Gerant at Netdefinition SARL
25 November 2003 11:38am
Calling all Google Adword experts:
I'm about to do some advertising on Google for the first time. Who can give me some tips on how to get the best, most targeted results for the least outlay?? Here the situation...
I have a chalet in Chamonix, which is available for catered ski trips during the winter. Perhaps my biggest USP is that I'm having a hot tub installed out on the deck.
So how do you reckon I should do it on Google? I'm guessing that 'Chamonix' and 'chalet' will be most in demand and hence expensive. Should I focus it on the hot tub angle? Will that enable me to get better targeted (and cheaper) results?
Thanks in advance for any help. And if you want to rent the chalet yourself, drop me a line...!??!
CEO at Econsultancy
26 November 2003 10:45am
I'm not a search engine expert but we have done a fair bit of this ourselves (both 'organic' / 'algorhythmic' / 'editorial' / 'free' listing and pay-per-click) and my few tips would be:
- you need to work out what people will actually search for that is relevant to your proposition. How do you know this? The cheap way is a bit of common sense and asking your mates / existing customers.
- you can then use tools like Wordtracker (http://www.wordtracker.com) to check against your own list: are there others being searched for that are similar and should be on your list? How many searches are there for your chosen terms? This will also help give you an idea of the kinds of volumes of traffic you might expect to be able to drive
- given your size, budget, proposition I'd suggest going for pretty specific search phrases (not keywords). Bear in mind the following (recent research from Overture) on search term distribution:
36% people search using 2 terms
28% search using 1 term
22% search using 3 terms
9% search using 4 terms
5% search using 5 or more terms
Complement this with research from Espotting which shows that despite the above, most PPC (pay per click) advertisers compete on 1 word and I think the message for smaller players is - buy 2 or 3 word phrases. Why? 2 main reasons:
1. Because it is more targeted so the traffic is more likely to convert (lowers your cost of customer acquisition)
2. Because there is less competition you'll pay less per click
The downside? Only that there may not be high volumes of traffic available that match your chosen phrases. That's more of a problem for brands going after metrics like reach and frequency, but less of an issue for smaller, niche players.
So all you need to do is choose your phrases and get going. You can use tracking tools with Google (assuming you can insert their code into your pages) to check on your conversions and return on investment too.
Personally I don't think skiers will be thinking hot tub as the key differentiator in what they are looking for... It's a nice/great to have but not what you'd search for...? I agree with your points about generic terms being hotly contested but combinations of them may not be e.g. "chalets in chamonix"? "skiing short breaks"? "privately owned chalets"? "DIY skiing holiday"? You get the idea...
CEO at Greenlight
26 November 2003 11:20am
before you roll your sleeves up, I'd sit down and have a long hard think about what you mean by 'get the best results'. Do you 'get the most traffic' for least outlay, 'Get the most conevcrsions' for the least outlay.
Granted Chamonix, chalet etc are going to be big winners traffic wise, but chances are the popularity of the terms will spiral your cpc upwards, as well as resulting in a lot of clicks... and hey...if you've only got the one chalet, it could be taking sledgehammer to a walnut, so traffic volume may not be what you want.
A thorough keyword analysis will help uncover some of the more qualified phrases your desired audience will be typing, and will likely help in sourcing the right people. Take note of Googles matching filters too, as these can help control / exclude words you want or don't want to show your ad for. Most people opt for a broad match, but that can lead to unqualified ad impressions and excess clicks.
Another wining strategy is the ad copy in your listing. Google doesn't really give you much space to play with your creative and messaging, so getting the copy right will pre-qualify/filter your visitors and drive the right clicks.
Use that 'Hot tub' USP in the copy. Positive differentiaition is a powerful driver of click through when all the other listings kind of blur into saying the same thing, and will help you maximise clickthrough when its cluttered and those ad impressions are scarce and thin on the ground, especially in the lower traffic niche keyword stakes.
