Posts Tagged relevancy
So you’ve realised your current Google AdWords strategy is missing out on a big opportunity to connect with long-tail searchers who are further along in the buying cycle and more likely to convert. You’ve also realised you’ve collected a wealth of search query data while you’ve been running your current Google AdWords campaigns over the past few months or years. You therefore want to use your search query data to improve your long-tail targeting, reach these searchers at the later stages of the buying cycle, and increase your return on investment (ROI) from Google AdWords marketing.
However, when analysing your search query report, it can all too often be overwhelming. It can be hard to know where to start. You find yourself falling victim to analysis paralysis, and give up without making any tangible improvements to your campaigns. So to help mine your search queries for new long tail keywords, below are 3 techniques I find incredibly useful:
Back in 2009, I looked at the standard of PPC ads being displayed on Google in Australia, using the Sydney hotel industry as an example. I found that the majority of PPC ads being presented on Google by Australian businesses were poorly targeted and unengaging, and concluded that considerable opportunities exist for Australian businesses who take the time and effort to develop tailored and effective long-tail Google PPC campaigns.
Three years on, despite Google PPC marketing becoming more widespread among businesses in Australia (and arguably more competitive and expensive as a result), there still appears to be very few Australian businesses who provide high-targeted and tailored ad messages which cater from the growing long-tail of search. A huge amount of valuable keyword and search query data now exists for every PPC advertiser, but it appears that most PPC campaigns in Australia still consist of only a few hundred keywords and only a few hundred ad messages.
Due to the increasing popularity of Google, people are now typing a wide range of specific searches into Google, and are expecting more relevant and helpful search results and ads. However, when searching for these specific long-tail phrases, it appears that the general standard of PPC ads in Australia is very poor. For the search ‘sydney hotels near the rocks’, for example, notice how few PPC ads make any mention of The Rocks (a location in Sydney). The searcher has typed a specific phrase where location seems to be an important consideration, yet few Google PPC ads fully cater for their needs and requirements.
Similarly, looking at Google’s suggested searches for other travel-related phrases, it appears that the long-tail of search is very widespread. People are not only searching for holidays in a particular country, for example, but also searching for holidays from their town or city.
Notice below how the searcher has specified they are looking for Singapore holidays from Perth, yet only one PPC advertiser makes any mention whatsoever of Perth. Even the one ad which does, however, is promoting Perth hotels, which again is irrelevant and untargeted to the searcher’s needs and requirements.
The long-tail opportunity doesn’t just apply to locations. People are also searching by date, and expecting search results which are tailored to those dates. For example, notice below how not a single PPC advertiser make any mention of ‘October’ or ’2012′ in their ad messages. I imagine most travel service providers provide different prices and deals depending on the travel date, such as October 2012, yet few seem to translate these date-specific prices and specials into their PPC ad messaging. Again, a missed opportunity.
The long-tail of search is massive. People are not just searching for hotels in Melbourne. They are searching for hotels in Melbourne with spas, parking, indoor pools, free wifi, smoking rooms, and breakfast included. I imagine a large number of Melbourne hotels meet these requirements, yet you would not think so when searching on Google.
Hotels in Sydney with balcony rooms really need to get their PPC campaigns in order. They are missing a great opportunity to connect with potential customers on Google.
The same is true for Tahiti holiday providers and resorts with a child-friendly offering, or those which offer packages departing from the capital cities of Australia.
As we can see with the above examples, people are increasingly using Google to specify their exact needs and requirements. This suggests there are considerable opportunities for businesses in Australia who take the time and effort to fully cater for Google’s growing long-tail of search. So instead of displaying only a handful of ads and only a handful of keywords, your PPC campaign strategy needs to contain thousands of tailored ad messages and tens of thousands of relevant and well-organised keywords.
Although such a tailored long-tail campaign structure will obviously take more time and effort to setup and maintain than a simple campaign consisting of only a few hundred keywords and ads, a long-tail PPC strategy can deliver fantastic results in terms of increased click through rates (CTR), lower CPCs, and higher conversion rates. Considering the poor standard of Google PPC competition in Australia, a highly-tailored and comprehensive PPC strategy can be one of the most successful and financially rewarding marketing investments any Australian business can make.
Alan Mitchell is an experienced Google AdWords specialist, with a proven track record in helping businesses increase their return on investment (ROI) from PPC marketing. To find out how logical PPC marketing can help your business, please get in touch today for a free consultation.
Google last month increased the maximum number of keywords allowed in a standard Google AdWords account from approximately 50,000 to 3 million. Yes, that’s right, you can now have up to 3 million keywords in your Google AdWords account.
And while most pay per click (PPC) advertisers are probably already doing a fair job at targeting a large number of relevant searchers through their existing keyword lists, there are massive opportunities for PPC advertisers who take the time to research thousands more keywords than their competitors.
Let’s find out why.
1. More Impressions
To illustrate the first reason, let’s consider Google’s phrase match for a moment. By bidding on the keyword ‘sony bravia tv’, and setting it to phrase match, you are essentially saying to Google:
“Show my ad whenever someone mentions the word ‘sony bravia tv’ in their search query”.
The job of phrase match is to show your ads for searches that mention your keyword phrase. You might therefore think this will enable your ads to appear whenever someone mentions the phrase ‘sony bravia tv’ in their search query.
