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Dear Internet Entrepreneur, Why do we use the word “system”? Why do we need one anyway? Online pay-per-click advertising can be a costly game to play. But those who master it will unlock its enormous profit potential. The AdWords Winning System is the key to unlocking that potential. It will organize “What do I do next?” in a structured, organized process, based on HARD DATA of what works, so you only do what will increase your profits... and not waste time doing unnecessary stuff. This Playbook will help you apply The AdWords Winning System v6 from MindValley Labs. This is a system which took 6 years of development and testing, and has
Optimized over 78,458 ads till date. Proven to REPLICATE SUCCESS across several of the most competitive market niches.
This Playbook will help you apply this system for your profits, even if you have no prior AdWords experience! However, this is not an instruction manual that covers every single setting that you can configure in your Google AdWords account. Google covers all of the detailed account settings and options in their online Help Center and Learning Center. What Google does not cover is how to become extremely profitable with pay-per-click advertising and with Google AdWords. For that, you have the AdWords Winning System v6. 2 www.MindValleyLabs.com
Here is what you will not find in this guide: You will not find any padding and no bullshit. We have read all the guides on pay-perclick advertising and many that are hundreds of pages long do not teach you a single thing that will truly help you succeed. We measure the quality of our guide not by the number of pages we have written but by how fast you can get started and how fast you can start making a lot of money. Along those measures you cannot find anything better on the market. If you are ready and serious about becoming successful with pay-per-click advertising, let’s get started!
About The Authors Note to Beginners The Winning System Version 6 : The Basics Phase 1: Keyword Mastery for the Winning Campaign Set Up Phase 2: Winning Ads and Writing Them Phase 3: The Winning Bidding Strategies Phase 4: Winning Landing Pages Now You Can Apply The Winning System V6 Advanced Tactics Using The Winning System V6 Using The AdWords Auto-Optimizer Tool Beyond AdWords: The Winning System V6
About The Authors
Our combined experience includes eBay, The Boston Consulting Group, Stanford, Microsoft, and Google. Together, we run MindValley Labs, where we apply scientific, systematic testing procedures to internet marketing techniques.
Michael P. Reining
Mike’s brings his internet marketing expertise from eBay as Head of New Venture Strategy, at successful internet start-up iPlayMusic, and now MindValley. He was also an Associate Consultant for The Boston Consulting Group for two years, and has an MBA from Stanford.
Vishen M. Lakhiani
Before founding MindValley with Mike, he served both as Business Development Manager and New York Director of Sales for LegalMatch.com, driving its growth from a small operation in a San Francisco apartment to a 100 employee business within 2 years. He was also a former web developer at Microsoft, and Vice-President of AIESEC USA, a nonprofit based in New York.
Anita's marketing experience was groomed at Silicon Valley firms including Google, Applied Materials, and CASEMaker. Her experience spans optimizing pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns, increasing customer acquisition efforts, and managing affiliate marketing programs. She contributed to a lot of the research at MindValley Labs.
Note to Beginners
Are you new to the world of online advertising and direct response marketing such as Pay-Per-Click advertising on search engines? We strongly recommend that you invest the time and resources to become more familiar with this space. After all, PPC advertising on search engines such as Google is now the single most effective way to drive traffic, sales, and profits of your website to new heights. For this Playbook, we assume that you have already mastered the basics and we will help you take things to the next level. So, if you are new to all of this and some of our tips and tricks are confusing, don't worry, everyone has to start somewhere. We have written an introduction to pay-per-click-advertising especially for you, so you are prepared to use this Playbook and get started with a winning system, immediately. There are also some excellent guides that will help you get started. Of all the guides and products that we have researched on PPC, we have enjoyed Perry Marshall's guide on Google AdWords the best. To sign up for his free guide, just click here and his crash course will help you get up to speed in less than a week. If you are an expert, feel free to skip this chapter and get straight to the AdWords Winning System V6!
Introducing Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! are now the places where people go to find almost anything and everything. This is because search engines have become very good at what they do. They quickly help people find the information, products, and services
that they are looking for. According to the leading online market research firm Nielsen, people did a record of 5.1 billion searches in October 2005. Were you listed in the search engine results? You should be - a lot of potential leads for your online business use search engines! So how do you get noticed on search engines? As an online business, your goal is to show up on the first page of search results for as many related keywords and keyword phrases as possible. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be the ideal solution, if you know how to manage your campaign right. On search results pages, there are two parts. First there are natural (organic) search results and second there are sponsored links. In the image below, the natural (organic) search results are boxed in blue and the sponsored links are boxed in red.
To get your website to show up in natural (organic) search results, you have to master "search engine optimization" (SEO). NOTE: SEO is covered in a separate course, available here. To get your website to show up in the sponsored links, you have to master pay-per-click
advertising, which is also called PPC. Why is Pay-Per-Click Advertising so Effective and Popular on Search Engines? 1. It's fast and easy - PPC allows advertisers to quickly have their ads appear for an unlimited list of desired keywords. 2. Performance based - Advertisers decide what to pay every time a user clicks on their ad. Since internet users enter billions of keywords and keyword phrases into search engines every month, it is vital to come up with a very targeted and comprehensive keyword list to make sure that your PPC ads appear whenever your customers are searching for your products and services. The first Phase of the system will show you how to get this right. At MindValley Labs we create PPC keyword lists for a living. To come up with the most comprehensive and targeted lists, we have tested every keyword selection tool and technique on the market. What follows below is a synthesis of all our learning – precisely what you need when you begin to think about keywords. Even if you already have an existing list, this tactic will help you quickly grow you list from hundreds to thousands of highly targeted keyword phrases, in no time at all! But first, we will show you the big picture of what the winning system looks like.
The Winning System V6: The Basics
Here’s a simple overview of what the winning system is like. For new campaigns, you begin at the top. If you already have a campaign running, you should begin at the top as well, to revisit how your campaign is set up, this time, based on a winning system. Once you’ve been through the purple funnel, you enter the AdWords cash cycle, where you optimize your ads, bidding strategy, and landing pages, in a systematic, orderly fashion, with the help of special tools.
Phase 1: Keyword Mastery for the Winning Campaign Set Up
How Do You Know Which Keywords to Buy?
Our time-tested method makes identifying high quality PPC keywords simple. And to make things even easier, there are a variety of FREE online tools available to assist you! The First Phase of the winning system starts with building your PPC keyword lists, according to these 4 steps:
• • • •
Expand - come up with as many keywords and phrases as possible Target - refine the keywords you chose (for Google) Group - separate keywords into groups with matching ad copy Scrub - eliminate the unnecessary keywords
Let's get started right away!
Step 1: Expand Your List
To begin, think about your product/service. What is it? What does it do? You must know what you are selling/providing and be able to define it accurately. Also, you know who you are trying to sell to better than anyone, thus you need to think about your customers: what problems are they trying to solve? How might they go about looking for your product or service on a search engine? What point are they at in the purchasing cycle – are they searching for information or ready to buy? Put yourself in
your customer's shoes. At the same time, you must be creative and expansive in your choice of keywords and phrases. Let your mind wander. Spend some time brainstorming and develop your own list of keywords and key phrases.
Location! Location! Location!
For many businesses, especially service-based businesses, location is extremely important. People searching online will include names of cities in their keyword phrases. In fact, MediaMetrics, one of the leading online market research companies estimates that over 25% of all online searches are local! So for example, if you are a dentist in San Francisco then you want to add the name of all the local cities and/or neighborhoods you serve to all of your keywords, such as "san francisco dentist," "mission district dentist," "bay area dentist," etc. After you establish your own list of key terms, solicit the advice of others. Ask your friends, colleagues, relatives - including people of different ages, professions and backgrounds - what words and terms they might use to search for your product or service, and add those to your list.
Using Keyword Variations
Once you have expanded your list of key terms, expand keyword variations! On search engines, variations such as synonyms, plurals, different verb tenses, and common misspellings of your keywords are unique! So use this to your advantage as you start to build out your list. Here is an example of common keyword variations to help you brainstorm on how to grow your list.
1) Singular vs. Plural - enter these separately into Google. "Used car" and "used cars" are entirely different keywords in the eyes of a search engine. 2) Hyphens matter! - Often you might come up with a keyword phrase such as "self help." What you might not realize is that lots of people will enter the same phrase as "self-help" or even as "selfhelp." If you don't add "self-help" and "selfhelp" to your keyword list, you might be missing out on half the market! 3) Vary the verb - Different people express themselves differently so use the different variations of verbs. Example: "Learn to play guitar" and "Learning to play guitar." 4) Adjectives - Many people use adjectives when searching such as "new, brand new, best, quality, cheap, free, premium, etc." 5) Use website names - For most people, Google has become the onramp to the internet. As a result, when people want to navigate to a site, they often search for domains such as "www.camping.com" or "camping.com." So be sure to include the relevant domain names and all their variations in your keyword list. Power Tip: Use common misspellings to your advantage! When searching online, users commonly misspell words and phrases they are looking for. As an example, barbecue is often misspelled as barbeque or bar-b-que. Don't leave out any misspellings that might attract customers to your ad!
Using Powerful FREE Keyword Selection Tools
After your first brainstorm, you will come up with dozens or perhaps even a few hundred keywords. However, don't stop now. Use these FREE tools below to grow your list in no time by up to 1,000%! You want your keyword list to include as many relevant keyword phrases as possible and the tools below are critical to help you get there. The tools here are especially powerful to help you come up with keyword phrases that are 12 www.MindValleyLabs.com
3 or 4 keywords long. These are harder to find on your own but often the longer the keyword phrase, the more targeted and valuable it will be for you. Compare a keyword such as "guitar" to "how to play guitar" - the longer keyword phrase gives you much more information about what the customer is looking for! In our lab, we have found the following 3 tools to be the most useful in rapidly growing your keyword list from hundreds to thousands of keyword phrases: 1. Google AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool Find a list of matching as well as related keywords and keyword phrases in English and in other languages. It is by far the single most powerful free keyword suggestion tool. 2. Overture (Yahoo!) Keyword Selector Tool This tool is easy to use and provides a list of related keyword phrases containing your keyword. It also shows the number of times your term was searched on Yahoo! in the previous month. Note, this tool lumps plural and singular terms together. That is fine for Yahoo! but for advertising in Google, you want to make sure you include them separately. 3. Wordtracker We have found Wordtracker to the best tool for online marketers. While it is a paid service and the others are free, Wordtracker can help you save a lot of time as you come up with the most comprehensive keyword list. In addition, you can get access for one full day for less than $7.50 and it really does not take any longer than that to build a great keyword list for your PPC campaign.
Don't Stop There!
