mar 21

Testing AdWords ads – Decrease your CPC with A/B testing

By Morten Bagge | AdWords

How to effectively decrease the cost per click by A/B testing your AdWords ads

A very efficient way by doing so, is by A/B testing AdWords ads. If you have a successful test, you can increase your CTR, hopefully your quality score, and in the end pay less per click.

You need to minimize your AdWords cost as much as possible, in order to make it profitable. Just as with any business, costs has a great influence on how profitable you are, and how much money you are in fact making.

Before you start testing all your ads; remember this. It is highly recommended, that you do not test 2 completely different ads. If you do, you cannot determine what made the ad better or worse. I always test ads by making smaller changes. For example, you could try with a different offer, or a different CTA (Call to action). If your CTA is “Buy Now!” you could try to test the phrase “Buy today!”. If you have an offer with orders above 100$ equals free shipping, try giving a discount on the customer’s first purchase. There are many offers you can test out, or call to actions.

Benefits of testing adwords ads

There are a few, but good ones. They can improve your click testing adwords adsthrough rate and your quality score – you can even generate more revenue and get more conversions, with a better ad. After all, that is what you are looking for when advertising – more revenue and more profit, right?

Imagine you are testing AdWords ads with new offer in your ad. Usually you advertise with free shipping – but you decide to try out an offer with 15% off the first purchase. If it proves to be more successful, you can gradually test it on other ads in other ad groups, and potentially lower the cost per click all over your account!

What is an AdWords A/B ad test?

When you are testing AdWords ads, it is usually referred to as A/B tests. That means, you are testing 2 ads against each other – in the same ad group. You have ad A, and you have ad B. In order to have a meaningful test, you must have different call to actions or offers, in the 2 ads that are being tested.

Increasing click through rate with testing adwords ads

If you can increase your CTR with an ad test, you will actually improve your cost per click, meaning you will pay less per click. Decreasing the price you pay for every single click, is a very powerful way of improving the performance.

 

How to set up an AdWords ad test – in AdWords

I hope you decide to set up ad tests. If (or when) you do, here is a small guide to set it up quickly. You will be able to find the ads that are being tested easily, and make a decision based on the data smoothly.

I highly recommend doing ad tests in ad groups that gets a lot of traffic. Not only will you have clearer results, but they will also come faster. You need some data before determining the better ad.

Simply log into your AdWords account, and go to the ad group in which you want to test ads. Important; Do not edit or delete the current ad. This will make the related data disappear, and there is no need for that. Click + AD, and create a new text ad, with the offer or call to action you want to test. Put the desired change in, and Save the ad.

Now, in order to remember when you started testing adwords ads, you can simply label them. To label your adwords testing ads, check them in the boxes to the left and click in Labels (above the ads). To the right of the + AD button. When testing ads, I always put the starting date in there. So if you are starting a test on the 21st of march, you can put in “Ad test – March 21, 2017” – or however your preferred way of displaying dates are.

This will make it much easier to keep track of when you started the tests, and when to stop them and make a decision.

 

mar 21

How to increase AdWords quality score

By Morten Bagge | AdWords

How do you increase your Google AdWords quality score?

A very important area to improve in, in order to make your campaigns profitable, is to increase your AdWords quality score. When you increase the quality score of your keywords, you are in fact going to pay less for each click. (Compared to if you had a lower quality score).

AdWords quality score is measured by Google factoring in:

  • The expected click through rate
  • How relevant your ad is (for the keyword and the landing page)
  • The experience of your landing page

 

What is AdWords quality score?adwords quality score

Google is determining the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages with the measurement called quality score. You can see the quality score on your keywords, in AdWords on keyword level. – and the higher the better. If you want to check the quality scores of your keywords, simply go to the keyword tab, and the column is called Quality Score. Most accounts will not have Quality Score shown as default. If you want your columns to show quality score as well, you can add it by clicking on columns à modify columns à In Attributes you can see Quality Score.  Simply add it.