Also... Don't lead with offers you can't fulfil. If you have just the one chalet, chances are people will likely want to book it at the same time or closely overlaping. If you cover a date, you may want to give thought to crowbaring that into the ad copy, or your just going to get x,000 clicks for everyone looking to book the 1 chalet over Xmas & new year. Draining budget without hope of a sale!....which on a general marketing note...would make it a good idea to try and partner with a couple of other peopel in your space, to strike a deal for passing on leads you can't fulfil
Which brings me on to my last point...be prepared to revisiit the creative and the campaign & test test test.
Good luck with your campaign sam...and maybe I'll take the Chalet next year...
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CEO at ABAKUS Internet Marketing
26 November 2003 12:03pm
Ashley makes some good suggestions. especially using the trial versio nor forking out a few bucks for a more detailed analysis at wordtracker.com. Do be sure to cross reference the results with those from say Overture (http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/) , Espotting (http://www.espotting.com/popups/keywordgenbox.asp) plus of course Googles own keyword sugestion tools (https://adwords.google.com/select/main?cmd=KeywordSandbox). Once the brain storming is out of the way the best thing to do is really to give them a try. Run a campaign of what you regard given the suggestions from the tools for a week or two and then make an excel table of the conversion rates/traffic. Then change them completely to the next set of say 5 keywords. At the end you will find those that increase your bottom line which it is all about. It is not just about levels of traffic but ROI. Consider also 'buying' keywords such a 'reservation', 'booking(s)', 'cheap' etc.
I would not personally bring 'hot tub' into it. I really cant imagine anyone searching for it. You should include it in your description but not as a keyword.
Also consider terms that are relevant such as 'winter holiday', ski accomodation', 'winter breaks', '[town] accomodation'.
try and think linear. Not all will be accepted but you might get lucky. The key though is in the keyword research and testing. You never really know about roi and traffic unless you try things out. Also as already mention try and get the keyword sin the body text a few times. Not only for normal SEO but because Google editors are going to expect to see it.
Hope that helps.
SEO Director at Guava UK
27 November 2003 10:29am
Adwords are really interesting.
The success is quite closely linked to the editorial. If you get it right you can really reduce the CPC.
A simple free trick to manage your account better is to effectively utilise negative phrases.
Start with your main term, use the Google keyword generator to find related terms. Copy this into Word, take out all the ones that are actually relevent or might be relevent, including generic terms. Set up the left over terms as negative phrases (-keyphrase) that you add into the list with your main term. You can now really cut out the wastage.
Independent Online Marketing Services
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Marketing Consultant at Email Marketing Solutions
27 November 2003 19:22pm
> 'Chamonix' and 'chalet' will be most in demand and hence expensive.
I agree. They'll also have a poor click-through & conversion rate compared to highly targeted terms (& therefore give you a lower return on investment).
Your ROI is all that counts, NOT traffic.
I'll post some tips shortly...
27 November 2003 19:32pm
Dr Potter's top tips for AdWords success:
1. Track your results
Yes, this really is number one! If you're not tracking results, save yourself some money & don't do pay per click. The only companies that lose money on PPC are those that don't track and can't convert.
2. Keyword research is critical
The keywords you choose will determine the success or failure of your campaign. Too broad & you won't get many conversions (sales). Too narrow & you might not get a decent volume of searches.
3. Geo-target your campaigns
If you're only selling to people in the UK, change the AdGroup's default setting to UK only.
4. Use exact match & phrase match
Use a combination of keywords so that you can benefit from the higher CTR's that some keywords will achieve. A higher CTR will result in a better position for that keyword.
5. You can't just outbid for top position
Your ad position is determined by a combination of CTR (click through rate) & CPC (cost per click). If you have double the CTR compared to your competitors, they need to bid more than double your CPC to beat your position.
6. Determine your maximum CPC before you start
If 1 in every 100 visitors convert (ie. book online), and your profit is £250 per booking, you need 100 visitors to make £250. Your maximum CPC to break even is therefore £2.50 (£250/100).
7. Look at lifetime value
If your average customer stays with you 3 times over a period of 5 years, their lifetime value is £750 (3 x £250). You could therefore afford to bid up to £7.50 per click & still break even.
8. Think laterally, but be specific
eg. chamonix snow report, chamonix skiing, accomodation in chamonix, chamonix snowboarding chamonix chalet rental, etc.