Keep pushing and building your keyword list to blow your competitors away! Here is a list of more powerful FREE tools that will help you to get additional ideas for more keywords phrases. 1. Ask.com - The Ask Jeeves search engine automatically suggests (1) more precise keyword phrases and (2) related topics you might not yet have thought of. 2. Clusty.com - Clusty is a new search engine that automatically suggests the major topics for any given keyword or keyword phrase. It is an excellent tool to come up with other keyword ideas and keyword groups. 3. Google Suggest - Suggests popular keyword phrases. 4. goRank - Search for related words that you may not have considered or otherwise overlooked. 5. Amazon.com - This can be a great inspiration for keywords. Just type in one of the keywords that you have in mind and see what books have been written that contain the keyword or phrase. This will help give you more ideas. 6. Thesaurus.com - A thesaurus will give you a variety of useful synonyms that you can include in your lists. It is sometimes a great way to get fresh ideas that you might not have otherwise thought of. 7. LexFN.com – allows you to search for relationships between words, concepts, and people. It is a combination thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, pun generator, and concept navigator.
Check Your Internal Site Searches
If you have a search engine on your own website, go and find out what people are searching for on your site. This can further help you grow your keyword list.
Watch your competition
By now you should have an excellent keyword list. However, if you want to keep pushing and brainstorm some more, find out what keywords your competition is targeting. Enter some of the top keywords and keyword phrases that you have identified above and enter them into Google. Now scan the search results for more keywords and keyword phrases. After all, the top sites that show up in Google, are your competitors. They are currently in the position that you would like your site to be in. Check out what your competitors are doing! How? Go to their site and click on View and then Page Source in your internet browser and look at the <meta> tags. Example: Go to www.iplaymusic.com. On your browser's top navigation menu, click on View, then scroll down and select Page Source (shortcut key ctrl + u). A window will pop up with the following text near the top: 1. <title> = iPlayMusic 2. <meta name> ="description" with a blurb about the site content 3. <meta name> ="keywords" BINGO! You've found a list of keywords associated with the site. In this example, they are: beginner guitar lessons, how to play guitar, learn guitar, guitar lessons online, learn to play guitar, easy guitar lessons...
Repeat this process with other websites to see how your competitors are using different keywords to their advantage. Another useful tool is GoogSpy, which allows you to effortlessly browse by "company" or by "keyword" and see which terms your competitors are buying on Google. Note, however, that you cannot see every competitor and every keyword, but you can certainly get a good idea. Having LOTS of keywords is half the battle to win new markets and acquire traffic for low bid prices! Investing time to grow your keyword list is time well spent!
Step 2: Target Your List (for Google)
Now that you have a great initial list of keywords, it's time to refine your keyword list to include the best possible words and phrases that will most accurately relate to your ads. To help you get started, Google offers some powerful keyword matching options to help you further broaden and narrow the reach of your online advertising campaign. These options are called 1. broad match 2. phrase match 3. exact match 4. negative keyword match Google allows you to use any or all of these options simultaneously.
1) Broad Match (default setting in Google)
Google automatically uses the broad match setting for all keywords. You need to be 16 www.MindValleyLabs.com
careful with broad matching because it triggers all the search results, regardless of the order of search terms. Broad match example:
search term: camping gear
For what keyword phrases would the ad show up?
gear for camping (keyword phrase contains both terms in any order) camping and hiking gear (keyword phrase contains both terms in any order)
Caution: Broad match can be a very powerful way to get your keywords additional exposure for keyword phrases that you did not think about. However, it might also get your ads displayed for searches that are irrelevant. This could potentially be very costly since visitors that come from irrelevant search terms are unlikely going to end up buying your product. We recommend using the three additional options Google provides to complement broad matching.
2) "Phrase Match"
When you add quotation marks around a keyword phrase, such as "camping gear," you ensure that only search terms with "camping" followed by "gear" will display your ad. Phrase match example:
search term: "camping gear"
For what keyword phrases would the ad show up?
winter camping gear (contains keyword phrase) 17 www.MindValleyLabs.com
best camping gear (contains keyword phrase)
3) [Exact Match]
Place brackets around a keyword when you want your ad to appear only when a searcher types in a specific term. The term [camping gear] will only feature your ad for the exact term "camping gear," and not "winter camping gear" or "eddie bauer camping gear." Exact match example:
search term: [camping gear]
For what keyword phrases would the ad show up?
camping gear (only exact match)
Using [exact match] is clearly the safest of the three options since it only displays your ads exactly for the keywords that you have approved. However, it is also the most limiting since you will not be able to get increased exposure for keyword phrases that you have not yet thought about. Fortunately, there is an additional matching option that makes broad match and phrase match far more powerful.
4) Negative Keyword Match
When you use broad match and phrase match you cannot anticipate all of the keywords and keyword phrases that your ads might show up for. However, from your keyword research, you will quickly see keywords that are undesirable. Start a list of all the keywords that you see that you don't like and add a hyphen "-" in front of them. Adding negative keywords is crucial for a successful campaign. For the keyword: 18 www.MindValleyLabs.com
Negative keyword examples would look like:
The above keyword list contains a broad match for the keyword phrase gucci handbags and two negative keywords fake and used. For what keyword phrases would the ad show up?
cheap gucci handbags gucci and kate spade handbags
For what keyword phrases would the ad NOT show up for?
fake gucci handbags used prada and gucci handbags
Google will never show your ad when the search query includes the negative keyword. Building a detailed list of negative keywords is critical. The single best way to identify negative keywords quickly is to use the Overture (Yahoo!) or Google AdWords keyword suggestion tools. If you enter any keyword or keyword phrase, they will list for you all the similar search queries, including all the keywords that you don't want your ads to show up for.
Quick Reference Guide To help you digest all this information, here’s a handy table for quick reference!
Concept Broad Match Phrase Match Exact Match Negative Keyword
Symbol default ""  -
Example restaurant "camping gear" [bon jovi] -pet
To speed up the time it takes to target your keyword list, The AdWords Wrapper helps you wrap keyword phrases in "quotation marks" and [brackets], and creates negative keywords. It's the best way to quickly apply Google's matching options to thousands of keywords in seconds, and it's FREE! Reminder: Since it's impossible to anticipate all the combinations of keywords that users will be typing into search engines, take full advantage of the broad match, phrase match, and exact match options, and have a solid list of negative keywords to avoid having your ads show up for irrelevant keyword phrases. Getting a winning keyword list containing all of the delimiters for phrase and exact matching in Google can be hard work, but the AdWords Wrapper free online tool does a lot of the work for you.
Step 3: Group Related Keywords
Now that you have a comprehensive list of keywords, it is crucial that you sort them under separate groups. Because you can only have ONE ad copy for ONE group of 20 www.MindValleyLabs.com
keywords, you want each of your keyword groups to have matching ad copy. Why is this so important? 1. When the copy of your ad matches the keyword phrase, users are far more likely to click on it. Our tests have shown that this simple practice can significantly boost the click-through-rate of your ads by up to 100%. 2. Once they click on your PPC ads, the page where you send visitors to (called the landing page) must be tailored and relevant to the visitor. Obviously, someone looking for a "canon digital camera" is looking for something different than someone looking for a "sony digital camera." Only when you group your keywords can you show specific ad copy which sends visitors to targeted landing pages. 3. You know how much or how little to bid for your keywords! For example: Someone looking for "cameras" is probably less likely to buy than someone looking for a specific model such as "Cannon EX 650." The conversion rates will be very different for different groups of keywords. As Google allows you to vary the maximum amount you are willing to pay per click, when you group keywords well, you can know how much you should pay per click. (This is covered in further detail in another tactic on bidding strategies). 4. You can beat your competitors! Our studies have shown the majority of online advertisers fail to group their ads sufficiently. As the image below demonstrates, even for the popular keyword phrase "email marketing," only 1 out of 4 online advertisers has a headline in their ad that matches the copy. Why? Because more likely than not, the other advertisers have far too many keywords in each group of keywords, which prevents them from having highly targeted ads.
The above points are worth repeating because they are so important! So, put yourself in a far better position to succeed, and start grouping them with these tips in mind: When should a keyword phrase have its own group? When a lot of people search for it! Take a look at the screenshot of Overture's Keyword Selector Tool below. Although the keyword phrases similar to "internet marketing online" are almost identical, you can split them into separate groups because so many people are looking for each specific keyword phrases. It is a good opportunity to show very specific ad copy MATCHING those phrases.
Google Tip In Google, splitting singular and plural popular keywords into different groups can further boost the performance of your ads. For popular keywords, even splitting hyphens into different ad groups can pay off handsomely. While people searching for "self help" or "self-help" are looking for the same thing, you want to split these phrases into different ad groups so that in one group the copy of your ad says "self help" and in the other group the copy of your ad says "self-help." This alone can boost the click-through-rate by 50%! Paying attention to detail and using lots of groups can go a long way! Other Considerations? When the keyword phrase means something different and/or specific, you may want to give it its own group if it has enough traffic. Example: While "Online Copywriting Resource" and "Online Copywriting Guide" may
mean the same thing, "Online Freelance Copywriting" is likely to mean something different - someone looking for a job, not resources. If your website business provides tools, resources, AND jobs, you may want to group "Online Freelance Copywriting" separately so you can show a specific ad targeted for freelance job seekers. If your website does not offer jobs, you may want to put "freelance" with a hyphen in front of it and make it a negative keyword (-freelance).
Step 4: Scrub Your List
Have you included all the necessary relevant keywords, specified negative keywords and keyword matching criteria, and included keyword variations such as nouns, verbs, hyphens, plurals, and synonyms? Do a final sanity check: Eliminate all irrelevant and ambiguous keywords that might generate results that don’t include what your customers are looking for. And this is a continuous process:
You should monitor your performance and profitability of all your online marketing campaigns, at the keyword or at least at the group level. You will start to see which ad groups are profitable and which are not.
For the unprofitable groups, lower the maximum average bid and if the campaign continues to be unprofitable, scrub your list and throw this ad group out. Don’t get attached to keywords or ad groups. Even if the keywords are highly relevant for your products or site. If a campaign is not profitable, bid less or throw it out!
Over time, you will likely be able to delete non-converting keywords and cut your ad
costs by up to 50%. This is why tracking and measuring your ROI and profitability is so important.
The hard work you put in to Phase 1 of the Winning System is really worth the effort. If you still feel you need help with the basics, click here for a crash course we recommend to all beginners in PPC advertising. Always remember the 4 steps, and use the tools we recommended to save you time and effort. 1. Expand - come up with as many keywords and phrases as possible 2. Target - refine the keywords you chose (for Google) 3. Group - separate keywords into groups with matching ad copy 4. Scrub - eliminate the unnecessary keywords You should now be equipped with the knowledge and the tools to rapidly build and grow your keyword list for your PPC campaigns, match the right ads, and watch your profits grow!
Phase 2: Winning Ads and Writing Them
A winning ad is made when you
• • •
Matching keywords with ad copy Taking customers to a relevant landing page Split test your ads continuously
Phase 2 will take you through how it is done, and topped off with our favorite tips and tricks on writing compelling ads. We will teach you how to boost profits, not just get more traffic, as pay-per-click advertising can get costly if you don't convert those who click on your ads into paying customers. Let's take a look at the first step...
