A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

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Advanced Pay Per Click at #Pubcon Vegas 2010

November 10th, 2010

Here are the notes from my first session at Pubcon Vegas.

I did not bother blogging the details of the initial keynote by David Pogue of the NY Times. It was a fun and light-hearted keynote, but did not have much specific actionable notes.

(Did I mention that I have a cold. That’s also part of the reason. I feel like garbage!)

But this first actual session I attended is a good one. Here are some notes from the “Advanced PPC” session.

Craig Danuloff from ClickEquations started off.
He has some e-book that may be good. I’ll check it out when I have time. If anyone can find it for me, please leave a note in the comments.

Keywords are magnets you use to attract search queries. Google decides how they will match queries to keywords, especially via broad match. If you look at the list of search queries, you will typically be disappointed that Google is showing your ad for many of these phrases. (No surprise here.)

Put keyword phrases that are exact match in separate ad groups than the phrase match keyword phrases. Monitor the phrase match ones carefully.

Separate all of your brand name keywords in their own campaign. Then, negative out your brand keywords from the other campaigns. This keeps all your branded keywords together so you can handle them differently.

(I think the reason he encouraged using a different campaign is because you can input negative keywords at the campaign level.)

IMPRESSION SHARE shows a percentage for each keyword. It is the percentage of times your ad was shown as opposed to all the times it could have been shown. If the impression share is low, you can go after that. There is opportunity there.

When Quality Score goes up, your CPC goes down. Sometimes dramatically. Work on your QS.

And that was the lead-in into Brad Geddes of bgTheory. NOTE: Brad is one of those guys that you could easily just follow all day long and learn something from every time he speaks. He’s brilliant and provides real world examples.

This time he is focusing on Quality Score. He is going to help us learn how to fix the “Google hates me” theory. Many times clients will not be able to get their QS above 2 or 3 even though they have tried everything. (I’ve seen this. This should be interesting.)

Quality Score (QS) is important because it determines Ranking. (Bid X QS = RANK). Type “Quality score factors chart” into Google to see a chart of what QS involves.

The most important factor of QS is the CTR.
The 2nd component is relevance.
How close is your ad copy to the keywords?
How close is your ad copy to the landing page?
The third factor is landing page relevance.

How do you get QS to go from 2 to 10, or even just 7? The pricing is dramatic if you can make it improve. Brad suggested using “Google Sets” to find words that Google feels are are closely related to the words being used. Google may not “get” the word you are using. Use Google Sets to understand how Google understands your keywords.

Similarly, you can use the tilde in a search for your keyword. For example, if you want to find what words Google thinks are similar to cart, you can do a search for…

~cart -cart

I just did this now and you will see on the page that Google bolds words like Car and Basket. Therefore, Google feels these words are similar. You can then rerun the query to find more. For example…

~cart -cart -basket -car

You can then see words like Trolley and Order as similar.

…Keep adding words to learn what Google thinks is similar.

Again, look for bolded words. It shows the one degree of separation of words that Google thinks are similar. It helps you understand what Google thinks are similar words.

So how do theses words help you? Brad showed an example of how he made three campaigns and created 15 minute increments and ran each of them switching every 15 minutes. Each of them were exactly the same, but the ads were different. He switched out a word or two here or there and included words that were found using the above process. The QS went from a 3 to a 10. Amazing. Huge savings in cost.

QS can also be affected by geography. Ad Copy can change CTR from 16% to 2% based on the state. Even Philadelphia vs the rest of Pennsylvania can change CTR dramatically. Brad recommended being aware of that because QS is largely based on CTR. Do whatever you can to raise your CTR.

Christine Churchill from KeyRelevance then talked about the value of using the AdWords Editor.
It is good for bulk repetitive changes
Good for copying
Good for making a backup of your account
Advanced search options works well
Keyword grouper tool lets you take large lists and break them up.
Works well for importing into MS AdCenter.

Now it is time for Q&A

How to improve your QS for a competitor’s branded keyword?

Try creating a comparison page. Try finding keywords that their brand is similar to. See above ideas. Find a way to get more clicks to improve CTR. If you have really bad QS, be sure to put them in a different account altogether. QS does affect the rest of the account. Be careful with this one. Accounts can get banned when several accounts point to the same domain name.

NOTE: Once you get a really bad lifetime quality score and CTR, you can do nothing to make it better. Google looks at the lifetime. So scrap the account and start over. Increase your CTR slowly and prove that you are “good at this”.