Marketing Pilgrim's "Search Marketing" Channel

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SMX Notes – Pump Up Your Paid Search



Moderated by Jeffrey K. Rohrs, VP, Agency & Search Marketing, ExactTarget

Brad Geddes, Director of Search Engine Marketing, Local Launch
Day parting overview
What is day parting? Displaying an ad by time of day or day of the week. It’s also changing bid by time of day or day of the week

Look at your methodology and apply it to yourselves.

Who should use this? Businesses who only want advertise during business hours (while phones are manned). Advertisers tracking their ROI on daily/hourly bases. Businesses who advertise based on their buying cycle.

Why should they use it? It’s about understanding how people surf & buy: by hour, day of the week, date of the month, so you can implement this yourself.

Example 1: B2B lead gen case study (using a finance site)
$37 cost per acquisition; conversion was downloading a white paper.
We looked at hourly conversion data. It was highest in the morning, with a dip at noon. It picked up again in the afternoon, though it wasn’t as high as in the morning and drops off at night.

We looked at the day of the week conversion data. Tuesday was highest, Sunday was second, and Mon was third.

Would 9AM Sunday be a good time? Should we bid to a higher position then?

We compared Tuesday hourly conversion data to Sunday hourly conversion data. Sundays convert late in the evening, while Tuesdays convert in the morning and afternoon.

Take your data and put time metrics over it. Compare times zones over week average.

The site’s adjusted CPA dropped from $37 to $13. With the same ad spend, we tripled their conversions.

Example 2: High end electronics (long sales cycle)
Over month to conversion (determined from 3 months of data). We looked at the conversion rate by date of month.
Look at when you get paid. The first paycheck goes toward bills, the second paycheck is disposable income.
Look at when conversions peaked: the Monday or Saturday after the second paycheck.

How can engines help?
In AdWords, it’s called Ad Scheduling. There are two levels: basic and advanced. Remember that the time zone is the account’s time zone–your time zone, not the time zone your searchers are in. It’s set at the campaign level.

In adCenter, it’s called Day Parting.

We’re waiting on this from Yahoo.

AdWords Setup
Check the check box. Simple mode allows you to pause and resume campaigns based on time of day and day of the week.
Advanced mode also allows bid changes by time of day or day of week, including changes as a percent of max CPC. You can enter amounts greater than 100% of your max CPC. (This doesn’t work with preferred bidding.)

adCenter: Incremental Bidding System
If unchecked, ads will only appear if you’ve selected the day of the week or hours of day. If checked, ads will appear at all times at default max CPC.

It can be useful to bid lower and use Bid Boost to raise it to where you want it (you can’t under bid; <100%)

Time-sensitive Offers
Do you have a day of the week where business is slow?
Examples of ad: 25% off plumbing services if you call between 12-5 on Friday

Do you want to beat the competition?
Example of ad: Monday Sushi lunch special order before noon for free delivery

Using the day of the week in the ad helps to connect to the searcher.

Month mapping is a very traditional method. They’ve been doing it for years in print. We have way more data online and can apply that to our campaigns.

I really emphasize mapping your sales cycle to find actionable data.

Ben Perry, PhD, Paid Search Director, iProspect
Campaign set up considerations
He used graphs to demonstrate the importance of proper set up and acknowledged that clients may be incredulous with quick results, citing their own experience in paid search.

Tip 1: account structure: Map out your account structure before you even touch the engine interface.
Why? It makes it easier and improves your quality score. All 3 engines have the same basic structure. Mapping out your campaign first allows for a quick roll out.

How? Revolve around ad serving, reporting, easy of use, scalability Don’t necessarily mirror your site’s structure. Keep it as simple as is feasible.

Tip 2: budgeting: Do not use engine daily budgets to guide your spending.
Why? Hitting your budget or even coming close will throttle your ad serving. You want to serve ads as if you have an unlimited budget. If you don’t do this, you’re paying too much per click.
Case study: Hoovers.com lowered their cost per click and raised their number of clicks.

Tip 3: use new engines: Use Google’s website optimizer to test new traffic sources
How? Create a new landing page. Create a multivariate test that taps each of your main customer types. Send all traffic from a new source to that page only. Le the results tell you whether the source has value and to which customers.

Tip 4: keyword selection: Buy tangential keywords carefully or not at all.
Why? Search engine marketing works because of direct relevance. If you really want to do it, maybe you should go with contextual ads.

Tip 5: match types: Use broad match with negative keywords to reach maximum volume under a CPA target.
Why? We can’t predict all the ways people search This will get you to an optimal volume earlier.
Mine your data for negatives.

Tip 6: position: Think about your ad position as a side effect of your ROI equation, not as a lever for driving the campaign.
Why? There’s nothing magical about position. Using it as a lever for driving the campaign makes you lose money. Calculate bids based on ROI and let position fall where it may.

Tip 7: Geotargeting: Use geotargeting strategically
When targeting most of the country, use a national campaign as the base with geo-targeting “overlays.”
Why? Often using only geo-targeting leaves so much volume on the table that it’s worth paying for clicks you can’t use.
Case study: mortgage lender. Using this method increased their leads while lowering their cost per lead.