You want to get a quality score as close to 10 as possible. The closer to 10 your keywords quality score is, the better you advertising is. Better usually means it is very relevant all the way from keyword to your landing page. Which is what Google likes, showing relevant stuff when people are searching.

Improve AdWords quality score by editing your ad

Quick note before you edit your current ad: Don’t. Always pause your current ad, and create a new one, if you decide to try with a new ad. There is no reason to delete the old one. What if the new one has poor performance? Switch on right back to the old one. You will also loose the data connected to that ad, if you delete it.

You can improve your quality score by editing your ad. First of all, if you do not have the correlated keyword in the ad, start by adding it. That is an easy point to get. By having your keyword in your ad, you instantly show Google that these 2 things are much related. I recommend having it 2 places actually, of course depending on the length of your keyword. Don’t stuff keywords into your ad, make it look good as well, and readable.

I have seen great results by having the keyword in the headline, and then in the description, or in the Display URL. If you can make it look natural, you can even try to have it all 3 places. As long as it looks natural, and not like you just put the keyword in random places.

 

Improve AdWords quality score by editing your landing page

Your landing page must be relevant to your ad and the keyword. If you are advertising for nike running shoes, your landing page should definitely not be about Adidas shoes. That makes sense.

A good way to keep it relevant, is to have your keyword mentioned numerous times. ONLY where it is natural – once again, don’t just stuff it in. Make concise, clear and informative sentences about the topic, or your keyword. If you don’t already have text including your keyword, you should have it. In the eyes of Google, it will become much more relevant.

Improving your AdWords quality score by improving expected click through rate

It is quite a difficult one. You cannot directly increase it, as it is the expected click through rate, and not the actual click through rate. If only.

You can however still test your current ad variations, and see if it will improve the expected click through rate. If it doesn’t stop the test, and start a new test. The formula of any successful ad is to keep testing.

REMEMBER this. Don’t test ads with 2 complete different meanings. If you do, you will have no idea what part of the ad made it better. It makes much more to test it by changing some words, the offer you include, various symbols etc. Don’t change the complete sentences, as you will be grasping in the air.

Let’s say you usually have “Free shipping” as the main offer in your ads. You could then test the offer “First order 15% off” in the other ad variant, and see if this offer attracts more customers.

Read about A/B testing of your ads

You can read more about Google’s definition of AdWords here

 

 

mar 21

How much does google charge for advertising?

By Morten Bagge | AdWords

How Google AdWords advertising costs work

A question I recieve a lot from “newbies” wanting to start advertising with Google AdWords is, how much does google charge for advertising?

There are actually multiple ways, of how Google AdWords can charge money for your marketing activities. The most common is where you pay for each click on your ad. If you are planning to advertise with banner ads, you also have the possibility to pay CPM (Cost Per mill – where you pay per 1000 ad impressions). Which means you will pay x amount of $ every time your ad is being shown 1000 times.

It is almost always recommended to pay for each click, when using AdWords. There are more reasons for this. One is that you will receive much better data, making it easier for you to optimize in the future.

Before diving into how much Google charge for advertising, I will briefly explain how your ads will appear. This is a big factor, in understanding how much you pay.

The AdWords bid-auctions

Every time a person enters a search query into google, there is a big chance of some ads showing. However, if no advertisers are bidding (willing to show their ads) on a search query, it means that it is not profitable. In order for ads to be shown, advertisers must have booked the search term(s) as a keyword in their campaign.

I doubt you will see any ads when searching for the best beer. Not a lot of people buy beer online. If you do though, that’s nice. (I tried, and none showed). However, if you search for “adwords agency”, I’m pretty sure you will see some ads.

Before these ads are shown, they all go through an auction against each other. The auction, performed by google, includes a number of factors. It all comes down to your ad rank, and in determining your ad rank, Google mainly relies on:

  • Highest amount the advertiser wants to pay for a click (Max CPC)
  • Your keywords quality score
  • Expected impact of your ad extensions

In determining your keywords quality score, google uses even more factors. They are:

  • Expected click through rate on your ad (based on previous data in Googles system)
  • How relevant you ad for the search and the keyword
  • The experience of your landing page (Nice, smooth landing page is obviously better than slow and fugly)

 

CPC – Cost per Click, when finding out how much does google charge for advertising

In finding out how much does google charge for advertising, you must learn Cost per how much does google charge for advertisingClick. So how much are you actually going to pay for a click?

