After hosting our very popular webinar, 10 PPC Strategies That Can Sink or Save Your Business, we wanted to answer a few extra questions we didn’t have time to address during our time slot. Read on to learn even more tricks to make the most of your paid search campaigns.
Yesterday we hosted our webinar, 10 PPC Strategies That Can Sink or Save Your Business, to help online merchants maximize their PPC efforts and help drive more qualified traffic to their sites. We were very pleased with the turnout and were thrilled to see so many questions about such an important topic!
Of course there are only so many questions one can answer in a limited time frame, so our paid search experts Mia Wenske and Kate Pierce took some time to tackle five of the most popular questions we weren’t able to get to during the webinar event. If you’d like to see the webinar recording, check it out here.
Let’s get started!
What determines quality score and how can you improve it?
While your CPC bid is certainly one factor used in determining your paid search results ranking for your Google AdWords campaign, the other factor is your quality score. A high quality score means that your keyword will trigger ads in a higher position and at a lower cost-per-click (CPC). Your quality score is a value ranging from 0-10 that Google assigns to each keyword you are using, which measures its overall “quality” in regards to your ad group and your campaign. Your quality score is not a number that Google will let you have access to, nor will they give you the exact algorithm they use to determine its value but they will disclose certain factors that make up your keyword’s quality score:
- The historical Click-Through Rate (CTR) of that particular keyword
- The historical CTR of all of the ads and keywords in your account
- The quality of your landing page
- The relevance of the keyword to the ads in its ad group
- The relevance of the keyword to the searcher’s search query
- Your account’s performance in the geographical region where the ad is showing
One great way to improve your quality score is to make sure that the landing pages you choose are of the highest quality. Google determines your landing page quality by assessing its relevant and original content, transparency, and navigability. This is where your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts will really benefit your paid search strategy. Here are some simple tips to score the most “quality” points with your landing page:
- Take searchers directly to where they can find what your ad promises
- Provide plenty of useful unique information about the advertised product/service
- Make it easy for customers to navigate away from the page and view the rest of your site
- Clearly display any deals promoted in your ad
- Reiterate the value proposition expressed in your ad
- Make sure prices and payment methods are easily located
- When using subscriptions make billing intervals obvious (if applicable)
- Distinguish sponsored links (if applicable)
- Share relevant information about your business where appropriate
- State how you will use a visitor’s personal information if you collect it
Does the amount you spend on paid search affect your organic search?
No, the amount you spend on your PPC advertising will not affect where Google places you in the organic search rankings. Even though PPC and SEO are complimentary marketing channels, Google will not place you in a higher position in the SEO rankings just because you are spending more on your PPC campaigns.
What’s a good way to come up with keywords?
Brainstorming is vital to coming up with a good list of keywords. Here are some good tips to make sure you don’t miss out on any valuable keywords during your brainstorming session:
- Add plurals and misspellings
- Don’t just use insider jargon, also include layman’s terms for your products
- Include phrases used in the research phase, before the purchase process (ex. how to, where to, etc.)
- Think about keywords that describe substitutes for your products
- Target specific uses or desirable features of your products
- Develop seasonal or holiday-related keywords
- Ask for help- get suggestions from your friends, family, colleagues, current customers, etc.
- Consider linguistic differences and slang from region to region
- Include differences in expressions between various age groups
- Use established acronyms and abbreviations for phrases
- Consider alternate ways that your products can be used
- Go after long-tail phrases
Does Volusion manage paid search campaigns on Google, Yahoo and Bing? Is it worth the time to manage Bing and Yahoo since they are much less popular than Google?
Volusion’s out of the box plans include management on Google, because as you said, that is still the where the majority of traffic is. According to eMarketer, in August of 2010 Google still has 65.1% of the search share.
However, our custom plans can include the management of campaigns on both Google and Bing (which also powers the Yahoo! Search results). It can be worth the time to run campaigns on Bing because it is not as competitive yet, but keep in mind that your campaigns on Bing may perform differently than your campaigns on Google.
What are the steps to setting up an ROI tracking link in the Volusion admin area; and how do you use it in conjunction with your paid search?
Setting up ROI tracking links in your Volusion backend is very easy and will help you by pulling paid search conversion information directly into a platform where you probably spend a lot of time already, so you don’t have to worry about checking multiple interfaces. Here are instructions on how to set up ROI tracking links and how to use them properly:
Sign into your Volusion admin area and go to Reports > ROI Tracking. Towards the bottom of the page click on “Add” (next to “New/Inactive Campaigns”). If you are going to have multiple tracking links all from one source (ex. one tracking link for each of your AdWords campaigns or ad groups) in the Group Title field enter the name of the group (in this example it will be something like “Google AdWords”). In the Campaign Name field give a specific title to the tracking link so it’s easy to remember what you are tracking (ex. AdWords-Adidas Shoes). Lastly, in the “Days to Track” put the number of days you want to track a visitor after they click on your ad (we recommend at least 30 days). Then click Add New.
Then the ROI tracking link will be created. It will look something like this:
Google AdWords – AdWords-Adidas Shoes – http://www.domain.com/?Click=4
To use this log into your paid search account and when you create an ad for your Adidas shoes use that Click=4 from your tracking link in your destination URL.
To send traffic to your homepage use: http://www.domain.com/?Click=4
To send traffic to a product page use: http://www.domain.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=ABCD&Click=4
To send traffic to a category page use: http://www.domain.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=ABCD&Click=4
Thanks to everyone who attended the webinar – we’ve got several more slated to further boost your online success, so stay tuned!
-Mia Wenske and Kate Pierce, Volusion Paid Search Experts