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.
When it comes to a direct return on your investment – in the vast majority of cases, the Google Search Network will easily beat the Google Display Network.
But that is not to say that the Display network is never worth using.
With that in mind – here are some pre-recorded webinars by Google that will be of interest if you want to use it for Branding or Re-Targeting/Re-Marketing (and perhaps even *sometimes* for getting a great direct return on your investment):-
Creating Effective GDN Campaigns:
Advanced Optimization Techniques:
Remarketing on the GDN:
The easiest way to get these little yellow stars if you have an e-commerce site is to allow the use of Google Checkout as a payment option – once you get 30 reviews, your seller ratings will start showing on your AdWords ads. (Also – having Google Checkout badges on your ads can also increase your CTR by 10%.)
Have a look on the internet and you’ll probably be able to find a lot of articles about how important good customer reviews are. But there do not seem to be any articles on what sort of increase in sales you might expect if you were to get those little yellow stars (seller rating extensions) attached to the majority of your AdWords adverts. So, to leave no-one in any doubt that customer reviews are important here are some real world figures:-
The following increase in conversion rates for one client were observed after 5 star ratings started appearing on their AdWords ads :-
27.5% ! ??
- This was not a split test.
- Many other factors can affect conversion rate.
- This figure may go down when more data comes in (though there is a pretty big sample of data already).
- *** Update – 31st May 2011 – This is the most important note – having taken the figures for a longer period before and after the ratings starting appearing on the AdWords ads, the original figure of 27.5% looks very much like a fluke. I’ll come back and update this figure when I have a bit more data in. Hopefully there will still be an increase – though it is definitely looking like a *lot* less than 27.5%. (This is an important lesson to everyone with regards to believing everything you read.. :-) ***
But even while taking this figure with a (very large) pinch of salt – I have never seen such a big improvement in conversion rate for AdWords traffic before. Put it this way – if I had my own online shop, then getting glowing customer reviews would currently be my number one priority!
(Even if the increase in conversion rate is not amazing, I would still put getting good customer reviews near the top of my list of priorities… :-)
If anyone else has had any similar experiences, please let me know!
PS – Here is the link for more detailed information on how to get Seller Ratings appearing on your Google Adwords ads:-
PPS – If you have really bad customer service you can ignore this article.read more
If you ever login to your AdWords account and see a message beside any of your campaigns that says “Limited By Budget” then keep reading….
Do NOT Control Your AdWords Budget With Your ‘Budget’ Settings!
This was touched on in a previous post – but it is so important that I want to mention it again…
You can see in the illustration above that you can save a LOT of money or get a lot more clicks for the same price by decreasing your bids while leaving your budget alone.
If you spend more than a few pounds a day on AdWords – this can amount to either a huge saving or a lot of extra business for no extra cost.
PS – if you are using CPA bidding, and are making a profit on every sale, then make sure your daily budget is *big* so you don’t miss out on any profitable sales.read more
An interesting article :-
For all you SEO type people who reckon that natural search tends to convert better than paid search – there is an interesting line in the article which says :
“Paid search signals purchase intent as those who use sponsored links are 1.5 times more likely
I think that Google Checkout has some way to go before it is a popular as Paypal.
But regardless if anyone actually uses it as payment option on your eCommerce site or not, the fact remains, that if you are running a Google AdWords campaign, and you link your AdWords and Checkout accounts, then you get a nice shiny Google Checkout badge attached to all your AdWords adverts (on Google search results in the UK if you you signed up for a Google Checkout account in the UK).
Google say that this can increase Click Through Rate by 10%.
This means that you should be able to make 10% more sales without having to pay any extra money for each sale (whether you use CPC bidding or CPA bidding).
But is it true, or are Google exaggerating just a little bit?
Well, I can confirm after trying this out, and with with some fairly large campaigns that CTR has increased by 10.3%!
Also, if you have a Google shopping feed (and you should), then you also get a nifty little Google checkout symbol beside all of your items in the Google Shopping listings, and a ‘Seller Ratings’ link, which has to help at least a little bit as well (unless you have terrible customer service)…
If anyone would any further info on any of these things, then please leave a comment.