That varies highly, including the factors you see above. Your cost per click will almost never be the same, even though it’s the same keyword showing the same ad. You will most likely have competitors on your keywords, and they also want to show their ads. This will also affect how much you pay per click.

I’m going to assume you have a limited budget (as most advertisers do). If that is the case, hopefully you have also chosen the option to show your ads evenly throughout the day. This will most likely also be the case of your keyword-competitors. This can also have an effect of how much you pay for a click. If your competitors have run out of their budgets, or are close to, you can end up paying a lot less later in the day. Because the competition is lower.

How much does google charge for advertising ?

Unless your bid (max cpc) is just high enough to show your ad on the first page, you will almost never pay the full max cpc. The reason is how the auction system works. Google wants to show you relevant search results, when you are searching. So if someone searches for an adwords agency, you will most likely not have success advertising for your business that makes wordpress websites.

If you have a very relevant ad and landing page to your keyword, you are in a good place. You can even get a better place in the auction (meaning your ad appears closer to the top), and still pay less than those below you.

That means no-one can come in with a big budget, and just out-bid everyone (well maybe they can, but they will have to pay a ridiculous amount per click). You will always have the ability to beat them with quality score and ad rank.

Most expensive keywords

A funny thing to know. There are many industries with unbelievably high cost per clicks. Especially keywords within insurance, loans, attorney, and betting. They are usually above 50$ per click. Yep, every time you click on an insurance, loan or attorney related at, it costs them alot of money. I once managed an account, where I saw an almost 60$ cost for a single click. This particular keyword where in the industry of online gambling, which is also a big industry with many competitors.

mar 17

AdWords account structure

By Morten Bagge | AdWords

AdWords account structure – levels of you AdWords account

If you are just starting with advertising on AdWords, you need an explanation of how the AdWords account structure works. It is quite simple and easy to understand, if you spend a few minutes learning it. Here at UBonline, we made an article explaining you in easy steps, what the different levels are.

Assuming you do not have a manager account, in which case, it may look a bit different than explained below.

Account level

This is the top level of you AdWords account structure. When logging into AdWords, you will see an overview of your campaigns performance. How many clicks, ad impressions, keyword statistics etc. You cannot do much here, other than getting an overview of how your account is performing. Within an account you have campaigns. Let´s move on to campaigns à

Campaign level

Campaigns is where the fun begins. The campaigns is the first layer of where to look when optimizing. If you have different campaigns for your different categories, this is the place to begin.

Imagine you have an ecommerce store selling sporting goods, your campaigns could be something like this:

  • Badminton rackets
  • Football shoes
  • Skiing equipment
  • Running shoes

And so forth. You want to categorize your different categories on campaign level, to make it easier for yourself in the future, as your account expands. No need to look through multiple campaigns, if you need to optimize your keywords for skiing equipment. Keep your adwords account structure simple.

Now, within your campaigns, you will have different adgroups →

Ad groups

This is where you can begin to see detailed information about your accounts performance. Let´s say you are in the badminton rackets campaign, and you want to optimize the performance. Usually you will want to have different adgroups for your different brands, or services, within a category. Your adgroups could look like this:

Disclaimer: I don’t know much about sports, hence the made-up names.

  • Yonex – Exact keywordsadwords account structure digging
  • Smash It – Phrase keywords
  • Cross country skis – Broad match modifier
  • Nike air Max Run speed – Broad

Also read: Grouping your Adgroup keywords for best practices

It is very important to keep the adgroups small and relevant. You shouldn’t have an adgroup called “running shoes” and then put in keywords for nike, Adidas and other brands. This will make for poor performance. Keep them separated!

