This article will help you optimize any account from an angle most marketers don’t look at. If you’re using any of these account optimization techniques, you’re definitely on the right path!
Keep reading to find out about the five techniques in question.
1. Add “Bounce Rate” and “Average Time On Site” as Columns in Your Reports
Many marketers considers keywords good or not good depending on their conversion rate. However, you are likely to have remarketing campaigns in place which leverage on good incoming traffic.
If you know how long people are spending on your site and how often they are bouncing, you can determine whether a keyword is worth your time in the long-term.
As a rule of thumb:
- High average time, but high bounce rate, might mean people read the page but are not interested in following up, or that people leave the navigation page open and finally close the page when they realize it is not worth their time. I would integrate the analysis of these keywords with Google Analytics and find out if they are worth your time.
- Low average time on site, but low bounce rate, identifies people that are trying to find out if you have what they are looking for without wasting time or people that are extremely sure about liking your offer (and in that case they would convert or at least go far in the funnel). Also in this case, it is extremely important to focus on analytics to take a decision on keywords you are not 100% sure about.
- High average time on site and low bounce rate indicate keywords you definitively want to invest your time on. Keywords fitting this category indicate people that are highly engaged with your pages.
2. Create Separate Negative Keyword List Per Adgroup
I am sure everybody uses negative keywords at the campaign level to limit irrelevant searches from showing their ads. However, sometimes you might be competing among adgroups in the same campaigns causing ads that are not tailored to a set of keywords to display, and potentially limiting the success of your ads.
- Use campaign negative keywords to exclude terms you absolutely do not want to spend money on. You can also create a negative keywords list and apply it to all campaigns. This will make sure that anytime you update that list you will automatically update all campaigns using it.
- Create custom negative keywords at the adgroup level. They can be used to exclude terms that are not relevant within a given set of keywords and to avoid competition among adgroups.
3. Test Sitelinks Extensions
Have you analyzed the improvement in CTR and Conversions of one set of sitelinks vs. another one? Your sitelinks do not get clicked every time they show up but they certainly play a big role in the success of a campaign. They give your ad more relevancy and they provide your business a bigger real estate on the search page.
Here are some tests you could run:
- Standard sitelinks (Home, FAQ, Service and other short words describing a page content)
- Call to action sitelinks (Request a free quote, Find out more, Meet our team, etc.). The call to action sitelinks can have a great CTR if well-picked.
- Descriptive sitelinks. These site links are a collection of facts linking to the page talking about it (e.g. 20% Increase in ROI, As Seen on XYZ, etc.).
Don’t be scared to experiment with new sitelinks.
4. Test CPC vs. CPA Bidding
Many times you are tempted to switch to CPA bidding as soon as you are eligible to do so. However, did you actually test if the CPA bidding method is actually benefiting your business? There is a simple way to check it out:
- Create a copy of your campaign and run it on a CPC bidding model;
- Switch the original campaign to CPA;
- Run them in parallel for some days; and
- Find out what bidding strategy best fits your needs.
This is a very simple solution that will definitively improve your profitability.
5. Weekly Customer Research to Figure Out Decision Making Factors
There are elements of your ads and landing pages that might generate more interest and engagement than others. For instance, if you are selling clothing, the delivery time, the delivery cost and the cost of the final product represent variables that might help your business get more or less visitor engagement.
You should always research how your ads and pages look in comparison to other companies, and find out if you look more or less appealing. Fix what’s not working and improve what makes you look unique.
You need to perform this research quite often because the competition is not there waiting for you. SEM moves fast and you have got to do the same!
What are your secret optimization techniques? Share them with us and help businesses rock their online marketing strategies!
Rocco Alberto Baldassarre is the Founder and CEO of Zebra Advertisement, a results-oriented SEM consulting firm. Rocco consults companies with up to $5 million in PPC advertisement budgets, speaks three languages, and has recently been shortlisted as Young Search Professional of the Year by the 2013 European Search Awards and the 2013 U.S. Search Awards. His last article for SEMrush was “10 Don’ts for Google AdWords.”