1. Matching Keywords with Your Ad Copy
Try including the exact keyword(s) in the ad's title itself. If the exact keywords show up in your ads, they get highlighted in bold! If your ad copy matches the keywords exactly, prepare for a significant boost in your click-through-rate (CTR)! This is why grouping your ads into a list of very similar keywords and phrases was so heavily stressed in the tactic on "Finding Your Keywords." After all, if you don't do this, then it will be impossible for your ad copy to match your keywords.
Example: Keyword Group 1 used the headline "How to Meditate" and gave us a GOOD 1.9% CTR and $0.21 CPC. But Keyword Group 2 used "How to Do Meditation" and was EXCELLENT with a 2.1% CTR and $0.20 CPC. Both headlines are identical with the exception of one important difference: the first includes the keyword "Meditation" in the title and the second includes the keyword "Meditate." While this might seem like a small difference, it is very important because when someone on Google searches for "Meditation" that keyword is highlighted in bold in your ad! This small difference alone caused an 11% improvement in the CTR (click-throughrate) and the average cost per click was 10% lower. A double bonus! What we are recommending here is not rocket science. However, our detailed research into thousands of keywords revealed that close to 80% of the ads on Google do not take advantage of direct matching. The screenshot below shows what happens when a user types in camping gear. It is a typical example of what you will find. Only one advertiser is featuring an ad with the exact keyword phrase.
From the evidence it is clear that most online marketers don't pay enough attention to detail. This means, by matching your ads to keyword groups, you can blow past 80% of the competition! Reward yourself with click-through-rates of up 15%! Just match the copy of your ad for very detailed keyword phrases. If someone is searching for stress relaxation techniques, then write an ad that says "Stress Relaxation Techniques." This will get the exact phrase in the title of your ad to show up in bold. The only way you can achieve this is to split these phrases into different ad groups.
2. Taking Customers to A Relevant Landing Page
After someone clicks on your ad on Google, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. The visitor wants to know immediately if your page will help them find what they are looking for. If you send all of your prospects to one generic home page, your advertising campaign is going to suffer, big time! No one wants to waste time clicking around to find something. So don't make your visitors do the work. Instead, send them to a specific landing page with the content they want.
Why are we writing about landing pages in a tactic on writing PPC ads? Your ad and its landing page work together to convert, and only traffic that converts is worth paying for! Customized landing pages for each ad are key to giving your site a serious boost in conversions. Ok, So How Do I Match the Landing Pages? Use customized landing pages! Fortunately, there are easy and very effective ways to create customized landing pages that will dramatically boost the return-on-investment of your campaigns. We will explain this in more detail in our tactic dedicated to landing pages, but the first thing you can do is. Match the main headline of the landing page to the keyword phrase that customers searched for. This way you immediately grab their attention and give them the confidence that your site will help them find exactly what they are looking for. Have a separate landing page for each ad group. You can have similar content, but make sure you change the headline. Here is an example of how we used this approach effectively for one of our own sites: Keyword Group: "Silva UltraMind System" + Landing Page 1 Keyword Group: "Mind Power" + Landing Page 2 Keyword Group: "Meditation Techniques" + Landing Page 3 Keyword Group: "Visualization" + Landing Page 4 When we started matching the headlines of our landing pages to the keyword group the sign-up rate on our site went from 7.83% to 10.52%. That is an increase of 34% which
directly translated to a huge boost in our sales and profitability of our PPC campaigns! Not bad for just changing a headline right? But is this as good as your ad gets? The only way you can ever know is explained in the third step...
3. Split Testing Your Ads
Writing good copy and good ads is half art and half science. While you can be the best copywriter, it is too hard to predict which copy will actually produce more clicks. More often than not, guesswork turns out to be wrong. It is impossible to predict how users behave online and what ads will result in the best performance. However, split testing will get you there, and it can be done in one minute per ad group! We have repeatedly used this technique to boost the click-through-rates of our ads from 1% to 2%, to 3%, all the way to 10% for some ad groups. The beauty of split testing is that you don't have to be a great copywriter to create great ads. You simply test your way to the top! So even if you are not a brilliant copy writer, we guarantee you that with split testing you can achieve excellent results!
SPLIT TESTING STEP 1
Test two different versions of the same ad for each ad group at the same time. This is easy and risk free since Google will put the better performing ad in place of the poor performer.
SPLIT TESTING STEP 2
Wait until each ad has received about 30 clicks. Only when each ad has 30 clicks (or more) can you make a valid prediction of how the ad will perform in the long run.
SPLIT TESTING STEP 3
Compare both of your ads and delete the inferior ad.
SPLIT TESTING STEP 4
Create a new ad to compete with the previous winning ad and restart the split-testing process from Step 1. If you can't wait for an ad to accumulate about 30 clicks, you use the AdWords Auto Optimizer included in this Playbook, to automatically start receiving alerts every time your Ad Groups are ready to be optimized. Take a look at the evolution of the following campaigns and how the performance increased. By the end, we had ads that performed over 500% better than when we first started. We never thought that we could get this far but by just split testing our ads we did. Campaign | Keyword "Remote Viewing"
As the above example illustrates, it is often impossible to predict what ad will result in a higher click-through-rate. However, stick to the 3 steps we discussed above, and you can get to the top. With frequent split testing you can get more "bang for your buck" as you create, test, and refine ads to achieve maximum CTR for the lowest price. Over the long-term this is the single best way to improve the click-through-rate of your ads and to keep your bid prices down. To help you write winning ads, we have included a powerful list of tips and tricks that will supply you with new, creative ads for split testing.
Tips and Tricks to Write Compelling Ads
Many advertisers struggle with writing effective ad copy, and we want to make sure you don't. Especially in Google, your results are extremely sensitive to copy changes! Often even the smallest change can move the click-through-rate of your ads by over 100%. That is why split testing every possible combination is the #1 secret to mastering AdWords. Try these tips and tricks and see the performance of your ads go higher and higher!
Help users get the answer they're looking for!
Why are people on a search engine? Often it's to do research and to find answers to their questions. One thing that can work extremely well on Google is helping users answer the questions that they have.
We tested the two ads above. One was heavily promoting a free product and the other was helping users get an answer to their question! In this case, people searching for "remote viewing" on Google are likely doing research into what it is and how it works. So by creating a headline with this exact question, we were able to significantly boost the click-through-rate of our ads.
Make it sound easy
Make the headline of your ad more inviting by making it appear as if your product or service does the work for the customer. Here is an example: "Develop web banners in minutes" vs. "Develops web banners in minutes." The only change in the above ad is that
we changed "develop" to "develops." While this change is small, it means a whole lot to your CTR. Other ideas:
• • • • • •
create > creates put > puts design > designs conceive > conceives organize > organizes boost > boosts
Create seasonal and promotional ads
Where applicable, be sure to create different ads for the seasons or promotions relevant to your business, e.g. Christmas, Summer, Back to School, Free Estimate. Clearly state any special promotions and ensure the customer is taken to a page outlining the same. Pause seasonal ads during times when they are no longer valid.
Communicate benefits before the features
Every potential visitor asks the question "what's in it for me?" So try to include the major benefit of your offer. Why should someone click on your ad vs. a competing ad? Listing a major benefit can often result in dramatically higher click through rates. Features of your offer can wait. If you list both in your ad, try listing the benefit in the first line. And if applicable, use the word "new" when describing your product.
Capitalization of ads can go a long way. When something is capitalized, in particular the headline, it looks more authoritative and in our experience it often results in a higher click through rate. Here are all the combinations that you can test in your ads. 1. Capitalize only the major keywords in the title 2. Capitalize every keyword in the title and nothing else 3. Capitalize every keyword in the title & in the text 4. Capitalize every keyword in the title & in the text & in the URL
Tell the customer what to do
A good sales pitch always has a call to action. But when you tell customers exactly what you want them to do, say it along with what's in it for them. Example: Instead of "Click Here Now," say "Click Here Now for your Free Gift."
Write your ad as a neutral third-party description.
Be as clear, concise, and factual as possible. But remember to have fun with the ad and to be creative. No one wants to read a dull ad, much less click on it.
Aspects of Your Ad You Must Test
Headline testing Changing a single word in the headline can make a big difference. Split test two same copies of your ad, but with a slightly different word in your headline to see the results. Showing the full URL vs. just the words 35 www.MindValleyLabs.com
Since split testing is easy, try listing the URL of your site as either www.SiteName.com or just as SiteName.com. You will be surprised. Often these small differences can boost the performance of your campaigns by over 10%. So, testing everything definitely pays! Flip it around In the Google sponsored ads, you have one headline and two lines for the description. Try flipping around the text that you have in the first and second line.
Ways to Get New Ideas To Test
More often than not, ads that roll of the tongue easily are the ads that will have a far higher click-through-rate. So, play with the ads, read them out loud and if they have a good ring to it, you are probably creating an ad that will perform far better.
Be part of the conversation
Every person that enters a keyword phrase into a search engine is thinking about something and looking for something. So, make sure that your ad is part of that conversation and get into your customer's head. Remember, you are selling a SOLUTION to a PROBLEM.
Vary your choice of words in your ads
Experiment with different ways to get your message across and find out what works best. Avoid using the same words and phrases within an ad; use a thesaurus if you must.
See what others are doing
Google is very transparent. If you are running out of ideas, see what other advertisers are 36 www.MindValleyLabs.com
doing to get new ideas for headlines, descriptions, and words to test in the copy of your ads. Enter some of the keywords that you are bidding on into Google and see what your competitors are doing. Also try entering different keywords and see what ads stick out. Sometimes looking at what other advertisers are doing in other fields can quickly give you fresh new ideas to test.
Don't Overdo It
Don't use superlatives or excessive capitalization or punctuation
Avoid using words such as best, fastest, and greatest. These claims are too subjective and also not allowed in Google. Use standard capitalization and limit the use of question marks and exclamation points to just one, if at all. Double-check the editorial guidelines for each search engine, as some of them do not allow question marks or exclamation points in the title.
Don't use Dynamic Keyword Insertion
This AdWords tool automatically inserts a search term from your keyword list in your ad text. You can use it for your ad's title, description, and URL. Google developed dynamic keyword insertion in case advertisers have a large ad group of similar keywords corresponding to the same ad text. If this applies to you, DO NOT use dynamic keyword insertion. Instead, break your keyword list into small ad groups with the same batch of highly related keywords. This way the copy of your ad will always match the keyword, and you can better test your ads, the landing pages, and the maximum bidding prices for a given group of keywords.
Don't use ampersands (&) and numbers to replace words
In our tests, using ampersands (&) and numbers to replace words has resulted in lower click-through rates.
