The Positive of Negative Keywords

21 05 2009

Nothing feels worse then paying for traffic…except paying for traffic that you don’t want!

Google recently upgraded their AdWords interface and thanks to a recent tweet @jordanlebaron, – Just figured out I can see raw queries in the new #adwords interface: Campaigns > Keywords > “See search term…

I was impressed with the importance of this new feature. “Raw queries” are what a searcher actually typed into the search engine which resulted in triggering an ad for one of your keyword bids. Phew, long sentence.

Not only is it interesting (and gives you ideas of content to add to a site) it is important in locating “Negative keywords”. Negative keywords can be set for your ad group. They are keywords or phrases that you do not want your ad triggered in the search results. I assure you I have no nipple ring pictures on my site, nor am I really all that interested in my ad showing in the search results. I don’t consider it “targeted traffic” and I don’t want to pay for it πŸ˜›

You try to save money where you can! Every little bit counts. If you want even more details then what googles raw queries tell you I found this great post on What they recommend is to employ what they call the β€œGoogle Analytics Raw Query Hack”. It is easy, non-technical and completely free! Check out their site for more info on how.


Improving your CTR made easy

19 05 2009

There are so many things you have to do on a daily basis to succeed with your online business. One of these things is constantly trying to reach – in increasing numbers – the right audience.

If you know your conversion rate is 15% (15 out of 100 targeted visitors purchase) and you know you’ll make an average of $150 profit per 100 visitors then of course the laws of averages says “if you had 1000000 viewers you’d be rolling in money!” So… the constant struggle with increasing targeted traffic to your site is a daily ritual.

If you’re using Google AdWords one of the things you can do is improve your CTR (click – through – rate)! Also, as an added bonus, Google will charge you less cpc (cost per click) since SO MANY PEOPLE click through your ad! Another reason I love google πŸ™‚ I think they should hire me for praising them so much!

High CTR means more attention from “keyword targeted” searchers. When you capture “targeted” traffic you will notice much better conversion rates. With 1,000,000s of sites out there you must catch the searchers attention better then any one else!

Luckily it’s easier to do then you may think (if you are using Google AdWords).

Split ads in a campaign: In your Google account you can make different “ads” within a campaigns “Ad Group”. Google will alternate the ads (directing them to the same landing page, the same keywords and using the same budget), while tracking the number of impressions and the number of clicks. You can test different ads to see which results in the highest % of click through rates. Of course some ads will result in lower CTRs (always a pain – but better off knowing I guess).

  • Test Headlines: Each ad headline can use a max of 25 characters. If you have the actually keyword in the title it will be highlighted in BOLD on the Google results page. People are drawn to bold – and if it matches exactly what was typed in the search engine they are more likely to click through. You can use Googles auto headline – which will put the keyword in your title for you – but it is often found to be less targeted traffic and may not convert as well (in my opinion). Try seasonal headlines, mark events, align your product with what’s happening now – the idea is to keep testing – get rid of those that don’t perform.
  • Test Content: In Google AdWords you have 2 description lines and each only allows for 35 characters max (and tweeters find 140 tough!). This is where you speak to your potential customera -use it wisely! It’s not as easy as writting a 70 character (includes spaces remember) sentence. Being forced into using 2 lines may split a word right in half! or worse…waste character spaces! Don’t use words like “best” “guaranteed” “in business for x yrs” WASTED CHARACTERS!!! Use your website for that info (too bad not everyone knows computer shorthand ;P) In fact – I’d be as bold as to say do not list any features at all….go 100% benefit (or at least test it out)!
  • Test display URLs: If your landing page URL is long then this is a great feature. You can create any URL in this space (it allows for 35 characters). Make it easy for people to remember. If your URL is long shorten it πŸ™‚

Much easier to read no? Notice the capitalization?. You get 1024 characters for your actual destination url (although nobody sees it on the google ad) be sure to always use the actual landing page URL.

Keep an eye on the number of impressions vs the number of clicks. Test Test Test – in with the good – out with the bad. Improving your” click-through-rate” will be one of the easier tasks of your day if you’re using Google AdWords.


Can’t paypal and google just get along?

25 04 2009

Like anyone I want to be able to track my conversions based on goals I set out. My goal is for people to reach a “thank you for ordering page” right after they submit payment. Simple no? If they reach this page my google analytics “goals” should count that as a conversion.

Google is so off from the sales registered in my paypal account that it’s not even funny! I mean huge off. So far, if I believed google, I had 1300 viewers follow through my “funnel” to the purchase page. Google then tells me only 3 people ended the cycle on the thank you page.

Paypal of course tells the real story – the truth is in the bank – as they say. So why isn’t paypal bringing people to my thank you page after submiting their order like I asked them to (actually they offered in the button customizations).

  • Why is google obviously counting people who “checkout” as “exits” (from my site to paypal BEFORE the sale).
  • Why is it that I can only customize the header image and background color in paypal buttons?
  • Why can’t I put my google tracking code on the paypal payment page…(hmmmmm)?

I could just pull a Bobby McFerrin “…naaa na na na nananaaa dont worry…nannanaaaaaa…be happy” but I really would like to take advantage of googles other tools like “website optimization” where I can create test pages. Find out what converts best – how best to present my Ring Guards to my customers – lots of neat stuff.

If you know I’d love to know.


Have you noticed google ppc going down?

11 04 2009

I try to stay on top of my Google AdWords campaigns, ClickThroughRate (CTR) of my ad variations and of course the amount I spend on bidding. I’m always surprised by the amount of $ I spend a month – the kind of surprise you feel when dropping over that first hump of a roller coaster.

I went today to check on the results of one of my .20 cent keywords. Usually the CTR on this keyword is a good %. I checked the keyword-analysis tool and saw something that kind of pissed me off – but also made me happy (roller coaster happy).

What made me happy?

  1. I saw that the cost to be on the first page of results dropped from .20 to .05
  2. I could lower my top bid and save some $

What pissed me off?

  1. I was being charge on average .13 cpc. hmmmmmm – correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t google say that your “bid” is the MOST you’d pay? So if I was offering .20 but the top bid was .05 I should be charged .06 for the top spot?
  2. You have to know where to look to find the bid to be on the first page. Even then you don’t see the top bid amount. hmmmmmmmm

This is why I miss “back in the good ol’days” when .01 cent bids were the norm (I’ve been online too long?), when you could see not only WHAT the top bid was – but also WHO was bidding it. When you could ACTUALLY track your ROI.

Now I’m left wondering if the drop in bids is due to

  • todays horrid economy or
  • the shift we see to social media as a viable alternative to search engine marketing.