Putting Google Analytics to Work in AdWords

September 19th, 2013 by Michael Marchese

BLOG-analyticsOne of the great PPC management features of Google AdWords is the ability to pull in Analytics data straight to your AdWords account. Although limited in scope, it provides detailed information such as Bounce Rate, Page/visit, Average visit duration and % of new visits. These are all very interesting statistics to see being imported into your AdWords account but what use can they actually provide? The answer is, quite a bit. Let’s take a look at a single instance and how it can benefit you.

Online retailers with an extensive inventory can be overwhelming to keep up with, especially when the client is adjusting inventory without notifying you of the changes. Let’s say a particular client had a furniture store that had hundreds of products and product lines that you have individual campaigns, ad groups and keywords for. Unfortunately you are not sure if the inventory is being updated without you knowing, and yet you want to keep one step ahead of the client.

You can start the process by sorting your ad groups or keywords by bounce rate from highest to lowest. The reason for this is that a pattern of high bounce rates suggest that the landing page is not relevant to the searchers needs. Although it is possible that other reasons exist for the lack of page interest, a common theme tends to be that the page is not doing what you intended it to do. From here it now only takes a few easy steps to uncover the problem at hand.

Continue by filtering out all 90-100% bounce rates (this is all relative to each accounts particular history) and then individually check the items with significant data points, usually more than just a few clicks, to see where the link takes you. I would be surprised if you did not find several items that were no longer available or had their URLs changed. Now you can go back to the client and present your proactive findings before huge dollars had been wasted on useless clicks.

Google AdWords Remarketing “Similar Audiences”

August 21st, 2013 by Cary Goldstein

BLOG-SimilarAudiencesLooking for ways to expand your reach to additional relevant audiences?  Google AdWords can help you reach people similar to your existing Remarketing audience with the new “similar audiences” feature.

Google Remarketing allows you to reach people who have already visited your site and reconnect with an audience that’s interested in your products or services.  The similar audiences feature enables you to find people who share characteristics and browsing patterns with your site visitors. By adding similar audiences to an ad group you can now serve your ads to this similar population, allowing you to reach a new group of qualified potential customers.

How Similar Audiences are Established:

AdWords reviews the browsing activity of millions of users on Display Network sites from the prior 30 days. This data is used within their contextual engine to understand shared interests and characteristics with those people in your remarketing list. Based on this information, they identify a new audience whose interests and characteristics are similar to those of the people in your current Remarketing list. The more characteristics and interests people in your Remarketing lists share, the better this similar audiences feature should work.  As your Remarketing audience changes, your similar audience will change as well.

A similar audiences list is created based on a Remarketing list that contains at least 500 cookies with enough similarity in characteristics and interests to create a qualifying population for similar audiences. Google will automatically identify which of your Remarketing lists qualify for similar audiences based on a variety of factors including the types of sites that these visitors have browsed.

Adding Similar Audiences to an Ad Group:

Just click the Change Display Targeting button under the Display Network tab and select an Ad Group. You’ll then click the Remarketing lists link under Interests & Remarketing and the “Show Similar Audiences” checkbox should be automatically selected. If there aren’t any lists that qualify for similar audiences then this option will be grayed out. You’ll see a new list for the similar audience along with the estimated list size right below each qualified Remarketing list which you can then select for addition to your Ad Group.  For professional assistance, contact Google AdWords Management Specialists.

Capitalize on the Benefits of Similar Audiences:

The similar audiences feature takes the guesswork out of your search for relevant new audiences by automatically finding a large-scale group of potential customers who are similar to your existing site visitors. This feature can help you find qualified customers based on the specific topics that people (in aggregate) were browsing from one of your Remarketing lists before being added to that list.

With similar audiences you can boost the reach of existing Remarketing campaigns and drive new traffic to your website site that should have a strong likelihood of being interested in your product or services.

Even if these new visitors don’t generate an immediate conversion from your advertising campaign, they have now been added to your Remarketing list allowing for future conversion opportunities through ongoing exposure. By enabling similar audiences, you can grow your Remarketing list dramatically in a way that is both intuitive and easily managed.

Do Google AdWords View-Through Conversions Have Value?

August 5th, 2013 by Spencer Daniels

BLOG-viewthroughJPOGBefore we start dissecting Google AdWords View-through Conversions and their role in AdWords management, let’s first get a basic understanding of what a View-Through conversion is: A View-Through Conversion (VTC) occurs when an image or rich media ad is shown to an individual who ends up completing a conversionary action on your site without ever clicking on an image or rich media ad prior to the conversion. The window in which a View-Through Conversion can be recorded is defaulted to 30 days, but you can decrease the window to coincide with your marketing goals.

Here’s a real-life example of a View-Through Conversion: you’re on Forbes.com and you see an image ad for sporting equipment. You decide not to click on the ad, and continue browsing on Forbes.com. The next day, you end up visiting and making a purchase from the site that had displayed the sporting equipment ad to you on Forbes.com. This counts as a VTC because you saw, but did not click, on the image ad that was shown. It does not matter how you ended up getting to the site, whether organically, directly typing in the URL or even clicking on a search engine-based ad, as long as you didn’t click on an image or rich media ad and converted within the VTC window, it will count as a VTC.

The value of a View-Through Conversion is widely debated in the internet marketing world. Questions arise pertaining to the effect an unclicked image or rich media has on customer’s conversion path. Had the ad not been there, would they have gone to the website and converted anyway? Since they did not click on the ad, did they not like it? Did they even see it? Was the last click conversion purely a coincidence or did the ad play a pivotal role in the path towards a conversion? Unfortunately, we don’t have a definitive answer to these questions without the solution to the chaos theory or Doc Brown’s time-traveling DeLorean. What we do have is lots and lots of data that can be analyzed to find trends in Google’s Display Network View-Through Conversion behavior.

There were many ways to approach our data in hopes to find behavioral spikes in VTCs; I chose to focus on the size of an image ad and the correlation it had on their conversion rates and the corresponding VTC rates. I used data from seven ecommerce-based businesses, where the conversionary action is the purchase of a physical product, then segmented the data for three different ad sizes; 160×600, 728×90 and 300×250. I only included data from ad groups that had all three sizes and used the same ad theme for each size to avoid favoritism in ad copy style.

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By analyzing the data one thing becomes apparent: View-through Conversions do matter. The data reveals VTC rates and regular conversion rates follow the same trend line when segmented by ad size. If the conversion rates were higher for a particular ad size, then the VTC rates were also higher. This means VTCs are not random in relation to ad size. The greater the conversion rate, the greater the View-through Conversion rate.

Without acknowledging the plentiful uncontrolled variables, and there are many, we’ve determined that view-through conversions are not completely bogus. The data may be raw but it cannot be ignored. As time progresses and technology advances we will be able to obtain more concrete data (e.g. http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/06/see-full-impact-of-unclicked-display.html.) Until then, we will have to be satisfied that we answered at least one of the many VTC-orientated questions; does an unclicked ad have an effect on the path to a conversion? Yes.