Your PPC advertising campaign should be on its way to bringing in the results you deserve. You can be confident you are on the right track if you apply the 3 steps we discussed above:
• • •
Matching keywords with your ad copy Taking customers to a relevant landing page Split testing your ads
Remember to always test at least two different ads to see which performs best and why. Be critical, experiment, and test your ads to discover what works for you. Then continuously refine and improve your ads, using the tips and tricks in the last section. Keep doing this and your PPC advertising campaign will only get better and better. When you get to the top, congratulate yourself by looking back at the competitors you left behind, and be sure to let us know how well you've done!
PHASE 3: The Winning Bidding Strategies
You've spent hours creating your keyword lists and optimizing your ads, and now you just placed your bids for the keywords related to your PPC ads... What if you knew you only needed to pay half that amount? What if you knew bidding 10 cents more could double your bottom line? What you don't know may waste you loads of time and money. The good news is that on the internet you can track and measure what you need to. We will show you exactly what you need to keep your eye on, and this will help you to optimize your site and to develop winning bidding strategies for your PPC campaign. Remember, your competitors may do the same. You will have to know how to outsmart them, and invest the time and energy to apply the steps in Phase 3 to get ahead with a surefire, winning PPC keyword bidding strategy.
Why Measuring Your Campaign Pays Off
It is shocking how many small businesses do not carefully track the performance of their business, website, and online marketing campaigns. You can only improve what you can measure! Do not be one of them! If you are, then you risk wasting A LOT of money and you will miss out on the chance to build your million dollar website. Fortunately, online pay-per-click advertising is the most measurable marketing channel that has ever existed. And we will show you how you to use this to help you bid for your keywords the smart way.
This begins with obtaining the most crucial piece of information:
How Much Can You Afford to Pay for a Visitor and Still Make a Profit?
If you know this, you will not overbid for a keyword. Getting this knowledge involves 3 steps:
1) Know Your Average Revenue per Sale (per order)
If you only sell one product on your site, your average revenue is straight forward - it is the price of that one product. If you sell multiple products, then divide your total sales from the website in one month by the total number of customer orders and you get your average revenue per sale.
2) Know Your Average Gross Profit per Sale (per order)
If you only sell one product, just subtract the cost of sales (includes the costs of the product, shipping and handling, etc.) from the average sales price for that product. If you run a services business, then average gross profit includes the average costs of providing the service (including the labor costs). If you sell multiple products on your site, then look at your monthly profit and loss statement. It should give you your gross profits (total sales minus cost of goods sold). Now divide your gross profits by the number of orders you had on your website.
3) Know the Average Conversion Rate of Your Website (percentage of visitors that buy)
Divide the total number of visitors by the total number of sales (orders) for a given time period to get the conversion rate. So, you will need the number of people that visited your site in a certain time period (your web hosting provider should offer a free tracking tool with this information) and divide this number by the total number of orders you got on 40 www.MindValleyLabs.com
your site for the same time period. The calculation is very easy. Of 100 visitors, what percentage of them purchased your product or service? If the answer is one, then the conversion rate is 1/100 or 1%. So you need to gather: 1. Avg. revenue per sale 2. Avg. gross profit per sale 3. Avg. conversion rate Using these 3 elements, this is how you can calculate how much you can afford to pay per click (visitor). • Avg. revenue per sale: $100 • Avg. gross profit per sale: $50 • Avg. conversion rate: 1% Avg. gross profit per visitor: = ($50 * 0.01) = $0.50 In the above example, the business has a gross profit of about $0.50 for each visitor. That means every visitor is worth $0.50 and this hypothetical business can afford to spend up to $0.50 for each click (visitor). After all, for every 100 clicks (visitors) the business sells on average one product (given the conversion rate of 1%). Obviously, in this case you want to bid a little less than $0.50, since if your average costper-click (CPC) is $0.50, you would be getting sales but be left without any profits.
Important Things Your Must Know About Measuring
Knowing average figures is not good enough! Not only is it not good enough, it is outright dangerous and risky to base your marketing decisions on average figures.
The key to a winning bidding strategy is to measure your conversion rate by AD GROUP.
Most small businesses are satisfied using average site conversion rates. Huge mistake! Why? Because all keywords are not created equal. Imagine that you purchase two keywords. One is for "digital camera" and the other is for "canon powershot A520." The conversion rate for these two keywords will be vastly different. For "digital camera," the consumer is still in an information gathering stage. Perhaps they are not even looking to purchase anything at all. After all, you don't know if this user is more interested in "The history of digital cameras" or "how digital cameras work" or "digital camera reviews." For "canon powershot A520," the customer is looking for a specific make (canon) and model (A520). This is a far more targeted search and in all likelihood this customer is already further along the purchasing cycle. This searcher is far more likely to act on a great offer for a "canon powershot A520" than the other visitor.
What does this mean to you?
By searching for some keyword phrases, customers have already expressed far more interest and a desire to act, which means that they are a lot more likely to buy. And for generic keywords and keyword phrases, you will see far less interest and a lower conversion rate.
As a result, the value of each visitor will be very different depending on the type of keywords included in each Ad Group. This is why it is so important to start tracking the conversion rate of all your campaigns at the group level. If you don't track these metrics, you will underbid on highly targeted keywords that are converting really well, and overbid on more generic keywords that have a lower conversion rate. Let us walk you through a hypothetical example to illustrate this point. In this case, a small business is selling Canon PowerShot A520's for $200, the gross profit is $50 and the conversion rate of the overall site is 1%. According to the above formula, you can quickly calculate that each visitor is worth $0.50.
The above example clearly shows how the value per customer can vary tremendously by the type of keywords since different keywords can have very different conversion rates. In our own experience, we have seen this time and again. We have lots of keyword groups with conversion rates as high as 5% and many with conversion rates below 1%. Average figures can get you into lots of trouble! If the hypothetical business in the example above just bid what the average customer is worth ($0.50 per visitor) then it might lose out… twice!
First, this business might overbid for the general keywords where each visitor is only worth either $0.13 or $0.25. This would be the winners curse. The businesses ads might show up in the number one position especially if the competitors are smarter and bidding less since these keywords are not worth as much. Second, this business would underbid for the most valuable keyword which is worth $1.00. In this case, the competition might bid over $0.50 and the ads for this business would not even show up. We recommend that you start to track your conversion rate for each keyword group. Google and Yahoo! both offer free tracking tools that are easy to set up. Until you know your conversion metrics (and how much each visitor is worth) at the keyword level, we recommend that you are conservative (don’t bid as much as you can afford to). This way you will prevent yourself from losing money. If you do identify keywords that you know should perform better (if they are much more targeted) then you can bid more aggressively but start to get your tracking in place as soon as possible!
Online Bidding Tools
The single best online bidding research tool is offered by Yahoo! Search Marketing. Yahoo! openly publishes exactly how much advertisers are willing to pay-per-click for any given keyword phrase and by using their tool, you can get a very good idea for how much keywords are going for in your particular market. You can get access to their tool here: Yahoo! Bidding Research Tool When you view the bids of advertisers for different keywords, you can quickly see a huge variation in bid prices by keywords. You will notice that the obvious keywords tend to be very competitive. That makes sense because most advertisers will have thought of the most obvious keywords for their market and so there is more competition and more
advertisers that are bidding for these keywords. So, finding more specific keywords pays off big time because they tend to be more valuable (have a higher conversion rate), and the bid prices tend to be a fraction of the obvious keywords. Now that you know how much you can afford to bid for each ad group, should you bid the maximum for the top spot?
Things You Must Know About Bidding
On Google, Bidding is Not Everything!
To succeed on Google, you have to understand how Google ranks advertisers. We will explain it very simply. As people only click on relevant ads, and Google gets money when people click, it makes sense for them to rank relevant ads by how much money they bring in.
How does Google determine which advertiser is going to deliver the most revenue?
The relevance of ads plays a very big role because ads with a higher click-through-rate deliver far more clicks and revenues to Google. Since Google recognized this from the beginning, Google determines the rank of advertisers according to the formula below: Ad Rank = CPC x CTR Your Ad Position = (Click-through-rate of your ad) * (cost-per-click of your ad) As you can see from the formula, your bid (cost-per-click) is only one part of the equation. The second part is the click-through-rate. So, there are two clear ways to get to
the top in Google. First, you can pay to be in the top, which gets you off to a good start. However, this could be very costly, especially if you are going up against some very strong competitors. The second path to get to the top is to keep optimizing your clickthrough-rate (CTR). If you follow our tactics on how to write winning ads that get superior click-through-rates, you can climb your way to the top.
Why Paying to Be #1 May Not Pay Off
Advertisers often think their ads must be in the top position in order to make the most money. They're wrong. The ad in the first position is more likely to receive compulsive clicks that don't convert and will cost more. In other words, advertisers in the #1 position that pay top dollars (the highest cost per click) to get to the top often overbid for lots of lousy traffic. While it is not necessary to attain the #1 position, it is important for your ad to appear "above the fold," that is, at the level where a user is not required to scroll down to find your ad. You should aim to be in the top four results. The second, third, and fourth positions marginally differ in their ability to drive traffic, and will cost you less. And being in the top 3 results is even better, as it gets increased exposure on Ask.com and AOL as well.
Following the Eyes of Search Engine Users
A joint-study conducted by search marketing firms Did-It, Enquiro, and Eyetools documented the eye activity of 50 participants scanning Google search results. They found that PPC results were viewed as follows:
Percentage of views 50%
As the data show, the eye scan and click-through behavior changes dramatically depending on the position of the ads. About 50% of visitors looked at the top ad compared to only 10% that noticed the ads in the 6th, 7th, and 8th positions. Google searchers focus heavily on the top left side. The top 3 organic search results are noticed by every participant. In searches where top sponsored results are returned in addition to right sponsored ads, the top ads received much higher visibility, being seen by 80 to 100% of participants, as opposed to 10 to 50% of participants who looked at the side sponsored ads. The study clearly shows that getting into the top position is very important to get noticed. However, the study also demonstrated that users click pretty quickly on the first results without much consideration, which is why the top ads, especially when they are featured above the natural (organic) search results can get a very high click-through-rate and a lot of lousy traffic. If you are interested in checking out the complete white-paper on this research you can get it here: Enquiro Search Engine Eye Tracking Study
Working to Be Higher Up Seriously Pays Off
As you can see in the example below, an advertiser that bids $0.10 per click but has a far higher CTR of 5% would deliver Google significantly more revenue per page than an advertiser that bids $0.40 per click but has an ad with a CTR of only 1%. In fact, in this example, the advertiser that is bidding less, would pay Google $0.50 for every 100 impressions. That is still 20% more than the other advertiser that is bidding 4 times more per click! 47 www.MindValleyLabs.com
The secret is to WORK your way to the top without paying for it! Paying to be featured on the #1 position can get you lots of traffic but it will be expensive and you may not be able to convert enough of the traffic to pay your AdWords bills. However, it is still true, as the eye tracking study showed, that ads in the #1 position might receive more than 2 and sometimes up to 10 times more traffic! That is especially true when Google features ads above the search results, instead of on the right side (see the example below).