Just because you have chosen to bid on the keyword ‘sony bravia tv’, does not mean your ad is guaranteed to show for any search containing the phrase ‘sony bravia tv’. You are competing with thousands of other advertisers for Google’s search results page real estate, and Google can only show a finite number of ads at any one time (10-12).
When deciding which ads to show, Google will display the ads that are most likely to generate a high click through rate (CTR), and those that have a relatively high Quality Score.
So when someone searches for ‘sony bravia 50 inch tv black’, PPC advertisers who have chosen to bid on a keyword close to ‘sony bravia 50 inch tv black’, and are able to display an ad which is relevant to Sony Bravia 50 inch TVs, is more likely to be awarded the chance to appear on Google’s search results page, than your generic keyword ‘sony bravia tv’, which triggers a more generic ad message.
The percentage of impressions your keywords receive for all ‘available’ searches is counted in Google’s Impression Share metric. The higher your Impression Share, the higher the percentage of available searches in which your ads appear.
The crucial point is this – by researching thousands of relevant keywords, all other things equal, you are more likely to show for a greater number of relevant searches. By researching thousands of keywords, your impressions and click volume will increase considerably.
WordStream last week carried out some fascinating research on Google AdWords CPC prices of different sectors. One key finding was that the finance industry carried high CPCs of up to $54.91, while other service-related sectors such as education, law and health also exhibited expensive CPC prices of over $30.00.
It’s All Relative
Since CPC prices are often closely linked to the potential profitability of a sale from that keyword, the CPC price is often a mute point. A ‘bad credit history remortgage’ could be worth $15,000 profit to a remortgage broker, so having CPCs in excess of $50.00 can deliver a strong return on investment.
On the other hand, the keyword ‘New York weather’ has little commercial intention, so keywords such as this tend to benefit from low CPCs.
While this relativity of CPC prices makes CPC comparisons across sectors rather meaningless, most PPC advertisers would jump at the chance to pay lower CPCs. So below are 4 strategies I’ve found useful for achieving lower CPCs, while still maintaining a strong conversion rate.
The beauty of pay per click marketing is that it allows you to choose keywords which are highly relevant to your business. By only showing ads for search terms which closely match the products and services your business offers, you can ensure a high degree of relevancy and strong return on investment from paid search.
PPC advertisers have abided by this relevant approach since the dawn of PPC, knowing that to maximize PPC profitability, ads should be shown for highly-relevant keywords, and not for irrelevant keywords. If you are a synthetic grass manufacturer, for example, you should only show ads for highly-relevant searches such as ‘artificial grass’ and ‘synthetic grass suppliers’, but not for less relevant searches such as ‘real grass’ or ‘buy grass seed online’. Showing ads for these less relevant keywords would achieve a low conversion rate and yield a poor profit.
Or so the theory goes.
But maybe there is a way to still achieve great results from these less relevant keywords? Maybe there is a way to reach a greater number of potential customers, while still achieving a strong profitability?
There is. But it involves a different way of thinking. It involves a different approach to simply bidding on a range of keywords, showing your best performing ads, and waiting for the sales to come flooding in.
Google is all about relevancy. Their whole business model depends on it. They want to provide searchers with the most relevant and useful results, and provide the easiest and most efficient means for searchers to find the information they are seeking.
So it comes as a surprise to see widespread discussion criticising the quality of Google search results among search marketing professionals, talk of people getting up in arms because they can’t find the information they are looking for, mention of people having to resort to old-fashioned bookmarking to avoid losing track of that golden nugget of an article they found back in 2003.
Are search results really becoming less relevant? Or are our expectations of high quality search results increasing faster that improvements in search quality can keep up? While Google no doubt needs to continue to improve the relevancy and usefulness of it search results, it’s not just Google who need to improve. We can also learn how to better construct our search queries to find the right information more quickly and easily.
This week Google unveiled one of their biggest changes to the Google search results page in recent years – an evolution of their Autocomplete feature called Google Instant. In a nutshell, Google Instant predicts what you are searching for, and displays search results for its prediction as you type. Not the results for what you have typed, but the results for what it predicts you are going to type.
All very clever. And a massive time-saver too – reducing search time around the world by a massive 11 hours every second (not per person, in total).
But while this is arguably a change for the better, giving users a greater level of interactivity as they search, the announcement has had some negative reactions from search marketers.
There’s been a lot of talk about long-tail keywords in pay per click (PPC). You could say it started in the entertainment industry with Chris Anderson’s influential Long Tail article in 2004, but it wasn’t long before the concept became mainstream among search marketers.
Long-tail keywords are those low-volume, obscure, infrequently searched-for keywords that turn up in your search query reports. ‘Cheap remortgage for bad credit history’ is one example of a long-tail keyword. ‘Remortgages’ is not.
The theory goes like this:
- Long-tail keywords, en masse, can provide significant search volume (high impressions)
- Long-tail keywords have less competition than generic keywords (lower cost per click (CPC), higher click-through rate (CTR))
- Long-tail keywords are more specific than generic keywords, so ads can be better tailored to match the searcher’s needs (higher CTR, higher Quality Score, less wastage from irrelevant searches)
- People making long-tail searches are often further along in the buying cycle and more willing to buy than people making generic searches (higher conversion rate)
- These lower CPCs, higher CTRs and higher conversion rates mean long-tail keywords can be extremely profitable (lower cost per acquisition (CPA))
So are long-tail keywords all they are cracked up to be? Are they worth all the time, effort and commitment they require?