Within an adgroup, you will have keywords and ads →

Keywords in your adwords account structure

Keywords should be relevant to your adgroups name, to keep it simple for yourself. It will unnecessarily difficult, if your ad groups names are “Adgroup 1”, “Adgroup 4” and so forth. You cannot remember what is inside, assuming your continue to expand your account. Let’s make a few examples:

  • Campaign – Badminton rackets à Adgroup – Yonex à Keyword – Yonex badminton racket, yonex rackets, badminton racket yonex and so forth.
  • Campaign – Skiing equipment à Adgroup – Cross country skis à Keyword – cross country skis, online skis cross country, buy skis cross country and so forth

Keeping a consistent strategy of your AdWords account structure is imperative for your marketing success. Keep it simple and relevant throughout your account. Not only will it be easier for yourself to manage, but also a lot easier when expanding your account. You will know exactly where to put your new adgroups and keywords.

In adgroups there are Ads as well as keywords →

Ads in your adwords account structure

Ads are linked to keywords. You create keywords to show specific ads for a particular products or services.

When using this adwords account structure, you can make highly relevant ads for all of your keywords, which is a great thing. Google really enjoys relevance, and will “award” efforts, if your campaigns are good. The awards can be cheaper cost per clicks, as you will have good keyword quality scores, and good click through rates.

It is always a good idea to have a few ads per adgroup, to test and see what might work better. If you are using, or decide to use, this account structure, you have high chances of creating a very good performing account. Remember to include your keywords in your ads whenever possible, and make good call to actions!

mar 17

Google AdWords match types

By Morten Bagge | AdWords

The different Google AdWords match types for keywords

There are 4 different match types in Google AdWords – not counting negative keywords.

It can be confusing as a new marketer, to understand the difference between these 4 match types. In this article, we will be explaining what the AdWords match types mean, and how they look within AdWords.

The 4 AdWords match types are:

Broad match

“Phrase match”

[Exact match]

+Broad +Match +modifier

Some will argue that broad match modifier is not a match type by itself, but I will argue that it is.

 

AdWords match types – Broad

Broad match type keywords are – well, very broad. You do not have much control over your traffic with this match type. For instance, if you have a broad match type keyword “dating” – your ad can show when people are searching for “meet women online”. Notice, that the keyword dating itself is not included in the search query, but the topic of the 2 things are roughly the same. However, it is google that determines when a search is relevant to your keyword, so be careful – you can end up spending a lot of money on broad keywords.

When looking in the AdWords interface, Broad match type keywords will have no signs in front or after the keyword itself, as opposed to the rest of the match types.

I once worked with a client, who advertised for fireplaces from a certain brand. The brand name is also the name of an island in the same country. They had an employee making changes in the account, adding the brand name as broad match type. The result; it cost A LOT of money very shortly, because of all those searching for information about the island.

AdWords match types – “Phrase” adwords match types phrase

Phrase match is a popular one with advertisers, because you get much more control of the traffic. You can recognize a phrase match type keyword with “ “ before and after the keyword. A phrase match type keyword could be – “ buy shoes online”. Now, in order for your ad to appear for this keyword, these 3 words must be included in that exact order.

If someone searches for “buy womens shoes online”, your ad will not show. If someone searches for “buy nike shoes online”, you ad will not show. But if someone searches for “Where can I buy shoes online” or “buy shoes online nike air”, your ad will show. By using phrase match type for your keywords, you are effectively showing you ads for a much smaller group than with broad match. The good thing is, you will not get lots of irrelevant traffic, as the potential customer has to use the exact words in your keywords.

AdWords match types – [Exact]adwords match types exact

It is exactly what it means. The potential customer has to type in exactly what your exact match keyword is. You can recognize the exact match by the brackets [ and ]. So if your keyword is [buy shoes online], the person searching has to type in exactly buy shoes online, or your ad will not appear.

With exact match type keywords you have all the control you want, of the incoming traffic. You know they are looking for, and you can provide a perfectly tailored ad including your keyword. Which you want to do, as it will improve your keywords quality score, compared to if you didn’t include it.