So while it is true that you will get some lousy traffic (visitors that just click on the top search result without studying the links), it can be traffic you want, if you don't have to pay much for it! How can you be at the top without paying big bucks? Continuously improve your CTR and you will over time move past your competitors and see your ad get ranked higher and higher. As a result, you don't pay anything extra and might even pay less than all of your competitors out there! While the #1 position might send you some less qualified traffic, if you don't have to pay extra, it is a sure way to dramatically boost the sales and profitability of your business. It is not unusual for the #1 ad to get 2 – 5 times the traffic, which will result in a HUGE boost in sales for your business! While it is worth paying to get off to a good start, you achieve long-term high profit margins if you balance out working your way to earn that high listing!
As a quick reminder, the most reliable way to get the highest click-through-rates is to
1. Divide your keywords into highly targeted ad groups 2. Have the keywords in the copy of the ad (preferably in the title) 3. Split test your ads constantly to see your CTR go higher and higher
Tips for a Smart Bidding Strategy
Start Strong in Google
As we explained above, Google ranks ads based on the CTR and CPC of each advertiser. However, when you are just starting out Google does not know what the CTR of your ad will be and so it does not have any historical information to use when it decides where to place your ad. As the eye tracking study showed, ads in the top are more visible and will have a higher CTR regardless of the quality of the ad (i.e. regardless of the relevance). As a result it can pay off to start out strong to get a higher CTR and then lower the amount you bid after you have accumulated a few hundred clicks. This tip is covered in more depth in the advanced PPC tactic.
Be Incremental in Yahoo!
You can see exactly how much each advertiser is willing to pay. As a result, you can pick and choose and get exactly the position that you want by just bidding $0.01 more per click than your competitors. Often, your competitors don't check their accounts frequently so this can be very effective to get great placement in Yahoo!
Accompanying the Winning Playbook is a report on how to adapt the winning system in Yahoo! We will go into more detail then.
As we said above, it is critical that you start to track and measure the conversion rate of your site for different groups of keywords. Without that information it will be impossible for you to have a "smart bidding strategy" because you don't know how much you can afford to pay. Yes, this takes time and energy to figure out but it is absolutely critical for the long-term growth and profitability of your site.
Track Your Conversion Rate
1. Use Google's conversion tracking tool which is part of Google AdWords and a powerful free tool that every Google advertiser should use. Click here to learn more 2. Use Yahoo! Search Marketing conversion counter, which is a powerful free tool to track the conversion rate of your Yahoo! PPC campaign. Click here to learn more 3. If you prefer to track all of your metrics in Google, including your conversion rates from Yahoo!'s PPC engine you can do this via Google's free new crosschannel tracking tool. Click here to learn more 4. Use Google Analytics. Google Analytics tells you everything you want to know about how your visitors found you and how they interact with your site. It tells you exactly which keywords perform and which ones do not. In addition to tracking your conversions at the keyword level, Google Analytics will also help you to track specific goals for your websites (such as sign-up rates, consumption rates, etc.). That is a powerful new way to take your website to the next level. Click to here learn more
To develop a thriving internet business, you have to start tracking the performance of your website at a detailed level. Simply knowing your average conversion rate and how much you can afford to bid per click on search engines is a start but is not good enough for the long-term. The sooner you get a better understanding of your business, the sooner you can boost the profitability of your PPC campaigns. If you're not focusing on something else, invest the time and energy to start tracking the performance of your business. Today, the world's most powerful online tracking tool, Google Analytics, is free (in the past, a subscription to Google Analytics cost $200 per month)! We recommend that you start to use what we have shown you here to get familiar with all the free tracking tools so that you can maximize your profits with a smart bidding strategy in your pay-per-click campaigns.
PHASE 4: Winning Landing Pages
You've invested time and money to come this far… and after testing and refining your ads you've achieved a high CTR (click through rate), and you're able to generate traffic to your site. Now comes the most important part: getting the traffic to convert to cash cash cash! How do you get visitors who click through to your site to stay and take action? This is where your winning landing pages come into play.
What’s a Landing Page?
A landing page is the first page that visitors see after clicking on your banner ad, PPC ad, or promotional email. It can be a specific page on your website or a separate page created exclusively for search engines. A landing page is designed to direct visitors to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, completing a registration, or subscribing to your mailing list. Landing pages are perhaps the most important part of your advertising strategy, yet less than 20% of your competitors actually know how to use them well. Your landing page can make or break your online advertising campaign. It is THE crucial component to help you convert browsers into buyers. On average, visitors spend less than 10 seconds looking at a landing page before determining its usefulness and relevance to their needs. If they can't find what they're looking for, or if your site has functional or usability problems, they will abandon the page. Rather than let that happen, make the few seconds you have their attention count and
answer the questions that are on their mind:
• • • •
"Am I in the right place?" "Is there enough information?" "Does the site look trustworthy?" "How long will this take?"
Your landing page must entice visitors to stay and complete the desired action for conversion, whether it's filling out a subscription form or buying a product. As we'll soon see, having an effective landing page is one of the easiest ways to outperform your competitors in the ultra-competitive PPC market since the majority of advertisers completely ignore its importance in driving conversions.
What Makes a Good Landing Page?
Here are the qualities that make a landing page effective.
1. The headline and copy correspond to the ad that triggered the page.
If your ad is targeted to people looking for golf attire, your landing page should focus on golf attire, and not on other items that could distract from the main focus, such as golf clubs.
2. The focus is on getting visitors to take one specific action.
The landing page works on the basis of a most wanted response (MWR). It is designed to get the target audience to take ONE specific action, such as making a purchase or
subscribing to a newsletter.
3. There are no distracting navigational links.
Unlike the homepage, the purpose of the landing page is not to get the users to browse the site, but to stay on the page and carry out the MWR. Tests have shown that landing pages with too many navigational links consistently under-perform. Just stick to the basics: a company logo or header for recognition along with a link to the homepage is sufficient. Avoid having any links that distract from carrying out the MWR.
4. The copy is short.
The copy on the landing page is usually shorter and more straightforward than the copy on your homepage. Remember to keep the look and feel of your landing page consistent with the rest of your website.
5. There is a prominent subscription form or checkout option.
The action you want the user to take should be available on the landing page itself; the user should not have to click to another page. Below is an example of a landing page we use to get visitors who click on our meditation-related ads to sign up for a free online course. Notice the short copy, prominent signup form, and the lack of a confusing navigation menu.
Some Surprising Statistics
When we first started advertising on Google AdWords we directed traffic from around 2,000 keywords to our site's homepage. Our signup rate remained steady at around 7%. Later, we decided to segment our PPC advertising into 8 different categories and lead every click to a page with a customized headline. These were not new landing pages - but rather copies of the homepage with one difference: the headline was adjusted to correspond to the ad. For example, clicks from ads related to "meditation" would see a headline containing the word "meditation." Those clicks from ads on "stress control" would see a headline containing the words "stress control" and so on. With no other changes to our site, simply adjusting the headline to the campaign caused a 50% boost in signups. Our signup rate was now hovering around 11%. Our next change was to use a proper landing page. We stripped away the navigation menu, beefed up the focus on the signup form, and shortened the copy. The final product is the landing page shown above. This landing page has since pulled a 22% signup rate, an improvement of 100%, for 55 www.MindValleyLabs.com
keywords related to meditation. That's pretty darned significant! Given these improvements, you'd think that almost everyone who's advertising on Google would have a landing page right? Wrong. Most advertisers completely ignore the importance of a targeted landing page and instead direct users to their homepage. This is a big no-no. The chart below shows some common search terms purchased by small online retailers, the corresponding number of Google advertisers bidding on the terms, and the percentage of advertisers that direct their traffic to a landing page that is not the homepage. (Data gathered on December 18, 2005.)
As you can see, for most keyword groups you'll find that less than 20% of your competitors actually use a landing page. This is their weakness and your potential strength. Visitors who come from ads tend to be highly fickle and they will click off your page if it does not speak to them directly. We expect that within another 1 - 2 years we'll see the number of PPC advertisers with landing pages mushroom to between 40% and 50%. Currently, however, having a landing page is still a significant advantage. By boosting the conversion rate of your landing page you get more visitors to take action and you increase the amount of money you make per visitor. This means each visitor is 56 www.MindValleyLabs.com
now worth more to you and you can afford to bid more on Google or Overture for this traffic. This is one of the easiest ways to outdo your competition. So why do many online merchants neglect using a landing page? The main reason is that landing pages require extra effort to build and they rely upon principles that are often counter-intuitive. For example, landing pages work better without a navigation menu - yet many merchants insist on using them in hopes that prospective buyers will click around their "about us", "contact us" and "faq" sections and fall in love with their company. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. Landing pages will also require you to build additional site templates, develop new headlines and shorten your copy. It may seem hardly worthwhile, but it is. The improved conversion rates due to the use of landing pages tend to be so high that once you use a landing page you'll rarely go back.
How to Build Successful Landing Pages: A Step by Step Process Based on Tested Best Practices
Follow these essential steps when building a landing page. The recommendations and information here are based on our personal tests as well as key industry findings based on eye tracking studies and conversion metrics.
Step 1: Identify Your Audience & Segment Your Ads
The first step is to identify who your target audience is and where they come from. They
might arrive at your site after clicking on a specific email promotion, a Google AdWords ad, or a banner ad on a partner website. Since PPC advertising is now the most common form of advertising on the internet let's use Google AdWords as an example. To begin, make sure your AdWords campaign is grouped into related ad groups. Your keywords should trigger relevant ads. If this is your first time building a landing page, rather than build separate targeted landing pages for all your ad groups from the very beginning, we encourage you to start small. Start by picking an ad group where you are currently getting lots of impressions and a good CTR, but the conversion on your site is poor. For example, if your site is designed to get people to sign up for karate classes and purchase karate related products, you may have purchased ads for a related martial art such as tae kwon do. Your rationale would be that many tae kwon do enthusiasts would also be interested in expanding their skills by learning karate. In this case you would likely find that visitors who come from karate related ads would probably be signing up a lot more frequently than visitors coming from tae kwon do related ads. The reason is that your site is primarily about karate and not tae kwon do, and many tae kwon do enthusiasts may not see the relevancy in your offering. Here is where the landing page comes in. If you're finding that your tae kwon do ad campaign is getting lots of visitors but few conversions, you have just found a perfect test case for your landing page. The next step is to figure out how to get your message across to these visitors that are coming from tae kwon do related ads.
Step 2: Define Your Most Wanted Response (MWR)
What do you want visitors to do once they arrive at your site? Make a purchase, subscribe to your free newsletter, or download software? Think of the most efficient way to move visitors along the path to a sale and revolve your copy around that. Pushing the sale upfront or offering a free trial are both effective strategies that can be tested.
