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Archive for Google AdWords’ Category



AdWords Experiments How Much / How Soon Should You Trust Them?

It’s always easy to jump to conclusions too quickly, but it can even be the case sometimes that Google AdWords actively misleads you.

Have a look at the screen shot below :-

AdWords Experiments Screen Shot - Statistically Significant?

The AdWords experiment is telling me that “The difference in metrics represents a statistically significant increase.”

This would be very useful to know but for the fact that the experiment is 100% *IDENTICAL* to the control.

Now, Google don’t make a qua-zillion dollars a day from AdWords without being very good at guestimating which ads will get more clicks than others, and I’m sure they get it right more often than not – but please bear these findings in mind before making changes that may adversely affect the performance of your campaigns…

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AdWords Category Targeting / Behavioural Targeting

This is something I see a lot these days…

I downloaded a Chemical Brothers album from Amazon and 15 minutes later I saw this ad on one of my own sites (

At the very least, this type of thing should allow you to make more money if you have a web site with AdSense on it!

If you are lucky enough to be in a niche that has a well targeted category in AdWords, then this should make the Google Display Network work better for you than just using contextual targeting…

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Free £50 Google AdWords Voucher (UK Addresses Only).

Valid on new accounts only.
Valid in the UK only.
Value drops to £30 on 30th August 2011.
Expires 31st October 2011.

Leave a comment if you want it…

PS – If you don’t get the £50 voucher then you can always get a £30 AdWords Voucher By Clicking Here!

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Free £75 Google AdWords Coupon

£75 Google AdWords Voucher 75 gbp

I have another one of these up for grabs.

No strings attached.

Valid for use on Google AdWords accounts that are 14 days old or less (and have not already had a voucher applied).

Just leave a comment below about what you would use it for, and I’ll pick the best one during the next 7 days, and send the voucher by email….

PS – if you are not lucky enough to get this one – then see the following post for details on how you can get a £30 or £50 voucher –

Free AdWords Coupons For Everyone!

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Google AdWords Express – Automated Local Advertising (Though Not For UK Based Businesses For The Time Being)

It is always best to be a little bit sceptical when Google announce that they have a great new product that will manage your advertising campaign for you, and all you have to do is give them your credit card details.

But for those of you who are a lot more trusting than me – here are details of the new Google Express advertising service (though no details yet of when they will fleece make it available to UK and Irish based businesses) :-

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Should I Forget About PPC And Concentrate on Search Engine Optimisation?

Firstly, don’t listen to Search Engine Optimisation guys/girls who tell you that the number of clicks you will get from Google AdWords / PPC are insignificant compared to the free clicks you will get if you rank well in the organic search results.

A study from Optify concluded that, for more valuable keywords, the organic click-through rate for page 1 placement on Google was 37.3%!

This means that PPC ads can get around 60% of available traffic!

There are many people who would have you believe that you would be lucky to get a Click Through Rate fo 1% for PPC ads. Here are some real world examples from campaigns that I am managing (and the average position on these ads is relatively low):-

Ad1 – approx 44,000 impressions – avg. pos. = 2 – CTR = 14.18%
Ad2 – approx 1 million impressions – avg. pos. = 3.8 – CTR = 6.79%
Ad3 – approx 120,000 impressions – avg. pos. = 6.9 – CTR = 4.52%

Secondly, don’t listen to people (mostly Search Engine Optimisation guys/girls) who tell you that you are paying money for clicks on PPC ads when people would have clicked on your organic result anyway if your ad was not there.

A recent study from Google (OK it is bound to be slightly biased but you can be sure it is not fabricated) showed that “a full 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused“.


Update – March 2012 A study from Google found the following:

  • 81% of ad impressions and 66% of ad clicks occur in the absence of an associated organic result on the first page of search results. All ad clicks in these situations are incremental.
  • On average, for advertisers who appear in the top rank organic slot, 50% of ad clicks are incremental. This means that half of all ad clicks are not replaced by organic clicks when search ads are paused.
  • For advertisers whose organic search results are in the 2nd to 4th position, 81% of ad clicks are incremental. For advertisers appearing in organic position of 5 or lower, 96% of ad clicks are incremental.
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How Accurate Is The Google AdWords Traffic Estimator?

Hint – the short answer is “not very”.

While logged in, using a max. CPC of £5, and targeting the UK, here is the estimate for keywords that I am already bidding on :-

No matter how much I adjusted the bids and budgets, the AdWords Traffic Estimator insisted that I could not get more than 9 clicks per day, and if I set the max. CPC at a more realistic 50 pence, it reckoned I could only expect a max. of 3 clicks per day.

Here are the actual figures per day (taken over the last 12 months up to 13th July 2011) *:-

Average CPC = £0.22

Total Clicks = 31

Total Cost = £6.80

So as you can see – to say it is is not very accurate is a bit of an understatement!

*This campaign / ad group is using CPA bidding, and has relatively good keyword Quality Scores, and fairly good ad text – but all the same, I am still getting 4 times the number of clicks at around on eighth of the estimated CPC.

Just in case this was a fluke – lets look at estimates and actual figures for another ad group from another campaign.

(I’ve set the max CPC to £1 this time)

Here are the actual figures per day (taken over the last 12 months up to 13th July 2011) *:-

Average CPC = £0.33

Total Clicks = 12

Total Cost = £4.07

Again, more clicks and much better value were had than the traffic estimator would have you believe.

The above 2 examples were based on ad groups that had fairly specific, product related keywords. So let’s try an ad group that has more ‘generic’ keywords…

Here are the actual figures per day (taken over the last 12 months up to 13th July 2011) :-

Average CPC = £0.07

Total Clicks = 35

Total Cost = £2.49

At this point, you either start to believe that the traffic estimator is always pessimistic or PPCNI are absolute magicians when it comes to writing compelling ads, and optimising bidding strategy (OK – there may a *little* bit of truth in the latter :-)

OK – one final try on a completely different account, that has not been managed by PPCNI for 12 months yet* (This time I have adjusted the max CPC to get the estimated average CPC close to the actual CPC:-

Here are the actual figures per day (taken over the last 12 months up to 13th July 2011) :-

Average CPC = £0.37

Total Clicks = 318

Total Cost = £117.10

Well, there is a turn up for the books – the estimates are actually fairly accurate in this case. Possibly, this is because these search terms are much higher volume than the other ones …

I’d like to add some more observations from other ad groups, but I don’t have any other ad groups that have had a lot of traffic over the last 12 months and have not been extensively tinkered with…

So with the limited amount of data I have I would say that it *seems* if you are good at setting up AdWords, and you are targeting keywords that don’t have massive search volume, then the AdWords Traffic Estimator is usually pretty pessimistic.

If anyone has any similar experiences (or if you have ever found the traffic estimator to be accurate), I’d love to hear from you…

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