What about meribel, courchevel, etc?
9. Use ad copy that works
Keywords in the title get a higher CTR. And use a call to action in the body: "Book online", etc
10. Use a specific landing page for your campaigns
Too many people send visitors to their home page & then expect people to waste time looking for the page they actually want. Always use a specific landing page.
Hope this helps!
Looking to improve your pay per click performance?
http://www.roitrack.co.uk <=Click here
CEO at Web Diversity Limited
28 November 2003 10:04am
Russell comes up with some excellent actions and I totally agree that tracking results is the secret to success.
However, Google's system is a bit like an onion and often you need to peel it back to see what is really going on.
Let me explain.
There are 4 types of keywords you can have in Google Adwords :
1. Broad match - your ad is shown if the words you are bidding on show anywhere in your list.
2. Phrase match - your ad is shown if the phrase you are bidding on is shown within the context of the search made
3. Exact match - your ad is shown if the phrase you are bidding on is shown EXACTLY as the search made.
4. Negative match - your ad is NOT shown if one of the stop words you choose is used.
You could add in extended broad match, where similes will also generate traffic, but it gets a bit complicated at that point.
Now you know the matches, let's look at the strengths/weaknesses of each type.
1. Broad match -
Strength - allows you to be a lot less accurate with keyword selection. Find one phrase and get all the variations, e.g. your keyword is bank loan, your ad will also show for, cheap bank loan, bad credit bank loan, loan from the bank etc.. so lots of traffic for one phrase.
Weakness - you end up with a lot of visitors that are not what you want and the actual results make you believe you are doing OK, the CTR seems OK and you are making sales, but all those wasted clicks erode your potential results.
2. Phrase match -
Strength - allows you to refine what you are looking for more acurately. Avoids the jumbling effect, only searches with bank loan in that order would be shown. Avoids you receiving extended broad matches.
Weakness - Can significantly reduce traffic levels and if you have insufficient phrase matches you will get a significant drop in traffic levels.
3. Exact match -
Strength - allows you to appear higher in the listings as generally gives a better CTR as less "chaff".
Weakness - can eliminate clicks where the intention is obviously what you are selling/offering, due to extra characters in the search term.
4. Negative match -
Strength - allows you to omit obvious instances of irrelevance, e.g. you don't do anything for free, so you use -free as a negative keyword.
Weakness - We've seen plenty of people buy where they used free in their search, so what they really meant was "cheap/inexpensive/discount"
We use a tracking tool that enables us to track each click and where a referral string is presented we can pick that up and marry it back to the visitor and the actual word that was used.
So it may be we were bidding on the keyword "chamonix ski" and we were getting a lot of visitors where they actually typed chamonix ski chalet, my phrase match would pick it up, but I'd get much better results keeping the "chamonix ski" keyword but making [chamonix ski chalet] and exact match because it would get much better results and higher CTR and thereby a lower CPC.
The order for search is :
So Google look for an exact match in your list (better relevance), if it finds one it shows it, if it doesn't it goes to the next level, (relevant but not quite so), if it finds one it shows it, if it doesn't it goes broad (less relevant but still slightly), and then the sanity check is to look if there is anything you don't want to be shown for (as that makes it less relevant to your offer).
Track the visitors and you'll be able to get great results, and don't assume that your campaign is working at optimum level just because Google's system says you are getting a 5% CTR.
Hope that helps.
Principal Consultant and Managing Director at longhurstsolutions.com ltd
28 November 2003 17:49pm
Everything I've read so far makes perfect sense, but take care not to underestimate the true value of negative keywords.
Good negative keywords can turn around even the broadest matching words with less than 0.3% CTR
Another genuine benefit of negative keywords is filtering out unwanted enquiries. For example, like most website owners, we get a lot of people asking after current vacancies. Although a distraction in itself, imagine how much more annoying it might be when you realise you just paid a pound or two for the privilege before you took the call, all because they used Google to search for 'xyz-industry jobs' and you bid on 'xyz-industry'.
Principal Consultant & co-founder
T: 020 8690 6636
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