Step 3: Define Your Message
What message are you sending to your audience? Let's say you're trying to get signups for your Karate Tips newsletter. You want to specifically target the tae kwon do market as this segment has not been converting well. You now need to come up with a message that's both relevant and of interest to your target audience, in this case, tae kwon do enthusiasts. A probable message might be "How to Enhance Your Tae Kwon Do Skills with Basic Karate Training" Your copy should speak to the mind of the tae kwon do enthusiast and urge them to sign up for your Karate Tips newsletter.
Step 4: Design Your Landing Page
You now know your most wanted response, who your target audience is, and what offer will appeal to them. How do you design a landing page that will motivate them to take action? The first thing to do is to make a list of all the elements you need to have on your landing page.
What You Need to Include
What You Should Leave Out
1. a navigation menu - remember to focus only on your offer. 2. links to other parts of your sites such as "about us." 3. any pictures or images that don't relate to the offer, these will only serve as distractions. 4. hard to read text, anything less than 10 pt is bad. 5. any links along the lines of "click here to subscribe" or "click here to read more." If you can't cram all your contact into the upper fold of your landing page, just let the user scroll down. Scrolling is almost always better than clicking to the next 60 www.MindValleyLabs.com
page. 6. scary forms with unnecessary fields such as "title" or "fax." Once you've identified all the elements you need, your next step is to design the landing page. There are two rules of thumb you must take into account:
Rule #1: The landing page must match the offer in the original ad.
If your offer was sent via email and included a beautiful light blue background with flashing text next to a product image, use the same colors, images and fonts on the landing page. Results show that matching the landing page to the original ad reinforces your offer and boosts results. If your original ad was a simple Google PPC ad, you have more freedom to play around with the landing page in terms of colors and designs, but there should be a similarity with the look and feel of your website. Be sure that the headline and message on your landing page correspond to the audience that would have clicked on your Google ad. For example, if your PPC ad said "Click here for Free Tips to Improve your Golf Swing" your landing page should have the same headline and related content such as "20 Tips to Improve Your Golf Swing" and not present a different offer such as "Sign up for a Free 30-Day Membership."
Rule #2: Keep everything critical above the fold.
Now here's a challenge. You need to keep the most critical information above the fold the point after which a user must scroll down to continue reading. Your most compelling copy should be immediately visible and answer any questions the user may have. The good news is that you CAN include further product information below the fold. Once you get the user's attention, they will likely scroll down to read the rest of your offer. But
try to keep everything critical, such as the headline and even the signup form, above the fold to avoid having visitors leave. That said, how do you know how much copy to provide? Landing pages should have just enough copy to get the visitor to take the required action. For free products, studies have shown that signup rates tend to be higher when the amount of copy is less. One reason is that users may be reluctant to sign up for a free product if they feel they are required to read too many pages of copy - it sets off alarm bells in their head. For products you're trying to sell, longer, more detailed copy is usually better. Gender also plays a role in how visitors to your landing page act. Studies show that female visitors prefer longer copy with more details, while male visitors prefer shorter copy that's more direct. The key is to strike a balance by providing just enough information so that visitors have a clear idea of your offer, and by making it easy for them to carry out your most wanted response.
Step 5: Putting it All Together
Once you've created your page layout and the copy, the next step is to put it all together and upload it to your site. We recommend using simple URLs that users can easily recognize. If your site is about golf and your campaign targets people looking for golf tshirts a good URL would be www.YourGolfSite.com/t-shirts. Such URLs often generate better than normal click through rates on targeted Google PPC ads. A searcher who types 'golf t-shirts' is more likely to click on an ad with that URL
simply because of the presence of the word 't-shirts.'
Using Keyword Rich Domains
You might also want to buy a domain such as www.Golf-Tshirts.com and use this domain in your PPC ad. The domain would essentially be a one page site that would be your landing page. Any action on this landing page would redirect the user to your main site www.YourGolfSite.com. Why go through all the effort to buy a specialized domain like www.Golf-Tshirts.com? We found that Google PPC ads with such domains achieved a CTR between 20% to 50% higher when the domain contained the keyword that triggered the ad. However, while the CTR rates are higher, you may end up losing brand identity. So this is a tactic you'll need to experiment with using caution. The key is testing.
Step 6 : Test, Test and Test Again
Once everything is up and running make sure you have a way to test the effectiveness of the landing page based on your pre-determined most wanted response. You must be able to determine if your new landing page outperforms your default page. Fortunately, landing pages will almost always convert better. Based on your conversion test data you should be able to tweak your landing page by using multivariable testing software such as Multi-Track Generator to further test elements that affect performance. Things such as headlines, bullet point lists, and image position can all significantly improve conversion. In one experiment carried out by MarketingSherpa.com, they were able to boost their landing page conversion rate by 64% simply by re-arranging various items on the page. 63 www.MindValleyLabs.com
According to Anne Holland of MarketingSherpa.com: "Our conversions went up 64%. And yes, that *is* a real number based on real sales. Again, no copy changes. Just design. So if you have pretty decent copy to start with, then layout changes can make a huge impact."
So what should you test on your landing page?
Almost everything on your landing page can be tested for further optimization but you should focus on the elements that are most likely to make a difference. So be sure to test these: 1. Your headline 2. Your product image and caption 3. Your sub-headline 4. Your body copy and any bullet point lists 5. The wording of the button on your signup form ("Click Now - It's Free" vs. "Click Here to Subscribe" can make a big difference.)
Is Google Watching Your Landing Page?
In December 2005, Google announced the concept of a "Quality Score" that it would use to gauge your ad's relevancy and thus its position. Google defines "Quality Score" as "The basis for measuring the quality of your keyword and determining your minimum bid. Quality Score is determined by your keyword's click through rate (CTR), relevance of your ad text, historical keyword performance, the quality of your ad's landing page, and other relevancy factors."
Notice that Google mentioned "landing page?" Will Google actually be using algorithms to measure the quality of your landing page? There's no way to tell as the company is ultra-secretive. But just to make sure you stay on Google's good side you might want to follow Google's landing page guidelines.
Landing Page Case Study - www.AskDatabase.com
One of the best designed landing pages we've seen is Alex Mandossian's landing page for his AskDatabase Software.
You'll notice all the elements we mentioned above on the landing page. 1. The copy is short and the entire site fits above the fold. The headline is especially prominent and the benefits are listed in key bullet points. 2. The visitor's options are limited to signing up for a free video demo. There are no other navigation links nor a way to make the purchase. Mandossian obviously discovered that the quickest way to a sale was to make the user watch a demo video rather than buy the product immediately. 3. Since Alex Mandossian has become something of a brand name himself he uses his own image as the "hero-shot" rather than a product image. Furthermore, the image is on
the left for best results. 4. Clicking on the "CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE" button does not lead the user anywhere. It simply launches the pop-up window shown below:
Again, the user has no choice but to fill in the signup form. Mandossian understands the concept of the most wanted response. 5. You'll notice an audio player button on the landing page. The audio is a 1 min recording of Mandossian verbally stating the same message that's on the landing page. Should you use such an audio message on your landing page? You can always try, however the tests are not conclusive. The difference made by an audio message was insignificant in our tests, and a study conducted by MarketingSherpa.com also suggested that the contribution of an audio message to conversion rates is inconclusive but worthy of further study. Mandossian, however, uses it because he is the co-founder of AudioGenerator.com, the company that provides websites the ability to add such audio messages to their pages. A quick study of Mandossian's landing page and our landing page will give you some ideas on how to go about creating your own.
Your landing page strategy is one of the single most important success factors of a great online marketing strategy.
A landing page serves to increase the number of visitors that carry out your most wanted response and thereby substantially increase your profits. There are six basic steps to follow in creating a great landing page: 1. Determine your target audience and segment your ads. 2. Define your most wanted response. 3. Define your message. 4. Design your landing page. 5. Put your landing page together. 6. Test your landing page. Overall, a landing page should be very basic, with the sole purpose of provoking the most wanted response. You need to keep tweaking and testing to continuously improve conversion rates. Because most of your competitors lack effective landing pages, use a good landing page strategy to gain that competitive edge!
Now You Can Apply The Winning System V6
We have covered all 4 Phases of the system. Phase 1 was the beginning. It involved the steps needed to obtain Keyword Mastery, for a winning AdWords setup. After Phase 1, Phases 2 to 4 is referred to as the cash cycle. Phase 2 walked you through the steps needed to continuously improve on winning ads. Phase 3 detailed bidding strategies, what to measure, and how. Phase 4 covered the final leg for converting your effort to money in the bank, landing pages. You will go through the cash cycle again and again, as often as you like. The more you go through this cycle, each time making tweaks and optimizing, the less you will need to spend on AdWords, and the more traffic you will convert. Each time you go through Phase 2, 3 and 4, you can test new strategies, one at a time, keeping organized and focused. Having the Winning System in mind will help you know what you need to do next, always. We have included a bonus chapter here! With ADVANCED tactics to apply, each and every time you go through the cash cycle! And if you come across any strategies of your own which worked very well, do share it with us so we can test it, towards The Winning System V7, which you will receive when it is rolled out in 2007…
Advanced Tactics Using The Winning System V6
Have you tried the system out? If so, get ready to take your PPC campaign to the next level. These strategies will get you to the very top. To reap the full benefits of the information presented here, we assume that you are already familiar with the previous tactics, comfortable with PPC advertising campaigns, and determined to do what it takes to give the performance of your ads yet another boost. Here, we'll show you tested ways to do more with your ads while spending less and help you stay clear of some potentially dangerous paths where many small businesses may waste a lot of money and effort. Use this information when you go through Phase 2, Phase 3, and Phase 4 of The Winning System V6. This chapter is divided into 3 areas:
• • •
Advanced PPC Bidding Setup Fine Tuning your PPC Campaign for Perfection Getting Optimal Reach for your PPC Campaign
Let's get started, your competitors won't wait for you!
Advanced PPC Bidding Set Up
The Google “Doom Loop” and “Money Loop” Where are you now?
Although we know that the performance of your ads is driven by how much you are
willing to pay per click (your CPC) and by how well you write the copy of your ads which drives the click-through-rate (the CTR), this is only part of the story. It ignores one far more important factor that is at the core of understanding the “Doom Loop” and the “Money Loop.” What are these factors?
You need to fully understand the user behavior on search engines and the impact this user behavior has on Google’s PPC algorithm.
Studies have shown that users are far more likely to click on ads that are in the top positions on Google than on ads that show up at the bottom.
In short, Position Matters More than Ad Copy.