AdWords match types – +Broad +match +modifier adwords match types broad match modifier

Is a very interesting “match type”. You have, if you add negative keywords regularly, great control of the traffic. Let´s say you are selling shoes online, so you chose the keyword +shoes +online. This is quite a broad and generic keyword, but for the sake of argument, let´s say you do.

Now, people who will search for (almost) anything containing those to words (shoes and online) can see your ad. Searches like “online shoes buy them cheap” or “buy cheap online nike shoes”, will have you ad shown.

It is a great “match type” in my opinion, as you can harvest a lot of negative keywords from these search queries. You can also find new keyword opportunities in these search queries, to add as exact match types in your campaign. Over time, keywords with broad match modifier can give you great profitability, and you can gain good amounts of traffic from them.

 

UBonlines recommendation

Depending on how much time you have, which market you are in etc., a good mix is recommended. If you are having trouble finding new keywords, you can use broad match and see what people are searching for. If you need more exact match type keywords, you can use phrase match or broad match modifier to identify new ones.

 

mar 17

Improve performance with AdWords negative keywords

By Morten Bagge | AdWords

Improve you AdWords campaign with Negative Keywords

One of the most common ways to increase the performance of your AdWords campaigns is to add negative keywords. In short; the reason for this is, you exclude irrelevant traffic. Negative keywords can save you a lot of money in you AdWords activities. You don’t want to show you ads to people who aren’t going to buy anyway, do you?

What is AdWords negative keywords?

There is regular keywords, and there is negative keywords. Regular keywords are the search queries where you want to show your ad. If you are selling diapers in your ecommerce store, you want to show your ad when people search for “buy diapers online”.

However, imagine there is a diaper brand called “very clean” – which you do not market in your store. This could be a very good example of a negative keyword. For instance, if people are searching for “very clean diapers”, they are looking for diapers of this exact brand.

It is highly unlikely that they will buy, or even come to your site, if you show an ad presenting diapers of different brands. You will most likely have competitors, showing ads that are presenting Very Clean diapers. These are the ones, the potential customers will click and visit.

By adding “very clean” as a phrase match negative keyword, you will not only save yourself money from irrelevant clicks, but also improve your overall click through rate. You only want to show you ads to people who are looking for products you have.reduce costs adwords negative keywords

How will it improve my click through rates?

Very simple in fact. By keeping your ads relevant to the search queries of which they appear in. If you are consistent throughout your account with negative keywords, you will shave off a lot of ad impressions to people that are not interested in your products or services.

Finding negative keywords

There are multiple tools available online to find negative keywords. There are also many lists of “general” negative keywords to add – but don’t go crazy in adding them. You might end up adding a keyword as a negative, which might have been profitable for you.

There are also a lot of generic keywords, which can be a good idea to add. For example “free”, “review”, “test” and words in similar categories. There are always people looking for free stuff, which obviously will not make you any money.

When optimizing your account, it is important to check the search terms of the individual keywords. There are 2 main ways to do this:

Search terms on keyword level in AdWords.

  • Log into your AdWords account. Click on the campaign you want to optimize, and then on the Adgroup you want to optimize in. When you click on the Adgroup, the keywords within will appear. You can then mark the keyword(s) in the left hand side. When you marked your keywords, simply click on “Search Terms”. Box will only be clickable if you have marked one or more keywords.

 

 

Find Negative keywords with search term report.

  • Log into you AdWords account, and in the top, click on Reports. (Next to “Campaigns” and “Tools”). Then, look to your left hand side. Here you see all the different statistics you can make a report of. Since we are making a search term report, look for search term under the category Targeting. (Pro tip: Ctrl + F lets you search and find it fast.) To get valuable data, include “Search keyword” and “clicks” as well. This will tell you how many clicks your ad got, and which search terms was used. Great way to find negative keywords.

 

Summarized – it is essential for to add negative keywords, if you want a successful and profitable AdWords campaign. You need to scrape off as many irrelevant clicks (=costs) as possible.