Matt Van Wagner, President, Find Me Faster
“Used fish, old socks and a new attitude: implementing dynamic keyword insertion in a quality score world”

It started as Google only. Then MSN dynamic keyword insertion (DKI) put it on steroids. This is really neat stuff. Yahoo never really had it. Why not? Until Panama, they didn’t need it. They had the perfect formula for ad relevance: one keyword for one ad.

Pros: Improves your click-through rate and quality score, it’s “secret expert sauce,” it improves your ad relevance

Cons: You lose control of what your ad will look like, too complex to understand, and can decrease conversion rates. And sometimes they’re stupid. (Like the time eBay was offering African slaves for sale. :( He showed some embarrassing examples, but nothing quite that bad.)

Use dynamic text insertion to customize ads and save time. The keywords get bolded. People (“informavores”) find bolded text well.

DKI comes from your campaign keyword list (not from user input).

In action on Google
{KeyWord: Default Text}
Set the default value (just in case DKI will run you over the character limit, they’ll revert to the default value).

This is some secret sauce: this isn’t found in the AdWords documentation. The capitalization of your ad depends on how you enter the ‘keyword’ portion of {Keyword: Default Text}.

keyword starbucks coffee
Keyword Starbucks coffee
KeyWord Starbucks Coffee
KEYword STARBUCKS coffee
KeyWORD Starbucks COFFEE
KEYWORD STARBUCKS COFFEE

Using acronyms? KEYword: PPC campaigns
States? Driving schools in Nh: KeyWORD: Driving Schools in NH

Think twice before inserting Google dynamic text in display URL. Two-word terms will have a plus sign ‘+’ between them. This isn’t recommended.

If your keyword list includes ‘sneakers red,’ that’s how it will appear in your ad when using DKI and broad match or expanded broad match. It can be good or bad for you.

Dynamic text in Panama
Panama’s option for dynamic text: it can be inserted in the title and description.
Its ad control features default text as well as alt text, in case your dynamic keywords would ruin the grammar on your ad [you know I loved this one!].
Yahoo needs to treat plurals as plurals. You can only have one version of the word in your keyword list.

You can control casing (plural vs. singular, etc.) and grammar in alternate text.
Examples: Use dynamic and alternate text for ultimate ad customization.
For Yahoo, word order matters in queries.

MSN went all out on dynamic text
They have a full set of text insertion tools, word casing is completely in your control, the set of parameters is available at keyword level, it works with content ads, too, and their online help is very good. You don’t have to learn scripts. You can easily put the keyword in the display URL. You can set dynamic text at the keyword level.

Comparing DKI capabilities

  Google Yahoo MSN Ask
Title x x x  
Description x x x x
Display URL x   x  
Destination URL     x  
Default Text x x x  
Alternate Text   x x  

Best practices
DKI works best when ad groups are tightly organized around products/brands/themes. Use phrase match instead of broad match. It works well with one dominant word that varies only by part #, size, color, model #, etc.

Less successful: conceptual campaigns (regional concepts are different), where branding is more important that clicks

Does DKI improve quality score? Only indirectly.

Q&A
Tell us about Budget Optimizer in AdWords. Should we use it?
Brad: You can say here’s my monthly budget, spend it for me and maximize traffic. No one keyword is more important than another. The more clicks you get, the last few are more expensive than the first few. It sometimes overbids some keywords.
Ben: If you’re optimizing to clicks, then it’s okay. But some keywords have more value than others.
Matt: I feel strongly both ways.

Ben: If you end up with lots of extra money when you stop bidding to position, revise your overall monthly spend.
Brad: Conversion rate varies by ad position, but you should test & see if it’ll do that for you.

Matt, you made an example using Starbucks Coffee in keyword insertion. I face a lot of trademark keyword insertions. Do you think search engines will start doing more run time trademark pulling or continue screening ads? I’ve seen ads run 6 months before Google does anything.
Brad: In the US, you can bid on any keyword regardless of trademark. If the owner has filed an exception, you can’t use it in ad copy. Nike’s okay with you using it. Apple protects their trademark within their industry.

How does scheduling work in the content network?
Random Googler in the audience: There’s no lag time in scheduling changes. There’s lag time on other types of changes set on the front end, but dayparting is directly set on backend server
Brad: Remember that your account time settings are the ones you set to.

You might be able to get away with DKI on trademarked terms on Google in the display URL. Our competitors are getting away with it even though we’ve filed an exception and complained to Google about it.
Panelists: That’s unacceptable. Get your lawyers on it.

  • http://www.mynetnuke.com dotnetnuke

    This is great improvement for ad marketing

  • http://www.looktotheright.com Noah

    Great info, Thanks for posting!

  • http://www.tupac-amaru.com Luke

    Resourceful post there, took a while to read but it does yield some interesting tips. I particually found this one useful:

    “Tip 3: use new engines: Use Google’s website optimizer to test new traffic sources
    How? Create a new landing page. Create a multivariate test that taps each of your main customer types. Send all traffic from a new source to that page only. Le the results tell you whether the source has value and to which customers.”