ad group.

Click on Ad extensions and choose Sitelink Extensions from the drop down.

sitelinks 1

Click to Edit the Sitelink extension and choose to create a +New sitelink. Write in your Link text (25 characters max) and choose a Link URL. Under Description, add in additional copy to further describe the specific sitelink page you are linking to.

sitelinks 2

You can even set specific starts and end dates, or days and hours, if you wish to only show a sitelink during specific times.

Please note that your ads will not always show sitelinks, and when they do, the format can vary. Also, sitelinks only show in the top ranked ads that are promoted to ad positions above the organic search results.

Continue to monitor your account, including performance for each sitelink you have set-up. In your ad extensions tab, click on Segment and choose This Extension vs. Other to see how each sitelink contributes to your clicks and conversions. If you’re noticing that a sitelink is under-performing, consider changing the link language and description details, or try a different sitelink.

sitelinks 3