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Amazing Paid Search Tactics & Tools

7 November 2013 BY


Andrew Goodman, Brad Geddes and Sebastian Grebasch discuss paid search tactics and easy to use free and paid tools for Adwords / PPC.

Moderator:

Chris Sherman, Founding Editor, Search Engine Land

Speakers:

  • Brad Geddes,Founder, Certified Knowledge (@bgtheory)
  • Andrew Goodman, Founder, Page Zero Media (@andrew_goodman)
  • Sebastian Grebasch, Global Head of SEA e Mobile Marketing, Zalando

Sebastian Grebasch starts the session by walking through account structure and the importance of matching the structure with the user’s path to conversion. When it comes to structure you have to differentiate account structure, campaign structure and ad group structure.

  • With account structure you should ask yourself; “Is one AdWords account enough?”. Sebastian recommends splitting your accounts based on responsibilities or Google products, ie designated account for the Google Display Network or Product Listing Ads. You can also base your account structure on the nature of your keywords.
  • With campaign structure you need to keep in mind the settings available on the campaign level; defining your budget, setting your targeting and more so ask yourself these questions;  What and how do I want to manage through budget?, What is my targeting strategy? And What is my ad extension strategy?
  • An ad group defines which ad is served on which search query!” With an ad group structure it is important to keep in mind how you’re going to segment your keywords.

With large accounts it is paramount to be able to navigate through account structures which mean that creating naming conventions for your accounts is paramount for easy navigation both for you and your colleagues or clients. Sebastian also goes through keyword management and how you can use automation to create a very big keyword portfolio using excel with word categories e.g. promo words and commerce words and your desired keywords, that along with simple excel scripts can help you generate copious amounts of keyword ideas in a short time.

Next up was Andrew Goodman who talked about what “tools” account managers can use to maximize their results. Although there are many shiny tools out there (e.g. Acquisio and Kenshoo), there are many that don’t cost anything extra. Many of these free tools can be found in AdWords like; AdWords filters, different campaign settings (e.g. ad rotation) campaign experiments (ACE) and scripts.

  • Using AdWords filters is an easy and efficient way to identify winners by giving you a quick overview of your performance data of your ads, keywords etc. Account managers can filter by clicks, conversions, keywords, quality score and more.
  • When you create you campaigns AdWords automatically sets your ad rotation to optimize for clicks, which is great for Google because you pay for each click but not it doesn’t necessarily fit your business model, having said that there are other options like; Rotate indefinitely to make your ads get an even ad serving or optimize for conversions so Google picks the ad that is likelier to receive a conversion which ultimately is supposed to increase your conversions.
  • AdWords Campaign Experiments or ACE is a great free tool and is brilliant for e.g.  bid A/B tests for your keywords while controlling how much you want to test as well, that is you might want to test a 15% decrease in your CPC for 60% of the total auction that specific keyword enters. Using ACE gives you great insights as to what impact your bid changes have versus how they would have performed before.

Lastly, Brad Geddes walks up to stage. He talks about the importance of ad testing and although it may seem like a bit too much especially in large scale accounts you shouldn’t try it and drop it. In order to test, analyse and optimize your ads you need to create goals and to set them you need to ask yourself some questions like; What are you testing? how do you analyse ads at scale? What would you like to know?

Geddes’ tips included using AdWords labels, creating ad test schedules and using Pivot tables in Excel but on top of that he emphasises on keeping different devices in mind when creating ad copy as well as sharing some quick hints on performance difference for various aspects in ads by device

  • Like filters, AdWords labels can greatly help account managers to segment their data and analyse their accounts.
  • As an account manager, being organized is key to successful ad testing (especially in accounts that are running millions of ads). In order to manage your account effectively you should consider creating an ad schedule which keeps you on your toes. When managing copious amounts of ads one usually ends up asking him/herself “How am I going to test ads for all these campaigns?”, one way is using pivot tables in Excel for label segments.

Quick Hints from Brad Geddes:

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AUTHORED BY:
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Haukur Jarl Kristjánsson, a.k.a “the Hawk” (@haukurjarl), is a well-rounded PPC strategist, SEM consultant and trainer based in Reykjavik, Iceland.