Here is why this insight is so important. The single biggest predictor of the performance of your ad (the CTR) is the position it shows up in. Spending all day on improving the copywriting of your ads will not help you much if you started out in a low position to begin with. Users click on ads at the top more frequently, independent of the quality of the ad. How does this insight lead you to the “Money Loop?” In a nutshell, Google’s algorithm tries to optimize the revenue that each advertiser will deliver to Google for each search query (for each page impression). To do this, Google predicts what the click-through-rate will be of your ad. When you first start out, your ads have no history so Google will just place your ad based on how much you are willing to pay and assume that the click-through-rate of your ads will be about average. And it is here that you can beat Google and your competition!
“If your ads are doing well, then Google thinks your ads will continue to do well,
and therefore they will continue to do well.”
The trick to entering the “Money Loop” is to temporarily boost your campaign when you are just getting started. When you first set up a new campaign, pay a very high CPC. No worries, this is a temporary measure. The higher CPC means that your ads will get shown in a much higher position even though Google does not know the historic click-through-rate of your ads. Since your ads will show up higher on the page, they will automatically have a higher click-through-rate (remember that search engine users are more likely to click on ads that show up higher on the page). Once you have established your campaign Google will associate it with a CTR that is far higher than it would have been otherwise. After you have done this for 1-2 weeks, you can now safely start to lower your CPC. Why does this work? Fortunately, you don’t have to understand Google’s algorithm in detail to take full advantage of this. Applying it is easy, discovering this tactic took us many months of tests and statistical analysis that we do not want to bore you with. Basically, being at the top first gets you a higher click-through-rate and that will position you in such a way that Google’s algorithm will start to feature your ads higher than your competitor ads even after you lower your CPC rate back down. After all, Google is just trying to maximize the revenue it gets per page and the historic click-through-rate of your ads is an important consideration in Google’s algorithm.
Start out strong or you are destined for the doom loop!
If you don’t follow this tactic, then your campaign will be performing far worse than it should. In other words, not following this advice is like resigning yourself to be a 72 www.MindValleyLabs.com
victim of the “Doom Loop.” Campaigns that start out weak will continue to perform weak or may take months longer to recover with constant fine tuning and optimization. Don't let this happen to you! Start out strong and invest more when you first start a new CPC campaign. Our tests have repeatedly demonstrated that starting out strong, even when lowering your CPC back down afterwards, can lead to a permanent increase in your CTR of up to 100%!
Increased Relevancy (for Advanced Users Only)
Trusted brands can use their reputation to their advantage. For companies like Amazon and eBay, the URL itself can be enough to attract customers, but lesser known companies should not despair, as we will teach you another way to compete by using keyword-rich domains. This is an effective strategy to attract customers. In keyword-rich domains, the URL contains a call to action or a solution to a problem that affects your customers. Today, domain names are so affordable, you can create a separate domain for each of your Google Ad Groups! For example, our testing showed us a significantly higher CTR when advertising how to solve the problem by using an alternative domain name. We used www.HowToDoMeditation.com instead of our existing domain www.SilvaUltraMindSystem.com. Notice that www.HowToDoMeditation.com explicitly advertises how to solve the problem, but www.SilvaUltraMindSystem.com states the name of our product, the Silva UltraMind System, which may answer their query as directly. People who are looking to learn how to do meditation will be more apt to search “How to do meditation” rather than “Silva UltraMind System.” In that example, the other domain name www.HowToDoMeditation.com was used to 73 www.MindValleyLabs.com
guide customers to try the Silva UltraMind product which does, in fact, teach people how to meditate. This can work extremely well, especially if you are a small player and your product is not a branded product. In this case, people that are searching to learn how to meditate do not know the Silva UltraMind System and so creating a domain that makes them confident they would find what they are looking for (learning how to meditate) can work extremely well. In our tests, we have seen the click-through-rates of our ads go up by 10 to 30% and we have repeated this test for over 10 different campaigns. Below are three identical ads with three different landing pages that we tested on Google.
Learn Mind Control Develop Your Mind Control with the famous Silva techniques www.SilvaUltraMindSystem.com
399 Clicks | 2.6% CTR | $0.16 CPC
Learn Mind Control Develop Your Mind Control with the famous Silva techniques www.DevelopMindControl.com
448 Clicks | 2.9% CTR | $0.16 CPC
Learn Mind Control 74 www.MindValleyLabs.com
Develop Your Mind Control with the famous Silva techniques www.MindControlTraining.com
2,418 Clicks | 3.2% CTR | $0.16 CPC The above examples clearly demonstrate that the landing page URL can have a significant impact on boosting the click-through-rate of your ads. In this particular case, we boosted the CTR by 23% by using a keyword specific URL that clearly communicated what the site was about. Running multiple domains requires a lot of additional work to set up new sites and to track conversions. It can be tedious unless you are an advanced user comfortable with building and configuring new websites. If you are, then this tip can be a very effective strategy to further boost the click-through-rate of your ads. If you are not an advanced user, then we recommend you focus on the other tactics first before implementing multiple domains.
Fine Tuning Your PPC Campaign for Perfection
Divide and Conquer
When you first start your Google PPC campaign, you might start out by putting lots of keywords into a single ad group. In some cases, you might end up with over a hundred keywords per ad group. Over time, you will see that some of the keywords in your ad group are clear outliers; they are either greatly under- or over-performing. The single best way to identify these outliers is to look at the click-through-rate (CTR) of each keyword. If it tends to be much
higher or lower than the average for the campaign, take a closer look... Perhaps the outliers are quite different in meaning and should have been separated during the initial keyword selection and grouping process. Or perhaps customers that search for the given keywords are in a different mindset. If you split these over and under performing keyword phrases from the current ad group and put them into a new one you might be able to significantly boost your results.
First, whenever you divide keywords into a new ad group, pause for a moment and brainstorm on other related keywords that you might have forgotten. Usually, you will come up with plenty of additional keywords that were not originally in your list.
Second, once these keywords are in a new ad group, you can write a new ad copy that is specifically tailored to this keyword group.
Why do we say you should take out both under and over performing keywords (those with a very high / low click-through-rate) and put them into a new group? The answer for under performers is obvious. The current ads are not working well and either these keywords are not going to work for you or you will need to write different ad copy to get these users interested in what you have to offer. However, for over performers the same might be true. Your ad might already resonate very well with these people but your ad and landing page might not yet be optimized for this keyword. To divide and conquer works so well in Google because ads where the copy directly matches the keyword phrase are highlighted in bold. As a result, by refining and tightly grouping keywords together you can have more ads highlighted in bold, which can significantly boost the click-through-rate. Click76 www.MindValleyLabs.com
through-rates can go as high as 10%-15% by having the copy of the ads match the query for long keyword phrases. In a nutshell, when you give customers exactly what they are looking for, they are far more likely to click! In addition, a higher click-through-rate further improves the Quality Score of your ads. This is the basis for measuring the quality of your keyword and determining your minimum bid. Here is Google’s definition of the Quality Score: Quality Score is determined by your keyword's click through rate (CTR), relevance of your ad text, historical keyword performance, the quality of your ad's landing page, and other relevancy factors. Why should you care about the Quality Score? Because when the click-through-rate of ads becomes very high Google may feature your ad in the very top, above the natural (organic) search results and ads that are listed in the very top will always outperform ads that are listed on the side by a margin of 100% or more!
The image above shows an example where one advertiser is featured at the very top. Google does not always feature ads in the very top and does not publish how to get 77 www.MindValleyLabs.com
your ad listed at the very top. However, our tests have revealed that the Quality Score has a lot to do with it. So, when the ad copy and landing URL closely match the query the odds of getting to the top and getting super high click-through-rates are maximized. So, it pays to divide and conquer. Glance through your keyword list every week when you split test your ads. In online direct marketing, keeping one ad (in this case the better performer) is called the control group. As you know from the previous tactics, the way you win with PPC advertising is to continuously improve your ads. So divide and conquer, and continue split testing!
The Power of Many
Grow your keyword list! Every time you get started on Google AdWords you will pass over new keywords. Sometimes you will miss out on entire new categories of keywords that might do wonders for your PPC campaign. There are two great ways to expand your keyword list. The first way is to brainstorm new keywords when you divide and conquer new ad groups. Each time you divide up an ad group, you will come up with an entire new list of keywords to include in the new ad group. This is a good technique to get deeper and expand your coverage. The second way to get more keywords is to take a step back and try to think outside the box. Browse through a thesaurus to get new keywords ideas, check out your competitors, scan through your log files, and see what related products are selling on eBay and Amazon. While this can be laborious and tedious work, it will pay off big time in the long run. The more time you brainstorm on keywords, the more likely you are going to uncover more related keywords that fewer competitors are bidding on. That means that you will
get more traffic for less, a great way to boost your sales and profitability! If you do this rigorously, you are almost guaranteed to end up on top because your competitors will most likely be far lazier than you!
Get Optimal Reach for Your PPC Campaign
Google Content Ads
Whenever you create a new campaign on Google, it automatically has your ads enabled on both their content and search network. If you are not experienced with Google, you might even completely oversee this. Advertising on Google’s content network might be the most costly mistake you'll ever make! Google’s content network is huge and includes hundreds of thousands of sites, and if you leave Google’s default setting turned on, you will see 50% to 75% of your money go to ads that might deliver no value! What is the difference between ads on the content and search network? Google is not only the world's leading search engine, it also operates the world's leading online advertising network. That means that Google shows its ads on search engines (search network) and on content sites (content network). Content sites include popular websites such as the New York Times (www.nytimes.com), ESPN (www.espn.com), as well as hundreds of thousands of smaller sites. When you see Google’s ads on these sites they are called contextual ads. They are called contextual because Google features ads that most closely match the content on the page.
Why turn content ads off?
At first you might think, wow, this is excellent! In addition to showing up on Google, I can dramatically increase the exposure and traffic for my business by having my ads show up on Google’s content partners. Not so fast! People on a search engine will behave dramatically different than people that are visiting another site such as ESPN. When someone is searching on Google, they are searching for information or products and services that you are offering. These users are already in an information gathering or buying mindset. However, when Google shows ads on a content site such as the New York Times, users are reading an article. These readers are in a very different state of mind and are far less interested in ads and less interested in clicking on a link that takes them to another website. As a result, the click-through-rates on these ads tend to be far lower than what you see on a search engine. However, since you only pay per click, you might say this does not matter. Well, it does! Not only are people less likely to click on your ad, but when they do, they are also far less likely to buy! Our own tests have shown that the conversion rate of content ads is frequently 75% lower!
How Do I Turn Content Ads Off?
Go to each of your campaigns in Google and click on “edit campaign settings.” Now set your preferences so that Google will only show your ads for Google search. If you want to test out content ads, do so in different campaigns. That way you can (1) lower the maximum that you are willing to bid per click and (2) easily track and measure the performance of your content ads separately.
Never have the same Google campaign run on both search and content ads. This will make it far more challenging to analyze your business and understand what campaigns are performing well and which campaigns are performing poorly. Our own experience has taught us that it is very easy to lose A LOT of money with content ads and it is very hard to make any profits.