 

mar 11

Product specific keywords

By Morten Bagge | AdWords

Deep linking + product specific keywords and ads

Making product specific keywords and ads for your PPC campaigns is an essential part of a successful strategy. If you do not already have product specific ads and keywords, you are potentially missing out on great converting traffic – and cheap traffic as well!

How are the traffic cheap?

Given that your marketing activities are on Google AdWords and services alike, advertising with product specific keywords and ads come very cheap. You are able to gain a good keyword quality score, if done right of course.

Let’s say you are a skateboard called X500, and you have bought the keyword “+skateboard +x500”. Now, not a lot of people would search for it, but the ones who do, are already close to making a purchase. It’s a very specific search query, showing the customer is intending to buy a skateboard. If you then serve this potential customer an ad for the X500 Skateboard, your ad will also be very relevant to the search query.

The customer clicks on your ad, and lands on a page where he/she can buy a X500 skateboard. That means your landing page is also very relevant to the search query, resulting in a great keyword quality score, which means a really low Cost per click.

Best practices with Product specific keywords and ads

I highly recommend you to make this a strategy of yours. Include product specific keywords and ads – for all of your products. It will take some time, to create all the ads and keywords, but the effect can be very rewarding. Especially if you have a large number of products in your ecommerce store.

As mentioned earlier, the ads will probably not generate a lot of traffic individually. However, if you have product specific keywords and ads for 1000 products, it will generate good amounts of traffic. The more the better.

Also, remember to have these keywords and ads in separate adgroups. You are going to want to have them separated, in order to make the ads as relevant to each and every keyword as possible. That is the whole idea of product specific keywords and ads. Advertising for 2 or more products with just one ad will make it highly difficult to keep relevant. Then you are looking at a lower quality score for your keyword.

mar 11

AdWords linking

By Morten Bagge | AdWords

Where should my AdWords and PPC ads link to?

It’s a great question I get a lot. Where do you send the traffic, which comes in through your AdWords or other PPC ads? Do you send it to the frontpage, to a category, maybe deep-linking to a certain product? There are more opinions on how to achieve the best results when AdWords linking, or PPC linking in general. I have written this article based on my experiences, having managed many AdWords accounts.

It really depends on what type of business you are running.

AdWords linking and PPC linking for webshops and e-commerce sites

If you are running an e-commerce site, you are going to require a lot of different ads. Product-specific ads and category ads, as well as ads for individual search queries.

So, imagine you have an e-commerce store that sells accessories for the kitchen, such as cutlery, plates, cups etc. Far from everyone will search for kitchen accessories. There will be potential customers searching for knives, forks, big cups, fancy cutlery for the kitchen and so forth. I do not recommend leading all these visitors to the same pages. The people searching for forks should be taken to the page which displays your available forks. The people searching for big cups should be taken to the page which displays cups. You get the picture.

To be able to do this, you must have a lot of ad groups, with many ads as well, linking to many different pages on your website.

By doing this, you are directing your traffic directly to what they are looking for. This increases your conversion rate (compared to if you send all the visitors to your frontpage), as well as minimizing the Click costs. The more relevant your landing page is, the higher quality score for your keyword, and that means you pay less per click.

(ALSO READ; Why you should make product-specific ads for your e-commerce store)

AdWords linking and PPC linking for non-ecommerce sites

Depending on the service you are promoting, I always recommend making landing pages that are as relevant for the search query as possible. What does that mean?

Imagine this. Your potential client is searching google for “house painting company”, which clearly indicates what they are looking for. A company that can paint his or her house.

Now imagine you are advertising for a company that does this exact service. If you have an appealing ad, they might click on it and be taken to your landing page. Now, if that landing page shows pictures and text related to office painting services, they might not be very interested. The potential client is looking for someone to paint his/her house, but finds a company showcasing they are good at painting offices.

If I were that potential client, I would look for another painting company, where I can see they are good at painting houses. You always want to have a string of relevant content – from the ad, to the landing page. Not only will this help you keep the attention of your visitor, but it will also make your PPC cheaper. More on that HERE.

If you are not promoting a painting company don’t worry, you can apply the logic to almost all businesses.

 

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