Search Ads: Taming the Beast Andrew Goodman Page Zero Media
I Don’t Want to Change the World! • The Hedgehog Concept vs. Changing the World • “I Want to Give You a Lobotomy About Change” • Jim Collins, “Good to Great,” Fast Company, Oct. 2001
A Search Marketing Story in the Making?Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Souvenirs • Pundit: “The TTC is an ‘underdog brand’ that suffers from a variety of perceived shortcomings” • “Wouldn’t it be great if Sam Roberts went on stage wearing a TTC driver’s shirt. People would be scrambling to get their hands on one.”
Groovy, Baby? 2005 Revenues: $50,000
Why Not Find Out? • Taxi ad firm partner: “Who would want this stuff?” [sic] • London Underground “stuff” – successful? • NY Transit Authority: $1.5 million in 2005
Hey, Wait a Minute! I’ve Got Data on This! • (< $5.00 cost per order on paid search campaigns)
What’s a “big” account? Example 1 • Leading vertical: job search • Spend: High (£80k/mo) but wants more • Key tactics employed: keyword expansion, performance metrics, granularity • Client interested in traffic acquisition, not “brand” • Success defined by: cost-effective EOI, high volumes
Niche Success: Example 2, The Lightbulb Company(www.thelightbulb.co.uk) - £5,000/mo. Success defined by: high ROAS; subsequent phone contact from institutions, corporations • AdWords spend: less than six figures per year • It’s not what you spend… it’s what you earn!
Google’s New Quality Score Regime – Example #1– “Problem” Account
AdWords Example #4: Google-Baiting (Big Disaster – anecdote) • Quality Score plummets suddenly? • Cause? • Inaccessible landing page? • Poor site navigation? • Panic: $100 bids! • Reality: (1) pop-up on landing page; (2) Pop-up advises users to stop using search engines! • Is it all automated? (Probably not)
Quality Score Formula • Ad rank = QS X Max Bid • QS: Primarily CTR, but major flaws can sink QS anyway • Predictive (accounts with histories do better) • Consistency from kw’s – ads – landing pages • Way to penalize “evil” by algorithm: • Data collection sites • Products Google doesn’t like • Abusers of system, affiliates, multiple account holders • Keyword arbitrage • Deceptive redirects, cloaking, no content, tricks, lies • Pop-ups • Variegated evil • Search engine spam techniques?
Google Search principles • User testing, behavior • Clarity • Cues for quality & relevance • Apply to *both* paid & unpaid listings • How Google knows? • Time on site, etc. • Conversion rates? • CTR is still paramount! • Yes, CTR is still paramount! • Means a difficult tradeoff for advertisers
Yahoo Search Mktg Interface: Quite Different from Google AdWords… (for now)
The “Long Tail of Search Queries” – Understand It, Then Debate It
Analytics: Convenience & Cost vs. Privacy • Should you use Google’s (free) conversion tracking? Or Google Analytics?
Leveraging Agency Relationships: Are You Getting Your Due? • Accreditation programs, tiers, “trust rank” • Search scientists approach all relationships as a measurement issue? • Confidence scores in web pages • Quality scores on ad accounts • Agency accounts – size, influence, fit • “Help” vs. interference? Striking a balance • Differences between Google, Yahoo, MSN • The value added by 3rd party agencies or in-house marketers, analysts, developers: full user experience and customer relationship cycle • Can SE’s credibly rep. all clients in same vertical?
Ad Position ROI & Click Fraud Suspicions – Speculation (Advanced) • Received wisdom is that a lot of clicks in ad position one are “compulsive” or “fraud”. • So why is conversion and ROI often lower in ad positions 4-10?
Quick Quiz: Which ad returns higher ROI?What are some pitfalls in testing? (Other variables, wasting money on tests of “contender” ads)
Ads: What to test? Title Offer Creative ‘feel’
Click Fraud: Handy Heuristics • Time spent on page, if less than 5 seconds 60%+ of the time… high probability of systematic fraud
Did I mention I wrote a book? Andrew Goodman Page Zero Media