One of the things that makes the internet special is that it immediately gives you access to a global market. The same counts for Google! It is one of the leading search engines in dozens of countries and even on Google.com, up to 50% of the visitors come from abroad! As a result, you need to carefully plan where you want your ads to show up on Google. If you are a US based business selling within the US and Canada, then restrict your ads to show up only for people within the US and Canada. Google makes this very easy. Each time you set up a new Google campaign, you can decide both the geographic locations and languages for which your ad should appear. Why does Google offer both languages and countries as an option? The answer is very simple. In many countries such as Germany, there are still millions of people that will go to Google to conduct searches in English to find products on the global market. By expanding your campaigns to international markets, you tap into huge potential for more profits. Even if you are shipping products as a small business, consider offering shipping to foreign markets. Often your international customers will not have another place to purchase your products and so they might be even more willing to buy from you once they find your site.
For those of you who carry out international advertising and operations, you can see Google AdWords ads from other countries by performing a search on Google and appending the character string gl=XX to the URL of the page containing the search results. XX should be replaced with a country’s two-letter domain extension. Some common extensions include:
To further illustrate this point, type the search term “stereo” into Google and click on Search. You will now see a list of results and a URL at the top which may look something like http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=stereo Type the character string “&gl=” and the domain extension of the country for which you want to see ads at the end of the URL. For Mexico, the domain extension is mx. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=stereo&gl=mx Now you can see ads targeted to audiences in Mexico. This can be especially useful if you want to identify your key competitors in other foreign markets. If you can provide your products and services to the global market then you should take full advantage of reaching out to International users. Often, international customers are less price sensitive since your product or service might not be available in their local market. Also, you might be able to make additional profits
by charging more for shipping and handling. The US accounts for only about one third of all internet users so going global is a very effective way to rapidly grow your business!
One of the biggest emerging markets is local online advertising. In the past, online advertising was a national market. This was largely due to the limitations of technology. After all, it can be hard to tell where a user is from. However, companies are quickly solving these challenges and local (location based) advertising on Google is now a powerful new advertising vehicle! It makes sense that Google is chasing after this opportunity since already close to 30% of all online search queries are local in nature. If your business offers a local solution, Google’s location based advertising option is a great solution to reach your local audience online! In addition, local ads tend to stand out from the rest, which further tends to boost their click-through-rate and performance. If you are a local business or offer local products and services then spend additional time brainstorming on location specific keywords and set up regional and city specific campaigns in Google. When you do, your ads will only appear to customers searching for results in (or located in) the regional areas and cities you choose.
Follow Niche Markets with Site Targeting
The better you can target your market, the better the performance of your online marketing campaign is going to be. That is why brainstorming for a very detailed and effective keyword list is so powerful and so important. Google became the #1 online advertising company because it allowed advertisers to 83 www.MindValleyLabs.com
directly match their ads to specific keywords. Google is now trying to do the same with Google AdSense for its content network. While we told you earlier to turn the ads for Google’s content network off, Google is now offering a new option that is worth investigating and testing. The new option is called “site-targeted ads.” Site targeting lets advertisers choose individual sites in the Google content network where they'd like their ads to appear. Setting up a ‘site-targeted’ campaign works the same way in Google as setting up any other campaign. However, instead of submitting a list of keywords you will need to approve the relevant websites where you would like your ads to appear. For example, if you sold yoga products, Google would give you a list of all the relevant yoga sites on their content network and ask you to pick the sites where you would like your ads to appear. In this particular example, Google would offer you to have your ads show up for sites such as:
• • • • •
blogs.yogajournal.com yogajournal.com abc-of-yoga.com yogachicago.com shop-of-yoga.com
As you can see, ‘site-targeting’ is a big improvement over Google’s regular “content search” because you get to decide on what websites your ads should appear. While this might be worthwhile, the initial caution still counts. People that are browsing and reading on other sites such as the Yoga Journal are not in the same mindset as people that are actively searching for products, information, and services on a search engine. As 84 www.MindValleyLabs.com
such, advertising on Google’s content partner sites tends to be far more expensive and less profitable.
Google site-targeting is not pay-per-click advertising!
When you create a site-targeted campaign, you need to set the maximum price you want to pay for every thousand impressions your ad gets on that site. (This is called the max CPM.) CPM ads will accrue charges whether a user clicks your ad or not. In a classic keyword-targeted AdWords campaign, you choose the keywords that trigger your ad and you set the maximum price you want to pay every time someone clicks on your ad (the maximum cost-per-click, or CPC) and you pay only when a user clicks on your ad.
What is the relationship between CPM and CPC?
Here is a very simple formula: CPC = CPM / (CTR * 1,000) In other words, if you are paying $20 per CPM, and the click-through-rate on your ad is 0.5%, then that would translate to about $4.00 per click!
How much should you be willing to pay per CPM?
It all depends on (1) the click-through-rate your ad will get and (2) the conversion rate of your visitors from the site-targeted ads and (3) the average profit per visitor. However, since you don’t know what the actual click-through-rate and conversion rate will be from site-targeted ads before you get started, here are some general guidelines. First of all, the click-through-rate of ‘content-ads’ are far lower than the average clickthrough-rate of ads a search engine. Generally speaking, the CTR of content-ads are between 0.25% and 1.0%. That is for ads on Google’s content network. It is quite feasible 85 www.MindValleyLabs.com
that they will be a bit higher for ‘site-targeted’ ads since these ads are likely a little bit more targeted and relevant than ads on Google’s content network. However, we recommend to start with conservative estimates so lets go with 0.5%. Now that we have established an estimated CTR of 0.5%, here is a table that shows you how much you can afford to pay per CPM based on how much you can pay-per-click.
The table above shows that paying on a CPM basis can be VERY costly. In other words, if you pay $5.00 per CPM, it could be the equivalent of paying $1.00 per click if your CTR is only 0.5%. We have often seen CPM rates as high as $20 to $100, which translates into paying $5 to $20 per click. This might work for big brands but could empty your wallet! Site-targeting is an excellent new vehicle to get your ads in front of your target audience for highly targeted sites. However, the click-through-rate of ads on content sites is likely going to be far lower than on search engines and the conversion rate can be significantly lower as well.
So, if you do decide to test site-targeting, start out by bidding far less and closely monitor your conversion rates to ensure that your campaigns are profitable.
Further Advanced Tips
The Quickest and Fastest Market Research Tool
As we have previously highlighted, the click-through-rate on ads will vary tremendously for very small changes. Even changing a single word in the title can have a very big swing in your Google campaign. As a result, one way that you can use Google AdWords is for testing the commercial appeal of products and titles of new products that you are developing. You can even test what URL you want to go with before you decide to purchase it and develop your site. So, if you have three different titles for a new book or product that you would like to test, you can use Google AdWords and see what title will get you the highest response (highest click-through-rate).
Strive For the Best
Use both the basic and advanced PPC tactics with diligence, because the difference between a good ad campaign and a truly great one will mean a huge leap in your profits. Here is why: Google AdWords is the provider of pay-per-click advertising of both Google, AOL (AOL.com) Ask (Ask.com). Combined, AOL and Ask have close to 100 million monthly visitors in the US market. While neither search engine comes close to Google, having your ads show up on AOL and Ask is an excellent way to quickly boost the impressions and visitors from your Google PPC campaign.
In Ask.com, the top three advertisers are always prominently featured at the top! In fact, only the top three ads are listed above the fold (immediately without requiring the visitor to scroll down the page), where as in Google as many as 5-7 ads can show up above the fold. What's more, they get listed again at the bottom of the search results as well! That means that there is a double benefit to being among the top 3 advertisers in Ask.com. Equally important, Ask.com only shows the top 5 advertisers on the first search results page so if you are not among the top 5 you will miss out on Ask.com entirely! On AOL.com, just like on Ask.com, the top three sponsored links are always prominently featured in the top! Even more important, the top three ads are the only ads that get featured above the fold. So, getting your ads among the top three search results will give you dramatic exposure PPC campaigns. Work hard at the tactics we shared with you, especially getting in the Money Loop, then tweaking your CTR with the other tips to stay at the top. We have shared with you all the tactics proven to help us get to the top. Now, it's your turn to cash in on real profits! Keep working on it, especially if you are among the top three, it will surely pay off handsomely.
Using The AdWords Auto-Optimizer Tool
To cut your AdWords tweaking time by 75%, use this tool when going through Phase 2, of tweaking and testing your ads. Adwords Optimizer Scans Your Adwords Data & Makes Recommendations on What Ads to Update, Turn Off or Expand. It Cuts Your Adwords Maintenance Time by 75% and Allows You to Make Faster Boosts in Your Click-Through Rates.
What Will the AdWords Optimizer do for You?
Know WHEN it is time to improve your Ads. The AdWords Optimizer will send you an alert as soon as one of your Ad Groups is ready to be optimized. So now you know exactly when it is time to take action and keep boosting the CTR of your Ad Groups. Stop wasting time and save countless hours. You will no longer have to go through all of your Ad Groups to manually check and calculate if one ad is outperforming another. All of this will be done automatically by the AdWords Optimizer saving you hours per day.
How Does the AdWords Optimizer Work?
In less than two minutes you can start receiving alerts whenever one of your Google Ad Groups is ready to be optimized. Just imagine how much faster you will be able to improve the performance of your AdWords account and how much time you will be saving now that you will always know what Ad Group is ready to be optimized!
Sign-up: Sign-up for the AdWords Optimizer.
Setup a Google report: Setup a daily report in your AdWords account and have the report automatically sent to your personal AdWords Optimizer email (takes less than 2 minutes).
Start receiving alerts: Whenever you have an Ad Group that is ready for optimization (i.e. when one ad is outperforming another ad) you will receive an alert with a link to a detailed optimization report for your AdWords account. Click Here to Set Up Your Account Now! Requires Nothing to Install or Download It's Completely 100% FREE with The Winning AdWords System V6.
Beyond AdWords: The Winning System V6
Has this Playbook helped you?
Would you benefit from some extra help? You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to sit back, and let MindValley Labs do all the AdWords optimization dirty wor. Business owners pay us $5,000 for an initial review and setup of their AdWords account and $4,000 each time we review and optimize an existing AdWords account.
Do you think this System can help someone you know?
Refer someone to our sales page and earn $50+ from every buying customer! Click here for details.
So what’s beyond a Winning System for AdWords?
The world of internet marketing and profitable online businesses is vast, and while AdWords is one of the key pieces of the puzzle, there are dozens of little tricks and efficient methods to attract all the wealth you want. This Winning System for AdWords is one part of a larger system for online business success, ranging from product creation, to website conversion, email marketing, and multi-million dollar growth tactics!
MindValley Labs is giving away sections of it’s full course, which you can get, right
now, by clicking here. With that, we wish you great success! Do tell us your story, what you think of this product, and keep in touch! Sincerely, Mike and Vishen, MindValley Labs Contact: email@example.com
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